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262 comments

Selling for scrap? (2)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716398)

I hope they are just "selling" the processing equipment, not specifically "selling for scrap", as the article mentions. I would hope that SOMEONE would buy it to send to the Smithsonian or similar.

Re:Selling for scrap? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34716450)

All n all its not that interesting an item for a museum, there are lots of other automated film processing and printing machines, so the "technology" is not going away exactly. Kodak is no longer going to produce the chemistry to process this type of film which makes it pretty impossible to use the machine in any way. Yes it might serve as a museum piece but I am not sure it warrants that.

Re:Selling for scrap? (2)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716826)

Automobile technology isn't going away either, but that doesn't mean obsoleted automobiles aren't "interesting items" for museums. Especially automotive museums. (Car analogy enough for you?)

Re:Selling for scrap? (3)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716884)

I'm just thinking that because Kodachrome is so "iconic" and historic piece of photography history, the processing machinery would be a good thing to have in a museum. Also, if it truly is the last one, it might be nice to keep one around, just in case. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apolo_11_missing_tapes [wikipedia.org] for a case where keeping around the last machine proved useful. If something like this comes up, I'm sure SOMEBODY could whip up another batch of chemicals...)

Re:Selling for scrap? (2, Informative)

RDW (41497) | more than 3 years ago | (#34717186)

Kodak at one point made an automated Kodachrome minilab, the K-Lab, which was intended to make processing more widely available:

http://www.kodak.com/global/en/consumer/products/klabs/index.shtml [kodak.com]

Unfortunately it never really took off, and one was up for sale for several years with no takers:

http://www.rockymountainfilm.com/equipment/klab.htm [rockymountainfilm.com]

The day before it waa due to be scrapped, an enthusiast stepped in and bought it, and is now hoping to get it running again:

http://www.kodachromeproject.com/forum/showthread.php?t=674 [kodachromeproject.com]

Obtaining the necessary processing chemicals, especially the proprietary dye couplers, is the major barrier to making this happen.

Re:Selling for scrap? (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 3 years ago | (#34717418)

There are people who process their own colour films (negative and positive). Granted it is much more tricky if you don't have the right equipment, considering temperature ranges and development times etc. are less tolerant of changes from development specs. But if you have the right equipment and know how, it isn't hugely different from B+W, just more steps involved. When I read the OP I wondered if it is possible to still buy the chemicals required for the process. Mind you, given that Kodak stopped making the film, it might not really matter unless some boutique operation gets permission to make and sell kodachrome... which doesn't seem likely.

Re:Selling for scrap? (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 3 years ago | (#34717322)

Well, the special thing about Kodachrome processing isn't so much the equipment, but the dyes. What "the Smithsonian" or Posterity really needs is a reproducible formula for making the dyes. I'd settle for a digital artifact that renders a convincing K-25 or K-64 slide.

The real reason Kodachrome is going away is so that nobody can forge a Zapruder film :-)

Bring back 8 track (0)

deodiaus2 (980169) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716412)

I really liked it!

Re:Bring back 8 track (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716490)

8 tracks are still around. The father of an acquaintance of mine has a very small recording studio that uses them. It's less a studio and more a recording booth, but he's still using 8 tracks, or at least I assume he is, that was a decade or so ago that I saw it. But if he'd held out that long, I'd be surprised if he wasn't still using it.

Re:Bring back 8 track (1)

Eil (82413) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716732)

Are you sure it's an 8-track? 8-tracks were well-known for their horrible reliability and sound. If the machine was being used in a studio setting, it is more likely a Fidelipack, which was widely used in radio stations to record and play back station id, commercials, and the odd song.

Re:Bring back 8 track (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34717420)

Quite possibly. That was quite a while back and I wasn't particularly versed with the system. I seem to recall most 8 tracks being plagued by problems with the player eating the tapes. Something which didn't happen a lot with cassettes.

Re:Bring back 8 track (1)

ran-o-matic (667054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34717144)

This is a lot off-topic, but: 8-track studio recording was the hot thing in the late fifties when the Ampex 5285 and other multi-track studio records came out. Multi-track analog recorders remained very popular until digital multi-track started to replace the old analog units in the mid/late 1990's. Those studio 8-track machines do not have much in common with the continuous loop cassettes we also call 8 tracks. From a technology standpoint, Kodachrome has just as much reason to still be around as the 8-track cassette - none. From a nostalgia standpoint, maybe there's room for both.

