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Petition against Production Stop of Kodachrome 40


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#1 filmfreund

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 04:36 AM

Hi,
I am the editor of the German magazine schmalfilm. We will also publish an English version within some weeks. More details: www.smallformat.de

We started a great petition against the production stop of Kodachrome 40. Not only Super 8 will fade out, also DS8 and 16mm - as I was told by some Kodak insiders. We should stay together and should just count the amount of K 40 cartridges we are willing to buy per year. Kodak doesn't know how to deal with having a consumer division of Super-8mm and regular 8mm and a potential "professional" super-8 division as well.

Rather then figure out a way to combine consumer and professional forces so that the overall Super-8mm and regular 8mm film section remains profitable, it's becoming divide, subtract, and lets not deal with it. While I understand Kodak must please it's stockholders first and foremost, Kodak has a very strong and loyal film base that they are not reaching out to BEFORE they make decisions.

Please mail us your full address and the amount of K40 cartridges you would like to use next year. We will put you on our petition list and will keep you informed. redaktion@schmalfilm.biz

Here are our arguments:

Eastman Kodak Company
Cinema Operations
Entertainment Imaging
President for Image Capture Products
Mr. Eric G. Rodli
3455 S. LaCienega Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90016
USA

Kodak Limited
Kodak House
Entertainment Imaging
Vice President for Image Capture Products
Mr. Bob Mayson
Station Road
Hemel Hempstead
Herts HP1 1JU
United Kingdom

Announced Production Stop of Kodachrome 40

Dear Mr. Rodli,
Dear Mr. Mayson,

Being an active cinematographic filmmaker and a reader of the German ?schmalfilm? (small format) magazine I must protest to your Announced Production Stop of Kodachrome 40.

As other movie makers, I appreciate the continued commitment of KODAK to providing Super 8 reversal film in your announcement. However, it is ironic that K40's end is announced now when it celebrates its 40th anniversary.

For some good reasons I would like to ask you and KODAK not to stop the production of K40 and the processing in Lausanne (Switzerland):

1. The new color reversal film Ektachrome 64T cannot be used in more than 75% of all Super 8 cameras because those cameras are not able to meter correctly. Many cameras will not specifically meter for 64 ASA.

2. Kodachrome 40 is sold process paid. The price of K40 cartridges has increased considerably within the last years. The new Ektachrome 64T will even be more expensive, due to finding specialised labs and paying separately for film stock and its processing. This will become far too expensive for both amateur and professional moviemakers. One of the big benefits of Super8 K40 has always been its low budget character. This fact attracts an increasing number of young filmmakers, who want to work with the cine medium without making big investments. And for the remaining 50 % of all European users ? who are above 60 years ? all this gets far too complicated as well.

3. Active filmmakers like myself have stocked considerable amounts of K40 in their freezers. Always buying this filmstock process paid for some development moment in the future we have transfered future processing fees to KODAK accounts. This is OK as long as we have a guaranteed processing, KODAK may get the interest out of this accumulated capital. But, this also implies that KODAK has the obligation to fullfill its processing duty and enable all filmmakers to get their films processed up to the last cartridge ever sold process paid.

4. The quality of Kodachrome 40, the colors and the fine grain are outstanding. The thickness of other film stock inside the Super 8 cartridge has always been a problem (for example the slight softness of Ektachrome 7240). I would like to keep on screening the sharp, brilliant and colourfull high contrast K40 images with my filmprojector without having to worry about smoothness of operation.

5. The new Ektachrome 64T looks like a product for semiprofessional use. I understand that it will be marketed by the Entertainment Imaging department of KODAK. In e.g. Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands we can buy our Kodachrome 40 films in more than 400 photoshops, department stores and drug stores. I expect some important changes in your distribution and sales policy leading to Ektachrome 64T to be sold only by some rare specialty shops. Most users won?t know where to buy it anymore and new users will have difficulties to find their K40 filmstock.

I fully understand that Super 8 and K40 filmstock is a business like any other ? and KODAK has to earn money with it. For this reason I would like to promise you, that I will use at least ______ Kodachrome 40 Super8 cartridges per year.

Please, do not stop this wonderful film stock and do not close the lab in Lausanne.

Date/Signature
Mail to: redaktion@schmalfilm.biz
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 09:39 AM

I would rephrase #1: "Ektachrome 64T cannot be used in more than 75% of all Super 8 cameras because those cameras are not able to meter correctly. "

Of course they CAN be used in cameras that don't read the notch for 64 ASA; you would just have to make a manual adjustment (if the internal meter is set to 40 ASA, for example, then close-down by 2/3's of a stop) or use an external light meter.

