100 million Kodachromes

Kodachrome slide

I love a good coincidence.

Yesterday, Kodak announced its intention to retire Kodachrome – on the exact same day that we completed our 25 millionth scan.

The subtlety of this confluence is not lost on us here at ScanCafe: Kodachrome, long loved by photographers for its vibrant colors, is also pretty much the only Kodak development process that resulted in a relatively stable image, one that could be preserved well over a long period of time. Stored well in the dark, Kodachrome slides tend to keep their density radically better than other Kodak processes; however, it is still important to note that in the absence of archival storage conditions (cold storage, humidity controlled) Kodachrome images will still deteriorate, albeit more slowly. So by retiring their most stable film they have highlighted the need to digitally preserve your analog archive.

At ScanCafe, our interest is in the preservation of the photography of several generations of consumers, and as such we find it pretty sad to see Kodachrome go. Historically, many really wonderful photos were taken with it – check out this book for some examples.

Kodachrome was by no means the most popular Kodak film, but it is without a doubt the one we most love to scan, and we especially love Kodachrome slides. Not only do they give us a chance to show off our terrific manual color correction skills, but the resulting images always have really exciting results. While we don’t keep this stat, I wouldn’t be surprised if a third of all the slides we’ve ever scanned are Kodachrome, and we’re pretty sure there are plenty more still out there, waiting to be preserved. So Kodachrome, you will always have a home here at ScanCafe. And here’s to the day we’ve scanned 100 million of them, coming soon I assure you.

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