Kodak Kills Off Its Color Reversal Films

Kodak announced today that it has decided to discontinue its color reversal (AKA slide) films due to a steady decrease in sales and usage. The films discontinued are Ektachrome E100G/E100VS and Elite Chrome Extra Color 100. The company estimates that based on current sales pace, you’ll still be able to purchase the discontinued films for about six to nine months. If you were a loyal Kodak slide film shooter, it’ll soon be time to switch over to negative film or to Fujifilm color reversal films.

(via Kodak via PhotographyBLOG)

Image credit: Kodak Slide Film – 1967 by Nesster

  • Ndt

    So sad but the writings on the wall. And a new generation of digital photographers will never learn to master correct exposure. But on the upside, the learning curve with digital imaging is like a flat plane compared to shooting on reversal. 

  • Jesse

    Ugg. Time to stock up on E100VS

  • Raphael Puttini

    I’ll miss the E100VS. A pretty good filme when the Velvia 100F was not yet available.

  • Elias

    Lame. I mostly shoot Portra, but I love to shoot E100G from time to time. Astia here I come…

  • Ralph Hightower

    Darn! I reckon that I should buy some slide film for 2013. I’m currently using B&W film exclusively for 2012.

  • gullevek

    You know that Astia has been discontinued by Fuji.

  • gullevek

    What does this have to do with film? Correct exposure is as important with digital as it was with film.

  • Hunts Of Tokyo

    This has been coming for a long time. The development chemical are too expensive to produce. You should expect an announcement from Fujifilm too sometime this year. That said, both have stated their commitment to colour and mono films. 

  • Hahapete

     You just ruined his day. Haha.

  • Ndt

    Exposure is important with digi, but with reversal its critical, and you dont have the luxury of instant playback. The degree of certainty offered by being able check back your exposure on the back of your camera gives you no reason to be extra careful before deciding on exposure, because if its not quite right, you  can check and just shoot again. Try doing that with slides.

  • gullevek

    And you just gave the main reason why nobody wants to shoot film anymore. I love the ability to check the exposure on the camera, and the ability to decide if I can push it more to the right or keep it as it is.

    Film is just dead in general. I should get rid of my film gear before it is 100% worthless.

  • Sads

    Best to shoot as much slide as you can while its still available. Its sad to think all these people never going to see or experience the magic slide film or see it on a lightbox. I know when i first did the amazement of the colours, detail and clarity was crazy.

  • Bianca Garcia

    welp have a roll of e100g that I was going to shoot soon. guess I’ll save it now.

  • Captain Sisko

     In response to your last comment to Ndt; I hope that you do sell your “worthless” film gear. I know there are many people out there who can find much worth and beauty in your under-appreciated gear.

  • gullevek

    I hope so, but with the current cost of film and film development, it will be a hobby for people with a lot of money to spare.

  • Ken Chua

    true that. e100g is my favourite E6 film :( 

  • Trisca Dewi

    I don’t get it. I mean, here in Indonesia, we really look up for slide films and it’s really hard to find, and whenever we find someone who sells slide films, they’re always out of stock.

    How come the sales decreased? :|
    Freaking third world problem.

  • Meru Mir

    Same here in Kazakhstan

  • Jarobortiz

    That’s the sad thing.  I hear all this argument about digital vs. film.  The reality of the matter is this; the only digital capturing device capable of reproducing the quality of an 8×10 piece of slide film will cost you $80k just for the digital back.  The cost to buy a digital system that can reproduce the quality of a 4×5 piece of slide film will cost you roughly $11k just for the digital back.  Then take into consideration the cost of buying a camera with that back.  You are looking at a system that is going to cost you at a minimum of $25k – $30k.  Anyone who thinks they are getting quality out of their cropped sensor DSLR knows nothing about digital imaging.  Anyone who thinks their full frame DSLR will give you as good a quality as either format of slide film, again, knows nothing about digital imaging.  A DSLR doesn’t even give you 16-bit color for god sake.  It’s sad that lazy photo practice (the click and look method) and an overall ignorance by the populous has made us take a step back in quality.  But, hey, what do I know, you have a DSLR, YOU’RE A PRO NOW! 

  • Romanium

    scan a slide.

  • Janez

    Better that I start saving fora digital back, or my beloved gear will be useless in few years =(

  • Alan Dove

    Crap. I just shot a roll of E100G, after years of shooting C-41 and B&W films, and quite enjoyed the return to slides. The only real downside was having to send it out for processing, as there’s no good home E-6 chemistry available now.

    Employees of Dwayne’s Photo had better start looking for other work.

