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Thread: Is Kodak the 'Biggest Loser'

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Is Kodak the 'Biggest Loser'

    I've said this on prior occasions and still maintain that Kodak are useless morons(well the execs are).

    They used to be the only company in photography.. yeah sure there was the mighty Nikon who made a few million on their high quality gear, and the likes of Leica or other upper echelon individual that also eeked out a 'subsistence' living when compared to the billions that Kodak used to make.
    Fuji made an impact as some point and I dare say they will outlive the monolith that used to be Kodak.

    Not only have they basically gone broke, but according to this story are going even broker.

    With the business that Kodak used to have, the foothold on the market they used to dominate with, had they see the future of photography as others had seen it they would now have a stranglehold on the digital market.
    It's not like they never had a chance ... the morons that run the company simply had no idea and fat pay checks to go with that because for too long all they did was to do what was done in the past and wait for people to buy their wares.
    Didn't happen for too long, no body is buying their wares now(be it hardware, software or services).
    Who remembers any of their Kodak digital cameras?
    I remember that I got a cheapie for the kids and the kid's cousins broke it.
    It got replaced with a Samsung(in hot pink) and the Kodak passed through our little microcosm of history without barely a blip on the radar.
    Daughter loves Pink Sammy and I've even asked her if she want an updated, better camera for Christmas ... "Nup! I like my pink camera"

    I think it's too late for Kodak to be a player now.

    I watched Kodak go from ... not just a corporate giant .. but a city sized Gigantosauraus of a colony(out here in Coburg not far from where I live) .. to a nondescript little street frontage with barely any presence at all.
    Their business contracted so much that approximately 10 or so years back they had to scale back their local ops to centralise it from .. (somewhere in Sydney I think).

    We used to deliver tons of their film stocks all over the place and made pretty good money from it due to the volume of work, not the value of each job!!
    But they were obviously not profitable even way back then, so surely they must have seen the writing on the wall not just now, as in recently, but possibly 10 years ago or so.

    I think they should be sold off split up, and really have no right to exist any longer because they obviously have no idea on how to cater to an evolving market.
    I think once they're gone, maybe a new player could come in and do something right .. like create a system that people may get enthusiastic about.

    I have to say I'm very much anaesthetised to the iPhone craze, and really can't see the fuss about it, but the kind of thing that Kodak needed to do way back when they had the resources was 'an iPhone system'. Something that people would warm too and come back too for more.. more useless products that filled a desire to gadgetise themselves.

    Who knows.. maybe they'll re invent themselves as iDak or something, but I doubt it.
    Apparently the assets are worth billions(to someone), and the film will continue for some time to come, so they won't just suddenly dissappear. But like the T-model and the Beetle and the Polaroid and the iPhone all good things seem to have an end(sorry couldn't resist the jibe about the iPhone .. I just can't see the fuss).

    iDak is dead even before the idea was conceptualised by the company that should have thought of it! .. so, to Kodak I say good riddance(hopefully sooner rather than later).

    It's still kind of sad if they do go into bankruptcy in the near future, sad that such a large company with command of an industry could go down like this.

    Have to say too tho, I've only ever once in my life used Fuji film.(Velvia)
    I've always used Kodak, and been happy with it for what it did.

    Firstly Kodak was just so much more prevalent everywhere you went, and even where there were other apparently great alternatives, I still went with some roll of Kodak.
    I think more so because of the work we used to do for them in that as they gave us work, I may have felt a need to support the guys that gave us some support.
    Dunno really, but even as recently as a year or so ago, I still got myself a roll of this Ektar to give it a whirl.
    I ummed and ahhed over a roll of Velvia too, but thought nah!... Gimme the Ektar.

    Kodak's long fade to black news item on Los Angeles Times.
    Last edited by arthurking83; 07-12-2011 at 10:48pm.
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    I am probably from the crossover era. When I was young I bought nothing but Kodak film. It was the best - I know because I was told it was!!

    To me (I am 44) Kodak cameras were throw away 'holiday' cameras. Cheap and cheeful. When I bought my first SLR camera it was a Zentih. I could not afford the Canon I wanted but I do not remember there being a Kodak alternative....Kodak was the film I put in my Zenith. And is was bloody good!!

    Is the passing (or possible passing) of Kodak a bad thing? Probably not. Sad, certainly, but times change. Did the directors / managers miss the boat, almost certainly however were they in a position to play in the brave new world or was it right to try to protect their domain?

    Hell, I don't know!!

    Fact is the world moved on and Kodak did not. Such is life. I am sure there are a plethora of companies / visionaries that were right for their tims but time moves on.

