An electronics expo isn’t the most obvious place to announce that you are bringing back a film product, but that is exactly what Kodak has done. To the joy of many photographers, the former photography powerhouse is to restart production of Kodak Ektachrome colour slide film.
In March 2012 Kodak announced that it would end production of Ektachrome, having been winding down and discontinuing certain formulations since 2009. In one form or another Ektachrome films had been in production since the mid-1940s, and in the mid 1970s the E-6 developing process was introduced for the latest emulsions. Of course, the E-6 process would go on to become the process for developing nearly all colour slide films.
Ektachrome’s distinctive look
In 1999, Ektachrome film stock was used to shoot the movie Three Kings. The stylised look of the film was created by cross-processing Ektachrome as C-41 colour negative film. It was a style and technique that was widely copied by filmmakers, and photographers who wanted to achieve the same look.
Ektachrome will be produced for the motion picture industry, but will also be spooled and packaged in 35mm format. The 135 35mm film will be distributed by Kodak Alaris, an independent company that produces Kodak branded personal imaging products.
Kodak will begin production of Ektachrome after it has undergone a reformulation process over the course of this year. Production of the film will take place at Kodak’s famous film production factory in Rochester, NY.
The Future of Kodak Ektachrome
Kodak obviously think there’s enough demand for Ektachrome to justify a relaunch, but it will be interesting to see just how much a roll of film will cost. Both the cinema and consumer films will be spooled in much smaller numbers than when it was in its heyday. Ektachrome 135 36 exposure film is expected to be available by the end of 2017.
Are you looking forward to the return of Kodak Ektachrome? Let us know in the comments below.