I looked at what goes into making Kodachrome because I was curious and I found that it is quite a complex film both to manufacture, and to process.
I would like to propose a more viable option, why not ask Kodak to put more effort into making an E-6 process film that displays the same color range as Kodachrome. Yes, there would still be those that would reject it as nothing more than an impostor, but still there are others that would embrace it.
Kodachrome has been on life support for a long time now, and Kodak was right to pull the plug on it. The only reason we can't a better slide film from Kodak is because they have been leaning on Kodachrome like a crutch and using it as an excuse to not produce a better E-6 process film. Now that Kodachrome is gone maybe Kodak will put out something to go up against Velvia and win. I have a feeling that the chemists at Kodak would love the challenge, and now that the bean counters can't lean on Kodachrome maybe the E-6 Kodachrome project will get a green light.
Honestly if you really want Kodak to bring back Kodachrome you have to ask yourself this, when is the last time someone invited you over to see the slides of their anything? Do you own a slide projector? Do you know anyone that is shooting slides, not just Kodachrome, but any kind of slides? If you know someone that shoots slides, do they own a slide projector, and are they using it?
I love my slides, I love my slide projector, I love my stereo camera that I use to shoot stereo (3D) slides, I love my slide viewers and I bore my family and friends at least once a week with slides.
Last week I shot 4 rolls of E-6 slide film, and my three year old daughter shot one, I also finished off a roll of Kodachrome. I processed and mounted two rolls of stereo slides at home, sent three rolls of E-6 out to Fuji via the Right-Aid downtown, and the Kodachrome went to Dwain's via USPS, I have the stereo slides I did at home in hand at about $4.00 a roll for process and mount supplies, I will get the E-6 back from Fuji next week (probably late because of the holiday) at $6.27 a roll, but it will probably take until the second week of December or longer for Dwain's to deliver at $14.50 a roll plus postage to Kansas. Kodachrome is just a pain to deal with, it's expensive, it takes longer than it should, and the word Monopoly comes to mind, even though they are probably breaking even on the process.
Yes Kodachrome is great stuff, yes you can't beat the color range, but honestly I believe that if it wasn't for Kodachrome we would have a better E-6 film from Kodak today and wouldn't have to wait at least another 3 years for it to show up if it does at all.
I will be shooting my last roll of Kodachrome after the Christmas tree goes up, and it will be expressed to Dwain's on December 27th, and I might be a little emotional about it, but that will be the end of it for me.
Pick your battles, and ask for a better E-6 film, and then shoot it, that battle can be won.
"Would you like it if someone that painted in oils told you that you were not making portraits because you were using a camera?"
"Shouldn't it be more about the joy of producing and viewing the photo than what you paid for the camera?"
I think bblhed makes some very valid points. I shoot slides through the summer and inflict them on friends and relatives during the dark evenings of the winter months. I also give talks to local societies, so my Carousels get used regularly. As for whether I know anyone else who is shooting slides .... er ...... actually no, and the only other person I know who occasionally shows me slides does so by scanning them and using a video projector. By god do they look awful when you know what they would be like projected properly!
Originally Posted by bblhed
Regardless of Kodachrome miraculously struggling on, perhaps it's something of a wonder that the various E6 films have lasted this long for use in still cameras. OK, the film currently still has cinematic applications, but even given that it's made anyway, how long will it be worth the hassle of packaging and marketing it for still camera use?
In years to come, could it be that those of us who like the projected image will only enjoy such things via black and white technology? Will we all have to become adept at the apparently convoluted process of producing monochrome slides? I say "apparently" as I've never tried it, but the instructions look formidable!
The problem is that E6 film sales are so low for both Kodak and Fuji, it is hard to keep those product lines afloat. Doing R&D is probably out of the question.
The sad reality is that slides are really like horse saddles. Sure there us a small market for the enthusiasts out there. And for the horse tracks, etc. But no large manufacturer could make it on horse saddles today.
Where's that wet collodion how-to again? I hope we aren't all forced to make our own emulsions but I fear that day may be during our lifetimes after all...
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Yeah, I think the best thing we can do is shoot E6 and not cross process it. That's what I'm worried about... Kodachrome is gone and it's sad, but let's keep the remaining slide film around. I don't want to live in a world where it's just color negative....
If you really want to do something for the love of Kodachrome, figure out how to process it in small batches at home. There's liable to be a good amount of Kodachrome left after this year, and it's all destined for b&w.
For all those films that Kodak and Fuji don't want to make anymore because the market is too small for them, I would like to see them license or sell the technology to a smaller manufacturer that would be happy with those sales. Maybe the small company would even cough up for some R&D.
Just like the horse saddles - some small companies make horse saddles and are very happy with the money they make.
FWIW, I'd also like to see Kodak partner with somebody to sell cut RA-4 paper as well.
This just isn't going to happen for Kodachrome. Or even E-6. If it could, it probably already would be happening. I mean, a number of smaller companies continue to make b&w products, but basically none make color.
Originally Posted by kb3lms
"People get bumped off." -- Weegee
For Kodachrome, no it won't happen. Unfortunately, Kodachrome has come to a dead end because it's too complicated to take on.
Some E-6 products, maybe, if there is a company that wants to be in the business, can make some money at it, and isn't worried about becoming a mega, multi-national monolith. Hopefully, they are out there.