News Eastman Kodak files for bankruptcy

BBW

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
betwixt and between
BB
Just saw this on the New York Times: Eastman Kodak Files for Bankruptcy - NYTimes.com by MICHAEL J. DE LA MERCED

Eastman Kodak, the 131-year-old film pioneer that has been struggling for years to adapt to an increasingly digital world, filed for bankruptcy protection early on Thursday.

The American icon had tried a number of turnaround strategies and cost-cutting efforts in recent years, but the company — which since 2004 has reported only one full year of profits — ultimately ran short of cash.

“Since 2008, despite Kodak’s best efforts, restructuring costs and recessionary forces have continued to negatively impact the company’s liquidity position, ” Kodak’s chief financial officer, Antoinette P. McCorvey, said in a court filing on Thursday.

Citigroup is providing Kodak with $950 million in financing to allow the company to keep going. Kodak plans to continue operating normally during bankruptcy.

The company will also seek to continue selling a portfolio of 1,100 digital imaging patents to raise cash for its loss-making operations.

Kodak has become the latest giant to falter in the face of advancing technology....
 

Biro

Hall of Famer
Aug 7, 2011
Jersey Shore
Steve
Yes... as sad as this is, it's hardly a surprise at this point. And while I'm rooting for Kodak, in my heart I don't think they are going to make it for the long haul.

Film is dying rapidly. Consumers have already left it and now, finally, Hollywood is abandoning it. Kodak has already sold off their camera-sensor division. Too bad. Sensors are the "film" of digital cameras and Kodak's were good enough to be used by Leica. Once they sell off all their patents, what's left? Third-rate consumer cameras made by a third party in China and printers and paper? Why bother? People don't even print in the numbers they used to.

I expect even if Kodak survives Chapter 11 for a few years, the company will probably ultimately be bought or otherwise absorbed/dissolved with the Kodak name being sold off. We'll probably see it on some cheap products the way we see Polaroid today.

Kodak is such a metaphor for the U.S. At one time the best and brightest before becoming arrogant and slow-witted, living off its reputation for a while and ultimately being unprepared for the complexities of the 21st century. And I say this as an American.
 

Duane Pandorf

Top Veteran
Apr 25, 2011
Western NC
This is no surprise to me as anyone paying attention could see the writing on the wall. Kodak completely blew it. If I remember correctly, they we one of the first providing a high end digital sensor that they put on a Nikon body.

They also could have been the "Epson" printer of choice for digital prints as they had the ability and no how to segway into that field and been tops.

So many other opportunities that they missed where they could be the leader in this industry.

What they lacked was true leadership at the top with the vision that was required in this new world.
 
This is no surprise to me as anyone paying attention could see the writing on the wall. Kodak completely blew it. If I remember correctly, they we one of the first providing a high end digital sensor that they put on a Nikon body.

They also could have been the "Epson" printer of choice for digital prints as they had the ability and no how to segway into that field and been tops.

So many other opportunities that they missed where they could be the leader in this industry.

What they lacked was true leadership at the top with the vision that was required in this new world.
After 46 years in the photographic industry I can only remember Kodak for its film and papers. The only Kodak item I was still using when I retired last year was their Professional Instant dry Inkjet paper. A decent product at a decent price. In my retailing years we only sold their cameras by name not by quality or respect. At great expense I purchased one of their first Pro digital cameras - a model 520 based on a Canon EOS 1 body and a kodak sensor. We only used it briefly because the sensor was soon far too inferior. After that we stayed with Canon on its own. Bye bye Kodak!
Cheers (well not really)
DUD
 

stillshunter

Super Moderator Emeritus
Nov 5, 2010
Down Under
Mark
Excellent commentary so far. But I'm still left with the question: Does Kodak's demise indicate a demise in film?

As Biro and Duane said (most eloquently! :thumbsup:) Kodak has been mis-managed or mis-lead for some time. Also as Serhan pointed out, Fujifilm is thriving (by diversifying their product range and not only satisfying, but driving, market demand), and maintains its film line.

So will the absence of Tri-X and Portra from the shelves, just mean more sales of Acros and Velvia?

I actually thought film still had a niche but steady market - with small peaks. I, for one, would be very sad to see the demise of film as they've yet to make a sensor that can render skin-tones - or possess the tonal range of B+W - like film!!!
 

Duane Pandorf

Top Veteran
Apr 25, 2011
Western NC
I don't have a film camera anymore and have considered buying one of those collectibles from an older rangefinder to one of the Ricoh 35mm cameras with the fixed lens. But, my problem was and still would be, taking the film in to get developed.

Maybe that would change now that I've become more active with my photography but I'm not sure. It would probably only happen to justify buying the film camera that I would go through with that process.

I have enough trouble just getting the time to upload images and look at them on the computer.
 

stillshunter

Super Moderator Emeritus
Nov 5, 2010
Down Under
Mark
I have enough trouble just getting the time to upload images and look at them on the computer.
Precise reason I'm looking forward to shooting some film soon. I'm finding it high-time to focus more on print rather than downsizing for screen. I've also got to thinking about the fundamental differences between both formats.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Jul 13, 2011
Lexington, VA
Steve
The biggest threat to film now is the movie industry converting to digital. If they stop using film, then it might simply become really unprofitable for any major company to make film. Of course, B&W film is not that hard to make so a few little (Chinese?) companies might pick it up.
 

Biro

Hall of Famer
Aug 7, 2011
Jersey Shore
Steve
The biggest threat to film now is the movie industry converting to digital. If they stop using film, then it might simply become really unprofitable for any major company to make film. Of course, B&W film is not that hard to make so a few little (Chinese?) companies might pick it up.
Yes, I expect we'll see black-and-white film for quite some time because it's easier to do. And we still have Ilford. What's more, both professional and serious hobbyists can still mix their own black-and-white processing chemicals easily enough. Color? It's more complicated and really can't be done at home. But we actually might see that under an Asian or Eastern European brand as well. Since Kodak is selling off most of its patents, I'm sure they'd sell their film technology as well.
 

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