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CES 2017: Kodak Brings Back Ektachrome Color Reversal Film

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Pleasing film photographers everywhere, Kodak Alaris has announced its re-entrance into the color-reversal film market with the re-introduction of Ektachrome (E100). After exiting the transparency film market in 2012, Kodak focused its attention solely on color negative films, leaving color slide film lovers with no choice other than to switch brands or transition to working with negative film. Luckily, due to growing demand and attention to film photography again, Kodak is planning to bring back the beloved color positive film by the fourth quarter of 2017.

Ektachrome E100 is a general purpose, daylight-balanced color slide film known for its accurate color response, fine grain, and clean, balanced contrast and tonal ranges. Compared to color negative films, this transparency film is processed in E-6 chemistry to produce a positive image on the film that is ideal for mounted slide projection and is also incredibly beneficial for photographers who scan their work. The re-release of Ektachrome will be available in the 35mm, 36-exposure roll format for still photographers, as well as the Super 8 format for filmmakers, which will be well-suited for the forthcoming Kodak Super 8 movie camera.

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Amen and thank you Kodak. The loss of E100G was heartbreaking and detrimental to the cause of film photography.
Thank you for "seeing the light!"  ;-)

I hope they do 100' bulk rolls, I don't know why nobody packages bulk rolls of color film anymore. 

I am glad also to see Kodak producing film.  I hope this adventure will include 120 and sheet film.

I liked the EL 400 120, and I suppose this  is more accurate, and finer grained, but one should use

professional cameras.

I believe we're going back to Film...

I've lost a lot of pictures due to computer, digital upgrades, technology advances and motherboards dying etc.

I managed to save my last hardrive in my old computer and created an external. Over time though, I'll probably lose a lot more.

I also noticed that my latest family pictures have been digital. I'm worried they may be lost over time.

Film is stowable and can be found generations later... 

Yikes. I'm shooting both now to make sure I have something for future...

Appreciate the come back. I miss Kodak processing too...  :-(

As long as it's black and white...

Finally, some thought into the beauty and art of photography that has been lost (temporarily).

I've been shooting Provia 100 and keeping my stock of EPR and EPN for special occasions. Hopefully the new Ektachrome stock will be just as good as the old, I've never been really happy with the newer Fuji chrome films, except for the old Velvia 50.

Now Kodak, has rumured to bring back KR 64? is so will developement mailers be available? If so I'll be back with my F100!

Wow, at first I wondered if this was an announcement from The Onion.

If true, then good news.  I shot a LOT of Kodachrome25 back in the day, with Ektachrome64 my alternative.

A question for you guys:  I went up in the attic a few months ago and pulled down some batches of K25 slides that I shot in Africa back in 1969.  All were yellowed, almost to the degree of the yellow mask put on negatives!  I couldn't believe it and thought that Kodachrome was super-stable.  Yes, I can pretty much balance out the yellowing in the PC but was shocked nonetheless.  The slides never got super-hot or cold.

I recently got out family home movies to show relatives. It's been many years since we had a "movie night". Kodachrome, 16mm, shot on an old CineKodak dating back to 1951. We were all amazed over color and sharpness of these films. Very impressive!  There were a couple rolls of Ektachrome from the mid '60s. Very unimpressive! They appeared to have faded considerably. The films have always been stored in house but not an attic.

Nevertheless I look forward to the reintroduction of Ektachrome. Hopefully it will be available in 16mm.

It was the heat in the attic. I had some 8mm movie film from 1958-1963 taken by my dad tranfered to dvd. It was as clear as the first day taken because it was stored in the house with ac. A friend of mine had some super8 from the early 1980s left in his garage his came out yellowed and washed out.

I think the key word there was "attic".  The storage conditions up there are hardly likely to be ideal. Also, who processed the Kodachrome? There were a lot of places around back then that couldn't quite get the complicated process right. Finally, didn't Kodak put a lacquer on their processed Kodachrome back then? That could be what has turned yellow.

Having been a QC Analytical Tech and Chem man at at K14 Lab in the late 80's early 90's and now doing photo archiving and restoration work, here is what you can expect from Kodachrome, Kodachrome-II, K-12, and K-14:
The original process Kodachrome was more or less the same from 1935-1962. These slides looked amazing, but the skin tones were a bit saturated (Velvia-like, but flatter)... the longevity of this process when kept in cool DRY and dark conditions is exceptional. You should see little fading, but with varying conditions you never know what to expect. Heat and humidity kills all film. In 1962 Kodachrome-II was introduced, this was process K-12 and was produced through 1973 when Process K-14 was implemented. K-14 was the final formulary for the process. All of the variants are susceptible to fading if stored in hot, humid or lighted conditions...  Mold and mildew can also attack the film in humid conditions. Beyond that, the color stability of Kodachrome when stored properly is unbelievably solid. I've seen Kodachrome slides taken in 1953 that looked like they were taken with Velvia a couple of years ago. There is something about well shot, well stored kodachrome that even E100G and Velvia can't touch though.

