Wando Man – Wando-eup, Republic of Korea
Nikon N90 SLR, Nikkor AF Zoom-NIKKOR 80-200mm f-2.8D ED, Kodak Kodachrome 64 35 mm color transparency film, Plustek OpticFilm 7600i Ai 35 mm film scanner, LaserSoft Imaging SilverFast 8 scanner software, exposure not recorded, handheld.
– Kodachrome, a film which was to color slides what the saxophone was to jazz –
Wando man is the first Kodak Kodachrome scan to be made with my new Plustek OpticFilm 7600i film scanner with LaserSoft Imaging SilverFast 8 scanning software in conjunction with a Kodachrome iT8 color calibration target. I have about 1,000 Kodachrome 25 and 64 transparencies which were taken between 1974 and 2009 (the Year Kodak stopped production of Kodachrome). After a few prints were made, they were relegated to boxes waiting to someday be scanned. The Plustek scanner came with an Ektachrome target that turned out to be dead on requiring no additional color adjustments, but I still needed the ability to scan Kodachrome which can be problematic. I went to LaserSoft’s web site to find that they wanted $200.00 for one Kodachrome target! A quick web search revealed that LaserSoft bought all the remaining Kodachrome film stock from Kodak in 2009 to use for production of iT8 targets for their SilverFast scanning software effectively cornering the market. I called LaserSoft to tell them this was highway robbery. The representative said, “We have seven left. Would you like one?” I immediately said yes, relieved for calling soon enough to get one of the last targets. Five days later it arrived, and I made the scan above. I can report that LaserSoft’s Kodachrome iT8 target is excellent. Right in the ballpark. I think I made a +30 degree Kelvin adjustment, and that’s only because I like things a little on the warm side.
The Kodachrome Story: Kodachrome was invented in the early 1930s by two professional musicians, Leopold Godowsky, Jr. and Leopold Mannes, who were also university trained scientists. Kodachrome is a type of color reversal film introduced by Eastman Kodak in 1935. It was one of the first successful color materials and was used for both cinematography and still photography. Because of its complex processing requirements, the film was sold process-paid in the United States until 1954 when a legal ruling prohibited this. Elsewhere, this arrangement continued. Kodachrome was the subject of a Paul Simon song and a US state park was named after it. For many years it was used for professional color photography, especially for images intended for publication in print media. Because of the uptake of alternative photographic materials, its complex processing requirements, and the widespread transition to digital photography, Kodachrome lost its market share, its manufacturing was discontinued in 2009 and its processing ended in 2010 (courtesy of Wikipedia).
Cessation of processing: After its Lausanne processing facility closed, Kodak subcontracted the processing work to Dwayne’s Photo, an independent facility in the United States, which became the world’s last Kodachrome processing facility. Dwayne’s processing of 35 mm films was fully endorsed by Kodak, but its Super-8 process was not endorsed because it required more agitation. Films sent for processing in the USA were mailed directly to Dwayne’s, while those in Europe were sent to the Lausanne facility’s address and forwarded to Dwayne’s.
Dwayne’s Photo announced in late 2010 that it would process all Kodachrome rolls received at the lab by December 30, 2010, after which processing would cease. As Dwayne’s final processing deadline approached, thousands of stored rolls of film were sent in for processing. Once film received by the deadline had been developed, the world’s last K-14 processing machine was taken out of service. The final roll to be processed was exposed by Dwayne Steinle, owner of Dwayne’s Photo. The cessation of processing by Dwayne’s Photo is commemorated in the book Kodachrome – End of the Run: Photographs from the Final Batches, edited by photographers Bill Barrett and Susan Hacker Stang with introductory essays by famed Time Magazine worldwide pictures editor Arnold Drapkin and Dwayne’s Photo vice president Grant Steinle. The book presents a year of pictures shot by Webster University photography students on more than 100 rolls of by-then rare Kodachrome film and processed by Dwayne’s on the very last day (extended to January 18, 2011) before processing chemicals ran out forever. Kodachrome film can no longer be processed in color, but it can be processed in black and white by some labs that specialize in obsolete processes and old film processing (courtesy of Wikipedia).