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  1. #211
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Give them more credit for good business sense than that. The reason they are where they are is because they know how to do it without going under.

    Certainly just speculation, but I suspect if they ever did decide the potential rewards were worth the risk, that calculation would be based at least in part on an assumption that any failure also had to be sustainable.

    On a much smaller scale I seem to recall they once had an R&D look at a possible new Delta 25 film, but decided the risk was too great and dropped it. They did introduce a new cold tone developer, but it apparently never reached escape velocity and was similarly dropped. And we all know how far the emotionally draining begging for a resumption of 220 roll film went. And these are only the projects we know about.

    But on the other hand, we got postcard paper back. Who would have thought that was still viable in an era when the US Postal system is going bankrupt from reduced use of letters and... postcards. And how about new 4x5 and 8x10 cameras? Pinhole cameras, no less. Who knew?

    And of course, they have still maintained all of their previously existing product lines in an era when everyone else is fighting just to keep from going out of business.

    No, give them credit. They are not fools. Thank God. If they ever did reach a point where they wanted to give color a try, I wouldn't be worried in the slightest. Remember, they got to where they are by knowing how to assume and manage risk successfully.

    Ken
    "There is very limited audience for the arty stuff, and it is largely comprised of other arty types, most of whom have no money to spend because no one is buying their stuff either. More people bring their emotions to an image than bring their intellect. The former are the folks who have checkbooks because they are engineers, accountants, and bankers—and generally they are engineers, accountants and bankers because they are not artists."

    — Amanda Tomlin, Looking Glass Magazine, 2014

  2. #212

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    You are right. They have good business sense and deserve credit. I spoke to a couple of representatives at SPE in Chicago. This reassured me that their film will be around, enough so that I have started shooting 4x5. That is something I never thought I would do. However, a part of their good business sense has been sticking with core products and not trying to do too much. I do not know what their position is except that it is stable. I would just hate to that jeopardized in any way.
    Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts: Journalism - University of Arkansas 2014

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  3. #213
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    If they hadn't been willing to assume and manage the (enormous at the time) risk of taking over the earlier bankrupt version of Ilford, where would we all be right now?

    It's just as dangerous to be overly risk-averse as it is to be overly risky. The key to surviving, in life as well as business, is to find the sweet spot in between. And to be shrewd enough to track and follow it when it subtly moves. And it ALWAYS moves. Just ask Kodak.

    Ken
    "There is very limited audience for the arty stuff, and it is largely comprised of other arty types, most of whom have no money to spend because no one is buying their stuff either. More people bring their emotions to an image than bring their intellect. The former are the folks who have checkbooks because they are engineers, accountants, and bankers—and generally they are engineers, accountants and bankers because they are not artists."

    — Amanda Tomlin, Looking Glass Magazine, 2014

  4. #214
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick View Post
    On a much smaller scale I seem to recall they once had an R&D look at a possible new Delta 25 film, but decided the risk was too great and dropped it.
    The risk was that it would take sales away from PAN F leaving not enough throughput to keep either viable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick View Post
    It's just as dangerous to be overly risk-averse as it is to be overly risky.
    Which is why the UK (and the US I assume) doesn't have much of a car industry any more... or any other type of industry for that matter.


    Steve.
    Last edited by Steve Smith; 07-26-2013 at 02:15 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  5. #215

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    Quote Originally Posted by blockend View Post
    The Poundland stock will almost certainly have been sold at a loss to the manufacturer, (Agfa is rebranded Fujicolor 200). It was only available because, presumably, Agfa want out of colour print film and needed to dispose of the remainder to free up expensive storage space. When the supply of 36 exposure film runs out, as it seems to have already done, it's most unlikely we'll see any more. There are a few 24 exposure films left and when that's gone, I'd bet on that being it for cheap film. Poundland will be making a healthy profit but film isn't core business to them, they've simply seen a temporary opportunity.
    Unless you have inside knowledge of Poundland, you're making huge assumptions about them and about Agfa. Agfa and Kodak film has, to be knowledge, been on their shelves over two years....a hell of a lot if it's all "surplus stock"....and expiry dates have moved forward as the stock turns over. Agfa (i.e. Lupus Imaging) have shown no indication of "wanting out" of colour print film (check their website).

    Poundland also sell many branded products as stock lines.....e.g. in my local store there are ongoing displays of every kind of batteries, including Sony and Kodak, and Polaroid branded inkjet papers, to mention just photo-related items , surely not all just surplus stocks.

  6. #216
    clayne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
    Which is why the UK (and the US I assume) doesn't have much of a car industry any more... or any other type of industry for that matter.
    That's got nothing to do with risk and everything to do with the greed of overly rich people who take pride in selling their country's assets and innovations to the best 3rd world investor they can find.
    Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.

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  7. #217

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    Well some interesting posts.

    Lets put it this way, I see things in a very black and white way.

    As an FYI Ciba Geigy bought ILFORD as they needed the technology and knowledge to coat CIBACHROME one of the most difficult complex coated photo 'paper' products ever.....SDB Silver Dye Bleach process. When all the colour photographs in all the world are faded to nothing only CIBACHROMES will be left.

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :

  8. #218

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    Quote Originally Posted by railwayman3 View Post
    Unless you have inside knowledge of Poundland, you're making huge assumptions about them and about Agfa.
    No inside word on Poundland, just a working knowledge of manufacture and retailing. If we see large stocks of in-date currently produced film re-appearing, you win.

    The problem for a manufacturer like Ilford, is the colour market is niche and niche markets are unpredictable. Current film users are split into those buying better and those buying different. 'Better' users prepared to pay the market rate for technologically sophisticated products like Portra 400, Ilford's monochrome products, Fuji's transparency film, etc. Include larger format buyers in this category.

    'Different' buyers want the film look and ability to use classic equipment but are relatively undiscerning about absolute quality. They are typically film scanners, not printers, and will tweak characteristics in or out in post production. Such buyers are highly price conscious. They're the group over-stockers and re-branders are looking for. The second market relies on a healthy quality sector. The disappearance of various high tech films, some of quite recent vintage historically speaking, suggests there is no longer a sufficiently large number of buyers to maintain production in that sector. The success of Lomography points to the opposite being true, manufacturers are more likely to make money on re-branded vintage products than innovative ones.

    Never say never, but in current market conditions I see no reason why Ilford would want to get caught between a disappearing bespoke colour negative market, and retro/hipster brands, with fire sale merchants undercutting the middle.

  9. #219
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clayne View Post
    That's got nothing to do with risk and everything to do with the greed of overly rich people who take pride in selling their country's assets and innovations to the best 3rd world investor they can find.
    Well, over here it was more to do with not wanting to modernise and being complacent with the products they were already making and the equipment and processes/working practices in the factories.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  10. #220

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
    Well, over here it was more to do with not wanting to modernise and being complacent with the products they were already making and the equipment and processes/working practices in the factories.
    Steve.
    If a single factor can be attributed to the failure of British manufacturing, it's lack of management. UK companies that are well managed tend to be successful globally. Sadly, too many managers looked no further than their next bonus.



 

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