Posts Tagged ‘Kodak’

The Way it Was: Low Cost Train Watching, Dropping Film at the Processing Plant

March 6, 2022

Some of you may remember having met Lou Sabetto in Berea in past years.

He photographed Cleveland railroad operations between the 1930s and 1980s before his death.

Although Sabetto had a vast photograph collection, it is thought to have been lost after he entered an assisted living facility due to heath issues.

Sheldon Lustig, another Berea regular, once commented that when he asked Sabetto how he was cataloging his collection, he pointed to his head and said “it’s all up here.”

Lustig recently related another story about Sabetto in an email distributed to subscribers of the Northern Ohio Association of Railway Societies email list.

Sabetto would pack two lunches and during the summer ride a streetcar to the East Cleveland station after work to catch the New York Central’s train 244, a local to Buffalo, New York, or No. 46, the Interstate Express. He would disembark in Painesville and spend the next few hours watching trains.

That included a the eastbound Fifth Avenue Special, Advance Commodore Vanderbilt, Southwestern Limited, New England States, Cleveland Limited, Ohio State Limited, Commodore Vanderbilt, and Twentieth Century Limited.

Eastbound trains included the South Shore Express, Empire State Express, and Pittsburgh-Cleveland Express.

Sabetto would then board Train 5, the Mohawk, back to East Cleveland and board another streetcar to go home. The cost for all of this was less than $3.

Another memory of how it used to be was recently shared by David Oroszi of Dayton.

Kodak has a film processing facility in Findlay, Ohio, and by its front door was a yellow mailbox.

Photographers who had purchased mailers could drop their slide film in that box and save on postage.

There was another benefit to dropping off film directly at the processing facility.

You not only saved on postage but greatly reduced the chance that your film would get lost in the mail.

“So many times we would go out of our way to drop off film right at the plant,” Oroszi wrote.

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.

Its Curtains for Kodak Ektachrome Slide Film

March 4, 2012

Shown is the last box of Ektachrome that Akron Railroad Club President Craig Sanders will ever likely buy. Indeed, he photographed it with the digital camera he purchased last July.

The dwindling band of railfan photographers who still capture images on slide film got some bad news last week. In a development that probably surprised no one,  Eastman Kodak announced that it will cease making all slide films, including its Ektachrome color reversal film

The move will end 77 years of manufacturing slide film for the iconic film company, which in January sought bankruptcy protection.

Kodak blamed “a steady decrease in sales and customer usage, combined with highly complex product formulation and manufacturing processes.” Kodak offers three types of Ektachrome: E100VS, E100G and Elite Chrome Extra Color 100.

In 2009 Kodak discontinued its popular Kodachrome slide film, which arguably was the most popular slide film among railroad photographers before the digital era began.

Kodak said the end of slide film production would not affect any other films that it makes, including color negative and black and white films.

Presumably, slide shooters will continue to be able to purchase Fuji slide film.