Saturday, September 08, 2012

Goodbye Fotokemika

A 1980's Roll and the current EFKE/Adox

With all the attention focussed on Kodak's recent decision to sell their film business, the news Fotokemika (EFKE and Adox film brands) have decided to cease production may have slipped under the radar for some people.

Fotokmika have been making a range of films and papers since the 1960's when they bought the machinery (but not the trade name) from Adox.
My previous post outlines the company history for those inclined here.
The coating machine was made in the 1950's and pretty much the film produced on it is unchanged from that period and made to the original Dr. Shleussner formula.

A box of 1957 R17
Recently Fotokemika made the distributor aware that they had problems with their coating machine which needed to be repaired, after consideration I think they decided although they could fix the machine, that their business margins were so thin they feel they have to cease all production.

Possibly the factory site is worth more money than they can hope to earn from film so they have decided to cash in their assets.

For most photographers that used these films that is a great shame, they were unique and has a very different look from modern films.

I have been using them various guises since the early 1980's anyone in the UK will surely remember Jessop pan in the plain white boxes for just a pound.

I particularly loved the 50 ISO version of this emulsion, which had smooth tones and  easier to tame and more forgiving than the 25 version.
I will miss the films very much, at the same time I'm grateful for being able to use them for the last 30 years.

©Photo Utopia 2012


Matthew Plummer said...

I emailed them and asked about this - their reply was:

'We are forced to stop the ADOX CHS line but will continue everything else and bring new products to replace the vanished ones.
Please spread the news where you read the opposite.
We will do what we can.
Remanufacturing all films is unlikely because there are good reasons why the other manufacturer had to give up.
So,  are stopping to make films: NO
Do we carry on all which is going away: NO'

Anonymous said...

It is indeed a pity that Fotokmika has ceased to produce their films.

roumen dimitrov said...

I was there (Fotokemika) middle of August (2012) and there was nothing: no-one, simply nothing. And the inhabitants of Samobor, Croatia, where the Fotokemika resides by the way, was wondering that there should be anything, the plant had produced.

So, this should be the end...

Photo–Smith said...

I fear that is correct Roumen, I have heard that they just couldn't make enough profit to keep producing film and when the machine actually required repair it was the straw that broke the camels back.
They could fix the machine but not the demand for their product.
The film was great, I wish the factory workers in Samobor and their families well for the future.