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  1. #31
    cmacd123's Avatar
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    The other issue is a change in sounsumer habits. 40 years ago, ( when I sold cameras as my first job )the Kodak rep expalined that they did not really try too hard to make money on kodacolor, but that they basically had a stranglehold on the photo finishers. Everything at a commercial lab could and generally did come from Kodak Park (or here in canada from Camera Heights).

    This was just at the time that Fuji started selling little green boxes in Canada. And before their was a Noritsu in every mall.

    The competition has had both firms running hard to make far better products.

    Flash forward and the consumer does not have to depend on the lab to reveal their images, and even worse, they JUST DON'T BOTHER TO MAKE PRINTS. So all that Photofinishing market has gone. and the little that is left is shared with Fuji.

    Back then Motion pictures were a small potatoes product line done mainly for the prestige, now they are the major market by square footage for all film. Fuji is neck and neck their too, with an "Eterna" for every "Vision"

    Did Kodak make some stratigic blunders, YES! if they had of seen the size of the makrket we know see, one of the plants they demolished might have been the right size. Camera Heights was designed to make 10% of the volume of Kodak park back when Canada was 10% of the size of the US, and was behind a tariff wall. That plant did make any of the products that Kodak makes now. In fact for a while it made almost all of the Motion Picture Negative in North America. It is now a housing development.
    Charles MacDonald
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    I still live just beyond the fringe in Stittsville

  2. #32

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    Just wondering, while we all know the Kodak name and can probably see a Kodak product from where we are sitting, can anyone tell me the last time they saw a Kodak commercial on TV, not an infomercial, but a regular 30 second spot? I can't remember either. I will say that name recognition will get you quite far, but people knowing your name and people being reminded that you are selling things are two different things.
    "Would you like it if someone that painted in oils told you that you were not making portraits because you were using a camera?"
    "Shouldn't it be more about the joy of producing and viewing the photo than what you paid for the camera?"

    Me

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    I can understand the widespread denial here but film has been circling the drain for a decade and the spin is dizzying now. Crappy E6 service used to be easy to find around Toronto; now any type of E6 service, especially quality work, is restricted to a couple, maybe 1 lab. Consumer film has all but vanished aside from a few forlorn rolls of Fuji Superia 400. Cheap 35mm C41 processing is dead.There's insufficient demand to prompt pro photo stores to stock much more than what fits inside a small bar fridge.

    There's no apparent evidence to suggest b&w has a long-term future--wishful thinking notwithstanding. Harmon/Ilford will probably be the last man standing in b&w but only if demand holds and grows. Some miracle may save Kodak's film production but its dealer/consumer unfriendliness will have to shift to an embrace of a small niche market that loves its products. Who knows?
    Toronto isn't anything like Australian towns or cities in that regard. From where I stand, film is very much alive and well.
    I visited 3 towns with populations under 4000 over the last fortnight and was able to buy Portra 160 and Ektar in 120 in one town, Tri-x in 35mm in the next, and have 3 rolls of the colour rollfilm processed in under an hour (for 5 bucks a roll) at the next town.
    Almost every supermarket sells 3 kinds of consumer film and I have never seen any that is out of date.

    I have however, only seen E6 processing available in the larger cities.

  4. #34
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    Wow. All film except consumer C41 35mm is almost impossible to find in Atlanta. I think there's one shop that carries a selection but when I tried to get there via GPS I couldn't find it. It's either moved or has an ambiguous address. Even consumer 35mm C41 is now semi-scarce, and I don't know where people who don't do their own and don't want to mail it out send it. (I mail mine out for now, getting back into color at home soon.)

    But, with the Internet especially, if you're going to send it out it matters little whether it's across town or across the country, as long as you aren't in a hurry. If I were in a real hurry I would shoot digital, or black and white and run home and to the darkroom.

