Kodak-- No further longterm investment in film

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Gordon Moat, Sep 25, 2003.

  1. Gordon Moat

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Sorry, I don't follow your logic, and I got the highest grade in my Logic
    class in college. My guess is that since you cross posted this to/from the
    digital group, then this is an elaborate troll. However, in the interests
    of some accuracy, I have decided to type a short commentary.

    Kodak recently opened a new factory dedicated to B/W film production.
    Kodak also recently introduced several improved "professional" E6 films,
    and Fuji has provided similar new E6 films. To put that into some context,
    neither the B/W, nor the E6 films, sell in nearly the numbers that
    "consumer" colour negative films receive. Indeed, why improve current
    consumer films, when the sales and profits are really good. Film is very

    It is important to understand that Kodak, as a public company, is
    responsible to their shareholders. With that in mind, the average
    shareholder will want to see Kodak make more statements about greater
    investing in digital technology, since shareholders will interpret this as
    moving towards the future. Kodak will look much more like computer
    companies a few years ago, though their views and statements will need to
    change to accommodate shareholder perception.

    You can easily read the SEC reports for Kodak. In those, you will find
    that they make more money from non-consumer, non-film endeavours, though
    those are rarely discussed. You will also find that digital endeavours
    have a very low profit margin, and that things like disposable cameras,
    and consumer films have very high profit margins.

    Bottom line is that film will survive as long as it generates a profit.
    Technology is not driven by innovation, it is driven by profits.


    Gordon Moat
    Alliance Graphique Studio
    Gordon Moat, Sep 25, 2003
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  2. Gordon Moat

    Bill Janes Guest

    In a first page article in today's Wall Street Journal, it is reported
    that Kodak has made a significant strategic decision to make no further
    long term investment in consumer film. They plan to concentrate on
    digital photography and non-photo areas.

    This means that while digital photography is rapidly advancing, film
    improvements, at least from Kodak, will be limited. With its major
    competitor out of action, that could mean that Fuji has less incentive
    to pour more research into film also.

    If that is the case, many photographers, myself included, are unlikely
    to make any further significant long term investment in film

    Bill Janes
    Bill Janes, Sep 25, 2003
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  3. Gordon Moat

    Bowser Guest

    I'd be concerned if Kodak said they would stop investment for all films,
    since pros use most of the film anyway. Their consumer films stink anyway.
    Bowser, Sep 25, 2003
  4. Gordon Moat

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Perhaps they are starting to look too much like a computer company.
    Maybe this indicates that shareholders feel that further development of
    "consumer" films would be a better direction. More likely, this latest
    statement shows a lack of direction, and too much jumping on the latest buzz
    word band wagon . . . seems too much like when everyone wanted to put "dot com"
    onto their name to increase share prices.
    Anyway, I doubt either of us would judge any company by one day stock
    performance. Did you sell any shares today?


    Gordon Moat
    Alliance Graphique Studio
    Gordon Moat, Sep 25, 2003
  5. Gordon Moat

    Bob Hatch Guest

    The pro per-centage of sales for Kodak is extremely small. Has been for
    years, something like less than 10% of total film sales.
    Bob Hatch, Sep 25, 2003
  6. Gordon Moat

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    Professional films are about 7 percent of Kodak's market. The rest is
    amateur films. I tend to wonder what "advances" they plan in professional
    films since that segment of teh market is going digital at as fast or faster
    a rate than the amateurs.

    home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
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    Tony Spadaro, Sep 25, 2003
  7. I am not sure about your or the Journal's interpretation of the facts,
    but from a photo stand point it is only an acknowledgment that film is a
    mature well developed product that does not need much in any additional
    development. On the other hand digital is a new product and has a lot of
    room for improvement and innovation.
    Joseph Meehan, Sep 25, 2003
  8. Gordon Moat

    Alan Browne Guest

    There exists no product that can't benefit from continued improvment in
    quality, be it quality of manufacturing, features, variety,
    service,...there is always, always, always room for improvement...

