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denverjims
4-Mar-2011, 08:18
FYI
Saw article a couple of days ago in WSJ about the wall street wolves circling EK seeking sale or dismantling of company. I'm thinking that film business division may be a target for cutting despite those inside who still want to continue.

Also thinking that our hope is that someone small with a committment to continuing might buy out the film division. I, for one, am really going to get serious about testing alternative 4x5 films to Kodak. Don't mean to be an alarmist, but... Keeping my fingers crossed.

Michael Kadillak
4-Mar-2011, 10:14
I feel that this issue could be driven by what Kodak is carrying into this economy relative to their balance sheet. We know for a fact that Kodak was remise in properly assessing the clear and present danger that digital represented to their business model and as a result, Kodak could not react quickly enough once they hear the train bearing down on them. The costs in jettisoning antiquated manufacturing facilities, dropping employees and the retiree benefits that had been accumulating for years along with the costs to push their digital model albeit in panic mode could be their final challenge. I personally do not see this as the end of their conventional film business. Kodak has several options to consider which I would suspect they are doing so as we speak. They can sell this division off, spin it off, go into some bankruptcy re-organization mode or just close the door and see what opportunities are presented after the fact. The analog film business will continue to be a niche business but it will require overhead operating costs to be commensurate with the new business economics. In the short term it makes sense to do some stocking to get through the reorganization period.

Anyone that thinks that Ilford, Adox/Efke or Foma are immune from this same set of challenges should think again. I believe that the industry will survive because there is money to be made. Who makes the proper decisions and rises to the top of the heap is the $50 question.

Graybeard
5-Mar-2011, 17:07
It seems inevitable that Kodak, at least the corporation in Rochester as we know it now, will cease to offer B&W film (other than x-ray) before very long. I'd estimate that to be within five years. One wonders what Kodak supposed we would use to print our B&W images on Kodak film when Rochester discontinued B&W paper several years ago.

One possibility is that Eastman Kodak will spin off the silver-based photography business to a new independent company. They did just that a number of years ago when Eastman Chemical was created - shareowners in Eastman Kodak received a pro-rated number of shares in Eastman Chemical when the split occurred. Eastman Chemical is profitable, thriving now, and actually increased its dividend last year as Eastman Kodak's fortunes continued to decline. It is hopeful to speculate on the prospects and offerings of a reborn US chemical photography supplier no longer burdened by the corporate overhead needed to support the (revolving door and demonstrably inept) Rochester Kodak executive suite but that may be a bit of an utopian exercise. I speak as a former shareholder.

It would be nice if such a spin-off happens and wecome to have a competitive domestic supplier of our requirements, but one can also make the case that now is the time to accept what is certain to happen and begin using materials from Kodak's rivals in order to support the guys who actually have a commitment to the craft. It is in our interest to have alternative suppliers healthy and thriving when Rochester Kodak pulls the plug on silver film as they've done with paper. A cynic might opine "why bother with Kodak, there are other competent suppliers now who seem interested in our business and are more likely to survive".

I was forced to do find new suppliers (after 35 years of using Kodak materials) when Kodak discontinued photographic paper. I began using Ilford products out of necessity, was happy with them, and subsequently settled on Ilford sheet film which I've found to be just fine for several years now. I also use Fuji when I shoot rollfim and make up my darkroom solutions from bulk chemicals (at a vastly smaller cost).

Ash
5-Mar-2011, 17:13
Funny thing, I avoided Kodak for years but now I'm using their film in 35mm format.

I found that a local store was selling fresh colour 200iso 24 exposure film for £1 a roll. It looks to be the lowest level of Kodak film, but it's still 50% or less per roll than every other brand I've come across. The results have come out very good as well, making me re-evaluate my opinions on the brand.



So long as I can get a lifetime supply of that film before Kodak goes bust, I'm happy.

Leigh
5-Mar-2011, 17:32
///one can also make the case that now is the time to accept what is certain to happen and begin using materials from Kodak's rivals in order to support the guys who actually have a commitment to the craft.
Ilford just announced a new fibre-based paper. When's the last time EKC did that?

I've been shooting and processing for 56 years. Never used a Kodak product and never will.

- Leigh

Howard Tanger
5-Mar-2011, 18:23
...I was forced to do find new suppliers (after 35 years of using Kodak materials) when Kodak discontinued photographic paper. I began using Ilford products out of necessity, was happy with them, and subsequently settled on Ilford sheet film which I've found to be just fine for several years now. I also use Fuji when I shoot rollfim and make up my darkroom solutions from bulk chemicals (at a vastly smaller cost).

Thank you for not supporting an American company and American workers. I guess we have not sent enough U.S.A. jobs overseas. It may be that Kodak has not been as supportive of analog photographers as we would like but at least you could continue using Kodak film until they padlock the doors.
Howard Tanger

Howard Tanger
5-Mar-2011, 18:27
Ilford just announced a new fibre-based paper. When's the last time EKC did that?

I've been shooting and processing for 56 years. Never used a Kodak product and never will.

- Leigh

Thanks for your support! Howard Tanger

tgtaylor
5-Mar-2011, 18:41
Kodak may be in deep do-do financially but so are many others. Take California, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio...shoot, the federal government may shut-down in two weeks! Oil is over a $100 a barrel and will certainly go a lot higher considering the situation in the middle east.

But note this: Kodak just released a new version of Porta 160 in all formats - including 8x10! Here's a review: http://figitalrevolution.com/2011/02/21/new-kodak-professional-portra-160-film-new-negative-c41-scan-hybri/

Film will be around for some time to come. I know because I'm wearing my rose tinted glasses from the 70's :p

Thomas

vinny
5-Mar-2011, 19:05
time for a bailout?
look how many new cars gm came out with last year!

jnanian
5-Mar-2011, 19:14
...

Graybeard
6-Mar-2011, 06:29
Thank you for not supporting an American company and American workers. I guess we have not sent enough U.S.A. jobs overseas. It may be that Kodak has not been as supportive of analog photographers as we would like but at least you could continue using Kodak film until they padlock the doors.
Howard Tanger

How much of Kodak's manufacturing is actually in the United States? The last HC-110 that I bought was made in Brazil.

Brian Ellis
6-Mar-2011, 06:58
What might happen to Kodak and its film and film-related businesses is pretty much total speculation at this point. The only thing we know is that if the current Kodak managment remains in office Kodak will be out of the film business. The only question is when. And with the division that includes film racking up losses it's my guess they'll be out of it sooner rather than later.

In the long run it might be good for film users if Kodak's film business was discontinued or sold to a company like Ilford or Fuji. That would allow film sales to be concentrated in the hands of fewer companies, thereby strengthening them and allowing them to continue producing film while film use continues to dwindle.

Michael Kadillak
6-Mar-2011, 07:24
Ilford just announced a new fibre-based paper. When's the last time EKC did that?

I've been shooting and processing for 56 years. Never used a Kodak product and never will.

- Leigh

Package up that emotion and write a screen play. It may do you some good there.

The world of business is the domain we are in. Company executives have been sticking their wet fingers in hot light sockets for perpetuity and will continue to do so. Add a myopic "we are smarter than the rest of you" culture to the mix and you produce a recipe for disaster. When it is a product that you enjoy using it can be very painful.

I ascribe to the fact that it is better for all parties to leave the labels and the history of the name on the packaging to yesterday's news and consume what photographic products do the best job of producing your best images and leave it at that.

Sal Santamaura
6-Mar-2011, 07:41
How much of Kodak's manufacturing is actually in the United States? The last HC-110 that I bought was made in Brazil.Kodak outsourced its photo chemical manufacturing some time ago. Neither your HC-110 nor any other remaining Kodak-branded developers, fixers, etc. are manufactured by Kodak.

jnanian
6-Mar-2011, 08:27
not everything kodak made was made here in the states, just like with fuji, not everything was made overseas

at one point K made some of the film + paper overseas ( or in south america / canada ).
like with fuji ... a lot of their consumer films were made here in the states
( the film base in rhode island, coating + assembly in south carolina. )

===

unfortunately k isn't ready for a small market. they are used to making
hundreds of miles of film, rather than 1 mile of film. so there is
a lot of waste and they are drowning in it.

if they could somehow rig their machines for small runs, maybe they would have a chance.
or if they sold master rolls to someone like photo warehouse and have
them cut/package it for resale. when i asked K about them doing that a year or two ago, they
they said word from the top said "NO", even though it would assure people with odd-size film needs would
be happy, their re-distributer would be happy, and they would be able to sell
their materials in HUGE quantities.

its kind of like that monty python skit at this point

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwsKg6LwAuY

John Kasaian
6-Mar-2011, 09:04
Who makes the proper decisions and rises to the top of the heap is the $50 question.

It used to be the $64 dollar question. See how bad the economy has gotten?

Graybeard
6-Mar-2011, 10:54
A really astonishing event in all of this is the appearance of the book:

"Making Kodak Film" by Robert Shanebrook

http://www.makingkodakfilm.com

The book appears to have a wealth of technical information on Kodak's manufacturing technology including photographs of their process equipment. Kodak cooperated with the author in preparation of the book.

I have a number of years technical experience in a related industry, manufacturing metal (silver among them) powders and metal salt powders (the silver in photographic emulsions is as precipitated silver halide powders). There is as much art as there is science in making such powders. Our manufacturing methods and process equipment were closely protected intellectual property.

It is difficult to imagine why Kodak has allowed release of this information if film manufacture is a business they plan to continue in the future.

IanG
6-Mar-2011, 11:13
If you look you'll find numerous US reports about the Kodak Directors being some of the worst in the US, some are accused of overseeing Kodak's downfall.

They appointed Perez, at a time Kodak was an extremely cash rich company, they've bled it dry, just look at the bonuses Perez has been paid while Kodak's been loosing money.

Eastman & Mees must be turning in their graves at the way the companies been stripped bare.

Ian

Frank Petronio
6-Mar-2011, 11:13
In spite of all your bitching and moaning EKCo still makes the widest variety and the highest quality films, it's hard to compare pock-marked crap from England and the rest of the Third World to our stuff.

If you want Kodak to disappear, then keep on doing what you you're doing... dissing the company that pioneered and helped make photography what it is today. Go ahead and use the cheap stuff, or cling to your freezers of ten-year old stock, so the don't sell as much. Kill it faster and say goodbye to decent large format color....

Howard Tanger
6-Mar-2011, 11:35
In spite of all your bitching and moaning EKCo still makes the widest variety and the highest quality films, it's hard to compare pock-marked crap from England and the rest of the Third World to our stuff.

If you want Kodak to disappear, then keep on doing what you you're doing... dissing the company that pioneered and helped make photography what it is today. Go ahead and use the cheap stuff, or cling to your freezers of ten-year old stock, so the don't sell as much. Kill it faster and say goodbye to decent large format color....

Yes, yes, yes! I agree, Howard Tanger

IanG
6-Mar-2011, 12:28
In spite of all your bitching and moaning EKCo still makes the widest variety and the highest quality films, it's hard to compare pock-marked crap from England and the rest of the Third World to our stuff.

If you want Kodak to disappear, then keep on doing what you you're doing... dissing the company that pioneered and helped make photography what it is today. Go ahead and use the cheap stuff, or cling to your freezers of ten-year old stock, so the don't sell as much. Kill it faster and say goodbye to decent large format color....

The Coating division is a small part of Kodak, it's paid Perez etc their Bonuses because until very recently it's been extremely profitable.

It's the other parts of the company and the corporate directors that have been the downfall.

The problem is we all think of Kodak as a film and paper manufacturer, except they ditched B&W :D

The biggest Joke is Kodak (wholesale) are still trying to sell Kodachrome films (in the UK) some staff have no idea what it is and that processing been withdrawn, but they still have stock (in date) on the shelf :)

Parts of Kodak's website still recommend using their B&W papers, that's a company that's lost focus.


I'd add another problem, Kodak materials other than consumer C41 have almost totally disappeared from many markets/countries. If you'd seen how much time (days) I spent trying to get Kodak 120 Tmax films in South America 3 years ago you'd begin to understand. All I could get was Ilford and surprisingly Foma, and odd rolls of Fuji. it's the same here in Turkey, so I've switched back to Ilford after 20+ years of using Tmax, in all formats.

That's not the film division at fault, that's Perez and his distribution model.

Ian

Roger Cole
6-Mar-2011, 12:53
In spite of all your bitching and moaning EKCo still makes the widest variety and the highest quality films, it's hard to compare pock-marked crap from England and the rest of the Third World to our stuff.

If you want Kodak to disappear, then keep on doing what you you're doing... dissing the company that pioneered and helped make photography what it is today. Go ahead and use the cheap stuff, or cling to your freezers of ten-year old stock, so the don't sell as much. Kill it faster and say goodbye to decent large format color....


Yes, yes, yes! I agree, Howard Tanger

It's hard to imagine how you can describe Ilford as "pock marked" though some Foma film has been reported with coating defects.

I've always found Ilford the QC equal of Kodak, and it's certainly not crap.

I don't want Kodak film to go away, and I'll continue using it while I can, but I could, if I had to, get by in B&W very well without any Kodak products assuming everything else on the current market remained.

Sal Santamaura
6-Mar-2011, 13:19
...it's hard to compare pock-marked crap from England and the rest of the Third World...At it again Frank? It's obnoxious every time you unjustifiably denigrate Ilford. This time you've also described England as a third world country. Your reputation as a hurler of nonsense increases with every such post.



...EKCo still makes the widest variety and the highest quality films, it's hard to compare...to our stuff...So, are you a major Kodak stockholder Frank? "Our stuff?" Is your ownership of Kodak why you flame Ilford?