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    Good post arthur - funny you mention Kodak in Coburg, a bloke I used to know worked there in the 80's and like a lot of the lads who worked there - saw the big demise coming like a car crash in slow motion. A lot of the lads and lasses working on the floor saw it coming, but the execs kept their head in the sand.
    Last I heard the factory is now a food place?? (Near the drive ins?) - If it's the same place I did a few pick ups there in my truck driving days and there were still a few old Kodak signs floating around or sticking through the paint.
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    The Newlands Rd side of the complex is all industrial, and the current tenants are Conga Foods(as they would obviously take advantage of the massive refrigeration site there.
    The site is split by the creek and on the other side on Elizabeth St, it's residential.
    The acreage of that side of the creek if it's developed into residential and commercial, would be a monstrous financial windfall for whoever is the site owner
    (which I think is Kodak itself and not leased .. but I don't know).

    We used to do both their admin courier services and also their urgent film transport, and for many years I used to enjoy picking up their admin work as in the office complex(on the residential side of the complex) there was this 20 foot photo of Ayres Rock/Uluru. Must have been old as the title was Ayres Rock, and I think it may have been captured by a Japanese photographer.
    Details are all sketchy now as it's been 15 or so years but the photo behind the receptionist has left it's mark.
    It wasn't the classical humdrum image you expect of the rock, but a close up with a telephoto from a distance, which highlights the might of the rock face against the Eucalypts, which themselves are not insignificant. The sheer enormity of the rock makes the trees look like small shrubs ... and the detail in the photo is amazing even tho it's a monster print.
    One of my favourite landscapes images I've seen.

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    Member KeeFy's Avatar
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    The one thing i never understood about kodak is. They had all the means and abilities. They were the first to dvelop a digital sensor, surely they had a good headstart? Back when digital was becoming mainstream, they had the know how to make good sensors but never bothered implementing it into a proper camera. My family had a Kodak digital once and it sucked so badly. Canon made better digital stuff.

    Seriously, Leica M9s uses kodak sensors. Why can't they just implement something similar into a camera? It's not as if a comeback is not possible. Fuji has reinvented themselves and definitely will gain a foothold with the next x100 type with interchangable lens. Stupid bureaucratic thinking probably is the reason why the company is in this shithole. Royalties from patents is not everything and lawsuits should be reserved to keep your competition in check EG: Samsung vs Apple. Innovation is a word what Kodak execs have long forgotten.

    Goodbye Kodak. You will be missed.... to a certain extent.

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    Ausphotography Regular Boo53's Avatar
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    My first 2 digital cameras were Kodak.The first one in 2000 was an all metal body and quite substantial, but only 1 Mp from memory. Before I went on a holiday in 2002 I bought a 2Mp model but by then they were all plastic, and it didn't stand up to much.

    They were only compact little things but for taking shots of things builders had buggered up they did the job, but when the plastic one broke & they only had plastic replacements, I switched to Olympus in 2003.

    Basically they seemed to have started down the right track in 2000 to stay in the digital hunt but then aimed for a price point without thought of durability and essentially dropped the ball

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    who ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeeFy View Post
    never bothered implementing it into a proper camera.
    Kodak made a number of camera's in the DCS- and especially the DCS/Pro series that where not too bad. Also, the Canon D6000 and D2000 essentially where rebadged Kodaks. Too bad they decided the low-end consumer market would make them more money.

    On the other hand, there where other photography related brands that have disappeared. Konica, Minolta, Agfa, Polaroid. Nothing new under the sun really.
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    Conga foods - that's the one! I remember having the truck loaded chock-a-block full off pickled gerkins or something or other... Lads who worked there were (are) a good laugh though. Massive plot of land.
    Back in my bachelor days I lived off Elizabeth out the back - those were the daze.

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    Member Tom J McDonald's Avatar
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    Kodak still make the best film in the world and it is still used extensively all over the world.
    All Kodak needs to do is forget all of its other pursuits and concentrate on making good film and paper and promoting its use around the world.

    P.S they released a new motion picture film 2 days ago

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    Member Tom J McDonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jev View Post
    Kodak made a number of camera's in the DCS- and especially the DCS/Pro series that where not too bad. Also, the Canon D6000 and D2000 essentially where rebadged Kodaks. Too bad they decided the low-end consumer market would make them more money.

    On the other hand, there where other photography related brands that have disappeared. Konica, Minolta, Agfa, Polaroid. Nothing new under the sun really.
    Yes, DCS were very good cameras.

    By the way, Agfa Gavaert is still going strong, though does not market film to the public as it used to.
    Last edited by Tom J McDonald; 18-12-2011 at 10:28pm.

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    There's no real point in producing the best in the world, if it ultimately ceases to exist.

    The writing is on the wall for film.
    It may sell in the limited quantities it does now, from the vast volumes that it used to sell.
    But in the foreseeable future, production volumes may be at a point that it's simply not commercially viable(for them).

    if Kodak don't produce something drastic and miraculous, they will end up as a has been that caters to a boutique market.

    They'll make more money on the imminent publication of their book of how to lose billions upon billions within a lifetime.

    Maybe that's their calling .. publishing books on .... how not to!

    Agfa Gavaert unloaded it's photography based operations years ago Agfa Photo and Agfa Gavaert are not affiliated.

