Kodak Alaris For Sale?
Old 02-02-2019   #1
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Kodak Alaris For Sale?

Saw this on Photrio this morning.

https://www.insideimaging.com.au/201...k-up-for-sale/

Jim B.
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Old 02-02-2019   #2
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Tetenal, Alaris. Uncertain times. Not doom mongering, but it does get one's attention, even if one thinks that it will all come right in the end. Always pays to keep looking over your shoulder for whomever it is that might be gaining on you.
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Old 02-02-2019   #3
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Tetenal, Alaris. Uncertain times. Not doom mongering, but it does get one's attention, even if one thinks that it will all come right in the end. Always pays to keep looking over your shoulder for whomever it is that might be gaining on you.
Very uncertain times indeed. It seems clear that Alaris is not producing enough profits to satisfy the requirements of the UK Pension fund, hence the need to sell it off. Thankfully, Alaris recognized this early and are seeking an orderly sale and not a fire sale.

One wonders if Eastman Kodak might reacquire the rights to sell still film world wide again. If film is truly profitable and resurgent, returning back to Eastman seems the most logical way forward.
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Old 02-02-2019   #4
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Nothing really uncertain. Here is no market for anything related to film, to support old business formula, which was full size of corporation.
This is going away and business will be restructured to niche product manufacturing.

For example, in LP market they recently came with small press allowing to bake small amounts of LPs. It was not existing during LP only time.
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Old 02-02-2019   #5
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The way you view this topic really depends on which area of the internet you frequent. Here, it is much more reserved.

Look on the Facebook groups, people are already carving the headstone of Kodak.

My personal view, which is formed from my understanding of the Kodak/Kodak Alaris business is: Kodak, which makes the film, will continue to make the film. Kodak Alaris, which markets and sells the film, is in financial trouble.

Given that Kodak has just released e100 and p3200 as well as announced plans for 120 and sheet of both of those films, my personal observation is that they are seeing markets that can support those moves. Given that, I'd be inclined to agree with Ko.Fe on this. If anything there will be a restructure to make film on a smaller scale to meet market demands.

I don't see Kodak failing completely, and even if they did, I would surmise that someone would buy the film sector of their business and run just that.
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Old 02-02-2019   #6
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Originally Posted by Hogarth Ferguson View Post
I don't see Kodak failing completely, and even if they did, I would surmise that someone would buy the film sector of their business and run just that.
Well, now we know the price of Kodak Alaris' film business. In the article it stated, "The Kodak Alaris report puts a notional value of US$34 million on the paper chemistry and film business, noting that this is a conservative estimate".

That's not much money in the grand scheme of things. Why wouldn't Eastman Kodak buy the business back?

Seems like a no-brainer.
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Old 02-02-2019   #7
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I would assume it is due to the financial obligation to the pensioners, or something along those lines.
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Old 02-02-2019   #8
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Originally Posted by Hogarth Ferguson View Post
I would assume it is due to the financial obligation to the pensioners, or something along those lines.
Yes, the UK Pension fund needs money so has to sell off Kodak Alaris. My thought is that Eastman Kodak can buy it from the UK Pension fund.
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Old 02-02-2019   #9
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The way you view this topic really depends on which area of the internet you frequent. Here, it is much more reserved.

Look on the Facebook groups, people are already carving the headstone of Kodak.

My personal view, which is formed from my understanding of the Kodak/Kodak Alaris business is: Kodak, which makes the film, will continue to make the film. Kodak Alaris, which markets and sells the film, is in financial trouble.

Given that Kodak has just released e100 and p3200 as well as announced plans for 120 and sheet of both of those films, my personal observation is that they are seeing markets that can support those moves. Given that, I'd be inclined to agree with Ko.Fe on this. If anything there will be a restructure to make film on a smaller scale to meet market demands.

