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View Full Version : Following Ilford's Lead, KODAK Response



Tin Can
11-Jul-2019, 12:26
It cannot be a coincidence that KODAK just fired an email to me with their story, right after we all started praising ILFORD's video, posted today in the other thread above.



We Took You To The Moon by KODAK (https://www.kodak.com/US/en/corp/campaign/apollo/default.htm?utm_source=yesmail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=consumer&utm_content=20190710_apolloanniversary_us_kodakmissionlearnmore&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=consumer&utm_content=20190710_apolloanniversary_us_kodakmissionlearnmore)

Tin Can
11-Jul-2019, 12:31
And coordinated with https://www.eastman.org/events/Workshops

I don't believe in coincidence.

Drew Wiley
11-Jul-2019, 12:57
There's a difference. Ilford has done a good job telling us who they are; Kodak is telling us who they once were. It takes more than a marketing dept to keep pace. Let's hope they can figure out a justification to produce E6 sheet film again. But it won't be affordable for many, so a gamble. I depend on their color neg as well as TMax products.

Tin Can
11-Jul-2019, 13:03
Obviously

neil poulsen
11-Jul-2019, 18:01
Constancy of purpose . . .

Ilford has it.

Kodak doesn't.

Peter Collins
11-Jul-2019, 19:33
Neil puts his finger on it!

Duolab123
11-Jul-2019, 22:42
It cannot be a coincidence that KODAK just fired an email to me with their story, right after we all started praising ILFORD's video, posted today in the other thread above.



We Took You To The Moon by KODAK (https://www.kodak.com/US/en/corp/campaign/apollo/default.htm?utm_source=yesmail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=consumer&utm_content=20190710_apolloanniversary_us_kodakmissionlearnmore&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=consumer&utm_content=20190710_apolloanniversary_us_kodakmissionlearnmore)

Still cool

mpirie
12-Jul-2019, 01:37
Still cool, yes, but so sad to see how the short film was all about what Kodak has done in the past but nothing about what they are doing for the future to capitalise on the history, experience and skills they have in support of film.

Mike

Tim V
12-Jul-2019, 02:09
Iíll tell you what they are doing: killing their sheet film sales with crazy prices for only 10 sheets per pack - at least in 8z10Ē.

As much as I love their film, itís a hard sale especially for someone like me who only shoots in larger sheet sizes. Maybe their facilities and infrastructure is just too big to maintain at current output?

interneg
12-Jul-2019, 02:28
I’ll tell you what they are doing: killing their sheet film sales with crazy prices for only 10 sheets per pack - at least in 8z10”.

As much as I love their film, it’s a hard sale especially for someone like me who only shoots in larger sheet sizes. Maybe their facilities and infrastructure is just too big to maintain at current output?

Or maybe Ilford is prepared to barely make a profit on 8x10 sheets. You might not like it, but those Kodak prices are more in line with historic norms (just not the distorted 1990's). Mirko Boedekker of Adox has been quite outspoken about the necessity of paying more realistic prices relative to market share if we are to see investment in the future of film photography. The idea of 8x10 as being somehow affordable is largely a hangover from the collapse of film sales in the early 2000's.

Pere Casals
12-Jul-2019, 03:28
Or maybe Ilford is prepared to barely make a profit on 8x10 sheets. You might not like it, but those Kodak prices are more in line with historic norms (just not the distorted 1990's). Mirko Boedekker of Adox has been quite outspoken about the necessity of paying more realistic prices relative to market share if we are to see investment in the future of film photography. The idea of 8x10 as being somehow affordable is largely a hangover from the collapse of film sales in the early 2000's.

IMHO sheets and rolls have very similar ex-factory costs, emulsion and coating work to make master rolls is the same, what varies is the base material/thickness and the packaging which has a ridiculous cost difference in the final cost.

Simply different manufacturers have different marketing policies in the different product segments, that's all.

Of course Fuji and Kodak are free to do what they want, but to me it's painful that they punish LF photographers in that way because they discourage newcomers, not a problem with BW because we have alternatives, but they clearly damage Color LF popularity with their policies.

We can consider that sheets are a byproduct of the roll film industry, it's roll film volume what allows the production of the emulsions. From that ilford is thinking in the long term to supply/support amateurs and artists. Fuji and Kodak were insanely big multinationals wanting to survive the digital earthquake, present sales are a surprise for them, they simply don't know why they are still selling film.

Fuji and Kodak should learn how the present market is.

_______

Something it's clear, once we have the emulsion coated on master rolls, making sheets it's a kid's game, you need very simple/cheap machinery compared to rolls. You can convert master rolls in boxed sheets with a 3m long simple machine, but see the making of rolls in the video...

mpirie
12-Jul-2019, 05:03
Iíll tell you what they are doing: killing their sheet film sales with crazy prices for only 10 sheets per pack - at least in 8z10Ē.
It's the same with 5x4 film prices.

In the UK, 50 sheets of FP4+ is currently £72 ($90) whereas 50 sheets of TMax 100 is currently £136 ($170)......so, much as i like TMax 100 in sheet film, the difference to FP4+ makes the decision easy.

