For those of you who read the AZO forum, this will look familiar, for those who do not, here are my first imressions of the Fotokina in Cologne Germany.
It's 1:15am here and I just got back from the Fotokina. I was sadly very dissapointed. The digital world has taken over 90% of the trade show. Even companies like Ilford, Kentmere, and Kodak were mainly pushing their inkjet papers, with little or no display or info material given to the traditional papers. Films, sure, but LF? Nope... Everywhere you looked, rolls of inkjet prints flowing off 5 foot wide printers onto the floor, where they were promptly walked on by the onslaught of visitors. I had to chuckle because I thought to myself, if this were a traditional print on the floor, someone would have either picked it up to get it off the floor, or would have taken it home with them. But this was the disposible world of inkjet.
Highlights...A very nice talk with Mr. Canham of Canham cameras. Even though their stand was small, the 3 cameras shown were beauties, and were a breath of fresh air in the otherwise rather boring trade center.
Next highlight was from a company from the UK called Fotospeed. They offer a variety of alternative process kits that were well thought out and well represented. BTW, that was another major problem with many stands, the people working there were not well enough informed to discuss the products they were representing.
After lunch, I was pretty much beat, after all I had been up and about since 3am, but I was determined to find Hall 9.1 where Bergger was set up. Finally! There I had a wonderful discussion with John Horowy, VP of sales for Bergger USA.
It was exhilerating knowing that the trip to the photokina was indeed NOT in vain. The Bergger stand was small, but set up with the finest examples of what their films and papers can do. John gave me some samples, (I have yet to try Bergger products due to the very high prices here in Germany) as well as some tips on obtaining different results. I was impressed and left the trade show with mixed emotions. Thrilled at the few stands that I have just mentioned, and depressed to see the evolving trend in photography.