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.
It has long been only a prototype. We first heard about at last year’s PMA trade show and were able to see a wooden version of it at Photokina in September 2008. But now, it’s official. Fujifilm is weeks away from releasing its GF670 Professional medium format film camera. Here is our full article about it.
Outside of Japan, the camera should be released under the Voigtlander Bessa III 667 name, which Cosina will distribute.
Well gang, we fought the good fight, but it’s official: Polaroid isn’t making any more film after December 31st, 2008.
Sad though we are, we’ve found a few bits of good news scattered amid the wreckage.
(P.S. You should really check out the Polapremium site they mentioned. Very cool stuff.)