Mike

Tin Can
12-Jul-2019, 05:51
I quit 35mm film 20 years ago for Digital

Since 2011 I have used Large Format film as a difficult retirement hobby.

Initially I used a lot of X-Ray film (Made by KODAK) to cheaply learn LF camera quirks, film handling, exposure, and processing. I still use it and KODAK still makes X-Ray for a while...buy now!

I denigrated KODAK 'real' film pricing and availability on this forum. Very little feedback...

Now, I buy special order KODAK film which is a real PITA and Ilford SO which is less a PITA.

Also just placed a SO for Chinese film. That source may be in trouble too.

KODAK still makes a superior product and prices keep climbing.

I waste less...




KODAK watches us here as do all other principles. :cool:

interneg
12-Jul-2019, 06:55
Fuji and Kodak should learn how the present market is.


They know what it is, you're making wild guesses. Fuji has had to learn to scale just as Ilford & Kodak had to. A minimum coating quantity on the big M14 type of machine will potentially make 100,000+ 4x5 sheets - and until recently Kodak & Fuji emulsion makes were usually scaled to at least 3-5x minimum quantity.

Suffice to say, the 8x10 film market is not really interested in the handful-of-sheets-a-year-as-cheaply-as-possible segment.

BrianShaw
12-Jul-2019, 07:14
Itís a shame that gift horses have mouths!

Tin Can
12-Jul-2019, 07:19
Explain



Itís a shame that gift horses have mouths!

paulbarden
12-Jul-2019, 08:15
it’s a shame that gift horses have mouths!

lol!

Pere Casals
12-Jul-2019, 10:14
They know what it is, you're making wild guesses.

Kodak discontinued Ektachrome, later they manufactured it again. Fuji discontinued all Acros, later they are to manufacture it again... Instead promoting film usage they spend money in closing and re-opening product lines.

They destroyed their BW paper product lines... ilford now has nearly a monopoly in the high quality silver paper with an extense product range...

Kodak is now destroying its market share in the BW LF segment, not realizing what is the cost in prestige terms.

In the other side Ilford makes custom ULF cuts once per year, probably it's not a big business, but they make happy many customers, this is a great PR initiative.

Also ilford sources top quality silver paper, those still printing in the DR are grateful. This is building solid PR for the company and making a bet for the long term.


Yes, I reiterate, LF market has changed in favour of a manufacturer that supports its customers and understands the new market situation. Now film is not a necessary product, it is purchased by enthusiasts, and the way you sell a product to an enthusiast is different.



A minimum coating quantity on the big M14 type of machine will potentially make 100,000+ 4x5 sheets - and until recently Kodak & Fuji emulsion makes were usually scaled to at least 3-5x minimum quantity.

If ilford sells D100 sheets at similar per surface price than rolls then kodak and fuji can also do it, master rolls can be frozen, a big master roll can be splitted in smaller rolls if necessary, and starting an even small packaging run for sheets has little fixed costs, two or three people operating a simple packaging machine may produce sheet boxes worth $1 million in a single day.

Absolutely there is no cost justification for a x2 overprice in the sheets, every one is free to say the price for his products, then customers decide. But it is a big lie that sheets have to cost x2 because ex-factory cost is higher, this is simply a lie.



Suffice to say, the 8x10 film market is not really interested in the handful-of-sheets-a-year-as-cheaply-as-possible segment.

Others I don't know, me... I'm using HP5 for 8x10", I would keep shooting TMY if price was not x2, now I'm very happy with HP5. Also I'd be shooting Velvia 8x10", instead I shot it in 120 format (6x9cm) that's nicely priced, I plan to move to 6x12cm that matches monitor's format.

I moved from kodak to ilford when I moved from MF to LF, I guess that I'm not alone. Also Fuji and Kodak products are very expensive in the EU compared with USA, as a customer I feel abandoned by those brands, I guess they should ensure an efficient commercial chain in the EU.

Drew Wiley
12-Jul-2019, 13:48
I don't think we're comparing apples to apples here. Kodak also needs to coat color films in their facilities, and there are certain features of some of their films that are relatively deluxe - more scratch resistance, special improved sheet base for sake of scanning optimization. But Kodak is, alas, also attached to the hangman's noose of a formerly big octopus of a publicly traded corporation. They can't just turn a profit; it's not that simple. They gotta at least pretend to look good to potential investors, even if only three fingers are still wiggling around above the quicksand. Then as demand has gone down for film volume, lots of the raw materials have gone way up in the past decade of so; lower demand for the coating base drives up its pricing too. Then just look at that Ilford plant tour again; maintenance expense of that thing must be substantial. And with very high-quality color products also involved, with no doubt even higher maintenance and hazmat issues, Kodak must have an even stiffer bill. So which did I invest in? A freezer! I'll still keep shooting 8x10 color as well as b&w, but not nearly as much of it. So I'm not really helping their sales a lot. I do use quite a bit of Ilford b&w paper, but my color paper dollars go to Fuji.

pepeguitarra
12-Jul-2019, 17:22
Are they saying that we actually went to the moon?

