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!