Thursday, January 19, 2012

Kodak Files for Bankruptcy



On the day when just about every photographer over 30 pauses to consider Kodak's filing for bankruptcy, a poignant video. The once-dominant company obviously knew it was already in trouble at this point, but still came out swinging in a refreshing appeal to the future.

Considering this was made in 2006 (and how quickly things have happened since) the video was pretty darn prescient. In the end, all of these things did happen. Just without the need for Kodak.

-30-


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37 Comments:

Blogger Jay said...

And it's a real shame. As a non-pro who switched to digital in the early 00's like many, I've recently gone back to shooting film because frankly, I simply make better photographs that way. And on top of that, it's freed me spending hours at home tinkering in photoshop after I spend my hours at work tinkering in photoshop. And I can't help but feel that more hobbiest photographers would be better served to consider doing the same. Especially when amazing quality photo gear can be had for so little.

January 19, 2012 2:03 PM  
Blogger timdesuyo said...

Ending the post in "-30-" kinda drove the point home pretty hard. I've been having a lot of fun with Kodak film this year, and if they fade away, I'll miss it.

January 19, 2012 2:37 PM  
Blogger Garrett said...

Wow, how prophetic. I must admit when he took the jab at Kodak about Advantix, I had to laugh. But I still hate to see the photography world advance without Kodak in it. Such a sad day.

January 19, 2012 2:55 PM  
Blogger Soapbox Hero said...

I maintain that they should have listened to Paul Simon.

January 19, 2012 2:55 PM  
Blogger Edwin said...

Kodak made me laugh, Kodak made me cry. And still does. My first pictures was made with an Instamatic. And then lots of Kodachrome. Today is a sad day.

January 19, 2012 3:19 PM  
Blogger CAR said...

Wow, I have never lived without Kodak and yet all things must end. I would like to thank all of those people who worked all those years and made all those great products .....

January 19, 2012 4:15 PM  
Blogger BallardFamily said...

Well this is sad news. My first digital camera was a DC290. And I think it, then, set me back about as much as my D90. They are the one's who set the first stepping stone upon which all others (taking a little liberty here) have since built upon. I don't use Kodak products, but it's always comforting to know they were there.

January 19, 2012 4:59 PM  
Blogger jpablo said...

The guy acts as a psychotic freak.
By the other hand, the situation of Kodak is a real shame, I'm an antique camera collector and really appreciate the Kodak history, but it seems that Kodak will be a sign of the old times.

January 19, 2012 9:22 PM  
Blogger Clement said...

WOOOOOOOOHHOOOO! KO-DAK! KO-DAK! Fire it up!!!!
Oh wait...2006?

January 19, 2012 10:08 PM  
Blogger Mitch said...

It is a sad day. I was an avidi user of Kodachrome have not found anything to replace it. I still use loads of film but it looks like there will be one less make to choose from and one less creative finish.

January 20, 2012 8:25 AM  
Blogger Wayne said...

I knew it was slightly dates when he said "PDA" and not "Smartphone". I never used film but I hope they survive and rebuild.

January 20, 2012 10:00 AM  
Blogger TJ Mustard Photography said...

This guy is channeling Robin Williams a little too much.

January 20, 2012 1:10 PM  
Blogger rpccube said...

The world will go on without Kodak. I remember how they screwed photographers and radiologists on film long after the amount of silver halide was quite small. The CEO of Kodak at the time said something arrogant in the press when questioned. Prices did not moderate until driven by competition, particularly from Japan.
There's an old saying, "Be careful whom you tread on on the way up because they might not be there on the way down" There's plenty of good gear out there and we don't need Kodak.

January 20, 2012 2:15 PM  
Blogger NYSTAN said...

Damned shame. I felt even sorrier when POLAROID hit the skids.
Sometime in the next 50 years, similar things will happen to Apple, Microsoft etc....the good news is, it is all in the name of progress.
Film ain't dead, either. I teach a darkroom course in a local college and it fills up faster than the Allman Brothers at the Beacon Theater.
RIP George Eastman etc.....

January 20, 2012 3:49 PM  
Blogger Pollyanna said...

While the world will go on without Kodak, it's still a sad day. My first camera was a Kodak Instamatic. And my Late mother had a Kodak Box Brownie which she taught me how to use when I was a child.
I now have a Nikon, but to me there will always be 'Kodak moments', somehow 'Nikon moments' or 'Canon moments' just don't sound the same.

January 20, 2012 3:49 PM  
Blogger Herve Grison said...

2 words: bad management

January 20, 2012 4:48 PM  
Blogger Luis Mendoza said...

When I was in 6th or 7th grade a very popular girl in my class was taking some pictures of her friends with a Kodak instamatic with one of those totem pole flashes and somehow got the thing turned around. Big big burn on her forehead that gave her the nickname "flash blub head" all the way through high school...
Good times. I'll miss the company for the nostalgia, but really haven't used them in years.

January 20, 2012 5:49 PM  
Blogger Benjamin Geiger said...

Is it wrong that my first question on hearing the news was, "Who's going to sponsor the camera shops at Walt Disney World?"

(Actually, that was my second question. My first question was, "Who's going to sponsor the Imagination pavilion?", then I remembered that Kodak stopped sponsoring it in 2010...)

January 20, 2012 8:23 PM  
Blogger Dejan Smaic said...