My final rolls of Kodachrome were old stock K64 in 2012 and I was not satisfied with the quality. I chock this up to (a) not being Kodachrome Professional film, (b) outdated film (even if by a few months).. and (c) Dwaynes may not have been up to snuff on process control in those last weeks and months although I can't verify that one).

I would be amazed if Kodak brought back Kodachrome. It was hyper expensive to process in 1992, and the cost of the raw materials (bulk dye couplers imported from Kodak France, for example) was both cost and labor intensive. The process demanded the highest level of skill, competence and attention, but yielded results unmatched by anything today.

As far as special coatings, etc. Kodachrome had no final stabilizer. Ektachrome did had a stabilzer bath (Formaldehyde) that was (and is) critical to both color stability and mold/mildew resistance. Ektachrome from the 1960's that I often see are 9 times out of 10 extremely faded (gone off into magenta land) and it is a rare day when I see any Ektachrome prior to the mid 70's that isn't this way. The early Ektachrome processes were weak and had many stability issues. E-6 was launched in the 70's and was a huge improvement.

Mike - Central Maine Photo Services

News of the new Ektachrome seems totally out of nowhere and an interesting choice for Kodak.  It gives me some faith that the company is going to try to make some maverick, maybe even innovative moves in this new chapter of its history.  Of course everyone would have preferred they revived Kodachrome but with its unique process this is unlikely.  And personally, I wasn't actively using Kodachrome myself.  I think that the still photography community has largely been content with Ektar in place of Kodachrome due to its practicality.  Ektar is amazing!  I wonder though, what were the factors that lead Kodak to believe Ektachrome will be profitable again.  Was it simply to fill the need for a positive film for cinematographers?  As a still shooter, I don't see/know a lot of us who are using slide film regularly so I can only guess that this relaunch is directed more at cinema.  Maybe it just happens to be a somewhat practical stock for them to tool up for and create some buzz?  In any case, it's all very well though!  I'm excited to try it when it's available!  

Johnny:

I am excited by Kodak's announcement of re-introducing Extachrome film because I always enjoyed film photgraphy.  You have been using Ektar 100 color negative film, which I had never heard of. Where do you send the film for procesing?  Any information you can send me will be much appreciated.

Sincerly,

Lawrence Friedman

I'm a still shooter that uses slide film regurarly in all formats.  I shoot Provia exclusivly.  I intend to shoot Ektachrome when it's released, its a beautiful film.  

Funny, I was just talking to my 93-year old mom about ASA 25 Kodacolor slide film the other day and how rich the colors were. I was fortunate to have gone to high school in Switzerland, and used my ancient Argus 35 mm to get some great shots in the snow, circa 1968.

Love it!

 I'm still waiting for my Kodachrome (ASA 25). There has never been another like it. The best example of its quality was the gigantic blow-up from 1 frame that was in Grand Central in NYC. That inspired my interest in photography.

Kodachrome is gone and will never come back as the chemicals required for processing are incredibly toxic and environmentally unfriendly vs. E-6. I feel fortunate I had the chance to shoot it back in the day.

I don't believe the chemicals are any more toxic than other photochemicals. From what I understand Kodachrome is essentially a black and white film (and can be processed as such), but it is a 14 step development process and during the process the color coupers are added. This is unlike more "modern" film that incorporates the color couplers into the film itself. The process is obviously more complex than other processes, so that is most likely the big culprit behind its demise. Although by the time Kodak discontinued it, they had made a fairly compact auto processing machine. However Kodachrome was finicky stuff and the 25 ASA though fabulous out doors, can be problematical indoors. I did shoot some Kodachrome stills, and even had the pleasure of shooting a short film in Super 16 on it. Fabulous, just fabulous film. Incredible skin tones.

Yes I'm not too confident it is as toxic as any other black and white reduction chemistry if it were so it would have been mitigated by Hollywood which still creates separations of budget allowable films and stores and as I understand still created a homogenous all colours one film base stock from these. 

