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Re: PC: Kodachrome film

Below is the press release from Kodak on June 22 concerning Kodachrome.
Dwayne's will still process other slide film after they stop doing
Kodachrome at the end of next year.

I also understand that Dwayne's will will stop honoring Kodak processing
mailers soon.  I don't know what the time frame is.  But I know a lot of
friends who have stockpiled the mailers over the years.

Sorry, Paul Simon, Kodak's taking Kodachrome away
By CAROLYN THOMPSON - 2 hours ago

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) - Sorry, Paul Simon, Kodak is taking your
Kodachrome away. The Eastman Kodak Co. announced Monday it's retiring
its most senior film because of declining customer demand in an
increasingly digital age.

The world's first commercially successful color film, immortalized in
song by Simon, spent 74 years in Kodak's portfolio. It enjoyed its
heyday in the 1950s and '60s but in recent years has nudged closer to
obscurity: Sales of Kodachrome are now just a fraction of 1 percent of
the company's total sales of still-picture films, and only one
commercial lab in the world still processes it.

Those numbers and the unique materials needed to make it convinced Kodak
to call its most recent manufacturing run the last, said Mary Jane
Hellyar, the outgoing president of Kodak's Film, Photofinishing and
Entertainment Group.

"Kodachrome is particularly difficult (to retire) because it really has
become kind of an icon," Hellyar said.

Simon crooned about it in 1973 in the aptly titled "Kodachrome."

"They give us those nice bright colors. They give us the greens of
summers. Makes you think all the world's a sunny day," he sang. "... So
Mama don't take my Kodachrome away."

Indeed, Kodachrome was favored by still and motion picture photographers
for its rich but realistic tones, vibrant colors and durability.

It was the basis not only for countless family slideshows on carousel
projectors over the years but also for world-renowned images, including
Abraham Zapruder's 8 mm reel of President John F. Kennedy's
assassination on Nov. 22, 1963.

Photojournalist Steve McCurry's widely recognized portrait of an Afghan
refugee girl, shot on Kodachrome, appeared on the cover of National
Geographic in 1985. At Kodak's request, McCurry will shoot one of the
last rolls of Kodachrome film and donate the images to the George
Eastman House museum, which honors the company's founder, in Rochester.

For McCurry, who after 25 years with Kodachrome moved on to digital
photography and other films in the last few years, the project will
close out an era.

"I want to take (the last roll) with me and somehow make every frame
count ... just as a way to honor the memory and always be able to look
back with fond memories at how it capped and ended my shooting
Kodachrome," McCurry said last week from Singapore, where he has an
exhibition at the Asian Civilizations Museum.

As a tribute to the film, Kodak has compiled on its Web site a gallery
of iconic images, including McCurry's Afghan girl and others from
photographers Eric Meola and Peter Guttman.

Guttman used Kodachrome for 16 years, until about 1990, before switching
to Kodak's more modern Ektachrome film, and he calls it "the visual crib
that I was nurtured in." He used it to create a widely published image
of a snowman beneath a solar eclipse, shot in the dead of winter in
North Dakota.

"I was pretty much entranced by the incredibly realistic tones and
really beautiful color," Guttman said, "but it didn't have that
artificial Crayola coloration of some of the other products that were
out there."

Unlike any other color film, Kodachrome is purely black and white when
exposed. The three primary colors that mix to form the spectrum are
added in three development steps rather than built into its layers.

Because of the complexity, only Dwayne's Photo, in Parsons, Kan., still
processes Kodachrome film. The lab has agreed to continue through 2010,
Kodak said.

Hellyar estimates the retail supply of Kodachrome will run out in the
fall, though it could be sooner if devotees stockpile. In the U.S.,
Kodachrome film is available only through photo specialty dealers. In
Europe, some retailers, including the Boots chain, carry it.

Responding to photographers like Guttman, who refuse to go digital,
Hellyar said that despite Kodachrome's demise Kodak will stay in the
film business "as far into the future as possible," even though the
company now gets about 70 percent of its revenue from its digital

Hellyar points to the seven new professional still films and several new
motion picture films introduced in the last few years and to a strategy
that emphasizes efficiency.

"Anywhere where we can have common components and common design and
common chemistry that let us build multiple films off of those same
components, then we're in a much stronger position to be able to
continue to meet customers' needs," she said.

Kodachrome, because of its one-of-a-kind formula, didn't fit in with the
philosophy and was made only about once a year.

Mark Branibar
GTS-Welco Cylinder Control
Bethlehem, Pa.
Telephone: 610-317-1608 ext. 7221
Fax: 610-758-8384

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