I don't see Kodak failing completely, and even if they did, I would surmise that someone would buy the film sector of their business and run just that.
Well they would. But they're hardly bastions of objective analysis and considered commentary. With a few exceptions, all they're good for is generating white noise that obstructs the distribution of accurate information. Best ignored.
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Old 02-02-2019   #10
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The market is becoming more focused and niche. Things will be fine...
If the world hasn't melted by then (perhaps when I'm 70 hopefully, I will be making my own emulsions with egg whites - and frying some on a sauce pan with a bit of bread and butter.
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Old 02-02-2019   #11
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Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post

For example, in LP market they recently came with small press allowing to bake small amounts of LPs. It was not existing during LP only time.
I think this is a great point Kostya. Itís relatively easy to press a vinyl, and the base technology to play it is very basic. In essence, viynl can be kept alive without any large corporate profit making business, it could survive and even flourish as a backyard pastime. Most niche pastimes/hobbies/interests are like this, even things like watches and fountain pens and coffee (that we all love) donít need big business to flourish. Really, no other artform needs big businesses to survive.

Film on the other hand needs a lot of infrastructure, and really needs large corporate profit making businesses to survive. Itís not a small volume game, there is a minimum amount that needs to be made and sold to stay afloat.
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Old 02-03-2019   #12
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The market is becoming more focused and niche. Things will be fine....
So many companies as well as individuals have gone under with thinking like this. Good feelings in no way sustain things. Just saying "it's fine" offers nothing.

Kodak Alaris was set up to produce profits (for the UK Pension fund) and it isn't doing that.

Have you ever worked for a company that didn't produce enough profits? It's a dismal experience.
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Old 02-03-2019   #13
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Film on the other hand needs a lot of infrastructure, and really needs large corporate profit making businesses to survive. Itís not a small volume game, there is a minimum amount that needs to be made and sold to stay afloat.
Well noted.

I still think the best solution to the problem you describe above would have been for Fujifilm to have been the final holder of film's legacy. Unlike Kodak, Fujifilm is robustly profitable and 100% stable. If they had true commitment to film, photographers could rest much easier knowing that their film supply was stable. Of course, Fujifilm would have to have a product line that demonstrated this commitment. They'd need a full line of b & w films and more color negative films. They used to have all that.
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Old 02-03-2019   #14
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Splitting of film production and film distribution at Kodak was a quite 'artificial' move. A 'third best' solution because of the problematic situation Eastman Kodak was in 2011/2012 during the Chapter 11 process.
From an economic point of view it makes most sense to have both under one roof, in one company. That would be much more efficient which less overhead costs.
Therefore the best solution would be that Eastman Kodak buying back the film and paper distribution from Kodak Alaris.
I hope that this will happen.
Let's wait and see.
The film market in general is globally increasing. The energy and confidence of all the film companies at last Photokina was impressive.
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Old 02-03-2019   #15
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Film on the other hand needs a lot of infrastructure, and really needs large corporate profit making businesses to survive. Itís not a small volume game, there is a minimum amount that needs to be made and sold to stay afloat.
Yes and no.
Yes if you look at big players like Eastman Kodak and Fujifilm.
But both seeing now increasing demand, year after year their situation will improve.
And Fujifilm has the additional advantage to have a booming mass market and mass volume product with instax film.

No if you look at the smaller manufacturers like Ilford, Foma, Adox. They are extremely flexible and can also make very small production runs.
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Old 02-03-2019   #16
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No if you look at the smaller manufacturers like Ilford, Foma, Adox. They are extremely flexible and can also make very small production runs.
Very small production runs are still measured in km, not m, more like relatively small than very small. And still a huge investment to get the product to market in sufficient quantities and quality. Iím not saying film canít be be small scale, just that small scale for film is still not a cottage industry.
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Old 02-03-2019   #17
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And Fujifilm has the additional advantage to have a booming mass market and mass volume product with instax film.
Sadly, there is no evidence to suggest that INSTAX film in any way helps Fujifilm support their other films. None.

