Demise of Kodachrome 200?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by TheDave©, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. TheDave©

    TheDave© Guest

    I read that Kodachrome 200 has been effectively discontinued, but that
    Kodak isn't making any official announcements. Is this rumour, or
    pretty much known fact?

    If it's true, and 64 is the only version left, what would be the
    long-term potential for developing is one were to stockpile a bunch of

    I'd be interested in buying some and tossing it in the freezer. I
    don't use it alot, but I do like it and would like to have some
    TheDave©, Mar 12, 2007
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  2. I'd rate it as "exciting" as there's only 2 places left to develop it,
    in the world...
    Toni Nikkanen, Mar 12, 2007
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  3. I'm not answering, just reminiscing.. I could never come to terms
    with K200. I loved the slow Kodachromes (K25 and K64 in that order)
    for their pristine, understated colours and that wonderful
    grainlessness. K200 was/is a good film, but I just didn't like it
    because of the inevitable, but rather odd, graininess it has - it just
    didn't look right, with the K-colour and grain together.... Only ever
    shot two rolls.

    And I *really* started to lose interest in film the day K25 was
    withdrawn. That, to me, was the day film died... (sob) I still use
    film, but it's not the same without my old friend...
    mark.thomas.7, Mar 12, 2007
  4. TheDave©

    Robert Guest

    If they do stop making the Kodachromes I wonder how long they would
    keep the processing lab(s) open. A stock in the freezer is no use of
    there's nowhere to send it for processing.

    (who has a stock in the freezer)
    Robert, Mar 12, 2007
  5. TheDave©

    Tony Polson Guest

    I think a closure date for the lab in Switzerland has already been
    announced, although it is still operating at this time. That will
    leave just one lab in the USA.
    Tony Polson, Mar 12, 2007
  6. Wasn't the lab in Switzerland already closed last autumn? Anyway,
    there's also a lab in Japan, making it a grand total of two labs,
    neither of which are Kodak-owned.

    By the way, if Kodak indeed sells its film division as has been
    rumoured, what would Kodakchrome lovers suggest to the new management
    if they want to give a shot at keeping the stuff alive? And please do
    keep the concept of profitable business in mind.
    Toni Nikkanen, Mar 12, 2007
  7. I think the problem is that your average customer does not like the
    Kodachrome "look". Everyone complains that Kodachrome is next
    to impossible to process (it uses 14 steps and several of them are
    enviornmentaly "unfriendly"), uses a different manufacturing
    process so it needs special machines, and produces slides.

    At one time Kodak produced a negative film, Ektar 25 and 100 that had the
    same "look". Prints from Ektar 25 were very close to prints from K25 slides.
    It was a standard C-41 film and produced on the same line as their other
    color films.

    While I and several other people on this list loved it, most people did not
    and the 25 was dropped and the 100 "replaced" with something more conventional

    In the end I don't think that it's the special manufacturing or processing
    that is killing of Kodachrome, it's the lack of customers.

    While many black and white films have become the products of small
    manufacturers, Kodachrome is too complex and too expensive for them
    to manufacture, even if Kodak gave them a license for free.

    It's like several of the other classic films such as Panatomic-X, Tech-Pan,
    etc. How much would you pay for a roll? How many would you buy? One
    roll at $10 each won't make it worth it. 100 at $20 each might, but how
    many people would do it, and how often?

    I think at one time Kodak said they would produce anything they could if
    you bought 10,000 rolls. Could you get 1000 people to buy 10? Cash in

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Mar 12, 2007
  8. TheDave©

    TheDave© Guest

    Yet, the average customer will marvel at National Geographic pictures.
    Go figure.
    I kind of vaguely remember something like that. I guess for the loyal
    customers who did/do like Kodochrome, they weren't ready for "new and
    I think this hits the nail on the head. The expense and complexity
    almost requires that you have a larger than normal minimum customer
    base to make it worthwhile. Business-wise, I mean.
    Ten isn't much. I would think 1000 would buy 10. It's the rounding up
    of these 1000 people that would be difficult.
    TheDave©, Mar 12, 2007
  9. TheDave©

    TheDave© Guest

    Overall, I prefer 64, also, but I find 200 great for winter. The grain
    of 200 can make snow look great.
    TheDave©, Mar 12, 2007
  10. TheDave©

    Tony Polson Guest

    I received three sets of slides from the Swiss lab in this morning's
    Surely the Swiss lab is Kodak-owned?
    I don't think that Kodachrome will last much longer than a couple of
    years, regardless of who owns Kodak's film business by then. In the
    meantime, am shooting as much as I can on Kodachrome before it goes
    for good.
    Tony Polson, Mar 12, 2007
  11. Did they really come from Switzerland though? Rumor has it they just
    get re-routed to USA and back, if you send them to Switzerland.
    I've got one roll of my own to send, too...
    Toni Nikkanen, Mar 12, 2007
  12. TheDave©

    Summer Wind Guest

    Happy shooting with what many consider to be the best film ever made.

