Kodak to Sell its Camera Film Business

It’s a sad day for film photographers: Kodak has announced that it will sell off its camera film business, one of the huge pillars of what made Kodak Kodak in the eyes of consumers around the world. It’s yet another step in the company’s effort to climb out of bankruptcy, which it hopes to do by next year, and transform itself into a commercial printing company.

Back in January, company CEO Antonio M. Perez declared that the company’s film business was still profitable, and that they remained dedicated to it. In the announcement today, he states,

We are reshaping Kodak. We continue to rebalance our company toward commercial, packaging and functional printing – in which we have the broadest portfolio solutions – and enterprise services. These businesses have substantial long-term growth prospects worldwide and are core to the future of Kodak. We are confident that our competitive advantages in materials science and deposition technologies, as well as our know-how in digital imaging, will enable us to capitalize on those opportunities and extend our leadership in key growth markets.

Specifically, Kodak is planning to sell its Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging divisions by the first half of 2013.

The Personalized Imaging division includes 105,000 Kodak Picture Kiosks around the world (the ones at drugs stores that help you easily make prints), photographic paper, still camera films, and souvenir photo products that are sold at places like theme parks.

The Document Imaging division deals with things like scanners and related software/services.

Although it’s sad that Kodak will soon be out of the film-making industry, it’s possible that the new owner will give the film business the love and attention it deserves!

Image credit: Kodak Color Film by dok1

  • Kodalover

    I for one think this is good news. It will allow the film business to get out from under the big business clamp and serve the admittedly small market it has without pressure from above. Hail to the new Kodak! Long live film!

  • Mansgame

    Does this mean we don’t have to hear from dinosaurs who still insist film is better than digital?

  • brondaccio


  • Hammer time

    Sad that you think people who prefer on medium to another are dinosaurs. What gain is it for you to insult them so ham-fistedly like that?

  • Robert Fitzgerald

    I think the issue is more about the disrespect that we of the digital revolution feel from the film junkies. As if to say we can never be as good as them because we did not shoot film. Personally, I love film. I just don’t want it rubbed in my face that I will always be a step below because I wasn’t shooting film in 1964.

  • dave

    hey, if kodak had done that 10 years ago, they would still be in biz. talk about managment fubar.

  • Jury from Moscow

    let it die already….
    its lieke fat americans pretend they are not fat.. face the facts .. film is dead.

  • ewewewe

    they will not live forever….

  • ennuipoet

    I have to question the use of the word dinosaurs. Most of us dinosaurs who shot film first have fully embraced digital out of practicality if for no other reason. The vast majority of the Film Holy Rollers are young people who embrace film as a retro-cool. There are names for people who take old things from before their time and use them to enhance to their personal image rather than, you know, make images.

  • Red_Eagle

    But their photos might. An EMP or strong solar flare and all your digital bits and bites disapear. so sad, too bad.

  • Spider- Man

    Americans may be fat, but at least we can spell and put together a complete sentence.

  • Mansgame

    I insult them because most of the ones I’ve met are too lazy to learn how to use a computer so instead, they stick to the idea that film is somehow better when it’s clearly not. For years I had to hear about that…”oh your pictures are great, but you just pointed and pushed a button where *I* had to develop my own film”. When I try to explain to them that digital is actually less forgiving on exposure and shooting RAW means you still have to do a lot of work, backing up your files, etc. they just laugh it up.

    If film somehow WAS better then they’d just be arrogant, but it’s not so they’re old dinosaurs who are finding themselves decreasing every day.

  • Mansgame

    You really don’t understand digital do you? Digital lives on exactly as it did from day one no matter what new mediums are available. I have my files backed up 3 ways. If my house catches on fire, I still have it. Will your film be there? What about floods? hurricanes? theft? Mine will be there.

    500 years from now, if someone takes care to update the medium, my files will be there exactly as they were when I shot them…heck with the benefits of raw processing in 500 years, they may look much better even.

    1000 years from now…same thing. EXACTLY the same bits. what about your film?

