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  1. #71

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    Right, but to a degree, we have a hand in what the market for film is to become. If we the film user were in full control of that, what would be want it to be given the knowns of the market dynamics and the economies of scale that drive it?

    We want our film companies to pull a profit, we want a healthy and realistic product line, but I feel like there are missing pieces of the puzzle, or worse, the pieces are right there in front of us and both the film user and the film companies are missing them..

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian C. Miller View Post
    What photos can be finished when the bottom has dropped out of the consumer film market? Kodak E-6 is gone. Isn't there any larger indicator of what's happening in film when a major segment totally tanks out? The consumer/pro roll film segment is riding the coat tails of the motion picture segment. The LF segment is riding the coat tails of the x-ray film segment. (Really, who needs 7-mil base film in mass quantities, $26 for 50 8x10 sheets?)

    If the movie industry leaves film behind, expect roll film prices to shoot through the roof. If the radiology departments leave film behind, expect LF film prices to shoot through the roof.

    Film would still be in dire straights even if Kodak was a perfectly healthy and thriving company. Imagine if Kodak did do everything right, and Kodak sensors were in at least 50% of the cameras manufactured, with a little logo, "Kodak Inside," and Kodak had 75% of the online image market. What would the film market be like? Same as today. It would still have tanked, and just as badly, with all of the same problematic external forces.

    The problem, which will never go away, is the lack of consumer support. Product availability is based on consumers willing to pony up with money to buy the product. We have more film than consumers. That's all there is to it. So production lines have been idled and factories have been scrapped out. There isn't a market in the "third world" for film, either, since cell phones are ubiquitous. Even Mogadishu has full cell phone service. And really, does anybody expect some tribesman to waste money on Kodak moments? That's a first/second-world thing to do. And once you have any imaging device at all, that's what will be used.

  2. #72
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by PKM-25 View Post
    Right, but to a degree, we have a hand in what the market for film is to become. If we the film user were in full control of that, what would be want it to be given the knowns of the market dynamics and the economies of scale that drive it?

    We want our film companies to pull a profit, we want a healthy and realistic product line, but I feel like there are missing pieces of the puzzle, or worse, the pieces are right there in front of us and both the film user and the film companies are missing them..
    One obvious missing piece is demand.

  3. #73
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    This is way beyond my expertise, if I have any left at all, but IMHO, part of the problem with film is product differentiation. We continually compare film to digital and they are really very different imaging systems, with different strengths and weaknesses. I don't want to re-start that debate here but I do believe it causes more harm than good in the minds of the everyday consumer. They have no reason to use film. They have not been given a strong enough reason to use film. They will not be leaving their digital imaging behind now, not when it is in just about every cell phone that is sold, but they have no reason to even consider adding film into the mix.

    I do not know how to do it but somehow there has to be a place for film, that exploits the strengths of film, and without displacing digital. Instead of continually comparing film to digital we need to start differentiating film from digital and pointing out what is so wonderful about film, without the digital debate. Instead of Us vs Them, we need more thought given to how each system compliments the other. Why should the consumer consider film along with digital. Face it, if they cannot co-exist, then one will eventually go away, and I think we all know where that one is headed.

    My two cents...or maybe that was just 1 cent.

  4. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    One obvious missing piece is demand.
    Not quite true, there is demand, but after the motion picture industry reduces color film to the niche level we now use it at, what does that demand look like and how can we expand it in every way we can in terms of reaching potential users?

  5. #75

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    Exactly, we have to do that by both continually pushing the limits with the content we produce and finding refined ways of reaching people. There are good ways already in place that do this, but my gut feeling is that there can be much, much better...

    We need to be as innovative as the very innovations that have pushed film aside.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer View Post
    This is way beyond my expertise, if I have any left at all, but IMHO, part of the problem with film is product differentiation. We continually compare film to digital and they are really very different imaging systems, with different strengths and weaknesses. I don't want to re-start that debate here but I do believe it causes more harm than good in the minds of the everyday consumer. They have no reason to use film. They have not been given a strong enough reason to use film. They will not be leaving their digital imaging behind now, not when it is in just about every cell phone that is sold, but they have no reason to even consider adding film into the mix.

    I do not know how to do it but somehow there has to be a place for film, that exploits the strengths of film, and without displacing digital. Instead of continually comparing film to digital we need to start differentiating film from digital and pointing out what is so wonderful about film, without the digital debate. Instead of Us vs Them, we need more thought given to how each system compliments the other. Why should the consumer consider film along with digital. Face it, if they cannot co-exist, then one will eventually go away, and I think we all know where that one is headed.

