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03-20-2010, 07:59 AM   #1
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Kodachrome marketing project

Hi fellow forum members,

I am Subho, a regular digital user and an irregular user of films.

I am also a Marketing MBA student, doing a project on consumer insight, this Spring semester. My team's topic is to find out the situation with film photography in general and kodachrome brand in particular.

I know most of you have used / some may be still using film frequently. I have a medium format and I use film for that. However, it is infrequent.


I would like to get some feedback from you about your thoughts and comments on the future of film photography. I read that it is almost dead. But I got to figure out - how dead and is there any hope or niche segment in the market for film usage. What is the possibility of a partial kodachrome revival, for a targeted segment of the market?

I would love to talk to you individually or in a small group of 3-4 people via chat or something similar on this subject. I would greatly appreciate if you can send me a PM or an email (kibipod@yahoo.com) telling me how to contact you. I will provide my phone number, if you prefer to talk.


This is a MBA course project and I am not a Kodak employee. So there is no catch, no solicitation. I am only seeking your opinion and inputs. This will be used only for academic purpose.


Please help.

Moderator, if I have posted this in the wrong section, I apologize. I will appreciate if you can move it to the appropriate section


03-20-2010, 10:25 AM   #2
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Going for that niche enthousiasts market is exactly what this company is doing (HANS O. MAHN & CO. KG).

They currently own the Rollei and Maco brand names and are providing for that niche market through distribution channels as well as through their website. I think that market will continue to exist for quite a while and maybe even expand because it seems many people who get enthusiastic about photography through digital want to try shooting film as well at some point and used film equipment is dirt cheap right now.

Also Adox is currently working on reintroducing Agfa APX 100/400 emulsions. I did some research into these companies about a month ago here:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-film-slr-discussion/91242-clearing...tro-films.html
03-20-2010, 11:49 AM   #3
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Since Kodak is not manufacturing Kodachrome any more, it is beyond ALMOST dead.

Film users have posted many laments about this film. It was always in one of my bodies in the film-only days, and of all the color films I have shot over the last 40 years, it is the only one that never needs color restoration from my scan program even for the 30+ year old slides.

So, yes, there is interest in a revival.

Some of those emulsions that are offered by the seller Agnostic mentioned are sold in the U.S. at www.freestylephoto.biz. There are a lot of us that hang on. I would like to shoot Kodachrome again, but I find that I miss negative films more. Digital is more "slide like" to me.

Last edited by GeneV; 03-20-2010 at 11:54 AM.
03-20-2010, 08:02 PM   #4
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As noted above, Kodak has discontinued Kodachrome with no intention to resume production. The reasons are many with the most important being decreasing demand and environmental impacts related to both manufacture and processing. Kodachrome is a great film, but not that much better (if at all) than competing products. I had switched to Fuji some time ago based on expense and color balance.

Having said all of that, I still jumped at a chance to acquire part of the last production run from Kodak. I took delivery of six rolls this last fall and have two remaining, one of which is partially shot in my KX. I got two rolls back from Dwayne's (the sole remaining processor) today and will start scanning the slides after I finish this message. The slides I got back today look pretty good. So many people equate Kodachrome with shockingly deep reds. I associate it with rich and true shades of more subtle colors.

Will I have a sense of sadness when I shoot that last frame? Absolutely! Would I pay a premium price to shoot another roll? Nope...it was good while it lasted and to be honest, I get results that are just as good from current generation negative film (Ektar 100) at less than half the price including processing.

In regards to the future of film...Here in the U.S., the days of film as a consumer commodity are fast passing. I believe that you will still be able to buy color print film and also get 1 hour processing for some time through local outlets, but the variety will be limited. People still like the idea of taking pictures without having to be computer savvy. Many people also carry film cameras (particularly the disposable versions) as backups to their digital cameras on "once in a lifetime" trips or for events where a technical screw-up would be tragic.

As for fine art and professional products...I would expect a steady demand to continue for some time and supply to also continue through professional outlets. The analogy I use is that there is no shortage of art supply stores selling media whose history goes back much further than film. There are many areas where film excels and where current digital technology is way too expensive for most of us. As an example; I just plunked down a few bucks for a large format setup. I desired a camera with movements and also wanted the image quality of a 4x5 or 120 negative. The entry ticket for a full digital solution would have been about the same as a new Lexus.

I could ramble for hours, but I think I will get started on that scanning.

Steve

03-22-2010, 07:30 AM   #5
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Film photography is not dead, but it is certainly diminished from its glory days. Consumer grade film is still readily available around here, as is C-41, one-hour processing. So, I think that film will be around for a while.

One application that some people still use film for, is those cheap, disposable waterproof cameras. If you're going river rafting or snorkeling on your Caribbean cruise, and you don't have an expensive waterproof digital camera, the disposable cameras are a good alternative.

As for a revival of Kodachrome, I think that is a pipe dream. Some have suggested that some other company take over the production and produce it under license from Kodak. If there was still a profitable market, Kodak would still be making it. How could another company acquire the equipment, supplies and expertise and make a profit, when Kodak, which already has all that, can't? Not only would they have to manufacture the film, but they would have to supply Dwayne's with the processing chemistry. The chemisty would be a pretty expensive proposition, since there is literally only one customer in the entire world. I seriously doubt that another company could convince any other labs to begin processing Kodachrome again, when Kodak couldn't.