  • Hammer time

    I love film and shoot it all the time. I also have a Canon 5D and a Nikon D700 that I also love. I make money from coding computers, and love all my photo and video editing programs. People aren’t all in one bucket Mansgame.

  • 30 year old fossil

    Not that I’m trying to convince anybody that one thing is better than the other (I am happy to use both, with film being my personal choice for personal art, while digital is the SAFER choice for work.), but, it’s obvious that you know nothing about film and you are talking out your a$$. Too bad that ignorance is increasing every day while so many people think that their macbook makes them somehow better than the people who once practiced a unique and beautiful craft by hand and experience.
    BTW, I’m a 30 year old dinosaur with a darkroom and a studio, while you are a troll.

  • Grainfed

    Both are better and worse. Depends on application. For the majority of regular users and commercial photogs, digital is convenient and therefore the status quo. For harder edged art photography in B&W, nothing compares to the addition of real film grain.

  • Ottofretless

    Printing, thats another dead end.

  • Alexis

    Funny, because often I think those who are unwilling to learn the intricacies of film are lazy. In many ways film is a much more difficult medium, and while its easy to dodge and burn with layers and such in photoshop, there are people who have learned the art of doing all of that by hand in a darkroom. Lets not crap all over their hard earned knowledge of a threatened technique.

  • Matt

    Well, film has a fairly short life span. 10 or 20 years for color neg. Those chemicals used in the whole process are not that stable, not to mention some are toxic. Even “silver” B&W is kind of a crapshoot, IF processed well it could live a long time, but my bet is most are not and will have much shorter life spans.
    Not to mention that film is delicate and fungi love the substrate…

  • Matt

    Kind of his point, you modeled it pretty well.

  • Al Getalong

    While I agree with what you are saying, you would have a far easier time including people and having them on your side if you removed the insults. As a film and computer user I develop and I digitally process. I consider both to be a “unique and beautiful craft” (within my paltry talents of course). I’ve seen awful shots on film and beautiful ones on digital. Let’s stop picking each other apart about this.

  • Monteraz

    It is really boring that topic films vs digital. I enjoy shooting with my Nikon D3 and I enjoy shooting my Nikon F4. Most of fim photographers nowaday are also digital photog, so I dont see the point of that VS that some people (really really boring) use to talk about.

  • Mansgame

    You express my sentiment without my abrasiveness. What bugs me is that the filmguy’s pictures are usually very subpar too but they think they’re a “real” photographer.

  • Frank Tyson

    Hey peeps this whole urban myth that colour and even B&W negs deteriorate after 20 years is a misnomer Ive been out of the game for at least that long due to a variety of reasons and was going through some stuff I have thats at least 40 years old and getting negs digitally scanned to CD of the literally thousands I have a majority 90% are still in good condition I think the quaintly relates more to the initial processing rather than the actual media As for debate film versus digital in some cases for some its all about economics and yes I use both technically have a cheap point and shoot digital but also run original Canon F1s it is and with processing these days being what can shoot a roll of film have it processed and burnt to CD within an hour And this suits me not having to spend $00’s buying a fancy digital SLR also as I also do my own work on my stuff using Photoshop CS v13 have the luxury of doing any tweaks also

  • JW

    , printed on fiber, toned in selenium. I’ve yet to see a fully digital process that matches that look.



  • Stereokodak

    You really don’t understand photography, do you?

  • Jack

    anyone shooting film today scans to digital so it’s exactly the same except we have hard copies which wont become obsolete, but who could be bothered arguing with a moron like you

  • Jack

    i’d love to see the standard of your “photography”

  • DamianMonsivais

    Mansgame seems ike a short man with a monster truck

    Wow this is what photography is about now a days

    That is the first question you get asked.
    What camera did you use?

  • DamianMonsivais

    Mansgame thinks digital is less forgiving then film?
    Well he hasnt shot 4×5 film obviously and loves his new tech. In love with the tech not the medium.

  • DamianMonsivais

    Technology fails us. It always will.
    All of our ancient civilizations have proven this.
    In 5 years your images will be gone.
    Mansgame is the reason why the world is flooded with a massive amount of useless images.

