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Kodachrome K64 has been discontinued...


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<p>Mr. Andrews...</p>

<p>Thank you for the real word. If anybody on the net would know, you would. I knew you worked on the K64 project but did not know that you were the formulation engineer. Interpolating what you said, the last coating in 1996 was for for 4 years of production at 20,000 rolls a year, or close to 80,000 rolls. That would take a sizeable investment.</p>

<p>Fuji claimed to have stopped production of Velvia ISO 50 a few years back due to unavailability of a certain ingredient. I presume they did not loose or forget the formula for ingredient but envirornmental laws made it no longer able to legally produce. Fuji reformulated around the ingredient to make something "about" the same. I would imagine that Kodak, now on the ropes financially, is not about to invest in finding an acceptable subtiitute, if one even exists. I don't suppose the older formula of the ISO 25 is still viable? I think you indicated it was not in a post a while back.</p>

<p>I'm not Reggis Filban, but it seems as though we now have the final answer. Nobody likes bad news but it is certainly better than no news or half truths.</p>

<p>You've come through again, Sir...</p>

<p>Tom Burke</p>

<p>P.S.</p>

<p>1. Why couldn't Kodak have explained the same thing that you just did rather than create the anger of loyal 74 year customers who would be suspicious of their motives. What is the big secret? Does the top management have that much of an "Let them eat cake." attitude towards their customers? That would certainly expalain some of their previous actions! Be assured that I'm not extending the bad attitude comment to reflect on the dedicated employees who had to live under the thumb of the various executives that have come and gone in the recent years and furthermore had to deal, sometimes face-to-face, with the pissed-off customers top management's decisions and policies created. </p>

<p>2. If they had all that product in the freezer why would they have the public think they would quit rolling from time to time in the past few years? Just bad top management decisions?</p>

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<p>RIP Kodachrome. We've not been able to use it practically for years anyway, but a shame it's finally happened. I heartily suggest you lucky Americans that can still use it (at a practical cost) for the time being, get out there and enjoy. You could consider contributing to the Kodachrome project that was set up some time ago with a special purpose prior to Kodachrome being discontinued. http://www.kodachromeproject.com/</p>
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<p>While I'm sorry to see that Kodachrome has been discontinued, I can't say that I am surprised. Kodak lost me on this one 20 years ago when they sold off the processing business and I could no longer depend on the quality of the processing and the prompt return of my film. Shortly after they made Kodachrome 64 available in 120, I began to use it for commercial work because the quality was excellent. Then all of that film started getting shipped out to Palo Alto, CA, and taking 2-3 weeks to get back to me in upstate NY. Some of the film would come back mounted and some of it would not, no matter what you requested. After dealing with a lot of anxious clients, I wound up trying Fuji and never looked back.</p>
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<p>How do they store this? Presumably in rolls, once dry, but what is the diameter of a 2 mile long roll?</p>

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<p>Take 0.007 inches as a normal film base thickness. Cut a cross section through 2 miles of that, and the cross sectional area of film base is A = 0.007 inches * 2 miles * 12 inches / foot * 5280 foot / mile = 887 square inches. If it were just film base, and this is a circle, use A = pi*r^2, so r = sqrt(887/pi) = 16.8 inches. There's also the thin emulsion layer and the spool and any thin air layers between wraps but I can't imagine the spool's diameter would have to be larger than about 4 feet.</p>

<p>Now this is interesting: at 5 feet wide, there are 53,220 cubic inches of film base on that spool. At roughly 0.05 lb/cubic inch for polyester or 0.07 for acetate, the spool has 2,600-3,700 pounds of film base on it!</p>

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<p>Andrew Gilis,</p>

<p>You are very close to the mark. The death knell for Kodachrome was sounded 25 years ago when Kodak re-organized into a line-of-business approach rather than a functional approach. This LOB arrangement could work, (and did work well for many of the busineses), but they put the Kodak Processing Labs in a separate business and told them they had to make a profit. They started worrying aobut the $0.10 they were losing on each roll of Kodachrome processed. The profit to the company on each roll sold was considerable greater than that. Since Kodachrome more than any other product line depended on Kodak owned processing, many of us associated with Kodachrome knew that this was going to hurt. Kodachrome sales peaked about that time and have been down hill for the most part ever since.</p>

<p>Andrew Lynn,</p>

<p>You calculations are correct. Two assumptions need to be revised. Most 35mm films are about 0.005 in thick. (Sheet film is about 0.007 in thick.) Also, the rolls are wound on a core that is several inches thick. You are still pretty close to the size and weight of the rolls. It takes heavy equipment to move those rolls.</p>

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@ Ron Andrews: 25 years ago was the time, when the green boxes spread in the market, for the amateurs Fujichrome RD100, and in the professional sector, RFP50 (50D), already usable films in Fuji's 2nd E-6 generation.