Armin Seeholzer
6-Mar-2011, 14:37
Frank is just joking or is he sick;--)))

I use Kodak Films still in 4x5 and smaller on 8x10 I switched to Ilford and I alway's buy what I get fast!
So you also use Ilford and Fuji's on smaller then 4x5 but Fuji gets very hard to get here in Switzerland!

Cheers Armin

BobCrowley
6-Mar-2011, 14:51
That WSJ article is written by shorties. If you listened to the most recent EK concall, you would know the paper and printing business is still being right sized and stabilized, pretty much on time, and although not mentioned in the concall, traditional film has leveled and even gained a bit. Film is still a high margin and cash cow for EK and anyone else who might acquire it.

One of the hardest thing to do is scale down a large company. Polaroid, even under wise management, would have had trouble doing it, but couldn't.

WSJ articles are suspect in my book. I've watched many DJ publications that predict wishes especially on the short side.

Frank Petronio
6-Mar-2011, 15:04
Well... I do love to get Sal's blood pressure up.

But I think it's asinine to claim Kodak is giving up on film at this point, and that the solution is to switch to a lessor brand, especially if you live in the USA. I live in Rochester, I see what happens when you buy off-shore junk and our local factories close. Americans have done it to themselves and we're stupid to have done it. But at the very least, we could at least buy some products made in our own country.

Granted, Fuji has equal-to-Kodak quality control but, having been burnt by Ilford mis-packaging and also mis-cutting several boxes of their B&W sheet film, I know that Ilford's quality and Kodak's quality are not equivalent. It's not bad film, you just get what you pay for.

Brian C. Miller
6-Mar-2011, 15:26
I have always been puzzled about advertising. Why isn't there any advertising done to extol the virtues of using film?? If you want to move a product, it has to be advertised. However, film companies have been letting this concept sit on the floor. How can you have a Kodak moment without Kodak film? Why doesn't Ilford play up its history starting with the Autochrome? What would our history have been like without film? Sure, a painting of the Hindenburg crashing would be dramatic, but would it be as dramatic as the actual photographs?

The "but they don't care" argument doesn't work with me. We use information to prick someone's conscience. Milton Rogovin (http://www.miltonrogovin.com) used portraits to provoke social change. W. Eugene Smith took a physical beating for photographing industrial waste in Japan. So why don't the film companies go and prick the consumer's conscience? It's like they've lain down and died.

bobwysiwyg
6-Mar-2011, 15:45
I'm guessing they have done the math on advertising costs as well. Their limited advertising $$ are probably better spent on more profitable aspects of their business.. or at least that's what they are thinking.

BobCrowley
6-Mar-2011, 15:49
Advertising is often directed more to new and growth markets. Film is thought of as a maintenance market. EK does advertise its film here and there, but in the absence of a clear or younger market for film, there isn't much point. Also many miles of motion picture film are no longer needed, now that American company Panavision has succeeded in exceeding film for movie making.

All of "the film companies" are small. The large companies such as Kodak, Fujifilm and maybe Ilford, make some film, by the way, but it is now a small part of their overall business. For EK, it shrank frighteningly, resulting in a lot of empty real estate. Polaroid was out of control before digital hit. Fujifilm was much quicker to react to changes in consumer imaging with their very successful Finepix line. Harman Technology continues to serve the smaller market well with their Ilford brand, and there are other niche players who are looking at possible growth as the giants move out of the field.

Consumer imaging is not focused in consumables, such as film and paper anymore, but on image acquisition, processing and electronic transmission - new virtues to extol, by the dozens.

Anyway, when investor groups start ganging up on a shrinking company, it hastens its demise, putting pressure on its market price, and discouraging believers. The goal is to get the price down even more, force divestment at a low price, while making money on short positions. It happens all the time.

http://new55project.blogspot.com

Michael Kadillak
6-Mar-2011, 15:59
I'm guessing they have done the math on advertising costs as well. Their limited advertising $$ are probably better spent on more profitable aspects of their business.. or at least that's what they are thinking.

Seems to me that they are using their financial resources to purchase their competition so they can shut down these operations some of which is newer than what they have in England. Some call it a predatory business practice. Others call it being shrewd but every time such a deal gets transacted one more option is wiped off of the table. Remember Kentmere and Bergger?

Nobody in this game is ready to be nominated for sainthood. But I still need sheet film in my holders so I am going to make like Switzerland so I do not have to declare my alliance with anyone. Whoever is still making and cutting emulsion is my close personal friend. Long live analog!

engl
6-Mar-2011, 16:44
I have always been puzzled about advertising. Why isn't there any advertising done to extol the virtues of using film?? If you want to move a product, it has to be advertised. However, film companies have been letting this concept sit on the floor. How can you have a Kodak moment without Kodak film? Why doesn't Ilford play up its history starting with the Autochrome? What would our history have been like without film? Sure, a painting of the Hindenburg crashing would be dramatic, but would it be as dramatic as the actual photographs?

The "but they don't care" argument doesn't work with me. We use information to prick someone's conscience. Milton Rogovin (http://www.miltonrogovin.com) used portraits to provoke social change. W. Eugene Smith took a physical beating for photographing industrial waste in Japan. So why don't the film companies go and prick the consumer's conscience? It's like they've lain down and died.

What would they say? For the needs of the vast majority of people, film is terrible. Everyone over 30 knows what film is like and do not want to go back. They all gave up film in a time when it was easily accessible, cheap and development was everywhere. That has changed since then, and digital has improved greatly.

As for history, the Model T Ford played an important role as well. Spending hundreds of millions on advertisements still would not sell more than a handful of a re-issue.

Marko
6-Mar-2011, 17:38
But I think it's asinine to claim Kodak is giving up on film at this point, and that the solution is to switch to a lessor brand, especially if you live in the USA. I live in Rochester, I see what happens when you buy off-shore junk and our local factories close. Americans have done it to themselves and we're stupid to have done it. But at the very least, we could at least buy some products made in our own country.

It's essentially the same question as whether Chrysler and (to a bit lesser extent) the other two of the Big Three were forced into bankruptcy because Americans are increasingly buying Toyotas and other import cars or whether Americans were driven over to foreign brands by Chrysler et al producing junk cars...

What car are you driving, Frank? :)

Brian C. Miller
6-Mar-2011, 17:49
But the Ford Model T truck was superceded by other versions of trucks. The current trucks still have four wheels, an internal combustion engine, and decent seating and hauling. The Model T has more in common with an F150 than a Leica II does with a Leica M8.

Now, if the F150 had four electric hub-motors and charged up in an hour for a day's worth of driving, that would be a similar advancement, and a similar economical effect. Oil companies would be going bankrupt, etc. There would be people griping about the demise of gasoline, and how the rumble of a V8 is so cool.

But gasoline engines really suck. And the equivalent electric vehicle doesn't really perform as well as a gasoline vehicle, and it's so much more expensive. But of course if you don't care about the performance, then you can get something that's within your budget.

So I suppose that imaging going electric is akin to the transportation industry going electric.

engl
6-Mar-2011, 18:26
But the Ford Model T truck was superceded by other versions of trucks. The current trucks still have four wheels, an internal combustion engine, and decent seating and hauling. The Model T has more in common with an F150 than a Leica II does with a Leica M8.

Now, if the F150 had four electric hub-motors and charged up in an hour for a day's worth of driving, that would be a similar advancement, and a similar economical effect. Oil companies would be going bankrupt, etc. There would be people griping about the demise of gasoline, and how the rumble of a V8 is so cool.

But gasoline engines really suck. And the equivalent electric vehicle doesn't really perform as well as a gasoline vehicle, and it's so much more expensive. But of course if you don't care about the performance, then you can get something that's within your budget.

So I suppose that imaging going electric is akin to the transportation industry going electric.

Yes, for an enthusiast, a Leica II is quite different from an M8. For the vast majority of people, they both do exactly the same thing except the Leica II is a headache to use. Need to buy and bring film, no instant preview, slower in use, need to pay for developing, need to wait for development and prints, can't instantly share pictures, can't change ISO. In the end, crappy pictures of the kids at Disney Land is still crappy pictures of kids at Disney Land.

The technical details, whether the picture was made using film or digital, is not interesting. Neither is it interesting if the car runs on electricity or gasoline. They are both cars that get you places, but the cost is different, and one has problems with range, recharge spots and recharge times. Digital photography on the other hand does not really have any downsides for the average photographer, so I don't think transportation going electric is similar to how photography went digital.

Marko
6-Mar-2011, 22:13
Brian,

Much as I would hate to disrupt yet another promising film vs. digital revelry ;), that's not what my comparison was about at all.

I was comparing Kodak films with foreign made films...

More specifically, I think that Kodak is on the fast track of ceasing film production, sooner much more likely than later, and that their decision to do so has next to nothing to do with my decision to keep buying Ilford.

My buying decision, on the other hand, has a lot to do with Kodak's strategic orientation, at least as much so as does Ilford's.

Marko

Curt
6-Mar-2011, 23:40
Kodak should call Donald Trump for suggestions, they obviously can't make any decisions on their own. Any business I've ever worked for would Sh*t can an employee who made decisions like Kodak has... except on and that's the US Government, military division. No one and I mean no one organization can be so tight as*sed as the military and yet spend and waste so much.

I read that we'd never see a car get 40 miles per gallon in the US, guess what, Hyundai and others are doing just that. They could have done it decades ago, who kept them making cars hooked to the pump?

Brian C. Miller
7-Mar-2011, 03:54
Brian,

Much as I would hate to disrupt yet another promising film vs. digital revelry ;), that's not what my comparison was about at all.

I was comparing Kodak films with foreign made films...

Actually, I hadn't paid any attention to your post! :eek:

It's always difficult to efficiently trim a company down. I personally like Kodak films, but the films that are most important to me have been discontinued. I can't get Techpan or HIE. I have to use foreign films, and put up with all of those subtitles. And if it isn't subtitles, then it's a big gaping emulsion defect. OK, so just one sheet out of 20 Efke IR. Still, I wasn't happy to see it, but boy was it big.

Fuji Acros has replaced Techpan. I don't like Tmax's grain. Yes, I do have at least three boxes of Tmax in the fridge.
Efki IR has replaced HIE and HIR. Nothing truly replaces Kodak's fabulous infrared films, but I continue on with what's available.

My color film is still Kodak, though. But realistically, am I using enough to sway Kodak to stay the course with film? Ummm, no. I think that I'd have to be moving through at least 50 sheets per day to be significant.

I don't exactly know if Kodak is trying to ditch film. I've seen a few sales statistics, and the volume appears to be significant to me. Whether it's significant to Kodak, heck if I know. I'm sure they have some kind of a plan, but heck if I know what it is. They are revamping their color lines, and from what I've seen of their movie film, I'd like to see more of that technology come over to where I can use it.

eddie
7-Mar-2011, 05:24
What car are you driving, Frank? :)

funny. honda was voted best american made car! go figure. i guess they do a lot of the work here. putting them together and all......

i think frank drives a ford made volvo.....but lets ask frank to be sure.

i agree with frank that the problem with the USA right now is that everyone wants it as cheap as possible at all costs. and those costs are their jobs. hindsight shows americans to be pretty shortsighted.

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
7-Mar-2011, 05:31
funny. honda was voted best american made car! go figure. i guess they do a lot of the work here. putting them together and all......

i think frank drives a ford made volvo.....but lets ask frank to be sure.

i agree with frank that the problem with the USA right now is that everyone wants it as cheap as possible at all costs. and those costs are their jobs. hindsight shows americans to be pretty shortsighted.

In 1999, Volvo sold its car division Volvo Cars to Ford Motor Company for $6.45 billion. The Volvo trademark was shared between Volvo AB, where it is used on heavy vehicles, and the unit of Ford, where it was used on cars. In 2008, Ford decided to sell its interest in Volvo Cars; in 2010, Ford sold the brand to the parent of Chinese motor manufacturer Geely Automobile for $1.8 billion.

Not part of Ford!

Frank Petronio
7-Mar-2011, 05:54
Yep got a Chinese Volvo and Chinese-made kid. Got the best of the bargain though!

And while we should be supporting, not dissing Kodak, like the American car companies, they made a series of bad decisions while saddled with an out-of-date business model, huge overhead, etc.

It's hard. I try not to buy anything from WalMart or the other big box stores. But having driven so many crappy American cars, it is really hard to not buy foreign.

Brian K
7-Mar-2011, 07:18
What would they say? For the needs of the vast majority of people, film is terrible. Everyone over 30 knows what film is like and do not want to go back.

I'm well over 30 and can guarantee that I've produced vastly more images than you are ever likely to and I find your statements about film to be absurd. Film and digital are tools, they each have their advantages and disadvantages and only a fool takes a dogmatic and inflexible attitude when it comes to their tools.

I am in a position to buy whatever tools I feel will best serve my work with little concern to cost. My living depends on it. For the work that I do, I find that film is of far greater advantage than digital. If I were still shooting commercial work I would mostly likely shoot digitally and on occasion film. But to make a claim that EVERYONE over 30 won't use film is an inaccurate generalization and one that comes from someone who clearly has limited firsthand knowledge of the subject.

To further claim that for the needs of most people "film is terrible" is also absurd, and at a time when the quality of film has never been better. For most people digital is simply more convenient and cost effective, film is NOT terrible. The entire photograph producing world used film exclusively for a very, very long time, and got along just fine with it.

Marko
7-Mar-2011, 07:46
And while we should be supporting, not dissing Kodak, like the American car companies, they made a series of bad decisions while saddled with an out-of-date business model, huge overhead, etc.

It's hard. I try not to buy anything from WalMart or the other big box stores. But having driven so many crappy American cars, it is really hard to not buy foreign.

And that's the point - why on Earth should we be supporting any company consistently making bad decisions while refusing to ditch the obsolete business model and to adapt to the changing market? We are the ones who preach free and open market regulated only by offer and demand. I refuse to be exhorted to buy American for the sake of saving inept American companies.

