The Future of Film
Recent business news about the potential bankruptcy of Kodak Eastman is making a lot of people very nervous about the future of film.
Even if the company last week made statements about there being no chance of them filling for bankruptcy; there remains a strong view that some inevitable restructuring or sale of part of the business is about to happen.
What this means for film users world wide can only be complete speculation – but perhaps this is the time to start purchasing yourself some seriously large cold storage solutions and stocking up on the films you will miss.
For me this only comes down to Ektar 100 and Portra 400 only, as the B/W offerings from Fuji are more than sufficient to keep me a very happy boy for a long time to come. For large format I use Ilford anyway and can easily use Ilford developers rather than the cheaper Kodak options.
Although this news may be seen as the herald of the total demise of film and unfortunately news that seems to make the dedicated digital mob happy; it is very unlikely that the Kodak film business will not be bought up and consolidated elsewhere as it is probably one of the few areas of their business that is seeing a renaissance as more of us realise the sterility of the digital options.As a post script to this article it may be worth mentioning that Kodak are one of the major and potentially one of the best makers of sensors for digital cameras.
The latest top of the range Leica M9 uses a Kodak sensor as do many other camera companies and they have some one the biggest sensors in production for full frame cameras.
The ramifications of Kodak going to the wall are not as simple as this being seen as the end of film, as Kodak saw the end of film decades ago and made massive R&D investments into digital technology before most other companies saw what could be about to happen, but the potential loss of one of the best imaging companies that has consistently put more into R&D for the future than 90% of other imaging businesses.