Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Adios Kodachrome !

Kodak announced yesterday that it will no longer produce Kodachrome, the slide film which has captured some of the world's most iconic images for 74 years.

The company introduced the 35 mm colour slides film in 1935, and it gained a following among professional and amateur photographers alike.

The haunting green eyes of the “Afghan girl” who graced the cover of National Geographic in June of 1985 was captured on Kodachrome.

Some of the best-known colour photos of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley were snapped with Kodachrome transparencies!

Singer Paul Simon gave the film his endorsement with the hit song Kodachrome in 1973, lauding the film's “nice bright colours” while imploring, “Mama don't take my Kodachrome away.”

My acquaintance with Kodachrome was in 1965, on my way to Melbourne to further my studies. I took a roll with me, all the way from Penang!
This shot was taken at the Essenton Airport, Melbourne; Australia in 1965. Check out that cool camera bag (case)!

Sad to say that during my student years I seldom used Kodachrome, it is just too pricey for a poor student :) Instead Kodak Ektachrome was my main colour transparency film.

With friends, 1967; Phillips Island, Victoria, Australia.
For a long time, Kodak slides film was always in the fore front in colour saturation. For working pros, like us in the newspaper line where deadline is king; our film of choice has to be Ektachrome!
Unlike Kodachrome, Ektachrome can be process at most colour labs; why... you can even do it yourself! For Malaysia pro shooter, Kodachrome had to travel all the way to Melbourne to get done! Usually that will take 10 to 14 days!

This shot of the famous Campbell Street in Penang was taken in 1987 on Ektachrome with a Nikon F3P, Nikkor 300 mm f2.8 lens. I am sure Kodachrome will be more vibrant, but if I only have time!
Kodachrome 1935-2009 - R.I.P
Foot note:
Kodak web site "A Thousand Words" have a Tribute To Kodachrome, worth a visit!

1 comment:

heather said...

Kodachrome, they give us those nice bright colours
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the worlds a sunny day, oh yeah
I got a nikon camera, I love to take a photograph
So mama dont take my kodachrome away
I was looking at the photo of Campbell street in Penang and thinking,"It`s already vibrant! How could is be anymore vibrant!"
I guess,as technology advances, we will be seeing the demise of more and more things which have become part of our daily life and even embedded in our culture,though some would argue that the "bowing out" of Kodachrome is NOT progress.