    The "how long will Kodachrome survive" guessing game predates the digital
    era. The long wait to get your slides back and processing complexity and
    toxicity have always been issues. The new and improved E-6 films were
    touted as the last nail in Kodachrome's coffin. Now it's digital. This has
    to be the longest deathwatch in product history. The bottom line is that no
    one really knows and, as has been pointed out, the size of the customer base
    is the key. I was never a heavy Kodachrome user, but you've inspired me to
    shoot a few rolls while I still can. I'll have to find a subject that is
    worthy of the excellent color and long keeping qualities of Kodachrome.
    Self-portraits come to mind. :)

    Summer Wind, Mar 12, 2007
  13. TheDave©

    gowanoh Guest

    I have not used Kodachrome in years and its passing is somewhat sad but how
    can you miss what you do not use?
    In any event the "look" of classic slide films can be reproduced in digital
    prints better than it would have ever been seen in wet prints made from
    You just don't get to hold that colorful little cardboard square in your
    hand . . .
    gowanoh, Mar 12, 2007
  14. Hi Dave,

    This is somewhat old news/rumor, and just another example of why Usenet -
    and this group in particular - is no longer the place to come for
    traditional photographic information. Almost all of the truly
    film-knowledgeable people have left the building.

    Scoot on over to and do an English forum search on
    'Kodachrome'. You will find mountains of current information to peruse.
    The people that have moved to APUG are more often 'in the know.' This is
    because many currently are, or were, industry leaders in the various
    traditional photographic fields.

    In particular, look for Kodachrome-related posts by one Ron Mowrey (handle:
    'Photo Engineer'). Unlike those who frequent these environs, Mr. Mowrey
    actually worked directly on the product during a long career at Kodak
    (including the never-released 400-speed T-grain version of Kodachrome) and,
    I seem to recall, holds or co-holds patents related to the Kodachrome
    process itself.

    It's been a long time since that level of authoritativeness was present in
    this group - or on Usenet in general...

    Ken Nadvornick, Mar 12, 2007
  15. TheDave©

    Pudentame Guest

    AFAIK, there's only one lab left that processes Kodachrome. You should
    be in good shape as long as it doesn't go out of business.

    OTOH, I still have one Kodachrome64 cartridge left in 110 format, and
    one 36 exposure roll of Kodachrome25, so there's now effectively a small
    private museum of film history in the back of my freezer.
    Pudentame, Mar 13, 2007
  16. TheDave©

    Pudentame Guest

    I dunno. Now that I'm operating a minilab, I see people come in and drop
    $40 at a time printing digital 4x6 prints at $.22 apiece ... regularly,
    like twice a week. Fill the card and print everything.

    But people don't think ahead anyway. We charge more for one hour prints
    and people put it in for that, then come back to get it the next day,
    when they could save money by just putting it in for next-day printing.

    So I don't think it's the cost. It's a perception of the effort involved.
    Pudentame, Mar 13, 2007
  17. TheDave©

    Pudentame Guest

    Whether digital reproduction gives a "better" print is a matter of
    personal opinion and taste. Some will agree with you, I do not.
    Pudentame, Mar 13, 2007
  18. TheDave©

    Robert Guest

    The Lausanne box 1001 is just a postal address now They fly your
    film to the USA, process it, and fly it back again. . The style of
    mounts changed from plastic to cardboard at the time of the closure.

    Robert, Mar 13, 2007
  19. TheDave©

    Tony Polson Guest

    Thanks for that, Robert. That certainly explains the card mounts.

    If there is no longer a Kodak lab in Lausanne, I wonder why I have to
    pay air mail postage to Switzerland when Kodak UK could forward it to
    the USA instead? I am using large amounts of Kodachrome and the cost
    of air mail from the UK to Switzerland is high - not helped by the
    fact that there is some confusion over the correct rate of postage.
    Tony Polson, Mar 13, 2007
  20. TheDave©

    Tony Polson Guest

    There is no way of reproducing the qualities of Cibachrome
    (Ilfochrome) printing using inkjet printers.
    Tony Polson, Mar 13, 2007
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