And besides, what exactly makes a company "American" these days? Ownership? Location? Majority of workforce? Taxes they pay (or not)? In my mind, what makes any company American is success - American companies are supposed to succeed or close down, they are not supposed to live on anybody's handouts or charity.

If Kodak won't or can't adopt to the market, I have no problem turning to Ilford myself. And if that doesn't work either, I'll turn to whatever solution is available to enable me to keep making photographs.

Frank Petronio
7-Mar-2011, 08:20
I think America needs a dose of isolationism and protectionism myself... I'd stiff the Chinese and take our oil out of the Middle East under the threat of nuking Mecca. But that's just me, I'm moderate like that.

Well Kodak's film division hasn't necessarily made many bad decisions... ten sheet boxes or dropping IR film are bothersome but you can make a rational business case for why they had to do it.

You probably can't find another example of downsizing such a large and diverse company successfully, it's never been done before and regardless, it has to hurt someone. When you think of it in those terms, they've been doing a pretty amazing job.... There are plenty of great hindsight quarterbacks here, but nobody has suggested any viable way for them to recover or grow, and probably nothing is likely and it certainly isn't obvious.

Frankly if they spun the photo film portion off to me, I'd market film to hipsters and sell tons of retro-Lomo-Ektars to kids. But even then, who knows if they could scale things back enough to be efficient in the market?

engl
7-Mar-2011, 11:25
I'm well over 30 and can guarantee that I've produced vastly more images than you are ever likely to and I find your statements about film to be absurd. Film and digital are tools, they each have their advantages and disadvantages and only a fool takes a dogmatic and inflexible attitude when it comes to their tools.

I am in a position to buy whatever tools I feel will best serve my work with little concern to cost. My living depends on it. For the work that I do, I find that film is of far greater advantage than digital. If I were still shooting commercial work I would mostly likely shoot digitally and on occasion film. But to make a claim that EVERYONE over 30 won't use film is an inaccurate generalization and one that comes from someone who clearly has limited firsthand knowledge of the subject.

To further claim that for the needs of most people "film is terrible" is also absurd, and at a time when the quality of film has never been better. For most people digital is simply more convenient and cost effective, film is NOT terrible. The entire photograph producing world used film exclusively for a very, very long time, and got along just fine with it.

I made one mistake in not being more clear about who does not want to go back. Everyone over 30 knows what film is like. The vast majority does not want to go back.

Film is terrible for the needs of the vast majority of those taking pictures, when compared to using a digital camera. It is inconvenient, costly, bulky, limited and slow, and they are indifferent to the differences in the image produced.

I fully recognize that film has many advantages and that is why I'm using it. Film is excellent for me, and there are other enthusiasts and professionals that find it great for what they do.

Ben Syverson
7-Mar-2011, 12:02
Congratulations, engl. You have discovered that most photographers prefer digital.

engl
7-Mar-2011, 12:37
It is not like I'm going to request a medal for my findings :) My message was in response to why Kodak does not do more advertising for film.

Roger Cole
7-Mar-2011, 12:41
Congratulations, engl. You have discovered that most photographers prefer digital.

Well, most "picture takers" prefer digital, anyway.

Ben Syverson
7-Mar-2011, 13:29
It is not like I'm going to request a medal for my findings :) My message was in response to why Kodak does not do more advertising for film.
Ah, well I guess we're in a agreement then. Advertising is largely a waste of money. It's not like a $5000 full page ad in American Photographer is going to convince your DSLR-shooting brother in law to pick up a film camera.

Brian C. Miller
7-Mar-2011, 13:35
Well, engl, from watching digital being adopted, it wasn't a case of "film is bad," rather, "digital is new and cool." It's been about glitzy doodads and lights, not necessarily about making a photograph of anything at all. The new gadget in question just happens to be a camera. I've had conversations with gadget-followers and others who also wondered what was going through the gadget-followers' heads. People were (and still are) spending thousands on cameras they'd hardly use, and would be obsolete soon.

I read someone's take on it, and it boiled down to that in a family, the husband bought the gadgets, and the wife would use them. Previously the husband would buy a film camera, and the wife would be photographing the kids. Then the husband bought a digital camera, and the wife would still be photographing the kids, but of course wouldn't be buying any more film. I worked with a lady who didn't understand that photographs came from negatives; she had been throwing the negatives away once she got her pictures. Then I had to explain why backups of those digital pictures must be done. Yes, her computer had crashed, and she did lose her child's photos.

Now of course digital is here to stay, for good or ill. I just don't see a down-side to educating people about why they should be using film. One camera for the garbage stuff, one camera for what you want to preserve.

David Luttmann
7-Mar-2011, 14:08
I think America needs a dose of isolationism and protectionism myself... I'd stiff the Chinese and take our oil out of the Middle East under the threat of nuking Mecca. But that's just me, I'm moderate like that.



Yup, that would work. Then the Chinese would dump a trillion $'s of US debt....leaving what's left to be called the American Peso. Of course, if you like paying $80 for a roll of film then, go ahead and isolate and be protectionist. History says without exception, that such an approach is doomed to failure.

Now, for me, Ilford films work just fine. For color though, I've been gobbling up a good 15 to 20 rolls of Portra 400 for every wedding....and will do so for the forseeable future. I'll probably burn through a good 1000+ rolls of Portra 160 & 400 this year alone.....maybe 200 or 300 sheets of it as well. But, that isn't enough to replace the drop in volume coming from theatres going digital. With that volume gone, Kodak will struggle to make their current production model work.

David Luttmann
7-Mar-2011, 14:10
Ah, well I guess we're in a agreement then. Advertising is largely a waste of money. It's not like a $5000 full page ad in American Photographer is going to convince your DSLR-shooting brother in law to pick up a film camera.

Maybe the approach though should be different. If Kodak had a series of ads showing some of the benefits of film. Maybe an ad showing how it can preserve highlights. Another showing high resolution without spends thousands (10's of 1000's) on digital gear. Maybe another showing convenience....drop the film off, the lab color corrects and everything for you.

BetterSense
7-Mar-2011, 14:51
If Kodak had a series of ads showing some of the benefits of film. Maybe an ad showing how it can preserve highlights. Another showing high resolution without spends thousands (10's of 1000's) on digital gear. Maybe another showing convenience....drop the film off, the lab color corrects and everything for you.

They don't need to do ANY of that. They just need to advertise PERIOD. Just take a film ad from the '90s, plop in Ektar, and run it. They should simply 'pretend' (because Kodak itself apparently doesn't believe) that film is a perfectly relevant photographic product like Samsung memory cards, or whatever other ads run in photography magazines nowadays. That's it. Just advertise the film.


It's not like a $5000 full page ad in American Photographer is going to convince your DSLR-shooting brother in law to pick up a film camera.

You could apply that argument to basically all advertising, ever. 99.9% of people that see a Rolex advertisement, will never buy a Rolex. That's not the purpose of the advertisement. To use a buzzword, it's about mindshare.

An advertisement for film is not about someone seeing your ad and running out and abandoning digital for film. It's about somebody seeing an ad for Kodak film and thinking, perhaps completely subconsciously, "film is still available, Kodak still sells it. People still use it. Serious photographers use it, because it is advertised in a publication aimed at serious photographers. Film is a relevant photographic product, because there is an ad for film in this magazine. I don't shoot film, but this ad is evidence that some people do. Should I?".

How many people have asked you "can you still get film?"? The difference between your product existing and it existing in the minds of consumers is a linked relationship. If you don't advertise, your product doesn't exist in the mind of consumers, and pretty soon it will not exist at all.

The complete lack of advertising for film products makes it seem like the film manufacturers don't even want to sell it. Even on places like APUG, I have never seen an advertisement for Kodak film.

David Luttmann
7-Mar-2011, 15:32
In some ways, they are recycling ads. There have been Ektar 100 and Portra ads in various magazines I've seen over the last year+. The funny thing is, even though they are there, most people here asking for ads obviously don't even notice them! :eek:

Brian C. Miller
7-Mar-2011, 15:56
My statistics:
Magazines read last month: 0
Comic books read last month: a bunch
Ads heard on the radio: life insurance, cars, house and gardening, ambulance chasers, music stores, misc. garbage
Ads seen on billboards: spas, casinos, anti-abortion, anti-gun, insurance, gasoline, misc. business

Outside of special interest magazines, where does Kodak advertise at all? I don't recall even a web advertisement, and based on the garbage I've seen, those have got to be dirt cheap. Yabuka and Pulse360 have some true low-budget operations using them.

There are plenty of other companies which are far more agressive than Kodak about marketing. There was that thread about coats, and one of the garment manufacturers paid for web-sensitive advertising. Visit their site, and ads for their product will appear wherever else you go. Same with Jeep. Kodak and Fuji don't do that, but it must be cheap if a garment maker can do it.

imagedowser
7-Mar-2011, 16:16
I agree with Eddie......

Curt
7-Mar-2011, 16:57
It's plain to see that Kodak has given up. What was once a leader is now a fading shadow.

What most are suggesting is roll over and let China control us. It's working and with the same crop of lame politicians it's not getting any better. We in the US are on the back of the bell curve, far down.

Frank has a point, while we are getting blamed for everything we might as well get something for it.

No M1A1 was put out of service in the Iraq war. The world says do something in North Africa and when we do they will immediately start to condem us. Then we will settle it with lifetime foreign aid.

Withdraw all foreign aid and spend the money on education and innovation. Don't give away technology for nothing.

Brian Ellis
7-Mar-2011, 16:59
Maybe the approach though should be different. If Kodak had a series of ads showing some of the benefits of film. Maybe an ad showing how it can preserve highlights. Another showing high resolution without spends thousands (10's of 1000's) on digital gear. Maybe another showing convenience....drop the film off, the lab color corrects and everything for you.

The "convenience" of film? Compared to what, wet plates? : - )

You can't sell something through advertising that nobody wants to buy. It would be like an advertising campaign for 8 track tapes or typewriters. Digital is just a better product for 99% of the people who use a camera and no ad campaign is going to convince them it isn't when it in fact is. It's not like great highlights or high resolution are important when making snapshots of a kid's birthday party.

Bill Poole
7-Mar-2011, 20:12
On advertising:

Page 53 of the current Photo District News carries a full-page ad for the new Portra 400. I'm just sayin'

Tim Gray
8-Mar-2011, 06:54
Do you not think Kodak sending this film out to bloggers counts as advertising? I've also received Portra direct from Kodak on two separate occasions in the last couple years - one was when they release -2 in about 2006-2007, the other was about a year ago through a promotion they were doing on flickr.

I agree Kodak could step up marketing, but film is not going to be sold with television commercials and magazine ads. And I think they are marketing a little bit in ways that don't seem like it at first.

Brian C. Miller
8-Mar-2011, 06:58
Tim, how did you sign up for free film?

Marko
8-Mar-2011, 07:21
It's plain to see that Kodak has given up. What was once a leader is now a fading shadow.

What most are suggesting is roll over and let China control us. It's working and with the same crop of lame politicians it's not getting any better. We in the US are on the back of the bell curve, far down.

Frank has a point, while we are getting blamed for everything we might as well get something for it.

No M1A1 was put out of service in the Iraq war. The world says do something in North Africa and when we do they will immediately start to condem us. Then we will settle it with lifetime foreign aid.

Withdraw all foreign aid and spend the money on education and innovation. Don't give away technology for nothing.

Looking at the 2010 figures, foreign aid makes less than 1% of our current budget, somewhere around $15 billion or so. One third of it goes to only two countries - Israel and Egypt and is mostly spent on the military.

At the same time and in the same period, we spent between $1 and $.135 trillion dollars on military expenses (including wars).

I always wondered what is it that makes people feel so good denying medicare to seniors and education to kids in order to blow it away (quite literally) on the military?

Maybe, just maybe if we took these truly obscene amounts of money we sink every year into breaking things and killing people in foreign lands and directed it toward educating our kids, healing our people and building back up our infrastructure, maybe we could hope to get back to the top of the bell curve again within a generation or two... Even close to it would be good enough.

Perhaps being smart might help us a bit more than being tough? It would prevent knuckle scars for sure, if nothing else... ;)

rdenney
8-Mar-2011, 07:56
But gasoline engines really suck. And the equivalent electric vehicle doesn't really perform as well as a gasoline vehicle, and it's so much more expensive. But of course if you don't care about the performance, then you can get something that's within your budget.

For the analogy to work, you'd have to be able to plug in a battery and go three weeks before a recharge. More than anything, the ability of digital cameras to make hundreds of images on one memory card is appealing. Electric vehicles are running into the physics of power density; digital cameras are not.

Rick "who commutes 150 miles a day" Denney

rdenney
8-Mar-2011, 08:31
Well, engl, from watching digital being adopted, it wasn't a case of "film is bad," rather, "digital is new and cool." It's been about glitzy doodads and lights, not necessarily about making a photograph of anything at all.

If you consider the vast majority of those who make photographs, you'll realize how elitist this sounds. But it is not the elites who make up a viable market.

And comments about how they are picture takers and not photographers says nothing about their importance as a market.

Most people who made photographs using film didn't care about film. Most of them took their film to Fotomat or the local drug store, got a stack of prints, put the prints in an album, and threw the negatives away. When family and friends came over, they put the album in their laps and subjected them to boring hours of thumbing through inane pictures of the last family outing.

Of that vast majority, only a few saw greater potential for the medium as a means of family reportage. They bought better cameras, and they kept the negatives. But they never did anything with the negatives. Maybe they made slides and the slides are sitting in some brittle Kodak Carousel up in the attic. The projector died and went to the landfill long ago.

