After hearing Monday's news I paid a visit to some of my old Kodachromes (which I really should get scanned one of these days). After more than 30 years, the whites in this image of a peeling billboard are as pure and pristine as ever, the reds still just as rich and saturated. I'm sure I'll have more to say later, but for the time being I'll just quote from the press release:
ROCHESTER, N.Y., June 22 – Eastman Kodak Company announced today that it will retire KODACHROME Color Film this year, concluding its 74-year run as a photography icon.You can read the rest of the release at the end of this post by Josh Root at photo.net. The film is expected to be available through this fall, and it's at least 18 months till the last remaining processing lab shuts down its Kodachrome line. Josh says its a time, not to mourn, but to celebrate -- by shooting some final rolls ourselves before this film completes its 75-year run next year. I know I will. (Great way to start using my Olympus XA again.)
Sales of KODACHROME Film, which became the world’s first commercially successful color film in 1935, have declined dramatically in recent years as photographers turned to newer KODAK Films or to the digital imaging technologies that Kodak pioneered. Today, KODACHROME Film represents just a fraction of one percent of Kodak’s total sales of still-picture films.
“KODACHROME Film is an iconic product and a testament to Kodak’s long and continuing leadership in imaging technology,” said Mary Jane Hellyar, President of Kodak’s Film, Photofinishing and Entertainment Group. “It was certainly a difficult decision to retire it, given its rich history. However, the majority of today’s photographers have voiced their preference to capture images with newer technology – both film and digital. Kodak remains committed to providing the highest-performing products – both film and digital â to meet those needs.”