No more film?
January 18, 2012 11:23 PM   Subscribe

Okay, so Kodak is bankrupt. What does this mean for my beloved Portra and HC-110?

What does Kodak's bankruptcy mean for what's left of their traditional photography business? Should I start searching for something to replace HC-110 and Portra (the only two Kodak products I still use)? And if their film-products are toast, what worthy replacements are there? I can see myself replacing Portra with Fujifilm Pro 400H, but what of my HC-110?
posted by ooklala to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I think it's too soon to say. This is Chapter 11 bankruptcy, so the business may ultimately continue once reshaped and put on a better footing (though obviously the long-term prospects here don't look that great). You've probably got a bit more time.
posted by Segundus at 11:44 PM on January 18, 2012

The business has merely opened Chapter 11 at this point. They now have a period of time up to one year to propose a recovery plan and negotiate with creditors. When this plan is filed, you'll have an idea what to expect -- liquidation is an option, but so is parceling up the business, or restructuring debt, or sale to a competitor.
posted by dhartung at 12:16 AM on January 19, 2012

I know nothing of this film you speak of, but based on what's happened to other once-main-stream, but now niche products, they will probably either emerge under the Kodak brand as some shadow of their former selves that still sells the best of the old products to artists, or in the liquidation process the processes and methods for making and developing this stuff will get sold to some other company that will pick up the flag.

As has been said, bankruptcy is not some kind of death penalty for a business, and even if it is the end for the brand, their patents, methods, etc. are about all they have left as an asset to sell and pay creditors with. The best of their legacy products will likely be of interest to someone at some price.
posted by randomkeystrike at 1:53 AM on January 19, 2012

I'm sure Fuji will have substitutes if Kodak becomes unavailable.
posted by rhizome at 4:40 AM on January 19, 2012

Kodak's film division will be sold if Kodak itself can't manage it. Film can't be the cornerstone of a formerly-gigantic company such as Kodak, but it's a perfectly good business for a smaller company.

In the interim, I would hoard.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:38 AM on January 19, 2012

Kodak's film business still has a decent amount of revenue in it but the overhead associated with the rest of the company overwhelms it. That being said, it might still be a candidate for elimination if they can't find a buyer quickly. Consumers for the most part have abandoned film entirely and professionals still using film don't represent enough volume to allow them to operate long enough to survive.

I would hoard, definitely. Buy a separate freezer if you need it. Fuji seems to be structured to allow them to continue making film for the foreseeable future so if you like their films, you should be set. Ilford and others in Europe seem to be making a business in B&W, so I don't think that will disappear anytime soon. I've been using them for years, with only the occasional roll of Tri-X.

Kodak's chemical division is separate from the film division (which is no longer itself totally standalone) and could very well remain with the mothership post-Chapter 11. But I'd hoard HC-110 as well, if possible, since there's no telling what they might trim from the portfolio.
posted by tommasz at 6:01 AM on January 19, 2012

HC-110 lasts forever, so it makes more sense to hoard it than film. The guy at the end of this discussion is using a 20 year old bottle.
posted by zsazsa at 10:00 AM on January 19, 2012

« Older well these subtitles don't do a damn thing!   |   What to show on ambient office displays? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.