June 30, 2009

Kodak retire Kodachrome Color Film

Eastman Kodak Company announces that it will retire Kodachrome Color Film this year, concluding its 74-year run as a photography icon.
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.
While Kodak now derives about 70% of its revenues from commercial and consumer digital businesses, it is the global leader in the film business. Kodak has continued to bring innovative new film products to market, including seven new professional still films and several new Vision2 and Vision3 motion picture films in the past three years. These new still film products are among those that have become the dominant choice for those professional and advanced amateur photographers who use Kodak Films.
Kodachrome is a complex film to manufacture and an even more complex film to process. There is only one remaining photofinishing lab in the world – Dwayne’s Photo in Parsons, Kansas – that processes Kodachrome Film, precisely because of the difficulty of processing. This lack of widespread processing availability, as well as the features of newer films introduced by Kodak over the years, has accelerated the decline of demand for Kodachrome Film.
During its run, Kodachrome Film filled a special niche in the annals of the imaging world. It was used to capture some of the best-known photographs in history, while also being the film of choice for family slide shows of the Baby Boom generation.
Kodak estimates that current supplies of Kodachrome Film will last until early this fall at the current sales pace. Dwayne’s Photo has indicated it will continue to offer processing for the film through 2010. Current Kodachrome Film users are encouraged to try other Kodak Films, such as Kodak Professional Ektachrome E100G and Ektar 100 Film. These films both feature extremely fine grain.