    The old Agfa as I used to know them, closed their Melbourne production operations before Kodak did.
    We sued to service Agfa as well(they used to have their main ops located in Nunawading, but we mainly used to deliver all manner of products to them, rather than deliver their products to their customers.

    Don't know if AgfaPhoto still produce any products for the photography industry?

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    Member Tom J McDonald's Avatar
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    I don't know what you mean when you say the writing's on the wall, but as far as I can see, film is very strong, considering the age we live in.

    It's been shown that Kodak's film division is still very profitable and that it's other useless crap is sucking the profits that it makes. If they dump the other crud, concentrate on film in a changing market, they'll be fine - they'll shrink, but they'll be fine.

    Ilford, Foma, Efke, Fuji, and companies which produce film are going strong.

    AgfaPhoto produce many films for the aeronautical, medical and motion picture industries.

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom J McDonald View Post
    I don't know what you mean when you say the writing's on the wall, but as far as I can see, film is very strong, considering the age we live in.
    "The age we live in" to me is the crux of the discussion Tom, film has been on the go for a helluva long time whilst relatively speaking digital imaging is but in its infancy.
    With digital, the mainstream consumer oriented cameras are by and large rapidly approaching the quality and feel of film, the more advanced and specialised digital bodies would now appear to be in the vast majority of commercial work.

    Case in point with the age we live in to me is the example of our "local" camera store.
    The owner is a very competent photographer who is in his mid 50s and has plenty of skill developing film. He still offers traditional darkroom developing as well as machine based roll film developing and printing. He is as far as I know the only person in this end of the state to do so and I think that the next nearest shop or lab that still does any film work is 250 klm away.

    He retained his film bodies for his wedding work, refusing to use digital equipment even though he owned the latest and best specced Nikon bodies at every model release, until the D700 was released. He then retired his film bodies from commercial work and only keeps them due to the fact that they are worth virtually nothing despite costing into the thousands of dollars when bought new.
    In a frank discussion with him he made the point that he had not anticipated such a rapid rise in digital quality and sales figures along with an even greater fall off in the demand for film. Both he and I are all for the continuation of film but his point and mine is that in "the age we live in" is changing so rapidly that film is all but dead in the consumer market and only hanging on as a popular medium for enthusiasts because film bodies can be purchased so cheaply. When those film bodies finally die, we can expect to see the final death throes of film.
    I have to agree with Arthur, the writing is on the wall.
    Last edited by I @ M; 19-12-2011 at 8:02am.
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    Member Tom J McDonald's Avatar
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    Hi Adrew,
    I agree that to the average consumer, film doesn't exist. Literally, most people think it's not made any more.
    However, the enthusiast you speak of is numerous enough to keep an industry with 3 or 4 very large manufacturers in the game.

    'The age we live in' now means we have to seek-out film and related products, not just meander down to the local Fletcher's and expect to get what we want.
    There a number of stores like Freestyle: http://www.freestylephoto.biz/ who are still committed to giving consumers access to what they want.

    Regarding film bodies: There are still a variety of new film cameras being produced (Nikon even still makes the F6), and in fact the number of companies making film cameras outnumbers those making digital cameras.

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    Amor fati!
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    yup digital has all but killed this one time photography giant.... just proves the old saying (one which i live by) "adapt or die." replace adapt with evolve if you like.

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    I think Kodak's biggest problem is not the products they make, but their perception by the average Joe.

    Kodak were amongst the first to get into digital cameras as well as papers for ink-jet printing etc., but people percieve them as being only into film.
    They did try to move with the times, but most people didn't see their move and basically shunned their digital products in favour of other companies that were seen to be more into electronics and the digital age.
    The Kodak digital cameras always had an old fashioned look to them, and this could also have been part of the problem, as they weren't attracting the youth, and many older people at the time, didn't want to move to digital so their cameras were being aimed at the wrong market.

    I guess for a company that is as old as Kodak, and so entrenched in peoples' minds that they only equate the name with the box brownie and film, to completely re-invent themselves to attract an entirely new audience is not an easy task.
    Canon and Nikon were well entrenched with their SLR cameras, and people already owned so much of their gear, that it was natural for people to buy a digital body from them so they could use their old lenses and accessories, but Kodak only made cheap, consumer grade cameras and have suffered as a result, because if you only have a P&S camera, changing brands when you buy a new one is not as big a deal as it is when you already have an SLR and lenses and other stuff to go with it.
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    Member Tom J McDonald's Avatar
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    Benny, just to clarify, Kodak made several pro-grade DSLRs that had compatibility with Canon and Nikon lenses.
    They also made backs for medium format bodies.
    One of their sensors is in the M9.
    Last edited by Tom J McDonald; 19-12-2011 at 11:29am.

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    no wonder they went broke if all there offices were the same as coburg
    i used to go there and box up there old machinery to send back to the states or whoever purchased it and i could put any figure i wanted on the invoice and never even ask for another quote
    1 day work there i could have two weeks off in the 80s
    cheers macca

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    Amor fati!
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    from pwner to pwnd...

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