Could Kodak still make K25?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by railwayman3, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

    Messages:
    2,025
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    In the forum on kodachromeproject.com, a correspondent has wondered if Kodak could make some sort of Special Edition 75th Anniv packs of Kodachrome 25, given the facilities which they still retain.

    A reply states:-
    "The short answer...NO.
    The long answer... After Kodak's building Thirteen was shut down, Kodachrome production had to move to another building. KR64 made the switch somewhat easily, but KM200 and KL25 were different. The switch to another building had a negative effect on the production, and many rolls had to be tossed. Kodachrome 200 had enough saled to justify the wasted rolls at the time, but Kodachrome 25 just didn't. So, instead of wasting thousands of dollars of film to make a master roll which would last one year, they decided to discontinue it. This was told to me by a former Kodak employee."

    Does anyone know the accuracy of this....maybe Photo Engineer could comment? It would be great if Kodak could produce some kind of commemorative souvenirs, even if it were only special packs of K64.
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,770
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Not accurate.

    All sales were down such that only 1 run was done each year to supply the world. If that was not sold in a year, the production would have to slip to every other year or some such. One master roll makes about 30,000 rolls of 35mm film. If Kodak produced 1 roll of each that would be 3 master rolls. If sales were 75,000 rolls / year WW then 15,000 rolls would go bad and be returned assuming even distribution. So, a low limit on production is 1 roll. The winner stays in production.

    As for special packaging, yes, they do it all the time. Often, they gave out extra special packages to employees and I have several such packages. Whether they can do it for Kodachrome 64 is another matter based on sales.

    Now, the germ of truth in the matter. The Kodachrome product line is the most difficult to be manufactured. Shifting over to the new coating machine did increase problems, and sales dictated that there was no profit in doing the amount of R&D to fix the problems. So, they kept things going as long as possible and then discontinued them.

    The hint here, I tell everyone who personally contacts me (people do this continually, and I don't mind), that the clue is in Dwaynes yearly throughput. Ask them how much Kodachrome they run each year! That will tell you clearly what state the product is in as they are the only clearing house for this film. I know the statistics and it is grim!

    PE
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,940
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    As I recall, wasn't there an issue of some component becoming unavailable or too expensive or too difficult to deal with in light of new environmental regulations with K25?
     
  4. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,770
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Not that I know of. I heard the same thing about a Fuji film, and that they recently brought it back but using a different substitute chemical. May be true, maybe not for either story David. I do know that all 3 films (well 4 if you add in the 400 film) were reengineered to be environmentally benign way back in the 70s and 80s.

    PE
     
  5. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

    Messages:
    1,749
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    Tufts Univer
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Yes but it would involve coating 30,000 rolls which simply will not sell.

    I guess my dwaynes statistic of 2500 rolls a day is out of date...

    PE: I thought that Kodachrome was fairly simple to coat having only four layers (r,g,yellow filter, and b) compared with any other color film with the included couplers and the only problem was processing, the tricky part being getting everything calibrated and having enough throughput to perform quick chemistry turnovers.

    I found couplers and wanted to try that process but I don't have a lot of money to burn. One might be able to make a small fortune on a sink line version because of all the 120 kc64 out there. You can take as long as you want to re-expose...
     
  6. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

    Messages:
    1,749
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    Tufts Univer
    Shooter:
    35mm
    why not have some 75th anniversery someone work out a sinkline k14 process and cut us some 4x5s of kc64?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2008
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,770
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    IDK where you came up with 2500 rolls, as that would be many master rolls / year which is not so.

    Kodachrome, at its simplest has 6 layers. /OC/Y/CLS/M/IL/C/AH/Support/Remjet/

    For simplcity, I consider AH and Remjet to be excluded. At its most complex, the fast/medium/slow components are in different layers and I don't remember the structure well enough after all of these years and products under the dam as it were.....

    The 35mm is on 5 mil and sheet film must be on 7 mil support to prevent buckling and to match the focal plane. Cannot make sheet film well from roll film. Too many fundamental problems. Considering the chemical costs and labor, it is a losing proposition as you allude to in your post.

    pe
     
  8. RScherzer

    RScherzer Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    dWAYNES STATS

    I can't send film to Dwaynes for processing if I can't buy the film to shoot.:mad:
     
  9. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,045
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2005
    Location:
    Monroe, WA, USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Then I guess it's time I send off to Dwayne's the two rolls that have been patiently waiting in my darkroom...

    Ken
     
  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,770
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you buy the film, shoot it and process it, both Kodak and Dwaynes will be delighted and production will be adjusted accordingly. You see?

    PE
     
  11. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,045
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2005
    Location:
    Monroe, WA, USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes, actually I do see.

    In fact, I tried that very approach with a number of other Kodak products as well. And I came to realize that it all depends on who is defining the entity "you." (Hint: It wasn't me...)

    Ken
     
  12. 3Dfan

    3Dfan Member

    Messages:
    218
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Why bring back the old K25? If Kodak were to hypothetically bring it back, I'd want an ASA 50 2-electron sensitized version of K25. And then they can upgrade the 64 version to ASA 125 while they're at it. I'd shoot a lot more Kodachrome if they did that.
     
