Last roll of Kodachrome shot and processed
July 30, 2010 7:44 AM   Subscribe

Final Kodachrome produced and processed. 13 months after (previous MeFi thread) Kodak announced they were discontinuing production of Kodachrome, the final Kodachrome roll made by Kodak has been processed by Dwayne's Photo Service, in Parsons, Kansas—the only Kodachrome processor left in the world. It was given to and shot by (NPR interview) Steve McCurry, of "Afghan Girl" fame, around New York City for a documentary by National Geographic. Just a reminder: you only have until December 30th, 2010 to get any rolls of Kodachrome developed before Dwayne's Photo stops processing Kodachrome.
posted by skynxnex (28 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
posted by nevercalm at 7:45 AM on July 30, 2010

And to think, Paul Simon once composed a song about this product.
Kodachrome! Gives us the nice bright colors
Gives us the green of summer
Makes us think all the world's a sunny day
I've got a Niko camera
I love to take photographs
Momma don't take my Kodachrome away!
posted by grizzled at 7:46 AM on July 30, 2010 [2 favorites]

Don't take my Kodachrome away. :'(
posted by kaseijin at 7:46 AM on July 30, 2010

This type of film has captured many beautiful moments.

So have digital cameras.

March on, progress!
posted by sonic meat machine at 7:47 AM on July 30, 2010

I have a roll in my fridge I need to mail out. A friend gave it to me. It's from the 80s. I'm curious to see if anything turns out. It'll be an expensive mistake otherwise.
posted by chunking express at 7:51 AM on July 30, 2010

as much i really loved my photography class and learning how much the developing process can affect a final print, i felt really really guilty about all the chemicals.
posted by sio42 at 7:52 AM on July 30, 2010

Chunking I bet it contains at least one snapshot of your friend's privates.
posted by stormpooper at 7:54 AM on July 30, 2010

Thanks for this post . As the son of an avid slide photographer and husband of an archivist, I have deep respect for slides and a soft spot in my heart for Kodachrome in particular. In fact, my dad took a picture of me this weekend with his next-to-last roll of Kodachrome. It was surprising to think that I may never have a slide photo taken of me again.

My wife showed me some 1940s color slides a few years ago and I was amazed at their vitality and color integrity. This is a remarkable technology and one that may well be outdated in the digital era, but I can't help feeling a little sad.
posted by cheapskatebay at 7:55 AM on July 30, 2010

Stormpooper, the roll itself is from the 80s. I shot the roll in July. So it's probably privates free.
posted by chunking express at 8:02 AM on July 30, 2010

But, as one door closes, another opens. The Impossible Project has announced an August ship date for its color instant film for Polaroid cameras. Long live absurd, analog instant film! (If you don't know the story of The Impossible Project, the folks who decided to rescue the last Polaroid instant film factory after Polaroid shuttered it, give it a read. It's all kinds of fun. Maybe it needs an FPP.)
posted by The Bellman at 8:04 AM on July 30, 2010

Kodak has other slide films as does Fuji. I suspect we will have E6 films for some time still.
posted by chunking express at 8:08 AM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

"Then we went to India, where I photographed a tribe that is actually on the verge of extinction. It's actually disappearing, the same way as Kodachrome."

Err ...
posted by chavenet at 8:16 AM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

Kodak has other slide films as does Fuji

Fuji really were the ones who started the end of Kodachrome -- Fuji's Velvia (RVP) pretty much supplanted Kodachrome 25 -- sharper, more saturated colors, and unlike Kodachrome, able to actually render purples as purples.

You had to be careful with Velvia -- it was really easy to end up with hyper saturated colors. It was also really easy to get a dynamic range that would make the thing impossible to print. I shot it at EI40, not the rated 50, which helped bring the contrast and saturation down a bit, and I knew guys who shot it at EI25. Velvia II was supposedly better, but by that time, I'd gone digital.
posted by eriko at 8:28 AM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

"Then we went to India, where I photographed a tribe that is actually on the verge of extinction. It's actually disappearing, the same way as Kodachrome."

Hmmm. . . a tribe in India has been made unprofitable by the ubiquity of digital technology? On the grossest level of pop-American awareness, that sounds a little ironic.
posted by General Tonic at 8:31 AM on July 30, 2010

And the world gets a little less colorful.
posted by The Whelk at 8:32 AM on July 30, 2010

The Impossible Project has not one but three FPPs already.
posted by hippybear at 9:58 AM on July 30, 2010

I've been working on matching the palette of a bunch of Kodachrome slides lately with digital -- and it's HARD. Anybody got Dwayne's phone number? Maybe I'll buy their developing setup and shoot my own dang Kodachrome at home. And roll my own film. And mix my own emulsion. Sigh.
posted by zvs at 10:13 AM on July 30, 2010

Fuji's Velvia (RVP)

Whew -- I mis-read that as RIP and was about to come out of my chair.

