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  1. #41
    kb3lms's Avatar
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    And, talking of rocket science, NASA sent men to the moon 40 years ago, but SFAIK they've no firm plans to do it again. No doubt they could do it technically
    It is not up to NASA. Sending men to the moon in this day and age is not a technical question or even a question of money. It is a question of political will and what those in charge of the country have on their personal agendas. If the government wanted to put a man on the moon once again versus doing those things that it seems they would rather do now, then someone would be on their way to the moon today or already have been there. Can a new Saturn V be produced? Of course. If they want to, they'll justify it and make it happen. It's that simple.

    Same with producing a new color film - or any other product for that matter. There is a market out there at some size that keeps Kodak's machines running at some level. If someone wants to be in that business, then they will "right-size" the production model and make it happen. It appears that someone somehow associated with Ferrania intends to do this. It is all a matter of wanting to do it or not. Sure, there are numbers and profits and all that stuff. But as my mother has said for years, "if there is a will, then there is a way" and those with the will, will make it happen.

    If Kodak's production model eventually becomes unsustainable with the production plant they have today, it is a question of whether those in charge of the company have the will and the want to create a production line at the right size to keep producing or not. If they want to, they will - if not, they won't and will exit the business. If they want to stay in the film producing business they will work all that out for the market that exists. It's that simple and in the big corporate world it is just as much a question of head-trash and agendas as much as anything else.

    Same as people making buggy whips. There is certainly a market for them where I live but nobody is setting up a multi-national billion dollar operation to produce them. Some fellow has a shop out behind his house set-up to make several hundred a year because that is the business he is in and wants to be in. He makes a living out of it because he is right-sized.

    Adox is working to resurrect Polywarmtone. Why? Because there is some size market for it and they WANT to be in that business. But I am sure someone there understands that the production model is, say, two runs of paper a year - not 30 miles worth a day. But they decided on those grounds that they want to bring Polywarmtone back to the market and therefore they will.
    All this has happened before, and all this will happen again.

  2. #42
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    I think that you guys are being unrealistic. To make a reasonable color film there are 3 couplers that must be custom made in a lab by an organic chemist. There are 3 sensitizing dyes that require the same, and there are dozens of other custom items that must be made before the film can be coated.

    There is custom gelatin that must be made. There is a custom hardener that must be made and there are requirements for handling of toxic materials in the lab and as waste.

    You need between 3 and 9 custom emulsions.

    And, you have to coat between 6 and 14 layers at one time or in turn. The latter drives up the price manyfold and introduces a huge defect opportunity as handling increases.

    You need a coating staff and a testing staff in addition to those chemists and emulsion makers.

    And sales must pay for them, the plant and leave some for profit.

    And then you need an advertizing campaign and customers to make the money come in.

    PE

  3. #43
    kb3lms's Avatar
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    And then you need an advertizing campaign and customers to make the money come in.
    True enough. I guess I'll add to my post above if there is a market of reasonable size and somebody wants to be in that business, than they will. Of course there is no business without customers, Currently, though, there is some market level because color film is made and sold.

    So assuming there are customers to buy the product, the rest are technical and sizing issues that CAN be solved at a profitable way if someone really wants to and they are satisfied with the business model they end up with.
    All this has happened before, and all this will happen again.

  4. #44
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Well, the problem is that it will take a multimillion dollar investment to get started, and it will take years before any product comes out of the plant. I would guess about 5 years starting from the time the plant facility is ready to roll and the time usable product comes out the other end. This is based on having no formulas or engineers and working from patents alone. It may take longer. It may take less if you have some experienced persons on board.

    Look how long it is taking TIP to produce a product and they had a plant, engineers and formulas.

    And, BTW, I have said before that E6 will go before C41. There is just no demand for Pos-Pos systems, but the Motion Picture industry still drives C41.

    PE

  5. #45
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Well, the problem is that it will take a multimillion dollar investment to get started, and it will take years before any product comes out of the plant.
    We need to get Richard Branson, Bill gates and a few other similarly aged multi-millionaires interested in traditional photography as a hobby to keep them busy in retirement!


    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.

  6. #46

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    Photoengineer - thanks for that injection of reality! I think that, in the hope that someone will produce a miracle, it's easy to overlook just what is needed to make color film on any scale, small or large.

  7. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by kb3lms;1525861.

    [I
    Same as people making buggy whips. There is certainly a market for them where I live but nobody is setting up a multi-national billion dollar operation to produce them. Some fellow has a shop out behind his house set-up to make several hundred a year because that is the business he is in and wants to be in. He makes a living out of it because he is right-sized.[/I]
    Good luck to him, obviously he's seen a market opportunity and has the skill and tools to meet it. Perhaps not so easy to knock out a few hundred color films a year in a shop behind his house?

  8. #48
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    Being in Reading PA indicates to me that this buggy whip craftsman is on the edge or in Amish country, a natural marketplace for buggy whips!

    Am I right?

    And, BTW, I have made or know how to make many of the chemicals needed, and I have hand coated multilayer color materials. It can be done, but at what cost? Really!

    PE

  9. #49
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    It's always fascinating to watch people predictably coalesce around the bipolar distribution peaks of "my glass might be half-full" versus "your glass is definitely half-empty."

    Some people look at things, especially hard things, and immediately respond "Oh my god, that's impossible, you're crazy" and walk away.

    Other people have the ability to look at exactly the same hard things and will momentarily pause, then respond with a thoughtful "Hmm... Sounds crazy. But ya' know... if we just think about it for a minute..."

    Do each of you know which camp you are in?



    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

  10. #50
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    Ken, you obviously are not a chemist, are not versed in film making or any of the associated skills. And, your POV expressed here is over simplistic. With a cocoon of proper equipment and chemicals around me, I can whop up a multilayer film or paper in a day or two. One day to write it up and one day to make and coat the melts.

    But from scratch? Wow!

    I challenge you to address a note to Simon Galley on this very issue!

    PE



 

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