Of that few, a tiny minority became serious about it. Those were the ones who actually bought decent cameras and attempted to make actual prints. Most of those prints were dreadful, though, because it turns out that it's difficult. But they enjoyed the hobby anyway.

Of that tiny minority, a handful took it to the next level and are attempting to explore the limits of their creativity. And of that sliver, a few find their potential using digital tools and a few find their potential using film tools. Many do both, because the image is more important to them than the medium, and each has its applications that are difficult to accommodate with the other.

In the early days of photography, we had only the sliver of dedicated enthusiasts. Kodak as much as anyone worked to build on that handful to create a vast consumer market of those who threw their negatives away after putting the prints in an album. But that consumer market no longer shows their photographs using albums. Now, they show their photographs on their Facebook and Picasa pages, emailing links for their family members. And they no longer subject their family members to albums, but now show their family snaps to visitors on their iPhones. Do you really think this is a market that will be impressed by image quality?

Now, Kodak is back to the market of its beginning--those few dedicated enthusiasts willing to endure the inconvenience of using film to fulfill their specific and narrow requirements, many of whom define the advantages of film in terms of film's characteristic look, not on any objective determination of whether their art needs that look to be valid.

The problem, though, is that all the innovation of an emerging technology is done. Kodak can't wow the market with its new dry plates, and then years later wow it again with acetate films, and then wow it again with color, and so on. At each major innovation, the added--no--multiplied their market. As the mass market who never showed their photography in a way that required quality has gone to the much more convenient digital medium, the market has divided. Kodak is hoping the division is done and maybe now it's down to subtraction. If there is any resurgence at all, it may generate a few additions. But the days of multiplication are long gone, and it's not Kodak's fault.

Perhaps the biggest mistake Kodak ever made was in creating a market for film use by those who didn't much care about photography, so that they came to depend on that vast market to survive. What made them great might be contributing to their current contraction. Huffy created a market for low-quality but really cheap toy-store bicycles that killed the high-quality budget offerings of companies like Schwinn. Then, the Taiwanese showed Huffy that when it comes to serving only a pricing model, American labor costs too much. Huffy is gone now, replaced by Giant and other Asian manufacturers. And why not? They buy most of them bicycles over there, too. American bicycle companies have re-emerged, however, with a quality model instead of a consumer model, with higher prices and higher quality. Is there something for Kodak in this lesson? I hope so.

Rick "hoping the sliver is enough to sustain a production model" Denney

David Luttmann
8-Mar-2011, 08:58
The "convenience" of film? Compared to what, wet plates? : - )

You can't sell something through advertising that nobody wants to buy. It would be like an advertising campaign for 8 track tapes or typewriters. Digital is just a better product for 99% of the people who use a camera and no ad campaign is going to convince them it isn't when it in fact is. It's not like great highlights or high resolution are important when making snapshots of a kid's birthday party.

The convenience is being able to drop off a roll, pick up prints and scans, and not have to spend time tweaking in front of a computer or kiosk to try and get the color right.

At to not needing high rez for birthday parties.....tell that to the average Joe who upgrades his point and shoot every year thinking that extra 1 mp in rez will make a difference in his birthday party shots!

JMB
8-Mar-2011, 09:12
[QUOTE=engl;696922]What would they say? For the needs of the vast majority of people, film is terrible.


Right. For sure. But the "vast majority of people" also shop at Walmart and dine at McDonalds on Valentines Day.

rdenney
8-Mar-2011, 09:14
The convenience is being able to drop off a roll, pick up prints and scans, and not have to spend time tweaking in front of a computer or kiosk to try and get the color right.

At to not needing high rez for birthday parties.....tell that to the average Joe who upgrades his point and shoot every year thinking that extra 1 mp in rez will make a difference in his birthday party shots!

Is that more convenient than poking a memory card into a computer at Costco and hitting the "print" button? That's what most people who want prints do. They are generally happy with the color they get, and if they aren't, they blame it on the camera.

But how many people even care about getting prints?

The guys who upgrade their camera every year have other issues they are addressing. But even if they believe what you say, they are no longer part of the film market, and no trumpeting of the qualities of film will bring them back.

Rick "not measuring digital convenience using a film-based concept of operation" Denney

Tim Gray
8-Mar-2011, 11:05
Tim, how did you sign up for free film?

When the Portra-2 films were released, there was a form/URL that was circulated on the forums and other places where you could sign up and get 4 rolls of Portra, 2 of NC and 2 of VC. Then around the time Ektar was released, Kodak made a flickr group and gave out 10 rolls of recently expired Portra-2 (it was actually the same sample film as the first giveaway I mentioned - by this time the Portra-3 films were out). They also threw in a roll of the new Ektar and nice sell sheet for Ektar printed on their Endura Metallic. All of this was free - all you had to do was sign up.

Of course there's also the rebates that they usually run. I don't think there is one going on now, but one just ended for $20 back on $125 of film.

John Kasaian
8-Mar-2011, 11:07
Digital is convenience. Who needs to print with digital picture frames? It used to be that Polaroid was king of "instant gratification" but even they bowed out to digital. Film photography OTOH is going the way of fly fishing, etchings and blackpowder riflery. It isn't disappearing, but rather becoming what it already was and has been since it's inception---the art of recording reality, to be mastered both in the mechanical and visual sense and appreciated for it's beauty.

In latin there's a phrase "If I labor to be brief, I become obscure"
George Eastman's Kodak was instrumental in making photography"brief"

The snap shot, the bread and butter of Kodak, Polaroid & Agfa has ceeded the throne to digital technology.
Artistic impressions are now (and perhaps better suited to) being Photoshopped. The holy grail of saturated colors can be saturated to your hearts content with digital.

The health of film (and the health of film manufacturers) I think will depend cultivating an appreciation of not only working with film, but an appreciation of traditional photography as a visual document written with silver halides ("quill on parchement" so to speak) rather than spurting ink.

My 2 centavos (and not worth even a penny ;) )

thomashobbs
12-Mar-2011, 16:32
It seems like there's a decent supply of black & white film manufacturers but as far as color goes, for large format, it's just Kodak. I have nothing against digital but nobody is every going to fabricate an 8x10 digital back. The optical space and depth of field you get using a 300mm lens as your "normal" lens is like nothing else. Black and white is great but I remember my first color contact print from my 8x10. It was like mainlining heroin. I've never felt anything like it. It's depressing to think that color film will become a "lost" technology. Joel Sternfeld and Alec Soth aren't enough to keep Kodak afloat. We photographers are merely scavengers picking at bits around the mighty Military/Industrial/Entertainment complex.

Marko
12-Mar-2011, 18:16
It's depressing to think that color film will become a "lost" technology.

It will be just one of the many. That's not depressing, that's the price of progress. A good part of a century is much more than many other, equally valuable and useful technologies got, so be grateful that we had it and be happy that we're moving forward. If any single technology remained in use for too long, it would only mean that we are stagnating instead of evolving.

Brian C. Miller
12-Mar-2011, 18:43
If any single technology remained in use for too long, it would only mean that we are stagnating instead of evolving.

You mean like glass? How about paper? Pencils? Pens? Writing? Clubs and knives? The wheel? Cloth? Agriculture?

-- Brian "who is living on a planet so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea" Miller

Marko
12-Mar-2011, 19:55
You mean like glass? How about paper? Pencils? Pens? Writing? Clubs and knives? The wheel? Cloth? Agriculture?

-- Brian "who is living on a planet so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea" Miller

No, I meant steam machine, horse buggies, fountain pen, typewriter, telegraph, newspapers, vacuum tube, CRTs, film and such... :rolleyes:

Yes, I still keep my Mont Blancs and Rotrings around but we are not using them for this exchange, are we? Did I mention snail mail too?

Roger Cole
12-Mar-2011, 20:21
It will be just one of the many. That's not depressing, that's the price of progress.

#$%^ progress.

Roger Cole
12-Mar-2011, 20:25
No, I meant steam machine, horse buggies, fountain pen, typewriter, telegraph, newspapers, vacuum tube, CRTs, film and such... :rolleyes:

Yes, I still keep my Mont Blancs and Rotrings around but we are not using them for this exchange, are we? Did I mention snail mail too?

Oh, thanks for the list - I still have and sometimes use a fountain pen. I have electronic gadgets with vacuum tubes and will buy more when I get back into ham radio some day. Love that vintage gear that lights up in the dark. I'm typing this while using a CRT monitor and have a CRT TV (with no cable or satellite.)

And I like using code on the radio, too.

Roger "the closest thing to a Luddite a network engineer could be" Cole

Marko
12-Mar-2011, 21:54
Oh, thanks for the list - I still have and sometimes use a fountain pen. I have electronic gadgets with vacuum tubes and will buy more when I get back into ham radio some day. Love that vintage gear that lights up in the dark. I'm typing this while using a CRT monitor and have a CRT TV (with no cable or satellite.)

And I like using code on the radio, too.

Roger "the closest thing to a Luddite a network engineer could be" Cole

You are entirely welcome. :D

The Mont Blancs I mentioned above are my cherished fountain pens I rarely get to use any more, if at all. The Rotrings are rapidographs - remember those? They used to be state of the art instruments for technical drawing and drafting.

I used to use all of those gadgets and contraptions you mention and more at some point in my life, but being a relatively early adopter, I sold most of those away to the nostalgic types when I needed the funds for the next new and exciting thing to come out. I say "relatively" because I typically wait for the ver. 1.1 but rarely until 2.0. ;)

Did the same thing with my old 35mm and MF film gear, but I find being a Ludditte awfully boring and being early adopter gets tiring after a while, so lately, I've been reversing direction and getting involved with MF and LF again. Only this time I am having fun in trying to combine old stuff with new methods.

The next thing might as well be the reverse - new stuff using old methods, digital capture via alt. processes and such... But that will have to wait for retirement.

It's not about progress or technology per se, it's all about mind and how open (or closed) it is...

Roger Cole
12-Mar-2011, 22:00
Well for me it's (several of these things, really) a hobby and about how much I enjoy it - and I am nostalgic (somewhat) and have never been an early adopter really. But there you go. I do shoot digital for snapshots and posting on facebook and so on. But I shoot film for a hobby because I enjoy it, and partly because it IS sort of old - the appeal thirty years ago was that it was sort of primitive in the modern world. I think now it's even more appealing. ;)

Marko
12-Mar-2011, 23:21
Well, on that much we agree - it is a hobby and I do thoroughly enjoy it. Have been enjoying it since the 1970's and still do, with a couple of long breaks.

But I don't enjoy it because it is modern (digital) or old-fashioned (film), I enjoy it because I think mostly in visual terms and I like to express what I see in the same way. For me, it is both about the moment and about the form, technology simply doesn't matter, as long as I get to take the shot and make the picture. Just like writing is not about the pen or the keyboard, nor even the words themselves, it is about the thoughts written down.

I will definitely not be happy when the film does go away, but it will not be the end of the world either. What one technology takes away, the other one brings back and then some. It is a positive zero, so to speak...

John Kasaian
12-Mar-2011, 23:26
It seems like there's a decent supply of black & white film manufacturers but as far as color goes, for large format, it's just Kodak. I have nothing against digital but nobody is every going to fabricate an 8x10 digital back. The optical space and depth of field you get using a 300mm lens as your "normal" lens is like nothing else. Black and white is great but I remember my first color contact print from my 8x10. It was like mainlining heroin. I've never felt anything like it. It's depressing to think that color film will become a "lost" technology. Joel Sternfeld and Alec Soth aren't enough to keep Kodak afloat. We photographers are merely scavengers picking at bits around the mighty Military/Industrial/Entertainment complex.

Did I miss something? Did Fuji cease making color sheet film?

Kimberly Anderson
13-Mar-2011, 06:32
Give me a Trinitron CRT or give me death! Seriously! I have 5 of them.

Jim Jones
13-Mar-2011, 07:34
No, I meant steam machine, horse buggies, fountain pen, typewriter, telegraph, newspapers, vacuum tube, CRTs, film and such... :rolleyes:

Yes, I still keep my Mont Blancs and Rotrings around but we are not using them for this exchange, are we? Did I mention snail mail too?

It's great that there are a few steam engines in use. Anyone who has felt Union Pacific's 3985 roar by appreciates that. The Amish around here still do well with horse buggies and farm equipment. When young, we were taught to use a pen so our writing could be visually as well as grammatically eloquent. Neither is common now. Radio telegraphy is sometimes the only means of communications even now in emergencies, even though competent operators are becoming rare. I still use vacuum tube test equipment, and have radios going back to the 1920s. There was an eloquence and economy of design to some early gear that is sadly lacking in equipment that can be marginally improved by adding a few thousand more transistors. Amateur radio operators could sometimes, may still just for fun, communicate around the world with a two tube transmitter and three tube receiver without relying on landlines, microwave towers, and satellites. I still rely on the USPS for much. As for film, my last photo was digital for convenience. Then came an unsuccessful struggle to match the quality of film. A DSLR that cost more than a really capable film camera would have been satisfactory, but not economical.

rdenney
13-Mar-2011, 15:19
Did I miss something? Did Fuji cease making color sheet film?

No, but they don't make color negative film in sheets.

Rick "who would love to find plain-old Reala in 4x5 sheets" Denney

rguinter
13-Mar-2011, 16:19
Oh, thanks for the list - I still have and sometimes use a fountain pen. I have electronic gadgets with vacuum tubes and will buy more when I get back into ham radio some day. Love that vintage gear that lights up in the dark. I'm typing this while using a CRT monitor and have a CRT TV (with no cable or satellite.)

And I like using code on the radio, too.

Roger "the closest thing to a Luddite a network engineer could be" Cole

Roger:

You forgot to mention that most (seriously) high power RF is still produced with vacuum tubes. Not likely they will ever be replaced in that application.