Drew Wiley
12-Jul-2019, 17:32
I have a friend who bought into that whole "moon hoax" nonsense. I had to keep my mouth shut. That very afternoon my wife was taking cookies to one of her former patients who happens to be one of the last living members of the Apollo team, now about 97, who was in charge of both a lot of the guidance system as well as design and training - a former test pilot and alternate astronaut, but also an aeronautical engineer. Still sharp as a whistle. About a year and a half ago he told me every single Apollo craft was customized to the specific crew; so it was hard to substitute members on specific missions. But he didn't seem very interested in talking cameras, though he knew quite a few specifics.

pepeguitarra
12-Jul-2019, 21:49
I understand most of the glass taken into space and for observatories is ZEISS.

Tim V
13-Jul-2019, 02:38
Iíd buy 8x10Ē tri-x and T-max if it was sold in 25 sheet packs and it was no more than 33% more than HP5 or Bergger. Theyíd be making more money off me right off that bat there, and saving on packaging and overall shipping outlay. But alas they donít and wonít, and if what you say is correct then maybe other manufacturers will follow suit. Itíd be like cutting their nose off to spite their face though, at least in my opinion.

I buy Portra regardless, but do wish it was in larger sheet quantity packs.

Tin Can
13-Jul-2019, 04:14
I prefer even # packs of any sheet film.

25 always leaves me wanting one more sheet.

10, 20, 50, 100 sheet packs are logical.

Tim V
13-Jul-2019, 04:20
Yes, very true!

BrianShaw
13-Jul-2019, 06:03
I prefer even # packs of any sheet film.

25 always leaves me wanting one more sheet.

10, 20, 50, 100 sheet packs are logical.

Buy two...

Drew Wiley
13-Jul-2019, 12:22
Pepeguitarra - what was taken to the moon back then was just a modified Hassie, so Zeiss optics would be natural. But customized optics were taking over. I worked alongside the fellow who made the Pioneer satellite optics, after he left NASA. Nobody back in the moon landing days would have even dreamed of the kinds of optics technology being used today for space research.Lots of it is being made here in the Bay Area, just a few minutes from where I live. A single project might involve more money than everything sold under Zeiss label could garner over decades. It takes big national and even international budgets to do that. In some of these projects glass has been replaced by composite mirrors which can be readjusted, slightly changing shape thousands of times a second.

ic-racer
13-Jul-2019, 12:30
Or maybe Ilford is prepared to barely make a profit on 8x10 sheets. You might not like it, but those Kodak prices are more in line with historic norms (just not the distorted 1990's). Mirko Boedekker of Adox has been quite outspoken about the necessity of paying more realistic prices relative to market share if we are to see investment in the future of film photography. The idea of 8x10 as being somehow affordable is largely a hangover from the collapse of film sales in the early 2000's.

You are satisfied with pricing when 1600 square inches of film cost 2.5 times more when packaged in a box than a perforated roll, that is great.

Drew Wiley
13-Jul-2019, 12:42
Sheet film base is way thicker and a different material anyway. It costs considerably more to make per square inch. But having to pay for yet another box per ten sheets is something of a ruse. Hard to say what they were thinking.

invisibleflash
13-Jul-2019, 13:34
There's a difference. Ilford has done a good job telling us who they are; Kodak is telling us who they once were. It takes more than a marketing dept to keep pace. Let's hope they can figure out a justification to produce E6 sheet film again. But it won't be affordable for many, so a gamble. I depend on their color neg as well as TMax products.

Yes, Kodak was something in their day. But nostalgia only goes so far.

Jac@stafford.net
13-Jul-2019, 13:41
Pere, submit your resume to Kodak and Fuji and keep us informed.

Jac@stafford.net
13-Jul-2019, 13:42
Yes, Kodak was something in their day. But nostalgia only goes so far.

Nostalgia is future-proof. :) Not.

Jac@stafford.net
13-Jul-2019, 13:53
How many clients ask for 8x10 media? Almost none. It is an enthusiast's format and I think all competent film makers consider our interest as a tiny, fragile, diminishing market. Perhaps they wish we would just collapse under economic duress. It seems likely.

Bob Salomon
13-Jul-2019, 16:14
How many clients ask for 8x10 media? Almost none. It is an enthusiast's format and I think all competent film makers consider our interest as a tiny, fragile, diminishing market. Perhaps they wish we would just collapse under economic duress. It seems likely.

And they look at their film sales!

Drew Wiley
13-Jul-2019, 18:42
I have reason to suspect far more of their 8x10 film, TMX in particular, still goes to certain industrial applications rather than our kind of usage. But as long as they're coating master rolls of certain emulsions for sake of sheet film, it's means that particular operation is somehow profitable. How they slice it into sizes afterwards is a lesser issue. You've got three superb color neg products being sized in 8x10 to choose from, and three excellent black and white options routinely available. I wouldn't complain. If you're taking the trouble to tote around a heavy 8x10 camera, they're doing you the favor of diminishing your cumulative weight load by significantly lightening your wallet.

Pere Casals
14-Jul-2019, 03:06
How many clients ask for 8x10 media? Almost none. It is an enthusiast's format and I think all competent film makers consider our interest as a tiny, fragile, diminishing market. Perhaps they wish we would just collapse under economic duress. It seems likely.

