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Thread: Kodak Announcement

  1. #1

    Kodak Announcement

    Kodak made an interesting announcement this week: http://money.cnn.com/2003/09/25/news/companies/kodak_shift/index.htm?cnn=yes

    Kodak has announced that they will no longer make significant investments in traditional consumer film, focusing instead on the digitial printer market to compete with Epson & HP. Of course, we've all known that they've largely ignored the LF business for a long time, but this marks the first time they've formally announced such a sweeping divestment in traditional consumer film products.

    In the same announcement they also revealed that they will cut dividends to shareholders. Since they have a very mature and efficeint manufacturing process for consumer film, by slashing future development and dividends, they're basically riding this cash cow into the sunset and pouring the profits back into the development of a new digital printing line.

    I guess this would be a back time to ask for Tri-X Readyloads, huh?

  2. #2

    Kodak Announcement

    Uh, I meant to say a "bad time" to ask for Tri-x Readyloads.

  3. #3

    Kodak Announcement

    It sucks, but I can't really blame them- professional products even in the heyday of film usage and every studio shooting 4x5 and 8x10 only = 10% of kodaks output. This was for all pro films and products including 35mm, 120/220, sheet, and long roll, and paper and chemistry. 90% of the output was consumer film and color paper for the mini and 1 hour labs.

    The writing was on the wall years ago- XTOL was the last heavy research and devolpment project with B&W products for Kodak, and you can't say they have ignored the professional market in the past few years with the introduction of the "new" black and white films, the evolving Portra line and the new E100G and GX films. The massive cancelling of products that started in the late 1990's also gave clue to what was going on.

    Start putting your money into smaller companies such as Bergger and J and C, and keep the nich black and white market alive. I am not telling you to switch films, but buying your paper or a box or two of film every view months from a smaller supplier will keep it alive.

  4. #4

    Kodak Announcement

    I telephoned Kodak and spoke to a droid who didn't know anything about this, as usual; he only restated what we already know about Kodak moving the B&W coating to another facility which required quite a large expenditure to get going.

    This situation reinforces my current dilemma. I'm probably going to get into shooting a larger format camera soon (11x14), and the choice of film there is basically either Kodak Ektapan or Ilford HP5+. I'm mostly a Tri-X man right now, but if I have to figure out a new film, I may as well figure one out that's going to be around for a while. My thinking is that I will just totally dump Tri-X and everything else Kodak and go full bore with Ilford, a company in which I have a modicum more trust.

  5. #5

    Kodak Announcement

    Hi Sidney, you certainly have more choices than the films you mentioned for 11x14. I can personally recommend Efke films, which you can get from J&C and Photo Warehouse sells an ISO 125 film proported to be repackaged FP4. As has been mentioned, if we support the niche markets, there will be film available.

    Regards, Pete

  6. #6
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Kodak Announcement

    Ektapan has been discontinued for a while. Tri-X in sizes larger than 8x10" has been available as a special order item for some years. I'm considering making an order for 11x14" at some point in the future, if there are enough interested parties, but I'd like to try some actual New Tri-X sheet film first.

  7. #7

    Kodak Announcement

    This is such a typical move for Kodak. Here is a company that has a comparative advantage in films/emulsions and a wonderful brand name in that arena. Instead of investing in this market that, though shrinking overall is still very profitable, and with others exiting may even provide some volume growth, they enter a market with three well-entrenched (I'll add Canon) competitors. Where is Kodak going to make money in this market? No comparative advantage, it is just amazing the mistakes this company will make. The market (stock, that is) seems to be voting more for the Tri-X readyloads than the Kodaprinter 2000, to wit:

    Top Stories Kodak share tumble holds Dow in check; Nasdaq falls Thu 10:56am ET - CBS MarketWatch The major U.S. equity averages fell for a second session Thursday with the Dow suffering under the yoke of Eastman Kodak's 52-week low.

  8. #8

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    Kodak Announcement

    Sidney......Ektapan 11x14? I don't think so, buddy, unless you've got a line on some old stuff. I think The Great Yellow Father in Rochester stopped making the stuff many moons ago.

    Kodak has, we're told, a new factory to produce "dust free" sheet film. I've yet to try any of the new 8x10 tri-x, but I will as soon as I can find it in the stores. For 5x7, aerial film(dated Kodak, lol!) cut from the roll is as close to "film security" as it gets---I'm pretty much set for life, though Freestyle, Photo Warehouse, and J and C can and do provide variety at an attractive price. For ULF film, Photo Warehouse and J and C are where I'll send my business.

    Whatever pieces of the market pie Kodak leaves, there are others more than happy to take a bite. Competition, we're told, leads to lower prices, better products and service, and innovation.

    There are a lot of emulsions available right now to choose from in a variety of formats. They don't come in yellow boxes, but thats Kodak's loss, not ours.

    Don't worry...Take pictures!
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  9. #9

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    Kodak Announcement

    I agree with John Downie about entering a saturated market!! Why not enter the pharmaceutical arena and make aspirin for crying out loud. I'm glad I don't have a retirement waiting in Kodak stock. And yes, I just spent $420 at photo warehouse for some British film. Model A Ford parts are still on the shelf and B&W film will be with us for as long as there are a handful of folks who want it.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

  10. #10

    Kodak Announcement

    Kodak did enter the pharmaceutical market by buying Sterling Pharmaceutical in 1988 for significanlty more than the next-highest bid in a "pre-emptive" move. They sold the division 6 years later at a huge loss. Let us not forget Kodak Ultralife and Supralife batteries (two "Milestones" on Kodak's website).

    "On May 3, 1994 - Kodak announced it would divest its non-imaging health-related businesses - consisting of Sterling Winthrop, L&F Products and Clinical Diagnostics - enabling the company to focus all of its resources on its core imaging business."

    We will see the printer division flushed a couple of years from now, but the loss of a competitor in film is very sad.

    The irony is that Fuji continues to bring out interesting products, though I know they have dumped some, too.

    Looks like it's Ilford or one of the even smaller players.

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