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  1. #1

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    Could Kodak still make K25?

    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. #2
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    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. #3
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    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?
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  4. #4
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    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. #5
    tiberiustibz's Avatar
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    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. #6
    tiberiustibz's Avatar
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    why not have some 75th anniversery someone work out a sinkline k14 process and cut us some 4x5s of kc64?
    Last edited by tiberiustibz; 09-02-2008 at 07:22 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: can't count

  7. #7
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    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. #8

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    dWAYNES STATS

    I can't send film to Dwaynes for processing if I can't buy the film to shoot.

  9. #9
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    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
    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. #10
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    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

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