Tetenal is dead? Well actually…

Edit: Good news!  This looks like an ongoing story and not as doom and gloom as we originally thought.  The most important thing we can do is support them!

02/01/2019: Petapixel’s new article goes into more detail about why Tetenal is important, and answers some of my previous questions.

The company is the biggest photochemical OEM manufacturer today and most likely the largest there ever was. Even in the heyday of chemical photography, Tetenal produced chemistry for Agfa, Kodak and Ilford. Today, a hundred percent of Ilford’s and approximately 30% of Kodak’s photochemistry are produced by Tetenal, says [Photoklassik editor-in-chief Marwan] Mozayen according to his industry contacts.

So Tetenal is important.  Very much so.  Best thing to take away: it’s actually the digital printing division of the company that’s dragging the company down!  The traditional photochemical division is making profit, and that is what the employees are going to buy.  More below, taken from Photoklassik International’s Facebook page:

Tetenal employees want to keep producing successful products

In the aftermath of the decision to close down the firm, employees have taken the initiative to try to save the photochemical part of the organization through a management buy-out. They hope to keep producing the successful traditional photochemicals and perhaps even develop new products. Dr. Sven-Holger Undritz, head of the liquidation firm in charge of the insolvency proceedings, said today, “If the employees can make their ideas into reality, it could very well be a new start for Tetenal.” Despite the loss of many experienced workers, the firm has managed to keep producing their products without any break so far, thanks to the engagement of the remaining staff.

If you read Petapixel’s article, Photoklassik International’s editor-in-chief Marwan Mozayen is helping with the restructuring efforts so not only is anything announced by Photoklassik straight from the horse’s mouth, but it’ll be good to have someone championing them here.

01/31/2019: Following up on my post from last December.  Unfortunately the news isn’t good.  Here’s a link from Emulsive.  I saw it come up in my Facebook feed with a post from Photoklassik International, I’ll put that below (emphasis added):

“The End of an Era: Tetenal is bankrupt

We received confirmation today from sources inside the company that Tetenal has begun the process of shutting down after 172 years in business. The hopeful planning of company employees in December has been crushed. The consultancy and liquidation firm managing the insolvency suddenly severed communications on January 1st, and employees, including the highest levels, were terminated today without any notice. It seems very likely that the consultancy team never had any intention of doing anything except gutting the company and making money for themselves, even though they took part in “friendly and constructive” brainstorming meetings with both employees and volunteers from outside the company only a month ago. We at PhotoKlassik have been fans of Tetenal and their products, but our advice to our readers now is this: support brands that will continue to produce the products we need!”

I know that some people have expressed apathy to Tetenal’s trouble, evidently finding their products to be overpriced, and I don’t use them myself, but I’ve heard from some that they are the only manufacturer for some certain photographic chemicals.  I don’t know which those are, and I don’t know how much of an impact this will have on the ecosystem.  I don’t like it.

It’s not all doom and gloom though, evidently the employees are trying to organize a buyout and keep the company going after April 1, but it might be on a scaled back, as-needed basis.  I wish them well and hope they can manage it, and hope they’re more willing to hear suggestions from their customers, because having easy communication lines will do a lot to making them successful.

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Save Tetenal

Hey guys, I couldn’t actually reblog this post from Studio C-41, but if you don’t follow them I thought I’d pass this article along.

https://studioc41.net/2018/12/05/tetenal-is-in-trouble-they-need-your-help/

From what I gather, Tetenal is in financial trouble through no fault of their own, but something to do with their suppliers and larger buyers reneging on orders.  Evidently they’re looking to restructure and cut out the middleman, looking for ways to connect more with home-developers, building up that part of the business.  And they want to know what products they could bring back that consumers would buy, or whatever other ideas people have.

Personally I don’t do home developing and have never used a Tetenal kit, though I hear that the company is very closely linked in making a lot of photochemistry, beyond mere home developing.  I’d certainly like to do my part and if there were some kind of crowdfunding set up, I’d donate to that with no reward.  I know the film community can and will band together to keep things running smoothly here.  #savetetenal

End of an era

I remember when Jim Grey wrote this post just last a few weeks back, I thought to myself, “I’d better get over to Wal-Mart and pick up another 4-pack for old time’s sake,” especially since I had just looked on B&H and everyone else and saw that 4-packs of Fuji were listed as discontinued.  By the time I actually got to Wal-Mart, it was all gone and the only film they sell now (besides Instax) is single-use cameras.  It breaks my heart, however I have 5 or so rolls close at hand and more in the freezer.

