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11-16-2011, 12:57 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by GhoSStrider Quote
While I agree with what you're saying, I also disagree with it, too. Kodak's problem is that it's set up to make a LOT of film and figuring out how to scale back production to meet the demands of a world where film has become a niche market (though a vibrant one!) isn't something they've been interested in. The MBA crowd running Kodak has leaned on the film market hard to support the rest of the company but really haven't given any thought in how to keep making money at it after the thresholds you mentioned have passed.

The best possible outcome for Kodak film enthusiasts would be for the film division to be spun off. Instead, one by one the films are gonna die until the whole ship sinks. It's good to know there are companies like Ilford out there that have managed the transition well. It means that we'll be able to shoot B&W film for a good long while. Still, it's gonna be a sad day when the "Great Yellow Father" is gone, and with him some of the greatest films ever.
You nailed it on the head. The same thing applies to processing. I hope to see some "niche" companies get the better emulsions and keep these alive. I think there needs to be 3 or so to keep thing diverse. Portra has been "consolidated" the past year as well so the overall number of options there went down when VC and NC were combined.

11-16-2011, 01:01 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
In case anyone hasn't noticed, film sales have been in free fall for the past 5 years. At some point, it becomes a non viable commodity. What we are seeing is various emulsions being discontinued as sales drop below that threshold.
If consumers really wanted films such as Kodachrome, Ektachrome, some of the various Fuijichromes, Agfachrome, etc, they would have been buying them in sufficient numbers to keep production lines operating.
Its hard for me to buy 1000 rolls of Kodachrome a year. Its hard for me to actually go through 125 rolls of Portra a year anymore. The irony is that 10 years ago I was going through that amount when I was shooting mostly slides and some negatives. Over the past 10 years the work related stuff has slowly gotten to about 95% digital.

Back to the point though. You make it sound that consumers are an organized lot and directly lobby the manufacturers and that is not the case. The problem is Kodak is set up a lot like Detroit was to crank out cars. They grew too much and now, they have way too much tooling and manufacturing process.
11-16-2011, 03:28 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote


Back to the point though. You make it sound that consumers are an organized lot and directly lobby the manufacturers and that is not the case.
This is not what I was saying at all. They don't have to be organized, they just aren't buying film any more, or at least not in the amounts required to keep manufacturing lines operating. This doesn't require organization, it just requires a lack of interest in the product.
QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote

The problem is Kodak is set up a lot like Detroit was to crank out cars. They grew too much and now, they have way too much tooling and manufacturing process.
I said this very thing (more or less) earlier in the thread.
11-16-2011, 08:58 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
This is not what I was saying at all. They don't have to be organized, they just aren't buying film any more, or at least not in the amounts required to keep manufacturing lines operating. This doesn't require organization, it just requires a lack of interest in the product.


I said this very thing (more or less) earlier in the thread.
You didn't comprehend my point AT ALL. Kodaks current manufacturing process is set up for too large a volume. The need a smaller factory, equipment etc to have a sustainable production line. The problem is, they are in large stock market area, i.e. they grew to large and are suddenly unsustainable. That is one of the thinks that separates out a Niche market and allows it to be sustainable.

11-17-2011, 06:52 AM   #35
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I have to agree with Blue Wheat. Kodak's problem is being set up for enormous volume without the ability to do small runs profitably. Rather than build a more streamlined small run plant when they were profitable (or refit an existing plant) they closed down plant after plant transferring the business to a large plant and continued to do large runs. now they are broke and can't afford to build the smaller streamlined production run and they are too big to want to in any case. Ultimately I would hope they would sell off the film side before they completely kill it to someone willing to setup smaller run efficient plants. Getting the Tech and formulas for the Kodak film line would allow them to build a viable business though prices would go up I imagine. This could be interesting though as they could do limited edition runs of classic formulas and charge a premium. The only thing that couldn't be resurrected is Kodachrome unless they bought Dwayne's machine and offered a processing included mailer like the old days (not sure i'd want to pay $30 a roll for Kodachrome though)
11-17-2011, 09:10 AM   #36
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I see this as a good thing. Kodak needs to stabilize it's production of films, so that they can continue making film on any level. Think about it, we can't expect 1990s level production of ALL our favorite emulsions going forward. I personally would be happy with 2 pro color neg films, 2 B&W emulsions, and 1 or 2 chrome emulsions. I mean honestly, as much as I love Tri-X, with Ilford do we even really NEED Kodak B&W film? I need Portra more than I need Plus-X, because Ilford FP-4+ is as good anyways.

Digital is better at low light work than film ever was these days, and now film is a fine art medium, it's gonna be specialized.

What I would like to see Kodak do is return to their age old business model with a new twist:

Sell film that includes processing in the price, and offer a scanning service with it. You get your film, shoot it, mail it back, and in a week or so you get back processed film plus high resolution scans done the way we know Kodak would do it: The right way!

That way I wouldn't need to send my film accross the whole united states to Richards, NCPS, or Percision. There isn't any service like this on the East Coast.
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