During the past 5 years, INSTAX has had a massive run up in production volume, yet Fujifilm has discontinued some of their most iconic still films. They went from having a mostly fully fleshed out still film product line to one now with huge, gaping holes.

INSTAX film has a long future ahead of it. The same cannot be said of their E6 films!
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Old 02-03-2019   #18
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Whenever I see Ted's name posting about film, I know he's spreading doom.


Strangely the market somehow survives.
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Old 02-03-2019   #19
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Whenever I see Ted's name posting about film, I know he's spreading doom.


Strangely the market somehow survives.
More personal attacks. Is it really that hard to discuss the topic?
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Old 02-03-2019   #20
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Well they would. But they're hardly bastions of objective analysis and considered commentary. With a few exceptions, all they're good for is generating white noise that obstructs the distribution of accurate information. Best ignored.

Aside: Brett, probably the scariest statistic you will hear this day: the primary source of news and information about the world for more than 60% of Americans is social media.


White noise and tweets are what fills our heads. Fluffernutter for brains! Ignore us at your own peril.
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Old 02-03-2019   #21
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Kodak Alaris was set up to produce profits (for the UK Pension fund) and it isn't doing that.
Not exactly. It does state pretty clearly in the article that Kodak is a "profitable, cash generating business". Of course one cannot ignore the debt they inherited from Eastman Kodak but I still think it's important to note that selling film and papers can be profitable.
One should also not forget that Kodak papers are also used for digital C-Prints which certainly have a series of advantages over pigment prints for some applications and are still widely used.
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Old 02-03-2019   #22
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Good point.
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Old 02-04-2019   #23
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Originally Posted by Argentia1 View Post
Splitting of film production and film distribution at Kodak was a quite 'artificial' move. A 'third best' solution because of the problematic situation Eastman Kodak was in 2011/2012 during the Chapter 11 process.
From an economic point of view it makes most sense to have both under one roof, in one company. That would be much more efficient which less overhead costs.
Therefore the best solution would be that Eastman Kodak buying back the film and paper distribution from Kodak Alaris.
I hope that this will happen.
Let's wait and see.
The film market in general is globally increasing. The energy and confidence of all the film companies at last Photokina was impressive.
+1.
You have nailed it.
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Old 02-04-2019   #24
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Very small production runs are still measured in km, not m, more like relatively small than very small.
That is not the case (anymore). Fortunately.
Simon Galley from Ilford has explanied on apug some years ago that Ilford can go down to only 1,200m≤ per coating run. On their coating machine that means a master roll of only several hundred meters. Adox and Film Ferrania can even do runs smaller than that.
But with the increasing demand and the film revival all that becomes less important in the future.
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Old 02-04-2019   #25
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+1.
You have nailed it.
See post #8.
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Old 02-04-2019   #26
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Sadly, there is no evidence to suggest that INSTAX film in any way helps Fujifilm support their other films. None.
There is evidence. When I talk to my distributors they always tell me that they have customers which started first only with instax or Polaroid instant film and then picked up standard film, too.
It isn't surprising. depending on the assessment, there are about 30-40 million active instant film users globally. Most of them younger ones. Let's be very conservative: If only 1% of these start using film, too, you have 300,000 to 400,000 additional users. If they only use 10 films p.a., you have 3-4 million additionally sold films p.a.
And at Photokina all film manufacturers have reported increasing demand. A certain percentage of that is coming from instant film users.

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INSTAX film has a long future ahead of it. The same cannot be said of their E6 films!
At Photokina Fujifilm was very clear about the continuation of their E6 line. Even some sheet film formats have been reintroduced.
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Old 02-04-2019   #27
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There is evidence. When I talk to my distributors they always tell me that they have customers which started first only with Instax or Polaroid instant film and then picked up standard film, too.
It isn't surprising. depending on the assessment, there are about 30-40 million active instant film users globally. Most of them younger ones. Let's be very conservative: If only 1% of these start using film, too, you have 300,000 to 400,000 additional users. If they only use 10 films p.a., you have 3-4 million additionally sold films p.a.
And at Photokina all film manufacturers have reported increasing demand. A certain percentage of that is coming from instant film users.

