Kodak is Taking Our Kodachrome Away...

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Lamenting the loss of another great film, Kodak's iconic and legendary Kodachrome film.

“They give us those nice bright colors. They give us the greens of summers. Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day.”

So went the famous song “Kodachrome” by Paul Simon. The song ends with the plea “Momma don’t take my Kodachrome away.”

Today we hear news that Kodak is finally taking away its iconic Kodachrome film, and that the current production batch will be the very last of this truly special film. Kodachrome saw its heyday in the ’50’s and ’60’s as both a still and motion film used in such historic captures as Steve McCurry’s famous portrait of the Afghan refugee girl, and in Abraham Zapruder's film of President Kennedy's assassination in Dallas in 1963.

After 74 years of giving us those nice bright colors, Kodak is retiring Kodachrome because for years it has been too difficult to produce, and only one lab on earth still processes the film. Kodachrome is processed with K14 chemicals (don’t even think of developing it in anything else!), and Dwayne's Photo in Kansas is the only place left to process this film. To give you an idea of how special this film was, when Kodak discontinued the 25 iso version of Kodachrome a few years ago, it wasn’t rare to find it selling for $30 a roll on Ebay.

Although retiring its most iconic film, Kodak is by no means signaling any end to their analogue business. They have produced 7 new professional films in the past few years, and those of you who have tried Ektar film know that Kodak is still the boss when it comes to bright colors and smooth grains.

For those of you hording Kodachrome in your fridges for a rainy day (like me), it’s time to pop it in your cameras and shoot it up, and get it to Dwayne’s Photo before December 2010, because that is when they plan to stop processing K14 as well.

Below are some Kodachrome double-exposure shots I took in 2004 with an LC-A.

If you have any Kodachrome shots of your own, feel free to upload them to this post!

written by ouroborosx on 2009-06-22 in #news #kodak #kodachrome #film

10 Comments

  1. eggzakly
    eggzakly ·

    I recently found this place in the UK that specializes in developing old film - it turns out they do k14 as well a whole bunch of other obscure and discontinued processes... I always thought Dwayne's was the only place, too! Anyway, sounds like these guys are going to come in handy in the future: www.processc22.co.uk/

  2. devrimarie
    devrimarie ·

    my little kodak instamatic is sooooo sad.

  3. eva_eva
    eva_eva ·

    kodachrome, please dont go away.....

  4. fornoise
    fornoise ·

    Your photos here aren't cross processed, correct?

  5. ouroborosx
    ouroborosx ·

    you can't cross-process kodachrome... if you try, it comes out blank... so these were processed in k14 and came back as actual slides... :)

  6. vicuna
    vicuna ·

    I shot in 2007 a very old expired 1993 kodachrome 64... just submitted a few of these shots... :)

  7. cinzinc
    cinzinc ·

    i've never found or tried this film, such a shame...

  8. rube
    rube ·

    I just read an article about it on The Times newspaper: tinyurl.com/lazb4q

  9. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    The colour plates in the old National Geographic Magazines were Kodachromes. We need stronger promotion of films. Lets try to get LSI to persuade Kodak to produce Aerochrome III in 120 and 35mm. They still make this, but only in 9.5in x 400ft for aero cameras (like in a U-2). A wholesale order can work wonders, and I will certainly buy some and an orange filter to go with it. This is false colour infrared, and nothing digital can even come close. It's availible at www.tarquinius.de hand, cut to 120, but it's so expensive. Can we try for it? Thanx.

  10. metal_guru
    metal_guru ·

    I've got 7 rolls of Kodachrome 200 36 exp to trade if anyone has something decent to swap.

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