I personally was amazed that in the current situation that Kodak brought out Ektar at all when even the only professional dealers in the city I live in of over 200,000 people has only about forty rolls of film in stock in total of all makes and sizes because according to them " Nobody uses it these days" Kodak make Ektar in 35mm , i20, 4X5 and 8X10, sometimes we have to be grateful for small mercy s
Last edited by benjiboy; 08-16-2010 at 04:18 PM. Click to view previous post history.
That's interesting to note about Ilford - I wonder if their position would change if Kodak or Fuji were to retire one of their 220 finishers, and it were available to be acquired? All I really remember about Ilford's stance was that it would never happen, so perhaps there are other issues (such as the supply chain issues) as well.
We are speaking about a very, very simple industrial machine. It cuts the film with a blade - just like the 120 cutter. Or like scissors. The "magic" is to roll it on a core with a backing paper. Yes, it's a bit different from 120 machine because there are two sheets of paper and two pieces of tape instead of one. Such a machine (for 120, which is very similar) is shown in a KODAK documentary film from the 50's. The link has been here on APUG. The machine shown on the film is not big at all. I would call it compact!
If the machine is big, then it produces a vast amount of rolls. If they all sell, then the big machine is justified financially. If less rolls are needed, then there's absolutely no reason to buy such a big machine. This is a self-controlling system. Someone just have to make the correct decision. It's not rocket science but very simple industrial business.
This is very, very simple automation nowadays. In fact, this is about what happened in industrial revolution in the 18th century. The machinery in question is not complicated, and not big even at industrial scale. You cannot even mention it in the same sentence with emulsion manufacturing, coating etc. - those are really complicated and costly operations. 120 vs. 220 is just a matter of packaging, which has been automatized centuries ago and has nothing special, magic or costly here. Machines are used because they are much cheaper than people doing the same job. One person could roll 220 rolls in 10 seconds or so. It wouldn't be so costly even hand-made. Cutting film and inserting a BACKING PAPER is an extremely simple task.
Sorry, but I respect clear logical thinking and facts I can find higher than authorities named but not citated. It's too easy to mis-interpret and read off the context.
I'm 100% sure that the actual problem lies in marketing strategies, like: how many rolls of 120 and 220 should be sold and where (it's difficult to foresee the exact sales number---leftovers are not wanted), or simply a problem of market places (certain stores may have a fixed number of places for products on their shelves and they would be reluctant to take any extra products for sale), etc. Things like these. This is the reason I'm saying that the end-chain needs some optimization.
And, as I said, it needs some reforming anyway! Film business has changed much and it needs continuous care and renewal to stay profitable. One example of such development is the demise of small, local stores, often criticized here at APUG, but it's the only way the FILM can stay, and that's what really counts. As you can see, large Internet/mail-based companies do not have the problem I mentioned about 220 - fixed number of products on their shelves. And, as they sell more, at a larger geographic area, the problem of leftovers due to fluctuations of market is less pronounced. This kind of development might well make 220 more successful. The question is, is it still going to be successful enough to be produced? What else can be done, if anything?
Last edited by hrst; 08-17-2010 at 03:34 PM. Click to view previous post history.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
Nil volentibus arduum, and all that.
They could if they wanted to. They don't want to. Probably have good reasons for that.
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Sure they could do it if they wanted to. But Ilford's objective is to make a profit, not to make film. Making and selling film is the vehicle they use to make a profit.
Originally Posted by Q.G.
Why don't we petition the government to purchase them a confectioning machine to support our art use of film?
Thank you. It's a very understandable and honest description of the situation, and I find that it fits to the points I have just guessed or deducted in my posts here quite well. It seems they have thought about hand finishing, which I mentioned in my last post just as an example or price comparison! I'm quite surprised it has been considered in practice.
It would be nice if Kodak or Fuji would give as accurate description of their inner workings as Ilford, but it's very unusual in any industry. For example, where does Kodak get their backing papers? They might even do them by themselves. At least they have higher total output which might make the numbers more reasonable for them than Ilford.
This is a delicate subject with a tons of questions in air and it cannot be simply disclosed as impossible or possible.
One problem of today's film business I didn't mention in my last post is quality control---yes, the very, very, very high quality standard. Lowering it just a little bit may someday become a must even for these companies... It doesn't need to get as low as ADOX level, not even near to it, but however...
Excuse an obvious question...do Kodak or Fuji make any kind of 220 films now? (I have checked their websites and those of various mail order suppliers and can't find anything, but would like to try a few rolls if I've overlooked a source. )
What would interest me is knowing how much paper costs, i.e. how much money would be tied up in seven years and some months worth of leader and trailer stock.
Are the costs of it really prohibitive? Or is it cheap, and though it would appear silly to have a stock that could last that long, not really a worry?
But i'm sure 220 film has entered the downward spiral into the Black Hole of Oblivion a while ago already.
With choice dwindling, use of it does that too. Which in turn will make it less profitable, so a further decrease in production. Which leads to... etc.
I don't think it is reversible.
Kodak Portra 160 NC (perhaps also another type of Portra, i don't know.)
Originally Posted by railwayman3
Luckily, the film i like best for exactly those things i like to use 220 film for.
I had a look at what B & H is offering, and Portra 400 NC and 400 VC also still come in 220 size.
So do Fuji's Pro160S and Pro800Z.
Then there still are Fuji's Astia, Provia and Velvia. And Kodak's E100VS.
No B&W film, i'm afraid...