Posts Tagged ‘Kodak Alaris’

Kodak Marketing Executive Says Kodachrome Could be The Next Film to Make a Comeback

January 24, 2017

It almost sounds too good to be true, but there is hope that Kodak Alaris might bring back Kodachrome slide film.

kodachromeReports have surfaced on photography websites that Kodak is considering resurrecting what is, arguably, one of its most famous products.

In the wake of an announcement that Ektachrome would return to the market later this year, Kodak Chief Marketing Officer Steve Overman responded to questions about whether Kodachrome might be next.

“We get asked all the time by filmmakers and photographers alike, ‘are you gonna bring back some of these iconic film stocks like Kodachrome . . . , ” Overman said earlier this month during CES, a global consumer electronics and technology show. “I will say, we are investigating Kodachrome, looking at what it would take to bring that back . . . Ektachrome is a lot easier and faster to bring back to market . . . but people love Kodak’s heritage products and I feel, personally, that we have a responsibility to deliver on that love.”

Aside from Ektachrome, Kodak is also bringing back the Super 8 camera.

Some would argue quite strenuously that its rich colors made Kodachrome the best color film. Period.

But it was also a complex film to process and the cost of doing that was a major contributor to the film’s 2011 demise when the last lab in the country to process Kodachrome developed its last roll. Kodak had stopped manufacturing Kodachrome in 2009.

Aside from the fond memories of thousands — and  maybe millions — of photographers who used Kodachrome, there are some who still have rolls of Kodachrome film, some of it exposed but never processed, stashed away on shelves or in freezers.

If Kodachrome does make a comeback, look for a lot of film cameras to come out of the closet as the novelty factor kicks in.

I Felt Good About the Return of My Friend Etkachrome Even if Only for a Fleeting Moment

January 9, 2017

I don’t use film anymore but found interesting the news that Kodak is bringing back Etkachrome slide film.

on-photography-newI was a big user of Etkachrome until I bought a DSLR camera in July 2011. I shot my last frame of slide film a year later.

The rebirth of Etkachrome is good news for such slide shooters in the Akron Railroad Club as Marty Surdyk, Jim Mastromatteo, Richard Antibus, Don Woods and Dave Shepherd.

Kodak Alaris, the company that took over Kodak’s film products, said there has been increasing interest in analog photography and sales of film products are on the rise.

Those making images of railroad operations on film can expect to continue doing so for the foreseeable future.

Yet I am reminded of a discussion we had at Eat ‘n Park last year during the post-ARRC meeting social hour about how the last lab in Akron that does E6 processing would be discontinuing that service.

Marty said he had a couple of rolls of film that were being held “hostage” by Cleveland-based Dodd Camera because the machine it uses for E6 processing was broken and it wasn’t certain when or if it would get fixed.

The upshot of those developments is that local photographers might need to ship their slide film by mail to get it processed.

The availability of slide film is unlikely to become any more convenient than it has been for the past several years. You have to visit a camera store to buy it or order it by mail.

Nor is the return of Etkachrome likely to signal a substantial return to film among railroad photographers.

In reading the comments on a photography website about the Etkachrome revival, I got the impression that film is a niche market heavily populated by professionals and serious amateurs who are invested in digital and film alike.

Film has its advantages, but cost is not one of them. Many who posted spoke about the high cost of buying and processing film, which can average around a dollar a slide.

If you want to show your slides to the world, you just about have to digitize them because there are few opportunities to see slides projected on a screen or wall. Social media is a digital world.

Although I grew up in a film world and most of my photography career has been in film, I sold my Canon Rebel G after going digital and there is a zero chance I’ll go back to film. The advantages of digital photography are just too many.

Emotional attachment and reaction is at the heart of photography. The return of Etkachrome is like hearing from a friend you haven’t been in touch with for several years who was once a big part of your life.

Even if the renewal of that friendship is fleeting, it feels good to know that he is still alive and well even if living a diminished life.

Kodak Ektachrome Slide Film Making Comeback

January 7, 2017

Kodak Alaris said this week that it will bring back Kodak Ektachrome professional slide film in the fourth quarter of this year.

The color reversal film will be made for 135-36x camera formats and will have an ISO of 100.

More than likely, this will be the last roll of Kodak Ektachrome slide film that I will use.

Discontinued in 2012, Kodak Alaris said in a news release that Ektachrome was known for its extremely fine grain, clean colors, tones and contrasts.

The company noted that photographers for National Geographic magazine used Ektachrome film for several decades.

The company said there has been an increase in interest in analog photography, which has driven demand for film products.

The news release said sales of professional photographic films has risen in recent years because some photographers have been drawn to “the artistic control offered by manual processes and the creative satisfaction of a physical end product.”

The revived Ektachrome, like its discontinued counterpart, will use E6 processing. Kodak has never ceased making color negative film.

Concurrent with the reintroduction of Ektachrome slide film Kodak is bringing back Ektachrome Super 8 film.