Mama Don’t Take My Kodachrome Away

23 06 2009

In a brief article/obituary today, the New York Times related the announcement by Kodak that they have stopped production on their iconic film stock Kodachrome.

Made famous by its sheer ubiquity long before Paul Simon sung about how it gave ‘nice bright colors’ Kodachrome was, for some in my family, a synonym for ‘camera.’. As in “Hey, could you hand me my Kodachrome from the table there.”

In this age of super-cheap digital cameras and Flip Minos I’m not going to mourn this chemical technology. But it’s always interesting when an icon, like Fidel Castro, steps down.



2 responses to “Mama Don’t Take My Kodachrome Away”

24 06 2009
Jacob Karesh (08:53:46) :

Reminds me of playing trivial pursuit with an old edition of the game, and how the times change. Some questions which would be so obvious back when it was made are not the case anymore. The one this specifically reminded me of was asking for the largest user of silver in the world, which, back then, was Kodak.

22 07 2009
B.J. Ahlen (18:49:31) :

I gave up on Kodachrome when they replaced the Kodachrome II emulsion with K25 and K64 to allow for less toxic developer chemistry.

KII, now that was a work of real beauty… Skin and nature greens looked fabulous without being offensively exaggerated, the emulsion sharpness had no equal, and there was just something organic about the look.

Some day digital cameras will match this…

Digital has surpassed film in many metrics, but not yet in the “organic look” area. I suspect this is because we don’t know everything about how the eye (and KII :O) perceives reality. Looking back through my archives, I don’t know how I would get the feel of some of those old shots today with any camera at any price.

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