I especially loved Kodachrome for cave shots because of the way it handles reds, oranges and browns -- saturated greens weren't really a consideration underground -- but it was very sensitive to under-exposure, which is also a problem in caves. also, because the emulsion is so damn thick, it's about impossible to salvage an under-exposed Kodachrome slide in the scanner.

I'm tempted to try the put-the-slide-in-the-projector-and-take-a-pic-of-the-screen-with the-D50 trick because I've got some Kodachrome shots that display well on the wall but will not scan.

I've switched to digital with the rest of the world, but leaving Kodachrome behind has been kinda bittersweet.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:28 AM on July 30, 2010

Guess I need to shoot the roll of Kodachrome 200 a buddy gave me. I thought about sending it to Jeff Jacobson but I think he's even done with shooting it.
posted by photoslob at 10:42 AM on July 30, 2010

People bemoaning the loss of the Kodachrome palette in the move to digital should strongly consider taking a look at Exposure, which does all the heavy lifting for you in Photoshop.
posted by mightygodking at 10:46 AM on July 30, 2010

Born and raised in Parsons. Not much there.
posted by Hugh2d2 at 12:14 PM on July 30, 2010

Whew -- I mis-read that as RIP and was about to come out of my chair.

Actually, RVP is RIP. It was discontinued in 2005 -- they couldn't source the materials to make it anymore. It was replaced by Velvia 100F (RVP100F), which caused much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Fuji listened, and came up with Velvia II (RVP50) in 2007. How close to RVP it really is, I can't tell you.
posted by eriko at 4:44 PM on July 30, 2010

Thanks for the post. Now I just have to stop procrastinating and do something with my Kodachrome before December.
posted by Lokisbane at 6:53 PM on July 30, 2010

I'm always going to be nostalgic for processes that were messy, expensive, and clunky. They separated the grownups from the children. Not that I ever did any good with film photography, and you can have my digital SLR when you pry it from my cold, dead hands, but there was a romance about those days in photography, to be sure.

So have a dot...

posted by randomkeystrike at 7:58 PM on July 30, 2010

As someone who grew up digital (I'm under 30), I just started using film. (Started with a Bessa R2A now with 25mm, 50mm and 90mm Zeiss lenses. SLRs are just too big for me, so I'm liking rangefinders.)

I've settled on Provia for myself, not being into B&W so the entire develop at home thing in a container over the sink thing doesn't appeal, though I do plan to soup my Adox CMS 20 this weekend. I shot one roll of Kodachrome in San Francsico two months ago and will shoot another two in Germany and Austria later this summer. Looking at the slides was nice, but not worlds better than Provia. And I found scanning the Kodachrome (on a Coolscan 4000 with VueScan) to be way more trickier. So I'm not quite sure that even if it wasn't going to be dead that I'd be interested in it. I know, it's heresy.

randomkeystrike, what do you mean this process seperates the grownups from the children? Everything I've read says that the process is far too difficult to do by hand, that you had to run K-14 by machine. To use a car analogy, driving stick versus driving automatic, one's harder to do than the other (though this is one of those things I think everyone should know how to do because it isn't that hard). In this case, it just seems like once you got to the lab, you handed them your film. How does that separate the adults from the kids? If anything, people who shoot B&W (the simplest to develop) and do it at home are the adults and those who drop off their Kodachrome at the lab are the kids.

(Yes, I know you can do E-6 at home and I would if it would save me more than $0.50 per roll and there was an easy way to dispose of these carcinogenic chemicals I'd be left with.)
posted by Brian Puccio at 9:59 AM on July 31, 2010

posted by klausness at 11:44 AM on August 2, 2010

The Coolscan used to have a profile for scanning Kodachrome which produced pretty good more?
posted by nevercalm at 5:10 AM on August 4, 2010

The Coolscan used to have a profile for scanning Kodachrome which produced pretty good more?

I've got a Coolscan V that's about 6 years old. The Kodachrome profile on it does work pretty well for the most part. It gets really noisy in the shadows, and they take on a reddish tint, when you try to lighten up anything that's very under-exposed, though. Moreso that E6 slides.

I'd imagine that Nikon would keep shipping their scanners with a Kodachrome profile for as long as they make them since so many of the 35 mm slides out there are Kodachrome, but as film winds down, I'm beginning to wonder if the consumer-level film scanners too won't soon be EOL'd.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:02 AM on August 4, 2010

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