_ . _ _ . _ . . . _ _ _ . . _ . . _

Drew Wiley
13-Mar-2011, 17:43
The latest technology helps you look cool and think so too ... everything hi-tech and
electronic is therefore preferable ... like the punk who pulled out his gun and recently held up a convenience store across town one night and decided to get away running through the dark on foot ... wearing piezo shoes which sparkle with every step!

Mike Anderson
13-Mar-2011, 18:07
No, I meant steam machine, horse buggies, fountain pen, typewriter, telegraph, newspapers, vacuum tube, CRTs, film and such... :rolleyes:

Yes, I still keep my Mont Blancs and Rotrings around but we are not using them for this exchange, are we? Did I mention snail mail too?

And I wish they'd rip out those damn cable cars from San Francisco. They're noisy, slow, and unsafe. And those dusty hiking trails - they should all be paved so a Segway can go over them. ;)

...Mike

Sal Santamaura
13-Mar-2011, 18:33
No, but they don't make color negative film in sheets...Assuming you want 4x5:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/396038-REG/Fujifilm_15474713_Pro_160S_4x5_Quick.html

https://www.badgergraphic.com/store/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=3477

http://www.japanexposures.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=25&products_id=198

http://www.japanexposures.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=25&products_id=154

http://www.japanexposures.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=25&products_id=196

Although Dirk may have a little trouble at the moment filling your order for any of the last three. :(


Reala was never available in sheets.

Brian C. Miller
13-Mar-2011, 19:07
Although Dirk may have a little trouble at the moment filling your order for any of the last three. :(

Dirk is fine. (http://www.japanexposures.com/2011/03/12/were-shaken-but-fine/) But there may be a slight delay filling your order right now.

rdenney
14-Mar-2011, 07:52
Roger:

You forgot to mention that most (seriously) high power RF is still produced with vacuum tubes. Not likely they will ever be replaced in that application.

_ . _ _ . _ . . . _ _ _ . . _ . . _

Vacuum-tube technology is being replaced by solid-state devices more and more. Most TV and FM stations are moving or have moved to solid-state transmitters as a matter of life-cycle cost. The tubes are just too expensive, and for a 24/7 commercial-service transmitter must be replaced too often. Also, they don't show a lot of redundancy, which is a big deal in commercial service. And in "other" applications, solid-state RF transmission is becoming the norm. Redundancy is even more important and capital cost less so in many of those applications.

What has made solid-state transmitters more expensive is the need to gang devices in parallel to keep the power on each one down, while tubes can be made as big as necessary. The price increases linearly with power output for solid-state, but at a slower rate for vacuum-tube technology. But even in the 30-KW transmitter-power range of most FM and TV stations, the total life-cycle costs favor solid-state approaches.

Most amateur amplifiers still use vacuum tubes, but there are serious inroads at the high end from solid-state transmitter amplifiers. Hams have not exactly kept up with their self-image of being cutting-edge technologists, however. I'm sure there were people who said the basic 100-watt barefoot transmitter would never go solid-state, but now you can't buy anything else.

Rick "-.- .-. ----. -.." Denney

rdenney
14-Mar-2011, 07:59
Assuming you want 4x5:

...several listings for new old stock no longer in production, or still available in Japan only...

Reala was never available in sheets.

Sad that Reala was never made in sheets. I have really enjoyed it in roll-film over the years.

I have never liked 160S, which was all that Fuji ever put in the Quickload form factor that I ever saw available in the U.S., at least. I could never get any saturation out of that stuff, though I'm sure it's fine for the commercial/fashion work is was made for. Maybe others can do more with it for landscape work. Of course, anything in Quickloads is old stock waiting to be bought up--they have stopped producing everything in that form factor as I understand it.

And buying from Japan directly? I'm not sure that undermines my point; certainly not in meaning even if in fact.

Rick "hoping this is the biggest problem Dirk has to think about at the moment" Denney

Marko
14-Mar-2011, 08:15
The Amish around here still do well with horse buggies and farm equipment.

If only they didn't consider photography the same evil, latest hi-tech technology as the sparkling shoes and the segway, it sounds as if they could have a great following on this board!

;)


When young, we were taught to use a pen so our writing could be visually as well as grammatically eloquent. Neither is common now.
Radio telegraphy is sometimes the only means of communications even now in emergencies, even though competent operators are becoming rare. I still use vacuum tube test equipment, and have radios going back to the 1920s. There was an eloquence and economy of design to some early gear that is sadly lacking in equipment that can be marginally improved by adding a few thousand more transistors.

Well, they taught us common sense too back then, and you need only look at some posts here to see how little of it has remained. It's easy to wax poetic about "Roaring Twenties" until one remembers what it was like to not have penicillin for example or how many people died of TB in those "good old days" and other such periods... And let's not even mention dental care.

Yes, I'm sure those times were awesome and that if I had my kids then, those two or three out of five that would've survived the age of 2 would've enjoyed unrestricted childhood much more than the kids today do. But ungrateful that I am, I'm really happy to be living in the now, which enabled me to raise *all* my kids to successful adulthood and which gives me better than good chance of living long enough to see my grandkids grow up. If that means having to suffer the nuisance of frequent technology breakthroughs, so be it... :D

And just so we keep this on topic, those same "Roaring Twenties" were the beginning of the Age of Kodak - "you press the button, we do the rest". It (Kodak) survived and outlasted most of those other great technologies of its time, but now the time has come when there is nothing left to do after pressing the button. Largely thanks to technology they helped develop but then failed to transition to in time to save themselves.

Robert Budding
14-Mar-2011, 17:40
I haven't looked at the Kodak 2010 10-K yet. In the recent past, Kodak was making money on film and losing money on digital. That may change as movie studios cut over to digital. But I'd still expect that a smaller profitable film business is still possible for Kodak. Film is mature and very little R&D is required. But they will need to scale their facilities to match the market demand.

Roger Cole
14-Mar-2011, 17:50
Well, they taught us common sense too back then, and you need only look at some posts here to see how little of it has remained. It's easy to wax poetic about "Roaring Twenties" until one remembers what it was like to not have penicillin for example or how many people died of TB in those "good old days" and other such periods... And let's not even mention dental care.

Yes, I'm sure those times were awesome and that if I had my kids then, those two or three out of five that would've survived the age of 2 would've enjoyed unrestricted childhood much more than the kids today do. But ungrateful that I am, I'm really happy to be living in the now, which enabled me to raise *all* my kids to successful adulthood and which gives me better than good chance of living long enough to see my grandkids grow up. If that means having to suffer the nuisance of frequent technology breakthroughs, so be it... :D

And just so we keep this on topic, those same "Roaring Twenties" were the beginning of the Age of Kodak - "you press the button, we do the rest". It (Kodak) survived and outlasted most of those other great technologies of its time, but now the time has come when there is nothing left to do after pressing the button. Largely thanks to technology they helped develop but then failed to transition to in time to save themselves.

I think you're missing the point, or at least missing MY point if I'm one of the people supposedly lacking common sense (an outdated commodity itself; whenever I hear someone lamenting a lack of "common sense" it just means that the people they are talking about don't think like they do and the speaker doesn't comprehend the source of the communication problem. "Common sense" is just a euphemism for "thinking like I do" but that's a different rant.)

I can't speak for anyone else but I too am glad to be living now with its creature comforts. I would never claim that vacuum tubes were better than solid state in general (outside very specific distortion characteristics for certain high end audio) or that CRTs were across the board superior to LCD flat screens, or even that digital isn't superior to film in most ways that most people care about. But I'm not most people, many of us here aren't either, and we care about different things.

For me it comes down to the fact that I simply enjoy working with the film medium. It is in many ways more difficult and challenging and I enjoy that. It's more primitive in some ways and I frankly enjoy that too. I work with computers 40+ hours a week. It's a refreshing change to do something that, aside from quality of materials, has hardly changed in approach in decades. And it has some craft and skill to it other than solely the visual or knowledge of a computer program.

It may be a shock and heretical to admit, but the truth is for many of us hobbyists it isn't primarily about the image! I'll repeat that because it's important - it isn't primarily about the image. Most of mine could be made just as well and more quickly and easily with digital. I simply prefer film and the greater challenge of it, and I do it for myself, so that's how I do it. I use digital for snapshots that go on Facebook or into email, too.

Funny thing, but I find that most "traditional media" artists understand this right away. My artistically inclined girlfriend, largely responsible for rekindling my interest in photography and immediately enthused about my old Linhof and the realization that not only film for it but even very similar cameras are still made, grasps it pretty much intuitively. Photography is still hung up on the artifact when most other artists realize it's really (for many of us) more about the process and what one can get out of it.

I recall reading a Pop Photo editor in the late 70s complaining about increasing automation in film cameras by saying that pretty soon it would get to the point you just stick the film in your ear and blink when you see something beautiful. The film is a memory card and the camera, while very small and light, isn't quite audio-insertable, but otherwise it's pretty much come to that. I just don't enjoy doing that.

I noticed the following comment on that Japanexposures website linked above:

At the risk of stating an utterly obvious and absolutely not new realization: it has become extremely difficult, perhaps impossible, to take a bad photograph with contemporary cameras. At least technically speaking, there is very little that can still go wrong nowadays.

Very true. And for me at least, the very next thought becomes, "then what on earth is the point?" There isn't one, for me, when using a system like that. But for those of us for whom it's more about the process than the artifact, we just use a different process.

Marko
14-Mar-2011, 22:06
I noticed the following comment on that Japanexposures website linked above:

At the risk of stating an utterly obvious and absolutely not new realization: it has become extremely difficult, perhaps impossible, to take a bad photograph with contemporary cameras. At least technically speaking, there is very little that can still go wrong nowadays.

Very true. And for me at least, the very next thought becomes, "then what on earth is the point?" There isn't one, for me, when using a system like that. But for those of us for whom it's more about the process than the artifact, we just use a different process.

Hey Roger,

My reply about the rest is in your message box, but this, I believe, merits a little bit of public argument... :)

The point is not in the instrument, the point is in the eye and brain of the photographer. Contrary to that poster and by extension to you, I believe that making a bad photograph is easier than ever. Not because of automation nor because of digital or any other technical reason, but because too few people have patience enough these days to obtain enough education for that.

Technical part has always been easy, and the fact that it has become easier still means only that there will be more competent snapshots. But that's not what facilitates making good photographs. It is above all the eye of the photographer and his/her understanding of the composition and other picture elements. Essentially, a good photograph requires all or most of the skills as a good painting or good drawing, other than the technical part.

It is not technical skills that made the likes of Elliot Erwitt and HCB great, it is their eyes and brains.

But I do get - and agree with - your point that for us as hobbyists technical part is also very attractive. That's not an issue at all.

goamules
17-Mar-2011, 09:00
There are a ton of "buggy whip manufacturer" historical business analogies that confirm what Engl said about most people not wanting film anymore. Look at the American pocketwatch manufacturers from the 1870-1930 period. Waltham, Elgin, etc. made extremely precise timekeepers. A standard Waltham took 8-12 months to produce, and they made thousands. Everyone carried one. Something changed, and they all went out of business.

Film is like that. Everyone carried a film camera. Now no one does, relative to digital capture. That's right, no one does. How many LF or 35mm shots do you think are taken a week in America? About the same number of digital cameras and phones bought every minute.

I gave a talk at the Western Historical Photographic Society on wetplate the other night. Almost everyone was in their 70s or 80s. They have monthly meetings to talk equipment and sell old cameras. I asked, "how many of you still shoot film?" thinking surely in this crowd most would. About 4-5 hands raised in the room. They all waxed nostalgically about how they used to buy, shoot, print film. No more...they all reach for a digital when they need a shot. Engl is right - film is a hassle, and very few will mess with it.

Walk around with even a 35mm today and you'll get one question the most, "can you even get film anymore for that thing?" I hear this from those over 30 most. Those under 30 don't even know what film is. How long do you think Kodak, built in the grand era when everyone in the world used their film, can keep making it in their old paradigm?

JC Kuba
17-Mar-2011, 10:41
I wonder how Fujifilm has been effected by the problems in Japan, and if Kodak might get a boost if Fuji's film production takes a hit for a while.

- JC

Michael Kadillak
17-Mar-2011, 10:46
I wonder how Fujifilm has been effected by the problems in Japan, and if Kodak might get a boost if Fuji's film production takes a hit for a while.

- JC

I have a brother that lives in Tokyo and he was sent home for at least a week - maybe longer. Everything has literally shut down. Not a good situation. Let's hope that luck is on their side and they get the nuclear situation resolved so that they can begin the clean up.

Brian Ellis
17-Mar-2011, 13:04
. . . I noticed the following comment on that Japanexposures website linked above:

At the risk of stating an utterly obvious and absolutely not new realization: it has become extremely difficult, perhaps impossible, to take a bad photograph with contemporary cameras. At least technically speaking, there is very little that can still go wrong nowadays.

Very true. And for me at least, the very next thought becomes, "then what on earth is the point?" There isn't one, for me, when using a system like that. But for those of us for whom it's more about the process than the artifact, we just use a different process.

I understand and agree with everything in your well-considered post except the part quoted above. Frankly the statement in the Japanexposures website is stupid not to mention wrong. It's easy to make technically poor photographs with a digital camera. They still have to be focused properly, they still have to be used at an appropriate shutter speed, depth of field remains a concern, dynamic range remains a concern, noise is a concern, I could go on and on but believe me, there are plenty of things that can wrong from a technical standpoint with a digital camera. If you doubt me just go to any beginner's-type forum in which the participants use digital cameras and look at the images.

I haven't given a lot of thought to it but offhand I don't see any difference in terms of ease of making technically good images between a decent digital camera and 35mm/roll film cameras except that it's a little easier to put a flash card in a digital camera than it is to load film in 35mm/roll film cameras. LF is different only because of the initial learning curve but once learned (which takes maybe a week or two of concentrated effort or longer of casual effort) it's even easier.