This is not the ilford's case, they serve 8x10" customers at similar per surface price than 120 format, and they even make custom ULF cuts once per year. Not a big business, I guess, but sure they have no loss and they keep alive ULF and promote 8x10".

This is serving customers fairly and developing CRM/PR: "specifically focusing on customer retention and ultimately driving sales growth". Chapeau!


____________________


Instead, Kodak/Fuji look focused in taking all possible money from last sheet film users. I would be happy to see Kodak/Fuji making a bet for the long term in the LF segment, they require some faith to change their minding.

This 2019 a Velvia 8x10" slide is the most powerful media on earth, not the most convenient way to take an image but most excellent way, and they are focused in closing that product line.

The short term yield they obtain from doubling price in that small sheet market is ridiculous, they end on low sales and probably fixed costs of the product line takes a big share.

I'd say them: don't kill that. You have a junior class marketing officer increasing profit by a ridiculous amount in the short short term but killing something important for the company, its roots and its supreme excellence.

IMHO they are not aware about what they are killing.

Tin Can
14-Jul-2019, 05:11
Sheet film must be cheaper to make, cut and box than any roll film.

10 sheet boxes are a marketing scam to hook youth with 'samples'.

Bob Salomon
14-Jul-2019, 05:18
This is not the ilford's case, they serve 8x10" customers at similar per surface price than 120 format, and they even make custom ULF cuts once per year. Not a big business, I guess, but sure they have no loss and they keep alive ULF and promote 8x10".

This is serving customers fairly and developing CRM/PR: "specifically focusing on customer retention and ultimately driving sales growth". Chapeau!


____________________


Instead, Kodak/Fuji look focused in taking all possible money from last sheet film users. I would be happy to see Kodak/Fuji making a bet for the long term in the LF segment, they require some faith to change their minding.

This 2019 a Velvia 8x10" slide is the most powerful media on earth, not the most convenient way to take an image but most excellent way, and they are focused in closing that product line.

The short term yield they obtain from doubling price in that small sheet market is ridiculous, they end on low sales and probably fixed costs of the product line takes a big share.

I'd say them: don't kill that. You have a junior class marketing officer increasing profit by a ridiculous amount in the short short term but killing something important for the company, its roots and its supreme excellence.

IMHO they are not aware about what they are killing.

Are you naive enough to believe that Kodak management is not aware of how much 810 film is currently used and where? Or is your belief based on what you want to see without knowledge of the actual state of the current 810 market.

Pere Casals
14-Jul-2019, 06:13
Are you naive enough to believe that Kodak management is not aware of how much 810 film is currently used and where?

They are aware, they see how ilford is taking their LF customers, but they still prefer selling a lot less with higher profit per box, it is a good policy in the short term and a good general policy if you are to close a product line, this is taking as much money you can now from (semi) "captive" customers, but it's a bad policy in the long term because you are to destroy the customer base.

Isn't it?



Or is your belief based on what you want to see without knowledge of the actual state of the current 810 market.

This is not kodak's 8x10" policy, for 4x5" have the same policy. It is kodak's sheet film policy.


...but as 8x10" is x4 times more expensive than 45 I guess it has a greater discouraging impact in the king format. In the color segment the thing is crazy

This is what has Fotoimpex today in the EU:

193254


Read it well, they even prefer not having stock, back order. This is $31 per sheet, this is x4 times more expensive than the same surface in 120 format, today in the EU a 120 roll of Portra 160 is $8 (free shipping):

193253


Well, if kodak is not destroying the LF color photography in the EU... what the hell are they doing ?

I'm in the EU, kodak is telling me: look, don't buy our LF products, we have this price because we don't want you buy that, good bye dear customer.

_______

Kodak should be selling the 10 sheets Portra 8x10" box for 72€, if following the ilford's policy to keep "per surface" price. In that case perhaps they would be helping popularity of LF color photography, at 275€ they are killing it, clearly.

At 275€ they may have a $150 additional profit per box, but they don't sell a single one, as you guessed.

Bob Salomon
14-Jul-2019, 06:55
They are aware, they see how ilford is taking their LF customers, but they still prefer selling a lot less with higher profit per box, it is a good policy in the short term and a good general policy if you are to close a product line, this is taking as much money you can now from (semi) "captive" customers, but it's a bad policy in the long term because you are to destroy the customer base.

Isn't it?




This is not kodak's 8x10" policy, for 4x5" have the same policy. It is kodak's sheet film policy.


...but as 8x10" is x4 times more expensive than 45 I guess it has a greater discouraging impact in the king format. In the color segment the thing is crazy

This is what has Fotoimpex today in the EU:

193254


Read it well, they even prefer not having stock, back order. This is $31 per sheet, this is x4 times more expensive than the same surface in 120 format, today in the EU a 120 roll of Portra 160 is $8 (free shipping):

193253


Well, if kodak is not destroying the LF color photography in the EU... what the hell are they doing ?

I'm in the EU, kodak is telling me: look, don't buy our LF products, we have this price because we don't want you buy that, good bye dear customer.

