Friday, July 3, 2009

Kodachrome R.I.P.

On my mind, but not exactly a news item today, on June 22, Eastman Kodak announced the end of Kodachrome film. Of course, that meant that I had to have some Kodachrome, shoot it and get it processed while the last remaining Kodachrome processor in the world (Dwayne’s) is still processing it.

Although I haven’t shoot any slide film in about two years, I decided to shoot two rolls of Kodachrome just for old times sake. My old Konica T2 seems to be the right camera for this exercise. I checked out the T2 yesterday and it still works fine although I’m not so sure about the light meter. Seems that many others must have the same idea because I had problems getting the Kodachrome – even Dwayne’s was out of stock. After a day’s delay, B&H replenished their stock and I got my two rolls of Kodachrome (B&H is out again).

I was first introduced to Kodachrome II in 1970. I liked Kodachrome but (as I recall) it was more expensive than Ektachrome, took longer to process (mail order) and was only ISO 25. At the time Kodachrome was special to me, and to this day, Kodachrome is still special. I wish I’d shot more Kodachrome because those old Ektachrome slides are faded whereas the Kodachrome slides are fine.

This scene above is from my last previous use of Kodachrome about four years ago. It really was a reddish sky and Kodachrome exaggerated the effect. No doubt many would consider this picture to be an overdone Photoshop job but the slide looks the same.

So I have something in common with Steve McCurry. He will shoot one of the last rolls of Kodachrome and donate the slides to the George Eastman House. I will shoot two rolls and keep the slides at the Gordon Buck House.

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