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  1. #1

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    Along with Fuji's price increase was the news....

    ...that film demand is still decreasing. Without any hard data, I had thought that the general feeling here was that the drop in film consumption was finally slowing down. I guess the feeling was artificial, somewhat fueled by my own re-discovery of film; thinking that if I was doing this, there must be a lot of others.

    So to read that film use continues to drop, one has to ask, at what point does this decrease bottom out and a new equilibrium found? How far away are we? Still more years?

    With Kodak dropping their E6 line, you would have thought that this would have added nicely to Fujifilm's film production. Apparently not.

    Clearly there needs to be more consolidation of the film producers. Here, Kodak's continuing struggle to stay alive might ultimately hurt the remaining more healthy producers. It would be more than a little ironic, even sad, if Kodak continue to limp along year after year, fatally damaged Ilford's and Fuji's film production by taking away production volume that would keep these two companies producing, all the while Kodak having no chance at all, due to their massive legacy costs and dramatic overcapacity.

  2. #2
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RattyMouse View Post
    With Kodak dropping their E6 line, you would have thought that this would have added nicely to Fujifilm's film production. Apparently not.
    Maybe it already has, and that is what has allowed Fujifilm to continue producing those E6 film lines that they are still offering...

    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  3. #3
    Pioneer's Avatar
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    And since they are now almost a single-source supplier the lack of competition allows large price increases. Face it, Fuji has one foot in each camp. They are now in a win-win situation. If people buy more digital cameras, they win. If people continue to purchase E6 slide film at elevated prices, they win. You have to agree they have positioned themselves nicely.

  4. #4

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    I dont think it is that simple. If you read Fujifilm's quarterly results, they do not make much money at all from digital cameras. Hard to believe but it is true. In fact, their entire imaging division LOOSES money. I looked back from today's year all the way back to 2005. Not one year reported a profit in their imaging division. Not one. It seems that their film chemicals keep the looses from being too high.

    Second, they want to price E6 film so that it has a stable, if not slightly growing market. They cannot just gouge people on this as E6 photography for the most part is a luxury now, not an essential purchase.

  5. #5

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    Film hoarders will make any change in the market difficult to see in the short term. If people have hoarded Kodak E6 film, then Kodak stops making it, it'll be a year or more before those buyers switch to Fujifilm, and the sales turn up on reports.

    I don't know if sales are up, down or flat, but I think there are many factors which can affect sales. I think a small part of it is the digital camera coming out now which look like film cameras, like the X-Pro1 etc. they can attract film shooters, who may use one for 6 months, realise it's not like film at all, and then go back.

    The state of the economies around the world does not help, often people are not poorer, in fact often they are better off due to low interest rates on their mortgages, but it's amazing how often I hear "we need to cut back, with the economy". I know for a fact that these people are better off or unaffected, but they'll cut back anyway on non-essentials.

  6. #6

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    Interesting, as Henning Serger's report of conversations with Fuji execs at Photokina (http://www.apug.org/forums/forum390/...h-version.html) seemed to suggest that Fuji were seeing film sales as stable if not increasing a little.

  7. #7
    jp498's Avatar
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    I'd bet e6 demand is still decreasing. It's more apt to be replaced by digital than B&W. Few places develop it. It's harder to develop at home than B&W.

  8. #8
    Dr Croubie's Avatar
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    Well, do you really expect a story to come out worded like, "We're going to have to increase our prices, but sales were up too, we're just greedy bastards" ...?
    I'd say there's enough of a margin of error on different timescales that they could say flat in one interview, rising in one, and falling in another, technically be correct all 3 times, and pick whichever fits the rest of what they're saying.

  9. #9
    fotch's Avatar
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    Now blaming Kodak for other companies having problems? The problem is a decline in the the market and it effects all companies in it.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  10. #10

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    One of the issues with film is that the current user base has made a shift in workflow for colour film more than B/W. The colour film ends up being scanned and printed digitally, and makes more sense in MF and large format than 35 mm, where it is easily beaten by the convenience and quality of the "other" cameras. B/W I think has more traction with the Holga and Lomography crowd, and has a larger user base within the traditional darkroom printing community. I use all three categories, of which colour combined is about 20 to 30 %, and none of that in 35 mm. Maybe I am not the typical film consumer, but I do see a similar pattern with the other local film users: Mostly B/W, then colour negative, and a long way behind comes slide film. It is easier and cheaper to get C41 processed, and if the output is going to be scanned as a matter of course, the increased DR of negative film holds some advantage over slide film and is competitive with other imaging methods, especially in larger formats. So I see some future for colour neg film, and definitely for B/W film for some time, but I can understand that E6 is in a late phase if that is the case.

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