But I'm certainly open to learning how there were a lot of things that could go wrong with say my Nikon F4 camera that no longer can go wrong with my digital camera.

Sevo
17-Mar-2011, 13:46
I wonder how Fujifilm has been effected by the problems in Japan, and if Kodak might get a boost if Fuji's film production takes a hit for a while.


Fuji itself is headquartered in Tokyo, and those of Fuji's film production facilities I once have been toured through were to the south-west of Tokyo. So film does seem to be unaffected so far. Their former sensor production was near Sendai airport, but has been sold years ago - if they should still source chips there, that might affect some digital products. Their X100 digital camera assembly is north of Sendai and suffered quake damage, and they announced delays for the X100 deliveries.

Nikon might be more affected, they have quite a few subsidiaries around Sendai (among them their FF production).

Nonetheless both fare excellent on the stock exchange compared to the average of Japanese corporations. The market obviously does not expect any significant impact on the Japanese camera industry.

falth j
17-Mar-2011, 15:10
Thank you for not supporting an American company and American workers. I guess we have not sent enough U.S.A. jobs overseas.
Howard Tanger


Until, and only when American consumers moan enough about their lost jobs, loss of decent wages, working at two, three or more crap jobs, will they realize what the heck they did by buying foreign goods with fuzzy quality...

Americans have only themselves to blame for the shape of our standard of living, and for buying the crap American businesses bring here at redicuously high sale prices compared to what American businesses pay to have it produced.

Robert Hughes
17-Mar-2011, 15:16
Americans have only themselves to blame for the shape of our standard of living
Baloney. That's like blaming the rats for following the maze they've been placed in. Unless you consider 12 kinds of laundry detergent (all mfg'd by one company) as choice, our freedoms to choose our own destiny has been severely constrained for a very long time.

It's a top-down decision making cycle that has placed us where we are now, and continues as we speak. Do you think it's merely a coincidence that a dozen states are coming up with the same union busting legislation simultaneously?

BarryS
17-Mar-2011, 16:05
Kodak's film unit has been in the process of undergoing a violent contraction and the question is whether Kodak has the will and ability to transform a mass market business into something radically smaller, but sustainable. After being one of the giants of industry for so long, they may not be capable of navigating the change. Does it even make sense for them to run a niche film business?

It seems like everything at Kodak, from the management structure to the production facilities, is meant for very large scale production. Would Anheuser-Busch run a microbrewery if beer sales dropped 99.9%? My guess is they might stop selling beer and focus on other mass appeal beverages.

I'd love to see Kodak manage film as a niche product or spin off their film unit, but I wonder if it's realistic given the current company structure and the nature of their production facilities.

Drew Wiley
17-Mar-2011, 16:33
Barry - that is something symptomatic of why so many publicly-traded companies are
failing nowadays. They can't just reach equilibrium and make profit like a sensible
private company does (like the corporation I work for). They have to fluff their fur and
look bigger and bigger to attract stock market attention, even if it is potentially counterproductive. Get their feet into way too many things at once. Run on a bluff
and hope it pans out before bankruptcy pans out. There is money to be made on film,
but color film in particular does need the support of heavy R&D backing. If either Kodak
or Fuji buckle, their role will be hard to replace.

Brian C. Miller
18-Mar-2011, 04:03
Frankly the statement in the Japanexposures website is stupid not to mention wrong. It's easy to make technically poor photographs with a digital camera. They still have to be focused properly, they still have to be used at an appropriate shutter speed, depth of field remains a concern, dynamic range remains a concern, noise is a concern, I could go on and on but believe me, there are plenty of things that can wrong from a technical standpoint with a digital camera. If you doubt me just go to any beginner's-type forum in which the participants use digital cameras and look at the images.

What you see with the beginners is that they have switched off the targeting computer, and they aren't using the Force. (link (http://massassi.hobby-site.com/massassi/movies/movies/04_a_new_hope/m4mov18.htm), link (http://massassi.hobby-site.com/massassi/movies/movies/04_a_new_hope/m4mov19.htm)) Plus, that UI design looks like there should be a piece of cheese there, too! (link (http://www.usereffect.com/topic/x-wing-targeting-computer)) "Reactor exhaust port ... no, a piece of cheese ... Reactor exhaust port ... a rat? ..."

If there is enough computational assistance when making a photograph, then of course, from a technical standpoint, the photograph can't be screwed up. The camera will of course focus on something, and it will make an exposure.

But back to hypothesizing about a film future where we're all wiped out by a gargantuan asteroid carrying people eating bacteria and nanobots from an alien civilization ...


Until, and only when American consumers moan enough about their lost jobs, loss of decent wages, working at two, three or more crap jobs, will they realize what the heck they did by buying foreign goods with fuzzy quality...
I recently went to the hardware store, and took a look at Vice Grips pliers. These used to be made in the USA, but now they are being made in China. Was that my fault? I don't think so. I don't think that any consumer of Vice Grips pliers made the decision that the product should be manufactured in China. I had been looking forward to puchasing a product made in the USA. But somebody else made that decision, not me, and certaintly not the workers at the Vice Grips plant. Is the Chinese quality below the American quality? No, but I'd still rather buy the US-made product. But I can't do that.


There are a ton of "buggy whip manufacturer" historical business analogies that confirm what Engl said about most people not wanting film anymore. Look at the American pocketwatch manufacturers from the 1870-1930 period. Waltham, Elgin, etc. made extremely precise timekeepers. A standard Waltham took 8-12 months to produce, and they made thousands. Everyone carried one. Something changed, and they all went out of business.
You mean, like, World War I? Yes, that shook things up quite a bit. The soldiers found the practicality of a timepiece worn on the wrist instead of inside a pocket. The Anglo-Boer War was also influential. Various materials improved the combat durability of the mechanism, and Rolex advanced precision timekeeping. Now pocketwatches have essentially returned, in the guise of the iPhone. There are many people who no longer wear watches because they carry a cell phone. And the iPhone now has a 5Mp camera which records HD video, and the iPad can give a large format experience.

Yes, digital technology continues to change how we communicate. Of course film is a hassle, because its information has to become digitized. Consider for a moment if I first wrote out my missive in longhand, using quill and paper. Then I'd have to flop it on the scanner, correct errors in the text recognition software, and finally upload it. Much easier to type it in to begin with, eh?

I recently had to "sign" some documents with a fake digital signature. (Docusign.net) I could pick from a list of different handwriting styles, but I couldn't upload my own real signature. That's similar to the difference of writing something longhand with quill and paper, vs word processor and printing out the document with a HP Quill-O-Matic.

So what's in Kodak's future? I have no idea. Perhaps they will wind up owning the entire color film market because Japan will sink into the sea. Or maybe Japan will be stomped flat by Godzilla, Kodak will be dead from corporate raiders, and Ilford will be gone because Chernobyl flared up and Iceland erupted so it'll be burried under radioactive ash.

Sal Santamaura
18-Mar-2011, 04:51
...Of course film is a hassle, because its information has to become digitized...Why does it have to be digitized? None of my negatives (or prints for that matter) have ever been scanned and I can think of no reason why they ever will.

rdenney
18-Mar-2011, 08:25
Why does it have to be digitized? None of my negatives (or prints for that matter) have ever been scanned and I can think of no reason why they ever will.

You don't have to digitize it. But the vast majority of people do: Their purpose is to display their work via the Internet, or on their personal photo viewing device (iPhone).

Technology does not determine what people want to do, it enables it. People have always wanted to be able to show their friends their photos. Even before iPhones, you could buy wallets with a plastic insert to hold photos, so that people could show other people pictures of their families or their sailboats or their pickup truck or their last vacation. How many carry a wallet with photos in it now?

The iPhone merely enabled what many have always wanted to do. They wanted to do it before the smart phone made it possible. They wanted to do it even before Dick Tracy provided them a fictional visualization of it. Had they not wanted to do it, Dick Tracy would not have been the good guy, and his use of the gadgetry would not have attracted a popular audience.

If you oppose technology, then you must oppose the things that people want to do. Technology that does not enable what people want to do dies a quick death in the market, unless it is forced on us by law (an example of that might be a requirement that tax returns be submitted via the Internet). And forcing the use of technology by law is pretty much in the same category as forcing anything else by law--the lawmakers should be required to show a compelling reason for the requirement.

On the subject of corporations: Corporate leaders are required to represent the best interests of the stockholders. And the documentation requirements for this are stronger than ever for publicly held corporations, with the passage of Sarbanes-Oxley after the Enron bust. CEOs can now be held personally liable and so they will be unwilling to approve any money-losing plan, even as part of a money-making strategy, without documented board approval of the plan. Even CEOs of private corporations are subject to legal action by stockholders (of course, their exposure is inversely proportional to the percentage of stock they control). The American people have demanded these protections, partly as a response to highly public fiascoes like Enron. Few who represent the welfare of small private investors would argue against these requirements much.

Along with that, mutual fund managers have to show the ability to better the return of the broader market reliably (which very few do), and so they only want to make big investments in companies that show very strong growth. This is also demanded by small investors, who don't want to face short-term risk in their investments. The company where I worked was told they needed an annual growth in revenue of 25% to become widely bought by such institutional and fund-manager investors. We were in a mature market, and such growth was hopelessly unreasonable. We should never have gone public.

Increasingly independent boards often lack industry (vis a vis "management") expertise and demand less risk and more profit on a quarterly basis for stockholders. The quarterly focus has caused more problem for American corporations than anything. Corporations seek stock-value appreciation rather than paying dividends, though, because the former is a capital gain and the latter is income and is taxed at a higher rate. If the tax laws were balanced between income-production and capital gain, companies would be more profit-driven and less growth-driven, and it would again be possible for public corporations to focus on mature products that are profitable, even in a declining market.

Rick "corporations and markets are not evil, just stupid, while the alternatives are usually both evil and stupid" Denney

Sevo
18-Mar-2011, 08:51
On the subject of corporations: Corporate leaders are required to represent the best interests of the stockholders.

In fact they are not, there merely is a fashion to do so, and some corresponding legislation has been lobbied for by banks and fonds. But the notion that corporate leaders should put the interest of their creditors before that of the staff or customers is far from natural and inevitable.

Ron McElroy
18-Mar-2011, 08:54
Consider for a moment if I first wrote out my missive in longhand, using quill and paper. Then I'd have to flop it on the scanner, correct errors in the text recognition software, and finally upload it. Much easier to type it in to begin with, eh?


A friend of mine's father used a the more modern dip pen to write some very long books. I'm sure who ever had to set the proof type wished he had at least used a typewriter.

Sal Santamaura
18-Mar-2011, 09:08
...Of course film is a hassle, because its information has to become digitized...


Why does it have to be digitized? None of my negatives (or prints for that matter) have ever been scanned and I can think of no reason why they ever will.


You don't have to digitize it. But the vast majority of people do: Their purpose is to display their work via the Internet, or on their personal photo viewing device..."Can" and "want" are fine concepts, but I was merely reacting to Brian's contention that film has to become digitized by pointing out that it doesn't have to be. :)


...How many carry a wallet with photos in it now?...I can't answer your question, but we can start the count at 1 -- me. :)

Drew Wiley
18-Mar-2011, 09:52
Everyone carries a photo in the wallet, or at least they're supposed to - it's called ID.

rdenney
18-Mar-2011, 10:12
In fact they are not, there merely is a fashion to do so, and some corresponding legislation has been lobbied for by banks and fonds. But the notion that corporate leaders should put the interest of their creditors before that of the staff or customers is far from natural and inevitable.

You are right, but I wasn't specific enough. The board of directors is required to represent the interests of the stock holders. The CEO is required to represent the interests of the business, which which is affected by the staff, product, customers, and board. Of course, the CEO serves at the board's pleasure.

Rick "corporate officer in a former life" Denney

Brian C. Miller
18-Mar-2011, 15:29
Why does it have to be digitized? None of my negatives (or prints for that matter) have ever been scanned and I can think of no reason why they ever will.

If the information is to be shared through a digital medium, it must be digitized. Any sort of digitization counts: scanning, photographing with a digital camera, or whatever else results in a recognizable digital representation. This includes ASCII art (http://www.atariarchives.org/bcc1/showpage.php?page=120).

Since the current popular medium of sharing information is digital, then of course people will use the most convenient tool to share within that medium. Witness the rise of texting, and the resultant devolvement of the written language.

Ben Syverson
18-Mar-2011, 19:21
Witness the rise of texting, and the resultant devolvement of the written language.
You do know they said the same thing about the typewriter, right? :)

Brian C. Miller
18-Mar-2011, 22:34
You do know they said the same thing about the typewriter, right? :)

O tnx 4 dat! dats realy QL 2 knw. i thort txtN wz deth 4 en.
(Lingo2Word (http://www.lingo2word.com/translate.php))

Ben Syverson
18-Mar-2011, 22:38
Lol

John NYC
19-Mar-2011, 03:07
You do know they said the same thing about the typewriter, right? :)

Indeed, language is always changing. It's just that the people who are most worried about it don't read enough (any?) historical literature to understand that.

Ben Syverson
19-Mar-2011, 09:21
Definitely—but while I'm fine with English changing, I certainly don't feel the same way about color film availability!

Sal Santamaura
19-Mar-2011, 10:29
Why does it have to be digitized? None of my negatives (or prints for that matter) have ever been scanned and I can think of no reason why they ever will.


If the information is to be shared through a digital medium, it must be digitized...But the film-originated images don't have to be shared through a digital medium, therefore they don't have to be digitized.


