A question for Mirko Boedekker!!!

0 Replies, 18791 Views


I've just read that Kodak are losing shares on the stock market,

indeed some shops don't sell Kodak stuff, all because kodak stuck with 'old style' film and didn't go into the digital age!!!

How long do you think the old way of developing and processing

will last!!!

Also, have you ever considered having a gallery section on this site where members can show some of there photographs, or maybe hold a competition or something!!!!


Mr. boeddecker is from East-Berlin, perhaps he does not speak english, because in GDR the second language at scholl was russian.

I shall try to translate in german(in reported speech):

Herr Boeddecker,

Niall sagt, da?er gelesen habe da?Kodak Marktanteile verliere (bin mir nicht ganz sicher ob nicht auch der Aktienkurs gemeint sein k?nte), und mittlerweile selbst einige gesch?te keine kodak Produkte mehr verkauften, weil Kodak weiter mit altmodischen Filmen handle und nicht ins digitale Zeitalter vorsto?.

Ferner fragt er sie, wie lange ihrer Meinung nach der alte Weg mittels klassischer Verarbeitung und Entwickeln Bestand haben werde.

Dar?ber hinaus m?hte er wissen, ob Sie es jemals in erw?ung gezogen h?ten, eine Fotogallerie auf Ihrer Seite anzubieten, wo Mitglieder ihre Lichtbilder ver?fentlichen k?nten, oder sogar ein Fotowettbewerb staattfinden k?nte.

PS: Ich ?bernehme f?r die Richtigkeit meiner ?ersetzung keine Gew?r (aber die braucht es wohl auch nicht), Kritik bitte sobald als n?ig

this Forum is not intended to chat with me.

The form of a topic or question should always be universal and adressing all readers.

I will not answer any questions adressed directly to me.

Maybe you want to consider re-posting this in a more universal way adressing all forum participants ?

I hope you understand this- it is a general rule.

Imagine I would start answering in a public forum to individual requests- we could close the forum as a forum then.


Sorry for the misunderstanding!

I will post the question again in a more general way!!!

I hope you will then give your opinion on the two questions as will other people!!!

Thanx for answering the post anyway!!!


it?s sunday now and I have some time <img src='http://forum.fotoimpex.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tongue.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':P' />

Regarding to your question there are hundreds of threads in german newsgroups who deal with this topic- as well as in english groups.

People tend to expect the worst and already talk about the analogue photography beeing dead.

But if you take a close look these people are usually not photograpers or actually involved in the industry- rather they are digital camera freaks and shouting on public internet forums.

Real magazines or knowledgeable authors usually come to the conclusion analogue will cosolidate down to a certain size and then remain as a special interest market while the mass markets are shifting to digital.

Thus we can expect a decreases in the availability of amateur colour products very soon.

This market makes about 80-90% of the whole analogue market and since this is shrinking fast all companies like Kodak and Agfa have tremendous problems.

If the b/w market was to decerase these companies would only be little or not at all affectet.

This is why I would like to separate my answer into 3 sections.

1) Cameras

2) Colour amateur products

3) b/w films and papers

Obviously FOTOIMPEX is mainly interested in number 3.

Number 1 will probably consolidate to highest quality and things digital can?t do (e.g. large Format or panoramic - try to bend a chip 360 degress- etc.) and to a market made of people who just like the feel and click of a good analogue apparatus. Also don?t forgett the equippment sales which are almost never captured by those statistics of number of cameras beeing sold. Analogue cameras are very robust and usually can expect (a certain quality given) a lifetime of 100 years and more.

Number 2 is likely to vanish except for those areas where analogue has an advantage over digital (e.g. it is almost always much cheaper and often even faster).

Number 3 has not been affected by digital much if we are looking at our artists and hobby market (excluding industrial film, the graphics industry, Xray and any other commercial use of film).

This market has been a niche since the early 80ies and definitely since all press photographers stopped using b/w when newspapers started to print in colour over the 90ies.

Analogue enthusiasts actually had no reason other than personal preference to become involved in b/w since then -thus giving them no such reason to stop doing it and shifting to digital now.

It is a totally different expirience to use a film expose it, go to the darkroom, hear the water running in the dark, smell the develpoer and gelatine feel the fibre based paper sensing the spirit of Adams and Weston while you are shaking your trays.

Your are actually producing a piece of art. You are using all your senses- have controle over the process can make mistakes- learn from them and the whole process suddenly makes sense and can be captured by your brain by just looking at what happens.

This is not the case with digital photograpy. Digital photography does not smell, ist fast and efficient and who knows what made the image pop up on the other side of the camrea in the screen ? Electricity ? Silicon sand ? Elvis ?