Paul Simon / Kodachrome (5, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716420)

When I think back
On all the crap I learned in high school
It's a wonder
I can think at all
And though my lack of education
Hasn't hurt me none
I can read the writing on the wall

Kodachrome
You give us those nice bright colors
You give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world's a sunny day, oh yeah!
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So Mama, don't take my Kodachrome away

If you took all the girls I knew
When I was single
And brought them all together for one night
I know they'd never match
My sweet imagination
And everything looks worse in black and white

Kodachrome
You give us those nice bright colors
You give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world's a sunny day, oh yeah!
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So Mama, don't take my Kodachrome away

Mama, don't take my Kodachrome away

Mama, don't take my Kodachrome away

Mama, don't take my Kodachrome away

Mama, don't take my Kodachrome
Mama, don't take my Kodachrome
Mama, don't take my Kodachrome (away)

Mama, don't take my Kodachrome
Mama, don't take my Kodachrome
Mama, don't take my Kodachrome (away)

Mama, don't take my Kodachrome
(Leave your boy so far from home)
Mama, don't take my Kodachrome (away)

Re:Paul Simon / Kodachrome (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34716516)

It's too bad he mentioned the Nikon camera, otherwise Eastman Kodak and he could've worked out a mutually beneficial advertising arrangement that would've lasted decades.

Re:Paul Simon / Kodachrome (1)

BigFootApe (264256) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716586)

Yeah, I don't think he's suffered.

I mean, he did bone Princess Leia. Several times.

Re:Paul Simon / Kodachrome (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34716830)

Pics or it didn't happen

Re:Paul Simon / Kodachrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34717334)

Meg Ryan's winggirl in "When Harry Met Sally", sounds less impressive.

Re:Paul Simon / Kodachrome (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716760)

It's too bad he mentioned the Nikon camera, otherwise Eastman Kodak and he could've worked out a mutually beneficial advertising arrangement that would've lasted decades.

I doubt that'd be a hindrance. For one thing they wouldn't use a complete song in an ad, so the Nikon reference wouldn't come into play. Plus the two companies have worked together in the past - Kodak's digital SLRs used Nikon's F mount, for example.

Also Nikon, along with almost every other camera manufacturer, still uses patented Kodak sensor technology.

Re:Paul Simon / Kodachrome (1, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716628)

You forgot a http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZpaNJqF4po [slashdot.org] > link to the song.

-jcr

Ok, who broke slashcode? (0)

jcr (53032) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716634)

WTF is going on with links?

-jcr

Re:Ok, who broke slashcode? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34716882)

operator error. especially for you, so it's a jcr idiot error.

Re:Ok, who broke slashcode? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34716904)

You did preview your post first, didn't you, John?

Re:Ok, who broke slashcode? (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716966)

I did, and somehow I ended up with a link back to /.? WTF?

-jcr

Good Riddence! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34716430)

Cue some 'romantic' shit about how Kodachrome has some unmeasurable orgasmic quality over anything else....

Re:Good Riddence! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34716466)

Your mom's twat looks good in a Kodachrome print. How's that for some romantic shit?

Re:Good Riddence! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34717244)

Shut up, dad.

Re:Good Riddence! (5, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716504)

On that topic, I still say only the original Edison wax cylinders had true audio fidelity. Vinyl is just a cheap knockoff, trading convenience for quality.

Re:Good Riddence! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34717076)

I think you mean durability, not convenience.

Re:Good Riddence! (4, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 3 years ago | (#34717006)

Cue some 'romantic' shit about how Kodachrome has some unmeasurable orgasmic quality over anything else...

It doesn't have to be "romantic shit." Kodachrome does have qualities that are different from anything else. Irreplaceable qualities? Unreproducible qualities? Maybe not. But until you've tried to shoot actual creative photographs (as opposed to "I wanna see this later" snapshots), you don't understand what a complex and highly analog process it is -- even for digital cameras.

Between shutter speeds, apertures, film ISO, lenses, flash timings, and just plain holding the camera in the right place at the right time, there are a lot of variables. In film stock there are variables also, much like how two different digital SLR cameras will produce different-looking pictures of the same thing under the same lighting conditions.

Can you fiddle with an exposure in Photoshop until most film snobs would swear it's a Kodachrome image? Sure. Is that a worthwhile way to spend your time? You tell me.

Bottom line: No, if you hand a roll of Kodachrome to an inexperienced photographer, he's not going to be able to take any better pictures than he would with any other film. On the other hand, in the hands of an experience photographer who understands Kodachrome and knows how to get what he wants from it, the film stock can make the difference between an OK photograph and a great one. It's kind of like playing an electric guitar: Whether your amp is tube or solid-state, your guitar and your amp -- in your hands -- is going to sound different from the guy down the street's. You play what works for you.

Kodachrome "worked" for a lot of photographers for many years. That picture from National Geographic of the Afghan girl with the crazy green eyes [nynetresources.org] that you've seen a million times? That's Kodachrome.

