Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by d_f|11, Apr 9, 2009.
...Or are we a thorn in their side?
You are money in thir pocket.
Does this mean they care, probably not.
But as long as they are pulling in the bucks I don't think they are giong to view you as a thorn.
'Gotta shell out $5.00 extra now for each roll. 'Just went from $8.50 to $13.00 - all due to shipping! Thorns coming coming every which way...
I think if Kodak has kept Kodachrome around for this long they care.....Do all of you that are bringing up Kodachrome know about The Kodachrome Project and The Kodachorme Project Forums. You can find them at: http://www.kodachromeproject.com/pages/contents.html and http://www.kodachromeproject.com/forum/index.php If you join in with us, you will learn and share more than you knew there was to know about Kodachrome. It is such a great place!
If you really want Kodachrome to survive there is one very simple thing you must do: buy, shoot and have more Kodachrome processed. How many of you shoot more than a handful of rolls i na year? You each need to get it up --way up like into the 500 rolls or more per year basis.
Whining and kvetching and getting "thorny" won't do it. You have to prove it is still a viable commercial product. The more they sel of the stuff, the more they have to make and the cost of manufacturing stabilizes or goes down.
While there may be some specific people at Kodak who have a love for Kodachrome (or some other specific film) at the end of the day, it's just a product that they are selling. If they sell enough of it to make a profit, they are happy with the product. If they lose money, then it's a thorn.
To echo Ellis (and my own previous comments) if you want Kodachrome to stick around, buy/use more Kodachrome and convince others to buy/use Kodachrome. If they are making enough of it, they will continue to sel it. The only variable in this equasion would be Dwaynes and the fact that they are the only ones who are still processing Kodachrome anywhere int he world. But as Dwaynes is likely making a tidy profit off of that distinction and nobody has heard them breathe a word of quitting, I think it is a non issue.
In short, buy more Kodachrome. Using 25 rolls a year won't cut it. And I seriously doubt many film photographers are even using that much.
C'mon, find a Walmart, you cant be THAT far from one. Like weeds, they are everywhere, even in the middle of nowhere. Once every few weeks, make a trip of it. or, switch to E-6.
I'm sure you've probably shot tons more Kodachrome during your career than I ever will during mine. 500, or even 100 rolls per year is going to be really tough for me. I'll do it if I can get a grant. But let's be honest with ourselves here...most of us are not high volume Kodachrome shooters. I'm lucky if I can buy, shoot, and process 50 rolls of Kodachrome in a single year. But take a bunch of 50-roll-a-year shooters, add them up, and every little bit helps. At the very least, it certainly won't hurt and is better than shooting 10 or 20 rolls a year.
So, anyone who shoots Kodachrome, whether that is 10 rolls a year or 10,000 a year, I strongly encourage you to join the forums that Patrick provided a link to. The more new low-volume shooters there are, the more rolls will be sold, and the film might have a shot at sticking around a bit longer.
By the way, if anyone knows how to apply for a grant, please help me out. All I want is enough to shoot and process a few hundred rolls, and I'll come up with a really worthwhile idea for a book project or something.
500, or even 100 rolls per year is going to be really tough for me.And only selling a few thousand rolls a year is going to be really tough for Kodak (I'm just making a point, I have no idea how many rolls they sell). Just as you don't have the money to buy and process 500 rolls a year, they don't have the money to produce and then not sell a product.
Of course every little bit helps. But it's an uphill battle, and as such, Kodachrome shooters are going to have to do more than their share if they want to see the film survive. There just aren't enough 10, 20 or 50 roll shooters out there. People like Daniel at the kodachromeproject have made a mission of making people aware of the film. More Kodachrome shooters are going to have to do the same thing.
If you want Kodachrome to stick around, buy/use more Kodachrome and convince others to buy/use Kodachrome.
I have a very simple goal this year - to buy a 35mm film SLR, a bunch of Kodachrome, and photograph the Kodachrome Basin in Utah. I've got the camera, and will be placing the order for the film this month, for the trip in June.
Looking forward to documenting a magical place with a magical namesake.
They just ran another coating run of K64.
Talk about doing more than our share...I've very recently pretty much ceased shooting any other color slide film now, and am sinking most of my film money into Kodachrome 64 and will be shooting it almost exclusively for the next couple of months. That said, I'm still not likely to rack up more than 30 rolls or so over the next few months. I'm glad there are still a few high volume shooters out there.
Nicholas: As for whether that new film is indeed a new run, we don't really know for sure and we cannot be totally sure yet. Let's not start rumors until we have had it confirmed somehow...unless you know something that the rest of us do not.
I use more than 25 per year. I shoot the least in the Winter but I stocked up all winter long and this summer I am going to go nuts! I'll be out of school and will be able to pretty much shoot as much as I desire! I can't wait. I am much more into photography now than I was last summer so we'll see!
What I don't understand is, why is Dwayne's the only company processing Kodachrome? Is K14 a secret process that Dwayne's made an exclusive agreement for? Or is there not enough volume for anybody else to bother? Or is it really difficult or requiring special equipment and nobody wants to do it? Or all of the above? Can you get the chemicals for K14 and do it yourself or is it some hideous process involving a bunch of steps that you need to be a chemist with several precision temperature baths, an autoclave and a centrifuge to do? I know Kodak originally sold the film packaged with the prcessing mailer but the courts killed that decades ago...
Or is there not enough volume for anybody else to bother?I think that was the case for some number of smaller Kodachrome processors.
Or is it really difficult or requiring special equipment and nobody wants to do it?Well it requires a K14 machine which is larger and more complex than an E6 machine and requires much more knowledge than the average minilab employee likely has.
Can you get the chemicals for K14 and do it yourself or is it some hideous process involving a bunch of steps that you need to be a chemist with several precision temperature baths, an autoclave and a centrifuge to do?It's pretty long and hideous. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-14_process As far as I know, it is not home processable in any reasonable way.
as I read in the distant past, someone not at kodak DID procedd kodachrome at home . but there was no report on his sucess.
so it may have been a failure.
