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Tech Pan to be discontinued


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Just to add a comment to what Rowland has said "Suddenly, in the 80s, the public wanted color prints rather than slides." - One of the prime reasons for this was the birth of the one-hour mini-labs! People could get their pictures processed and printed while they did their grocery shopping, or while they were at the hairdressers. Why wait? It wasn't so much the unpacking of the projector - Kodachrome slides had to be sent away, and came back days later. The current success of the digital revolution is due in part to the same reason - IMMEDIACY!!
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<i>Just to add a comment to what Rowland has said "Suddenly,

in the 80s, the public wanted color prints rather than slides." -

One of the prime reasons for this was the birth of the one-hour

mini-labs! People could get their pictures processed and printed

while they did their grocery shopping, or while they were at the

hairdressers. Why wait? It wasn't so much the unpacking of the

projector - Kodachrome slides had to be sent away, and came

back days later. The current success of the digital revolution is

due in part to the same reason - IMMEDIACY!!</i> - Graham

Serretta

 

<p>

 

Well, living across the river from the Fair Lawn facility, I've been

able to get my Kodachrome (on the rare occasions I've used it

lately) turned around in a day, from a local lab in Brooklyn that

has daily pick-ups by Kodak. Not the ready-in-a-few-hours

convenience of E6 and C41 that I can get at many labs in town,

but better than what most people who shoot K'chrome normally

put up with. The closing of the Fair Lawn facility puts the kibosh

on this quick turnaround, and with it any further use of

Kodachrome on my part.

 

<p>

 

This seems a bit sneaky on Kodak's part: people (both average

snapshooters and us El Serioso types) have been more-or-less

conditioned to expect quick turnaround (brought about by the

popularity of one-hour labs from the 80s onward, now even

moreso by digital). Having to (1) mail off film and (2) wait about a

week or so to see results isn't going to fly anymore, especially in

urban locations like the greater NY area. Kodachrome sales are

going to take another hit because of this, and not long from now

the gang in Rochester will punch up a PowerPoint chart (might

as well blame Bill Gates for <i>his</i> part in this mess, too)

showing a sad, red line heading downward, and saying "Well,

we tried...what else do you want us to do?"

 

<p>

 

In my case, nothing...just keep that good E6 and C41 film

coming (and conventional b/w, which I'm gradually getting back

into again). And, no, dIgital capture doesn't quite do it for me yet.

 

- Barrett<div>009AFs-19188384.thumb.jpg.61a5459fdb8974e7b0eb9c7f913f2109.jpg</div>

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Barrett;

 

Please don't quote me out of the entire context. The minilab came on-line about 10 - 15 years after the public began converting to color negative film. Therefore, the 'instant gratification' of a minilab had little to do with this trend.

 

What had an impact was the convenience of a print. The average consumer did not like using a projector. This is what ultimately killed super 8 and 8 mm photography as well as 35 mm slide popularity. The VCR and prints of high quality are what did the trick.

 

I really do love slides. What I don't like is moving furniture around to make space for my screen, for setting up the projector and for the bulk of slides in trays. I can pack a lot more prints into the same space as slides and be able to show them on a moments notice without tying up the whole 'audience' in my living room.

 

These are ergonomic factors that have largely been ignored on PN. Now I know that devoted slide people will argue this point, but the fact is that the average customer has already voted.

 

Along with that is the difficulty in controlling a reversal process of any sort. E6 and K14 are included in this. Reversal processing is more complicated than negative processing, and keeping the results on aim is a greater problem for the labs.

 

So, it is not just getting the prints faster. If that were so, then this trend would have started in the 90s, not the 70s. In fact, this trend is what started the downward spiral of Kodachrome film in the early 80s and led to the cancellation of further Kodacrhome improvements.

