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Keith (M)

Kodak: the good news and the bad

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Just received an email from Speedgraphic about Kodak price increases etc:-

Kodak: the good news and the bad

Good Ektachrome E100 is now available in 120 and 4x5" formats. We may see some 120 this month, but the sheet film will not arrive until early next year. Bad All other Kodak films will increase in price on January 1st. Worldwide demand has grossly outstripped Kodak's manufacturing capacity in Rochester, so to fund investment in new plant, prices are being increased. This will range from 10-15% on black and white and Gold, to 30% on Portra and Ektar and 43% on Color Plus 200. Kodak Alaris will also take the unprecedented step of cancelling all worldwide backorders on December 31st which means that if we don't have it now it will cost us and therefore you more in January. Because of this we will remove all unavailable films from our website now when stock is exhausted and will have to cancel any unfulfilled back orders. 

 

Presumably other film suppliers will take a similar action.

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Some people on here think $300 for a simple leather camera strap represents good value, so even at those increased prices, film is still very very cheap! 

After all, an a la carte new M-A with fancy strap and elephant bag is no good to anyone without film........

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Demand outstripping supply is a good sign. As is the notion that Alaris might invest in a increased manufacturing capacity.

Cancelling all backorders to raise prices merely because they can is just a bad faith practice. If I were a heavy Kodak film user, I'd order a sampling range from Fuji and seriously evaluate whether switching to their stocks would be a feasible option purely due to this.

The idea that they are increasing prices to fund investment is vaguely insulting nonsense. Investment has more to do with market position than cash flow these days. Still. I assume the pension plan has a fiduciary responsibility to its stakeholders, so making any investment in plant would require more confidence in market-beating returns therefrom than would the same investment from a pure venture capital firm. So. Ultimately, good news for the long-term prospects of film.

But maybe Kodak should also invest in better marketing communication in the near term, too.

Edited by JonPB
Fix typo.

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6 hours ago, M9reno said:

I'm happy to pay more for my film if that helps fund a new Kodak plant, so all good news to me.

I agree. Prices will come down again when the whole world reverts back to film or tries it for the first time. 'Vinyl' LPs still cost more than CDs, which cost much more than streaming, but you have a much nicer object in your hands and it sounds infinitely better than streaming. 

William

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vor 14 Stunden schrieb willeica:

I agree. Prices will come down again when the whole world reverts back to film or tries it for the first time. 'Vinyl' LPs still cost more than CDs, which cost much more than streaming, but you have a much nicer object in your hands and it sounds infinitely better than streaming. 

William

That won't happen, we all know that. Film will always be a niche and we film shooters are really lucky that the niche is big enough for some film and chemical producers to stay alive. If prices for products like that go up, they will never come down again. 

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I shoot Ilford film but lately I tried colour film photography for the first time in years with Kodak Portra. A 30% price increase kills it for me right away. I think I will stick with bw=film, colour=digital.

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1 hour ago, tom.w.bn said:

That won't happen, we all know that. Film will always be a niche

Perhaps, I should have put in an 'ironic' emoji. I do, however, expect film to have something of a resurgence. For 2020 I see myself using two large format (5x4 or 4x5) cameras, one with a 19th Century brass lens and the other with a Leitz large format lens. Yes, large format 'Leica' film photography is possible.

William

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Well, with twenty-two rolls of 120 film (colour and b&w) in the freezer, I won't be having to break open the piggy-bank just yet. ;) 

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We have great news that Kodak are back, but somehow or other we still find a way to get righteously indignant about it, the modern world eh!

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I just placed a large (for me!) Kodak order with B&H, 50 rolls of various B&W and color films in 35mm and 120 in hopes of stocking up before the price increase. After I have depleted these rolls I will be used to seeing the increased prices so I'll have no problems paying the higher cost at that point. I also understand in this day and age that film photography is a luxury and I am OK with that because of the enjoyment I get out of the experience and results. 

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Reporting back with an update, of sorts, for those interested. I checked Kodak film prices today on B&H of the stocks I purchased, here is what I found January 3 (USD price on Dec 31 compared to Jan 3)

Tri-X 35mm 1 roll 5.79, is now 6.99

Portra 400 35mm 5 pack 44.95, same price

Ektar 120 5 pack 31.99 same price

Pro Image 100 35mm 5 pack 21.99 same price

Porta 400 120 5 pack 36.95 same price

Portra 160 120 5 pack 34.99, is now 38.99

I am not sure if they are slowly changing the pricing, or if some films will remain the same price, but I am happy that I ordered 20 rolls of Tri-X at the old pricing!

 

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Annoying in the short term but awesome long term! Means more film for us all! Means people are buying it again if they’re actually having to look at increasing production at a new plant which is pretty crazy if we think about it! Look forward to plentiful film for years to come!

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Not so sure that this is good in long term. I always stayed with film all the years but seeing how high and how fast the prices raised in the last years I really thing about abandon it.
For example T-MAX 400 4x5" 50 sheets was around 90 Euro here all the years. In the last 2 years the prices now gets up over 200 Euro. That's no more fun anymore and I guess this isn't the end yet... I also couldn't see a feasible reason for this huge increase, except pressing out as much as possible of the film-entusiastics. Somewhere they will stress the bow to much, we will see.

And even this constantly rising prices didn't keep Fuji from dropping one film after another. Ok - they bring back the ACROS, but that's the film I need least. Most of my favorite films are gone now and most of the remains I don't like. Guess I will empty my fridges* and then thats it.

*they will last a few years fortunately

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9 hours ago, fotomas said:

Not so sure that this is good in long term. I always stayed with film all the years but seeing how high and how fast the prices raised in the last years I really thing about abandon it.
For example T-MAX 400 4x5" 50 sheets was around 90 Euro here all the years. In the last 2 years the prices now gets up over 200 Euro. That's no more fun anymore and I guess this isn't the end yet... I also couldn't see a feasible reason for this huge increase, except pressing out as much as possible of the film-entusiastics. Somewhere they will stress the bow to much, we will see.

And even this constantly rising prices didn't keep Fuji from dropping one film after another. Ok - they bring back the ACROS, but that's the film I need least. Most of my favorite films are gone now and most of the remains I don't like. Guess I will empty my fridges* and then thats it.

*they will last a few years fortunately

Very good point actually, the prices of cameras as well as skyrocketed... I got my first AE-1 Program for 100 and sold it recently for 350. Leica's have doubled. So pros and cons I suppose. To be seen!

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