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For Kodachrome Fans, Road Ends at Photo Lab in Kansas
New York Times ^ | December 30, 2010 | A. G. SULZBERGER

Posted on 12/30/2010 4:04:06 AM PST by Second Amendment First

PARSONS, Kan. — An unlikely pilgrimage is under way to Dwayne’s Photo, a small family business that has through luck and persistence become the last processor in the world of Kodachrome, the first successful color film and still the most beloved.

That celebrated 75-year run from mainstream to niche photography is scheduled to come to an end on Thursday when the last processing machine is shut down here to be sold for scrap.

In the last weeks, dozens of visitors and thousands of overnight packages have raced here, transforming this small prairie-bound city not far from the Oklahoma border for a brief time into a center of nostalgia for the days when photographs appeared not in the sterile frame of a computer screen or in a pack of flimsy prints from the local drugstore but in the warm glow of a projector pulling an image from a carousel of vivid slides.

In the span of minutes this week, two such visitors arrived. The first was a railroad worker who had driven from Arkansas to pick up 1,580 rolls of film that he had just paid $15,798 to develop. The second was an artist who had driven directly here after flying from London to Wichita, Kan., on her first trip to the United States to turn in three rolls of film and shoot five more before the processing deadline.

The artist, Aliceson Carter, 42, was incredulous as she watched the railroad worker, Jim DeNike, 53, loading a dozen boxes that contained nearly 50,000 slides into his old maroon Pontiac. He explained that every picture inside was of railroad trains and that he had borrowed money from his father’s retirement account to pay for developing them.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cameras; film; kodachrome; photography
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I guess I can throw out the old roll in my Pentax 35mm camera now. I do miss the plastic film cans; they were great for keeping my tied flies in. Of course they used to be metal, but that was many years ago.
1 posted on 12/30/2010 4:04:08 AM PST by Second Amendment First
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To: Second Amendment First

I still have two of the old metal ones taped to my Canon AE-1 camera strap. Oops, telling my age.


2 posted on 12/30/2010 4:10:21 AM PST by FrankR (The Evil Are Powerless If The Good Are Unafraid! - R. Reagan)
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To: Second Amendment First

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SExsuRIGAlg


3 posted on 12/30/2010 4:11:37 AM PST by Bushbacker1 (I miss President Bush greatly! Palin in 2012! 2012 - The End Of An Error! (Oathkeeper))
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To: Second Amendment First
"Jim DeNike, 53, loading a dozen boxes that contained nearly 50,000 slides into his old maroon Pontiac. He explained that every picture inside was of railroad trains and that he had borrowed money from his father’s retirement account to pay for developing them."

Willie, is that you?

4 posted on 12/30/2010 4:12:44 AM PST by Red Dog #1
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To: Second Amendment First
I guess I can throw out the old roll in my Pentax 35mm camera now.

I, too, have a roll in my Pentax. What to do?

5 posted on 12/30/2010 4:13:11 AM PST by Bushbacker1 (I miss President Bush greatly! Palin in 2012! 2012 - The End Of An Error! (Oathkeeper))
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To: FrankR

The aluminum ones, or the older yellow paint?


6 posted on 12/30/2010 4:13:48 AM PST by Second Amendment First
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To: Bushbacker1

And what to do with the camera and lenses? It used to be every shot was framed and calculated, now with digital I mostly shoot video and take snapshots off it. Saves me the frustration of the “shutter” delay.


7 posted on 12/30/2010 4:18:33 AM PST by Second Amendment First
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To: Red Dog #1

That’s where he’s been for the last few months.


8 posted on 12/30/2010 4:21:08 AM PST by Second Amendment First
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To: Second Amendment First

I had a lot my digital photos stored on CDs. The disks have gone bad, and the computer can no longer read the files, so I have lost several years worth of photos.

I suspect a lot of people are in the same boat, but they don’t know it yet. The best way to save photos is to print them out. There is no guarantee that digitally stored files will be readable in the future, as I have found from sad peraonal experience.

On the other hand, we don’t have a long track record on photos printed by ink jet printers. Will they still be of good quality 20 years from now? It may be that 20 years from now, we will wish we still had Kodachrome. We know that pictures taken using that technology will last.


9 posted on 12/30/2010 4:30:12 AM PST by Rocky (REPEAL IT!)
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To: Second Amendment First

Yea, I got lenses for Canon SLR’s that won’t work on my AF body. And my Élan 7E was a great body. Whisper quiet shutter/motor drive, and an eye sensor in the viewfinder that would focus the exposure sensor where you were looking. I had that body about 2 years before I got my EOS 20D. It’s weird, the shutter system on the digital is noisier than the 7E. I can’t fathom why.


10 posted on 12/30/2010 4:30:54 AM PST by AFreeBird
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To: Rocky
I had a lot my digital photos stored on CDs. The disks have gone bad, and the computer can no longer read the files, so I have lost several years worth of photos.

The lesson here is that redundancy is key. 1TB USB hard disk drives are under $75 nowadays, and you can easily store all of your CD media on a disk that size with plenty of room to spare.

Hard disk drives have MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure) ratings measured up to 10 years, and if you keep on top of it, you can continue to migrate those pictures to newer disks in the future.

That being said, I agree that printed pictures are more valuable. Sad that Kodachrome is going the way of the dodo, but the writing was on the wall a while ago. I developed my last roll of film back in the late 90s and have been digital ever since.

RIP old reliable.

11 posted on 12/30/2010 4:34:36 AM PST by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: rarestia; Rocky

I use multiple backups, both usb and HD; the more redundancy the better. I doubt the inkjet prints will last very long. Perhaps a return to tintype is the solution.