...Since the current popular medium of sharing information is digital, then of course people will use the most convenient tool to share within that medium. Witness the rise of texting, and the resultant devolvement of the written language.Your point seems to be that convenience and popularity of a digital medium leads to devolvement. I agree. That's why I'm glad film doesn't have to be digitized. If I want to share my prints, there are a number of mechanisms available. For example, USPS, UPS and FedEx. :)

John NYC
19-Mar-2011, 11:22
Definitely—but while I'm fine with English changing, I certainly don't feel the same way about color film availability!

Mos def!

rdenney
20-Mar-2011, 20:45
But the film-originated images don't have to be shared through a digital medium, therefore they don't have to be digitized.

Your point seems to be that convenience and popularity of a digital medium leads to devolvement. I agree. That's why I'm glad film doesn't have to be digitized. If I want to share my prints, there are a number of mechanisms available. For example, USPS, UPS and FedEx. :)

No, the point is that users in the mass market prefer to display and share photos using digital means. You don't have to be sensitive to that fact in the decisions you make, but the manufacturers whose business model depends on the mass market do. For you it's optional, for them it's not. And Kodak as a manufacturer has always been rooted in creating and responding to the mass market. The whole point of this thread is to ask whether they can and will change to the reality that the mass market displays and shares their photos digitally, so that film can survive as a niche production rather than die as a mass-market production.

Rick "not thinking this thread is about what Sal has to do" Denney

Sal Santamaura
21-Mar-2011, 08:53
...The whole point of this thread is to ask whether they [Kodak] can and will change to the reality that the mass market displays and shares their photos digitally, so that film can survive as a niche production rather than die as a mass-market production.

Rick "not thinking this thread is about what Sal has to do" DenneyIt seems that HARMAN, with a smaller plant and more flexibility to meet the demands of various non-photographic coating applications, is doing fine marketing film and gelatin silver paper in its niche market. The mass market has no interest in film, regardless of whether it's from Kodak, Ilford or any other manufacturer. It never again will.

It's very unlikely that Kodak is able or willing to change so that its remaining films can survive as niche market items.

Sal "who only used his practices as an illustration of the type of customer a niche film and paper manufacturer ought to target and never thought this thread was about himself" Santamaura :)

rdenney
21-Mar-2011, 09:11
It's very unlikely that Kodak is able or willing to change so that its remaining films can survive as niche market items.

I fear you are correct. It is just not in the American corporate DNA to devolve to a niche market. That's not how those Harvard Biz School graduates keep score.

Rick "wondering if the HBS and its progeny are to blame for the foolishness of corporate America" Denney

Marco Polo
25-Mar-2011, 17:39
I read recently that Kodak is losing money on their inkjet printing, packaging and software units, but the film line is still profitable (although the revenue is falling). So I imagine they will keep film around for a while, since they can't seem to make money on anything else (except maybe lawsuits).

Brian C. Miller
25-Mar-2011, 21:14
Marco, in one of these threads there's a link to a newspaper article which pretty much states the opposite. If Kodak were in the printing, packaging and software business, they would be the darlings of Wall Street. Kodak's shares have risen based on their lawsuit against RIM and Apple (link (http://www.thestreet.com/story/11060748/1/eastman-kodak-after-hours-trading.html)), but in Colorado they are demolishing buildings once use for film production (link (http://www.coloradoan.com/article/20110325/BUSINESS/103250343/Kodak-plans-competitive-future?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE%7Cs)). "We have two thriving businesses on site, color paper finishing and thermal media manufacturing."

Marco Polo
26-Mar-2011, 22:09
Brian,

You might be right, but I read the info on the Bloomberg Business website, and they should know whether those business lines are profitable or not. The article was about the RIMM suit.

Marco Polo
26-Mar-2011, 22:28
If you're interested in Kodak, this is worth reading:

http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2011/feb/04/ceo-says-kodak-on-track/

lenser
26-Mar-2011, 23:17
In 1964, when I was first getting into photography and at the same time was in a junior high civics class, one of our class projects was to learn about the stock market by choosing two company's stocks to follow for a semester as though we were investers. One of mine was Kodak and at the end of the term, it was one of the lowest performers in class with consistent losses.

I didn't keep up with it as a business entity in the intervening years except for the complete fraud of jacking up silver based product prices during the Hunt brothers efforts to corner the silver market. (The fraud part was when a few months later, silver tanked from the mid $50.00 range down to about $5.00 per ounce and yet Kodak made no drop in product prices.) And then there was the enormously expensive debacle with the instant film wars that they lost with Polaroid over copyright infringements.

It feels that over the decades, management has perhaps somewhat consistently pissed away what was once a thriving and honorable company, at least from this person's admittedly limited point of view.

Brian Ellis
27-Mar-2011, 08:55
I read recently that Kodak is losing money on their inkjet printing, packaging and software units, but the film line is still profitable (although the revenue is falling). So I imagine they will keep film around for a while, since they can't seem to make money on anything else (except maybe lawsuits).

Could you give us a link or a cite to what you read? I ask because that isn't exactly what Kodak is saying or what the financial statements show. Kodak's 2010 annual report filed with the SEC shows an operating profit before interest, taxes, etc. from the Film, Photofinishing, and Entertainment Group of $64 million (which unfortunately is a 60% decrease over 2009). But it doesn't show a loss from the Consumer Digital Imaging Group. In fact it shows an operating profit before interest, taxes, etc. of $331 million (an increase of 846% over 2009). So I'm not sure exactly what you're looking at. Of course overall the company continues to produce losses, partly attributable to a goodwill impairment charge from the Film, Photofinishing and Entertainment Group of $646 million in 2010.

Marco Polo
28-Mar-2011, 08:28
Brian,

The business unit that sells film is still making money. The other two units are not yet profitable. The copy below is from the Bloomberg article, which has been updated since I originally read it, but still contains this info:

"The company in January reported 2010 revenue of $7.2 billion, about half the total from 2005, and said two of its three main businesses had losses from continuing operations before interest expense, taxes and other charges.

Perez, CEO since 2005, has said he is using proceeds from intellectual property licensing to invest in the company’s inkjet printing, packaging and software units to blunt falling revenue from camera film."


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-25/kodak-wins-round-in-1-billion-patent-case-against-apple-rim.html

D. Bryant
28-Mar-2011, 11:19
Brian,

The business unit that sells film is still making money. The other two units are not yet profitable. The copy below is from the Bloomberg article, which has been updated since I originally read it, but still contains this info:

"The company in January reported 2010 revenue of $7.2 billion, about half the total from 2005, and said two of its three main businesses had losses from continuing operations before interest expense, taxes and other charges.

Perez, CEO since 2005, has said he is using proceeds from intellectual property licensing to invest in the company’s inkjet printing, packaging and software units to blunt falling revenue from camera film."


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-25/kodak-wins-round-in-1-billion-patent-case-against-apple-rim.html


I don't understand why Perez hasn't been fired. Everything he touches turns to shit. I'm not usually a Kodak basher but I've come to the point where I no longer have any confidence in the company. I realize that companies that are long lived continually need to transform themselves, but Kodak just can't seem to determine what it needs to be or how to get there profitably which brings into scrutiny upper management.

Sadly I think the company is lost.

Don Bryant

Brian Ellis
29-Mar-2011, 09:36
Brian,

The business unit that sells film is still making money. The other two units are not yet profitable. The copy below is from the Bloomberg article, which has been updated since I originally read it, but still contains this info:

"The company in January reported 2010 revenue of $7.2 billion, about half the total from 2005, and said two of its three main businesses had losses from continuing operations before interest expense, taxes and other charges.

Perez, CEO since 2005, has said he is using proceeds from intellectual property licensing to invest in the company’s inkjet printing, packaging and software units to blunt falling revenue from camera film."


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-25/kodak-wins-round-in-1-billion-patent-case-against-apple-rim.html


I understand that the Kodak business unit that sells film is still producing net revenues before interest, taxes, etc. (which actually doesn't necessarily mean it's "making money" or is profitable since there may be non-operating costs or expenses charged to that unit such as the $610 million goodwill write-off I mentioned in my previous message). As for the Bloomberg article as it relates to the Consumer Digital Imaging Group, I don't know what two businesses the author of the Bloomberg article is talking about since he or she didn't specify them and doesn't provide any numbers. But here are the 2010 net operating revenues before interest, taxes, etc. for Kodak's three operating divisions as shown in Kodak's 2010 annual report filed with the SEC:

"Earnings (Loss) from Continuing Operations Before Interest Expense, Other Income (Charges), Net and Income Taxes by Reportable Segment


For the Year Ended December 31, 2010 (in millions)


Consumer Digital Imaging Group Change
$ 331 +846%
Graphic Communications Group
(26 ) +38
Film, Photofinishing and Entertainment Group
64 -60"

If anyone can find an operating loss before interest, taxes, etc. in those numbers for the Digital Imaging Group more power to them. Of course if you take the "other charges" not included in those numbers into account, such as the $610 million goodwill write-off from the film group that I mentioned in my previous message, then the two businesses that had losses were FPEG and Graphic Communications. Or maybe there were "other charges" to the CDIG that would result in an overall loss for the group, I don't know. But regardless of anything else, it seems clear that whatever the author of the Bloomberg article might have said or meant, the CDIG didn't have an operating loss before interest, taxes, etc. for 2010.

Robert Brummitt
29-Mar-2011, 10:45
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iy0l6uscorEH7mcpfwIylFgwMHow?docId=bb5e6af2008a464996536a65f0b52db2

Maybe Kodak is going after bigger fish?

Marco Polo
30-Mar-2011, 19:51
I was curious about what the real earnings from the different Kodak groups were. The info below is from the Kodak website. The fourth quarter seems disappointing to say the least. I think Wall Street is very skeptical that Kodak can be profitable without making so much money on their intellectual property licensing (patents & lawsuits) which obviously won't last forever. Perez may be out as CEO if things don't turnaround by 2012 like he has promised.

• Consumer Digital Imaging Group full-year 2010 sales were $2.739 billion, a 5% increase from the prior year. Full-year earnings from operations for the segment were $330 million, a $295 million increase from the prior year. The year-over-year improvement was driven by intellectual property licensing transactions and improving profitability in Consumer Inkjet, which doubled gross profit dollars from ink during 2010. This was partially offset by declines in Retail Systems Solutions. For the fourth quarter, sales for the segment were $731 million, a decrease from $1.212 billion in the prior-year quarter. Fourth-quarter loss from operations was $57 million, compared with earnings on the same basis of $380 million in the prior-year quarter. These earnings results were primarily driven by a non-recurring intellectual property licensing transaction in the prior-year quarter.

• Graphic Communications Group full-year 2010 sales were $2.681 billion, a 2% decline from the prior year. Full-year loss from operations for the segment was $29 million, a $13 million improvement from the prior-year. The year-over-year earnings improvement was driven by cost improvements in electrophotographic products and lower raw material costs. Fourth- quarter 2010 sales were $757 million, a 3% decline from the fourth quarter of 2009. Fourth-quarter earnings from operations for the segment were $12 million, as compared with $36 million in the year-ago quarter. This earnings decline includes increased investment to support future growth opportunities in Commercial Inkjet and Workflow Software and Services, as well as negative price/mix in digital plates.

• Film, Photofinishing and Entertainment Group full-year 2010 sales were $1.767 billion, a 22% decline from the prior year. Full-year 2010 earnings from operations for the segment were $62 million, compared with $159 million in the prior year. Fourth-quarter sales were $439 million, a 25% decline from the year-ago quarter. Fourth-quarter loss from operations for the segment was $3 million, compared with earnings on the same basis of $53 million in the year-ago period. This decrease in earnings was primarily driven by industry-related declines in volumes and increased raw material costs, partially offset by cost reductions across the segment.

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
31-Mar-2011, 07:12
I was curious about what the real earnings from the different Kodak groups were. The info below is from the Kodak website. The fourth quarter seems disappointing to say the least. I think Wall Street is very skeptical that Kodak can be profitable without making so much money on their intellectual property licensing (patents & lawsuits) which obviously won't last forever. Perez may be out as CEO if things don't turnaround by 2012 like he has promised.

• Consumer Digital Imaging Group full-year 2010 sales were $2.739 billion, a 5% increase from the prior year. Full-year earnings from operations for the segment were $330 million, a $295 million increase from the prior year. The year-over-year improvement was driven by intellectual property licensing transactions and improving profitability in Consumer Inkjet, which doubled gross profit dollars from ink during 2010. This was partially offset by declines in Retail Systems Solutions. For the fourth quarter, sales for the segment were $731 million, a decrease from $1.212 billion in the prior-year quarter. Fourth-quarter loss from operations was $57 million, compared with earnings on the same basis of $380 million in the prior-year quarter. These earnings results were primarily driven by a non-recurring intellectual property licensing transaction in the prior-year quarter.

• Graphic Communications Group full-year 2010 sales were $2.681 billion, a 2% decline from the prior year. Full-year loss from operations for the segment was $29 million, a $13 million improvement from the prior-year. The year-over-year earnings improvement was driven by cost improvements in electrophotographic products and lower raw material costs. Fourth- quarter 2010 sales were $757 million, a 3% decline from the fourth quarter of 2009. Fourth-quarter earnings from operations for the segment were $12 million, as compared with $36 million in the year-ago quarter. This earnings decline includes increased investment to support future growth opportunities in Commercial Inkjet and Workflow Software and Services, as well as negative price/mix in digital plates.

• Film, Photofinishing and Entertainment Group full-year 2010 sales were $1.767 billion, a 22% decline from the prior year. Full-year 2010 earnings from operations for the segment were $62 million, compared with $159 million in the prior year. Fourth-quarter sales were $439 million, a 25% decline from the year-ago quarter. Fourth-quarter loss from operations for the segment was $3 million, compared with earnings on the same basis of $53 million in the year-ago period. This decrease in earnings was primarily driven by industry-related declines in volumes and increased raw material costs, partially offset by cost reductions across the segment.

