Kodak ‘Investigating What it Would Take’ to Bring Back Kodachrome

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Sirius Glass

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Yes there is always historical reality to be faced unfortunately. So what's next Sirius, some hard facts about Kodak to keep us grounded :smile:?

pentaxuser

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momus

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The thing about Tri-X is that you can shoot it at anywhere from EI 100 to 800 and sorta just develop it normally. Plus, that film is amazing for having a different look to suit each photographer, depending on the EI and the developer choices. It's almost impossible to screw it up.

I get better negs from Foma 400 than w/ Tmax, but it has to be shot at 200-250. The accidental exposures I made at 800 were quite awful, Tri-X would have still looked good. I know the new improved Tri-X is not the same as eons ago, but it can sure be made to look like that if you want it to. Tmax always looks like Tmax to me.
 

flavio81

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A copper stake pounded into the ground with a ground wire mechanically fastened and then welded to insure a good connection during a lightning strike.

You should also add some conductive gel to increase conductivity...
 

Sirius Glass

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You should also add some conductive gel to increase conductivity...

Conductive gel vaporized in lightning strikes. Better to be safe without it.
 

ozmoose

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We seem to have got all emotional over this, and I think, rightly so. Kodachrome was a unique film in every way, and its like has never been seen (altho' Fuji Velvia 50 came close).

Okay, so maybe Kodak will give us a new Kodachrome. Well and good. If they do. I won't be using it, but many here probably will. Which is a good thing, entirely so.

My photography nowadays is mostly digital, and almost entirely for my own enjoyment - I still sell an occasional lot of stock images to publishers, but as for most of us who did 'stock' in the good old days, the era has largely passed. In the '70s and '80s I routinely sold black-and-white images taken in Southeast Asia, many were used as one- and two-column 'fillers' at the end of articles in renowned publications (like the Economist). Today, the market has entirely dried up. Zillions of Asian images are now posted online, many of which I have to say, are far better than mine ever were. The times, they sure have changed. Tempus fugits, as we all know. (My Spellcheck keeps changing "fugits" to "Fuji", ha!!)

Now if Kodak would only think about bringing back Plus-X or that wonderful old film, Panatomic-X...
 

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From what I've read here by those who know far more than I ever will....Panatomic-X had some "ingredients" which would be very difficult to source today, or would be considered environmentally problematic so would require extra environmental controls. However I think there are fewer problems with Plus-X. It just wasn't selling very well....if that is perceived to have changed, perhaps it could be on the radar. But not imminent for sure. We've seen with Ektachrome, P3200 and Gold in 120 that these things take time. But I hope we're all glad that those three are back.

Regarding Kodachrome. By all the gods I miss it. I loved how it looked, and I don't think there will ever be anything like it in small gauge motion picture film again. I go back and look at my Kodachrome super 8 films from the 80s and 90s, or my grandfather's from the 60s and 70s and they have a look and feel that isn't matched no matter what digital trickery one tries. But it ain't coming back, and I accepted that in 2008 or whenever it was discontinued. Once it became a cash liability (rather than cash cow) for Kodak....it was living on very little borrowed time. And while I am sad about that, for it was unique, I accept it. It isn't coming back unless things change in ways none of us really even dare hope.
 

Nzoomed

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I will buy kodachrome if it ever comes back to the market, even if it cost $100 to buy a roll of the stuff if it includes the price of processing.
 

Sirius Glass

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I will buy kodachrome if it ever comes back to the market, even if it cost $100 to buy a roll of the stuff if it includes the price of processing.


At that price, one could buy a lot of beer. Jus' sayin'
 

Nzoomed

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At that price, one could buy a lot of beer. Jus' sayin'

Well I was late to the kodachrome party. Would have loved to have shot some, but hey at least the publicity got me interested in shooting film again, I shortly started shooting ektachrome.
 

pentaxuser

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Well I was late to the kodachrome party. Would have loved to have shot some, but hey at least the publicity got me interested in shooting film again, I shortly started shooting ektachrome.