At Photokina Fujifilm was very clear about the continuation of their E6 line. Even some sheet film formats have been reintroduced.
Again, some of Fujifilm's most iconic emulsions have been discontinued during the rise of INSTAX film. If there is support for still film from all this, it's mostly insignificant with regards to Fujifilm. Now their product line is quite unexciting. I shot many hundreds of rolls of Reala, NPS160, Acros, and Neopan 400. All discontinued during the meteoric rise of INSTAX.

I'm not an E6 shooter so I never buy or shoot Provia or Velvia. If by chance, somehow INSTAX has allowed those films to stay in production, well then I'm happy for those E6 shooters who need those films. But it does not thing for me.
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Old 02-04-2019   #28
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Again, some of Fujifilm's most iconic emulsions have been discontinued during the rise of INSTAX film.
Well, they have been discontinued during the time of globally declining overall standard film sales. Before the market stabilised and then turned back to increasing demand (at least in some major markets).
That is a significant difference.
And Fujifilm also had the disadvantage that their home market Japan is doing weaker compared to e.g. North America, the home market of Kodak (where the film revival started earlier and stronger).

The popularity of instant film certainly has (had) positive effects on standard film and supported the stabilising of the standard film market. But this process of course did not happen over night, it took some years. And in these years we've had declining standard film sales and increasing instant film sales at the same time.
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Old 02-04-2019   #29
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Well, they have been discontinued during the time of globally declining overall standard film sales. Before the market stabilised and then turned back to increasing demand (at least in some major markets).
That is a significant difference.
Acros being the notable exception I suppose? Its discontinuation being just some handful of months ago, before the market stabilized and turned upwards...
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Old 02-04-2019   #30
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Acros being the notable exception I suppose? Its discontinuation being just some handful of months ago, before the market stabilized and turned upwards...
Yes exactly. You beat me to it. A wonderful film, the most dear to me there ever was. Any affection I have for Fujifilm products disappeared with the discontinuation of that film.
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Old 02-04-2019   #31
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I really miss Reala and Acros specially. Never thought they would discontinue such an amazing emulsion.
I have been offered a job recently in a film lab, because they can't keep up with demand. Uncertain times, but who knows...
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Old 02-04-2019   #32
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I really miss Reala and Acros specially. Never thought they would discontinue such an amazing emulsion.
I have been offered a job recently in a film lab, because they can't keep up with demand. Uncertain times, but who knows...
Where do you live where demand is off the charts? USA or Europe?

Losing Reala was a gut punch I'll never forget. From easily available, and cheap, to unable to get stock virtually overnight.
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Old 02-04-2019   #33
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Where do you live where demand is off the charts? USA or Europe?

Losing Reala was a gut punch I'll never forget. From easily available, and cheap, to unable to get stock virtually overnight.
I am in Europe. Film is getting more popular with young people around here, specially 35mm.
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Old 02-04-2019   #34
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I am in Europe. Film is getting more popular with young people around here, specially 35mm.
Good to hear. Where I live the sole remaining film lab does a single run of development every week. There's not enough demand for more, nor is there enough demand to take on 120 film, which is a drag for me since I am primarily a 120 shooter. So I have stopped shooting color altogether.
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Old 02-04-2019   #35
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Acros being the notable exception I suppose? Its discontinuation being just some handful of months ago, before the market stabilized and turned upwards...
The decision to stop Acros was made much earlier. It was just announced last spring. The last coating run was made 2-3 years ago.
Film production is batch production, at all manufacturers. It is standard to make one coating run for the demand of 1-3 years. During this time the master rolls are converted to end products - rolls or sheets of film - just in time with the demand.
Concerning Acros there is some information that they had to stop it because some raw materials are not available anymore. It was said in a statement by Fujifilm HQ.
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Old 02-04-2019   #36
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The decision to stop Acros was made much earlier. It was just announced last spring. The last coating run was made 2-3 years ago.
Film production is batch production, at all manufacturers. It is standard to make one coating run for the demand of 1-3 years. During this time the master rolls are converted to end products - rolls or sheets of film - just in time with the demand.
Concerning Acros there is some information that they had to stop it because some raw materials are not available anymore. It was said in a statement by Fujifilm HQ.
This is incorrect. First of all, there was no official English announcement from Fujifilm stating that Acros was being discontinued. Google searching for such an announcement comes up empty. The only official word that came from Fujifilm was on a Japanese web page from their site. The English translation is as follows. Note, there is no mention of any raw material problem making this film.