Where is the packaging division figures?

Marco Polo
31-Mar-2011, 07:29
Bob,

Packaging is part of the Graphic Communications Group.

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
31-Mar-2011, 09:41
Bob,

Packaging is part of the Graphic Communications Group.

"Kodak reaffirms plan to complete transformation by 2012

At its annual investor strategy meeting today, Eastman Kodak Co. executives will detail plans to complete its transformation into a digital company with sustainable profits by 2012.
Kodak said it expects revenue in its core growth businesses – Consumer and Commercial Inkjet printing, Workflow Software and Services, and Packaging Solutions – will more than double in size by the end of 2013. During this time, Kodak will effectively manage its large, cash-producing businesses, and drive toward sustainable, profitable growth on the strength of its unmatched expertise in materials science and digital imaging science, the company said. Consumer Inkjet will achieve positive gross profit dollars during 2011, with full-year positive operational earnings in 2012, and the company’s Commercial Inkjet business will achieve profitability during 2012.
“The success of our core growth businesses demonstrates that our strategy is working,” says Antonio M. Perez, chairman CEO, Kodak. “Over the next three years, we will continue to improve our digital performance, as our core growth businesses begin to achieve profitability this year and turn profitable as a group in 2013. We are also well-positioned in several large and established digital markets, and we are committed to managing those businesses to maximize earnings and cash generation. We have sufficient resources and the financial flexibility necessary to fully implement our strategy and deliver shareholder value.”
For 2011, Kodak is focused on two key financial metrics:
Continue to build the scale of its four digital growth businesses – Consumer and Commercial Inkjet, Workflow Software and Services, and Packaging Solutions – and achieve greater than 40 percent aggregate revenue growth from these businesses.
Achieve positive cash generation before restructuring payments.
On a continuing operations basis, the company is also targeting the following in 2011:
Operational earnings of negative $200 million to breakeven, on total company revenue of between $6.4 billion to $6.7 billion;
2011 GAAP loss from continuing operations in the range of $300 million to $100 million;
A year-end cash balance of $1.5 billion to $1.6 billion, after taking into account all cash actions, including modest debt payments due during 2011.
Kodak’s core digital growth businesses – Consumer and Commercial Inkjet, Workflow Software & Services, and Packaging Solutions – together grew 18 percent during 2010. Between 2011 and 2013, the company expects revenue from these businesses to more than double, with annuity sales, from ink and consumables, growing as a percentage of revenue. In 2013, Kodak expects revenue from these businesses will approach $2.0 billion, with positive earnings.
The company also remains committed to executing its intellectual property strategy, which is focused on achieving three key goals – providing the company with design freedom to develop and introduce innovative, new products; providing Kodak with access to new markets and new partnerships; and continued income and cash generation. From 2008 to 2010, Kodak generated $1.9 billion in revenue from its patent portfolio. Through the planning period, the company expects to generate an average of $250 million to $350 million per year in intellectual property revenue.
Industry-wide demand for digital still cameras is declining, particularly in the point-and-shoot category, while other categories, including pocket video cameras, continue to grow. During 2010, Kodak grew its share of the pocket video camera market by 10 percentage points and today is the number two player. In 2011, Kodak will transform its strategy specific to Digital Capture & Devices by aggressively focusing on the most profitable segments and geographies of this market, trading top-line growth for improved earnings.
Kodak is well-positioned in Retail Systems Solutions and is the market leader with more than 100,000 retail touch-points worldwide. During 2010, Kodak added more than 8,000 new customer touch-points and is enabling direct Facebook connectivity.
The company’s Film, Photofinishing & Entertainment Group (FPEG) has maintained a strong market position in all of its key product categories, and continues to be a cash generator through the planning period. The FPEG portfolio includes Entertainment Imaging products and services, traditional photofinishing, consumer and professional film capture and services, and products for industrial material markets.
For 2011, the company is taking aggressive action to improve the operating results from these businesses. These actions include capitalizing on Kodak’s market-leading position through a continued focus on unsurpassed quality and service and the introduction of innovative, new film products; continuing to aggressively reduce costs in line with industry decline rates; and taking aggressive actions to mitigate silver pricing volatility, including the implementation of an indexed pricing model for key products and a transition to a product portfolio less dependent on silver.
Kodak enters 2011 with sufficient resources and the financial flexibility to fully implement its strategy for profitable growth.
The company’s target business model assumes, on average, a compound annual growth rate for digital revenues of 4 percent from 2011 through 2013, and a total company compound annual revenue growth rate of less than 1 percent during that period.
Kodak’s target model for 2013 includes a total company operational gross profit margin goal of 25 percent to 26 percent. The company’s goal for operational earnings is 6 percent of revenue for the total company.
“Customers are embracing our unique value propositions in new growth markets, our traction is evident, and we are committed to improving earnings and cash performance from our large, established businesses,” says Perez. “Kodak is now a company with a broad portfolio of innovative digital products and services, leading intellectual property, and dedicated employees around the world. I am confident that we will continue to achieve market success, complete our transformation into a sustainable, profitable company, and create significant value for our shareholders.”

John NYC
31-Mar-2011, 17:25
... drive toward sustainable, profitable growth on the strength of its unmatched expertise in materials science and digital imaging science, the company said.

They're headed nowhere if they don't invent something good, and soon.

It is one thing to capitalize on small video cam technology if that is booming, but ultimately that is a commodity business -- fine for keeping the payroll going for a while.

But they ultimately need to pull an Apple and do something "insanely great" with the wealth of knowledge they have across these domains above. No other company except Fuji has that. That is what makes them different than other tech/imaging companies... the materials piece.

Ben Syverson
3-Apr-2011, 18:49
Whoever creates digital sheet film first will own the market... No reason why it shouldn't be Kodak.

Lynn Jones
6-Apr-2011, 16:13
When you go "public" you become a target. When Wallstreet sees the roller coaster ride, regardless of cause, they set about to play their games. At my age I've seen this repeatedly, the company is either destroyed or it retains a name but nothing else and then self destructs. Somehow or other I can see future sales in Kodak gutters and downspouts!

My guess, with 6 decades in the business, and among other things I teach Photo History, that "the street" will take over EK, highly unqualified people will manage, and a series of product curves will be generated. They will decide that dealing with digital is the "in" thing, that some cutesy lower cost products will be emphasized, and then because of the more or less constant reduction of film sales that the "coating alleys" (and they are rather new and very expensive) should be sold and at a fire sale low price. Their mistake, as always, will be based on sales curves rather than market potential with legitimate thoughts towards a fairly "flat" curve of demand. A smart organization will take a look at the surprisingly hard core of film fanaticism and decide that this is good for at least 25 years, if you manage the busines well. Kodak and Fuji dumped very large amounts of research and developent into new films just as digital cameras started to fly high, it was probably not too smart, but some of us liked that just the same. Should the above happen, the break even point for profit would probably much lower than with the Kodak over all heavy weight on it neck, a bit like some of the European companies that always made a profit on smaller sales volume. Looking back a few years, Kodak discontinued b/w photo papers, based on sales curves. The real problem was that Kodak made the worst b/w papers in the industry. Maybe they should have created papers as good as Harman/Ilford and others.

I had over 40 years of professional experience before I started teach pro photography 21 years ago. We have taught 100% digital for over 6 years but I still shoot a small amount of film, especially b/w. I would like to hear what you think.

Lynn

rdenney
6-Apr-2011, 16:25
When you go "public" you become a target. When Wallstreet sees the roller coaster ride, regardless of cause, they set about to play their games.

Dr. Jones, you've hit my biggest complaint about corporate America. They value too much the financial techniques taught at places like the Harvard Business School, based on the assumption that good management needs no domain expertise. Then, they don't listen to the domain experts, and they do whatever they can to build the quarterly financial statement instead of building shareholder value in the long run. Maybe we need to tax capital gains at a higher rate (yes, for me, that is anathema!), and not tax dividends at the income rate as we do now. Then, companies would focus on paying dividends to stockholders rather than focusing solely on capital appreciation. Stock ownership would be more about income and less about capital gains, and companies would focus more on making their business profitable and less on making them bigger.

I recall Robert Townsend (RIP), author of Up The Organization!, offering to be a tour guide at the Harvard Business School in 25 years. He figured business would have wised up and rejected the notion that management technique supersedes domain expertise. He wrote that 35 years ago, so his wish unfortunately did not come true.

Rick "who has seen this from the inside out" Denney

Howard Tanger
6-Apr-2011, 17:14
... The real problem was that Kodak made the worst b/w papers in the industry...Lynn

I beg to differ with you; they made some very fine b/w papers. Howard Tanger

D. Bryant
6-Apr-2011, 21:36
The real problem was that Kodak made the worst b/w papers in the industry.


Lynn

Wow! Such bloviated palaver. Since your statement falls under opinion I'll have to give you a pass even though factually you are incorrect. Kodak made some wonderful B&W paper, as good as anyone but that's not to say Ilford and many others didn't do the same.

Don Bryant

Allen in Montreal
6-Apr-2011, 21:47
I beg to differ with you; they made some very fine b/w papers. Howard Tanger

Kodak made some really great products when they targeted the pro photo market.
Kodak made some junk when they targeted the mass market.
Kodak made something for everyone.
Now Kodak just seems to make stuff to try to please Wall Street.
I miss they days when they tried to please photographers!
Man I loved Kodak back then! :mad:

Brian Ellis
7-Apr-2011, 09:59
Kodak made some really great products when they targeted the pro photo market.
Kodak made some junk when they targeted the mass market.
Kodak made something for everyone.
Now Kodak just seems to make stuff to try to please Wall Street.
I miss they days when they tried to please photographers!
Man I loved Kodak back then! :mad:

Kodak is a company that's trying to survive a seismic shift in the way people do what they made products to do. I have no idea whether they'll be able to survive but I hope they do and I give them credit for trying. So many other companies in their situation just gave up.

Lynn Jones
7-Apr-2011, 14:25
To Howeard and DBryant, i'm sorry that you disagree with me, and thats OK too, however when Kodak folded the B/W papers they had the worst VC papers and not much else. If you tested them grade for grade, there were huge differences from standard. Kodak once made wonderful b/w papers, I used them for a very long time but not in the last couple of years.

The other day I was looking at my paper samples from Kodak (and a long time ago, Ansco), there were stunning choices, not only of types but of surface. I'd sure like to see some Ektalures again, especially X,

Lynn

rguinter
7-Apr-2011, 14:39
They're headed nowhere if they don't invent something good, and soon...

I've followed this thread over the weeks and haven't really made any comments.

But John I think you hit the nail on the head so to speak.

They need an iPod-equivalent innovation.

Bob G.

Brian C. Miller
7-Apr-2011, 15:45
They need an iPod-equivalent innovation.

Right. They need something hip, cool, mass marketable, and somewhat disposable.

They started with cameras and film, dropped the cameras, and now seem to be dropping film. The problem is finding a me-too-killer product. The iPod is a me-too product, but it leap-frogged all of the competition. Sony should have come out with the killer MP3 player, but they didn't. The iPhone is a me-too product, but it was so different, and it was from Apple, that everybody jumped on it.

Anoto produced digital paper and pen. The only advance from that would be the flex display technology, from E Ink. But where is Kodak in that?

The current Kodak film tech is amazing. When I saw what their motion picture film can do, I was amazed. Too bad it isn't available in sheet size. But film no longer has mind-share. Film exists for niche markets, and fortunately one of those markets is the motion picture industry.

So back to hip, cool, mass marketable, and somewhat disposable.

Ed Kelsey
7-Apr-2011, 15:57
They should just invest in Apple stock and give up making things.

Ivan J. Eberle
7-Apr-2011, 17:19
So long as we're to use the Apple Computer analogy-- remember that most everyone counted Apple as down-for-the-count for more than a decade while the WinTel juggernaut grew and grew like Topsy. Investors wrung their hands as Apple plodded along as a niche "artist-designer" brand with no more than about 5% of the market share. A trifling $4B annual sales company making a niche product.

Pretty nice position to be in, actually, waiting for a breakout moment with a few key products and a CEO change.

First HDD iPod was something completely different than the traditional core business, arriving in an already crowded field where they were not the originators nor particularly innovative, at first. Almost an ugly duckling compared to what was already available.

They seized the moment, largely by tapping into fierce brand loyalty--and a personality cult. (Said as I type this on a MBP).

rguinter
7-Apr-2011, 17:59
They should just invest in Apple stock and give up making things.

Probably too late for that.

Those that invested in Apple when it was in the crapper are the ones that cashed in.

Bob G.

Curt
7-Apr-2011, 20:26
Kodak is out of iPod innovations, what they need is a guy named Jobs, Steve Jobs, a total control freak that steers the company into the the current century. Screw the inkjet business, they can't come in this late in the game and put out junky products just because they are painted yellow and black.

A real innovation would be to put the film division on it's own and create a more streamlined version like Harmon's Ilford. Right now they have product confusion. I am no longer looking to see what Kodak has, I go straight to Ilford and the other brands. When they killed paper and the really time tested great films that was the time they called it quits.

Kodak has been a has been now for a few decades.

Ben Syverson
8-Apr-2011, 13:43
Probably too late for that.

Those that invested in Apple when it was in the crapper are the ones that cashed in.

Bob G.
off-topic, but...

I remember when Apple shot from $20 to $40. I kicked myself and said "damn, I missed the boat." Then it split and went to $80, and I thought, "geez, this time I really really missed the boat." Etc, etc, etc...

Apple is down about $30 from its recent peak. Not to spoil the surprise, but I guarantee they're working on cool new products as we speak.

This is certainly not investment advice, but... there's never a bad time to get into Apple.