So you are willing to shoot a film that you have never tried for $100 a roll simply because it got you interested again in shooting film????

It's a bombshell of a statement. I'll give you that

pentaxuser
 

MattKing

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I think I should dig up a bunch of 1970 - 1980 Kodachrome slides and offer to send a selection to Nzoomed.
It is impossible to get an accurate “Kodachrome” experience now, because the processing and slide mounting and quick return (in our area) were an integral part of the experience.
 

amam

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@MattKing why is a Kodachrome experience any difference than any other 35mm slide experience? I never noticed the difference other than the cardboard mount saying "Kodachrome" and me paying more, and the slides not taking 3 hours at my local lab.
 

MattKing

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@MattKing why is a Kodachrome experience any difference than any other 35mm slide experience? I never noticed the difference other than the cardboard mount saying "Kodachrome" and me paying more, and the slides not taking 3 hours at my local lab.

Up here in Canada, during its heyday, Kodachrome worked out to be the least expensive slide option. All film was sold with processing by Kodak included. Kodak Canada had three labs in Canada, and a country wide network of dealers where the customer could drop of their exposed film in the morning and, for no extra charge, pick up the processed and mounted slides either the next business day or, depending on the location, the next business day after that. They could also mail the exposed film in using the convenience envelope that was in the box. The film cassette itself was encoded with the pre-paid processing information - you didn't need to use the Kodak envelope, but it was convenient. Canada Post also offered a very reasonable special rate for the mailing.
Kodachrome has/had a distinctive palette, which was very popular with many.
As Kodachrome was very thin, it was capable of exceptional sharpness, for colour films of its time.
While working in retail, I sold thousands of 36 exposure Kodachrome rolls, all with processing and mounting included. The prices I can remember for those 36 exposure rolls ranged from $9.00 per roll Canadian to $14.00 per roll Canadian.
For me, I would just hand the roll to my Dad to take with him in the morning when he left for work at the North Vancouver lab. Most times he would bring back the developed and mounted slides when he came home that night for work. Of course, as he was the Customer Service manager at the lab, he did have an "in".
In its heyday, during the busier times of year, the Kodachrome and smaller Ektachrome lines at the North Vancouver lab ran essentially 24 hours a day, employing three shifts of workers working 8 hour shifts. Each time a spliced roll of customer's movie or slide Kodachrome was added to the machine, approximately one mile each of leader, customer film and trailer was loaded into the machine, which itself was the size of a small city bus, but much louder.
 

Sirius Glass

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Up here in Canada, during its heyday, Kodachrome worked out to be the least expensive slide option. All film was sold with processing by Kodak included. Kodak Canada had three labs in Canada, and a country wide network of dealers where the customer could drop of their exposed film in the morning and, for no extra charge, pick up the processed and mounted slides either the next business day or, depending on the location, the next business day after that. They could also mail the exposed film in using the convenience envelope that was in the box. The film cassette itself was encoded with the pre-paid processing information - you didn't need to use the Kodak envelope, but it was convenient. Canada Post also offered a very reasonable special rate for the mailing.
Kodachrome has/had a distinctive palette, which was very popular with many.
As Kodachrome was very thin, it was capable of exceptional sharpness, for colour films of its time.
While working in retail, I sold thousands of 36 exposure Kodachrome rolls, all with processing and mounting included. The prices I can remember for those 36 exposure rolls ranged from $9.00 per roll Canadian to $14.00 per roll Canadian.
For me, I would just hand the roll to my Dad to take with him in the morning when he left for work at the North Vancouver lab. Most times he would bring back the developed and mounted slides when he came home that night for work. Of course, as he was the Customer Service manager at the lab, he did have an "in".
In its heyday, during the busier times of year, the Kodachrome and smaller Ektachrome lines at the North Vancouver lab ran essentially 24 hours a day, employing three shifts of workers working 8 hour shifts. Each time a spliced roll of customer's movie or slide Kodachrome was added to the machine, approximately one mile each of leader, customer film and trailer was loaded into the machine, which itself was the size of a small city bus, but much louder.