April 6, 2018
FUJIFILM Imaging Systems Co., Ltd.
Thank you very much for your continued patronage of FUJIFILM products from everyday.

Fujifilm Imaging Systems Co., Ltd. (President: Toru Nishimura) has worked hard to absorb cost, such as improving production efficiency and cost savings for black-and-white film and black-and-white photographic paper that we have used for many years. However, As the supply decreased due to the decrease, sales will be terminated.

Although it is truly selfish, thank you for your kind understanding on your circumstances.

We look forward to your continuous patronage of FUJIFILM products in the future.

Future recommendations
Both black-and-white film and black-and-white printing paper will be discontinued for all types, so there are no recommended products for use.
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Old 02-04-2019   #37
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This is incorrect.
No, it is not. Look at John Sypal, he has reported about it, and translated the Japanese statement. He is a very reliable source.
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Old 02-05-2019   #38
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There is evidence. When I talk to my distributors they always tell me that they have customers which started first only with instax or Polaroid instant film and then picked up standard film, too.
It isn't surprising. depending on the assessment, there are about 30-40 million active instant film users globally. Most of them younger ones. Let's be very conservative: If only 1% of these start using film, too, you have 300,000 to 400,000 additional users. If they only use 10 films p.a., you have 3-4 million additionally sold films
Well this is important and hopeful, but I can't help but thinking about the larger context: you are talking 3-4 million rolls of additional sales per annum, which might or might not be sustained depending on the whims of a buyer's market saturated with many ways to create images. Against that one might remember that at its height in 2003 companies were putting out 960 million rolls of film. a year.
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Old 02-05-2019   #39
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Well this is important and hopeful, but I can't help but thinking about the larger context: you are talking 3-4 million rolls of additional sales per annum, which might or might not be sustained depending on the whims of a buyer's market saturated with many ways to create images. Against that one might remember that at its height in 2003 companies were putting out 960 million rolls of film. a year.
I read somewhere that at film's peak demand, over 1 billion rolls were being sold each year. Also Fujifilm's CEO stated fairly recently (within the last 5 years) that their production was at 2% of peak levels. A 98% drop in their main product line. It's truly amazing that Fujifilm was able to transition away from film into other areas and remain a very successful and growing business. Their CEO surely is a smart guy.
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Old 02-05-2019   #40
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Well this is important and hopeful, but I can't help but thinking about the larger context: you are talking 3-4 million rolls of additional sales per annum, which might or might not be sustained depending on the whims of a buyer's market saturated with many ways to create images. Against that one might remember that at its height in 2003 companies were putting out 960 million rolls of film. a year.
Your data is not correct: In 2003 was the film sales record in North America with this 960 million rolls.
The global sales record was in 1999/2000 with 3 billion rolls.
But that is all irrelevant for the current market.
Look for example at the digital camera market: In 2012 more than 121 million cameras sold, in 2018 only 19,5 million cameras. Less than 1/6 only six years after!

So the collapse was even stronger / bigger / faster in the digital camera market than in the film market (the film market was much bigger six years after its record, more than 1/3).
But all these looks in the past are not helpful. What counts is the current and future situation.
3-4 million additional rolls caused by instant film photographers are a significant support for the current market and very welcome.
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