I recall that Ilford, at one time may have had a similar process or a compatible film. but I have chased that and nobody knows
DYNACHROME was compatible with the asa 10 kodachrome "a almost clone " but came out at the end of the asa 10 era or right after the start of Kodachrome II ( asa 25) It may have been done on machines purchased as suplus from Kodak or someone else.
I read the article several years ago and the details escape me. Dynachrome was not as bright as Kodachrome asa 10.. but the asa10 & 16 (type A) films were what the home movie people were used to.
In the 1950's many places did Kodachrome, and I suspect some pooled one process or another and one type was done in one lab and the other processes done somewhere else. With cars getting 15mpg and gas at 29 cents. they could move a lot of film around.
National Geographic supposedly had their own kodachrome setup.
and I think various government agencies did also.
One of the things that Kicked slide film in the head was a lack of reversal paper.
True Dwayne's will scan at the time of processing, and then anyone can print it.
I have an unfinished roll of K64 in my viewmaster camera and don't know if they will scan it.
or will I have to photograph it with color print film?
Lastly if two musicians could create it and develop it in a hotel room. how hard could it be.
( ok I KNOW it is a extremely difficult process
I have a very simple goal this year - to buy a 35mm film SLR, a bunch of Kodachrome, and photograph the Kodachrome Basin in Utah. I've got the camera, and will be placing the order for the film this month, for the trip in June.
Looking forward to documenting a magical place with a magical namesake.That was on my list during a month long road trip last Fall. It is a worthy place to shoot Kodachrome..
Kodak is paying 100% attention to Kodachrome and it's current fanfare. It is a hall mark product for them, some of the best advertising they have and it turns 75 next year. The current batch that just shipped to the outlets has an expiration of 07/2010. I am making a trip out to Rochester pretty soon to talk with them about ideas and proprietary information / marketing.
But bottom line, use it. It's like falling in love with a girl that you want to keep around forever. If you are worried every day you are with her that she will leave, then you will have squandered the very thing that is the gift you have, the here and now.
Kodak tried to market the K-Lab processor in the early 90s, but by that point, E-6 had taken enough of a hold that maybe only 20 or 30 were sold. The K-lab was designed to be similar to a minilab, so users wouldn't have to worry about all the complicated mixing and temperature and agitation controls. However, demand decreased, and most were shut down by around 2002; soon after, Kodak stopped selling the bag-in-box chemicals the K-lab needed to run. AFAIK, Dwayne's mixes their own chemicals, so they weren't constrained by this loss. A couple places have them for sale for around $20,000, but unless you want to bother mixing chemicals, they're worth only their value as scrap metal. It is most certainly possible to do it at home, however, controlling agitation, getting and mixing the proper chemicals and getting the reexposures right isn't worth it. I believe that about half the chemicals can be bought off the shelf, and the rest you half to mix yourself. It probably helps to have some chemistry training. IIRC, up until the 50s, there were dip and dunk Kodachrome processors, which allowed for Kodachrome up to 11x14 sheet film. As an interesting side note, Kodak maintains a Kodachrome line at their Rochester plant for on site testing.
Back in 1973 a couple of timesI once shot 3 dozen rolls of 36 exp Kodachrome in one hour; using several preloaded Nikons. One eveent was a lunar eclipse; another an air show. The first roll I show as is the 1950's; Old Kodachrome at asa 10. Ponder that today one cannot buy Kodachrome locally except via mailorder in most places; once every drugs store sold it. The largest retail store in the USA doesnt carry it anymore; ie Walmart. Kmarts once sold it; Walgreens did too and Sears. Hudsons in Detroit sold it once; they had a compete camera section too.
If Kodak was really serious about Kodachrome they might explore having a few select retail chains carrying a couple rolls.
Its a great film but its not going to be around if sales continue to drop off.
There is a minimum production volume required to keep a production line open; ie one making a product with a limited shelf life; a product that only one lab in the world processes.
I have shot boatloads of Kodachrome slides; now its just a trickle. I use to order big bricks of the stuff; all of one emulsion number. There was a big stink in the mid 1950's when Kodachrome was dropped in sheet formats; actually lawsuits too to Prove that that newer E series transparencys were equalvalent.
Once there were well over a dozen Kodak Kodachrome labs; plus many independents too. There are many customers I scan slides for that have not shot a slide in a decade; or two decades; some three.
Products survive due to sales volume; not hot air and memories of old times.
The K14 process is super expensive to maintain; thats why onely one lab exists anymore; ie due to a trickle of volume. There is not enough volume to support several labs; unless folks are willing to shell out 100 bucks per roll. It is about money; cash flow. One has many millions of dollars of capital equipment to feed with cash flow to support its upkeep; its workers; its chemicals; its lightbil; its calibrations. Thus when the lone lab cannot support the beast; the plug will be pulled in making new emulsions.
CVS use to sell Elite Chrome. They stopped because they can now longer process it for you (have it sent out through Qualex.). Maybe they could get WalMart to sell it....My WalMarts are slowly getting rid of all of the Kodak film they sell. They use to have Ultra Color and HD 400 but they just did away with both.
K-14 lines have to run at capacity, or the chemicals go bad quickly. Many of the baths are wickedly unstable. There isn't enough volume left to support running more than one K-14 line.
Kodak used to have the documentation on the K-Lab on their website -- it was still an intimidating beast. The procedures for dealing with film breaks are particularly gruesome, turning out the lights, putting on the IR goggles, and yanking film out of the beast and putting into big buckets of chemistry you keep at the ready "just in case".
I think Kodachrome may well be Kodak's only "charity case" film. I doubt it makes a profit, and is probably subsidized by other products. If so, it's probably the only Kodak film that still gets cross-subsidies.
The implosion of Qualex means that there's a lot less guys driving around picking up and dropping off film for central labs, so there's no "courier" path to Dwayne's for K-14. Wal-Mart must handle their own logistics for getting film from their stores to and from Dwayne's, which handles most or all of their "out lab" work.
If you deal directly with Dwaynes, you can amortize the shipping costs over multiple rolls by sending more than one at a time.
"But bottom line, use it. It's like falling in love with a girl that you want to keep around forever. If you are worried every day you are with her that she will leave, then you will have squandered the very thing that is the gift you have, the here and now."