Original story from the New York Times (5, Informative)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716474)

Here's the original story [nytimes.com] from the New York Times.

Re:Original story from the New York Times (2)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716768)

Still needs the proper referrer set. Punch that URL into google and follow that link OR:

PARSONS, Kan. — An unlikely pilgrimage is under way to Dwayne’s Photo, a small family business that has through luck and persistence become the last processor in the world of Kodachrome, the first successful color film and still the most beloved.

That celebrated 75-year run from mainstream to niche photography is scheduled to come to an end on Thursday when the last processing machine is shut down here to be sold for scrap.

In the last weeks, dozens of visitors and thousands of overnight packages have raced here, transforming this small prairie-bound city not far from the Oklahoma border for a brief time into a center of nostalgia for the days when photographs appeared not in the sterile frame of a computer screen or in a pack of flimsy prints from the local drugstore but in the warm glow of a projector pulling an image from a carousel of vivid slides.

In the span of minutes this week, two such visitors arrived. The first was a railroad worker who had driven from Arkansas to pick up 1,580 rolls of film that he had just paid $15,798 to develop. The second was an artist who had driven directly here after flying from London to Wichita, Kan., on her first trip to the United States to turn in three rolls of film and shoot five more before the processing deadline.

The artist, Aliceson Carter, 42, was incredulous as she watched the railroad worker, Jim DeNike, 53, loading a dozen boxes that contained nearly 50,000 slides into his old maroon Pontiac. He explained that every picture inside was of railroad trains and that he had borrowed money from his father’s retirement account to pay for developing them.

“That’s crazy to me,” Ms. Carter said. Then she snapped a picture of Mr. DeNike on one of her last rolls.

Demanding both to shoot and process, Kodachrome rewarded generations of skilled users with a richness of color and a unique treatment of light that many photographers described as incomparable even as they shifted to digital cameras. “Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day,” Paul Simon sang in his 1973 hit “Kodachrome,” which carried the plea “Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome away.”

As news media around the world have heralded Thursday’s end of an era, rolls of the discontinued film that had been hoarded in freezers and tucked away in closets, sometimes for decades, have flooded Dwayne’s Photo, arriving from six continents.

“It’s more than a film, it’s a pop culture icon,” said Todd Gustavson, a curator from the George Eastman House, a photography museum in Rochester in the former residence of the Kodak founder. “If you were in the postwar baby boom, it was the color film, no doubt about it.”

Among the recent visitors was Steve McCurry, a photographer whose work has appeared for decades in National Geographic including his well-known cover portrait, shot in Kodachrome, of a Afghan girl that highlights what he describes as the “sublime quality” of the film. When Kodak stopped producing the film last year, the company gave him the last roll, which he hand-delivered to Parsons. “I wasn’t going to take any chances,” he explained.

At the peak, there were about 25 labs worldwide that processed Kodachrome, but the last Kodak-run facility in the United States closed several years ago, then the one in Japan and then the one in Switzerland. Since then, all that was left has been Dwayne’s Photo. Last year, Kodak stopped producing the chemicals needed to develop the film, providing the business with enough to continue processing through the end of 2010. And last week, right on schedule, the lab opened up the last canister of blue dye.

Kodak declined to comment for this article.

The status of lone survivor is a point of pride for Dwayne Steinle, who remembers being warned more than once by a Kodak representative after he opened the business more than a half-century ago that the area was too sparsely populated for the studio to succeed. It has survived in part because Mr. Steinle and his son Grant focused on lower-volume specialties — like black-and-white and print-to-print developing, and, in the early ’90s, the processing of Kodachrome.

Still, the toll of the widespread switch to digital photography has been painful for Dwayne’s, much as it has for Kodak. In the last decade, the number of employees has been cut to about 60 from 200 and digital sales now account for nearly half of revenue. Most of the staff and even the owners acknowledge that they primarily use digital cameras. “That’s what we see as the future of the business,” said Grant Steinle, who runs the business now.

The passing of Kodachrome has been much noted, from the CBS News program ”Sunday Morning” to The Irish Times, but it is noteworthy in no small part for how long it survived. Created in 1935, Kodachrome was an instant hit as the first film to effectively render color.

Even when it stopped being the default film for chronicling everyday life — thanks in part to the move to prints from slides — it continued to be the film of choice for many hobbyists and medical professionals. Dr. Bharat Nathwani, 65, a Los Angeles pathologist, lamented that he still had 400 unused rolls. “I might hold it, God willing that Kodak sees its lack of wisdom.”

