Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Plus-X Forever?


Argus color still life
Originally uploaded by mfophotos.

Someone recently gave me a vintage unexposed roll of Kodak's Plus-X Pan from 1955. It was as shiny and new as the day it was sold, and I figured it deserved to have its photo taken with a camera of the same vintage, an Argus C-3.

This little tableau brings to mind Kodak's current state of affairs. The announcement that Kodak may spin-off its film business is a crying shame. The CEO Perez (a former H-P officer), is determined to make Kodak and entirely digital company, that will, in the end, have no products that distinguish it from all the other companies they are competing with. I can imagine George Eastman rolling in his grave. OK, you idiot. Sell off the film business and have it re-emerge as the Eastman Dry Plate and Film Company once again.

To the new company -- promote the hell out of film and show why it really is archivally superior to digital in so many ways. Don't forget the millions of feet of movie film stock that you produce is vastly superior to the digital movie experience. Promote it, and compete with Ilford, Fuji, as a film company can, and accept the smaller niche. I think if that happens, things will work out. But Kodak might have to dump their CEO no matter what, once they lose their cash-making division, and people stop buying whatever digital products Kodak is making in favor of others like Fuji, HP, Canon, Epson, Lexmark...

George Eastman, R.I.P.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

I have to agree with everything here; the "shareholder value" perspective that companies should sell off anything that's not making top profit is extremely short-sighted. People are still going to want film for a long time, and many of us are willing to pay a pretty penny for a roll of good stuff. Why sneer at all that business just because it ain't digital? Kodak moving to only digital offerings would indeed extinguish their distinguishing characteristics. :P