_______

Kodak should be selling the 10 sheets Portra 8x10" box for 72Ä, if following the ilford's policy to keep "per surface" price. In that case perhaps they would be helping popularity of LF color photography, at 275Ä they are killing it, clearly.

At 275Ä they may have a $150 additional profit per box, but they don't sell a single one, as you guessed.

Nonsense!

Tin Can
14-Jul-2019, 07:05
Maybe kodak sells NOS and doesn't make any new film...

The End Is Near

perhaps

Fred L
14-Jul-2019, 07:36
I don't shoot much 8x10 any more but for me, it costs what it costs and while the price is dear, I'll keep buying Kodak film. While Ilford is selling due to their pricing (in part), I wonder if they're making much money at all, or just getting by (re:sheet films).

docw
14-Jul-2019, 10:49
It cannot be a coincidence that KODAK just fired an email to me with their story, right after we all started praising ILFORD's video, posted today in the other thread above.



We Took You To The Moon by KODAK (https://www.kodak.com/US/en/corp/campaign/apollo/default.htm?utm_source=yesmail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=consumer&utm_content=20190710_apolloanniversary_us_kodakmissionlearnmore&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=consumer&utm_content=20190710_apolloanniversary_us_kodakmissionlearnmore)

I believe there is a coincidence here. It is the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, almost to the day. I don't think Kodak whipped this up at the last minute as a response to Ilford. Don't look for a conspiracy here! :cool:

Tin Can
14-Jul-2019, 11:31
I believe all conspiracies

😎

Drew Wiley
14-Jul-2019, 20:28
Everything is a conspiracy. They always told us the moon is made of green cheese. But with all those holes n craters, it has to be Swiss cheese instead.

Michael Kadillak
16-Jul-2019, 19:57
Lots of bold assumptions / conclusions of business models from people that have not been in any of these companies boardrooms. Same diatribes from 10 years ago. There is an old business / commodity trading axiom that makes sense in this application.

Forget what you believe and believe what you see.

Buy a large chest freezer and hedge your commitment to film. Stock up and make photographs. Repeat the cycle as often as possible.

Drew Wiley
17-Jul-2019, 14:02
Having personally met and discussed details with quite a few manufacturing CEO's, I know first hand that there is no need for conspiracies when greed combined with sheer incompetence lies behind numerous modern corporate failures. Same category of facts as 10 or 20 years ago. My freezer is decently stocked up due to exactly that kind of apprehension. My plan is to slowly empty it until at last there's room for me in it, preferably embalmed in amidol.

MAubrey
17-Jul-2019, 14:38
Fuji discontinued all Acros, later they are to manufacture it again... Instead promoting film usage they spend money in closing and re-opening product lines.
Fuji discontinued the original Acros because some of the materials used in its production were difficult to obtain. So they had to reformulate it in order to rerelease it. They're not closing and opening product lines randomly; there are other forces at work here,.

Ilford had to do the same with their Harman Direct Positive Paper. It was gone from the market for a few years before they were able to restart it again.

Pere Casals
17-Jul-2019, 14:42
Forget what you believe and believe what you see.

Michael, what I see is what everybody may notice. Ilford has a pricing policy that is mostly based in the film surface you buy, (so probably based on ex-factory cost), while Kodak/Fuji were punishing LF photographers with x2 "per surface" overprice for the LF products compared to rolls.

Recently Kodak has modified their pricing policy (in the US at least) for BW film and they charge only a 50% more for LF, well... this is a better situation.

In the color negative LF segment they have no competition and Portra 160 in sheets is still x2 more expensive than in 120 rolls ($15.5 a 8x10" sheet vs $7 a 120 roll).


Those are the facts, what we see.

Bob Salomon
17-Jul-2019, 14:53
Michael, what I see is what everybody may notice. Ilford has a pricing policy that is mostly based in the film surface you buy, (so probably based on ex-factory cost), while Kodak/Fuji were punishing LF photographers with x2 "per surface" overprice for the LF products compared to rolls.

Recently Kodak has modified their pricing policy (in the US at least) for BW film and they charge only a 50% more for LF, well... this is a better situation.

In the color negative LF segment they have no competition and Portra 160 in sheets is still x2 more expensive than in 120 rolls ($15.5 a 8x10" sheet vs $7 a 120 roll).


Those are the facts, what we see.

The fact is that Ilford or Kodak or Fuji, or any other company, bases their prices based on what gives them an acceptable return on investment. Not what it costs per linear surface area.

Raw material costs, tools, R&D, insurance, labor, property, taxes, utilities, environmental costs, inventory, sales force, tech costs, shows, displays, POS costs, profit, legal, accounting, marketing, advertising, conventions, sales meetings, training, office costs, etc, etc, etc..

Pere Casals
17-Jul-2019, 14:58
Fuji discontinued the original Acros because some of the materials used in its production were difficult to obtain. So they had to reformulate it in order to rerelease it.

They had no need to discontinue Acros, changing some ingredients in the emulsion does not require to discontinue production and to make loyal cusmtomers move to another film. You make a master roll with the old emulsion and the next one with the following batch of the improved emulsion.