This week, the employees at Dwayne’s worked at a frenetic pace, keeping a processing machine that has typically operated just a few hours a day working around the clock (one of the many notes on the lab wall reads: “I took this to a drugstore and they didn’t even know what it was”).

“We really didn’t expect it to be this crazy,” said Lanie George, who manages the Kodachrome processing department.

One of the toughest decisions was how to deal with the dozens of requests from amateurs and professionals alike to provide the last roll to be processed.

In the end, it was determined that a roll belonging to Dwayne Steinle, the owner, would be last. It took three tries to find a camera that worked. And over the course of the week he fired off shots of his house, his family and downtown Parsons. The last frame is already planned for Thursday, a picture of all the employees standing in front of Dwayne’s wearing shirts with the epitaph: “The best slide and movie film in history is now officially retired. Kodachrome: 1935-2010.”

The story is simply not true! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34717086)

How could they tell that all stories stopped processing that film?

This French store [ow.ly] does have the machines to process that film.

Done already? (1)

jewelises (739285) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716484)

Didn't they launch chrome just a few years ago? I haven't read the summary yet, but this sure is a shame.

Re:Done already? (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716752)

No, they relaunched it quite a few years ago. I'm going from memory but I think it must have been the late 80s. This is the second time it has gone away. I wouldn't bet on a third renaissance. Not only has digital pretty much taken over, but the E-6 process films have gotten very good as well. The K-41 process (?) was expensive and nasty.

Yes, it is a time for people like me to be a bit nostalgic and teary, but improvements and inventions and such mean that this is inevitable. I loved the Kodachrome look but I would never decry digital.

Re:Done already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34717204)

Whoosh! Lolz.

Bah (2)

colinRTM (1333069) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716550)

It pisses me off that the majority of people crying about this (and the demise of colour films in general) are mostly the ones who scour eBay for expired rolls with which to stock their fridges, instead of buying fresh packs of film, demonstrating to the manufacturers that there is actual demand for it.

Re:Bah (1)

hjf (703092) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716630)

Not really. Kodachrome itself is difficult and expensive to develop. Other color films are still alive (Fuji Velvia 50 was actually introduced in 2007. Well, re-introduced, but it shows that there is demand for it).

Re:Bah (5, Informative)

Plekto (1018050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34717280)

Fuji currently makes several positive and negative type films. They also make a color-neutral type for professional use that looks as dull and washed out as our eyes generally see. The differences between Kodachrome and Provia are fairly minor, to be honest. Kodachrome was actually a black and white film that had color added to it, so it requitred special chemistry and had a curiously super-saturated blue tint (it's more reactive to blue than most any other film.

http://www.soerink.nl/film/film.html [soerink.nl]
You'll note the 3.7 value for blue on Kodachrome. But realistic it's not.

http://www.maremmaphoto.it/filmtest.eng.html [maremmaphoto.it]

Close, but not quite.

I use Fuji NPS 160/160S, though, as it's spot-on realistic to what your eyes see. Slightly dimmer blues and not as punchy (I find Velvia garish, like a poster, almost). But very nice, especially for portraits.

NOTE: Fujifilm USA stops importing film from Japan if the numbers get too low. In most cases, though, the film is still made in Japan - you have to sometimes order from a shop that deals directly with Japan or import it. (the same is true for Agfa as well)

Re:Bah (2)

dogsbreath (730413) | more than 3 years ago | (#34717252)

You disdain is misplaced. Kodachrome is a slide film or a colour positive. The reason for its demise began before digital cameras came along and starts with the fact that people just don't find time to sit around looking at slide shows. The 35mm film speed was ASA64 or ASA200 which was slow compared to the 400 and 800 print films that are available today. Finally, processing requires mailing it away and people have given that up as an acceptable practice. In the 1970's, Kodachrome film came with a pre-addressed mailer pouch that you would drop your film can into. Two weeks later you'd get a slide box in the mail.

Kodachrome provided outstanding colour and detail and I still love the product it produces. I have yet to find a digital camera that has the same detail, dynamic range, and colour precision and accuracy. It also has terrific stability and longevity, probably better than most digital files when all things are considered. My slide collection (FWIW), given a little TLC, will be easily viewed 100 years from now.

Truth is I stopped using it before I had my first digital camera and so did a lot of other people. It just was not convenient.

Farewell Kodachrome (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716576)

You have provided us with more memories of good and bad times than the discovery-channel. You will be missed. Well not really, but that's only because I have the kodachrome plugins for ps. :')

Alternative ways to develop? (1)

dosun88888 (265953) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716614)

Do you actually need to process this a certain way, or can you just like scan the negatives(??) in and fix the colors?

I know absolutely nothing about photography.