The dye couplers were not quite environmentally friendly, but there toxicity was not extraordinary. However, the Fogging Reversal Agent added to theMagenta Developer (first two couplers were fogged via filtered lamps) was EXTREMELY toxic, as in kill you outright like Rat Poison. The stuff was dangerous. Outside of that one chemical the process was not extremly toxic. K-14 did use a Ferrocyanide bleach, which could be toxic if the pH were allowed to drop to acidic (release of free cyanide)... but on the alkali it was completely inert.

The problem was the cost of the couplers. They WERE extremely expensive. And the process required close atantion and a skilled experienced QC staff.

Mike - Central Maine Photo Services

Fantastic! Now lets shoot for some new Kodachrome 25!

Sadly, I see this as the same as GM setting up a plant to make and market the 1971 Chevy Impala again. It was an amazing car in 1971, but can't compare at all to the cars you can buy today. Positive film had such limited dynamic range compared to what we have with today's digital technology. If I accidentally overexpose an outside shot by, let's say, 5 or 6 stops (or I have a scene with a huge range from the shadows to the highlights), in RAW I can still pull back acceptable detail. But with Ektachrome, that detail got blown away the instant you clicked the shutter. You can't bring it back; it was lost forever in an instant.

Photographers who will be interested to shoot Ektachrome are NOT of the proficiency that accidentally overexposes by five or six stops. Having the eye to see what the scene will look like on film will again be a requirement, well, at least a big help. As others have expressed, a 120 or 220 version would be desirable for us with medium format film cameras, alas 220 is almost extinct by now, at least at B&H.

I understand the forgiving nature of digital photography and its awesome 'post' options that can resurect the (accidentally shot:-) most awful exposures, Alas, it produced photographers who RELY on 'post' to make the final product acceptable. Now, bracketing or built in HDR can produce a session with a few hundred shots and allows for somebody to spend hours on 'post' editing what a careful, tripod composed, metered, exposure, can do in mere minutes of 'pre'!

Well said! There is a certain technical proficiency required to be a phtographer which should not be forgotten about. If you accidentaly over expose by 5 or 6 stops you have f****ed up and should probably not be shooting on any asignment somebody has commissioned. 

Exactly. Shoot a wedding on MF film today. That will test your resolve and attention. I've done it, successfully, but every shot HAD to count. The final product was well worth it though! NO POST REQUIRED!

Let's be clear here.  "...that detail got blown away the instant..." the photographer failed to recognize what he or she was doing before clicking the shutter.  Which is not a problem with the film.  And rarely a problem for those still sufficiently disciplined and experienced and motivated to make images using film.

Skill is one's ability to know (and not just think one knows) what is going to happen before taking an action.  It's not taking an action first, then waiting to see what must be done after to make it right.  Or less wrong...

I went completely digital back in '05. I'm back to completely film now. There are enough like me that are gave an honest attempt at loving digital and found it didn't and still doesn't satisfy in the way film does.

I respectfully beg to differ....  Kodachrome 25, when properly exposed and processed had a dynamic range that no other film and no digital medium yet can quite match. I shot (3) seasons of snowboarding on K25 16mm stock in the early '90's and the latitude of that film was beyond comprehnsion. It was designed for projection and projection only. This is one of the reasons Kodachrome is a bear to scan, the latitude is such that even a great scan cannot reproduce the punch and detail Dmin/Dmax detail that a proper Kodachrome image imparts.

People should investigate this more closely.  I wonder IF this is KODAK, Rochester, NY, OR KODAK, England.  When KODAK fell on hard times several years ago, it was reported that due to English labour laws regarding compensation for employees & retirees, KODAK was forced to fulfill these obligations.  It may have been that a deal was struck to allow "KODAK" in England to continue to produce & market KODAK film & associated products to fulfill this legal requirement.  In any event, I still have my CANON PELLIX QL & its sister, and my 1N & 1V, and a freezer full of FUJI & KODAK postive & negative films!

The film will be manufactured at the Rochester , NY Kodak plant . 

I hope processing kits would also be available? Tatenal a German company was providing three bath kit. Kodak should provide processing kits.

Hi Irfan,

Hopefully we'll see the availability of some E-6 kits increase as this film is re-released. B&H currently has a complete E-6 kit for home processing, as well as bulk quantities of other E-6 chemicals, and many professional labs still offer E-6 development.

I was wondering / hoping for the same thing.  I hope you guys can find a way to offer shipment of these chems.  Another hazmat friendly carrier for a higher price perhaps?  

Unfortunately, these chemicals are only available for store pickup.  I don’t know if B&H will be able to ship them in the future.