  5. #35

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    I have been away from film photography for a long time only recently wanted to put my 4x5 Sinar to use. It it seemed the only way to get a high quality image file without dropping over 20k. To say the least I was stunned to find out that so much film product was being discontinued. I originally thought i have this highly capable camera and lenses why not buy some film and put it to use. This may prove to be viable for only a short while. But it is not just by Kodak. Fuji also seems to be leaving the film market. Certainly Kodak made some huge gaffs but it seems like a perfect storm of recession, rapid changes of consumer preference, well designed digital cameras etc. All of this combined seems to be dooming film and all kinds of other analog things. Bankruptcy, if it does take place, may free Kodak to make decisions outside the pressure cooker of being a publicly traded company. Being publicly traded comes with a lot of problems. From here on out film will be a highly selective and specialized product for those who make the artistic decision that it is vital to what they want to do. Like hand written letters. Beautiful but no longer practical. General consumers will not return to film with high quality cameras being in every mobile device for free. We can only hope that the products we want will remain available

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by railwayman3 View Post
    I hope you're right, of course...and I'm sure that B&W will still be available for many years. I'm not so optimistic about color film, particularly transparency and the availability of reasonable quick and affordable processing for E6.

    (And I'm not sure that recording tape and cassettes are a totally comparable product...thin film coating on plastic, etc., is a mature technology and relatively simple(thinking of sticky tape, etc.!), but photo film demands further complex stages in the production of the different types and speeds of emulsions, plus the specialist chemicals needed, coating and cutting in a controlled dark environment, and all the complications of packing and distribution to a small market.)

    I remember also when there was a vast range of cassette tapes to suit every need...the only ones now seem to be the basic ferric setting of just one length...
    Railwayman, I do agree that the two media are not easy to compare. I was merely stating that such a niche product is still being made and is in high demand, in a world where it would seem impractical to use it. But tape users, like us, understand that there is something special about these technologies, and are not prepared to let them go the way of the Dodo.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aristophanes View Post
    But that's the problem.

    Their shareholder value was tied up in a revenue stream from film that had been obliterated. Sensors are now dominated by CMOS and by electronics companies: Sony, Canon, Samsung, and Panasonic. Kodak clings to some CCD processes, but with tiny volume. Public companies and sometimes their entire product line can disappear along with share prices.

    Film might be profitable if it avoids competition with digital, but the real issue is investor capital. It's vanishing. When it goes, the expertise goes, the technical knowledge, etc. One can hardly blame the management for going digital as that's where the consumer went and 99.99% of the market. Kodak customers overwhelmingly have gone digital. Even for B&W survival of mass manufactured film depends on end product demand. This demand can, in the short term, be met through legacy cameras, but with no new film cameras being made en masse, who will recapitalize a film factory? Hollywood/Bollywood?

    I scan tech portfolios looking for any interest in film and camera manufacture and there is no investment interest anywhere. No new cameras in volume = no new film in volume.
    Excellent reply. When I started my film re-birth, in my own mind I knew that the biggest limiting factors would be new cameras. Yes, as has been argued many times before on this forum, there is a mountain of cameras for sale on any auction/swap/sell site, but this is a finite resource. What happens in 10 years time when all the bones have been picked dry and there is nothing worthwhile left (Kind of like trying to build a hotrod today out of a early 1930's Ford.....the problem is its a bit hard to buy a fibre glass shell for a Nikon FN). Who in their right mind would want to invest in film at a corporate or big business level?

    Anyhow, just a bit of side information from a recent tour I took. My Photography club was invited to look through a Professional Photo finishing shop. They had printing equipment from both Kodak (optical - LED) and Epson(Inkjet) on site. The owner loves the Kodak equipment, but hates the Epson. Why? Even though the Kodak equipment was >10 year old (I can't 100% remember how old it was), Kodak still offered support for it and repaired it as needed through an on going maintenance plan. The Kodak equipment was start of the art when new, but still held it own now (seriously, how much better can you get when it comes to optical printing?). Compared this to the Epson. He had to purchase this outright. They offered no maintenance plans and when ever it needed repairing, was given the hard sell to buy something better(?) and newer. In the time he had the Kodak machine, he had been through numerous inkjet printers.

    Maybe this is and was Kodak's problem? The products and the service they offered was too good, which in turn means no sales of new equipment?

  8. #38
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    I think Kodak should take up ilforld latest trick by selling 4x5 pinhole cameras with film included in the box, for more info http://www.ilfordphoto.com/products/...+%26+Equipment

  9. #39
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    I like to see a 8x10 model

  10. #40
    tomalophicon's Avatar
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    Hoffy, there is a boatload of new film cameras being made. You won't find them in Harvey Norman though

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