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  1. #241
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Well, we have talked about Kodak selling off divisions to become leaner and meaner. We have talked about Kodak scaling back on manufacturing schedules and demolishing unused buildings. We have then discussed how the divestments and closures were the wrong divisions. For example, Kodak spun off Eastman Chemicals which is doing fine, and Kodak is a chemical business at its core.

    I could go on, but there are several threads and even posts here that discuss the need for Kodak to become smaller.

    The fact is that they have become almost as small as they can, and they have kept spinning off the wrong divisions! They seem to be adept at spinning off the profit makers. (I guess you should use the name Perez in place of they)

    PE

  2. #242

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    I was redundant, I suppose, but I was wishing from my heart. I'm probably just getting maudlin as I age. As Steve mentioned (and what was in my mind too) is that it worked for Ilford. So why not for Kodak? You pointed out some of the reasons ... selling the wrong parts of the company is a big one. It would have to be a dramatic downsizing and refocusing, the kind that would alienate most of the current shareholders and investors.

    Why do I care? Because I really like Kodak products, and I've always regarded Kodak as the finest innovator and promoter of the science, art, and pleasure of photography in the world.

    I started my personal pursuit of photography with an inexpensive Kodak camera that shot 126 film. Later I bought books from Kodak to teach me how to improve my photography when I bought my first 35mm camera. Years later when I set up my first makeshift darkroom, I was inspired and informed by books from Kodak that explained how to set up a darkroom, process film, enlarge, and make prints. I used Kodak films, papers, and chemicals exclusively. This was just before the dawn of the internet and the WWW, so I got nearly all of my instruction from books, or from the owners and staff of the camera stores I frequented. This was at a time when they knew something about film, and were enthusiasts themselves. Kodak was everywhere. In all stores of any kind that sold film, Kodak was always the primary featured stock, and often the only one. When I bought my first LF camera (in an actual brick and mortar camera store, not over the net), what film did I shoot exclusively? Right! Tri-X! What else?

    Anyway, I'm just sorry to see Kodak struggling and perhaps foundering for good. I continue to wish for some happy ending that keeps the finest photographic films the world has ever seen still in production.

    My film budget for this month will be applied toward purchase of some more Portra 160 in 220 rolls.

    Hey, I'm going to buy your book too, but it may take me a while to duplicate Portra and Tri-X. :-) lol

  3. #243
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    Skip;

    Kodak could do it, but they keep plowing all "profits" from film into digital! If the film division could stand alone, it could make money just like Ilford. THAT is the real sad part of this.

    PE

  4. #244
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Skip;

    Kodak could do it, but they keep plowing all "profits" from film into digital! If the film division could stand alone, it could make money just like Ilford. THAT is the real sad part of this.

    PE
    Imagine if some of those profits were put into marketing film and building the right size manufacturing and distribution systems for it. Ugh.

  5. #245

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    Losing the work product of the Kodak labs is like burning the library at Alexandria. It would be an incalculable loss of human knowledge--and not just for film! Dr. Hanson mentioned that Kodak had synthesized thirty to forty thousand different dye couplers. Will these processes be put into the public domain, or simply lost? Again, this material is all undervalued.

  6. #246
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    Kodak Concedes Difficulty in Drawing Lead Bidder for Patents

    The patents will not be lost. Somebody will own them. Even if Kodak were to be dissolved and liquidated, somebody will wind up with them. The next question is will they utilize them? Or at least use them in a way that has relevance to film photographers?

  7. #247

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    Quote Originally Posted by ambaker View Post
    The patents will not be lost. Somebody will own them. ... Or at least use them in a way that has relevance to film photographers?
    The patents they were trying to sell all relate to digital photography and NOT film photography.

    Given the way patents have been written and the legal cases pending, I'm not sure how much more the patents are worth. (I suspect al the 'good' ones are already being licensed.)

  8. #248
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    Several points here:

    1. Patents only last for a finite period of time. Usually 18 years.

    2. The film and coupler patents are out there, and most have expired. The entire Portra structure is out there.

    3. It takes a trained engineering team to understand and reconstruct a film from a patent. You also need a lot of equipment to do it.

    4. Patents don't tell everything. Many tiny bits are left out, and these bits are critical and in the mind of the current engineers at Kodak. There are only about 200 of us left living. When we are gone, those little bits are gone as well.

    PE

  9. #249

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    Perhaps the cognoscenti can get permission to do an oral history project and just effuse on tape about the various technologies. I realize that this is all propitiatory intellectual property, but it IS in the interest of science to preserve it. People today today don't even know what any of the film manufacturing machines looked like. Imagine how difficult it will be to reconstruct them 100 years from now. Not trying to make any more work for people--just suggesting we do what is reasonable and convenient.

  10. #250
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    You have missed the discussions where I have explained that the EK people do NOT want to do this.

    PE



 

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