On account of a perceived reversal in demand (geddit? Reversal? I'm on a roll [geddit? Roll?]), Kodak Alaris, the 2013 spinoff of the old Kodak that makes film, will re-introduce Ektachrome slide film.
Generally speaking, assuming it served them reliably and didn't cause problems, older photographers have more or less affection for old films depending on how much of it they shot and how well they knew it. Since Ektachrome was Kodak's bread-and-butter, middle-o'-the-road slide film and lots of people shot lots of it, you can read cries of approval all over the Internet. Well and good!
Me, I never shot much slide film; didn't have to for clients, and slide film didn't have any DR (exposure range), and all us arty guys shot VPS and made prints anyway.
As the rest of the Internet suddenly extols the virtues of Ektachrome (I live in the future and the future is strange), I probably shouldn't remind people that it was the the slightly cold neutrality and subdued, "accurate" colors of Ektachrome, a film that Kodak was complacent about and saw fit to improve only sluggishly, that allowed Fujifilm to eat Kodak's lunch in the '90s with its zippier, more saturated Fujichrome films.
But never mind; Ektachrome's back, and that's good news for many. Power to 'em, all of 'em. Choice is good. Ektachrome is a 100-speed, E-6 process film that was previously discontinued in 2012. Kodak no longer makes slide projectors.
(Thanks to more tipsters than I can shake a stick at)
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Featured Comments from:
marcin wuu: "Introducing, or reintroducing actually, any film is good news these days, 'cause it's so rare. You keep hearing about new films popping up here and there, but it always turns out it's a rebadged existing product. So, while I don't shoot reversal, this bit of news made me happy, which is a rare thing lately. We're at the end of digital transition, and film's still not dead it seems. Like Punk, kinda."
Doug Thacker: "Good luck getting it processed. There was a new lab that opened in Hawaii circa 2003 that spent seven figures for its E-6 processing gear (I heard the amount was $2 million). Fujifilm's Hawaii division farmed its local E-6 processing out to them, so I know they made a lot of money, but when the lab shut down six or seven years later due to lack of business, they couldn't find anyone to purchase their E-6 processor, and my understanding is they ended up leaving it in a dumpster. Hopefully they'd made their money back on it. Since Ilfochrome/Cibachrome chemistry is no longer available—not to mention slide projectors—it's going to be pretty difficult to justify shooting slide film. But I suppose it will be a nice novelty for young people."
Peter: "You didn't mention the huge market (relatively speaking) for cross-processed, i.e., C-41 processed, Ektachrome. That's what I used for my Cuba montage series, with the idea that cross-processed Ektachrome, with a few simple tweaks of color balance and color-specific saturation in Photoshop, is evocative of old magazine photos that have been gathering dust for the past 50 years. Unlike other cross-processed slide film, Ektachrome E100VS (I wonder whether the new stuff is more like the standard G or the more vivid VS) was not irretrievably color-cast in greens or yellows or purples. It was a bit more subtle. Hoping the same for the new stuff."
Tom: "This pleases me. For 11 years of my career I shot 10 rolls of Ektachrome a day, sometimes at base, often at 'plus one.' You found a way to do it and pictures from that period seem somehow to have more character for so often straining at the limits of suitable shutter speeds and apertures and if the light was inadequate or unsuitable you lit the scene rather than bumping the ISO.
"The need for post production is one of the things that pains me most about digital. To this day I can't accept that it's just no longer possible to get it right in camera every time."
Trecento: "Ah! I might have to get my older rangefinders serviced. I'd been wanting to visit the late 'fifties and early 'sixties again. Maybe do some re-photography. I do recall that my grandfather and dad were kinda down on Ektachrome, because fading was much more noticeable to them than it was on Kodachrome. (R.I.P. K64.)"
Speed: "My camera has a slot for a CF card and one for an SD card. I don't see an Ektachrome slot. Will they be selling an adapter?"
Mike replies: I don't think there is one. You might have to develop it yourself. [*Rimshot*]