Nice wording. And just to expand on the metaphor a bit: the answer is not to leave her before she has the chance to leave you--if everyone did that, there wouldn't still be Kodachrome in production. The answer is to treat her (or him for the ladies out there reading this) the way you want to be treated. In other words, use Kodachrome, or whatever film you decide to use, to the best of your current abilities and respect it...and it will reward you back by bringing out your best. Yet, when it comes time to say goodbye, one has to be mature and detatched, knowing that all the effort you put in to the past made it worth it even though the relationship is over. Kodachrome is just a photographic medium. It's the resulting images and what you got out of your time with the medium that really matter.
As to the original question, the answer is both. There ares still people at Kodak who care about Kodachrome, but they are also well aware of the very small but vocal group who want to keep Kodachrome alive forever. In the long run, the only thing that is likely to keep the product alive is an increase in sales. In the short term, it might prove embarrassing for Kodak to discontinue the product line in it's 75th anniversary. People at Kodak have noticed Daniel Bayer's Kodachrome Project, the frequent and lengthy discussions in this and other forums, and my little K-75 Kodachrome Celebration site. Publicity helps, but publicity that generates more sales will help much more.
When it is deep sixed, I will miss it for it's speed as much as for it's beauty. As a shooter of mechanical cameras, it's pretty basic to select film speed for light and lenses. A bother digital surpasses, but to me it's part of the joy. Select film, a look I'm trying to get, load it and listen to the whir of gears and and wheels as the fractions of seconds tick by.
Somehow, but I don't know how, this is related. Even in the age of the Jetsons, Cogsly's Cogs and Spacely's Sprockets exist, mechanical things, and so should Kodachrome.
Do you know the emulsion number of that new run? I've been tracking them.
Do you know the emulsion number of that batch with the 07/2010 expiration date? This is the first time in over a year that I've seen a report of an expiration date that is 15 months in the future. This is the most favorable news I've read.
I find this this is a good, up-to-date reference on dates and emulsion numbers from Daniel's site: http://www.kodachromeproject.com/forum/showthread.php?t=48&page=7
3/2010 #1559 is the most recent I have.
For 10 years now, Kodachrome is obsolete.
And the true successor still isn't one of the newer Ektachromes (these never have been). It's Fujichrome Provia 100F for K25 and 64 (and Provia 400F/Sensia 400 for Kodachrome 200).
For the price of one roll of Kodachrome 64 (36 exp., process-paid) one gets about two rolls Provia 100F (in bulk, but including the processing cost) here in Europe.
Depending on your criteria, you could say that Kodachrome was obsolete in 1965 (speed), 1975 (color saturation), or 1989 (grain). If your criteria is the Kodachrome look, then it is still not obsolete.
Do you know the emulsion number of that batch with the 07/2010 expiration date? This is the first time in over a year that I've seen a report of an expiration date that is 15 months in the future. This is the most favorable news I've read.Emulsion #1562, 07/2010.
I must disagree Heinz. Kodak's E100g or E100gx is a very fine film which I started using after quitting Kodachrome. I shot Kodachrome for over 15 years but now prefer the look of E100g (and E100 gx). Of course it's only an opinion. One problem with Kodachrome is that the colors can deteriorate, when projected, faster than do the newer Ektachromes.
Heinz, film is inferior in all qualities to digital.... at least in all the qualities that one wants to reference to prove whatever point they might have....
As of march 8, B&H had 463rolls. By March 28 they were sold out. Today they have over 999rolls in stock.
There's an airshow coming up in a few weeks here. I'll stock up some more before that and will probably shoot exclusively Kodachrome, with a couple rolls of traditional BW.
Aside from color rendition and subjective preferences, the MTF diagrams demonstrate that Kodachrome had lost its unique position in sharpness with Velvia (50) 20 years ago and in grain with Provia 100F 10 years ago.
Kodachrome isn't a competitive product any more by both pricing and processing time. In 2002, a brick of 10 rolls K64 (process.paid) was sold for about 60 Euros/USD by a German mail-order store. Today, one roll sells for 15 - 20 Euros. Processing now takes about 2 1/2 weeks to Dwayne's and back.
Kodak appears to have (European) customers frightened away intentionally. And both Fuji Velvia 50 and Provia 100F are available in a variety of formats.
Kodachrome 64 MTF:
Velvia 50 MTF:
Provia 100F MTF (one can clearly see how at low spatial frequencies the (micro-) contrast is enhanced up to 120 - 130 %. Although the Kodachromes appear under the microscope as "CMYK" films, and the E-6 films "only" as "CMY"-composites, the blacks in RVP50 and RDPIII are quite as dense and saturated as with the older Kodachrome technology). All this agrees well with my own experiences from scanning.
MTF curves don't tell the whole story. Most microdensitometers used to measure MTF targets have somewhat diffuse optics. They completely miss the effect of the pronounced relief image in Kodachrome. This relief image enhances the edge effects thus enhancing sharpness. Kodachrome slides projected with a good quality lens on a matte screen in a dark room are hard to beat.
MTF arguments aside, most of us appreciate the "Kodachrome look" that no other film replicates.
I appreciate the "Kodachrome Look". I wish I could still get the "Kodachrome Look" by using Kodachrome 25 and 200!
You have to look with your eyes, not MTF graphs. Most of us are familiar with the Kodachrome look via the older National Geographic Magazines, which for years exclusively used Kodachrome. We like that look, slightly grainy etc, and all. Skin tones are rendered amazingly well by Kodachrome. I've always found Provia to be too bluish, and although E100Gx is also a favorite, and scans so easily it just doesn't have that same timeless "look". E100Gx does have it's own wonderful look. The Kodachrome look is what we want to keep perpetuating.
Heck, how old is Tri-X? It has golf-ball size grain, and people still shoot it because they like its look.
In spite of the name photoGRAPHY, it's about seeing images, not GRAPHS.
I agree with Patrick - I do miss K200. It was really a wonderful film, and seemed to have a bit less contrast than K64.
