Film news: Kodak Lomo and Fujifilm
This week has been a very big week in the world of film. I want to have a look at what has happened and give some thoughts on what it means for us, the users.
Well, I guess you have all heard the news by now about Kodak teaming up with Lomo. And in all honesty, it comes as little surprise to me.
There were rumours about this on the grapevine a long while ago and Lomo had made it pretty clear that they wanted some kind of relationship with Kodak. And who wouldn’t? In theory it could be a match made in heaven. But is it?
When Alaris rose from the ashes of Kodak, it seemed like all was saved. We would get to hang on to the few remaining film stocks that we know and love. But we have to remember, this company is being run by a pension fund, and it requires that the bottom line is cleared and then some.
So Kodak teaming up with Lomo seems to be a canny decision to make sure their film and papers are out there for more shooters. But it is the teaming up with Lomo that worries me. We have already seen price rises that have been in some cases too much to bear. And Lomo film has never been cheap (especially considering it it just re-branded or re-rolled film), but now I fear we are going to see Lomo raising the prices of the Kodak film too.
It also concerns me that so soon after foundation, Alaris is already looking for partners. This would suggest to me that they are worried about future projections.
Still, this could all be a storm in a teacup, and I am just spouting rubbish. We might actually find that some new shooters come to the fold and take up film. I certainly hope so. I am keeping an open mind (as far as I can at least).
There has also been mention of Lomo and Kodak teaming up to develop some new (or perhaps revive some old) products. I really, really hope this happens. As long as Lomo don’t try and charge Lomo Purple prices again. Film photography is not a boutique hobby for the hipsters and trust fund kids, it is passion for a diverse range of people and the prices need to be made attractive enough to get everyone involved. Let’s hope that this turns out to be a fruitful and productive relationship. I wish them all the best.
Fuji Film and their continuing cutting of film
Well, Fuji strikes again. Now they are cutting FP-3000B pack film. And again, this come as very little surprise to me. Fujifilm has not even tried to hide the idea that they want out of the film game completely. I have been saying it for a few years now, and people used to think I was mad, but with this and the cutting of Neopan 400 and Pro 400X now people are starting to notice. Fujifilm are only making film now because they have to. They are still making film cameras, so they have to make film. But they been pretty open about wanting to expand on the X-series cameras, which would mean no more film. There is a petition to stop the discontinuation, which might help, although I feel it would fall on deaf ears. Doesn’t hurt to try though.
Well, here is a little tip, there is nothing you can do or say about this, they are going to cut it no matter what the people say. The only thing that could help would be for us to vote with our wallets, but they have put up the prices so much that it makes it very hard for us to do so. This is a deliberate and vicious cycle. The higher the price gets, the less people buy it, and then they have to raise the price again. Well done Fuji, very clever.
I have already made sure that I have a large stock of Neopan 400. As I have been told by the stores in Tokyo that they will not have any after December.
Yes, there are some other companies making film and they are happily ticking away. But we are about to see a large re-shuffle on the scene. There are going to be some new players in town and some new products on the market soon. We are going to see a bit of a revival going on. I cannot really say much more than this, but there are some very exciting developments ahead.
So go out, shoot and make sure you do your part to keep film going strong. We don’t need to keep it alive, it is not even close to dead.
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on this, so please come and comment.