Kodak failed to adapt to the changing market I think because they had such a dominant presence in the photography world for so long. Even the mighty shall fall.

January 21, 2012 3:38 AM  
Blogger kambium.cz said...

This is a sad news for me as well, even though I never really used much of Kodak products, however, it also makes me think of my choice of products I decide to buy: my first dSLR was a Konica Minolta 7D (that I use up to now) which I bought just a couple of months before KM sold the business to Sony. Then, like a year ago or so, I got a Mamiya with Kodak digital back - and here it goes. (Not mentioning that I've always had a Saab as for cars...) Well, as some people put it here, it's development, and it can go on without Kodak, or Minolta, or Saab... But I'll miss those anyway as important parts of history of the particular fields.

January 21, 2012 5:39 AM  
Blogger dfmedrano said...

Wow, nostalgia certainly hit me as I watched the video and remembered the "Kodak Moments" ads in Mexican TV in the early 90's.

I think camera phones had a lot to do with the decline of Kodak. Manufacturers steadily and drastically improved their functionality reaching a lot more people and giving them a camera that is easy to use, to expand in functionality and for sharing.

Film won't dissapear either. It will turn into an artistic process, like painted portraits.

January 21, 2012 11:29 AM  
Blogger john said...

If i remember corectly Kodak invented the Digital Camera. Like many other companys its the team at the top that sends it to rock bottom

January 21, 2012 4:03 PM  
Blogger Anthony said...

At least a portion of Kodak's problems stemmed from mismanagement or key, c-suite miscues.

January 21, 2012 5:27 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

If you read the press release about Kodak seeking Chapter 11 it says that back in 1975 an employee came to management with a digital camera but was told "it was a good idea but don't tell anyone about it"
Bad decision!
They should've read the book Who Moved My Cheese, which basically say's " If you don't change you can become extinct "
Good reading and great message no matter who we are or what we do.

January 21, 2012 5:51 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

Kodak isn't going anywhere. They might have failed in the digital world but they're still producing the best film and actually making a profit from it. Chapter 11 means they will restructure and come back a more lean, competitive company that will continue to fuel the resurgence in film. There is still a huge market for film and many photographers who have switched to digital are now going back to film, including myself.

So I repeat, Kodak is not going anywhere. Film is not dead; just ask Jonathon Canlas.

January 21, 2012 9:26 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Looks like I picked the wrong week to give up Fujichrome.

January 21, 2012 11:59 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

This will bring a tear to you eye, it does mine - Kodak's "Turn Around" advertisement that I wistfully remember from the early 60's:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBWVWjdNWC0

Sigh...

January 22, 2012 12:32 AM  
Blogger etraveler said...

I hope Kodak manages to stay around in a new form. I really dislike when iconic companies lose their way.

Of course, Apple does not yet have stand-alone cameras. They could buy Kodak and issue ApplAk cameras and use a duck as the mascot. Applak!

David

January 23, 2012 10:30 AM  
Blogger Biggyzee said...

This is so sad. I have been taking photographs for over 30 years now and Kodak was a brand that has always been a house hold name. It was like corn flakes and milk, camera and kodak. To think that they no longer exists tells me this world is changing. Lets hope that none of the other old brands go. Bye Bye Kodak

January 25, 2012 3:05 PM  
Blogger Moshe said...

I have a big stash of Ektar100 in the fridge. but it won't last too long :(

January 30, 2012 2:05 PM  
Blogger rpccube said...

David,

I seem to be the only one with a tiny garbage can at the end of my note re Kodak. Is that a hint that you really don't like negative comments and would like me to delete it? You have the absolute power to delete so why hesitate in this case? I think it is fair comment and factual and will leave it up to you.

January 30, 2012 2:35 PM  
Blogger David Hobby said...

@rpcube-

I'm gonna let you see if you can figure out that one on your own.

#facepalm

January 30, 2012 3:06 PM  
Blogger rpccube said...

David,

I came a little late to the Strobist party (2007/8) but have enjoyed 101,102, On assignment etc. Parlour games, not so much. I have no idea what you mean or why you don't say what you mean so I guess I just don't belong here. rpccube has left the room.

January 30, 2012 6:46 PM  
Blogger David Hobby said...

@RP-

I thought I would give you one last chance to figure it out for yourself before being spoon-fed an answer. Honestly, it would not have taken very much effort, especially if you took 1/3 of a second to notice the trash can is also visible on your second comment.

The trash can is there so you can remove your own comment if you want. Just like it is for everyone else.

#JumpToConclusionsLess
#ThinkMore

January 30, 2012 8:31 PM  
Blogger Photography said...

It was surprising to read in the news, but when I thought of it after not really. They really let the ball drop on the digital age. I don't even know anyone who has a digital Kodak camera. Well maybe they'll make a comeback after a restructuring.

January 31, 2012 9:30 PM  
Blogger photodelux said...

Maybe it was the Howard Dean-like "hooyah!" scream at the end that did Kodak in. =(

I'll certainly miss Kodak, though I've never known them for digital - only film back in the days (I'm a 30 yr old). I moved into Canon point-and-shoots then stuck with it until DSLRs. I guess I never thought of Kodak beyond a point-and-shoot.

February 12, 2012 5:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Film will be around Kodak or not, but film is one of Kodak's better healthier product offerings that ain't in so much trouble (unless its from the looking axe over the rest of the company that is).

February 20, 2012 2:39 PM  

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