  13. accozzaglia

    accozzaglia Member

    Messages:
    559
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Location:
    Sweet home T
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Oooh. And 200 would be 400, giving us the 400 which never really propagated itself in the market. :smile:

    One can hopelessly dream. I love this stuff. Shame my dad forbade me from using his Minolta or from coaxing me into photography when I really wanted to get started. He shot with Kodachrome (he amassed rings upon rings of slide shows, none of which I've seen since probably about 1987), and I know I would have shot with Kodachrome as well had he explained to me what it was (and he well could have, given that his B.S. degree was in chemistry).

    I'm just gobsmacked at how it was 2008 before I picked up my first roll. In the late 1990s, when I started shooting on my own, the camera shop where I used to buy my film nudged me away from Kodachrome (never really explaining how it differed qualitatively or by showing comparative examples, but saying that processing and cost could be slower and costlier, respectively) and towards the E-6 chromes of Fuji and Kodak (mostly starting with Sensia and working into the Multispeeds and Provias). In other words, my first era of being a photog was steered away from Kodachrome because I didn't know what made it special and no one bothered showing the difference.

    The irony in my dad 86'ing me from using photography equipment under most cases is that I shot perhaps some of the best images taken of his second wedding a few years ago. Oh well. Better late than never.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. p3200TMZ

    p3200TMZ Member

    Messages:
    37
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2007
    Location:
    Sydney, Aust
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Why should Kodak bring back Kodachrome 25? Because there is no replacement. Some of the new E-6 super-fine grain film probably come close replacing K64, but there is no E-6 equivalent of K25. While there have been a steady supply of new B&W slow speed emulsions to surface, Efke 25, Rollei Pan 25, Adox 20 and 25, etc and etc, there is nothing the color shooter can use to replace K25 except possibly a 20mp plus digital sensor.

    Of all the films to bite the dust I was the most unhappy with the demise of K25 and wish most for the return of K25 or a modern replacement.
     
  16. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

    Messages:
    2,025
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    PE - Thanks for that comprehensive reply. I guess that we have to just hold our breath that the world's requirements of K64 don't fall below one-coating-per-year. And I'd also suppose that some of Dwaynes' throughput is from the stock of film in the system, from which Kodak has already received the sales income....as a keen photographer, I probably have enough Kodachrome in my freezer to last my own needs for a couple of years, even if I bought no more in the meantime.

    Realistically, we are very unlikely to see a revival of any old or new types of Kodachrome, so I suppose we enjoy just it while we can. Guess it's not the biggest worry in the World right now.

    A special 75th Anniv packing of K64 could be the best we might hope for. Certainly the packs sold in the UK at present are very simple...plain box, prepaid mailer and film, no instructions leaflet or data on the inside of the box. Really no incentive for anyone unfamiliar with the film. :sad:
     
  17. Robert Budding

    Robert Budding Member

    Messages:
    467
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Location:
    Arlington, M
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I'd be overjoyed if they'd just give me K64 in 120!
     
  18. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,770
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Since present day Kodachrome uses 1970s - 1980s technology, if they were to redesign it today, a 100 speed film would look more like K25 than anything else. However, it would take about 5 years R&D work and millions. The product line will not support that, as it is barely returning costs as it is now.

    If it falls below cost, as I noted in my other post, then it will be GWTW.

    PE
     
  19. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

    Messages:
    2,950
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2004
    Location:
    South Bend,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    For the anniversary Kodak could run a promotion offering a small rebate on a purchase of a few rolls. That would be a nice gesture, and it might help sell more film.
     
  20. GeoffHill

    GeoffHill Member

    Messages:
    298
    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Location:
    Newcastle, E
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Its only £6.50 a roll at 7dayshop. I'm going to do my bit by ordering a pile :smile:
     
  21. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

    Messages:
    730
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    Fairfield, C
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Ron is probably the only one that would know how to process it today...
     
  22. Aurum

    Aurum Member

    Messages:
    923
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Location:
    Landrover Ce
    Shooter:
    Medium Format

    B***dy H**L, Boots are charging over £12!

    Hmmm, Website, Credit card, Film, Upset bank manager
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2008
  23. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

    Messages:
    2,025
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    ^^^Aurum.

    £12.49 at Boots last week. But 3 for 2 offer on film, so I got effectively got three for £8.33 each. Taking off the VAT (which 7-day Shop doesn't charge from Guernsey) gives £7.09, which is not too far from 7-day price.

    But that's just playing with figures....mail order certainly pays if you need more than two or three films.

    It did occur to me that buying at Boots shows them there is still a demand....and I got a voucher for 20 free d*****l prints :rolleyes: and a free sample of shaving foam. :D
     
  24. Marco B

    Marco B Member

    Messages:
    2,981
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    The Netherla
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well, with Kodachrome 64 allegedly having one of the highest resolutions in 35 mm color film, the shaving foam might come in handy for your next self portrait, if you don't want the subsequent drum or Imacon scan to reveal every last bit of body hair and make you look like some sort of tramp. :D
     
  25. GeoffHill

    GeoffHill Member

    Messages:
    298
    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Location:
    Newcastle, E
    Shooter:
    35mm
    7ds also want £5 for postage. its only cheaper than boots for 6 films or more.

    I wait and order 20 films at a time from them, and chuck them in the fridge
     
  26. Craig

    Craig Subscriber

    Messages:
    784
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    Location:
    Calgary
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I dropped off a roll for processing yesterday, and picked up 3 that had come back. One of the ones that came back was my last roll of processing included K64.