my take on Kodak downfall

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Dale, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. Dale

    Dale Guest

    and cheap overseas products is not an excuse, they had NAFTA and were
    making consumer digital cameras in Mexico
     
    Dale, Feb 10, 2014
    #21
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  2. Dale

    Dale Guest

    they had NAFTA and a consumer camera plant in Mexico, they were right on
    time I tell you, it was not an accounting problem, or a strategic
    problem, it was a corporate culture problem
     
    Dale, Feb 10, 2014
    #22
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  3. Dale

    Guest Guest

    none of that matters.

    what matters is as you say, corporate culture.

    the management were a bunch of clueless fucks, who despite claiming
    that digital was going to replace film, did not invest in digital.
     
    Guest, Feb 11, 2014
    #23
  4. Dale

    Guest Guest

    other than the dslr hybrids which cost more than a car and were
    basically a technology demo more than a commercially viable product,
    kodak's digital cameras were *horrible*.

    it doesn't matter where they were made (nobody really cares). they were
    basically junk.

    i remember trying one of them at a trade show, and to change the
    shutter speed or aperture, you had to wade through *four* levels of
    menus (no joke). who the hell thought that was a good idea?
     
    Guest, Feb 11, 2014
    #24
  5. Dale

    J. Clarke Guest

    An old story. American electronics manufacturers dinked around with
    overpriced transistor radios. Then the Japanese introduced transistor
    radios for cheap and followed up with transistor TVs and a bunch of
    other solid-state consumer electronics products for not cheap and ate
    their lunch.
     
    J. Clarke, Feb 11, 2014
    #25
  6. Dale

    Martin Brown Guest

    Have you ever used one? The Kodak DC-120 served me well from the time I
    got it shortly after launch until the second generation digital Ixus
    came out. It had a wide range of shutter settings and a fast f2.5 lens
    of reasonable quality. It was perfectly good enough for website work
    back them and it was about as sensitive as the human eye on its 16s
    button setting. It did have a warm corner but you could fix that with
    darkframe subtraction. It was widely used in early digital scientific
    imaging because you could get it to return the raw Bayer sensor array a
    feature not present on any other camera at the time or since.
    They were not junk. Mine is still going although an only just a
    megapixel camera now is nothing to write home about back in the late
    1990's it was impressive (it also cost about £1000 back then).
    The only problem I ever had with mine was that batteries didn't last
    very long at all in it and it would eat a set a couple of hours use.
     
    Martin Brown, Feb 11, 2014
    #26
  7. Dale

    Dale Guest

    XYZ is CIE-XYZ

    unless bayer used an used big-CIE-RGB he made an assumption on the RGB
    and the doubling of G cells that is not an assumption of the eyes
    response like CIE-XYZ or CIE-bigRGB
     
    Dale, Feb 11, 2014
    #27
  8. Dale

    Dale Guest

    USA has NAFTA available, this is not an excuse

    Kodak had a plant in Mexico making consumer digital cameras under NAFTA
     
    Dale, Feb 11, 2014
    #28
  9. Dale

    Dale Guest

    no, I tell you it was people
     
    Dale, Feb 11, 2014
    #29
  10. Dale

    Guest Guest

    the dc120 might have been ok, but it came out very early in the game.

    their later cameras were pretty bad, especially with the easyshare
    nonsense, and at that point, there were a *lot* of competitors and
    kodak had nothing compelling to offer versus the competition.
     
    Guest, Feb 11, 2014
    #30
  11. Dale

    PeterN Guest


    facts?
     
    PeterN, Feb 13, 2014
    #31
  12. Dale

    Guest Guest

    oh, where to start.

    with a market share of under 1% and shrinking, sigma's cameras have
    been a complete disaster. not only do they not sell particularly well,
    but they are a money loser for the company.

    foveon originally was backed by two venture capital firms, who soon
    realized they'd been had and what a fuckup it was, so they bailed.

    that left foveon, whose only customer was sigma, without any money and
    about to file for bankruptcy.

    had that happened, sigma would have been completely screwed, so sigma
    bought foveon at firesale prices and has been sinking money into it
    ever since.

    the cameras are utter crap (and yes, i've used them).

    they're anything but consistent. two photos in a row might look totally
    different, despite the settings being identical. the sd14 was pig slow
    (around 6 seconds write time) and you actually had to wait until it
    finished, or the camera could lock up and you'd lose photos. the sd14
    was *really* buggy and sometimes locked up even if you weren't taking
    photos one after another

    the sd14 originally was $2000 msrp ($1600 street), which quickly
    dropped due to slow sales, and around a year later, it was being sold
    off for $300-400, new, and even at that price, people still weren't
    buying all that many.

    the sd1 originally was pitched at a ridiculous $9700 msrp (~$6000
    street) which was complete insanity for a 15 megapixel camera. even the
    fanbois were stunned. not surprisingly, sigma did not sell very many
    cameras at that price.

    as best as i can tell, they sold about 10, total, based on posts in the
    sigma forum and serial number analysis (which is encoded in every
    photo, btw, so it's easy to track).

    after tens of thousands of unsold cameras sat in warehouses, sigma
    slashed the price by roughly $4000 in one day, and the price has
    dropped even *further* since then.

