The Consumer Electronics Show does not only include new technology but once in a while companies decide to bring back certain devices from a previous era but add a modern twist. From resurrecting old consoles like the Game Boy for nostalgic gamers to Kodak decision to bring back its Ektachrome film.
The once-popular color positive film was beloved by indie filmmakers as well as portrait photographers before it was discontinued back in 2012 due to poor sales. According to a statement issued by Kodak, the 135-36 x 35mm film known for its saturated colors and fine grain will be available in the fourth quarter of this year. Many independent filmmakers used the Ektachrome to produce an artistically grainy effect.
The decision to bring back the once popular film was made after Kodak received a number of requests from heavyweights in the movie industry like Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, and even Cristopher Nolan. In addition, Kodak also managed to sign a deal with major film studios in order to keep Ektachrome around, at least for the foreseeable future.
A limited return of the Ektachrome film was announced even back at CES 2016 tied in with Kodak’s Super 8 movie camera. Kodak also offered free film stock to all student filmmakers interested in it in order to encourage its use.
The Ektachrome film is able to produce an unusual positive print suitable for both slides as well as professional pre-printing processes. As such, National Geographic Magazine used it extensively over the decades. However, the development process required to produce is more expensive than other types of film. Nonetheless, Kodak stated that a number of professional film laboratories can still make it.
Kodak’s statement regarding the availability of the Ektachrome film also reveals that the company listened to its community regarding the wants and needs of photographers over the years. As such, it wanted to bring back a color reversal film, but it decided on Ektachrome only after its popularity for both indie filmmakers, as well as big names in Hollywood, requested it.
Unfortunately, Kodak did not reveal any precise date for the film, nor if it has any plans of bringing back any other type of films such as 16mm or Super 35 mm films.
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