After nearly two years of building up anticipation, Kodak Alaris has just announced that it has started shipping Kodak Professional Ektachrome E100 film worldwide. If you’ve been dying to get your hands on the film stock again, you’ll be able to very soon.
The new Ektachrome will initially be available in 35mm film rolls in the standard 36×24mm film format. It’s a daylight balanced color positive film that features “clean, vibrant colors, a neutral tone scale, and extremely fine grain,” and it’s “well suited to a wide range of applications, such as product, landscape, nature and fashion photography,” Kodak Alaris says.
I downloaded the Kodak Professional Film app this afternoon, and for a free app, it has some useful bits: a sunrise/sunset geolocation time calculator, a local processing guide, etc. Worth the price, certainly1
Using the new and improved app, Kodak film shooters can: get recommendations on what film type would work best for a particular situation, learn about different film formats, search for retail locations that sell Kodak film within 200 miles of you, search for places that will develop the specific Kodak film you’re shooting, find out when the sun is rising and setting at your current location, and, as if that wasn’t enough, there’s even an at-home B&W darkroom processing guide.
I have some very important news regarding your Kodak Gallery account and images. You may have heard that we recently entered into a process to sell Kodak Gallery as part of Kodak’s broader restructuring efforts. I am writing today to let you know that we have closed on a buyer: a public company called Shutterfly.
Although I am sad to announce that our Kodak-branded service will be closing on July 2 as a result of this sale, I am very pleased to announce that we have found a strong partner in Shutterfly. We will be working with them as we officially transfer your information and photo images to Shutterfly. They have an award-winning user experience that mirrors ours in many ways, and many of the services and products that you enjoy today on Kodak Gallery also exist at Shutterfly.
This is all well and good, but unfortunately, Shutterfly doesn’t offer the professional grade prints that I used Kodak for.
With Pro Prints You Get: Award-winning line of silver-halide color-negative papers Showcases interest and depth, color and incredible detail Archival papers set the standard for print longevity of 100+ years in typical home display and 200+ years in dark storage
Professional Paper Options Color: Professional Color Management gives outstanding color saturation, enhanced highlight and shadow detail Metallic Finish: Enhances water and sky landscapes with chrome-like feel, sharp detail Black & White: Enhances portraits and landscapes with dark blacks and intense whites with sharp archival characteristics
The Metallic Finish really pops, I’ll miss using it. Kodak also learned quite a bit from being Apple’s iPhoto print fulfillment back-end, Kodak’s process of uploading and ordering prints is a lot simpler than Shutterfly’s. Especially for non-typical photo sizes.
Well, if you were considering ordering a print from my website, or elsewhere, let me know before the end of June, so I can create it utilizing the better options that Kodak offers.
I hope Kodak pulls themselves back to profitability, I still prefer to use their photo paper when creating framable prints, and while I shoot mostly digitally these days, when I do shoot film, I nearly always use Kodak film.
All that said, Al Ries of Ad Age disputes the oft-told reason for Kodak going bankrupt, namely that Kodak was too slow to recognize digital photography was the future.
Conventional logic blames Kodak’s weak position on the product. Why is this so? Because most people believe the better product wins in the marketplace. And since Kodak is No.6 in the market, it obviously didn’t have the better product. Nice, tightly-reasoned thinking. Who can argue the point? I can. What’s the difference between Kodak photographic film and Kodak digital cameras? Kodak means “film” photography. Kodak doesn’t mean “digital” photography.
When a category is changing, the worst thing that can happen to a brand is being stuck in the past. The Kodak brand was stuck in the past and the only thing that could have saved the company was a second brand.
Kodak should have given its digital brand a different name than its film brand.
There’s a lot of evidence the brand name “Kodak” is not worth much outside of photographic film. Consider the introduction of the following Kodak products that never achieved much success.
In 1975, Kodak plain-paper copiers.
In 1976, Kodak instant cameras.
In 1984, Kodak videocassette recorder and cameras.
In 1985, Kodak floppy disks.
In 1986, Kodak batteries.
In 2005, Kodakgallery.com.
In 2007, Kodak ink-jet printers.
There are a lot of reasons for a product to fail, but two of the most important reasons are: (1) the product itself and (2) the name. But nobody ever seems to consider the latter. It’s always the former.