For me it is not projection, but reproduction (scanning and offset printing) why I prefer slide film. With proper IT8-calibration, Provia 100F will deliver accurate colors in the shadows.
For me, the color and contrast perception of projected slides is too subjective to judge a film's quality, as human vision readily adapts to the color temperature of the projection lamp (usually a halogen bulb).
Grain and resolution are mitigated by the viewing distance and scale.
After about 1970, offset printing from Agfachrome (50 S, then the medium format standard) slide film here in Europe was capable to deliver a quality similar to Kodachrome from 35 mm slides. It depended more on the lithographer's skills and experience than on the source.
I have recently bought a used Rollei 35 Twin slide projector for a bargain price - a nice thing, but I do not mount my processed films any more. They are just filed cut in paper sleeves.
Velvia; ie Velveda isa favored my many folks newer to photgraphy who like pumped up saturated colors. Some of use like real cheese; other folks like processed stuff.
Its funny how folks look pack at products and think they were always great. When Kodachrome 25 came out many of us hoarded Kodachrome II and used it until Kodachome 25's color issues were worked out. I always thaought the early 1960's Kodachrome-X was abit poor; late 1970's Kodachrome 64 stuff was great. Kodachrome in 120 format had zilch for sales; ponder why it died years back; or why labs stopped processing it.
There was a time many decades ago that non-Kodachrome slides faded alot quicker than todays E6 products. The old 1940's and 1950's non kodachrome slides here in the house have radical color issues; while Kodachromes are in great shape as to colors.
I reproduction of artwork many of use use E6 4x5 or MF/120 stuff; non goosed up E6; NOT Velvia ie Kodak traditional E6; or a digital scan back. The main reason I got a 4x5 scan back 12 years ago was the E6 lab died.
Ask yourself how long you will do a job or create a product that has a negative cash flow "due to caring".
At some point if one does not have enough other income to support the cause ; the project may be halted.
The world is in a recession; there is less cash flow for supporting marginal products.
Kodak probably will look at actual REAL sales more than emotional emails and letters. The place is supported by cash flow; not emotions.
I think Kodak should at least be making enough off Kodachrome to at atleast brake even with it's costs. B&H sells at a few hundred rolls a month a Freestyle atleast 50. According the the video with Grant Steinle the owner of Dwayne's, he said that they process about 1000 rolls per day. How is does Kodak not make any money?
Look at something as simple as erasers.
Electric Drafting Erasing machines that hold a 1/4" Diameter by 7" long eraser.
A decade ago there were about 12 to 15 different types of erasers available; #72,73,74,75,76,77.78,79 and about 8 variants for inking work besides the #72. Today one has only about 2 to 3 grades available; manual drafting tanked. Demand dropped. Makers stopped making products with little demand; ie products that have a finite shelf life; they rot and grow hard. This product has no million buck cost; it doesnt have a mess of chemicals either.
This product has no *lab* to support in Kansas either; it is just a dumb eraser. Thus a holdout that draws on Vellum or Mylar has is favorite erasers now mostly gone due to lack of demand.
Take drafting Vellum National printfast in Indianpolis folded/closed its doors one year ago for a reason; folks bought less of their products; Mylar and Vellum. Take the classical Kohinoor/Alvin/K&E/Dietzgen/Post electric AC powered electric eraser; one factory made the same model and OEM'ed it for all of them; with different colored shells. They got to such a low volume that the dumb AC motor vendor got too expensive; and a retooled import motor was too much capital outlay; thus all was killed off. Thus you buy a used one from Ebay; or a whimpy clone; or chase down new old stock in stores.
All of these tales are with simple stuff; Mylar, Vellum, erasers; AC motors. Low sales volume caused plugs to be pulled.
A Kodachrome line or lab is like a fleet of Elephants; a bunch of ice rinks. Your NEED alot of decent cash flow to pay for the expenses involved.
Maybe Kodachrome; the Elephant show or the ice rink has positive cash flow today; but its dropping. Kodak or a rink would rather have a rising cash flow than a falling one to stay afloat. Issues with money and business seem to to be NOT understood by many photo.net folks. I often wonder if many do not run a business.
Heinz, many if not most people do not want accurate colors, they want colors that they like. I like Velvia, but I'd never call it accurate. The entire point of shooting Velvia is to have more saturation, not accuracy. If you don't like Velvia that's fine. If you don't like Kodachrome that's also fine. I haven't shot it in 15 years and I won't shed a tear when it's gone but the people on this thread like it. That's also fine. Shoot whatever you want.
Ask yourself how long you will do a job or create a product that has a negative cash flow "due to caring".
At some point if one does not have enough other income to support the cause ; the project may be halted.
The world is in a recession; there is less cash flow for supporting marginal products.
Kodak probably will look at actual REAL sales more than emotional emails and letters. The place is supported by cash flow; not emotions.Hi Kelly,
I have regular contact with Kodak in regards to Kodachrome, use over this time last year has seen a spike, mostly due to the Associated Press article and awareness created by sites like Photo.net, APUG.org and my site, the Kodachrome Project. The equipment has been paid for long ago and Kodak is in the process of streamlining the product production and logistics even more. The fact of the matter is that Kodak will at some point, discontinue Kodachrome but not before 2011 since this is a landmark product for them and the history of photography. In other words, discontinue Kodachrome before 2011= bad press, keep it around until 2011 = good press.
I have other facts about the product that are encouraging but I am not at liberty to share them under any circumstances as that would jeopardize my relationship with the company.
So, you have been doing a lot of speculating which is typical or internet forums, but now you have some facts. So you are either a speculator or a photographer.
I work full time as a photographer and direct the Kodachrome Project. I have also launched another book project that will take me beyond Kodachrome and already has a publisher:
This is what photographers do, they don't lens test, MTF test or any of that gear headed stuff, they simply see photos every day and insist on making them happen as best as they can.
In this case, I am using Kodachrome..
