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Can and will Kodak still make film?

Art Thomas , Jan 02, 2012; 07:05 p.m.

In another forum, Ron Andrews , Dec 27, 2011; 09:36 a.m. posted “When I first saw the headline that Kodak was selling Eastman Gelatin, I was concerned. When I learned they were selling to Rousselot, I felt better. Rousselot is a quality supplier. Kodak has been buying gelatin from them for years.” (Partial quote).

I understand that gelatin is a necessary ingredient in film. If so, their future in film sales raises questions.

Did they retain enough gelatin to make at least some more master film rolls? Will they end film production when their supply is exhausted?

Did they sell the company and retain the right to share use of the intellectual property rights and enough machinery to still manufacture film but on a smaller scale?

Did they sell the company with the exclusive rights to market what was formerly their gelatin? Will they then buy gelatin from to Rousselot and keep making film? Or, has Kodak made their last master roll of film but will presumably continue to cut and roll marketable product until the supply of already made film runs out?

Is the sale irrelevant and will have no bearing on Kodak film production? Or is there some other answer to their gelatin needs?

Responses


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Larry Dressler , Jan 02, 2012; 07:09 p.m.

I doubt even Kodak can answer this. :) My bet is .. Don't worry be happy.

peter carter , Jan 02, 2012; 07:15 p.m.

Only Kodak can answer this, but do like Larry says... ;)

I worked for a company that wound up selling the building they ran their business from. They negotiated a lease as part of the sale. I would think they still have access to all the gelatin they need; management may be doing stupid things but I don't think their lawyers are.

Les Berkley , Jan 02, 2012; 07:50 p.m.

This was a good sale for Kodak (for once). Rousselot will provide EK with as much gelatin as they need, possibly for LESS than it cost Kodak to produce it 'in house'.

Patrick Wells , Jan 02, 2012; 08:27 p.m.

This was a good sale for Kodak (for once). Rousselot will provide EK with as much gelatin as they need, possibly for LESS than it cost Kodak to produce it 'in house'.
I hope you are correct

Jim Gardner , Jan 02, 2012; 08:28 p.m.

Stock answer; if more and more of these companies did stop making film, the remaining company/companies would be making all the film used worldwide. Whether its Kodak,Ilford or someone else, there will be one or two companies left making truely huge profits on producing film.

Ron Andrews , Jan 02, 2012; 10:01 p.m.

Lack of gelatin will not keep Kodak from making film. Rousselot has the capacity to supply all of their needs for the foreseeable future.

The sale makes sense for Kodak. The Eastman plant has capacity far beyond what Kodak can use today. Roussellot has the marketing contacts to sell more gel from the Eastman plant.

The factor that is likely to end film production at Kodak is the conversion to digital in the motion picture business (both negative and print). This conversion is underway and will probably take about as long as the conversion from film to digital in still cameras. Once the conversion approaches the 90% point, Kodak will not have enough volume to keep their one remaining film coating facility running.

Mike Gammill , Jan 02, 2012; 11:46 p.m.

Watch the expiration dates on current Kodak emulsions. Maybe this is a coinidence or not, but I noticed the expiration dates of 120 Plus-X didn't go beyond a certain date for nearly a year before it was announced as discontinued. I've noticed the same with 35mm Plus-x which was discontinued in 100' bulk rolls, but for now is still available as boxed rolls. I'm guessing that the latest expiration dates are from the last master roll and once it's been cut into single rolls and sold there will be no more if it is indeed discontinued.

Karim Ghantous , Jan 02, 2012; 11:47 p.m.

Once the conversion approaches the 90% point, Kodak will not have enough volume to keep their one remaining film coating facility running.

It would be quite sad if this happened. I'd actually be a little angry. That sounds odd coming from someone who shoots 90% digitally, but I hope to increase my film usage eventually. I just like it that much (I always did but thanks to digital I like it even more). That's not a prescription for other photographers but just my preference. YMMV.

JDM von Weinberg , Jan 03, 2012; 01:11 a.m.

Fuji seems to be sticking it out, for which bless them. Otherwise, future film supply looks increasingly to be likely to be made in those old "non-economical", formerly nationalized, film factories in the former Second World. Former Jugoslavia, etc.


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