Does anyone know which ektachrome is coming back? EPN, EBX, etc? Or will this be completely new?

Unfortunately, Kodak has yet to provide that information.  At this time, I don’t know if it will be a new version of the film stock or if they will be remaking previous versions of the film stock.

Does anyone know which ektachrome is coming back? EPN, EBX, etc? Or will this be completely new?

Dwayne's Photo, located in Parsons, KS, does the processing.

Processing & mounting for a 35mm, 36 exposure roll, takes 3-4 days and costs $8.95.

However, I would only be interested in film again if Kodachrome was reintroduced, since I consider E6 films to be inferior when it comes to sharpness.

bang on.  the 25 is the best I know ever made as well as sharpness.  Have won a few contests with it.  Real camera people would use it. 

I wonder how much money they'll make with this - will be interesting to see how long it lasts. It sounds romantic enough but the practical reality of using it and seeing the results may disappoint quite a few - unless screen projection is the desired mode of presentation.

Well let's hope.  The LP is making a comeback in the music world.......so???

I'm now in my early 60's. It's photographers of my era that had to develop the skills how to make ISO (er, "ASA") 100 speed transparency film produce an acceptable professional image. (I remember "push processiong" EK 400 film to ASA 800 - 1 whole stop -  and getting crappy results unless you loved loads of grain anyway.)

Younger folks never needed to develop these skills and I doubt many will find it commercially viable to try to develop those skills now. So, this re-introduction might bring a smile to a number of "old guys" who were good with it, but I just can't see this as anything more than an extremely small-niche market. 

Millenial here! (Born in '96)

I'd consider my photography to be somewhat professional. I sell big aluminum prints of my shots.

9 months ago I bought a Nikon scanner to scan my grandpa's old slides (lots of Kodachrome). After a few scans I was just blown away by the colors they offered. So I bought several Canon bodies from the early 2000's. They all came with Autofocus, some even offered eye control, and they have EF mounts. They also feel exactly the same as my digital Canon body. This meant I could keep shooting the way I was used to (and keep using my lenses, too!). My digital body is still in use (whenever I need to deliver pictures within hours. I'm also a photographer for my colleges newspaper). But I enjoy shooting film a lot more than digital. To me it's simply got a certain "fine art" taste to it. My favorite emulsion so far is Velvia 50. But I can't wait to shoot this for the first time. 

To all haters out there: I'm not a hipster. I simply enjoy using a medium that I have learned to love just recently. 

My plans for 2017: start shooting 120. I'm in love with the Mamiya RZ67. 

I think you might be surprised by the purchasing power of the hipster.  I bet this takes.

I feel that transparencies scan really well and are much easier to colour balance than a color neg. This may make a very very good hybrid system of shooting film and finishing digital. Back in the day I started out shooting ektachrome 64 on all commercial and fashion projects for its accuracy in detail and fantastic skin tones. I am really excited about this and I hope they introduce a 120mm E100. 

WOW!  I may have to look for a good used Pentax body. The demise of Ektachrome knocked me out of 35mm film photography. Digital photography was overpriced and underwhelming and I used point & shoot cameras for snapshots. It wasn't until very few years ago that I re-engaged serious photography and bought back into a Pentax digital body. Other than some prized Pentax glass, I sold most of my film-based gear to raise funds for the digital era.

I shot some Kodachrome - too saturated, especially the reds. My regrets to Paul Simon and Nikon. Fujichrome has never done a thing for me. Color negative film? It just never grabbed me either. 

There used to be multiple quality labs doing Cibachrome (now Ilfochrome) prints - it is down to a handful. Maybe I can hope against hope there is an increase in labs doing both E6 and Ilfochrome?

Jim, it is really worth giving it a go yourself. Yes, I understand that the home E6 kits are not the embodiment of technical perfection like a pro lab once was. But compared to the processing you get for considerable money at an average lab, it is worth trying and you might be surprised. All you have to do is keep your solutions at a constant temperature (usually 38.8 degrees C) - all I do is put the plastic bottles into a bath at 42 degrees C and by the time the heat has completely penetrated the solutions, they are ready to go.

I get great results, light years ahead of the pathetic, scratched, cross process transparencies that my local place offers. I went down this road out of despair and disappointment, and I'm really happy with what I get.

    Hi Jim....Just loaded 4-AA batteries into the accessory grip of my old ZX-7 Pentax. All systems are go , shutter speeds sound/feel right.

   Bring-on the Ektachrome. The fourth-quarter 2017 re-introduction will give me time to save up for the price-per-shot horror that film 

   enthusiasts have forgotten about. 

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