“Kodak is Apple in reverse”

The following headlines sum up the situation Kodak is currently in:

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  • ZDP-189

    Ooooooh. They’re in a bad spot. I have a love-hate relationship with Kodak. I love some of their products to the point where I have them for withdrawing them. As a photographer, I hate that they killed the beloved chromes, my darling grainy and emotive P3200 and most of their other 135 system films. As a collector, I hate that they killed 127, and all the cameras made to shoot that format, like the historically important Brownie, 110 system that I first learned to shoot with, not to mention a plethora of other cartridges and roll films (like APS which I collect). Now I suppose Portra and T-Max are under threat.

    I particularly regret that they’re dumping their sensor business. That’s the business line that invented (well, made the first working prototype of) the digital camera in 1975 and brought us bayer patterns, high performance panchromatic pixels, that gave us the DCS100 digital back, kicked off four thirds, the M9, the first full frame rangefinder, the Hasselblad 50 MP back. So many of today’s important camera systems and makes have used them in their cameras. They also made funky and magical sensors like the monochrome sensor in the DCS 760m.

    Most of all, I hate that I just wrote an eulogy.

  • Rob

    I’m betting that behind it all is a CEO making an obscene amount of money.

  • benjamin

    hurry, get ready to buy over the machinery and start the impossible project: Kodak chapter

  • Kodak screwed up the whole photographic community when started to discontinue great line of consumer and professional films and now they are fairly in the ass. I loved Kodak. Now i hate it. Go straight to the bankruptcy, mr. Eastman. This would be the second biggest fail in the photography after the fall of Polaroid. I bet CEOs barely knew what they went for, barely seen what they could get. Epic fail.

  • Michael

    I some of the comments pretty silly. In business you have to make money and selling film is becoming a dead end business. As a result both Kodak and Fuji are having to cut back on the variety of film stock they sell. At the same time they have to find new ways to make money. Some survive like buggy makers who became car body builders while others just die. Turning a company on a dime and moving in a new direction is hard enough when you are not the leading light and invention machine of an industry that you dominated for a 100 years. If Kodak does die they will be in grand company.

    • Michael

      “I think some…”

    • Silly comments, huh?

      What the business of Kodak does mean to the end user? Consumer needs something, producer answers its demands. That’s simple. I remember when Kodak started musslings and ramblings about the film which is the dead end way and the company looks by a eagle’s gaze forward to the future — to the digital imaging. This was some years ago. So, where is Kodak now? What Kodak did from the point of its grand declaration of happy future? FF sensor for Leica M9 and MF sensor for the Pentax 645D? Okay, these are the good examples. But what about the worst ‘professional’ camera EVER: DSC Pro 14n which is turtle slow, have no low-pass filter and thus have horrible IQ sufferred from moire? Just cut Ektachromes, cut cheap negatives, release bunch of sensors for the cameras that are absolutely unaffordable to the most of us and you’ll flaw. If such business is ok, I’ll throw into open fire such business. Kodak does not simply answering consumer’s demands. So what is silly in that comment, man?

      • Michael

        Ok let me clarify. When technology shift companies have to shift, some do well, others die, while others still just muddle through. What I thought was sill were the comments making it sound like they should have kept producing film (see Slow Gin). Film is dead, get over it and move on. The expense of producing and processing it will make it die out over time so if you want to any do it soon. Even Pros have made the switch. Just like 127, 110, kodachrome, and others, time has just passed it by. (I cut my teeth on Tri-X, HC110 and stained fingernails from too many hours of printing). In some ways I will miss film, and if it dies I will miss Kodak.

        • People which are shoot film are not so few. 🙂

          • ZDP-189

            +1 @ Slow Gin.

            Michael has a valid point of view, but it is the point of view of the shareholders (all of whom should have sold by now unless they were pure speculators).

            We are all consumers, and have a right to bemoan the loss of an artistic media. Other companies are ready to step in and continue developing and producing sensors, but film is special; it has its own palette and texture.

            Chromes had to go because of the involved and proprietary K-14 process. I accept that, but almost all the remainder of the films available over the counter today are the ubiquitous C-41, E-6 and B&W processes. There is no reason we can’t have these films if they choose to still make them. I can accept higher prices, if needs be, but I mourn the loss of variety, especially my favourites.

        • Lou

          I cannot believe some people are saying film is dead. Sure its not the heyday of film but are you kidding me? Look at the lomography society, you can disagree with their price gauging but they are a prime example of how successful a company can be running entirely on film. Kodak is still releasing new films, a new portra 400 was just released this year and there is ektar 100 which came out recently too. You can purchase legendary film cameras and lenses for dirt cheap, a wonderful way for many to get started in photography. Not to mention you can shoot 24mp equivalent FULL FRAME pictures for about $6 a roll plus all the archival advantages associated with using film. Granted film can’t compete with the insanely high iso but the film “look” is something that will never be recreated digitally, try as hard as you want with photoshop plugins, it never looks the same.

          I’m not some crazed lunatic saying that “film is the only way!” “film is king!” but film has its place in the photographic world just as digital does. Just one of the many examples of the benefits of film

  • Chris

    Buggy maker? They built the sensor for the Leica M9!

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