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  1. #131
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by DREW WILEY View Post
    PE - for once I've got to slightly disagree with you. As once a heavy 35mm film user, prior to converting
    to large format, I personally stopped using Kodachrome once they spun off the development to Kodalux
    and the processing got horrible. I heard the same story from other photographers, over and over. Then
    when the silver bullet of 120 Kodachrome came along, the processing disappeared almost as fast. It's a
    matter of reliablilty. Kodak repeatedly burned their own reputation among pros. They wiggle their little toe into the water and then pull it out if the temperature isn't just right. Typical of corporations that are
    just too big to manage properly and treat their minor divisions like unwanted stepchildren. I had friends
    who were put out of businesses a lab owners because they signed onto extremely expensive service
    contracts for scanners etc, then found out that just when they needed the service, Kodak had pulled
    out and left them high and dry. But even for a small fry like me back then, spending a week in the wilderness and then seeing a big scratch all across your roll of Kodachrome didn't inspire confidence.
    Pros stopped using Kodachrome in droves by the mid 90s when Velvia knocked it off photo editors' light tables. Processing quality was beside the point. Kodak bought some time with the revised Ektachromes but by 7-9 years ago the same pros dropped E6 materials for digital. There were lots of lab options besides Kodak. The accelerating collapse of film sales after about 2001 was unstoppable and had little to do with Kodak's management.

  2. #132
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Ummm, Drew, did you forget the Consent Decree by the US government?

    With that decree, Kodak could no longer sell Kodachrome with processing included, and they were forced to sell processing chemicals to others. So, what happened? Customers went for the cheaper processing and got the associated quality. It took a few years, but that is what happened. Same thing for E6 and C41 processing, but there the results were resoundingly better due to the simplicity of the processes.

    So, again, you have outside parties and the government which caused the decline in Kodachrome processing quality.

    PE

  3. #133

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Ummm, Drew, did you forget the Consent Decree by the US government?

    With that decree, Kodak could no longer sell Kodachrome with processing included, and they were forced to sell processing chemicals to others. So, what happened? Customers went for the cheaper processing and got the associated quality. It took a few years, but that is what happened. Same thing for E6 and C41 processing, but there the results were resoundingly better due to the simplicity of the processes.

    So, again, you have outside parties and the government which caused the decline in Kodachrome processing quality.

    PE
    Here in the UK Kodachrome was always sold "Processing Paid by Kodak"...and was always processed by Kodak themselves at "P.O. Box 14, Hemel Hempstead, Herts".

    In the 70's -90's, the processing went to pieces, scratches, random blue spots,
    frames burnt by the heat-sealing of the card mounts, and dozens of amateur photographers deserted Kodachrome in despair, myself included.

    I went on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday to the Far East and Australia in 1994, using what I thought was the flagship films from the top manufacturer...K25 and K64...about 25% of the frames were unusable through Kodak's own crappy processing. Believe me, a free replacement film and a pro-forma apology letter doesn't put that right! Sorry, I admire your understandable loyalty, but you can't blame that on anyone other than the Almighty Kodak!

    I finally went back to Kodachrome in the last year...and found a tiny firm called Dwaynes who knocked spots off Kodak for Quality Control.

  4. #134
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    Hmmm, that would be the plant at Harrow.

    I know what prevailed here in the US. I cannot explain what happened in the UK.

    I do know that the evening news on NBS today is going to run a segment on Kodak according to local news. I look forward to what they say. And, based on a lot of factors, I have little loyalty left. I feel more betrayed than anything else, by the BOD of Kodak along with top management. I share the opinion of many Kodakers and ex Kodakers in this. I merely try to report what I know here and I was aware of US process problems and the reasons behind some of it. I did not know of the UK problem.

    Sorry.

    PE

  5. #135

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    I do see and understand that what you say about the Consent Decree and the independent labs in the US....independent (non-Kodachrome) processing here in the UK also certainly left a lot to be desired at times!

    It's all ancient history now, but I do remember. from my Father, and also personally, the frustration which resulted in many amateurs "trying out" other makes, even though, arguably, Kodachrome had the final edge on quality over the other films available at that time. Something slipped somewhere, which should not have happened with the flagship product....I also recall actually feeling quite sad that the obvious quality of research and manufacture of the film was being let down by nothing more than careless processing.

    Anyway, I've just had back my E6 (Kodak films) from a holiday last month, and they're great (well, technically at least! They're not great art, just mostly family memories!). But, they make digital shots taken at the same time look totally shabby.
    Last edited by railwayman3; 10-13-2011 at 06:52 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #136

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    Thanks for that tidbit of relevant information. But merely not allowing Kodak not to sell preprocessing with Kodachrome film would not seem to be a reason for not processing it at all, and spinning it off to someone else. As far as Velvia knocking them off the block or off the lightbox, that was well after the
    Kodalux fiasco. E6-films at the time were hardly up to par, though the processing simplification was of
    course desirable for independent labs. Velvia was difficult to print and difficult to scan from (still is in
    some ways), so that explanation falls a bit short. Kinda like all the theories of why the mammoths and
    mastodons started dying off around the end of the ice age - might have been the cumulative effect of
    several different factors. I'd still be using Kodachrome if it was around. Looked at some 5x7 Kodachromes
    last year and must say, even back then it had a look that would make E6 films today envious. Now I'm
    banking on Ektar (and my freezer, just in case).

  7. #137
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    Kodak on NBC news tonight.http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44888892

  8. #138
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by DREW WILEY View Post
    Thanks for that tidbit of relevant information. But merely not allowing Kodak not to sell preprocessing with Kodachrome film would not seem to be a reason for not processing it at all, and spinning it off to someone else. As far as Velvia knocking them off the block or off the lightbox, that was well after the
    Kodalux fiasco. E6-films at the time were hardly up to par, though the processing simplification was of
    course desirable for independent labs. Velvia was difficult to print and difficult to scan from (still is in
    some ways), so that explanation falls a bit short. Kinda like all the theories of why the mammoths and
    mastodons started dying off around the end of the ice age - might have been the cumulative effect of
    several different factors. I'd still be using Kodachrome if it was around. Looked at some 5x7 Kodachromes
    last year and must say, even back then it had a look that would make E6 films today envious. Now I'm
    banking on Ektar (and my freezer, just in case).
    Kodachrome was already circling the drain by the mid-90s. Commercial photographers liked Velvia because photo editors bought work shot on it. What's not to get? The publishing industry quickly adapted to these new materials and new hybrid/digital workflow and never looked back. FYI, Kodachrome wasn't exactly scanner-friendly compared to the vastly better E6 materials that started hitting the market in the 90s.

  9. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marvin View Post
    Kodak on NBC news tonight.http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44888892
    The ink supply termination is a sign that someone is not getting paid. The means some sort of restructuring, likely overseen by the court, is imminent.

  10. #140
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    There were many reasons for the death of Kodachrome and for the lack of health at EK. One could not list them all here even if they knew them all. You would wear out your keyboard.

    Fisher is quoted as saying something to the effect that he could not cure Kodak's ills in a dozen lifetimes.

    PE



 

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