    My two cents...or maybe that was just 1 cent.

  6. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by PKM-25 View Post
    Right, but to a degree, we have a hand in what the market for film is to become. If we the film user were in full control of that, what would be want it to be given the knowns of the market dynamics and the economies of scale that drive it?

    We want our film companies to pull a profit, we want a healthy and realistic product line, but I feel like there are missing pieces of the puzzle, or worse, the pieces are right there in front of us and both the film user and the film companies are missing them..
    There are no missing puzzle pieces. There is only the standard demand and supply. Nothing else exists. Film was never supported by the "fine art" market. It was supported by commercial and casual photography. Seriously wide-spread usage started with the Kodak camera and the "you press the button, we do the rest," advertising campaign. Mr. Eastman wanted photography to be as convenient as using a pencil, and he achieved it.

    But where does a film company go when "you press the button," and there's no rest to be done? The services aren't needed because the demand has dried up, so the supply dries up. How many blacksmiths are needed these days? Not many, so there's not many to be found (Yellowpages.com lists three in my state). How many tiny service stations still exist? I drove past a remnant in eastern Washington a couple of weekends ago, just a couple of ancient pumps (1930s era) in front of someone's house. Yes, Texaco gasoline really was sold there 80 years ago. But people have been driving on by since the 1950s, but the pumps are still there.

    The degree to which we shape film's future is minuscule. It is the aggregate demand which shapes film's future, because demand for the product is everything. Thus, demand must exist for the product to continue to exist. I like commercial high-speed film. The only way to spark demand is to show that film is what somebody else wants, despite what they already have. Yes, we have to sell air conditioners to Eskimos and furnaces to desert dwellers.

  7. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian C. Miller View Post
    There is only the standard demand and supply.
    True statement. So? That is a very, very simplistic view. Demand is created and supply follows demand if there is money to be made. Classic case is the IPhone, and there are many others as well.

    The Holga/Diana cameras are a classic example of someone creating demand where none existed. And that one has created the Lomography movement, which in turn has increased demand for film. And though a lot of us look down on them and call them "toys", the co-exist with digital. They are not trying to replace digital, only capitalize on the strength of film. A Holga costs around $45. For $7 I can load some film. Then I go play. For another $10 I get some really wierd pictures back that can be scanned and distributed to all my friends...on those same digital phones that have a camera built in.

    You can do this same thing in digital but it takes time on computers to get a similar look. With the Holga it comes with the territory. And on digital it costs a heck of a lot more.

    These are the types of things that need to be marketed. Pinhole is something else. Harmann Technologies has a nifty new pinhole camera out. Tough to mimic that with digital, especially for the money.

    It isn't demand, it is creativity based on the strengths that film brings to the party.

  8. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by wblynch View Post
    Here is how much I care about Kodak...

    Are they selling products I like and can easily buy and use? Then I love Kodak.

    Are they killing off products I like and can easily buy and use? Then Kodak doesn't exist.

    It is not Kodak, it is the products. If the products are gone then Kodak is gone. Their name and history mean nothing to me. Only the products I can buy and use.
    I couldn't agree more. Kodak has some nice B&W products, but those aren't what I primarily shoot. They have some nice color negative stuff too but I don't shoot negative film for color. They no longer make transparency film, and there's no longer a good, inexpensive way to get transparencies from negatives. It's less expensive for me to go from transparency to print than it is to go from negative to print, so I shoot E-6.

    I used to love Kodak's products. But now the only thing they have that I would use is B&W, and I hardly ever use that.
    ME Super

    Shoot more film.
    There are eight ways to put a slide into a projector tray. Seven of them are wrong.

  9. #79

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    There is demand for Ilford products and they are doing well in how they monetize that demand. So while we all wait to see how Kodak fares in this re-tooling according to demand, I feel like there is indeed some missed opportunity in using the very technology that we claim has practically killed film demand in helping it gain perhaps a little more traction, we just need to innovate.

    This perception thing is a huge problem and this 18 year old man really tells it like it is, a lot of the older folks might need to take a different attitude:

    http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...1&postcount=48

  10. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by PKM-25 View Post
    This perception thing is a huge problem and this 18 year old man really tells it like it is, a lot of the older folks might need to take a different attitude:

    http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...1&postcount=48
    All I got from that is he only cares what people in his own age group think or have to offer. The tone of his message indicates that anyone older is close to death or crotchety and irrelevant. A typical perspective of an18 year old.

    Amazingly, it's the very crotchety, near-death, people that invented and produced all the tools he both likes and dislikes,

    But, that's perception for you.
    - Bill Lynch



 

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