It’s been teased for some considerable time, but Kodak has finally launched its Ektachrome film and it’s now shipping worldwide.
Five years after taking it off the shelves, the company believes there’s enough demand for the 35mm color transparency film to give it a second go, a move that looks set to delight long-time film fans in the business of taking stills as well as moving pictures.
Ektachrome is noted for its clean, vibrant colors, and fine grain, with its unique look likely to make it once again a popular choice among film shooters engaged in product, landscape, nature, and fashion photography.
While the Ektachrome 100 stills film is available now (in rolls of 36 frames), Kodak Ektachrome 7294 Color Reversal Film in the Super 8 format is coming next week on October 1, while a 16mm version will arrive “later this year.”
Looking at it from the viewpoint of filmmakers, Steve Bellamy, president of Eastman Kodak Company’s Motion Picture and Entertainment Division, said, “Ektachrome film was the choice for generations of filmmakers,” adding, “The distinct and unparalleled look of films like Tony Scott’s Domino and Spike Lee’s Inside Man could not have been achieved without Ektachrome. We are extremely excited to reintroduce this film to those who know and love it, and to a new generation of motion picture artists.”
Kodak sold Ektachrome in a number of variants and formats from the 1940s onwards, but with sales dropping in recent years amid growing pressure from the digital camera market, Kodak had ended production of all of its films by 2013.
In the same year, Kodak’s film photography unit was spun off into a new entity called Kodak Alaris. More recently, the company said it began to receive an increasing number of inquiries from photographers and filmmakers about the possibility of it bringing back some of its much-loved film products.
But recreating the film has been a challenging task. Kodak was unable to use the same production method as before because the process requires over 80 ingredients, many of which were no longer available. In the end, it made some of the chemicals itself, while calling on the services of other companies to help it create the rest.
“Sales of professional photographic films have been steadily rising over the last few years,” the company noted in 2017, adding that both professional and enthusiast photographers were “rediscovering the artistic control offered by manual processes and the creative satisfaction of a physical end product.”
Ektachrome will be shipped to camera stores around the world, though we’re still waiting for details on pricing.