Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Last Roll Of Kodachrome Developed

Kodachrome 64: the end of an era

Last year, Kodak announced that it was ending the production of its Kodachrome film, the longest continually produced color film in the world. Just last week, it was discovered that the last roll of Kodachrome ever produced was just developed.

For a brief history, Kodachrome was invented in the early 30s by musicians Leopold Godowsky Jr. and Leopold Mannes. The film was first sold as a 16mm film for movie cameras. However, because of its popularity with movie shooters, the film quickly transitioned to still camera film, where it remained a staple in the photographic industry for 75 years. Other formats included 35mm, 120, 110, 4x5, and 8mm movie.

Unfortunately, as good as it was, not even Kodachrome was forever.

By the 1990s, the competition was on the rise, especially from Fujifilm's Velvia line. Profits sinking, within the decade, Kodak would start chopping many lines of its Kodachrome lines of film. By the year 2000, about half of the Kodachrome films, both still and movie, were a thing of the past. With production slowing, Kodachrome processing labs started going out of business, which hastened the end for the legendary film as it became harder and harder for photographers to get their film processed.

By 2005, only the Type A 16mm movie film, 35mm Kodachrome 64, and 35mm Kodachrome 200 remained in production.

With the advent of digital video cameras, the movie film was first to go, discontinued in 2006. Next to go would be the Kodachrome 200 for 35mm cameras, which was axed in 2007. With these cuts, only two varieties of Kodachrome 64 remained, the 35mm regular and professional. Then, on June 22, 2009, Kodak made the final cut, announcing that production of Kodachrome 64 would end.

As of now, there is only one Kodachrome processing lab left, Dwayne's Photo, which is located in Kansas. Now, in July 2010, the final curtain for Kodachrome is about to fall as Dwayne's Photo announced that it will only process Kodachrome through this year, which means that, if you bought some of the last Kodachrome film ever produced, get shooting while you can still get your film developed.

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