I used Super-8 stocks all the time (like 4X) that my Super-8 camera wasn't able to read the notch for. So "cannot be used" is an inaccurate and misleading statement. How about "would be more inconvenient to use"?

And is the 75% figure accurate?
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#3 Matt Pacini

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 02:19 PM

I would add to the petition an apology for not buying more Kodachrome 40 in the past, which of course is REALLY what it would have taken for Kodak to keep making it.

I realize that in recent years the 'protest culture" ideal has taught a great many people to believe that they can get whatever they want if they complain about it enough, but in business, this rarely ever works.
And it certainly doesn't work when the company has a virtual monoply on the products you use.

This situation "might" be different if there were other suppliers of Super 8 film stock, but since that's not the case, my general rule is to thank Kodak for continuing to make Super 8 products, and apologize for all the immature turbo-sniveling that much of the S8 film community insists on engaging in.

Matt Pacini
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#4 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 05:54 PM

I would like to start a petition about the production stop of 72/5248 ! and EXR stock in general :D ! (So bad it's too late for 47 !)

And another one about the production stop of Ilford an Agfa printing papers and Agfa film stock ! :D

Anybody following ?

(don't misunderstand, though I never shoot S8, I reckon K 40 is a beautiful stock...)
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#5 Sam Wells

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 08:33 AM

The new Ektachrome 64T will even be more expensive, due to finding specialised labs and paying separately for film stock and its processing.

5. The new Ektachrome 64T looks like a product for semiprofessional use. I

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I sympathise re Kodachrome but why is #5 a bad thing ?

S8 is simply not a mass market item in 2005. Hey I can't get 16mm film at the local photo store either.

As for specialized labs, there are 2 or maybe will be 1 in the world that can do Kodachrome.
Compared to how many tens, hundreds that could do, or potentially do, the required lengths of E-6 ?

-Sam
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#6 filmfreund

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 03:52 AM

I sympathise re Kodachrome but why is #5 a bad thing ?

S8 is simply not a mass market item in 2005.

-Sam

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



100,000 cartridges per year is no mass market? Its too small for KODAK, that is true. But if a subsidary company would sell it - its enough stuff.

Up to now, the signers of our petition represent the amount of 3570 Kodachrome 40 cartridges per year! Please sign in: www.schmalfilm.de
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#7 filmfreund

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 10:38 AM

Up to now, the signers represent the amount of 5950 Kodachrome 40 cartridges per year!

See: www.schmalfilm.de

redaktion@schmalfilm.biz
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#8 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 10:44 AM

Up to now, the signers represent the amount of 5950 Kodachrome 40 cartridges per year!

See: www.schmalfilm.de

redaktion@schmalfilm.biz

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


You can also send comments or suggestions regarding Kodak Super-8 films to this e-mail address:

WW-EI-Super8@Kodak.com

Key decision makers for the Super-8 products will be reading all mail sent to this address.
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#9 filmfreund

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 11:56 AM

Up to now, the signers represent the amount of 8500 Kodachrome 40 cartridges per year!

See: www.schmalfilm.de

redaktion@schmalfilm.biz
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#10 filmfreund

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 11:52 AM

More than 10,000 cartridges per year! That means our petition is signed by 11% of all users of K40 worldwide. We will try to arrange a meeting with Kodak people end of June. Please sign in: www.schmalfilm.de
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#11 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 11:57 AM

More than 10,000 cartridges per year! That means our petition is signed by 11% of all users of K40 worldwide. We will try to arrange a meeting with Kodak people end of June. Please sign in: www.schmalfilm.de

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


You're making the false assumption that everyone who signed the petition (like me) has plans on shooting Super-8 regularly.
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#12 filmfreund

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 03:18 AM

But that is what we asked for. In any case it can be only an approximation.

One more fact should be taken into consideration. People starting with K40 might be great users of 16mm and 35mm in the future. In Germany, all film schools use this material. Even Steven Spielberg started with Super-8 on Kodachrome. Spike Lee, Gus van Sant, Rick Linklater, directors like Jem Cohen, Matthew Harrison, Kelly Reichardt, and a host of experimental film artists not yet widely known, did their start with K40.

In our petition you can see that a lot of young people (17-25 years) just started with Super-8. They buy a cheap camera, put in the cartridge and shoot. This is their first experience. This first film makes the decision to go on with it or stop it. If the exposure is wrong (because of the 64 ASA topic of Ektachrome 64) they won't use it any more. Nobody who starts will have the idea that a Super 8 cartridge can not be read correctly in an automatic camera.

