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Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by JWMster, Dec 13, 2017.
Kodak will outlast Ilford? Please explain.
What would Ilford have to do with which type of film is the last off the line from Kodak if/when Kodak goes under?
I read the quote wrong. You're right.
I read your post while waiting for my morning coffee, thought I was missing something extremely obvious and was horribly confused there. I should probably just stay off forums before the second coffee.
I relistened to the Youtube where the USA's Ilford Guy explains what's going on in the film industry and Ilford's take on it as well as their place. By his account 2 things stand out: 1) Sales of film... particularly 120 are up strongly and in unexpected ways (demographics), and 2) if something happened to Kodak's production, it would be very hard for Ilford, too. He says that knowing what's going on in the industry, the Great Yellow Father is also doing well in film sales. I'd venture that if the Pembroke(?) group that bought Ilford has found a good business in it that it's quite likely a similar angel would or could be found for Kodak's film business. Bankruptcy with Kodak would simply mean a change in ownership of the assets, and that might be a good thing. Certainly it has facilitated Ilford's profitability. So perhaps the point is to be less pessimistic about Kodak films while remaining pessimistic about Kodak management.
Tri-X is basically a revived product. I don't know why. On several levels it is retrograde to the far more versatile TMax's. It's obviously cheaper to make. If you happen to like it, I can't argue with that. But single industrial users of TMax probably buy more sheets of TMax than all the users of Tri-X combined. I've never heard of any industrial use for Tri-X. If an old-school film deserves to be revived, it would be Super-XX. It was "the" film pro photography students were once expected to be familiar with for commercial work, along with Plus-X for portraiture. Tri-X had a journalistic following. But I have no complaints about it still being in production. The more choice, the better.
There is no question Kodak Trix looks better and has the strongest brand name. With "looks better" I mean specifically, every time I run a side by side controlled test and run a focus group, everyone from 6 years old to 80 years old picks the Trix print, I have never had a single person post/show a side by side comparison of the same shot where they don't pick Trix. With few exceptions the Acros prints are preferred but Tmax is consistently at the bottom. Tmax has less grain and more detail (only for high frequency low contrast) but it is soft, has blocked shadows and highlights, unnatural tone gradation, low mid-tone contrast and it is one of the least sharp modern films. On print, Tmax only looks good if you don't have a Trix print next to it or is you print 30x40 out of 35mm.
That aside, I haven't seen the trends and volume for commercial use of Tmax vs consumer/professional use if Trix. If you would, please post them; I would like to see them to understand Kodak's economics better.
This is so wrong, it leaves me almost aghast that Ilford would say such things. First of all, Ilford has nothing even remotely close to Building 38. Kodak has never right sized their business the way Ilford has. This means that Kodak has enormous efficiency problems making film.
None of Kodak's public financial statements indicates that they are doing "well" with film. None of them. Less movies are being made on film this year than last. That's the main driver of film sales.
Kodak tried to sell their film business in 2012 and found no buyers. Probably because their books look awful (again, due to the enormous expense of Building 38).
Kodak is structured today to sell hundreds of millions of rolls of film, not a few million.
Certainly not my experience.
Glad that Tri-X suits you. Hope you won't be too disappointed when Acros is gone.
I'm not too sure what you do to your TMX but none of the above applies to any of the work I have done with it, with the possible exception of minimal grain. I can even get it to show some grain with Ilford 1:25 and enough agitation.
Reading what you just said Alex I am not even sure we are talking about the same film.
Its sure a good thing that you have Acros and TriX. If I were you I wouldn't even bother buying anymore TMX.
Lol, I have about 200 120 rolls of 100Tmax in the freezer because it used to be my staple until I moved to back to Trix and incorporated Acros.
Like I said above, Tmax is great, and these observations are only relative (clearly observable) when shooting Tmax side by side with Trix or Acros and making prints to compare.
If you don't make a side by side comparison (same picture and lens as well as a print on the same paper) you cannot say the statement is not true.
If you ever make two prints (or even two scans) and you prefer the Tmax I would love to hear about it.
Here are a few of my examples on Tmax. (All were printed and found homes). So nothing to look down at. My comments are just relative.