Ilford had to do the same with their Harman Direct Positive Paper. It was gone from the market for a few years before they were able to restart it again.

Not exactly the same. In that case the separate company Ilford Imaging Switzerland GmbH crashed in 2013, and ilford UK could not manufacture it, it was not a regular product discontinuation but the bankruptcy of an indpendent company that was sourcing ilford UK.

Pere Casals
17-Jul-2019, 15:08
Raw material costs, tools, R&D, insurance, labor, property, taxes, utilities, environmental costs, inventory, sales force, tech costs, shows, displays, POS costs, profit, legal, accounting, marketing, advertising, conventions, sales meetings, training, office costs, etc, etc, etc..

Bob, having the emulsion layers ready for rolls there is no investment to make sheets. A machine cutting rolls into sheets is very low technology, and they have a lot of those machines lying idle around.




The fact is that Ilford or Kodak or Fuji, or any other company, bases their prices based on what gives them an acceptable return on investment. Not what it costs per linear surface area.

In this case there is no "an acceptable return on investment" criterion, the sheets are a byproduct from rolls, having the emulsion for rolls... you spend a few gallons to make some sheets.

Here the pricing criterion is "more profit now" or "expanding the LF customer base" for the long term. This is IMHO.

Bob Salomon
17-Jul-2019, 15:12
Bob, having the emulsion layers ready for rolls there is no investment to make sheets. A machine cutting rolls into sheets is very low technology, and they have a lot of those machines lying idle around.


Sheet film and roll films are on different bases, you would have broken 35mm or mf cameras trying to transport sheet film base film through those cameras.




In this case there is no "an acceptable return on investment" criterion, the sheets are a byproduct from rolls, having the emulsion for rolls... you spend a few gallons to make some sheets.

Here the pricing criterion is "more profit now" or "expanding the LF customer base" for the long term. This is IMHO.

Pere Casals
17-Jul-2019, 15:55
Sheet film and roll films are on different bases, you would have broken 35mm or mf cameras trying to transport sheet film base film through those cameras.

Of course, but coating technique is just the same, you simply coat on a base or the other to make the master roll. Even TMX and TMY have different base films, TMX kind blocks UV.

In theory a coating machine accepts any film base, but perhaps some material/thickness require a minimum diameter in the rollers/drums.

interneg
17-Jul-2019, 16:02
Of course, but coating technique is just the same, you simply coat on a base or the other to make the master roll. Even TMX and TMY have different base films, TMX kind blocks UV.

In theory a coating machine accepts any film base, but perhaps some material/thickness require a minimum diameter in the rollers/drums.

It's a question of minimum length, not roll diameter when coating. And have you actually tested the TMX sheet base for incorporated UV blocker? Every colour neg & pos film has a process surviving UV blocker layer in the topcoat. Adding that to the TMX coating package will have been much easier than making a custom polyester base material - and a unique base is highly unlikely when the same substrate is used across all of Kodak's sheet films.

interneg
17-Jul-2019, 16:23
They had no need to discontinue Acros, changing some ingredients in the emulsion does not require to discontinue production and to make loyal cusmtomers move to another film. You make a master roll with the old emulsion and the next one with the following batch of the improved emulsion.

Ilford went through this with XP2 Super a few years ago - they had to alter components to comply with regulatory changes. They stated that although they had coated sufficient stock to last through the R&D period, if demand rose significantly or the R&D lasted longer than expected, there would be a gap in supply. Fuji is known to use tellurium & selenium in their emulsions as LIRF controls & if a regulatory change affected those & the R&D is potentially lengthy and extremely expensive compared to the seeming market share of the product...





Not exactly the same. In that case the separate company Ilford Imaging Switzerland GmbH crashed in 2013, and ilford UK could not manufacture it, it was not a regular product discontinuation but the bankruptcy of an indpendent company that was sourcing ilford UK.

It was almost entirely the complexity of re-manufacturing the nucleation component in the emulsion - direct positive emulsions are extremely complex & they had to learn to both make it & make it work well on a different manufacturing plant. Ilford had access to the formula, but it obviously took some intense research to get it to work.

Bob Salomon
17-Jul-2019, 16:26
Of course, but coating technique is just the same, you simply coat on a base or the other to make the master roll. Even TMX and TMY have different base films, TMX kind blocks UV.

In theory a coating machine accepts any film base, but perhaps some material/thickness require a minimum diameter in the rollers/drums.

Instead of your continually preaching to the choir why donít you take your theory directly to the sources and ask upper level management at Kodak, Fuji and Ilford about your Don Quixote crusade?

MAubrey
17-Jul-2019, 16:28
They had no need to discontinue Acros, changing some ingredients in the emulsion does not require to discontinue production and to make loyal cusmtomers move to another film. You make a master roll with the old emulsion and the next one with the following batch of the improved emulsion.
...uh...

