Kodachrome news
Mar 23rd, 2012 by Ken Hagler

Seen on a mailing list:

“On demand” could conceivably include any film that Kodak has ever manufactured. Someone in the audience asked the inevitable question: “Including Kodachrome?” [Beverly Pasterczyk of Eastman Kodak Co.’s] answer: “Yes, including Kodachrome”. She added that while small runs of Kodachrome were unlikely, it was not out of the question, since they have had numerous inquiries.

To the question “How could this be made possible?” her answer was intriguing. “Volume is the answer. Consumer groups of large numbers of individuals could petition for the return of a specific film. This would include not only large companies, but also individuals banded together such as camera clubs, especially those with a large enough base such that they could collectively join on a national or even international basis”.

The question of processing isn’t really addressed here. I seem to remember reading that Dwayne’s sold their processing equipment after they stopped processing Kodachrome. However, if that were dealt with, it occurs to me that another company could conceivably order a production run and then resell it, like the way that companies buy graphics cards from a manufacturer and then resell them with their own company name.

Kodachrome cancellation
Jun 22nd, 2009 by Ken Hagler

Kodachrome Ends 74-Year Run.

HaasroseBy Ernst Haas

Eastman Kodak announced this morning that it will cease the manufacture of Kodachrome this year.

Celebrated in song (literally!) and story, Kodachrome is the oldest film in production and the longest-lived film product in the entire history of photography. Developed by Leopold Godowsky and Leopold Mannes (known as “God and Man” within Kodak) in 1935, Kodachrome had exceptionally low contrast (a good thing in a transparency film) and an inimitably rich, beautiful color palette. For decades it was by far the best color material extant. Among other things, for many years around mid-century it relegated families to long sessions in darkened rooms with a slide projector and a screen, the best way people had of showing each other their vacation and birthday party pictures. Many leading photographers even today, including Sam Abell, William Albert Allard, and Steve McCurry, did much of their important early work on Kodachrome.

However, it is inherently slow and very difficult to manufacture, and devilishly intricate to process. Only one lab in the world is currently processing it—Dwayne’s in Kansas, USA. The best article about Kodachrome was published in Popular Photography and reprinted in the book The Best of Popular Photography. (I should be able to provide issue and page number, but I can’t seem to put my hands on it.) Many film users—including avowed Kodachrome fans—have moved away from it in recent years. It currently accounts for less than 1% of Kodak’s shrinking film sales.

It might have been ’97 or ’98 that I first wrote about the coming demise of Kodachrome, in the pages of Photo Techniques, at the time Kodak suspended in-house processing services. If memory serves, however, Kodak promised back then to continue manufacturing the film for at least ten more years. It kept that promise.

GodandmanGod and Man, inventors of Kodachrome. I own a large dye transfer print of this picture, but I’ve never been sure who was who. I think Godowsky is at the piano. (Thanks to Helen Bach.)

This end was inevitable, but it was certainly a fine long run! Not for nothing is the press around the world this morning calling Kodachrome “one of the iconic products of the 20th century.”

Bravo to God, Man, Kodachrome, Kodak, and “those nice, bright colors.” R.I.P.


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[The Online Photographer]

Kodachrome is my favorite color film. The patent for it has to be long-expired by now, so maybe we’ll get lucky and someone else will start making it (under a different name), the way that Fuji makes Polaroid film.

Feb 13th, 2009 by Ken Hagler


Birds in the water at Santa Monica Beach.

Birds in the water at Santa Monica Beach.

Recently I’ve been shooting more Kodachrome.

New medium-format folding camera
Feb 3rd, 2009 by Ken Hagler

Fujifilm’s killer medium format film camera. It has long been only a prototype. We first heard about at last year’s PMA trade show and were able to see a wooden version of it at Photokina in September 2008. But now, it’s official. Fujifilm is weeks away from releasing its GF670 Professional medium format film camera. Here is our full article about it.

Outside of Japan, the camera should be released under the Voigtlander Bessa III 667 name, which Cosina will distribute. [The British Journal of Photography]

The earlier announcement had already raised my interest. From the additional information, it looks like it will be about the same size as a Leica, and smaller when folded. Still no price, but I’ll probably buy one when they’re released.

Ektar 100 out
Nov 9th, 2008 by Ken Hagler

A few weeks ago I learned about Kodak’s new C-41 film, Ektar 100. It’s out now–Samy’s in LA had a big pile of it. I bought a couple of rolls to try out.

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