Daniel; I shot Kodachrome first in the 1950's; asa 10 stuff. My dad first Kodachrome slides go back right before WW2; shot with an Argus A series. I used to shoot alot of Kodachrome 8mm; ie regular 8. I have a pro Beaulieu regular 8mm camera with fades; 64 fps; variable shutter, TTL metering; D mount. I find it interesting that over my lifetime Kodachrome was once in 11x14 sheets; then just 8x10; then 4x5; then sheets went away in the mid 1950's. The biggest Kodachrome I have seen is an 8x10; a pro neighbor in Detroit has some from the late 1940's.
My dad I use to used Kodachrome F for indoor shots of items in the late 1950's; it was balanced for clear flashbulbs. One used a filter for daylight; and a filter for 3200K lighting; and a filter for 3400K photoflood amateur stuff. One did NOT use a filter for clear flashbulbs. Regular Kodachrome was asa 10 then; about 5 with a filter for Photofloods. The type F variant was about 2.5 times faster than regular Kodachrome when using photofloods; ie asa 12 with a 82A and Kodachrome daylight was awsa 5 with a 80B filter and photofloods. Movie lamps; Photofloods are what many home photographers used for family stuff and indoor shots.
I agree that stopping Kodachrome would be bad press. I wish they would try marketing it in a few retail stores as an experiment. It use to be in Walgreens long after being dropped at Walmarts.
In movie films regular 8mm that I often mailordered was made in France; ie like Pathe Kodak France or something. Kodak also made Kodachrome in 9.5mm cine and 16mm too; plus in Bantum 828 still format too; and once in 120 roll films.
The peak usage for me with Kodachrome was in the early and mid 1970's both in cine and still; I bought bricks of it from either Garden Camera, Cambridge, Olden; even Wall Street Camera. I do not even know if B&H was around then.
I even shot Kodachrome in 110 with my Rollei A110 camera in the mid 1970's. Kodak made Kodachrome- X in 110 with the old K12 process; the Kodachrome 64 in the K14 process until about 1982. Slides in 110 are abit hokey with a cheapie 110 camera; but are stellar with Rollei A110's 23mm F2.8 Tessar. Its resolves about 65 to 70 line pairs per mm on film. Verichrome Pan was also a decent film with this camera; one could make nice 5x7's prints; about equal to making a 11x14 with 35mm and good technique.
When I was a kid Home movies were about all shot on Kodachrome. Some folks used even 16mm; either roll or magazine type load. Or they used 8mm (called regular 8mm after super 8 came out) in rolls or 8mm magazine loads. Surplus 16mm gun cameras were cheap; ie WW2 stuff that used a 16mm cine magazine.
Up the thread somebody asked about tri-x. It came out during WW2 in sheet films. It came out in 35mm in about 1954. The Ww2 surplus expired sheet 4x5 films I used in 4H club in the 1950's was tri-x. Tri-x had 3 notches; super Xx two edge notches; thats is what the X's mean!
I understand all of that Kelly, but the here and now is what we have. I think too many people wax poetic about the film when it is still here.....still here after 75 years. Patrick Mont started using Kodachrome at age 13, last year. This is what we need to focus on, the present and the not-so-distant future.
If Kodachrome disappears after 2010, I will be a bit sad, but not nearly as sad as if I never thought to use it until that time or embrace the idea of a tribute to it.
The history you describe is important, but it is in the past. The 600 rolls of KR64 and 300+ rolls of KM25 I have in my freezer are for the here and now and that is what makes photographs, the now.
It seems like more and more people are starting to shoot Kodachrome. I wonder what makes them shoot it...Do they read great thing on these sites? Do they come across old family Kodachromes? Do they come across the project website? I know I started to shoot it after I came across the project from hearing Dan on this site.....
Yes to all of those. And add in that some more hear the Paul Simon song and say "what's this Kodachrome all about".
Josh has it. Never seen old family pictures on Kodachrome, but i read about it here, knew the gist of its history, and the song. Decided to try it, and loved it.
The song part is a trip.
I know that when I tried to get ahold of P. Simon to do a portrait of him for the project, someone said he was kind of ticked when Kodak made him put the ® mark near the song title on his album. I still need to get around to nudging his PR staff a bit more though.
Also, there is a light hearted interview with Paul on British radio, shortly after the release of the album "Surprise", the interviewer said that no-one knew what Kodachrome was any more as everyone used digital and Paul said that was fine by him as he was getting fed up singing it.
But in contrast, in a recent concert in the UK, someone was shouting for it, so.....
Maybe a new act will play a spin-off that says "Mama don't format my Sandisk card yet".
I know I started using Kodachrome again in late 2004 once I heard that KM-25 was gone.
For both big players, the yellow AND the green one, the perspectives aren't too comfortable in the moment: Fujifilms gross income from color film and color paper has shrunk for about 36 % and 24 %, resp.; Kodak's revenues decreased 27 % in the photo sector (please excuse any inaccuracies in the translation of business terms). There are no data on the film class ratio, e. g. slide vs. print film; I assume that there are still over-capacities and supplies as amateur film is as cheap as never before. I also do not know how many professionals still use 35 mm slide film regularly. Kodak has meanwhile phased out vintage film types, such as the Ektachrome 400 family and the classics Ektachrome 64 and 100. The question arises if Fuji needs also to streamline its slide film program. But I do not think that Kodak will introduce a new generation of E-6 slide films in the (near) future; only a few current films can be judged as really competitive, as for all there is a technically superior Fuji counterpart. Judged by their quality, Elite Chrome 100 and 100 Extra Color are worth the bargain prices when they are sold as private label product, or at 50 % discount before expiration, resp.; but the prohibitive price and processing time of Kodachrome, which still has its undoubted merits and virtues, appears as the "halter to kick the bucket" (a literal translation of the Austrian-German word "Krepierhalfter").
The decrease in RA-4 paper sales...I wonder what that is attributable to. Sure, maybe a lot of people print less now with digital, and some are using inkjet or dye-sub instead of RA-4. But many professionals and serious enthusiasts crank through RA-4 like crazy. My colleagues and I probably used up several rolls this past winter. We had between 300 and 400 prints up on the walls of a gallery. It was like wallpaper.