    Alan Browne, Sep 25, 2003
  9. Gordon Moat

    Alan Browne Guest

    Alan Browne, Sep 25, 2003
  10. The digital sensor is the new film.

    Investing in digitial sensor R&D is the
    new film R&D.

    Kodak, Fuji, Canon, Sony, and Nikon
    all know this.
    Stanley Krute, Sep 25, 2003
  11. Gordon Moat

    Alan Browne Guest

    Yeah, that worked ... tanked almost 1/5 of sharholder value today.

    That's over a billion bucks of shareholder confidence gone somewhere else.

    Alan Browne, Sep 25, 2003
  12. It has hit the law of diminishing returns. You could spend a lot of
    money to improve on the basic broom, but it would be hard to get a return on
    your investment in the market place. It would also be hard to improve on

    Can film be improved, sure. How much, well ..... Not much considering
    the amount of research likely needed and the possible return on that

    On the other hand digital is almost certain to improve, and someone will
    get a good return on the investment, and others will be forgotten.
    Joseph Meehan, Sep 25, 2003
  13. The improvements made to C-41 negative film in the last ten years have
    been absolutely amazing. Just compare the current Royal Supra 200 to the
    ISO200 or even 100 emulsions of 1993.

    Ralf R. Radermacher, Sep 26, 2003
  14. When was Ektar 25 produced again? ;-)
    Slow, true, but not bad. Not bad at all.
    Q.G. de Bakker, Sep 26, 2003
  15. Frankly the last color film I really liked was Etkar 25.
    Joseph Meehan, Sep 26, 2003
  16. Gordon Moat

    Meryl Arbing Guest

    But, if digital is supposed to be so CHEAP...supposed to save the user so
    much money (because they don't have to buy film and have it processed)...
    Does Kodak think that they are going to make MORE money from digital than
    film and so justify a major shift in corporate focus?

    You can't have it both ways!! Either digital is CHEAPER (which means the
    user will be giving LESS money to Kodak) OR digital is more EXPENSIVE
    (which means that the user is going to give Kodak MORE money). I hardly
    think that Kodak wants to shoot itself in the foot by cutting off a major
    revenue source (don't forget how much of a financial burden it is to have to
    buy a roll of film!) in favour of one that brings in LESS money. I think
    that Kodak knows that digital IS more expensive to own and operate and they
    have made a strictly monetary decision and not done a 'public service'.

    To paraphrase Ruskin: " There is hardly anything in the world that some man
    cannot make a little worse and sell a lot higher."
    Meryl Arbing, Sep 26, 2003
  17. Gordon Moat

    Meryl Arbing Guest

    I wonder if those were the same shareholders that OK'd the creation of "New
    Taste Coke"?
    Meryl Arbing, Sep 26, 2003
  18. You don't think that it was because they cut the shareholder dividend to
    1/4 of what it had historically been, and that S&P downgraded their
    shares to just above junk bond status?
    James Robinson, Sep 26, 2003
  19. Gordon Moat

    Alan Browne Guest

    I don't think the shareholders really care about what Kodak do vis-a-vis
    film, I think the shareholders want to hear how Kodak are going to
    increase shareholder value.

    Lack of direction? Yes indeed ... but also a market that is saying,
    "Look guys, you've told us your plan, and we think other people have
    better plans."
    I don't know ... I'd have to ask my MF managers, and I only talk to them
    every 3 or 6 months... it is almost certain that bargain hunters are
    going to snap up some of those shares tomorrow morning... but over the
    past few years Kodak's share price has been steadily eroding... On bad
    news we often see stocks take a bath ... but 18% is HELLUVA a signal
    based on a press release prior to a GM.

    Alan Browne, Sep 26, 2003
  20. That is like McDonalds not making burgers any more!
    Darius Alexander, Sep 26, 2003
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