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  1. #41
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    Kodak film is an important business...
    Yes, it is. So here's some rank positive speculation.

    Given its responsibilities to its pensioners, I would not be surprised in the slightest if there currently exists some level of contractual contingencies that cover the day when EK decides it no longer wants to be the film manufacturer. Maybe before the demolition crews are called KA must be given the right of first refusal to work out financing to lease or buy the facilities. Or at least try.

    And if the niche film markets have improved a little by then, maybe they might consider it. At the extreme end for example, what if it were stipulated that when the time eventually arrives, you guys can lease it all for one dollar, if you want to take on the costs associated with keeping it going. It's of no use to us anymore. We're just going to bulldoze it anyway. And by delaying its decommissioning we also delay the environmental day of reckoning. Or something like that.

    I might find it difficult to believe that KA would have taken on lines of business they didn't think they could sustain over the long term. They must have given some real serious thought to becoming a Kodak film business, given EK's inability to continue that business successfully themselves. High risk investments don't dovetail real well with retirement portfolios. So maybe they know something more than we do about the future of Kodak film?

    Ken
    "When making a portrait, my approach is quite the same as when I am portraying a rock. I do not wish to impose my personality upon the sitter, but, keeping myself open to receive reactions from his own special ego, record this with nothing added: except of course when I am working professionally, when money enters in,—then for a price, I become a liar..."

    — Edward Weston, Daybooks, Vol. II, February 2, 1932

  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick View Post
    Yes, it is. So here's some rank positive speculation.

    Given its responsibilities to its pensioners, I would not be surprised in the slightest if there currently exists some level of contractual contingencies that cover the day when EK decides it no longer wants to be the film manufacturer. Maybe before the demolition crews are called KA must be given the right of first refusal to work out financing to lease or buy the facilities. Or at least try.

    And if the niche film markets have improved a little by then, maybe they might consider it. At the extreme end for example, what if it were stipulated that when the time eventually arrives, you guys can lease it all for one dollar, if you want to take on the costs associated with keeping it going. It's of no use to us anymore. We're just going to bulldoze it anyway. And by delaying its decommissioning we also delay the environmental day of reckoning. Or something like that.

    I might find it difficult to believe that KA would have taken on lines of business they didn't think they could sustain over the long term. They must have given some real serious thought to becoming a Kodak film business, given EK's inability to continue that business successfully themselves. High risk investments don't dovetail real well with retirement portfolios. So maybe they know something more than we do about the future of Kodak film?

    Ken
    +1

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick View Post
    Yes, it is. So here's some rank positive speculation.

    Given its responsibilities to its pensioners, I would not be surprised in the slightest if there currently exists some level of contractual contingencies that cover the day when EK decides it no longer wants to be the film manufacturer. Maybe before the demolition crews are called KA must be given the right of first refusal to work out financing to lease or buy the facilities. Or at least try.

    Ken
    When Kodak/Alaris first appeared, I thought that this is the only way this deal could have happened. I can't believe that the UK governing pension board would have let this deal happen without KA getting exclusive rights to everything film related should EK fall out.
    “You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness. You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.” - John Galt

  4. #44
    RattyMouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick View Post
    Yes, it is. So here's some rank positive speculation.

    Given its responsibilities to its pensioners, I would not be surprised in the slightest if there currently exists some level of contractual contingencies that cover the day when EK decides it no longer wants to be the film manufacturer. Maybe before the demolition crews are called KA must be given the right of first refusal to work out financing to lease or buy the facilities. Or at least try.

    And if the niche film markets have improved a little by then, maybe they might consider it. At the extreme end for example, what if it were stipulated that when the time eventually arrives, you guys can lease it all for one dollar, if you want to take on the costs associated with keeping it going. It's of no use to us anymore. We're just going to bulldoze it anyway. And by delaying its decommissioning we also delay the environmental day of reckoning. Or something like that.

    I might find it difficult to believe that KA would have taken on lines of business they didn't think they could sustain over the long term. They must have given some real serious thought to becoming a Kodak film business, given EK's inability to continue that business successfully themselves. High risk investments don't dovetail real well with retirement portfolios. So maybe they know something more than we do about the future of Kodak film?

    Ken
    According to PE, Kodak in Rochester today can roll an entire year's worth of film demand in a single day (not counting change over times). That level of over capacity makes no sense at all to KA, under any circumstances.

    The only hope for KA (as I see it) is that they can walk away from Kodak with the intellectual property of the film formulations and re-set up shop somewhere in the UK on a smaller scale.

  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by RattyMouse View Post
    According to PE, Kodak in Rochester today can roll an entire year's worth of film demand in a single day (not counting change over times). That level of over capacity makes no sense at all to KA, under any circumstances.

    The only hope for KA (as I see it) is that they can walk away from Kodak with the intellectual property of the film formulations and re-set up shop somewhere in the UK on a smaller scale.
    BINGO!
    “You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness. You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.” - John Galt

  6. #46

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    England's not so bad. They do pretty good work over there and pay pretty good attention to the details and quality. I'd buy their film if that's all there was, and not question the quality. Better than none at all.

  7. #47
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RattyMouse View Post
    According to PE, Kodak in Rochester today can roll an entire year's worth of film demand in a single day (not counting change over times).
    They certainly can, as that was the original design goal. But do they have to? What might be the minimum levels of the original design envelope? What might be today's minimum levels, if EK has been able to reduce them somewhat?

