Ever since Kodak announced its return back in January 2017 at the Consumer Electronics Show, photographers have eagerly awaited the second coming of the classic (and iconic) film line.
In tandem with Kodak Alaris, which will provide Kodak Professional Ektachrome 35mm film stills. Eastman Kodak will produce the film as well as the Super 8 Cinema version of Ektachrome.
Kodak hinted that the line would return before the end of the year but then there was nothing but silence on the subject since its initial announcement.
Coupled with the recent reports of a revenue downturn at the company, it would be reasonable to think that the company had shelved plans for a later date.
But fear not, Kodak is still bringing back Ektachrome, according to Marketing and Product Manager Diane Carroll-Yacoby, who recently spoke on the Kodakery podcast about the upcoming Ektachrome relaunch.
Ektachrome was discontinued in 2013 after being developed in the 1940s and seeing widespread use in both professional and consumer photography.
While some point to Kodachrome’s superior format in terms of “archival qualities and color palette” according to Wikipedia, Ektachrome’s strength is in the film’s versatility and ease of development when compared with the time-consuming process needed for Kodachrome.
Diane Carroll-Yacoby tells the Kodakery podcast about the market difficulties Kodak is facing in bringing Ektachrome back to market, commenting that some of the ingredients originally used are no longer available. To insure profitability, Kodak will be making the film in small batches, for example, as opposed to Ektachrome’s heyday.
What ingredients Kodak could not find to reformulate Ektachrome it is making itself.
Further, Kodak has worked to redesign the film so that it can be developed using the equipment currently available to the company according to DP Review.
While the film will be produced before the end of 2017, much of what will be produced will be subject to internal testing at Kodak with a full market release in 2018 if everything checks out and is up to Kodak’s quality standards.
You can listen to the Kodakery podcast on SoundCloud by clicking here.