Thursday, January 19, 2012

Eastman Kodak

Eastman Kodak, one of the great industrial companies, has filed for bankruptcy.

I have a nice digital point & shoot, but also several film cameras, which I still use. I have shot many a roll of Tri-X - yes, I like grain - and T-Max and Kodacolor and Ektachrome. (I use other B&W films, too; my favorite is Ilford XP-2.) I still have a roll of (unused) Kodachrome around here someplace, but the last lab that could process it closed a year or two back, sadly.

Kodak changed photography. Before its cameras and films, a photographer had to do it all: lug around a big camera and glass plates, and, usually, a mobile darkroom and chemicals. In the 1890s, Kodak began to offer a small camera that came pre-loaded with a long roll of film. Once you had finished shooting it, you sent the whole camera back to Kodak. In return, you received your photographs, developed and printed, and the camera, which had been loaded up again.

Kodak changed photograph again in the last 35 years, by inventing digital photography. Oh, yes, they did, but couldn't figure out how to capitalize on it, despite their incredible depth of knowledge. I hope they'll manage to survive. I don't know what I'll do without Tri-X.

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