I do not post that often here but I find this post really interesting.
Originally Posted by Stephen Frizza
I seem to remember that Mr Frizza managed to reconstruct a Kodachrome processing line in his lab - my guess is that this is not the process price that has been chosen for maximum profit but the actual price (with or without mark-up) that has been extrapolated from the successful test. What I mean is that Mr Frizza may have gone the extra step, after establishing if it could be done, of costing the sourcing of the chemicals/longevity of mixed chems/estimated throughput/floorspace costings/labour costs and perhaps a commercial mark-up - leading to the $260 cost per roll.
Most things are actually possible but somethings, whilst possible, do not make economic sense or there are not enough people willing to pay the "uneconomic price" to gain the benefit from the product. Just my musings but an interesting cost per roll and no I wouldn't pay it!
I'm not in the market at any price but geez people, stop whingeing about the price. You're paying for a couple of days work by a skilled and qualified (chemistry) lab technician, procurement of annoying-to-find chemistry in annoyingly small+expensive quantities, probably consumption of some other Kodachrome film-stock for process-control purposes, not to mention manufacture of some specialised equipment to perform the reversal exposure. Plus overheads on the commercial lab space where this is occurring.
Frankly I'm surprised it's that cheap. I don't expect Steve to get (m)any takers while E6 is still around but the price is remarkably low for what's involved. Maybe it'd get cheaper if someone scraped together 100+ rolls to run in a batch.
I suspect that in 10-20 years, 3D printing will be passe which means there will be open-source designs for coating machines and film processors, including for Kodachrome. At that point, I expect to see homemade Kodachrome or similar (since the chemistry seems simpler than E6) re-emerge as an ultra-premium LF material, e.g. for bespoke portraits at the very high-end. Same market as the dudes wandering around with 20x24" cameras and charging $10k for a sitting.
Last edited by polyglot; 11-06-2012 at 06:40 PM. Click to view previous post history.
While I have never shot Kodachrome (sorry, too young), this is exactly what I thought it would cost to recreate the development process. I remember when Kodak first canceled it and the gnashing of teeth on this forum as well as several people saying they would pay almost anything for Kodachrome to continue (do you remember one post about someone wanting Kodak to make him a master roll of Kodachrome, saying he was willing to spend $250k+)?
Congratulations to Stephen, not only for persevering in this difficult, difficult task but also for demonstrating why every post should be taken with a lump of salt.
Once a photographer is convinced that the camera can lie and that, strictly speaking, the vast majority of photographs are "camera lies," inasmuch as they tell only part of a story or tell it in a distorted form, half the battle is won. Once he has conceded that photography is not a "naturalistic" medium of rendition and that striving for "naturalism" in a photograph is futile, he can turn his attention to using a camera to make more effective pictures.
What are rolls for? Change the subject to 8x10 Kodachrome sheet film. Now that's something I could use. Then, given the power of miracles to produce that particular product, subsequently invent a
desktop processor for the same that sells for under a thousand bucks. Third, make me twenty years
younger so I still have a lot of time and energy left to shoot the stuff!
Will you offer a student discount, Steve?
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You have been complaining about Kodachrome being "retired" and wanted to restart the line at literally any cost. Well, here is your chance and no one wants it.
I think that this thread should close soon, as there seems to be a consensus, and that all related threads be closed. In addition, I think that there should be no similar threads allowed on APUG. It is a totally dead issue IMHO.
You know the price, I guessed high, others hit closer. It will never be less expensive.
Originally Posted by polyglot
"... $260 dollars per roll for Colour Kodachrome processing with a minimum of 5 rolls per order ..."
$260 * 5 and what do you have?
And that is still cheap? Kodachrome was not the only film on the planet, and with many films expiring by the wayside each year, we are here debating resurrecting Kodachrome "at any price"?
“The photographer must determine how he wants the finished print to look before he exposes the negative.
Before releasing the shutter, he must seek 'the flame of recognition,' a sense that the picture would reveal
the greater mystery of things...more clearly than the eyes see." ~Edward Weston, 1922.
On the contrary, this is a great thread! How many ever really thought there might be another chance at Kodachrome, however once-in-a-lifetime it might have been?
Originally Posted by polyglot
And actually, I agree with 'polyglot'. Everyone and everything in the world has a price. Just because most can't or won't met that price does not mean that everyone can't or won't. It's an awfully big world. There is always somebody out there somewhere. In another context, that's why eBay works.
I have my one roll of souvenir K64 sitting lonely in the freezer next to my stash of glycin powder. It was saved for nostalgia and the chance to still thaw, open and smell once every couple of years. (Yeah, seriously.)
I therefore can't make the minimum rolls required by myself. But perhaps for the sake of having possibly shot the true final roll of Kodachrome, I might be game. I mean, how many photographers will ever be able to show Kodachrome slides that were truly hand-processed? (Other than maybe PE, of course.) And wouldn't it be nice to validate all of Stephen's hard work?
Gawd. Where would one point the camera? What would one shoot? How much more opposite from spray-and-pray could one possibly get?
Are there another four of you out there???
"They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."
— Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs
Poisson: I'm not claiming it's a good value-proposition for the buyer (and clearly it is not while E6 processing is still available for $10), only that the costs are quite reasonable for what goes into providing that service.
If you've ever had custom manufacturing and/or chemical-testing done, you will understand. Consider that a middling chemical engineer can pull $150/hour consulting, consider how long this process will take, plus the custom equipment required to run it, plus chemistry.
This makes plenty of sense. I could envision a market where someone can sell the chance to shoot (or have your portrait taken on) individual frames of Kodachrome for 10 bucks a pop.
Originally Posted by Brian C. Miller
Lots of people spend $10 or more on things less worthy that a frame of Kodachrome so it's not so far out of the question if you look at it like that. Not saying this will happen, but it's interesting to think that it might be possible, especially after all the time we spent mourning that it was gone forever.
I couldn't spring for a whole roll, let alone 5 rolls, but I'm in for a half dozen frames.