Still 8.50 at Adorama, buy buy buy it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Daniel; the point about focusing on the past too is that some of us have used Kodachrome already for 1/2 century; and have seen it marketed at drug stores in ponunk; 5 and dime stores; 7-11's; airport newstands; Hudsons; SS Keesge; Kmart; Fries Electronics; Walmart; Sears; Venture; May Company; J C Penney; Montgomery Wards; Macys;
Now Kodachrome is basically a mail order product.
If the late 1960's Space Food Sticks were to make a come back; it would be hawked in retail stores; not just mailorder.
To the Average Joe Six Pack Kodachrome is already dead; its off the film rung at Walmart, Walgreens; CVS; Sears; Kmart etc.
Thus your Kodachrome project is great to create new excitement about old Kodachrome; but still alot of average folks would rather buy a Walmart than mailorder it. Retail stores do not want dead stock too; thus to remarket stuff dropped a decade ago is a tall impossible order.
Ponder Kodacolor 110 is still in some Walmarts; and Kodachrome has been gone for 5 to 10 years. Thus from Walmarts perspective; Kodacolor in 110 is a better product to make money on than Kodachrome. Both 126 and 110 in C41 outlived Kodachrome in most all retail stores.
Many folks; average folks buy film like milk; the do not mailorder it; thus the coffin nail is already in place because Kodak marketing basically has zero stock in retail stores that folks vist each week or month. Many of the gone and still standing grocery stores sold Kodachrome until about a decade ago too; ie Kroger, Vons, Ralphs; Albertsons, Alpha Beta, Safeway; Piggly Wiggly; etc.
I often wonder is Kodak really has a marketing plan for Kodachrome; since the average retail store where most folks buy film no longer has Kodachrome. The BULK of still film shot in the USA is by amateurs; alot of it is bought locally; where Kodachrome is long gone. There is not even a rung/pin/tag where maybe a chap could take a rain check; ie the film processing bag service could distribute the lone roll of Kodachrome to a chap in podunk at a Walmart; thus there is zilch inventory costs involved. I gots come calls for Kodachrome at my print shop around Christmas; some old folk wanted to shoot some family stuff like the old days.
Heinz; in the USA the film boxes are always been changed in the retail arena; its to attack folks attention. In disposables Fuji markets a Mardi Gras camera before Mardi Gras in the Deep South. Many time they rename films and claim they are different blends; but they look the same. Its a marketing trick in many cases; it creates excitement.
In a local Kroger (grocery/food ) store they still had Kodapak/126/Instamatic C41 film about 5 years ago; store brand; made in Italy; PLUS Fuji; Kodak and Store brand 110; but zero Kodachrome which was gone 5 years earlier. Then I bought Kodachrome a Walgreens Drug store 5 years ago; then they dropped it to. Now the few stuff I do buy is all mailorder; Kodachrome is basically not available anymore except if one has a photostore. Mom and Pop photostores are dying off too; plus E6 labs too.
Kodachrome is great stuff. In the 1980's In Thousand Oaks one could buy a roll at 10pm Sunday at Alpha Beta grocery store ; use it for a lunar eclipse that night; drop the film off at Alpha Beta Monday morning and get slides either on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon; their bag service went into Los Angeles. Today its mailorder to buy it; mailorder to process it.
"I often wonder if Kodak really has a marketing plan for Kodachrome"
You're looking at it. This thread and others like it on this forum are a big part of Kodachrome Marketing. Daniel Bayer's Kodachrome Project is another part. My K-75 Celebration site doesn't get much traffic, but every little bit helps. The good news is that it is working. Threads that deal with Kodachrome quickly make the list of most active threads. Look a the length of this thread and the time that people are taking to compose thoughtful posts. We are seeing reports of increased sales. I was working on Kodachrome production in 1985 when we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the product line. About 5 years ago I made a small wager that that I would be able to celebrate the 75th anniversary by shooting the product and getting it processed. That is now virtually assured. Do we dare set another goal? If we can keep the product around until 2015 then we can probably maintain it indefinitely.
I would still like to see Kodak do some real marketing with the stuff. Do an annivesery run of KM25, do a news piece on some network, shoot-do a modern marvels or what have you show on film focusing on Kodachrome. There is so much that they could do to promote kodachrome, or even film in general.
Kodachrome is great stuff. In the 1980's In Thousand Oaks one could buy a roll at 10pm Sunday at Alpha Beta grocery store ; use it for a lunar eclipse that night; drop the film off at Alpha Beta Monday morning and get slides either on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon; their bag service went into Los Angeles. Today its mailorder to buy it; mailorder to process it.I use to buy mine in the Alpha-Beta in Simi off of Cochran Street. Kodachrome is not a mass market appeal product anymore, it is niche, you have to expect niche marketing approaches with the product. I am going to Rochester very soon to talk about this very thing. I will let the cat out of the bag on one thing that I have in mind: I think Kodak needs to make a special packaging of the film in 2010, it will be in one of the original art deco boxes that it appeared in in 1935-39 and clearly celebrate 75 years on the box.
Ilford is not trying to put Pan-F on the shelves of Albertson's grocery store in Moorpark, they have a niche market and they know that places like Freestyle and other mail order houses are absolutely the way to get the product in the hands of people who want it. That is what Kodak is doing and that is what they ought to do in order to keep the costs down.
In another thread on another site, a person noted that when he went into Freestyle not long ago, it was *packed* with young people buying film and paper. Food for thought.
"I often wonder is Kodak really has a marketing plan for Kodachrome." - I wonder if Kodak has a marketing plan for photographic film in general, with perhaps the exception of the Portra series and the new Ektar 100. It is nice to test film samples bundled with premium photo magazines; but for me with a hybrid workflow, the 1 Euro roll of Fujicolor 200 (as sold out in bulk quantity last year by a discount supermarket, and essentially the same as the current Superia 200) does the job almost equally well.
You get also cheap Kodak print film, called VR Plus or now Color Plus; but at least the 400 version was by far worse than the current Gold Plus/Farbwelt "premium brand", other than with Fuji, where private label and brand material are surprisingly similar.
