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Saturday, December 03, 2011

MooPig's Tech Coroner :: "Eastman Kodak's Demise"

We are now a Film-less Society
Retrieved by Pat Darnell | Dec 3, 2011 | Bryan TX
[AP Picture LINK]

Do you still "dial" that phone? Well then, dial "911" for a defibrillator to resuscitate Eastman Kodak ... or not. Everything I learned as a youth was film. I moved up the ladder from "Kodak Instamatic 120's" to "Kodachrome" to pushing 1000 ASA "Ektachrome." It wasn't just a hobby with me.
" ... Eastman Kodak marketed the first flexible photographic roll film in 1885, but this original "film" was actually coated on paper. After exposure, as part of the processing, the image-bearing layer was stripped from the paper base and transferred to a glass support to facilitate printing from it. ... "
As a Printing Apprentice in my twenties, I handled a 42 inch format camera as big as a room. You should have seen the bellows on that giant. In addition I was a two color film stripper, and a printing plate maker. I have been there and back -- but now there is no going back. Film is gone forever.

The business end of a slick 35mm SLR Nikon is no more. Newer color films, like Kodacolor II, had as many as 12 emulsion layers, with upwards of 20 different chemicals in each layer, and only Dwayne's Photo in Parsons, Kan., still processes it.

You can pick up a box load of "old" cameras at the swap meet for a buck-'fiddy. Those cameras and lenses that I had lusted a lifetime for, now just crab trap weights. I bought a bunch anyway, just like I still buy some books.

Due to film photography's long history of widespread use, there are now around one trillion pictures on photographic film or photographic paper in the world, enough to cover an area of around ten thousand square kilometers, 4000 square miles, about half the size of Wales.
" ... One of the reasons digital camera prints, or computer format images, can take precedence over film in the photography market is that individual users are less likely to be excessively quality-conscious -- and most photographers are amateurs who use cameras for recreation and recording of information rather than for serious photography. (LINK)... "

At the start of the 21st century, Americans were buying close to a billion rolls of film annually. This year, the total could be a mere 20 million rolls. This is just another way of saying "a 98% loss of sales in 11 years."

Photographic films, are not processed any longer in Wal-Mart, Walgreens (still a few), nor in the usual camera service places. Just try to get your film developed ... it is over.

Kodak's long fade to black -
" ... Once ranked among the bluest of blue chips, Kodak shares sell today at close to $1. Kodak's chairman has been denying that the company is contemplating a bankruptcy filing ... "
'via Blog this'
"... [Kodak's]... executives couldn't foresee a future in which film had no role in image capture at all, nor come to grips with the lower profit margins or faster competitive pace of high-tech industries. At one meeting with Microsoft's Bill Gates to discuss integrating Kodak's photo CDs with Windows, Kodak Chairman Kay Whitmore fell asleep. ..."

[Picture LINK]
"And none of them -- AGFA, Polaroid, 3M, or Konica -- stopped making film voluntarily... they all went bankrupt."

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