Re:Alternative ways to develop? (1)

Hodapp (1175021) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716706)

Development in this case is the process which produces a negative from the exposed film.

However, once you have a negative, what you describe is indeed a viable process.

Re:Alternative ways to develop? (4, Informative)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716770)

In the case of Kodachrome, developing the film produces a POSITIVE image. Kodachrome was a slide film, afterall.

The processing for Kodachrome is FAR more involved than other slide films, because the color dyes are actually added during the processing, rather than being present in the unexposed film itself.

Re:Alternative ways to develop? (1)

Hodapp (1175021) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716802)

Shows that I know about as much about photography as the original poster...

Thanks for the enlightenment.

Re:Alternative ways to develop? (5, Informative)

e9th (652576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716748)

Kodachrome is a transparency ("slide") film, not a negative one like Kodacolor. Also, unlike conventional transparency films like Ektachrome and Fujichrome, the color dyes are not present in the emulsion when you shoot the film but are introduced during processing, which makes developing the stuff a bitch. One effect of this is that the dyes in Kodachrome are much longer lasting than those in other transparency films (the ones developed using the E-6 process).

Re:Alternative ways to develop? (1)

cptdondo (59460) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716786)

Yup; my dad still has Kodachrome slides from back in the 60s? 50s? It's the only film he's ever used that kept its color.

Every other film has faded and lost color.... There's a reason the stuff is expensive. I haven't used it in 20 years, but it still saddens me to see something that good die.

Re:Alternative ways to develop? (5, Informative)

emes (240193) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716940)

Actually, the process Kodachrome uses to produce the color is still based on the fundamental instability which plagues all chromogenic systems- even though the dye coupler is not in the emulsion(as would be the case with Kodacolor and Ektachrome), the fact is that the process is still the same. A dye coupler combines with developing agent by-products in proportion to the amount of underlying silver that is developed. I've always wondered how Kodachrome achieved greater archival permanence; maybe it is because the coupler/developing agent byproduct reaction happens only in processing and the dye coupler does not have a chance to become spoiled while unused sitting in an emulsion.

Re:Alternative ways to develop? (5, Interesting)

e9th (652576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34717314)

Every time I consider the maniacal steps involved in process K-14 [kodak.com] (small .PDF), I'm amazed that anything shows up at all.

Re:Alternative ways to develop? (4, Informative)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716754)

Just shows you how far we've come with digital photography that we actually have /.ers who don't know how film works.

Film before it is developed is light-sensitive. Developing film fixes the image on the negative and makes it no longer light-sensitive. If you scan undeveloped film you'll just get an image of gray, and you'll also expose the film to intense light which means whatever was on it is lost.

Different kinds of film require different kinds of processes to develop them (since the chemistry is different). Color film is particularly fussy about such things. Once the film is developed you get a negative and there are lots of directions you can go from there. Unless you're doing something exotic there is pretty-much only one right way to develop any particular kind of film.

Re:Alternative ways to develop? (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716958)

Kodachrome is slide film, the exposure it makes is positive not negative. I think this more shows how little you know about film, than anything about slashdot or digital photography.

Re:Alternative ways to develop? (1)

Docasman (870959) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716766)

Kodachrome is a positive film... the kind that was cut and framed into slide mounts after processing.

Re:Alternative ways to develop? (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716778)

As I understand it there are specific chemicals needed because they are applied after the negative is created and Kodak is the only people that make them (and know how). So even if you bought the equipment you would have no way to develop film because you would have the same problem as the current owner of the equipment..which is getting the chemicals.

In a story on TV the owner said he was doing GREAT business developing Kodachrome film but that he would not be able to get the chemicals anymore.

Re:Alternative ways to develop? (1)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716800)

The issue is developing the negatives. In chemical photography, you don't just expose a piece of film to light and poof! it's a negative. You have to expose the film to light briefly, then keep it in the dark. Then you have to run it through a series of chemical baths that take the molecules of the film that were altered by the light, and "fix" them so they won't be altered by light anymore, while removing the molecules that were NOT altered because no light hit them, to grossly simplify the process. (even Polaroid film does this, it is just that the chemicals are embedded in a capsule on the film, and that capsule is broken when the film is removed from the camera, causing it to bathe the film).

Certain films require different chemicals, in different sequences. The chemicals and sequences for Kodachrome film are different than for Velvia, or other films, and for Kodachrome, are much more complicated (more chemicals, more steps, with very tight control over the time the film is in the chemicals, the strength of the chemicals, the temperature, etc.) That is why, as color films with simpler processes became available, fewer and fewer shops wanted to keep all the gear to process Kodachrome around, until there was only the shop in Parson left.