    There has been speculation in the past about possibly reworking the manufacturing processes to allow much reduced volumes at comparable levels of quality. This has included public speculation by current (at the time) EK researchers on the film side. Were efforts along these lines ever initiated? If so, did they succeed to any significant level?

    It may be worth observing that severely reduced demand for film worldwide has already been in place now for how many years? Five, ten? And EK is still supplying a constant, albeit reduced, stream of Portra and TMax and Tri-X into that severely reduced market. Film still has an expiration date. Something seems to have changed at the manufacturing and/or distribution levels.

    How are they managing to do it right now today? And how is KA able to promise continuing availability of these films into the future providing that current levels of demand remain stable?

    Everyone complains when the price of Kodak film rises. Perhaps it's those very price rises that have made feasible the manufacturing/distribution modifications allowing the lower volumes of production required to keep the stuff available. And in date.

    If the complete inability of EK to scale back production levels from the glory years were going to kill that business entirely, wouldn't that have already happened years ago? Especially as EK has aggravated the problem itself by discontinuing so many film product lines over that period?

    The glory years were a long time ago.

    Just thinking out loud...

    Ken
    Last edited by Ken Nadvornick; 03-26-2014 at 12:20 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Dang! Misspelled my own damn name...
    "When making a portrait, my approach is quite the same as when I am portraying a rock. I do not wish to impose my personality upon the sitter, but, keeping myself open to receive reactions from his own special ego, record this with nothing added: except of course when I am working professionally, when money enters in,—then for a price, I become a liar..."

    — Edward Weston, Daybooks, Vol. II, February 2, 1932

  8. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick View Post
    They certainly can, as that was the original design goal. But do they have to? What might be the minimum levels of the original design envelope? What might be today's minimum levels, if EK has been able to reduce them somewhat?

    There has been speculation in the past about possibly reworking the manufacturing processes to allow much reduced volumes at comparable levels of quality. This has included public speculation by current (at the time) EK researchers on the film side. Were efforts along these lines ever initiated? If so, did they succeed to any significant level?

    It may be worth observing that severely reduced demand for film worldwide has already been in place now for how many years? Five, ten? And EK is still supplying a constant, albeit reduced, stream of Portra and TMax and Tri-X into that severely reduced market. Film still has an expiration date. Something seems to have changed at the manufacturing and/or distribution levels.

    How are they managing to do it right now today? And how is KA able to promise continuing availability of these films into the future providing that current levels of demand remain stable?

    Everyone complains when the price of Kodak film rises. Perhaps it's those very price rises that have made feasible the manufacturing/distribution modifications allowing the lower volumes of production required to keep the stuff available. And in date.

    If the complete inability of EK to scale back production levels from the glory years were going to kill that business entirely, wouldn't that have already happened years ago? Especially as EK has aggravated the problem itself by discontinuing so many film product lines over that period?

    The glory years were a long time ago.

    Just thinking out loud...

    Ken
    The business model of the free-standing drug store doesn't help. No soda fountain/grill, no tobacco, no film, no nuttin. Just overpriced cosmetics and a very systematic, if not bureaucratic pharmacy, and greeting cards. No atmosphere there. You can sell sno-cones to Eskimos with the right retail atmosphere.

  9. #49
    RattyMouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick View Post

    If the complete inability of EK to scale back production levels from the glory years were going to kill that business entirely, wouldn't that have already happened years ago? Especially as EK has aggravated the problem itself by discontinuing so many film product lines over that period?

    The glory years were a long time ago.

    Just thinking out loud...

    Ken
    Nope. Movies have kept EK rolling a lot more film than we could ever use. Sony's last ( ) contract with EK was for half a BILLION feet of film for 2 years. That's a ton of film (probably many tons). Once movies stop using film next year, then all bets are off. EK will see an even more dramatic free fall in demand.

    Ilford and Fuji do not have this problem.

  10. #50
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    We'll see. Nothing in Sony's two-year contract would prevent EK from attempting to reduce the film production volume envelope while that contract is being serviced. In fact, those two years would be the precise time EK might want to undertake such an R&D effort, if it hasn't already happened. It's when they would have the breathing space to think about and experiment with it using the non-MP stocks.

    As I've said in other threads, if I were KA there's absolutely no way I sign an agreement to take over Kodak's consumer film selling business if the only way it can succeed is to sell the same glory years volumes that even EK can no longer sell. That would be a losing proposition from the get-go.

    Turning the argument around, there's no way such a deal with me even happens unless EK can demonstrate to my satisfaction that they can consistently supply me with the reduced volumes of consumer film that I can successfully sell into the current reduced markets. No scaling down, no signature on the dotted line. It's a prerequisite. Ya' gotta' convince me it's possible first.

    Like any supplier agreement, the deal would be dependent upon the supplier being able to manufacture the required volumes. Except in this case those would be minimum, not maximum, volumes.

    I have to assume that the last thing KA wants to do is throw its retirees under the bus by making unworkable and risky deals.

    Ken
    "When making a portrait, my approach is quite the same as when I am portraying a rock. I do not wish to impose my personality upon the sitter, but, keeping myself open to receive reactions from his own special ego, record this with nothing added: except of course when I am working professionally, when money enters in,—then for a price, I become a liar..."

    — Edward Weston, Daybooks, Vol. II, February 2, 1932

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