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Thread: Kodak Financial Woes Deepen: Film Future?

  1. #1
    Jim Sidinger
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    Kodak Financial Woes Deepen: Film Future?

    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.

  2. #2

    Re: Kodak Financial Woes Deepen: Film Future?

    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.

  3. #3

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    Re: Kodak Financial Woes Deepen: Film Future?

    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).

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    Re: Kodak Financial Woes Deepen: Film Future?

    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.

  5. #5
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Kodak Financial Woes Deepen: Film Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Graybeard View Post
    ///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

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    Re: Kodak Financial Woes Deepen: Film Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Graybeard View Post
    ...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

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    Re: Kodak Financial Woes Deepen: Film Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh View Post
    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

  8. #8
    tgtaylor's Avatar
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    Re: Kodak Financial Woes Deepen: Film Future?

    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...41-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

    Thomas

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    Re: Kodak Financial Woes Deepen: Film Future?

    time for a bailout?
    look how many new cars gm came out with last year!

  10. #10
    multi format
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    Re: Kodak Financial Woes Deepen: Film Future?

    ...
    Last edited by jnanian; 5-Mar-2011 at 19:16. Reason: nvm

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