I like Kodachrome, for its sharpness and for its colors. The combination of Kodachrome and Leica glass produces, in my opinion, the finest color imagery in 35mm (and is, by the way, equivalent to 16 megapixel). I started making color pictures on Kodachrome II in the sixties and must have about 40.000 Kodachrome slides by now. I just came back from a visit of the Kodachrome laboratory in Lausanne (Renens), a department of the Kodak Laboratory in Switzerland. I was very kindly received by their head of Kodachrome processing, Mr. R鮩 Agassis. They develop for all European countries and now also for Australia. The countries that send them most film are the UK, Germany and Switzerland. They develop with a classic K-14 processor as they believe that the level of process control, dependability and most of all quality, is superior to the newer K-Lab processors. The laboratory develops 35mm film and movie stock. As the front- and back ends of the Kodachrome development process is a rather manual exercise, they are able to offer a series of options: Push processing (2 options), framing in classic pressboard mounts (mainly for professionals who like to write on the paper boards), framing in plastic slide mounts, film return uncut and film return cut in strips of 4 pictures. You want Kodachrome 400 in pressboard mounts? They can do it. It takes about an hour to get the K-14 processor working in the morning. When the control strips from Rochester come out right, they start processing. Three people control the running of the development train (this excludes chemistry, maintenance, etc.). The laboratory has enough film to process to develop every day and to ensure process stability. As slide film, including Kodachrome, is a shrinking medium, the laboratory is now housed quite large, probably half the space occupied would be sufficient. There are a number of unused machines. One of Kodak's problems is maintenance and repair of their aging equipment. They retain some older technicians who adjust and repair the gear and can manufacture spare parts, if necessary. Many spares have become unavailable but the laboratory has found solutions to these problems. Another problem is the constant fight against dust and dirt. The plastic slide mounts, for instance, have a tendency to charge static electricity which attracts dust. The laboratory maintains a very clean environment. I was really impressed by the attitude of the Kodachrome processing staff. "Despite diminishing volumes" they say "we will maintain an absolutely first class processing environment". And they do. They complained that there has been no advertising for Kodachrome for 10 - 15 years and remarked that despite this the demand from photographers who want quality imagery did not disappear. They insisted a couple of times that any observations, even the slightest, should be brought to their immediate attention for correction and analysis of their work methods. I had no problems though in almost 40 years. Very good people indeed and I hope for them (and for all of us!) that Kodak continues to make Kodachrome for a reasonable number of years. The people in Lausanne would very much like to continue quality processing of Kodachrome longer term but are afraid that Kodak will shut down Kodachrome production, probably sooner than later. Kodachrome 25 is gone already and Kodachrome 200 was ditched but came back after massive protests. Shutting down Kodachrome production probably means that the Kodak laboratory in Switzerland would have to close down operations at the expiry date of the last Kodachrome batch manufactured. A solution to continue Kodachrome for another number of years after Kodak's final run, could be for Kodak to transfer (lease?) their Kodachrome production know-how to a small film factory (EFKE in Croatia? Foma in the Czech Republic? Forte in Hungary? Ilford contract manufacturing in the UK?). Kodachrome is easy and cheap to make and difficult and expensive to develop. If Kodak does not want its name on the box anymore, as they do not control quality after a transfer, the film could be called Efkechrome, Fomachrome, Fortechrome or whatever. And Kodak Switzerland would love to continue to develop the stuff. Maybe Kodak is listening out there, somewhere.