One of the reproaches towards Kodak is the fact, that they DO NOT tested this. The tests with Ektachrome 64 T was done with only 3 cameras. Two Beaulieus (fully manual settings!) and one Canon model which could read 64 ASA! No camera with 40/160 ASA settings was tested. That is negligent. And this is made by the great inventor of Super-8. I am speechless.
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#13 Sam Wells

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 10:48 AM

One of the reproaches towards Kodak is the fact, that they DO NOT tested this. The tests with Ektachrome 64 T was done with only 3 cameras. Two Beaulieus (fully manual settings!) and one Canon model which could read 64 ASA! No camera with 40/160 ASA settings was tested. That is negligent. And this is made by the great inventor of Super-8. I am speechless.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


No what's negligent is a user of photographic materials who can't take responsibilty for learning how to make photographic exposures.

Come on kids let's take the training wheels off and start riding the bike.

-Sam
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#14 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 05:44 PM

Yes, I don't get it either -- who in the world picking Super-8 as a learning tool as a beginner filmmaker would want to START with an automatic (only) exposure camera? The FIRST thing I did when I started out as a teenager shooting in Super-8 was finding a camera that allowed manual exposure adjustments. I mean, even as a teenager, I knew enough to know that it was critical in good photography to control exposure creatively.

Forget simply getting the "correct" exposure -- what about creative over and underexposure? I wanted to do all of those things from my first little film onwards -- it's not some technique you decide to learn at a later more advanced stage. Exposure is one of the FIRST things anyone needs to learn when using a camera! Who, being serious to start learning to make films, would pick a camera that exposed every shot "normally" with no ability to adjust it? It would be next to worthless. You couldn't do a fake moonlight shot or creative silhouettes, etc.
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#15 Sam Wells

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 06:28 PM

David, you put it much more creativly and politely than I did !

-Sam
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#16 filmfreund

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 06:25 AM

Sorry, but you talk from another point of view. This is the point of view from people that started with "normal" chemical photograhy. In the digital age this is different. People get used to automatic settings - first. Later they try different things. And, please allow me to say, do not just take your example as an example for everyone. I am the editor of the German schmalfilm magazine and I have around 100 mails and letters every months from people, starting with Super 8. I know exactly what kind of cameras they buy. Furthermore we had an award last year, the NOMOS Super 8 Award, and all participants had to fill in waht kind of camera they use. More than 50% used a camera that cannot read 64 ASA. We checked this very carefully, believe me.
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#17 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 10:43 AM

It doesn't make any sense is all. How can you do ANYTHING but just get a "normal" exposure with an all-automatic system? I'd have the same problem with someone who bought a digital camera that did not allow manual exposure adjustments.

If I was smart enough as a 12 year old to know that you needed to find a camera that allowed manual exposure adjustments, then why is that too difficult for the average person to understand???

This isn't a film vs. digital issue. It's a PHOTOGRAPHY issue. To create art, you need to control exposure. PERIOD. No one serious about filmmaking, in Super-8 or in DV, should buy an automatic-only camera. If E64T makes it HARDER for them to use an automatic-only camera THEN THAT'S A GOOD THING!!!
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#18 Sam Wells

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 11:55 AM

. Even Steven Spielberg started with Super-8 on Kodachrome. Spike Lee, Gus van Sant, Rick Linklater, directors like Jem Cohen, Matthew Harrison, Kelly Reichardt, and a host of experimental film artists not yet widely known, did their start with K40.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Or the true master of Kodachrome, the experimental filmmaker Nathaniel Dorsky. (This is an inadequate comparison, but think something like William Eggleston, but with motion).

But that kind of mastery has nothing so much to do with auto-indexing EI.

-Sam
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#19 Sam Wells

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 11:59 AM

Who shoots in 16mm I should add. (But all the more reason it seems to me to NOT be reliant on autoexposure systems)

-Sam
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#20 filmfreund

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 03:59 PM

It doesn't make any sense is all.  How can you do ANYTHING but just get a "normal" exposure with an all-automatic system?  I'd have the same problem with someone who bought a digital camera that did not allow manual exposure adjustments.

If I was smart enough as a 12 year old to know that you needed to find a camera that allowed manual exposure adjustments, then why is that too difficult for the average person to understand???

This isn't a film vs. digital issue.  It's a PHOTOGRAPHY issue.  To create art, you need to control exposure. PERIOD.  No one serious about filmmaking, in Super-8 or in DV, should buy an automatic-only camera.  If E64T makes it HARDER for them to use an automatic-only camera THEN THAT'S A GOOD THING!!!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Well, this is an arrogant point of view. Allow an 12- or 18-year ola AMATEUR to start with automatic exposure control. It's a start! You 're professional! Your arguments sound if Kodak pays for it.
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