Kodak has hit out at comments made in an article published yesterday by the Guardian which suggested film is making a ‘comeback’, yet Kodak is ‘struggling to survive’.
In the Guardian comment piece, headlined ?Don?t take my Kodak away?, renowned photographer Eamonn McCabe wrote: ?It was bad enough when Kodak took away the photographer?s favourite film, Kodachrome, even after Paul Simon had begged them not to in his 1970s song that lauded its ?nice bright colours?.
Referring to Kodak?s recent share price crash, he added: ?Now it?s much worse, it looks as though the whole thing may soon disappear.
?The very name Kodak is synonymous with all that is good about photography.
‘It?s an irony that just as film is making a comeback with many photographers, the major firm in photography?s history ? which made its first camera way back in 1888 ? is struggling.?
The US firm has since moved to reassure traditional photographers that it will continue to supply film ?as long as there is demand?, yet pledged its commitment to digital photography which, it says, accounts for three-quarters of its revenue.
In 2008, Kodak told Amateur Photographer (AP) that film was far from dead and making a significant comeback, especially among ‘young professionals’.
It said certain black & white films were bucking the downward trend in demand among professional photographers in Western Europe and the US.
A year earlier, a Kodak survey of professionals across Europe revealed that most still preferred film.
In the Guardian article, McCabe outlined a return to black & white film photography and an ?underground revival? with ?camera shops opening in discreet venues around our big cities, often masquerading as coffee shops?.
He asserted that some film cameras had doubled in value in recent years as processing labs report ?their best turnover figures in five years as many photographers come back??
Responding to McCabe?s comments, Christopher Veronda, a spokesman for Eastman Kodak?s head office in the US, claimed that ?some of the statements tied back to the film business don?t make a lot of sense?.
Veronda told AP: ?Today, three-fourths of Kodak?s revenues are digital, while at the same time we continue to offer the broadest portfolio of films for consumers and professionals in the industry, including the leading colour and black & white films.
?There is reference to Paul Simon?s song from the early 1970s but Kodachrome was retired only a couple of years ago – and because other Kodak films had become far more popular choices.
?There simply was not enough demand any longer to support Kodachrome.
?Kodak has noted the resurgence in interest in some quarters in film photography, and has been an industry leader in continuing to innovate in the film category with new products. We will continue to make film as long as there is demand for it.?
In 2007, a spokesman for Kodak UK said: ‘Far from fading into the history books film capture has a massive fan base and the future looks rosy.?
A Kodak survey had revealed that more than two-thirds (67%) of those questioned intended to continue to use film.
Over half of respondents (55%) said they preferred the results that film capture provided, compared to digital. And 19% admitted that they chose film cameras for more than 60% of their work.
In 2009, Kodak announced it was to discontinue production of its iconic Kodachrome 64 film after 74 years, blaming falling sales due to the uptake in digital imaging.