Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Kodak is dead

Tonight we are in mourning for Kodak. A true and trusted friend whom we all knew from birth and our fathers and forefathers also knew. Like Agfa, Kodak has now ceased to exist as a camera and film producing company. This is a great loss to the world.

Agfa were responsible for producing the filmstock to make the highly acclaimed M√ľnchhausen film in 1943. Agfa was also the first company to perish under the onslaught of digital imaging. The film-making division was bought out and became Agfa-Photo which went bankrupt after a year.

Kodak filed for bankruptcy protection after digital imaging made inroads into their market share in 2012. This year they announced they were emerging from bankruptcy as a printing only business. I really don't see that as going to last as most people now never print their pictures, preferring to display them online or on screens.

Oddly enough, Kodak should have been the most able to survive the introduction of digital imaging because it was Kodak who in 1975 developed the first digital camera. They sat on it for fear of it destroying their traditional printing and camera business. They failed to recognise that somebody else could develop the same thing and failed to develop a viable strategy around it. It's all very strange.

So, we have the ongoing death of Kodak continuing. The company will probably remain in its death throes for a few years before slipping unloved into the depths of the receiver's hands. It's a company that needs to be shot and put out of its misery.

I used Kodak film and Kodak cameras. Indeed, my first camera was a Kodak Instamatic 126 given to me by my late aunty and my late grandmother. I loved it and took many photos with it - few of which survive today. I used Kodak film for many years until I discovered Konica had better colors for print film and Agfa was better for reversal film. I stuck with Ilford for black and white film aside from Kodak's infra-red black and white film.

I will miss Kodak in my mind though I purchase no Kodak products nor have purchased any Kodak products for years. We all miss the Kodachrome series of films that we never used. It's strange that we all have fond memories and a feeling of loss for something we haven't used in a decade or more.

All I can say is RIP Kodak.

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