So you might be able to scan a developed Kodachrome negative on a good film scanner, pull it into your computer, and do "stuff" with it, but you still have to get the film developed first.

Re:Alternative ways to develop? (1)

loshwomp (468955) | more than 3 years ago | (#34717432)

So you might be able to scan a developed Kodachrome negative on a good film scanner[...]

That would be a good trick, since there is no such thing as a Kodachrome negative. It's a positive film.

know nothing about film photography? (1)

reiisi (1211052) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716854)

First, you have to develop the film to get any kind of image at all.

Well, okay, theoretically, you could scan the film, but not with any ordinary scanner. The light from the scanner, you see, would wash the image right out.

You have to develop film to bring the image out into a form that is visible to the unaided/untrained eye. Developing also stabilizes the image so that further exposure to light doesn't wash it out.

Places to educate yourself even further (regards negative and positive process film, etc.):

kodachrome [wikipedia.org]

slide filme [wikipedia.org]

Oh, and search Google for kodachrome [google.co.jp] and, more interesting, perhaps, kodachrome negative [google.co.jp] . (Why interesting? It brought up, among other things, this [photo.net] .

I had two rolls in for the final processing (5, Interesting)

stern (37545) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716620)

Kodachrome is hard film to use; I gave up trying to take indoor photos with it years ago. I have continued to use it (about 25 rolls in the last two years), mostly because the quality of the images is obviously different from modern film or digital, and evokes nostalgia in older viewers. And I liked the bragging rights. It's no surprise that Kodachrome is gone; Kodak had been phasing it out for years -- first killing the larger format versions, then the iso25 and iso200 variants, and the motion picture film. The economics just weren't there; virtually every other color film uses identical (C41 or E6) processing chemicals, and Kodachrome used a different and apparently more toxic set. Without scale, it was more expensive to buy and process than other color films, and the emulsion can't even be scanned by most slide scanners. You're left with only nostalgia and archival properties to drive sales, enough for a small specialty chemical company perhaps, but not for Kodak.

Re:I had two rolls in for the final processing (5, Informative)

Docasman (870959) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716862)

It was a great film for astronomical photography... and I always liked the really dark blue in the sky background that no other film could give, at least on my area. Other films, positive or negative, usually turned it brown or greenish... or really green for some fujis.

Maybe its time for a new 35mm film? (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716640)

I know that most photography has gone digital, but there are enough 35mm cameras still having shutters snap that I wonder if there would be a market for a new type of color film in various ISOs. Something designed for modern use, using as non-toxic chemicals as possible (probably not likely), and perhaps with as small a grain as possible, so one wouldn't have to go with a Hasselblad or medium format to make a 11x17 with ISO 800 film.

This might be impossible, but film has a number of things over even the best digital cameras. From color gradients (256 levels of RGB versus infinite), to the fact that it is quite difficult to doctor film without that being detected (at least easier than firing up Photoshop.)

Re:Maybe its time for a new 35mm film? (1)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716676)

35mm color film is readily available but most films are print films. Kodachrome is a slide film.

Re:Maybe its time for a new 35mm film? (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716700)

Ah, but photographers are like guitarists (I know, I do both for a living) and when I pick up a cam that still works with film it is because of the much nicer grain on analog. I don't think people would really want a new sort of film. The generation that is growing up now sees only benefits in digital processing (cheaper, faster) and the fans of film love it just for it properties, like beautiful grain on high iso. But to be honest, even playboy-shoots are done with a hasselblad + digital back these days. Film is going the way of the dodo.

Re:Maybe its time for a new 35mm film? (1)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716980)

Nothing beats a good Tri-X 400 shot for black and white. The grain adds to the charm of the picture.

Re:Maybe its time for a new 35mm film? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34716702)

the Kodak Portra line: ISO 160, 400, 800 and FujiColor Pro.

Color film is still around. We are counting the days for E6 (slide) film demise. Processors are dieing off and slide film lines are disappearing.

I predict Kodak and Fuji will be out of the film business by the end of the decade. Film won't die - the film market just won't be big enough for the big boys anymore.

Re:Maybe its time for a new 35mm film? (5, Funny)

PatPending (953482) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716982)

I predict Kodak and Fuji will be out of the film business by the end of the decade.

The end of the decade is about 1 day, 7 hours, and 25 minutes from now.

No! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34717368)

The end of the decade is 2011! There was no Year 0! Or something. I think.

Wait, I've gone and confused myself now.

Re:Maybe its time for a new 35mm film? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34716712)

This is happening. Film is better than it has ever been. Last year, Kodak introduced Ektar 100, which has finer grain than any other color film out there. It's based on their motion picture technology (which if you think about that, motion picture film is essentially half of a 35mm frame blown up to the side of a building). Kodak is consolidating the rest of their products to use the same technology; they just introduced a new Portra 400, which is based on the same underlying technology, and has extremely fine grain for a 400-speed film.

