subscribe: Posts | Comments

Good Night Kodachrome

1 comment
Good Night Kodachrome

The last day of processing for all types of Kodachrome film will be December 30th, 2010. The last day Kodak will accept prepaid 35mm Kodachrome film in Europe is November 30th, 2010.

Dwaynes Photo, Parsons, KS, is the last spot on Earth processing Kodachrome.

For lifelong photo buffs like myself, this is a day to pause, recall all those great photos we’ve taken with Kodachrome, and walk down memory lane by looking through our slide collections.

Kodachrome is the trademarked brand name of a type of color reversal film that was manufactured by Eastman Kodak from 1935 to 2009. Kodachrome was the first successfully mass-marketed color still film using a subtractive method, in contrast to earlier additive “screenplate” methods such as Autochrome and Dufaycolor, and remained the oldest brand of color film.

Over its 74-year production, Kodachrome was produced in formats to suit various still and motion picture cameras, including 8mm, Super 8, 16mm, and 35mm for movies and 35mm, 120, 110, 126, 828, and large format for still photography. It was for many years used for professional color photography, especially for images intended for publication in print media.

Kodachrome required complex processing that could not practicably be carried out by amateurs. The film was sold with processing included in the purchase price except in the United States, where a 1954 legal ruling ended that practice.

Kodachrome is appreciated in the archival and professional market for its color accuracy and dark-storage longevity. Because of these qualities, Kodachrome was used by professional photographers like Steve McCurry and Alex Webb. McCurry used Kodachrome for his well-known 1984 portrait of Sharbat Gula, the “Afghan Girl” for the National Geographic magazine. It was also used by Walton Sound and Film Services in the UK in 1953 for the only official 16mm film of the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second. Subsequent prints for sale to the public were also produced using Kodachrome.

Kodachrome was invented in the early 1930s by two professional musicians, Leopold Godowsky, Jr. and Leopold Mannes; hence the comment that “Kodachrome was made by God and Man”. It was first sold in 1935 as 16 mm movie film. In 1936 it was made available in 8 mm movie film, and slide film in both 35mm and 828 formats. Kodachrome would eventually be produced in a wide variety of film formats including 120 and 4×5, and in ISO/ASA values ranging from 8 to 200.

Kodachrome was featured in the 1973 Paul Simon song “Kodachrome”, and Kodachrome Basin State Park in Utah, has been named after it — the only park named for a brand of film

Leave a Reply