  • JPA

    True! Give it a year or two and they will make this kind of announcement again.They need to innovate. So sad for kodak.:-( they’ve been a big part of my film student years.:-(

  • Johnny Martyr

    There are many other companies making film besides Kodak and Fuji so I’m not sure why you would ask about Fuji specifically. Film is still far from dead. It won’t die with Kodak or even Kodak and Fuji. While Fuji has cut a number of their films in the past couple years, prices on what is left remain steady. Even better, their Instax instant film market grew exponentially after Polaroid stopped making film They even released several new camera models in response to the great sales and Polaroid rebadged the Fuji Instax for themselves. Also, the Impossible Project started making instant film and has been very successful. So as you can see, when one market closes, it is not the end and in some cases, the market will just open somewhere else.

  • Johnny Martyr

    Explain this to the Library of Congress and the National Archive. They might want your opinion as to why they spend millions of our tax money ever year maintaining important items on film instead of just making digital back-up’s alone.

  • Johnny Martyr

    That’s funny, I’m pretty sure all modern standards for what we believe to be beautiful in photography were developed in the days before digital.

    Your perspectives are narrow, simple, misguided and misinformed.

  • Mansgame

    Considering my digital pictures from a camera go back 10 years and my scanned pictures go back 70 years, and all still work, I don’t think you have much point here. If ancient civilizations had digital backups, they’d be exactly as they were back then.

  • Mansgame


  • Jack

    how old are you?

  • Alex

    I think this is a good new, I prefer shooting film, I love my Nikon N90 and sometimes I use a Polaroid 600, but is kind of expensive. There’s nothing like working in a darkroom and I usually develope black and white film at college. Film is not dead.

  • Adam Griffiths

    Where does it say they are dumping or selling off film? It says rebalance towards, which could mean shift, or re-emphasise. It doesn’t say in the report I read that they are seling off?

  • Brad

    I shoot with digital, but I always keep my Pentax k-1000 and 6×7 ready with film. We all started with film, and chances are it was with Kodak film. It’s sad that my future grand kids will not have the same positive experience as I had in learning Black & White and Color film developing, enlarging and printing. Memories!

  • Ismael Pérez

    The company´s film bussiness is still profitable?! Right, so why then they went bankrupt?

  • Adam Douglas

    No, actually in 500 years no one will be able to read your file because it’s encoded in some weird format that the current computers (500 years forward) don’t comprehend. Your RAW and JPEG files will be dinosaurs too, smart guy. Just 30 years ago people compiled programs on a mainframe called a PDP-10. I don’t see many people booting up PDP-10 tapes to run programs for the TOPS-10 operating system these days. There’s a digital format that’s gone to dinosaur-land.

    You seem like just a kid who thinks he knows everything, but you don’t think it all the way through. Like your example that “1000 years from now… EXACTLY the same bits” will be there for people to read in your archived files. Funny, lots of people wrote in Eteocypriot a few thousand years ago, but nobody understands the language now. Even though the cuneiform characters “are EXACTLY the same”, as you say. The ‘bits’ are there but we have no way to interpret them.

    So… your pictures are backed up? On what? USB drive? USB data might not be readable after 10 years. Tape? Degrades in 30 years. CD? Maybe 100 years. For a Digital freak, you really don’t understand computers do you?

  • GR-1 Custom Images

    I really don’t care what they do just that someone keep making Tri-X which I have been using since the mid 1950’s. It IS sad that the incompetents let a magnificent company be reduced to what it has become. Too many people who never exposed and processed a roll of film trying to run a company and fail to see and recognize the incoming of digital. Soon I will be leaving on a 4 to 6 week road/photo trip and I will have both my Nikons {digital and film} with me and you can bet that many of my best photos will be taken with film. Good move that Kodak sold to someone who might appreciate film and promote it to where is will regain some status.

  • Ed

    You’re a areshole. Film is totally different to digital. Totally different aesthetic. Most film-shooters use both and it’s you who doesn’t know what you’re talking about.