Re:Maybe its time for a new 35mm film? (1)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716948)

Didn't Kodak introduce new Super 8mm film as well? I was surprised to learn that my father's Canon 310XL was still useful.

Re:Maybe its time for a new 35mm film? (1)

Rifter13 (773076) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716736)

256 gradients? I thought with a 16bit capture that number was... well, a LOT higher. I have read that the technical specs of digital have surpassed film a couple of years ago. The ONE thing that I know film can do better, is star-trail shots. Digital sensors warm up over time, and can't take REALLY extended shots.

(There is software to simulate it, but it is not really, the real thing)

Re:Maybe its time for a new 35mm film? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34717074)

I'm told that the really hardcore astrophotography crew uses CCDs backed with peltier elements or other forms of refrigeration system to keep temperatures stable and low over long shots. Now, since taking up astrophotography is pretty similar to taking up heroin in a "Percentage of income dedicated to primary hobby" sense, I don't think that much helps the 'could use film camera to take long sky exposure, cannot use digital camera for same purpose' relative dabblers...

Re:Maybe its time for a new 35mm film? (1)

Rifter13 (773076) | more than 3 years ago | (#34717206)

DAMN... yea, that's hard core. :-) Though, I think the % of income argument can be made against photography in general, especially when you move up to GOOD glass.

Re:Maybe its time for a new 35mm film? (2)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34717342)

(There is software to simulate it, but it is not really, the real thing)

Actually, it's the other way around. Astronomers were some of the first people on board for the digital backs, and they ordered some huge ones (sometimes having to resort to matrices of them...), but even amateur astronomers have been using electronic sensors for a long time now because of the benefit you get with long-term exposures (and quantum efficiency, but that's another matter to discuss some other time.)

And that benefit is that when you're stacking your images into a longer exposure, you can throw away the ones with streaks from the lights of the airplane that passed overhead in the middle of your session.

Re:Maybe its time for a new 35mm film? (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716924)

With modern cameras having increased color depth the gradients are becoming less of an issue. Also, while film is analog that doesn't mean that it can accurately distinguish arbitrarily close shades of color. If you took a photo of two light sources that were only slightly different in intensity at some point you couldn't tell the difference with film.

I think the biggest problem you're going to run into is supply and demand. Is there really enough demand out there for a fancy new film chemistry that people will pay significantly more per roll to get it? If people won't pay more for it, then why develop it in the first place?

At this point digital is basically better than film already, and it will only continue to improve. Sure, your $80 walmart camera won't outperform film, but any serious camera will. And, at $7 to make one copy of 24 exposures (with none of the workflow benefits of digital for screening/editing/etc), it doesn't take a lot of shots before buying a $2000 digital camera makes sense.

At a typical serious holiday like Christmas I probably shoot 200 photos and get at least 20 good keepers out of the bunch. If I just stick them on a webpage my total cost is zero. If I print the keepers I'd pay about $2.50 for them, or a bit more if I want big prints (which will all turn out beautiful). Oh, picking out those 20 just takes a few minutes in Lightroom, and cleaning them up takes maybe a minute per photo unless I want to do something really fancy.

If I did the same with film I'd end up spending about $60 up-front to print 180 lousy or mediocre photos and 20 potential keepers (with no editing). Then I'd fuss with scanning the 20 keepers to clean them up and make them nicer, and then pay the $2.50 and whatever else I was going to spend. Oh, and I churn at least a few days with multiple runs to the film processor. In reality I'd shoot a lot less to reduce waste, and get a few keepers on a single roll (higher percentage, but smaller absolute number).

For a serious photographer I imagine the improvement in workflow using digital would be huge.

Are there really any workflows left where film is the right choice, rather than just the status quo? I know that in the lab we moved to image plates for auto-radiography back in the 90s (several more orders of magnitude dynamic range, no fussing with chemicals, and no need for the darkroom). I guess their disposable nature works for dosimeters, unless somebody has come up with something more clever.

Re:Maybe its time for a new 35mm film? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34717434)

>Are there really any workflows left where film is the right choice, rather than just the status quo?

Large format is still a common norm in high fashion photography, but in the shoots where you have the studio view camera, you are *also* shooting the set with your digital Hasselblad or whatever. In any case, there's a point of convergence where the distinctions are about your glass and your lighting, and the whole digital vs. analog thing is out the window anyway.