 

Ron Mowrey

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<i><blockquote> Ask anyone is business school and they'll tell you that the best way

to suceed is to change the perception not the product </blockquote> </i><p>

 

I don't know who you kno in business school, but that's absolute nonsense. It is far

from the "best way" to remain profitable to maintain product lines that aren't making

money, especially in a product segment that has been shrinking by double-digit

percentages in recent years ... and whose sales decreases have been accelerating. <p>

 

<i><blockquote> I fully believe Kodak looses money on Kodachrome and Tech Pan.

</blockquote> </i><p>

 

Belief, as within the realm of religion -- faith without evidence? No thanks.

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According to latest reports, EK is second only to Sony in sales of digital still cameras in the US.

 

EK is still #1 in film sales in Africa, South America, and Asia according to some sources. (I'm not sure about this having heard it second hand but from some film sales figures I've seen, they are doing very well at least, if not #1)

 

Ron Mowrey

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Re <I>.[. Z , aug 14, 2004; 08:40 a.m.

The WSJ and others seem to think Kodak is just awaking to digital.

Kelly seems not to be much of a WSJ reader.

</I>Bailey; .[. Z , here we have had a subscription to the WSJ since before WW2. It has followed us thru dozens of households; over several generations. I have read the WSJ since the 1950's; probably before you were born. <BR><BR>Kodak was "into digital" in the 1970's. Optical recording, mass memory projects; and electronic still capture were being experimented with in the 1970's. The US Navy used electronic still capture cameras decades ago. Both the US Navy and the Kodak skunk works were in the San Deigo area in the 1970's; doing "pre digital" analog electronic still image capture. <BR><BR>Some of the recent Kodak WSJ articles read like moronic sometimes; like Kodak just read about digital; when they have been deeply involved in "Non-photo" still imagery for 3 decades. The WSJ doesnt know everything; and sometimes omits produsts that are not much publically known; or are prototypes. <BR><BR>At one factory I worked; we got "digital" cameras over a decade ago; and shot images for assembly manuals; and used Photoshop 2.5; serial cables to transfer images. It saved alot of money; and replaced the older method of hand drawing 3d sketches. The method of shooting prints; scanning them; was slow; shadow detail was horrible. Getting outside negative scans was expensive and slow. The digital image; even then with a thousand dollar VGA camera; proved profitable. The rest of the world was still hawking APS; P&S cameras; and closed their eyes to the new cool toys. <BR><BR>

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Kelly;

 

Good for you. You are correct.

 

In fact, EK used the KS Paul digital scanner in the 80s, and worked on digital and "Electrocolor" in the 70s. Many pioneering patents in electronic and digital photography came from EK. I remember seeing Japanese digital imaging companies work compared to EK work and taking into account the lag in publication and the 'secrecy factors' involved, EK had parity or a clear lead in the 80s. That is why today EK is second only to Sony in the US in still digital sales.

 

Today, EK makes the most sophisticated digital sensors, and some of the largest.

 

It has done all of that while being on the cutting edge of conventional films as well as including processing chemistry, which none of the competitors seem to be interested in. In fact, Fuji, Konica, and Agfa ride on the EK coattails as far as process development work is concerned.

 

Ron Mowrey

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With old giant mapping & process camera type work; the transistion from Process camera to Digital Bond/scanners occured about a decade plus ago. Dupont; Fuji; and Kodak made giant rolls of film; papers; lith materials 15 years ago; then wide 36 inch digital bond copiers arrived. I think Dupont dropped their graphics arts items first; then it dropped alot with Fuji and Kodak; maybe just a trickle today; or gone. The transision from Photo film to digital is about complete with wide format mapping. Any graphics art materials executive at Fuji; Dupont; or Kodak has seen this death; and might wonder if it might happen with regular photography materials. It is happening. A quicker product came out; and the existing film product production tanked. Costs went up with lower processing volumes; and process camera darkroom costs increased; and then the entire process was scrapped. One has to make enough on one processing job to pay for the chemicals; that would not last until the next lone job. <BR><BR>
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<i><blockquote>here we have had a subscription to the WSJ since before WW2. It has

followed us thru dozens of households; over several generations. I have read the WSJ

since the 1950's; probably before you were born.

