Kodak Ektachrome Film is Back!

April 05, 2017  •  3 Comments

Kodak announced the return of one of the most iconic film stocks of all time – KODAK EKTACHROME Film.  Ektacrhome was one of the most loved color reversal films of all time in my mind.  The old saying "chromes" came from Ektachrome, and for good reasons. When you look at a chrome on the light table or just holding it up to natural light, something magical happens that is difficult to explain.  I have been creating medium and large format chromes of some of my most special adventures for years now.  I refer to these films as my "nursing home plan".  When I am too old to get out and photograph, I will be sitting in the nursing home next to the window holding up my chromes and laughing...No computers or technology required! 

KODAK SNAPSHOT

In 2012, Kodak discontinued its line of color reversal films, which stand out for its fine grain, clean colors, sharp tones and contrasts. At the time, Kodak blamed declining demand for such film.  A year later, Kodak divested its film business to Kodak Alaris, the UK-based company behind Ektachrome's revival.  The new Kodak Alaris will be remanufacturing the film at Kodak's factory in Rochester, N.Y., this year with the revived film available for both motion picture and photography.  Initial availability is expected in the fourth quarter of 2017.  It is wonderful to know that Kodak in its new form is doing well and this is an obvious indicator of the current health of film and analog photography.

EKTACHROME

EKTACHROME has a distinctive look that was the choice for generations of cinematographers. The film is known for its extremely fine grain, clean colors, great tones and contrasts.  Greats like Steven Spielberg have been quoted in regards to their preference to film over the latest digital technology.  Of course you know that I am in alignment with this thinking... 

There are plans to offer a still format KODAK PROFESSIONAL EKTACHROME Film for photographers in 135-36x format.  It would be great to have it in 120 medium format, but maybe that is wishing for too much at this point.  

Time magazine interviewed a Kodak representative about the process.

“Color reversal film is quite complicated as its recipe is concerned,” says Diane Carroll-Yacoby, Kodak’s world wide portfolio manager for motion picture films says. “It’s very unique and quite different than a black-and-white film or a color negative film. We’re in the process right now of procuring the components that are needed for this special film and in addition to that we are setting up a color reversal processing capability again, which we have to have in order to test the film as we manufacture it.”

She adds: “It is a complicated project for us to bring it back but because our customers are telling us that they want it, we’re very excited to do this again. It’s kind of a really special time for us.”

-Tim Layton

The Darkroom Underground is your analog photography magazine produced on a quarterly basis serving photographers, artists, collectors, and readers around the world.  The Darkroom Underground publishes a balance of technical and creative articles in every issue along with featured photographers and their portfolios. We are pleased to offer editorial from internationally recognized photographers and writers and also publish articles and portfolios from our readers. 

If you like this type of article then you will probably enjoy my free darkroom newsletter and my darkroom and large format video-based workshops

Tim Layton
B&W Fine Art Analog Photography
Darkroom Underground Magazine: www.darkroomunderground.com
© Tim Layton Sr. | All Rights Reserved

 


Comments

3.Tim Layton Fine Art
Hi Bud, I don't have access to inside Kodak information, but based on their official press release info, it appears that we should start to see initial supplies in Q4 of this year. I don't believe they will get in the business of E-6 processing kits because that is already covered very well by other manufacturers. I personally use Tetenal E-6 chemicals with excellent results every single time. I will post more information as it becomes available.
Tim
2.Bud Hensley(non-registered)
Thanks Tim. When will it be available in stores. Will they market home-sized E-6 processing kits or sell mailers?
1.Kevin Parratt(non-registered)
Thank you for this article. Together with the revival of Agfapan by Foto Impex in Berlin, this is very encouraging news.
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