Many words and/or phrases come to mind when you think of Kodak: photography, disposable camera, kodak moment, and more recently bankruptcy. But we never thought we would be able to associate the phrases “nuclear reactor” and “enriched uranium” with the once-great photography giant — until recently that is. That’s because a few months ago a former Kodak employee let slip to the Democrat and Chronicle the existance of a little known, and never publicized, nuclear reactor hidden in the bowels of Kodak city for the last 30 years.
Back in November of last year Kodak sold off its sensor business — Kodak Image Sensor Solutions — to a California based firm in an attempt to avoid bankruptcy. We know now that the sale was in vain, and now other camera companies are paying a price for Kodak’s decision.
Both Pentax and Leica are rumored to be developing followups to their medium format 645D and S2 cameras, respectively. The only problem is that both of the previous models were using Kodak-made sensors that are being discontinued. No news has come out of the Pentax camp as to what sensor manufacturer they will now switch to, but Leica’s rumored S3 is said to be sporting a CMOS sensor courtesy of European semiconductor manufacturer STMicroelectronics.
(via Leica Rumors and Photo Rumors)
They say that when it rains it pours, and nowhere is that more evident than with the troubled, once-great photography company Kodak. After filing for bankruptcy, narrowing its focus to printers, and selling the Kodak Gallery for pennys on the dollar, we sort of hoped the company would start to see some rays of sunshine break through their perpetual cloud cover. Unfortunately, their quarter’s earnings report is anything but sunny.
Early last month we reported that Shutterfly had agreed to buy Kodak Gallery for a meager $23.8 million. The process, done by way of a “stalking horse bid,” meant that another company was allowed to make a competing bid for the gallery by April 20th.
Some might say that the city of Rochester, New York is struggling; others might say that it’s evolving. One thing’s for sure though: Rochester — nicknamed The World’s Image Centre — is changing. Because of this, and because of the city’s rich photographical history (think Kodak), ten of Magnum Photos’ photographers have chosen Rochester as one of three locations currently being documented across the United States.
Kodak is asking the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for permission to pay $13.5 million in bonuses to roughly 300 executives and employees in order to convince them to stay with the company as it struggles to reinvent itself. Though the beleaguered company filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, it believes that the money would help to retain employees that have knowledge and skills that would be difficult to replace if they were to leave. The current headcount at the company stands at around 7,600.
Here’s your mind-boggling fact of the day: the $1 billion Facebook is shelling out to acquire Instagram is enough to purchase Kodak more than 12 times over!
Image credit: Kodak Building in Rochester, NY by Viktor Nagornyy
If you ever turn to eBay to purchase film, you should purchase from sellers that have both a high feedback rating and a country of origin that you trust. Reader Dallas Houghton recently purchased what he thought was 10 rolls of Fujicolor Superia 200 for $28 from a seller based in ShenZhen, China. After the film arrived, he noticed a tiny bit of yellow on the roll. When he gave it a closer look, he discovered that the “Superia” branding on the outside was actually a sticker. Once the sticker was removed the film turned out to be a roll of Kodak 400. He peeled the sticker off another roll and that one turned out to be an older Kodak Kodacolor 100 roll. Caveat emptor.
Kodak’s film business just can’t seem to catch a break. One week the company announced the death of its entire slide film lineup, Kodak announced today that it is increasing the price of all the surviving films by 15%, stating,
We have to contend with further increases in energy and raw material costs, and higher costs associated with lower volumes.
Therefore, to remain a sustainable, viable business, the company is implementing a price increase for consumer and professional films.
(via Amateur Photographer via Photo Rumors)
Image credit: film by ka_tate
Back in November of last year, we reported that Kodak had put its Kodak Gallery service up for sale and was hoping to offload it for “hundreds of millions of dollars”. A couple months later Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and now the company has finally found a buyer for the photo sharing and printing service: Shutterfly. The sale price? Only $23.8 million. If the sale gets approved by the US Bankruptcy Court in March, Kodak Gallery’s 75 million users will be transferred over to Shutterfly unless they opt out.
Kodak announced today that it has decided to discontinue its color reversal (AKA slide) films due to a steady decrease in sales and usage. The films discontinued are Ektachrome E100G/E100VS and Elite Chrome Extra Color 100. The company estimates that based on current sales pace, you’ll still be able to purchase the discontinued films for about six to nine months. If you were a loyal Kodak slide film shooter, it’ll soon be time to switch over to negative film or to Fujifilm color reversal films.
(via Kodak via PhotographyBLOG)
Image credit: Kodak Slide Film – 1967 by Nesster