Re:Maybe its time for a new 35mm film? (1)

Hodapp (1175021) | more than 3 years ago | (#34717110)

This might be impossible, but film has a number of things over even the best digital cameras. From color gradients (256 levels of RGB versus infinite), to the fact that it is quite difficult to doctor film without that being detected (at least easier than firing up Photoshop.)

Well, to be fair, film also has its limitations with the levels it can store. It's not exactly an even comparison, but it has a measure called film density which (if memory serves me) is a logarithm of the ratio of the amount of silver exposed in the most developed areas, to the amount of silver exposed in the least developed areas. This measure is around 2.8 for negatives and 3.2 for slides, and each step of 0.1 means an extra 1/3 of a stop of available range. As a change of 1 stop means a doubling of range, corresponding roughly to one bit of dynamic range, this gives equivalent bit depths between about 9 and 11. But like I said, it's not an even comparison... but it's not anywhere near infinite either.

Also, most digital cameras nowadays have ADCs that quantize to somewhere between 10 and 16 bits, not 8.

Re:Maybe its time for a new 35mm film? (1)

RDW (41497) | more than 3 years ago | (#34717452)

Kodak Ektar 100, which was launched about 2 years ago, is maybe the closest current film to what you're suggesting. It's very fine-grained and designed for scanning, though you only get ISO 100, and the chemistry is standard C41 colour negative (which realistically it has to be - nobody is going to do R&D on an entirely new film process at this point, and finding decent local processing is already hard enough):

http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-path=13328 [kodak.com]

Remaining inventory (4, Interesting)

PatPending (953482) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716650)

I just went to the refrigerator and removed 25 rolls of Kodachrome 64 36 exp. -- paid $8.20 per roll ($205 total). They've been in there since 2002. I've been meaning to shoot them ever since Kodak made their announcement last year but alas work prevented me from taking two scheduled vacations this year to do so. Sigh. I suppose now there's nothing left to do with it except throw it away.

Re:Remaining inventory (4, Interesting)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716790)

Or you could just put it in your closet for a couple of decades and sell it at one of those camera shows that are constantly being put together somewhere. It will then be an antique and a conversation piece.

Re:Remaining inventory (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716818)

I just went to the refrigerator and removed 25 rolls of Kodachrome 64 36 exp. -- paid $8.20 per roll ($205 total). They've been in there since 2002. I've been meaning to shoot them ever since Kodak made their announcement last year but alas work prevented me from taking two scheduled vacations this year to do so. Sigh. I suppose now there's nothing left to do with it except throw it away.

One word - eBay.

Okay that's actually three words. And now it's twelve.

Re:Remaining inventory (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34716842)

well, you could shove it up your ass you faggot!

Re:Remaining inventory (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34716926)

You can hand process it as a black and white film. Not a complete waste! I shot my first and only roll of 16mm Kodachrome a couple weeks ago and sent it the other day.

Re:Remaining inventory (3, Informative)

Tenser234 (973242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34716992)

Dwayne is still doing limited runs. Its just not commercial anymore.

Re:Remaining inventory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34717238)

No. After they process the film received by today, they are shutting down their K-14 processing forever. If you didn't get your film in, you've got a strip of plastic.

ebay (1)

reiisi (1211052) | more than 3 years ago | (#34717032)

Hmm. The process is known, but it is complicated (tricky, it sounds like, since you have to re-expose the film several times to different colors of light (which may be part of the reason for the vivid colors?)) and use chemicals even more poisonous than those used in the more common processes.

But I'm going to guess that there will be amateurs/independents who try to reproduce the process for those people whose rolls didn't make it to Dwayne's in time for the last cans of the official chemicals.

Re:Remaining inventory (1)

d235j (1434583) | more than 3 years ago | (#34717438)

I'd keep them in the freezer. If the person who purchased the K-Lab figures out how to process it, maybe it will still be of use.

inform4tive tacotaco (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34717026)

[mit.edu] 4found milestones, Telling coming a piss

I can still develop those. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34717072)

I can still develop it but in black and white, or some other funky colours. It is a positive image I suck at developing those by hand.

Re:I can still develop those. (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 3 years ago | (#34717456)

I used to do Ektachrome 16mm processing. It was an extremely finicky 8-bath process that required seriously controlled temperatures and an *exposure* step that was always a nail-biter. Knowing that Kodachrome process was *far* more difficult that Ektachrome is kind of mind-boggling.

Clueless on eBay (1)

jms (11418) | more than 3 years ago | (#34717216)

I'm amused at the apparently clueless people on eBay bidding against each other for film that can no longer be processed. There are several examples of multiple bids on auctions for unexposed film ending tomorrow.

*sigh* (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#34717262)

Another hit for the analog world. In a few more years, real quality will just be a distant memory and all we will have are 'samples'.

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