ADOX Interview with Mirko Böddecker

The site FilmPhotography.eu has a great piece called "Mirko Böddecker, Adox, im Interview" (in German) where Böddecker talks about all things ADOX - a brand we (all?) know and love... The market is stable, if not doing well and new products are continuously under development. This bodes well for us film shooters. In fact, there's talk of further color films and of course papers and chemicals.

Translation into English - with lots of corrections (via Google):

ADOX produces bartya and PE photo paper, small print film, roll film, sheet film, photographic chemicals, etc.

The aim is also to offer after the "digital revolution" a comprehensive range of classic, photographic materials. We spoke with Mirko Böddecker, CEO of ADOX, for a look into the past and the future. In addition, it comes to the production of color films, with a view toward Italy, and why we should buy photo papers.

How was 2013 for ADOX?

ADOX started around 2 years ago to produce itself. Due to the complexity in the production of analog photographic material we are still largely busy the processes to implement and optimize step by step. Although portions of the markets have stabilized at a certain level, so break still SUPPLIERS away, the prices of the feedstocks are constantly rising and many we have now already own produce, which we actually thought we could buy it.

So we must take our packaging manufacturer, for example in 2013, begin roll film protective paper itself to produce and faster than expected ramp up the production of chemicals, since the upstream supplier was no longer able to "such manageable" quantities industrially to manufacture.

Overall, we all have the problem that the current market prices do not reflect all of these efforts.

The prices-especially for film to remain at the level of the 80 years (adjusted for inflation). Only that today just 1/1000 thereof is prepared.

This is dangerous in the long run for the existence of the manufacturer. None of the failures of recent years was indispensable. Prices would have risen analogous to the cost, now could all continue to live and produce smaller quantities. The consumer would have a wider choice, but would have to pay more per film.

The consumer has but opted for a different variant, which is not surprising. The offer's still very large and short term to bring him this behavior returns. The decision was therefore rational and expected.

How has the film market developed over the last two to three years?

Film is largely stable. Revenue breaks away for the paper and there unfortunately dramatically. However, this paper considers the factories alive because it amounts associated financing the "background noise". Only from the film no one can live. This is not a problem of analog photography alone. With Ilford Switzerland is just a technologically leading manufacturer of inkjet materials went bankrupt. People generally print less and look at pictures more and more on digital display devices. I am confident, however, that even in this point a counter-movement will arise soon. If you nailed the Ipad to the wall it's still broken.

Will ADOX have its own color film at some point?

Color films you can still buy today for 79 cents at Aldi. But we can not even assemble an already cast film. This board hard and cutthroat business we can and must leave the dying giants. It is ultimately a question of quantity, price and claim. A quality movie in the color range no one will republish. The entry barriers are much too high. You can even cover the current fiscal hardly the replacement investment. Anlaufinvestitonen are unthinkable.

If a niche opens up we use it. ADOX is already producing a color film: the Color Implosion.

Ferrania aims at a similar niche. There has been a lot of know-how and available with reasonable effort, you can make something. That is not high but at least available on Ektar level. Fuji and Kodak do not even speak with us. They float somewhere in another sphere and terminate by decree products. For a Kodak or Fuji Manager has the biggest nightmare, his contact with a live customer. In cooperation with Ferrania I could imagine very many exciting products in the color range. For months we together forge plans and drink tons of espresso.

What can we do as photographers and clients to keep analog photography alive?

Keep buying ADOX photo paper and developer. The best is no film. The film business has been marginal or deficient for years... Nonsense! Just buy something and have fun when taking pictures. We already do in the background.

What's planned for 2014?

Too much to write down. Let's take just the last few days, since the beginning of the year:

  • The ADOX Enhancer is online
  • The Analog Starter Set "photo lab-Compline" (with enhancer) is - as FX-39 - is back
  • We have three new sheet film formats

This will go on like this. Short-term is to build up from the existing range a wider range (more sizes and packagings at the papers and chemicals). We can now manufacture and correspond to the changing market needs.

Then the MCC comes in matte, hopefully the Polywarmtone, the CHS 100 II roll film, new developers, hopefully the first products from cooperation with Ferrania and everything I can not even think of today :-)