Not exactly the same. In that case the separate company Ilford Imaging Switzerland GmbH crashed in 2013, and ilford UK could not manufacture it, it was not a regular product discontinuation but the bankruptcy of an indpendent company that was sourcing ilford UK.
That's a good point. It's kind of like how pierogi from Ukraine isn't exactly the same as pierogi from Poland..

interneg
17-Jul-2019, 16:28
Instead of your continually preaching to the choir why don’t you take your theory directly to the sources and ask upper level management at Kodak, Fuji and Ilford about your Don Quixote crusade?

He could go to Photrio and ask, but probably wouldn't like the answer from people who made the stuff.

Drew Wiley
17-Jul-2019, 16:51
Pere seems to have an amazing amount of inside knowledge, and must have some very skilled industrial spies on his payroll. I'd hate to see someone at Fuji or Harman go to the firing squad just for throwing a note with an emulsion formula on it into the trashcan.
Or maybe two halves of a secret are smuggled out on two matching torn pieces of a cereal box top. I remember something about "lenses" during one of those incidents.

Pere Casals
17-Jul-2019, 16:59
Instead of your continually preaching to the choir why don’t you take your theory directly to the sources and ask upper level management at Kodak, Fuji and Ilford about your Don Quixote crusade?

:) I did it !

I e-mailed several kodak product managers to explain them my point of view. Just I told them that their pricing policy for LF film looks good if they are to close, but if not a better choice it would be expanding the customer base with a popular pricing.

Of course I got no answer from them...



Pere seems to have an amazing amount of inside knowledge, and must have some very skilled industrial spies on his payroll. I'd hate to see someone at Fuji or Harman go to the firing squad just for throwing a note with an emulsion formula on it into the trashcan.


Drew, just read (if you haven't) Making Kodak Film book. Another interesting book for you is "Innovating Out of Crisis: How Fujifilm Survived (and Thrived) As Its Core Business Was Vanishing"

193353

Just read those two books...




It's a question of minimum length, not roll diameter when coating.

There is no minimum roll length, you can coat 1m if you want. Auxiliary/Reusable film bands can be used for leading and trailing the coated section. Of course a manufacturer will decide what is the most cost effective coating batch depending on consumption, financial cost of having the manufactured product in the cold store, initial manpower (etc) for each batch...

I was speaking about another thing, coating machinery has rollers to guide film transport, some (sheet) film may have a minimum transport roller diameter to not bend it too much inside the machine. Just speculating that some coating machines may not be able to coat some thick sheet film.

kodak was coating sheets in a different machine/place than rolls, IIRC. This is an speculation: I see little factors that won't allow to coat sheet film in a machine that is coating roll film, the single one I can guess is diameters of rollers in the transport system across drying, etc

Some people at Kodak (IIRC) complained that ilford had a more flexible manufacturing facility, as they had machinery that was designed to be efficient for the mass production days... not for today's low scale production.



And have you actually tested the TMX sheet base for incorporated UV blocker?

Yes, I've to check it better but my preliminary tests show that the base it's blocking UV, as others have said in this forum.

Bob Salomon
17-Jul-2019, 17:20
:) I did it !

I e-mailed several kodak product managers to explain them my point of view. Just I told them that their pricing policy for LF film looks good if they are to close, but if not a better choice it would be expanding the customer base with a popular pricing.

Of course I got no answer from them...




Drew, just read (if you haven't) Making Kodak Film book. Another interesting book for you is "Innovating Out of Crisis: How Fujifilm Survived (and Thrived) As Its Core Business Was Vanishing"

193353

Just read those two books...

Emailing is stupid. Make an appointment with someone in upper, not middle, management and present your theories face to face.

You have any idea how many emails those guys receive? And most wouldnít be read by an executive, am assistant would read it and, if it has merit, pass it on.

Michael Kadillak
17-Jul-2019, 17:35
Michael, what I see is what everybody may notice. Ilford has a pricing policy that is mostly based in the film surface you buy, (so probably based on ex-factory cost), while Kodak/Fuji were punishing LF photographers with x2 "per surface" overprice for the LF products compared to rolls.

Recently Kodak has modified their pricing policy (in the US at least) for BW film and they charge only a 50% more for LF, well... this is a better situation.

In the color negative LF segment they have no competition and Portra 160 in sheets is still x2 more expensive than in 120 rolls ($15.5 a 8x10" sheet vs $7 a 120 roll).




Those are the facts, what we see.

Continuing to inject emotional conjecture into a business model that you have no inside connections to or direct business experience from is absolutely meaningless. Kodak "punishing" LF photographers literally cracks me up. Really? You have a problem with companies maximizing their profits? Clearly someone is buying their sheet film and ringing their cash register or the price in a competitive market would correct itself. Get over it. Nobody is forcing you into any purchasing decision. Let it go.....

Pere Casals
17-Jul-2019, 17:35
Emailing is stupid. Make an appointment with someone in upper, not middle, management and present your theories face to face.

You have any idea how many emails those guys receive? And most wouldn’t be read by an executive, am assistant would read it and, if it has merit, pass it on.

You are right... but reaching the right people is something difficult for somebody like me and probably it's time consuming. Today Kodak film division is an small company, it should be easier than in the past to reach the right people.


Instead, with ilford I found it's easier to speak with the people you want, I've just contacted them to ask some technical questions and I got fast&good answers.