Because of monopoly laws and a US Government lawsuit Kodak had to discontinue packaging film and processing together in the US.
 

MattKing

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In the US, competitors did try to operate competing Kodachrome processing services after the settlement (the "Consent Decree") that unbundled Kodak film and Kodak processing. None of them were successful, and all of them left the business. The Consent Decree was eventually cancelled, but Eastman Kodak never went back to selling the film and processing together.
AFAIK, the US was the only market where Kodachrome was sold without processing, and where anyone other than Kodak or its international subsidiaries offered Kodachrome processing.
National Geographic at one time had its own, Kodak supported Kodachrome processing line and it had the highest 35mm slide volumes in the world.
Most Kodachrome labs relied heavily on movie film - that formed a very large percentage of their work. Kodachrome slides in 828, 126 and 110 were also developed. A very small number of labs developed 120 Kodachrome for a short while as well.
The special sheet film Kodachrome must have been done in entirely separate facilities.
 

braxus

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Matt. Wasn't that North Van lab located around where the North Shore Studios are? I did hear about their lab back in the early 90s, but not exactly sure where the lab was. One of my teachers from College apparently worked there at a time. Im sure this is where all my rolls went, when I was shooting 8mm.
 
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In the US, competitors did try to operate competing Kodachrome processing services after the settlement (the "Consent Decree") that unbundled Kodak film and Kodak processing. None of them were successful, and all of them left the business...
Dwayne's only left the business when Kodak stopped making Kodachrome. :smile:
 

MattKing

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It was on Keith Road near the intersection with Mountain Highway. Between the North Shore Winter Club and the former Park and Tilford Distilleries - the only remnants of the Distilleries being the gardens and the shopping centre with the same name.
A Google Search of North Shore Studios makes me think they are located in a nearby property.
Google Maps of the old lab location leads me to an image that indicates to me that part of the building is still there. A business by the name of Keslow Cameras is in part of it - ironic, because they sell and rent camera equipment to the motion picture industry, and my Dad had, as part of his job responsibilities, the job of being the at-the-lab location liaison for the Kodak Canada commercial motion picture division. Keslow Cameras appears to be located pretty close to where my Dad's office was.
My Dad retired in 1983 and I believe the lab wound down operations in 1984. Kodak Canada sold the building.
 

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amam

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@MattKing but you mentioned the “slideshow “. what makes a “Kodachrome slideshow “ different than any other type? I have experienced sharp slides and slideshows that were not Kodachrome, I still do not understand a slideshow that is specifically Kodachrome and how it is better or different. I have Kodachrome slides and to me they are just slides that I shot by mistake and then took too long to develop. They do not look any different or better on the light table or projected.
 
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falotico

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In the US, competitors did try to operate competing Kodachrome processing services after the settlement (the "Consent Decree") that unbundled Kodak film and Kodak processing. None of them were successful, and all of them left the business. The Consent Decree was eventually cancelled, but Eastman Kodak never went back to selling the film and processing together.
AFAIK, the US was the only market where Kodachrome was sold without processing, and where anyone other than Kodak or its international subsidiaries offered Kodachrome processing.
National Geographic at one time had its own, Kodak supported Kodachrome processing line and it had the highest 35mm slide volumes in the world.
Most Kodachrome labs relied heavily on movie film - that formed a very large percentage of their work. Kodachrome slides in 828, 126 and 110 were also developed. A very small number of labs developed 120 Kodachrome for a short while as well.
The special sheet film Kodachrome must have been done in entirely separate facilities.
I have slides my Dad took in the early 1960's which have the "Technicolor" brand name on them. A consumer could save a buck by having his/her film developed by an off-brand other than Kodak. I can't imagine sacrificing the guarantee of Kodak quality just to save a dollar on processing costs, but it gives you an idea just how frugal those times were.
 
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