Kodak announced their latest financials this week, and the results are dismal. Amidst talks of selling off valuable digital imaging patents, came reports that their film, while remaining somewhat profitable, is less so now, and the revenue is just a very small portion of their overall business. So, what is going to happen with it? Some likely scenarios:
Kodak sells their Professional Division to a company such as Fuji, or Ilford. I believe Fuji, with somewhat deep pockets, would be the most likely scenario. They have somewhat limited black and white options, and products such as Tri-X, Plus-X, and T-Max would be great additions to their lineup, as would all the associated chemistry. Ilford would have a lot of parallel emulsions and chemistry, and would most likely phase out some products in both lines.
Private investors purchase the Professional Division- not very likely, as they would do so knowing there is nowhere to go but up, and making a profit on the stuff would be a very uphill battle.
Kodak ceases production of all film products, and closes the Professional Division. Let’s hope and pray this does not happen.
The recent advancements and amazing latitudes of films such as the new Portra 400 are particularly worrisome. What would happen to this crown jewel of the Kodak lineup? The same with Ektar 100. The fact is, we can kid ourselves all we want about the viability, and the future of film. The fact is, these guys aren’t in it for the benefit of humanity. They are in it to make money, and turn a profit. When that doesn’t happen, things change. What that change will be, we cannot venture a guess.