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Kodacroak: The end of Kodachrome

Dan O’Neill on a mailing list writes “The last day that you will be able to get your roll of Kodachrome developed
will be four days from now, December 30, 2010.” He also posted these links:

Last-chance processing

Trip to India documented on the last roll of Kodachrome. [Me: You’ve got to see Steve McCurry‘s India photos, and not just the last 36. He did the famous Afghan girl cover for National Geographic, for example.]

Last roll of kodochrome manufactured (not the last roll processed)

A Google search for ‘famous kodachrome pictures

17 Responses to “Kodacroak: The end of Kodachrome”

  1. […] IS SAD: The End Of Kodachrome. I was always more of a High Speed Ektachrome kind of guy, but I took some memorable Kodachrome […]

  2. Mama don’t take my Kodachrome awayyyyy!

  3. Very frankly, its Kodak’s fault. They very clearly saw the demise of photography and they did nothing about it. Is it that difficult to come up with a CCD that simulates Kodachrome colors?

    If they couldn’t come up with that, why not produce inks/dyes that can reproduce Kodachrome on special Kodachrome paper?

    They had the brand, they had the chemical know how but they just didn’t care or couldn’t find a way to extend the brand.

    It wouldn’t surprise if there was a foreign company working on this issue. Its an excellent way to penetrate the market.

  4. I worked for Kodak as a sales rep for 17 years–left in 2001–and I must say my camera store customers preferred Kodachrome 64 over its Ektachrome counterpart.

    IMHO, too many managment changes and with it too many strategic directions in the last 8-10 years.

  5. Kodak is far from being out of business just because they no longer produce Kodachrome film. They have their own line of digital cameras (I have one of their compact video cameras) and make high-end sensors for larger digital cameras. They market their own brand of high-quality inkjet photo paper (I have some).

    Many different makes of cameras currently available have a number of built-in photo processing and effect options, including film emulation modes. With digital technology, the color matching or film simulation is usually best done in photo editing software which offers many more options for the discriminating photographer.

    I certainly won’t miss the expense, difficulties and extra time spent in shooting and processing film. Kodachrome Is sorta like the flathead Ford V-8s of the 1930s, top-of-the-line products at the time but now just a fond memory.

  6. I worked in a wet film and photo printing lab in the Boston area for two years until it went out of business. The value in film today is artistic and nostalgic, but the efficiency of digital media has quickly replaced it. As a photographer, I prefer the look of film. As a budget-minded consumer I compromise and own and use a digital camera.

    I wonder how soon it will be when we’ll be sentimentally mourning the demise of paper books?

  7. I started my career as a Kodachrome quality control chemist in a NYC lab, first on K-12, then on K-14. It was an expensive, difficult and intricate process, but the tonal range it produced was amazing. As Mark Twain said of the steamboat in “Life on the Mississippi” – “So short a life for so magnificent a creature!”

  8. Kodak blew it in ’94. I worked for the NYC lab that had a kodachrome line. Kodak was pushing its 120 size roll film, and photo-cd, and digital retouching stations. Too bad they didn’t listen to the market, and put more of the pieces together.
    Instead of leveraging the amazing range of kodachrome, where multiple scans could give you hdr effects, in ways that E-6 films just could not do, they discontinued support and the large format.

  9. Here’s the deal:

    I work at a place that simulates the vast EMP and radiation bursts of things like nuclear weapon detonations and solar storms. Our customers range from *CLASSIFIED* to those making things like satellites that live beyond the Earth’s protective magnetosphere and are vulnerable to solar events. Digital cameras just *die* when we attempt to image the moments of these conditions, so we have a handful of film cameras that we screw into observation ports on the simulator machines.

    At present, these cameras use increasingly rare “instant” Polaroid film (in black-and-white). Already we spend somewhere around $60 – $80 for a 10-shot cartridge… what are we to do when film goes away entirely (practically speaking; yes I understand that there will always be specialist manufacturers that will provide photographic film – at exorbitant cost)?

    At some point we must balance the cost of somehow shielding the innards of digital cameras – if possible, since essentially we need to put a sheet of 1″ thick lead in front of the lens that somehow the CCD chip can see the visual spectrum through (anyone invent transparent lead yet?) – or the cost of custom-made film. Either way, it just lends increasing cost to an already costly enterprise ($30K each test at least).

    *Sigh*… this was so much easier 20 years ago when I could go down to the local drug store and buy a cartridge of black-and-white on sale for $5.00 … but time moves on.


  10. Digital is a deadend–a blind alley.

    But you won’t know it until you get to the end of the alley.

  11. I take 3D pictures on a David White Stereo Realist, and there’s just such an enormous difference between the perfect color and amazing smoothness and sharpness of Kodachrome over any other film I’ve tried. With other films, presence of differing grain between the two images creates a 3D “graininess” that just isn’t there with Kodachrome. The illusion of reality is much, much stronger with Kodachrome than with E6 film.

    But since it had to come to an end, I tried to send it out with style. I just mailed in my last roll — Christmas morning family pictures taken on a last roll of Kodachrome 25 I saved when Kodak discontinued it.. One last traditional spin around the block with the best filmstock ever.

  12. […] Joho the Blog). Publicado por Wicho # 30/Dic/2010 – Comentarios (0)Categorías: GeneralCompartir por… correo […]

  13. […] (Vía Joho the Blog). […]

  14. […] digital photography and digital projection, but it’s still worth a moment of silence to mark the end of Kodachrome film, which is no longer made and will no longer be processed after December 30, […]

  15. Sigh.

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