But then just a few days ago I went to the other old standby, my local City Market.

They’d been selling 3-packs of Kodak Gold 200 for around $9.00, but now they’re $15!  Heartbreaking, to think that there are now no cheap sources of film left unless one buys online.  Still, when you really need something immediately, it’s good that there are a few options left…

edit: Superia 400 is back, and at a comparable price.  Time to start shopping online exclusively…

walmartfuji

Milestone of a different kind

I don’t know exactly why, but I’m the first hit when someone Googles “Fujica ZC1000.”  Feeling lucky, it’ll send you directly to The Resurrected Camera.  And if you search just for images, mine is the first there too.  Pretty good for a camera I bought over a year and a half ago, have never used, meant to get a CLA for and never got around to doing it.

Not that I’m complaining mind you, but it’s strange to have that happen and it’s not like I’m an expert in the field of small-gauge filmmaking or the ZC1000 in particular (for that go read Ignacio’s blog).  Having the number one search result on Google is pretty significant milestone, one I didn’t see coming.

Though while we’re on the subject of the ZC1000, I did manage to track down a (somewhat rough) copy of the 1.8/5.5mm EBC Fujinon-SW lens…so wide the only focus it needs is macro.  And when I get a workflow for developing the film and reloading the single-8 cartridges, I’ll be using that baby.  But for now, the Canon is easier to deal with.

Oh, and guess what: it seems I’m the first choice for information regarding the Pakon F335 scanner as well!

Well that I can understand more I guess, but still…

Rolling forward

a.k.a. Quo Vadis II

An update: I spend the summers working and have been extremely busy, then cut back slightly so I can have a day or two just for classes.  I’ll admit, I’ve been so busy that I have been restricting my posts to one or two a month, and all the pictures I’ve posted were shot sometime last year.  Despite my good intentions, I don’t know if that’ll change soon, but I do still roll forward:

I got 25 rolls of film developed back in July, and finally started scanning some of them (the first 8 rolls at least).  It’s good to hear the hum of the Pakon and so wonderful putting an entire roll through every few minutes.

I have 8 more rolls of film in the fridge waiting to be developed, and 17 more rolls to scan though I’ll try to edit as I go, as time permits.  At any rate, I’m running out of drafts in the queue so there will be more recent photos posted soon.

In other news, Ektachrome is back and available in super 8 directly from Kodak’s website.  135 canisters will be available in about 2 weeks from retailers and 16mm is expected by the end of the year.  Unfortunately, together with the $40 price tag (it says it’s an introductory price; hopefully it will drop eventually), there is no student discount available, which makes it nearly twice as expensive for me as all the other films.  I think I’ll be waiting a while, but I wish Kodak all the best!

Ektachrome is getting closer…

The news is a few days old now, but Kodak has announced Ektachrome will be sold starting Oct. 1:

https://www.kodak.com/US/en/corp/Press_center/New_EKTACHROME_Films_to_Begin_Shipping/default.htm

Of course it says that it’s already for sale but every place I’ve checked says it’ll be delivered the middle of the month, but the super 8 will be sold right from Kodak’s website on the 1st.  Damn good news. I can’t say that the price excites me ($13 for a roll of 135 film or $40 for a super 8 cartridge) but I still plan on getting some and shooting it.  If you’re interested in seeing some of the first footage shot with this film, check out Ignacio Benedeti’s blog: http://mimundoensuper-8.blogspot.com/2018/09/ferrol-7294-trailer-especial-para-la.html

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PONF

Well, the Reflex won’t be the only new 35mm SLR on the block, it seems (and evidently I missed all the big news with this, because the news broke around the same time).  Also coming soon will be the PONF Camera – Photography on Film is what it’s supposed to stand for.  For more information you can check out their website, https://ponfcamera.com. They have a WordPress blog too, which it might interest you to follow.

Just like the Reflex, they’ll have an interchangeable back, but they’re planning on having a 35mm back and a digital back.  That way a photographer can use the same camera to digitize his/her film–I have no idea what other uses it could have…

Pictures and other thoughts are available here.

So the big question for me, because I’ve heard rumblings about this with the Reflex, is will the camera automatically function with M42 lenses, or will I have to manually stop them down?  Because I could still buy a Bessaflex.  An even better question for me personally, regarding previous thoughts, is if I should continue putting money into the M42 system or if it’s time to start seriously migrating to K-mount.  Or just dump Pentax altogether and get myself a Nikon F2.  I’m at a crossroads and I don’t know which direction is the right one yet.  I of course want to help support new camera makers, but they need to provide the right features on their cameras for me to want to buy it.