    the dp1/2/3 series have been riddled with lens motor failures, where
    the lens just gets stuck extending out or back in, along with all the
    usual problems with the sensor.

    sigma tries to claim more accurate colour, but the delta-e is much
    higher than bayer, which means *less* accurate colour.

    sigma claims 'no guessing' of colour data, yet there's more 'guessing'
    than bayer because they don't actually capture rgb at every location
    (another lie of theirs). the spectra of the layers overlap by quite a
    bit and there's a shitload of very complex math to extract rgb from it,
    which is one reason why the software is slow and the results are noisy
    and with weird colour casts.

    the first foveon camera, the 3.4 megapixel sd9, did not sell well, so
    they decided to lie about the number of pixels in the sd10 because
    'bigger numbers are better', despite the camera having the same sensor.

    normally that's called fraud, but somehow, they managed to get away
    with it.

    sigma's software is slow and buggy and there aren't any viable options
    from third parties. even adobe has given up supporting it. part of the
    'sigma look' is heavy sharpening. if you set the sigma software to 0
    sharpening, you're actually getting a wallop of sharpening. you have to
    set it to -1 to -2 to get 'none', depending on version.

    foveon sensors are theoretically interesting, but they are riddled with
    problems and actually don't offer anything the eye can see anyway. it's
    a solution in search of a problem.

    foveon sensors have substantially higher noise, lower colour accuracy,
    lower resolution, worse high iso performance and higher manufacturing
    cost.

    that's a huge price to pay for 'full colour', something humans can't
    even see anyway.

    three layer sensors sound like a good idea on paper, and one day they
    might be feasible without significant tradeoffs, but they sure as hell
    are not now.

    if that day comes, the technology won't need lies to market it. it will
    sell itself because it's actually better.

    on the other hand, bayer is a very clever design based on how the human
    eye works. it's cost-effective to manufacture and works exceptionally
    well for creating photos that humans look at.
     
    Guest, Feb 13, 2014
    #32
  13. Dale

    PeterN Guest

    If you are saying Sigma markets crap, I agree.
    If you are saying that Foveon is not ready for prime time, you are
    probably right.

    What I am saying is that Foveon has potential worth exploring, if only
    for scientific purposes.
    Not true. think VCR & Betamax.
    think WordPerfect & Word
    Both are examples of the triumph of marketing over quality.
     
    PeterN, Feb 14, 2014
    #33
  14. Dale

    Guest Guest

    not only am i right, but foveon is never going to be ready for prime
    time because it's not physically possible.

    not even sigma can break the laws of physics.
    exploring the technology is one thing. there's nothing wrong with that.

    many companies are looking into multilayer sensors, including nikon,
    canon and fuji and i think sony too.

    the difference is that those companies are working on perfecting the
    technology so that it actually *is* better than what exists now and
    *then* turning it into a product.

    what sigma is doing is taking half-baked technology that is clearly
    worse than what exists now, lying about what it can and cannot do,
    faking some of it in software and claiming it does stuff that is not
    physically possible.
     
    Guest, Feb 14, 2014
    #34
  15. Dale

    Michael Guest

    I disagree with you about Kodak never making cameras that were any
    good. In the days before the SLRs captured the attention and money of
    every amateur photographer as well as the pros, Kodak made some decent
    cameras under their Retina Brand. Most of the good ones were made in
    Germany with decent lenses and shutters. They were rangefinder cameras
    with (usually) non-interchangeable 50mm lenses, but they were optically
    and mechanically good and took good pictures for their day. Their day
    ended when every wannabee bought a Nikon F or a Nikkormat. On the
    otherhand, all those "wannabees" learned what f stops were and how to
    properly expose pictures and focus lenses, something today's DSLR
    "wannabees" don't bother to learn because the automation makes it
    unnecessary if all they want is an expensive and pompous point and
    shoot. Sorry for rambling a little bit OT.
     
    Michael, Feb 15, 2014
    #35
  16. [[ This message was both posted and mailed: see
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    Indeed. While many of the Retina series were overly complex (they were
    German, after all) and mechanically troublesome, you cant say they
    didn't take a hell of a picture. Some of the best pictures I've ever
    taken were with the utterly manual Retina IIa I used to carry
    everywhere.

    Granted, that was 40 years ago, and the camera wasn't new even then -
    but Kodak had their glory says. At one time, I could open the Kodak
    catalog at my camera store, and order every single thing a serious
    photographer could need, from film, through cameras, to darkroom and on
    to mounting supplies.
     
    Scott Schuckert, Feb 15, 2014
    #36
  17. Dale

    Michael Guest

    Sitting on the desk next to me are a Kodak Retinette 1A that I bought
    for $8 last year in an antique store- sadly inoperative and not worth
    restoring, but it has a 45mm f/2.8 Schneider Kreutznach lens. And next
    to it is a VERY functional Kodak Retina Automatic III. The automatic
    part doesn't work but it's a good manual camera with a Retina-Xenar
    f/2.8 45mm Schneider Kreutznach. It takes fine pictures, currently has
    my very last roll of Ektachrome in it. I got it as part of a 4-camera
    lot at auction a few months ago for $22.
     
    Michael, Feb 15, 2014
    #37
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