Imported Kodak Film

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by billsr, Dec 3, 2003.

  1. I recently bought some Kodak C-41 color film from my film processor
    because it was marginally cheaper than what I pay at the local K-
    Mart. I was surprised to see the box marked "for sale in North
    America only, Made In France". Is this film an exact equivalent of
    film produced at Kodak's Rochester, New York facility? I find it
    amazing that Kodak can make film in France and ship it to the U.S.
    and sell it for half the price of that same roll of film in France!
    As I live only an hour away from Kodak's main plant in Rochester,
    N.Y., I'm a bit disturbed by this little bit of "Globalization"
    because half the population of Rochester consists of unemployed Kodak
    workers. If the film is equivalent, I suppose I have no complaint as
    a customer, but I'll surely read my labels closely from now on. One
    difference I noted was that the import film lacks the familiar
    plastic canister we're all so accustomed to. That would save a few
    cents, I'm sure. Best regards, Bill
  2. William

    Not in direct response to your post, as I will go off on a political tanget re Globalisation, but recently in Hong Kong I saw some Kodak Gold that was made in Xiamen China-Yes,the good old Peoples Republic of China. It said on the box that "all kodak film is made to the same high standards no matter where it is made".

    I have predicted this for years as I know Kodak have a giant new plant in Xiamen, in Fujian Province China, that will feed the Asian market as well as others in the near future I am sure. Why Xiamen? the former Top Man at Kodak was previously Top Man at Motorola, one of the first US firm to set up plants in China, and during that stint he met the mayor of Xiamen and they became good friends, or so I hear from locals.

    "Big Ole Yeller" also have extensive camera manufacturing operations in China, film slitting and packaging in Wuxi (where Agfa has a similar operation) and joint ventures with Seagul in Shanghai for components.

    In Taiwan, I bought 5 rolls of first grade Japanese -made Konica 400 for less than $2.50 a roll each, so the selling price has little to do with distance from the plant, but more about large scale trade agreements and dumping.

    Better learn Mandarin!!!

    Send your President Mr. Bush a letter and ask about the effects of Globalization. Hear that loud sucking sound that Ross Perot warned about?

  3. Mr. Ilomaki, thank you for your illuminating response. You've confirmed all my worst fears in one area and delighted me in another! If film plants are being built all over Asia, film lovers like myself need not fear that the demise of film as a photographic medium is arriving any time soon! My Leica MP needs that film! Best regards, Bill
  4. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    yah well want a real kicker for those of us in the USA the last big batch of imported Fuji Superia 100 I bought from B&H was made in the Peoples Republic Of Vietnam. So I used it all over Europe took great photos of the german country side. The Batch before that was from Canada I used that right here in Oregon.
  5. Globalization has it winners and losers. China imports much of its soybeans, rice and wheat from the US and globalization is going to wipe out much of its peasant farmers when they are already in dire levels of poverty. But we get cheap film. And yesterday in Paris I was looking at a very nice Armani leather jacket for 500 Euros which I believe was made in China. Well I would rather spend that kind of money on film.
  6. From B&H's website:

    About USA and Imported Film

    When you browse through the hundreds of different types of film we offer you may notice a source designation at the end of the product description. The information below will help you identify the designations so you can make the choice that best suits your needs.

    We sell three types of Kodak film:

    IMPORTED Film made outside the USA and imported for us. This may also be referred to as "GREY".

    USAW Film manufactured in the USA for Worldwide distribution.

    USA Film manufactured in the USA for domestic distribution.

    Agfa, Fuji, and Ilford film are made outside the USA. While we offer many of these in "grey or direct import" and "USA" the primary difference is not where the film came from, but who brought the film into this country.

    We recognize that professionals and amateurs are concerned regarding handling and storage. Accuracy, reliability, and repeatability are crucial film requirements to photographers. Therefore all our film storage methods meet the most stringent industry standards.

    Note to buyers of Kodak USA film:

    If the film you are buying is eligible for Kodak's current promotion you DO NOT need each roll's individual box or UPC code. Kodak will accept a copy of your B&H invoice (which shows the date, film type, quantity, and whether it is USA or otherwise). B&H periodically ships unboxed individual rolls and this arrangement with Kodak permits you to buy from us with confidence.


    By the way, I buy cigarettes for my wife from Switzerland, at (I got this information from college students in the New York City area, who use this site a lot.)

    They ship Marlboros to the US. Cost is $17.95 a carton (10 packs) shipped. Beats the local price which can go up to $8.50 a pack. All perfectly legal.
  7. B&H make distinctions based on where Kodak manufactures film - in the USA for domestic consumption, in the USA but for worldwide distribution, and gray market. They have a useful page that speaks to the gray market issue in general that also has a section on Kodak film. I bought some T400CN from them recently and was surprised to find that the film was made in England.
  8. Vic - great minds think alike... :)
  9. m_.



    well, smaller scale globalization started long before we openned the country border. Remember Flint, Michigan? GM started that tradition - while the GM profit had skyrocketed, they fired thousands of plant workers right at home. And then the Nike, and then the steel industry, and then even MacDonalds...

    Now, I chanllege to say that even some products that clearly marked "made in USA" are not necessarily gauranteed. Wal-mart practiced some illegal labeling in the past and I am sure they are not the only one.

    Welcome to the great capitalism.
  10. I buy "grey" Tri-X from B&H. It is made in the USA, but assembled in the UK. Intersting that the manufacture still takes place state-side. For $2, what a steal!
  11. All the opinions about globalization don't answer william's original question
    (mine, too):

    Are the films from these various sources actually the same as the ones made
    in Rochester??
  12. The Kodak film I buy from B&H is the 'USAW' version -- I'm based right here in the US and don't for the life of me understand why others buy the USA version. It's the same stuff!

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