 

Kodachrome was expensive but convenient for the amateur. Fujifilm tried to attract customers by a lower price; they sponsored sports events as the soccer world championships in Spain (?) 1982 and in Mexico 1986, and, what must have been a sort of shock for Kodak, the olympic summer games at Los Angeles 1984. At least here in Europe, the green boxes weren't that exotic any more in the mid-1980s, although Kodak still dominated.

 

Outside the US, Kodachrome was always sold as pocess-paid. I cannot imagine that all costs for processing hadn't been included into the retail price. Kodak processed Kodachrome in its own laboratories. The film itself was manufactured in France (Kodak-Pathé) and England. I do not know when this ended, but a little marketing effort might have secured Kodachrome's position for some more years, instead of the attempts to imitate Velvia with Elite/Lumiere/Panther.

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<p>Fuji actually tried to attract Kodachrome users even ealier than that with their E4 process Fujichrome R100. Back in the early 1970's I saw ads in the photo magazines for it. I think they were trying more to get users of Kodachrome II to switch since the ads explained how much earlier and later in the day you could extend your picture taking. For an E4 film it was actually pretty good as I preferred it over Ektachrome-X and High Speed Ektachrome. Ansco made an ISO 50 film to compete and Agfachrome (with their own special processing) were other contenders. And Dynachrome 25 (another subtractive color film) was available.</p>
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<p>Here's one more: From the October 1970 issue of Popular Photography- Agfachrome 25S, an ISO 25 transparency film available in 35mm and 120(!) designed to compete with Kodachrome II. It was said to rival Kodachrome in sharpness and grain (according to article). Also, this film could be processed by the user. Still not Kodachrome, but in some ways close. I don't remember how long Agfa offered the film, though.</p>
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<p><strong><em>"While the announcement of dropping Kodachrome is fresh and current, the blogs and news groups are full of Kodachrome comments and columnists are devoting part or all of a column to Kodachrome, perhaps someone on photonet has a friend or acquaintance at the Wall Street Journal. If so, would they be so kind as to suggest an article, perhaps with a theme like "Will dropping Kodachrome help or hurt Kodak's bottom line in the long run?"</em> </strong>

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<p>Kodachrome is a great product, but let's be honest - it's a niche product that accounts for a tiny portion of Eastman Kodak's sales and even a significant price increase would have no real impact on the company's fortunes. It's common on enthusiast boards such as this to demonize Wall Street and investors, but let's remember that these are people who have their money invested in the company and have a stake in its survival. Given EK's continuously shaky financial situation, they are well within their rights to insist that management stop spending the company's scarce human and financial resources on a product like Kodachrome whose time has come and gone, and to devote their time to the products and services that are going to have an impact on the future of the enterprise. It would be different if Kodak was still a wildly successful company that was flush with cash and could afford to continue manufacturing a nice little side line like Kodachrome, but it's not.

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<strong><em>"A smart move by Kodak would have been to come up with a new formulation of an existing Ektachrome film like Fuji did with Provia 400X, which is an improvement of the older 400H. Kodak did this with TMAX films. They could have retained customers by saying, "even though we have to retire Kodachrome, we have this NEW version of Ektachrome ______ that has the lowest grain, blah blah blah". It seems to me that Fuji has stolen a lot of formerly loyal Kodak users, myself included. I'm primarily a Kodachrome and Fuji Provia user, but I'm going to end up shooting Fuji exclusively when K64 is gone. "</em> </strong>

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<p>In my opinion, this is a sure sign that Kodak is probably going to exit the E-6 business as well in the near future. I agree that this was a tailor-made situation to introduce a new E-6 film and use the predictably large media coverage of Kodachrome's demise to reinvigorate the Elite Chrome and/or Ektachrome brand. Instead, they seem to be lumping all of their film customers together as potential purchasers of their newer negative films.</p>

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<p>I really really hope that Kodak does not exit the E-6 buissness. I think I feel it coming. Fuji has stole all of Kodak's E-6 users. That is one of the reasons I don't really care for them. All of Kodak's Ektachromes give a more natural look than most of the Fuji slide films IMO. I don't know of many people that shoot Ektachrome. Fuji, Fuji, Fuji. The only Fuji I use is their instant films. I give them credit for helping us Polaroid users that are in need......</p>
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<p>I've got some Ektachrome film in my fridge right now that I'm planning on using soon (and some Kodachrome as well). I want to get back into shooting slides and I've got an order in for an old fashioned projector.</p>
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<p>Most of what has to be said has been said. For those trying to change Kodak's mind: don't expect anything, but good luck. For those who are 'protesting' with a boycott: get a life.</p>

<p>I can't see Kodak as a GM. Kodak made excellent products.</p>

<p>And as for the fine grain of Kodachrome, geez, Ektar 25 (a negative film, I know, I know) was far superior in detail and granularity.</p>

<p>Finally, a couple of items from my 35mm film cassette collection:</p><div>00ToyX-150297784.jpeg.12240487ce2a4cff208c59f0fc249806.jpeg</div>

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