This is ideal for people who don?t care about all the background and who are perfectly satisfied to get a happy snap in seconds.

Whoever went through the whole process of studying how to develop your own film, setting up a darkroom and starting to do printing finally holding the dripping wet but perfect print in his hands (of a picture he shot at least 5 hours ago) simply can?t get this satisfaction out of any instant image producing "fraction of a second"- digital process.

The celebration of slowlyness and letting your phantasy go- relax and think about your image it won?t be ready before 5 hours anyways. All this is important and forces you to concentrate and think before you press the shutter.

Having said al this bevore here comes my answer to your question: "As long as there are people out there who want to buy b/w films, papers and chemicals they will be avialable".

The process is so simple that the whole production on a small scale could theoretically be done in a garage (certain limitations involved).

It does not matter if Kodak?s shares fall or raise. This matters only to Kodaks strategic decisions on planing the production. Same for Agfa, Fuji and Ilford.

And it even is not a bad sign if these companies now spend most of their research money on inkjet. They have to. It?s a new market where they are not leaders yet. In b&w they are market leaders and there is little they have to do to keep the position. So any smart company leader will invest just as much funds as necessary to keep this position and spend the rest on becoming number one in a new future mass market.

All these so called "indicators" used by those people who want to persuade the world analogue was dead are not such indicators if you look at them closely. Rather they are facts which make sense as a reaction onto current market realities.

And let?s be honest: Who cares about 9x12 cm drugstore colour prints for 9 censt and happy snap 39,59 cameras ?

They are the majority of the market and will probabaly disappear sooner or later.

There is one important market impact though which will also strike b/w (I have said this sveral times before in this forum in German): the production volumes of the raw chemicals and base materials.

As some of these chemicals and bases are used for both b/w and colour the decreasing colour print film market will lead to price increases and the loss in availability of certain raw ingredients.

Thus some very high tech products involving certain very pure and complicated formularies will disappear.

Also RC paper might eventually become more expensive than fibre based paper (due to an increase in base price).

But I think all these price increases are in a range that no one has a reason to stop using it. Digital will very probably stay more expensive all the time as it is a much more complex and costly process in general and there are no hard facts why analogue printing should ever be more expensive than digital as long as inkjet papers don?t start using a base which just cannot be used for coating it with silver nitrate and gelatine (currently it?s the same just that Inkjet paper has some special ingredients in the coating and -obviously- is not sensitized).

If small and flexible companies like efke and forte make it over the next 5 years of price dumping by Agfa and Kodak they are looking into a very prosperous future after the big players decided to pull out because a market of 900 million USD per year worldwide is peanuts to them.

They will be the suppliers of b/w products for the future. If they won?t make it there will be new factories built. Wherever there is a demand someone will make things happen to supply it.



Galery: too much server space needed OR image quality will be of a kind that it can?t be considered serious :-((
(Dieser Beitrag wurde zuletzt bearbeitet: 01-08-2004, 01:38 PM von Mirko Boeddecker.)

sch?es "Wort zum Sonntag" und vor allem Dingen perfektes Timing (LogIn-Zwang). Wenn das sonst "Fleedwood" mitbek?e ...

Wieso kann man "es" nicht einfach darauf reduzieren:

Wer auf Computer steht, bzw. darauf abf?rt, m?lichst alle Bereiche seines Lebens dorthin zu verlagern, soll "digital" gehen;

Wer Computer - *wo m?lich* - meidet (wie ich), bleibt analog.

Alles andere zu diesem Thema (besser: alles, was ich bisher gelesen habe) ist n?lich nicht schl?ssig, wof?r Du einen neuen Beleg abgeliefert hast:

"and the whole process makes sense and can be captured by your brain by just looking at what happens."

Niemand kann behaupten, den GENAUEN Prozess der Bildbelichtung/Bildentwicklung zu verstehen, schon gar nicht vom blossen Hinsehen. Oder wieso haben wir im Konkurrenzforum ca. 60000 Eintr?e zu diesem Thema?


sorry for writing in German here, but my posting is not relevant to your question. I agree with Mirko, he is right, as usual.

Happy shooting,

Thank you Mirko for your very fullsome answer to what I

think is a very relevent question!!!

I thought I would ask someone on the inside of the bussiness,

about this matter!!!

Yes, I agree with you I like to try and develope my own black and whites!!

I've only recently come back to doing it, and I'm still struggling,to understand

how to do it!!

There is something very magical about seeing you photo come up

on the paper, and the control one has over the whole process!!!

I just hope this particular art form doesn't go away tomorrow!!

But then again, they said newspapers would be a thing of the past

when computers arrived!!!!


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