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View Poll Results: Do you really care if Kodachrome remains, or are the other options more suitable for

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  • Yes, Kodachrome fills a specific need or desire for me that I care about.

    95 65.97%
  • No, Kodachrome is not important in my work or hobby use.

    49 34.03%
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  1. #1
    michaelbsc's Avatar
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    How to nudge Kodachrome back into the consumer's eye

    OK, let's all think out loud on this so I don't get accused of being crazy just talking to myself. I know this is only marginally helpful, but in another thread I mentioned this:

    "I think not getting a "picture in hand" was more detrimental to Kodachrome in the consumer market over the decades than costs. Nowadays I know many people who drop off C-41 film and get a CD only, no prints, then use the digital order counter to get prints of exactly what they want (or just print them at home). So, on the surface, the idea of getting back slides in a box and a CD isn't very different than getting back negatives in a sleeve and a CD. What the consumer wants is the CD, and the medium is immaterial unless one can make a case for the quality of the images. If the consumer started using Kodachrome for the "special" events again the volume would go up dramatically."

    Obviously to the average grandma and grandpa (that's my generation now, not the octogenarians) the difference between getting a CD with bunch of negatives you don't look at and getting a CD with a bunch of positives you actually can look at but probably won't is small. The cost differential is high, but the actual difference is a small envelope you don't open and small box you don't open. That is meaningless so long as the CD has what they want; pictures.

    Also, obviously, the average Joe has no clue where to *BUY* Kodachrome these days. It's like trying to find specific ethnic food from the old country.

    If Kodachrome was still the film of choice for "special occasions" to the point that Kodak marketed throw away cameras loaded with 27 shots of Kodachrome, it wouldn't cost so much money. I don't foresee that ever happening, but certainly there is a small possibility of driving the demand up just a little bit with the change in paradigm from getting back pictures to getting back CDs.

    I dare say that the average person with the intelligence to get back and forth to work on city streets can be adequately instructed to diligently write "Process K-14 and scan to CD" in the special instructions box at Wal-mart to get superior pictures of Junior's graduation or little pumpkin's prom night. There are tons of pretty decent point and shoot 35mm cameras out there still. Of course they aren't going to spring for the extra expense all the time, but how do you make them aware and where do they go to buy that "special film" for those special occasions?

    Thoughts anyone?

    MB

  2. #2
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    My thoughts are Bye Bye Kodachrome, the King is Dead, Long live the King, long live Fuji 50. None of the problems of Kodachrome and worldwide processing.

    Ian

  3. #3
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I think if it could be tied to the Lomography fad and sold in Urban Outfitters that might be a way of introducing it to a new generation. Slides+scans is fairly easy to do with some of the minilab printers like Fuji Frontier.
    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

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    I agree with Ian- what's really wrong with E-6 films? I have used Kodachrome and I never really cared for the look. With Kodak Ektar 100 coming out the consumer is already going to have the capability to take pictures probably just as good or better than high-end DSLRs costing thousands of dollars. So what's the problem really?

  5. #5

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    I only used one roll of K64 in 120 format, but in hindsight I think now I should have used more. And, many film scanners do not scan Kodachrome well. I switched to E-6 films because of the rapid turnaround, but the millions of slides made on Kodachrome materials attest to the brilliant colors, archival qualities, and the very fine grain. I made a print once from K25 and had trouble focusing because of the very fine grain.

  6. #6

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    I support Kodachrome because I see a difference. I always have too.

    I suppose I will have to say this over and over again, but Kodachrome is more than a film or a product of a company. Kodachrome is an era.

    It is such a great era, that it deserves to be celebrated, not fade away with no recognition. Many people feel this way, including some within the ranks of Kodak.

  7. #7

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    ^^^^Ian and domaz

    If we put aside nostalgia for a moment, I think the case for keeping Kodachrome is, in part, to keep our choices open.

    I prefer Kodachrome, just as you prefer E-6, but of course I could live with any make of film if that was all there was. (Orwochrome, anyone? )

    There are lots of exotic processes, photopapers and materials mentioned all the time on APUG. I'd love to try them all, but I doubt I'll ever have time,
    certainly not until I retire and can have a darkroom again. Until then, I'd like to know that the necessary supplies might remain available, either for myself, or failing that, so that other people can use and enjoy them and keep the chance to be individual in their photography.

