Mama Don’t Take My Kodachrome

May 12th, 2005

Well, Kodak finally pulled the trigger and announced the end of Kodachrome (K40) super 8 this week. This is a real bummer, since they decided to replace it with the color reversal film Ektachrome 64T (tungsten balanced) instead of the anticipated Ektachrome 100D (daylight balanced). At first I didn’t think any of my cameras would notch these new 64T carts correctly. But as it turns out, two of my lesser used cams should recognize the new carts, so not all is lost. Also, some of my favorite cameras that do timelapse have manual exposure control, so it’s possible I could use 64T and just adjust the exposure by 2/3 a stop or so.

What really bums me out is that Kodachrome was my gateway into super 8. Any super 8 camera out there will notch a Kodachrome cartridge correctly in a plug-and-play sort of way. And Kodachrome was cheap to buy and process. I’m afraid that with the demise of Kodachrome at the end of the summer, less people will find their way into amateur filmmaking like I did.

Kodak claims they’re discontinuing Kodachrome for environmental reasons. I don’t have any issues with that, because Kodachrome does require all sorts of dangerous chemicals to process. However, for some strange reason, Kodak will continue to make Kodachrome for 16mm, so their reasoning for discontinuing super 8 is just bizarre. My only guess is that Kodak wants to transform super 8 into a professional film format by moving us over to negative film.

Entry Filed under: Obsolete Technology, Photography, Super 8

1 Comment

  • 1. Brian  |  May 12th, 2005 at 10:14 am

    Environmental reasons my ass. I don’t think Kodak is that benevolent. They’re just using that as an inarguable smokescreen so they can make a decision based on economics. Loyal as we super-8 enthusiasts are, we’re not big enough in numbers to move the amount of product Kodak sees as worthwhile. There’s nothing that bugs me more than when a business makes a ruthless decision and tries to distract us from the stench by spraying the perfume of faux-nobility.


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