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Kodak Discontinues Kodachrome Film Amidst Barrage of Terrible Paul Simon Jokes

We get it, Associated Press, Paul Simon wrote a popular song with the word "Kodachrome" in it. But that's only a tiny—if annoying catchy—part of the film's tremendous legacy, which stretches back to 1935.

On a technical level, Kodachrome—the first truly popular color film—is a dinosaur, requiring color to be added during development in a process which a particularly charitable technician might call "exacting." Nonetheless, for decades many photographers swore by the format for its color accuracy, versatility, and pedigree. Today, just one lab still processes the film, and it makes up less than one percent of Kodak's total still film sales, which, let's face it, probably aren't very high right now.

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What sounds like a boring, inevitable "death of film" story at first is transformed into something of a tragedy with context—a favorite of motion and still film professionals, Kodachrome film is behind some of the most iconic images of our, our parents', and our grandparents' times: Steve McCurry's famous "Afghan Girl" photo for National Geographic, above, was shot on the film, as was Zapruder's video of Kennedy's assassination. (See this interview for McCurry's thoughts on Kodachrome). Kodak has assembled a gallery of the film's greatest hits, excerpted here. It's fairly spectacular, even to a child of the digital age. [AP]

Illustration for article titled Kodak Discontinues Kodachrome Film Amidst Barrage of Terrible Paul Simon Jokes
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Illustration for article titled Kodak Discontinues Kodachrome Film Amidst Barrage of Terrible Paul Simon Jokes

Credit: Steve McCurry, via Kodak

Illustration for article titled Kodak Discontinues Kodachrome Film Amidst Barrage of Terrible Paul Simon Jokes

Credit: Steve McCurry, via Kodak

Illustration for article titled Kodak Discontinues Kodachrome Film Amidst Barrage of Terrible Paul Simon Jokes
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Credit: Steve McCurry, via Kodak

Illustration for article titled Kodak Discontinues Kodachrome Film Amidst Barrage of Terrible Paul Simon Jokes
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DISCUSSION

I just sold my D300 and went back to film. I can take a 35mm slide I took in 1979 and using the latest film scanning service get a 17MP digital image, and I've got the digital and the original as a backup as scanning technology improves. On the other hand, 6MP pictures taken with a D70 in 2005 will always be 6MP. Besides, with everyone going digital, there are some magnificent film cameras out there for next to nothing these days.

Hate to see the end of Kodachrome, guess I'll have to stock up the freezer or shoot Fuji velvia.