I still like film, but I haven't shot Kodachrome in more than twenty years. I thought about getting a roll or two before it was all gone, but that would just be a novelty, and an expensive one, at that.
03-22-2010, 09:13 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Will I have a sense of sadness when I shoot that last frame? Absolutely! Would I pay a premium price to shoot another roll? Nope...it was good while it lasted and to be honest, I get results that are just as good from current generation negative film (Ektar 100) at less than half the price including processing..

Steve
You are right about this. K64 plus processing is $16-$20 an expired roll right now. A revival is unlikely to bring the price down less than the $17 mark (the lowest price I've seen for Fuji Velvia plus processing). I need to get something really special to pay three times the price of Ektar to get to the scanner. I'm not going to project these slides, so what do I do with them other than scan? K64 can also be tricky to scan. All of these reasons are why I have not shot a roll of 35mm slide film in a decade.

(Larger formats are a different story, but that story is not likely to involve Kodachrome, anyway.)
03-22-2010, 09:37 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
You are right about this. K64 plus processing is $16-$20 an expired roll right now. A revival is unlikely to bring the price down less than the $17 mark (the lowest price I've seen for Fuji Velvia plus processing). I need to get something really special to pay three times the price of Ektar to get to the scanner. I'm not going to project these slides, so what do I do with them other than scan? K64 can also be tricky to scan. All of these reasons are why I have not shot a roll of 35mm slide film in a decade.

(Larger formats are a different story, but that story is not likely to involve Kodachrome, anyway.)
For my recent K64 experience the cost breakdown went something like this:
  • $10 a roll (list price) for my K64 from Adorama
  • Processing is $10 a roll (Dwaynes...the only show in town)
  • $2.50 return shipping (I send two at a time)
  • Postage $0.63

Total cost per 36 exposure roll = $23.13

For Ektar 100:
  • $4.50 a roll from friendly local camera shop
  • $3.00 to process (uncut, no scan, no prints)
  • $1.00 fuel cost to drop/pickup

Total cost per 36 exposure roll = $8.50

No brainer...

Steve

(Besides...the Ektar scans a LOT easier!)
03-22-2010, 09:52 AM   #8
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As Steve commented. This is great film but has serious environmental issues that can not be resolved. I stopped using it back in the film days for this reason. Certainly it was the best at that time but i just couldn't support a film that has this level of toxic by products.

All films have issues but this was one of the worst. So it's a good thing that it's now gone.

In fact if you do care about these things, digital is the only way to shoot. You use electricity and some chemicals in printing but it's a much "greener" way to shoot.

03-22-2010, 09:58 AM   #9
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Excellent analysis that is spot on to what I was saying (about 3 times the cost). My cost on processing C41 is about a dollar less because the lab is a tad cheaper and there is not much driving involved.

I will say that Dwayne's is not gouging on the processing (not that anyone said he was). Ten bones is about the cost of E6 processing around these parts, and I think it is the same price Dwayne's charges for E6. It is the reason why I don't shoot 35mm E6 any more, either.

The inexpensiveness of reliable, used MF cameras is another. Why shoot a slide that is difficult to scan, when I can spend a similar amount and have a big, beautiful negative that scans like a dream?
03-22-2010, 10:15 AM   #10
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I’m the opposite and only shoot slides. I’m even shooting B&W reversal film or sending my B&W negatives to DR5 Chrome for processing, which turns them into slides.

Reason negatives need to be scanned or printed to view the end result. Slides can be viewed on a light table using a photo lupe and the result is amazing, no scanning or printing is necessary. Slides are also a lot easier to store in trays and you also have the bonus of viewing them on a screen using a projector.

Phil.
03-22-2010, 10:18 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
As Steve commented. This is great film but has serious environmental issues that can not be resolved. I stopped using it back in the film days for this reason. Certainly it was the best at that time but i just couldn't support a film that has this level of toxic by products.

All films have issues but this was one of the worst. So it's a good thing that it's now gone.

In fact if you do care about these things, digital is the only way to shoot. You use electricity and some chemicals in printing but it's a much "greener" way to shoot.
Except for all the batteries you have to use and the associated disposables like computers, CDs and so on.
Phil.
03-22-2010, 10:33 AM   #12
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Here we have a recycling program for all of that. computers are broken down, Batteries are recycled. And no they aren't shipped to Bangladesh to be dumped on some unsuspecting poor population. We do it here the correct way.
03-22-2010, 01:29 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
I’m the opposite and only shoot slides. I’m even shooting B&W reversal film or sending my B&W negatives to DR5 Chrome for processing, which turns them into slides.

Reason negatives need to be scanned or printed to view the end result. Slides can be viewed on a light table using a photo lupe and the result is amazing, no scanning or printing is necessary. Slides are also a lot easier to store in trays and you also have the bonus of viewing them on a screen using a projector.

Phil.
That's a very good point. However, I haven't fired up my slide projector in nearly 10 years.

BrownBag
03-22-2010, 01:34 PM   #14
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Here is a good piece on it from Steve McCurry's point of view on it.

A Thousand Words - A Tribute to KODACHROME: A Photography Icon

When he returned to Afghanistan 17 years later to re-shoot this image, he used Kodak's E100VS.

03-22-2010, 01:55 PM   #15
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For those feeling particularly nostalgic or let down by the end of the line for Kodachrome, there is here:

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