More news from photokina RE global photo chemistry
Here is an experpt form my post about recent experiences from Photokina 2012 all about C-41 E-6 and BW chemicals!
About 2 years ago, Tetenal withdrew from the US market its popular and easy to use C-41 2 bath kit, and E-6 3 bath kit in all sizes , along with its powder 1L press kit leaving many users scrambling for replacements which were not readily available. Some smaller re-breanded kits from smaller companies emmerged, but did not offer the same quality and consistency users were used to with the Tetenal kits. A few months ago Tetenal re appeared in the US market, and the full line of its color and slide film chemistry is readily available in the US one again.
It appears that Tetenal and Jobo will once again be marketing their products in some form of cooperation, though it was not entirely clear what that would mean for the end user at this time, aside from the wonderful news about a new film processor that will enjoy a regular supply of chemistry from a venerable manufacturer.
At photokina we learned the Champion photochemistry is resizing its commercial use chemicals for C-41 to meet lower demands, and the new smaller kits and containers will be a much more viable option for the home user then before. Due to the fact that all Champion chemistry has no haz-mat rating in the US it is easy and safe to ship around the country.
Maco Photo, a company distributing a plethora Foma and Rollei branded films, in BW and IR, as well as AGFA formulated BW chemistry such as rodinal and nuetol replacements offers several C-41 and E-6 kits, along with a plethora of specialty BW chemicals and films.
Indian photochemistry manufacturer Convex is looking in to US distribution for its line of RA-4 chemistry.
Another bright point at the show - the Adox booth was swamped and it was nearly impossible to get near it.
All in all, in a mega show like Photokina, where digital photography dominates over all, it was wonderful to see so many companies offering film based products. From old time camera companies such as Linhof and Rolleiflex now offering a whole new line of film based cameras (albeit with digital conversion options) to newly emerging companies such as the employee buy out AGFAphoto which is now offering APX100 and CT precisia (E-6) films, and many small and specialized darkroom and other high end analog product manufacturers. Many other companies have re invented them selves to match the demands of this new market, creating a market specific product and adjusting their service and production towards a specialized nieche business model. Though this means the universality of film based photography might have been diminished, it is amazing to see the level of dedication this new business model has created.
It seems that not only is film after all not dead, but in fact it is supporting a whole new commercial segment. One which commands the respect of many dedicated users, some of whom were not even born when companies like Agfa went in to receivership for the first time. This is a new world of film users, with new demands and needs, new standards and a whole new view of the world through silver based imaging.
The future of film and film processing has not seemed to bright in a long time.
Thanks for the good write up!
Is this some kind of weird dream???
"employee buy out AGFA photo"????
Again?? Didn't employes buy the Agfaphoto company from AGFA a few months before it went to bankruptcy in 2004???
Too good to be true??
Certainly SOUNDS too good to be true.
Originally Posted by gorbas
The other side of this would be, with Champion and Tetenal offering C41 and E6 chemistry, how long will there be film, particularly E6? (And particularly in sheets, for some of us.)
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
Don't look a gift horse in the teeth?
Originally Posted by Roger Cole
But the truth is i dont know. It looks like sheet film is here to stay, at least for a while. Fuji is suppliying film to so many re branding schemes, both color and reversal that i think their production is just spreading around or increasing.
Sheet films will always be around from the small European makers, at least in the foreseeable future, which unlike in american terms means all the way to tomorrow, in this case means 10-15 year production planning.
In the 1970's everyone was dumping vacuum trubes for 'better, smaller, more reliable' transistors. Good tube manucfactures shut down or went into other types of manufacturing. Then, in the 1980's, some people realized that they really liked tubes for their unique characteristics - and folks started searching for surplus tubes. Soon the surplus market dried up and then the demand really kicked in, some companies started making tubes again. Now - today you can buy common audio trides, pentodes and rectifiers from any one of about a dozen manufactures - all good, some better than others. None are made here in the US.
Is there a lesson here? I think so - I think we are already beginning to see it - there will be several boutique film / paper / chemical manufactures that will see there is money to be made, and they will make what they can sell. Will we ever see Kodachrome again? Maybe not, but the popular B/W film formats for 'home brewers' like us surely will be revived, as long as we keep spending money on this stuff. Right now folks are scooping up existing stock on their favorite films in preperation for them no longer being available. As soon as the surplus hoarding phase of our addiction ends (because the surplus is gone) - we all will start spending our dollars with whoever is making what we want / need.
I for one am encouraged at this theory,
I must second Brian - 100% in agreement here!
The films offered by AgfaPhoto are not manufactured by them nor made on their specifications. They are either stock from Agfa/AgfaPhoto production or bought from manufacturing companies out of their standard portfolios.
Originally Posted by krifartida
Thus they are no true enrichment of the range of films on the market.
There is only one receivership in the long history of Agfa:
Originally Posted by krifartida
in 2005 when Agfa's so called "Consumer Imaging" Branch short after having been sold by Agfa went into insolvency/receivership.
(Not involved in insolvency was a newly erected holding company which was the actual buyer of the Consumer Imaging branch and which forms the AgfaPhoto company mentioned above.)
I would be be glad if 7-years old would be "dedicated users" of film.
I also agree with Brian.
Commercial E-6 & C-41 may/is be becoming unprofitable. With no color labs there is no demand for color film. With Champion/Tetnal etc making kits available again small scale non-commercial processing becomes possible and demand for film will rise, or at least stabilize. I'm thinking home, education and community darkroom type use.
Or so says economic theory. The idea of boutique suppliers is nothing particularly new. The idea of the "long tail" well documented and with modern manufacturing and retailers and distribution chains such as Amazon it has gone from concept to solid reality.
B&W film & processing is already a boutique market and appears to be stabilizing. Harman, for example, have realized they are not in the film business. They are in the coating business. They stick emulsions to substrate, be it film, paper, inkjet or whatever. This allows them to amortize the coating machinary across a number of product lines. The result is they can keep film alive since it is not film alone that pays for the maintenance of the coating machines. If they had a machine dedicated to coating film only Ilford film would, I wager, be a fond memory only.
If this will carry over to color materials in the long run remains to be seen because of economies of scale. But the actions of Tetnal, Jobo and Champion indicate that they see it as probable. You are not going to invest in new product and distribution channels when all you see is failure.
I am very encouraged by this.
Last edited by lensman_nh; 09-26-2012 at 09:11 AM. Click to view previous post history.