Two years ago I didn't even know what Kodachrome means... It was thanks Ron and Daniel's websites where I could see what Kodachrome was about. The photo of the old man in a pickup red & white truck hooked me and I wanted very much to give this film a try. I consider myself very lucky that I became aware about Kodachrome and that I have the chance to try it while is still available. I start to include couples of Kodachrome rolls in my bag for each field trip I do along with Provia and E100G, my two other favorite slide films. I don't know what those MTF curves should tell but each film has its own flavor and I love them all...
"one of the original art deco boxes that it appeared in in 1935-39 and clearly celebrate 75 years on the box"
I love it! Throwback jerseys are popular in pro sports. We'll see if Kodak can stray from the modern digtital image they want to project long enough to celebrate part of thier heritage.
Personally I don't think being able to buy Kodachrome on a store shelf will help much. I can go to my local pro camera store and buy quite a few E6 and B&W films but I've only done it twice. They charge $7 a roll when I can buy it online for $4.50. How many of your Kodachrome shooters would buy it locally instead of online in 20 packs?
Now a marketing campaign would be interesting but I don't see why that should have anything to do with getting it into retail stores. A marketing campaign should be about why you should shoot Kodachrome as in the colors, sharpness, longevity, 3D quality, benefits of projection, etc.
I can imagine some advertisements showing pictures of the US southwest and something about it being shot on Kodachrome. Get some professionals to endorse it and have them say why they like Kodachrome. One of the reasons why I shoot Velvia is because Galen Rowell liked it so much.
I imagined about Kodachrome anniversary a little, months before. A way of doing a marketing campaign would be to target people who are interested in "toy camera" stuff and other youngs who come (back) to make pictures from film... Sales are doing pretty well for film cameras in niche stores (for toy camera, second hand, Lomography, whatever it is...), at least here in France. Among french forums, I can read many of these small camera users are youngs or people with a low budget, sometimes away from cities, but well equiped with a scanner for their films, the internet and the newest medias to share their experiences, and ready to find solutions to adapt their basic cameras to the speed of their films. They sometimes complain when they have to drive to find a store to process their films, and take their films back from processing, and are always looking for the cheapest way to find film stock and processing.
As for me, the cheapest solution, apart from my local german dealer who charges around €9 for a slide film -process included-, the cheapest is to buy Kodachrome at online stores in the UK for around €10, the half of the price at mail order stores in France, and the third of the price that it is sold in my city in France. This way I can use K64 regularly, I love its unique look. I think young people who rely on online stores for their cameras and other stuff would be interested if they knew they could find mail order stores that sell process-included film that you just send to the post and you get the result at home, no matter it takes 2 or 3 weeks, if the result is unique and life-lasting. E6 labs are closing everywhere, even for professionals, see a famous one in Lyons in France, so mail order processing is going to be the niche market for slide films users and Kodachrome could be part of the game, and why not a leader, if Kodak and Kodachrome users start adapted marketing as early as possible.
I've thought, at my small scale, that Kodak should make a new packaging for the 75th anniversary, maybe not old-fashioned, and a marketing campaign for people to make the link between the old-fashioned kind of product and the "in the touch" users who choose to use film today. Street pictures, party pictures, artistic amateur pictures... would be part of the campaign. It would be like viral marketing, community websites advertising, and so... After all, Kodachrome is the only product which hasn't the "Professional" label on its packaging even if the Elite line is sold also to amateurs, and it is the only product now with a 2 generations-older packaging in the Kodak line.
It's nice to read from people who help Kodachrome to be alive. Ron, I will add my future Kodachrome gallery to your site later this year. Daniel, thank you and good luck, I like your project. I try to advertise for Kodachrome on french forums, it is worth it and I already convinced one new user and advised one another to try again. Every new user will help, even if he doesn't like the result, the simple fact to talk about it will attract the attention of curious others...
Mr. Walt Flanagan...
..Says " How many of your Kodachrome shooters would buy it locally instead of online in 20 packs?"
I don't really think being able to buy Kodachrome locally will help too much. CVS use to sell Elite Chrome. They stopped at the end of last year...it did not sell.
if the film gets some notoriety, it will sell.
The very first time i saw a roll of kodachrome was in trinket shop in Durango, about 5years ago. I had no idea what it was about and just commented "is that stuff still around" and shrugged and walked out. I was shooting then, but not film. I probably started shooting film a few months after, but i didnt shoot kodachrome until just a couple years ago. If Kodak did a little work on its own and i knew a bit more about film back then than i did, i probably would have a bought a roll to test it out (aside from the fact that i was a thousand miles away from home, where my film camera was, someplace). Anymore i encourage all of my friend's to shoot it and even gave an expired (though refrigerated/frozen for a while) roll to one of my friend's. But that's not going to be enough to keep kodak in buisness selling this stuff...
A few things about Kodachrome....
a. When rummaging through your parent's or grandparent's slide collection, if the boxes or slide mounts say Kodachrome on them, you'll be thankful that it wasn't 60s or 70s era Ektachrome. I see a HUGE difference when I look at slides stored identically that were shot on Kodachrome and other emulsions.
b. I followed discussions about Kodachrome super8 for years at filmshooting.com and I heard it all (just like we hear here)... "it's too contrasty", "too slow", "too hard to process", blah blah. But I'm thankful that what I shot was on Kodachrome now that it's not available in super8 anymore (only tungsten balanced Ektachrome 64T).
c. I bought a few reels of 16mm film shot in the late fifties off of eBay that contained footage of a local tourist attraction in New Jersey, and was quite surprised to find that they were shot on Kodachrome. Beautiful film footage that looks like it could have been shot yesterday...
d. I used Kodachrome 64 for the past couple of years on a small project I'm working on, and when I look at these slides, I realize that either "the film fits me" or "I fit the film". For some reason, what I shoot on Kodachrome simply looks better than what I shoot on other emulsions. My current project requires that I shoot with a faster film (Provia 400x), but I'm looking forward to shooting more Kodachrome and will probably look for a project that will fit Kodachrome.
Also, I'm surprised that more "toy camera" shooters don't use Kodachrome. I was really happy with the results that I got from using Kodachrome 64 and 200 with my Lomo Kompact.
