Dennis Olbrich, president of Kodak Alaris Paper & Output Systems and Film Capture division, this week sent out a letter to customers confirming it was in the silver halide photographic paper and chemistry business for the long haul.
Mr Olbrich noted that (in contrast to other manufacturers) Kodak Alaris continues to release new and improved silver halide products and invest in R&D. In the past 2 – 3 years Kodak Alaris has revamped Kodak Endura Paper, replaced Brilliance Paper with Premier Digital and made improvements to both Kodak Edge and Royal photo specialty minilab papers.
There was, however, a sting in the tail, with price increases to come for paper and chemistry. (Text of letter published below).
Local Kodak Alaris A/NZ distributor to pro labs, Independent Photographic Supplies (IPS) notified customers last month that price rises will be kept to 5.5 percent. They will come into effect on January 1 next year.
Independent Photo (IPS) noted that the ‘reinforced commitment’ to AgX photo paper from Kodak Alaris was particularly welcome at this time, with pro labs in particular faced with making decisions on equipment upgrades.
‘With CSI Lightjet’s withdrawal from the market, and also the ageing fleet of Durst Lambda’s and end-of-life Kodak LED wide format AgX printers, labs need to be reassured of the long-term supply of the imaging technology by which all others are measured,’ said Stuart Holmes, managing director, IPS.
‘The HP Indigo mob say they are “near photographic” – in my humble opinion, they are not near enough, and simply pretending a printing press is as good as a real photo.’
Independent Photo (IPS) national sales manager, David Hill is embarking on a tour of pro labs in Australia and New Zealand over the next two weeks with one of the principals of wide-format AgX printer processor manufacturer ZBE Chromira USA ‘to discuss wide format AgX printing options and print quality.’
From Dennis Olbriich:
As a valued customer of Kodak Alaris I am writing to you today to reinforce our commitment to the Colour Negative (CNP) or Silver Halide Photographic Printing business.
Rapid advances in digital capture technology make it important to understand the continued relevance of silver halide paper in digital photographic workflows. Silver Halide is a 100-year-old technology that keeps on getting better. Continuous tone images are still the standard against which all other imaging technologies are measured. Productivity in the printing, processing and finishing of CNP make it one of the most economical ways to create imaging output. The proven performance in print life, image quality and protection from obsolescence allows CNP to remain the image printing technology of choice of professional and central labs around the world.
Kodak Alaris is continuing to take a leadership role in the research and technology innovations that keep silver halide at the forefront of photographic printing. In just the last 12 months we have launched and/or upgraded five silver halide products in our portfolio. And we are continuing to innovate products on an ongoing basis.
You may be aware that we recently announced that Kodak Alaris will be implementing a price increase to our portfolio of Colour Negative Paper and Photo Chemicals. We have implemented significant cost reduction efforts over the past few years to limit the customer impact of the modest but sustained industrywide volume declines that we’ve experienced. However during this same time many cost components have trended upwards, including increases in materials, specialty chemicals, logistics and personnel costs. The price increases that we have announced are designed to ensure that Kodak Alaris remains a viable supplier and a competitive participant in the global photographic paper and photo chemicals market.
We remain committed to the success of our photofinishing customers around the world and we will continue to invest in product innovation and value-added services to help you sustain and grow your businesses.