  • junyo

    That’s kind of a stupid rant. Even when film was the only photographic media, the vast majority of people never shot 4×5 or even medium format. Photography, for most people, has always been about immediacy, thus most people were always implicitly willing to trade a certain amount of objective IQ for ease of picture taking and camera portability. That has nothing to do with digital. Most people consume their images via media upon which maximum image quality is wasted. And if you can’t explain to people why they should care about an archaic media and format, what it does for them, outside of denigrating their requirements and screeching that they’re lazy, then maybe it’s not that big of a loss.

  • junyo

    That doesn’t mean that exposure isn’t critical, that just means one media gives a faster/easier feedback loop and is less labor intensive to work with. Exposure is actually more critical, since typically you’re working with less DR and exposure latitude. It’s a bit like arguing the raw nitroglycerin is a better explosive than TNT since, being unstable, it forces you to be more careful in handling. I don’t want to be more careful. I don’t get paid for careful. I get paid for output. Anything that makes output better/quicker/easier is by definition good. 

    Artists tend to get hung up on this concept that they are paid for effort, and that if it’s not hard it has less value. thing is, nobody really cares how hard you worked. I shoot film when I want a challenge, and to keep my hand in and because it’s comfortable to me, but when I’m on a deadline, all digital, all the time.

  • cmcintosh620

    Even large format? There are plenty of professionals shooting on only 4×5 and 8×10 chromes, how disappointing.

  • Javi Miqueleiz

    Bad news indeed. I’m a Provia shooter but competence was always good, hope Fuji doesn’t start overpricing…

  • Elias

    Yeah, I discovered that about 30 seconds after posting that comment. Some places still carry it in 120 though. Not sure for how much longer though. I guess Provia will be my next stop.

  • Elias

    Nah, as long as I’ve got Portra I’ll be set :)

  • Joe5

     I get 16 bit color from a Canon T3i; and specs and numbers and how hard/expensive something is have nothing to do with quality; that’s just used by someone to justify aesthetic value when the actual piece cant justify itself. Good photography has nothing to do with method, it doesnt matter how you got to the output, it matters whether the output is aesthetically pleasing or interesting

  • trackofalljades

    Everyone who’s interested by this milestone might also be interested in a documentary project currently underway to tell the story of Kodachrome , framed within the larger narrative of the film-to-digital transition and the “digital dilemma” which faces archivists in the era of bits and bytes.

    I’ve met the fellow directing this, and he has a very solid plan for his modest budget and an AMAZING collection of interviews from all sorts of folks (including the very last lab to ever process Kodachrome).  The funding round wraps up this week, please consider becoming a backer?  Even a small contribution is helpful, and rewards including your own copy of the completed film start as low as the price of a couple of movie tickets.

  • mhungry

     You assume that anyone outside of perhaps the occasional artist really cares to project physical slides these days.  It’s dead.  Everything has gone digital.  Theatre has even moved on to high-def projection because they can do much more with it than just project a still image.

  • Jack

    Let’s let the big boys talk here. I’m sure your Rebel gives you awesome pics.

  • Jeuroj

    It’s too bad that the market drives everything. Sometimes it is better to keep other options around – but I know film is not selling well.  I will miss projecting Kodak slides, in a dark room with good friends and family.  I know there are digital projectors, but I like projecting through the actual film.

  • Dallas Cheked

    My favorite color transparency films were Kodachrome II, 25 and 64. The colors were very natural, especially flesh tones. Blue hues were not exaggerated when shooting in the shade or with electronic flash. Whites and grays were very neutral. Kodachrome-X on the other hand was not as sharp, but rather grainy. The K-64 that replaced it was a huge improvement and was every bit as sharp as the 25-speed versions. The improvement of K-25 over K-II is debatable because I loved them both. K-II was so perfect, sharp and true to color that it was rather hard to improve upon. Kodak’s E-4 films were good, but didn’t quite have the warmth of Kodachrome-II, 25 or 64. It was however much sharper than Kodachrome-X, even in the 160-speed version. The later K-200 was very good and took surprisingly better pictures than the KX, but not quite as good as the K-25 or 64. The E-6 films were a noticeable improvement over the E-4 films. I preferred the Fujichrome series overall to the Ektachromes for their sharpness, color balance, latitude and in some cases extra speed. All had their place and purpose, regardless of brand or process The later processes were designed to be less toxic, simpler and more environmentally friendly compared to their predecessors.
    While digital cameras are catching up to all forms of film photography in terms of fidelity and sharpness, they cannot ever compare to the magic of shooting and showing those beloved transparencies!