Thursday, April 18, 2013

Ektachrome, Requiescat En Pace

Bathhouse, Coney Island, 
Brooklyn, New York, November 1988

Richoh KR-5 Super / Rikkenon 50mm/f2
Kodak Ektachrome  200 reversal film 

The Eastman Kodak Company, which operates on the business model of leaving their most loyal customers - i.e., film photographers - high and dry, while rolling out slipshod products in their never-ending quest to play catch-up in the digital photography arena, apparently got rid of Ektachrome, it's line of E-6 reversal films, that have been the poor relations to their proprietary process, Kodachrome, which they killed off (amid gnashing of teeth, wailing, and spinning Paul Simon's 45 record of the same name) in 2009.

But, unlike Kodachrome, the demise of which was known to film lovers well in advance, it appears that Ektachrome has gone out not with a bang, but a whimper.

The whimper came - at least to me - when I tried ordering some at B&H Photo and Video, and noticed only a few available rolls, in off-sized (such as hand-spooled 620).  I Googled Ektachrome, and found this on Eastman Kodak's website:

As of March 1, 2012, Eastman Kodak will no longer manufacture Ektachrome reversal film.

Well, then.  I guess that's that.  It looks as though Fuji and Agfa (reorganized after it spun off from Agfa-Gevaert as Agfa Photo) are the last men standing.  And, judging from the "Made in Japan" notation on the box of Agfa CT Precisa 100 I got last month, it appears that Fuji is the only manufacturer left in business.  And, even they have been winnowing down their selection of reversal films.

Thank God my Frigidaire is in good repair.