Pere Casals
17-Jul-2019, 17:45
Kodak "punishing" LF photographers literally cracks me up. Really? You have a problem with companies maximizing their profits?

No problem with companies maximizing their profits, but I've a problem if they priorize profits in the short term, destroying the customer base, and finally discontinuing the product, that policy may destroy color negative LF photography for ever, are you aware of that?




Get over it. Nobody is forcing you into any purchasing decision. Let it go.....

Of course, but we have some "Freedom of speech". Today kodak has a monopoly in the LF color negative film, if I find they have an abusive behaviour (moral or legal) I've the right to say it.

Bob Salomon
17-Jul-2019, 18:34
You are right... but reaching the right people is something difficult for somebody like me and probably it's time consuming. Today Kodak film division is an small company, it should be easier than in the past to reach the right people.


Instead, with ilford I found it's easier to speak with the people you want, I've just contacted them to ask some technical questions and I got fast&good answers.

The people,you reach that answer tech questions are too low on the management scale. All companies have them. You want upper management. Not techs.

There are other ways to reach upper management. Many will be at major shows like Photokina to meet with major accounts. Try making an appointment to meet them there.

Industry press can be a conduit for you if you present a logical case to them, but so far your case isn’t.

BrianShaw
17-Jul-2019, 19:45
Buy the company. Thatís one way to get them to listen... and better postures oneself to change business practices.

Michael Kadillak
17-Jul-2019, 20:25
No problem with companies maximizing their profits, but I've a problem if they priorize profits in the short term, destroying the customer base, and finally discontinuing the product, that policy may destroy color negative LF photography for ever, are you aware of that?

Good Gawd. What a complete contradiction of terms. You claim you have no problem with companies maximizing profits but have a problem with destroying the customer base and discontinuing the product. What planet are you living on?

Kodak Valeris (or any corporation for that matter) maintains the complete authority of doing whatever the hell they want to do with their product base including running the company straight into the wall and filing for bankruptcy if their decisions are not timely and prudent in their competitive domain. They can also choose to double or triple their product price at a moments notice without offering any reason for doing so. And they do not have to check in with you or anyone in the process. You are a consumer not one of their corporate executives or a member of their board of directors. What you espouse is a quasi socialism context as to a corporations obligation to the customer that simply does not exist in a capitalist system that exists today. If they want to destroy color films completely, it is their right to do so. How can this be so difficult for you to wrap your head around? Check your emotion in at the door. This is business 101.

Pere Casals
18-Jul-2019, 01:28
What you expose is a quasi socialism context as to a corporations obligation to the customer that simply does not exist in a capitalist system that exists today. If they want to destroy color films completely, it is their right to do so. How can this be so difficult for you to wrap your head around? Check your emotion in at the door. This is business 101.

Michael, you defend socialism, I defend capitalism. Capitalism is aganist monopolies and price fixing, because those are socialist concepts. Kodak has a monopoly in the CN sheet film and they fix a price (no competition)

Capitalism is about improving efficiency through competition, and profits come from efficiency, from volume growth and from innovation, not from price fixing and from chiselling customers after a monopoly. Socialism is about monopoly and price fixing that discourages efficiency.

Film is a decadent market, not a perfect market, anyway present CN LF sheets situation is aganist capitalist conception.





They can also choose to double or triple their product price at a moments notice without offering any reason for doing so.

Yes, because anti-monopoly US federal laws won't be applied, only ATT and Standard Oil saw that, Microsoft was near at one time. Anti-Price_Fixing laws have been applied more times.

Anyway if they can triple their price then consumers can also complain, there is Freedom of Speech in that, insn't it ?

I've never said that Kodak cannot legally triple the CN sheet price compared to 120 format, but I can opine that their policy damages popularity of CN LF photography helping its extintion, which is obvious.




Buy the company.

Now this is possible, it's about having (only) $34 million (or less) as Alaris film/paper/chem division is for sell, and that price was suggested.

https://www.insideimaging.com.au/2019/exclusive-kodak-up-for-sale/

https://web.archive.org/web/20190425201922/https://www.insideimaging.com.au/2019/exclusive-kodak-up-for-sale/



and better postures oneself to change business practices.

It won't be difficult to improve their business "excellence". Film commercialization had Alaris in the middle, those were UK Kodak Pension Plan managers, nasty managers. For us, the film photographers, it would be interesting that some corporation with ilford's menthality could purchase the Kodak's film business, we would see a bet for the long term, I guess.




Industry press can be a conduit for you if you present a logical case to them, but so far your case isn’t.

Bob, if they are to sell the company then they are only interested in the short term profits, because it's what it will make the sell easier to happen and what it would help a higher price, if the buyer doesn't see the related customer base decrease from the overprice. I'm sure that you understand that...

https://web.archive.org/web/20190425201922/https://www.insideimaging.com.au/2019/exclusive-kodak-up-for-sale/


So IMHO Alaris is making a bet for the short term, not mattering if they destroy the customer base or if they provocate the CN LF extintion in the mid term. This is what we have.

Oren Grad
18-Jul-2019, 06:10
Everyone has had their say, and then some.