I loved TMAX film. I've shot enormous quantities of it, so much that I was burned by the paper issue at least a dozen times (rolls, not images). Many wonderful images lost due to poor Kodak quality. Shooting TMAX400 at ISO800 gives it an enormous level of versatility not found in other films.
I found in my film stash another 3 pro boxes of TMAX400. I won't shoot them but they'll remain as a reminder about how much I used to rely on this film.
Ratty: Ilford seems pretty confident of the data... and I think this is from CYE 2016 or early 2017. As he says, the film sales community is very tight. I'd tend to support his conclusions... especially when his seem to support the notion that GYF remains the dominant player. Go think what you want. Not sure what you do for a living, but as an investment guy myself for the last 30 years... won't quarrel with your analysis of the $'s as Factset seems pretty much to say the same, but the real world ain't always what it looks like in a financial statement. And Kodak's greatest assets ain't financial. Just sayin'.
I'm a scientist by training. I don't neglect data. I let the facts speak. Kodak has a pretty dire set of facts and I have not seen one person make a compelling case that they are OK or even stable.
Nice photos. I guess if considerations regarding grain are an issue, a firm discontinuing film is the perfect excuse to move up a format or two. Personally, and maybe to the detriment of the film companies but not the environment, I buy my film as long as its not out of date by more than 10 years, second hand. Other than 30m rolls. The second hand stuff is a range of things. The one film I have found truly amazing (and I have used TMY and TMX a lot) is Pan F 50 by Ilford. It could be argued its finer grain and better tonality. And if sharpness is an issue, you are shooting with a tripod, and then who cares about losing a stop or two? And another view is, who cares about grain anyway. Unless you are sniffing the print, what matters is the shape and tone of what you are putting onto the paper. But with Pan F, I have been recording silly high levels of resolution using my Pentax 645 kit.
Over the summer in Germany I bought Kodak 200 in Rossman stores for 2 quid a roll. I could not quite believe it, so I bought something like 20 rolls. Maybe 40. The Germans were giving me odd looks. The wife is furious as the bottom drawer in the freezer is 90% film and the rest ice lollies. I force feed my son the ice lollies to make way for film.
Last May Mykonos I stopped in a photography store to get something. The owner saw my Hasselblad and he said he had something for me. He gave me several rolls of Portra 400 120 film.
Not about film, but I recently bought a small sound system made by Nakamichi. Being old enough to have appreciated Nakamichi cassette equipment, I was influenced by this great name. However, it seems that the name Nakamichi was bought/licensed by an Australian retailer and the name can be put on anything. The thing is ok, but only just.
Sal's point is pertinent. We film users in the retail market today remind me of the Hindu scriptures in which the world of humans is really just like a grain of sand in the unimaginably huge universe (e.g. Walmart etc)
All: Someone gave me some TMZ P3200. I assume this is B&W and predates my return to film. Any idea when it was last run? I've not messed with expired film before... so that will be a new adventure.
Ratty: With Eastman Chemical spun off years ago, the ups and downs at Kodak surely had many chemists flee to more stable quarters. The brain drain would deplete their ability to generate new product... like the Ektachrome return. At least that's the word. Take a look at Glassdoor... a decent read on most companies by their employees.
Well it is true that Walmart is big but I had never imagined it to be an unimaginably huge universe although it is a fact that I have wandered in different stores and felt like a Trekkie, the definition of which is one who treks behind the wife pushing a trolley and going where no man has gone before.
Yep, I have made that point about Kodak's brain drain several times in the recent past. I'm sure it is a very hard place to grow a career if you are in the film division.
Conversely, Eastman is doing very nicely. They are a supplier of ours at my company. I used to see their products with the Kodak logo waay back in the early '90s. I am sure those at Eastman are very happy that Kodak sold them off. They are now out of range from Kodak's feckless management.
Wow....you were not kidding about Kodak on Glassdoor.
"Down sizing is endless, Not much advancement."
"Dying company, no internal room for advancement."
"Obviously many bad decisions out of Rochester have ruined the company."
" Extremely unprofessional place to work. If you don't kiss the senior operators feet they will run and tell that they do not like you therefore your days are numbered."
"Corporate structure above customer facing field talent is total incompetent, ignorant and disengaged."
It goes on and on and on.....