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The End of Kodachrome


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#1 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 11:45 AM

http://apnews.excite.../D98VNPP81.html
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#2 Mark Dunn

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 12:41 PM

What a shame. I can hardly complain, I haven't used film since. 2003.
I always found Agfa- now gone as well- more suitable to the English light, but I used plenty of Kodachrome on a trip to CA in 1987. It was fascinating to be able to take it to a prolab and get it back the next day, it not being process-paid in the US.
At least its demise won't kill 35mm. as Kodak virtually killed amateur Super-8.
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#3 K Borowski

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 02:56 PM

I'm doing the only thing I can do. . . fixing myself a drink to commiserate the passing of a film that made all of my childhood home movies possible.

The late John Pytlak helped put John Schwind and I in touch with Karen DuMont to get the last batch of K40A made for DR8 back in '03.

So it really hurts to see K-14 gone for good.


This was the *original* color movie film, and in my mind, it is still the best. Were it not for Kodachrome, WWII wouldn't seem "real" to the modern generations. It was there at Pearl Harbor, at Iwo Jima, for the Afghan Girl, and it has been all over the world with National Geographic. There are two photographers there that still shoot it.


But let's not kid ourselves. Kodachrome's declining sales didn't kill it, Kodak's declining inventory selection did. K64 was moderately popular. But K40A had a real following.


This film was revered by so many in the home movie and amateur filmmaking community. E64T is a joke by comparison.

Mark: I totally agree with you. When they got rid of K40A, it really took a huge chunk out of S8.
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#4 Bruce Taylor

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 06:12 PM

Indeed, a sad day. What great color and contrast. K40 could make S8 look amazing.

I haven't heard mention of the extraordinary archival stability. I can pull out 8mm movies I shot in the 60's and they look no different from the day they came home from the lab. The 40's and 50's are beautifully preserved in shoe-box stored boxes of slides in my Dad's basement. Amazing stuff.

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#5 Tom Jensen

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 06:26 PM

It really is a monumental day for film. Like the article said, it was an icon. Things change and time and technology march on nonstop. There is no stopping it. Some day, film itself may become obsolete. It's sad but true. Someday, maybe digital will be replaced as well.
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#6 andy oliver

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 06:57 PM

quote ''This film was revered by so many in the home movie and amateur filmmaking community. E64T is a joke by comparison''

Lately i filmed a couple of weddings on 64t, and sorta got used to the film. Today i received back from the lab a roll of super 8 k40 exposed thru a little canon 514xl... Well side by side k40 vs 64t, it made me weep at what we've lost, the k40 images were stunning, i've yet to project the roll of standard 8mm k25, i'll know it will only depress me, as within 18 months or so the E6 process will be the only way to continue to shoot 8mm film.

now quoting Mak Dunn "At least its demise won't kill 35mm. as Kodak virtually killed amateur Super-8"

I totally agree with you on this, i know a few people who gave up when super 8 k40 was axed, even the forums seem less active these days too....

RiP kodachrome, you deserved better....
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 07:35 PM

I guess in some ways, it's amazing that a process created in the 1930's was still able to deliver such high-quality pictures even today, and that it lasted this long. The only other good three-color process to come out of the 1930's was 3-strip Technicolor, and that was obsolete by 1955.

But there was nothing quite like the look of Kodachrome, and I'll miss it.
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#8 Simon Wyss

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 06:51 AM

Too few pictures have been shot on 65-mm Kodachrome . . .
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#9 Chris Keth

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 06:41 PM

Too few pictures have been shot on 65-mm Kodachrome . . .


I wasn't aware that any 65mm kodachrome pictures were made. Have some titles?
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#10 Annie Wengenroth

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 06:55 PM

:sob: This is so depressing, seriously. Excuse me, I have to go down half a bottle of rum and listen to Joy Division now. In the dark. Okay, so we all saw it coming, but it's still freakin sad...
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#11 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 06:57 PM

You will be missed Kodachrome, you will be missed.
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#12 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 08:30 PM

I wasn't aware that any 65mm kodachrome pictures were made. Have some titles?

Not sure about 65mm but apparently a version of Kodachrome was used as Technicolor's first single strip camera original film, for places where the three strip camera would not fit.

I do have at least one 16mm Kodachrome release print of a Ontario Travelogue from the 1930 era, and the colour is still bright and sharp.
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#13 Patrick Neary

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 11:01 PM

Hi-

I have a collection of my dad's kodachromes from when he was flying off the Coral Sea (aircraft carrier) in 1955, and they look like they were taken last week. I wonder how many photos being taken this year, or last year, or next year, will be viewable in any form 50 years from now.
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#14 Simon Wyss

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 03:28 AM

Not sure about 65mm but apparently a version of Kodachrome was used as Technicolor's first single strip camera original film, for places where the three strip camera would not fit.

Don't know about 65-mm KM either but 35 surely was used. Anybody could have had it in 65 from $ 20 k on. IMAX perhaps ?
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#15 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 04:13 AM

This was actually on the BBC 10 o'clock news last night - they looked out how iconic and long lasting it was, how it brought colour photography to the masses.

It was a very complicated developing process, and in this day and age 'complication' means cost, and quality is second-place to economics!

I was digging through some of my slides to see which were my favourite kodachrome shots, this came up (ironically its a bad scan):
Posted Image
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#16 John Salim

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 04:33 AM

This was actually on the BBC 10 o'clock news last night - they looked out how iconic and long lasting it was, how it brought colour photography to the masses.


It was even mentioned on BBC Radio 2's Jeremy Vine show......his opening words....Kodak has gone ! .......gone are the days of boring slide shows and all those films with the holes down the sides.

So the general public now think Kodak and film is dead ! ....great journalism Jeremy !

John S :angry:
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#17 Elliot Rudmann

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 11:00 AM

It was an iconic film, but it won't be missed by me. I found it terribly difficult to scan (35mm stills), and even the best scan required numerous color adjustments in photoshop. Even so, the way it rendered browns and warm hues really gave it a unique look.
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#18 Serge Teulon

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 11:43 AM

Completely understand why but it's very, very sad :(
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#19 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 05:28 PM

It was even mentioned on BBC Radio 2's Jeremy Vine show......his opening words....Kodak has gone ! .......gone are the days of boring slide shows and all those films with the holes down the sides.

So the general public now think Kodak and film is dead ! ....great journalism Jeremy !

John S :angry:


Ha, that sounds like Jeremy Vine - miss-reporting but saying it in such a posh way it actually sounds factual...
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