Someone figured out how to process Kodachrome (sort of)

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by randrew1, Jan 26, 2017.

  1. Considering that Kodachrome is the finest color film ever made, and one of the sharpest films ever made, it does make economic sense for Kodak to bring it back to life and market it to photographers who want real color, not the splashy advertising colors of the Fuji films. A renewed Kodachrome would have a limited market; so do oils and canvases. But there is a market. Kodachrome also has the best dark-storage time, by far. Anyway - who ever wrote a song about Fujichrome?
     
  2. Silent Street

    Silent Street Silent Street Photography AUS

    There was active experimentation in processing PKR and PKL here in Australia in Sydney a few years back. The details were published on APUG.ORG, and a call for processing of rolls was made. The results were quite promising, but there was not one taker — just hundreds of salivating carnival barkers, the type with short arms and deep pockets. Yes, the processing cost was around $250 for a single roll of Kodachrome. It worked. But too bad they wanted it done for $11. No deal. And so the process died again and here we are, 6-7 years hence, still chasing windmills. Move on.

    It's wishful thinking. Very. It's not coming back. Kodak will have big enough problems reviving Ektachrome to a dynamic, vastly shifted market that is not all that enamoured now by the Great Yellow Father. Kodak is not even competing against Fujicolor or other players in the analogue market producing B&W or color emulsions.

    Older Kodachrom-erae users and enthusiasts do not constitute a viable market, and the professional market ceased a long, long time ago (earlier than the actual demise of PKR / PKL). Kodak itself does not know about this wunder-kind market you are talking of. It is speculative. And a huge gamble.

    It is the hallmark of "photographers" with limited applied skills who deride Fujucolor products. A lot of us can make any of their emulsions look like anything but what they actually area e.g. Velvia like Reala. Provia like Astia. 400X like CP2...
     
  3. From when I was young, and my father explained the difference between Kodachrome and Ektachrome, Kodak always charged the same price for processing.

    Around the time that I could afford color film and processing, (K12 and E4 days), I tended to prefer Ektachrome, and my father also mostly switched about the same time. One reason was that I usually liked the higher speeds available. (I never tried Kodachrome 200 when it was available.)

    I suspect that Kodachrome will always cost more to process, especially if at smaller scale, such that there is no economic reason to bring it back.

    A few years ago, after someone mentioned the chemicals used for the couplers, I tried to price them. One is available commercially for hundreds of dollars per gram. The others could be custom made for even higher prices. I suspect $250/roll is about right. (That would be for reagent grade chemicals. It is hard to find people who make photographic grade, which is almost the lowest grade they make.)
     
  4. I find it a bit ironic that we're talking about using 35mm movie film in our still cameras. That's how Ernst Lietz got started and built the first 35mm Leica camera. Full circle.

    I too lament the passing of Kodachrome. I don't think its coming back. The processing is too expensive, the market is too limited and there are probably environmental regulations that any new processing facility would have to overcome.

    For a long time, I firmly believed that, as the flagship product, Kodachrome would be the last film that Kodak made. I was wrong.

    I still have several film cameras and I like to use them occasionally, but, if Kodachrome DID come back, I might buy one roll, out of curiosity, but I would not be a regular user.
     

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