I think Kodachrome 200 was unfairly maligned as a film. It had its supporters, but for some reason a lot of people knocked it. I loved the film and had some 11 x 17 Cibachromes printed from it that look terrific.
Super 8 Kodachrome is amazing...I just discovered the old Kodachrome movie tonight.
I spoke to a chap at Kodak's Professional division (800-242-2424 pick B&W option) today and was told that they are still producing Kodachrome 64 and 'had no plans to stop makingint' FWIW.
I was under the impression that the K-14 line at the Kodak plant for quality control was shut down and they send their samples to Dwyane's. Can anyone confirm?
I was one of the few persons who shot 120 Kodachrome in the 90's. Problem was I didn't shoot enought of it. When K25 dissapeared a few years ago I bought every last roll in Orlando and had a last hurah in Portugal & Spain. Since then I have only shot B&W. Maybe I should get a brick of K64 and enjoy th egood old days!
I was one of the few persons who shot 120 Kodachrome in the 90's. Problem was I didn't shoot enought of it. When K25 dissapeared a few years ago I bought every last roll in Orlando and had a last hurah in Portugal & Spain. Since then I have only shot B&W. Maybe I should get a brick of K64 and enjoy th egood old days!I was in my early 20's when I shot 120 KR using Hasselblad, they still look great, wish I had shot more. What you did after K25 is what I pretty much plan to do after KR64, shoot only black in white in Leicas and Blads. Yes, you should get some KR64 and give it a run, and I would love to see some of that KM25 you shot overseas.
I'd like an E6 film that looks like Kodachrome. It would be much easier to scan, and possibly cheaper, too.
It would be much easier to scanThis is a joke, right?
K200 never really caught on because of its large grain compared to the slower K64 and 25. I rather liked it too, and in my opinion it was the best 200 speed slide film in terms of color.
That is why Kodachrome is so special--it is K-14 I think it would take away from the magic if it was an E-6 ( I don't have anything against E-6...I like Ektachrome too)
"This is a joke, right?"
No, it's not a joke. I've been scanning my father's old kodachomes. Some are damaged, and scanning is the best way to restore them.
Kodachrome is only difficult to scan because most scanners are set up for E-6 slide film. If you get a good set-up for K-14, then it will be about as easy as E-6. Since I'm scanning a variety of color films (K-11, K-12, K-14, C-22, C-41, E-4, and E-6) and some of the old ones (not Kodachrome) are faded, I use a custom setting for each image. It isn't that difficult. If I set the balck and white points on the edge of the histogram for each channel (RGB) I'm usually 95% of the way there. Sometimes I need a little color balance tweeking.
I've found that Digital ICE works better with E-6. Yes, I could turn it off, but some of the old slides are pretty dirty. I got into the box and dumped them on the ground when I was about 4 years old.
With ICE it depends on the scanner. With my Minolta Dimage Scan Elite, ICE does a great job eliminating dust and scratches without any sharpness degradation. Some people have reported slight sharpness effects using ICE with Kodachrome. I understand the latest Coolscans have a special setting for ICE with Kodachrome.
Kodachrome is only difficult to scan because most scanners are set up for E-6 slide film.My point exactly! There is also the problem of accentuated grain and noisy shadows -- the dust is a pain too, but I don't mind touching that up.
In reposnse to the original question - while I applaud those at Kodak who have made sure that Kodachrome will be around for its 75th birthday, I have little faith in EK's commitment to color transparency film much beyond that point. In fact, the company's press releases articulate a clear belief that their new color print films will meet the needs of the remaining film photography market. I expect EK to allow both Kodachrome and the company's E-6 films to die a quiet death soon after New Yers Day 2011.
Ektar 100 was clearly aimed at slide shooters who no longer have E-6 and K-14 processing nearby. For people who want fast service and no longer have an E-6 process in town, Ektar 100 would be a good choice. As Kodachrome shooters have demonstrated, there is a smaller, but loyal group who will continue to shoot slides and send out for processing. What I've seen and heard from Kodak is that they will continue to supply films that sell enough to make a profit. In some cases when volume drops, they will increase the price to maintain a profit rather that discontinue a product.
In reposnse to the original question - while I applaud those at Kodak who have made sure that Kodachrome will be around for its 75th birthday, I have little faith in EK's commitment to color transparency film much beyond that point. In fact, the company's press releases articulate a clear belief that their new color print films will meet the needs of the remaining film photography market. I expect EK to allow both Kodachrome and the company's E-6 films to die a quiet death soon after New Yers Day 2011.I hope that they keep slides around! When Kodak stops making Kodachrome (and even Ektachrome for that matter) it will be like greaving a death!
"... the company's press releases articulate a clear belief that their new color print films will meet the needs of the remaining film photography market. I expect EK to allow both Kodachrome and the company's E-6 films to die a quiet death soon after New Yers Day 2011."
Due to anti-trust regulations, EK might then be obliged to sell Fuji slide film in yellow boxes (e. g. Sensia 100, 200, and 400, re-labeled as Ektachrome), which might also effect the next significant improvement in quality. ;-)
When I started working at Kodak, fear of anti-trust litigation dominated corporate strategy. Today there is absolutely no concern whatsoever. There is no monopoly so they can't be accused of exercising monopoly power. I'm not a lawyer, but I cannot conceive of any situation where a company would be compelled to sell a competitors product.
Not Kodak, but Fujifilm will draw the attention of the anti-trust watchdogs, if the green giant would have become the sole remaining manufacturer of slide film - and it might well be obliged to have its product(s) confectioned for sale by a competitor - but there is only one! Kodak had never had a US monopoly on color film - as there was (Agfa-)Ansco for almost 40 years as a domestic competitor, and later Dynachrome, Agfa-Gevaert, 3M/Ferrania, Fuji, Konica...
" Ektar 100 was clearly aimed at slide shooters..." Ron, are you saying that Kodak thinks I'm going to switch to print film now because of the hassles of shooting Kodachrome? Actually, I've given it serious thought. 'Havn't touched a roll of print film in over 15 years, but from what I've read & seen about Ektar 100, I'm tempted, but for me, it's like converting to another religion.
Please don't convert! Help us keep slides alive and strong!
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