    I'm not saying anyone must use Kodachrome 24/7/365, or Fuji50, or Ektar 100, or Palladium Prints, or 20x16 sheet film, but our hobby would the that bit duller if any one of them disappeared from the scene.
    Last edited by railwayman3; 09-26-2008 at 05:40 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: added a bit.

  8. #8

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    I think the only way to get Kodachrome back into somwhat mainstream public use would be to extol the archival virtues of Kodachrome films:

    CD-R: 10 years
    CD-ROM: 30 years
    hard drive: 34 years
    typical negative film: 40 years
    Kodachrome: over 200 years

    Kodachrome... When you want your pictures to last two lifetimes.

  9. #9

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    The average person couldn't care less about photography, much less Kodachrome.

    To them, it was just a means to an end: pictures of Ronnie and Mildred's wedding, memories of little Johnny's first birthday, snaps of their vacation to Bognor Regis, and so on.

    People today are happy with noisy images from cheap single-element plastic lens digicams, badly overexposed by nasty on-camera flashes and with awful colour casts.

    People twenty years ago were happy as above, but with equally nasty 110 Instamatics instead.

    The value of photographs to the average Joe has slumped to near worthlessness. This part explains why there are so many poor photographers The photographs people take are as disposable as the cameras they were taken with. Digital has made deleting a photograph as easy as actually taking it. Hundreds or thousands of precious memories may be cast away when they upgrade their awful camera phones or replace their PCs.

    Any advertising campaign pushing photographic products (as a whole, not just film) must focus on preserving memories to instill value in photographs.

    Your "disposable Kodachrome camera" is a non-starter unless the camera has the ability to meter and expose at sane exposure values.

    A small but effective, targetted advertising campaign could boost sales enormously, however. There are two main demographic groups to target:

    Firstly, affluent middle-class middle-aged men who were in their late teens or twenties during the golden age of popular photography around the late 1960's and the 1970's, who on being reminded might be tempted to get their old Pentax Spotmatic down from the attic and slap in a roll of Kodachrome for old times sake.

    Secondly, youngsters already interested in the "alternative culture" of shooting analogue film. The types who might normally shoot digital but like or want to shoot something else to set them apart from their mates and everyone else. There is scope for cashing on the new "retro" trend amongst youngsters. If you can make Kodachrome into a Holga/Diana-like fad like someone mentioned above, you've hit the jackpot.

    A small, passionate website extolling the virtues of Kodachrome (similar to choose-film.com?) could be the nexus of the entire marketing strategy. Some favourable press talking about the "revival" of Kodachrome would help to drive sales.

    Kodak should seriously consider this. It wouldn't eat much out of their advertising budget, and may also help to stem declining sales amongst existing users by implying a firm commitment to production of Kodachrome in the medium term. It needs to be realized that the fear and uncertainly regarding the continued availability of Kodachrome is driving existing users to search for alternatives, often in the favour of Kodak's competitors, and making the eventual death of Kodachrome a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  10. #10
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PKM-25 View Post
    I suppose I will have to say this over and over again, but Kodachrome is more than a film or a product of a company. Kodachrome is an era.
    Well, you already know how I feel about that statement.

    So, to do my part...

    (1) I have scrounged a cheap, discontinued Epson photo scanner destined for the trash, which the evaluation version of VueScan has nicely rescued and turned into a workable tool for online Kodachrome sharing. Not great. But workable. Nice job, Hammerick.

    (2) It worked so well, I am purchasing the full VueScan product just for this purpose. A new film scanner will have to wait.

    (3) I am postponing purchase of a Peak grain focuser for my darkroom in favor of a slide-sorting lightbox. A new slide projector will also have to wait for a while.

    (4) This weekend, weather permitting, I will invest a roll or two of K64 to do some EI fine-tuning between Dwayne's processing and my Nikon F2's meter. The usual careful bracketing of meaningless subjects. These, along with three other waiting rolls and more of my money, will head to Dwayne's on Monday.

    (5) And similar to the other poster, I will make a local search for anyone still selling Kodachrome. If I find someone, I will start purchasing 3-5 rolls per visit from that source. If not, I'll purchase by the brick from Freestyle. (Clicked through from APUG for visibility, of course.) It'll be almost short-dated it sounds like, so directly into the freezer it will go. I will aim for using a minimum one roll each week. More, whenever possible.

    That's about all I can do, Kodak. While I realize that in isolation it means nothing to your overall bottom line, I hope it at least demonstrates one individual's willingness to show a commitment with his hard-to-come-by dollars to an irreplaceable American icon.

    Ken

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