</blockquote> </i><p>

 

So you're a subscriber; doesn't mean you're much of a reader, or retained any

knowledge of numerous, consistent coverage in the WSJ over the years. Had I not

recently dropped my online sub to wsj.com I'd have been happy to plaster your in-box

with supportive evidence from a quick archive search.

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.[. Z , aug 16, 2004; 09:26 a.m.<BR><BR>Actually I was a Kodak stockholder for many years; and read the 10K's and 10Q's; annual reports; and have a subscription the the WSJ online and in print. Plus I have a subcription to Value Line; and Barrons....<BR><BR>Plastering my email box with info that I have already read does no good.<BR><BR>Many of the WSJ articles do read like Kodak was slow to get into digital; when they have been dabbling in it for many many decades; and/or ignored the rapid growing area. <BR><BR>At photo trade shows I remember how Kodak really pressed the APS camera; when I was already using a primative SONY digital camera; for real work. The corporate darkroom was shut down; the expensive corporate photographer let go; and an illustrator; when this place I worked at went digital about a decade ago.<BR><BR> The inhouse photographer wanted nothing to do with the new digital tools/toys; nothing to do with Photostyler or Photoshop; nothing to do with "photographing" the assembly tooling that we needed shot and documented....The negative attitude of the chap; saying it will never work didnt help any. I was asked to do the job; while I was working as an Engineer; doing the work at odd times..The corporate photog was first tried; but he prefered to escape to his office; reading magazines; playing with his film cameras; the steady paycheck rolling in.. I hand stiched the VGA images to creat a higher resolution image; ie about 4x the area of a VGA image; for some "photos". The Kodak rep that called on the golden boy corporate staff photographer visted our work "digital" work area/hole; and wasnt positive either....Kodak has seen digital growing for along time; and simply kept blinders on in the consumer area..<BR><BR>Long ago the WSJ was alot more regional; a smaller Kodak article in the northeast may not be in the Los Angeles area edition. Major articles would be national; minor articles would be more regional. Thus an major article about Kodak in San Diego might be covered by the west coast and east coast WSJ; and a minor article only in one edition.<BR><BR>The WSJ also publishes what it legally can. If one works at a skunk works; or government project; the info can take awhile to make it to publication. If one invents a new gizmo in college; the student writes a paper; gets published; info gets to the world; he gets his Phd :). In secret projects; one is prohibited from publishing trade secrets; so the usage can be years or decades before the school crowd "discovers" it. Many times in trade workshops a chap will present a new found method; that one used a decade ago. Manufacturing processes are often secretive; with subtle ways that boost quality. <BR><BR>Barrons often reads abit more bearist.
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Your subscriptions and readings do not mean you retaine what you read. I'm not

interested in describing my current work, but I can pretty confidently tell you that your

claims that the WSJ 'seems to think Kodak just awaked to digital' is absurdly off the

mark, as was your simplistic "blubbler management" (sic) advice.

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Kodak was interested in digital for years before the first product was released to the public. I have seen the actual first generation digital still cameras, and have held a handful of the first sensors that EK produced long before there were any digital cameras worth the name.

 

I have seen color prints on "Electrocolor Paper" back before anyone thought color could be produced by any electronic means.

 

That does not automatically mean that a company that pioneers will therefore lead the industry. EK may not lead, but the recent data show that it is second only to Sony in US sales of digital still cameras. They are doing similarly well in other digital products for the consumer and for the professional.

 

Ron Mowrey

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  • 3 years later...

Almost 4 year later and this is still a very interesting thread.

 

Wasn't EK very active in space based digital imaging? If I remember a WSJ (I coan't bother with a subscription), at one time Kodak held more patents in the digital realm then any other company. From what little I know of space based digital recon imagery, EK was the pioneering company.

 

I still mis TP, and still shoot K64.

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