View Full Version : Konica Minolta film gone...film making assets gone

19-Jan-2006, 10:48
Konica, the only other color film maker in the world has decided to call it quits....here is a small blurb from their press release. Although they were not a player in LF, its another film plant shutting down which is painful, as who knows how these assets could be used one day for LF. As some posters pointed on other threads, its hard to make film profitable in low volume. These companies consider $10+ million sales low volume.....

In today’s shrinking photographic market represented by color film and color paper, we have been considering to scale back and to continue photo business at an appropriate size; however, when we foresee the photographic market, it is quite difficult to maintain profitability in this field, and we have decided to withdraw from photo business. As schemed below, we will, as much as possible, avoid causing any inconvenience in providing products to our worldwide customers in the course of withdrawal.

For color film and color paper, while considering our customer needs, we will step-by-step reduce product lineup and cease our film and color paper production by the end of fiscal year ending March 31, 2007.

For minilab business, we will cease production of the system by the end of fiscal year ending March 31, 2006; however we will have such company as Noritsu Koki to provide maintenance and customer services so as not to cause any inconvenience to our customers.

Steve Hamley
19-Jan-2006, 11:05
Let the next round of gloom-and-doom posts begin. Gentlemen, start your keyboards.


Frank Petronio
19-Jan-2006, 11:38
The last decent camera either company made was the Konica Hexar in 1992, so who cares?

Kevin M Bourque
19-Jan-2006, 11:41
They're selling the SLR piece to Sony. Here's the press release.


Richard Schlesinger
19-Jan-2006, 11:58
I have some Konica IR roll film in my freezer. I suppose there is no prospect of more. Haven't used much, but keep planning to do some IR stuff. What IR material is available - up to and including 4X5?

19-Jan-2006, 12:26
I always liked Impresa 120, still have a couple rolls in the freezer. This is the second discontinued film to hit me personally, after Tech Pan.

tim atherton
19-Jan-2006, 13:16
Although they were not a player in LF


The last decent camera either company made was the Konica Hexar in 1992, so who cares?

film aside - as pointed out elswhere - they did still make a decent spotmeter

Joe Forks
19-Jan-2006, 17:42
How much Konica IR you got stashed away Grump? (just curious - I have a few rolls myself).

Ditto on wanting to know a source for a similar film in either 120 or 4x5? I've read about Ilford SFX200 (sp?) but it's not quite as dramatic - it would do however if I could find that.

What's the scoop on Maco (I think I've heard ramblings about that)?


Scott Fleming
19-Jan-2006, 17:50
OMG! I'm using an orphaned spot meter. Whatevershallbecomeofme?

Richard Kocurek
21-Jan-2006, 09:08
"Konica, the only other color film maker in the world has decided to call it quits...."

Try telling that to F-U-J-I.

21-Jan-2006, 09:31
> Try telling that to F-U-J-I.

Richard, I should have been more clear, but figured most photogs realize....when I said "the only other color film maker", I was lumping the worlds two major makers of color film, Kodak & Fuji as ONE, as they have been the only dominate players in color film for 30 years. This dominance may lead to the demise of film. Hence why I personaly hate to the few tiny makers of color film disappear before Kodak and Fuji bail.

Gary L. Quay
27-Jan-2006, 10:49

Maco IR 820 and Maco Aura 820 are available for up to 4x5 at either freestyle photo or J and C Photo, possibly even B&H photo. They are all online. I haven't shot any, but I have a box of 4x5 IR waiting for warmer weather. I've heard that Maco had quality control problems in the past, but that seems to be straightened out. I'm sure that someone will correct me if I'm wrong about that. I still have a few prescious rolls of Konica IR 750 120 which I will probably shoot this summer. I've made some of my best images on that film, I will miss it.

As for the demise of color film... It will probably go before B&W film, because of the ease of B&W in the darkroom. However, there is still an old guard of color film enthuseasts, at least for the time being. The internet will likely become the source for a small company to fill a niche in the market if the big boys bail out. While innovation will suffer, there is enough knowledge out there to create fine emulsions on a small scale.


Richard Kocurek
28-Jan-2006, 17:40
I hear you W.G. I kind of realized you probably hadn't forgotten about the competition for the once great yellow behemoth from Rochester.

My crystal ball says that film won't disappear. I can't remember all the names for some of the early photographic processes yet other than the one that required boiling Mercury, I can't think of any that have disappeared after achieing commercial success. There has always been a work around available. I could be wrong.

I have seen it numerous times also in other activities. There is always a cycle where something new comes along and the status quo initially declines and then is revived by the overall increase in the market size. I've seen it rock climbing (trad vs. bolts), snow sports (alpine skiing vs. snowboarding vs. telemarking) and in foot launch aviation (hang gliding vs. paragliding). I have even seen it in photography. There's a college down the road from me and guess what all the kid's think is hip - film!

28-Jan-2006, 18:27
> I've seen it rock climbing (trad vs. bolts),.......

Although I agree with the general concept here, most all of what you reference is in areas of technology whereas small concerns can just start up and produce products for the niche, and everyone is happy. This is not the case with color film. As other threads have explained, the start up cost is huge, its hard to attract invetment capital in a market that continues to decline. So unless the big two sell off the film making assets, I can't see it continuing. At best, a small China start up may surface, however, my guess is, the quality would be so poor, it will push the remaning film users to digital capture also. B&W film will remain safe as other makers are in place, ready to pick up the slack when the big two cut production, so they are sitting in a good position.