13 posted on 12/30/2010 4:42:51 AM PST by Second Amendment First
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To: AFreeBird
"I had a lot my digital photos stored on CDs. The disks have gone bad, and the computer can no longer read the files, so I have lost several years worth of photos."

Everyting I've placed on CDs in the last 10 years is gone. We will regret the passing of Kodachrome. Digital photography is wonderful, but it has one major drawback. It's useless for archival photo records. Take a photo with Kodachrome. Toss the slide into a storage box, and forget about it. Rediscover it in 30 years, and it will look like the day you took it. Do that with a digital image placed on a storage device. Come back in 30 years. It won't be there.
14 posted on 12/30/2010 4:43:03 AM PST by PowderMonkey (WILL WORK FOR AMMO)
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To: Second Amendment First

Kodachrome may be gone but we will always have that great Simon & Garfunkel song to remember it by.


15 posted on 12/30/2010 4:47:43 AM PST by mc5cents (Government doesn't solve problems, it subsidizes them. -- Ronald Reagan)
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To: Rocky

With digital you need to follow the 3, 2, 1 rule for archiving.

Three copies on two different types of medium, with one copy stored off site. I go a little beyond and keep one copy on an external hard disk, then use two different brands and types of DVDs, finally back up the important photos using Jungledisk to web storage on Amazon’s S3 service.

I also have many photos printed on real photo paper, rather than use ink jets. Most Walgreens have Fuji Frontier photo processing machines that will take jpegs and make real prints that look great.


16 posted on 12/30/2010 4:48:29 AM PST by MediaMole
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To: Second Amendment First

The makers of diabetic test strips provide a film can sized canister that has an attached snap on lid that is equal to or better than the film canisters.

Find a diabetic friend and have him save them for you


17 posted on 12/30/2010 4:48:44 AM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. N.C. D.E. +12 .....( History is a process, not an event ))
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To: Second Amendment First

Here in Rochester, NY the bulldozer is busy with Kodak property to reduce their tax base.


18 posted on 12/30/2010 4:49:11 AM PST by shadowcat
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To: FrPR
"Why did it take three tries to find an SLR that “worked?"

Most likely, batteries. My old Minolta SR-1 still "works," but the mercury batteries for it are no longer available. Substitutes affect settings for the light meter.
19 posted on 12/30/2010 4:49:11 AM PST by PowderMonkey (WILL WORK FOR AMMO)
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To: FrPR

I had wondered about that also. Especially in a photo shop.


20 posted on 12/30/2010 4:50:37 AM PST by Second Amendment First
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To: Second Amendment First

We’ve migrated from a society of sentimentality and keepsakes to a society of disposal and short-term use. My children won’t see nearly as much of me as they will of my parents and those before them since most of my photos are on password-protected disk drives with high-level encryption.

It’s a hassle to continuously migrate your pictures to new devices, but continuously backing them up will ensure that they last forever.

There are also optical disks out there with a guaranteed 30-year life span, and some high-level backup systems use DVDs with protective cases that are guaranteed for 50 years. They’re available to the public, but be prepared to pay the price for archival. Disk drives are better IMO.


21 posted on 12/30/2010 4:53:32 AM PST by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: PowderMonkey

Get yourself a couple 1TB external USB drives to store your images and files on.


22 posted on 12/30/2010 4:53:40 AM PST by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: PowderMonkey

It all depends on how you manage your digital media. BTW: I think you meant to respond to another poster.


23 posted on 12/30/2010 4:57:24 AM PST by AFreeBird
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To: Second Amendment First

Re: lifetime of inkjet prints

I saw some beautiful (and expensive) prints of artist paintings and asked a gallery employee how they were made. He said with a large inkjet printer.

The lifetime of a print depends on the ink and paper, not the method of putting the ink onto the paper.


24 posted on 12/30/2010 4:58:08 AM PST by frposty (I'm a simpleton)
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To: Second Amendment First
Not about Kodachrome, but here is a link to a neat photography site. Film is alive and well.

lomography

25 posted on 12/30/2010 4:58:14 AM PST by csvset
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To: Second Amendment First
RIP Kodachrome ™.
It's been a fun ride, I'll miss you :-(

(at least I still have all my beautiful slides)

26 posted on 12/30/2010 5:14:07 AM PST by Condor51 (Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.)
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To: Second Amendment First

I liked K200


27 posted on 12/30/2010 5:15:34 AM PST by Talf
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To: Second Amendment First

28 posted on 12/30/2010 5:15:56 AM PST by SouthDixie (The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly and lie about your age.)
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To: Second Amendment First

Aluminum


29 posted on 12/30/2010 5:18:21 AM PST by FrankR (The Evil Are Powerless If The Good Are Unafraid! - R. Reagan)
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To: mc5cents
Kodachrome may be gone but we will always have that great Simon & Garfunkel song to remember it by.

The song was banned in England.

Kodachrome was a brand name and banned because it sounded like a commercial.

30 posted on 12/30/2010 5:23:09 AM PST by Las Vegas Dave (To anger a Conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a Liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Bushbacker1

One of my favorite songs. I remember diggin’ to it on the radio when I was a kid. The melody is just infectious, and it captures the glorious feeling of summer just perfectly.

Sad to see the film age come to an end. I’ve been into photography ever since my Parents bought me a Polaroid instant camera, you know, the one where you pulled the picture out of the front of the camera and had to wait a minute or so for it to develop before you pulled the paper off of it. I have a Canon T2i now, but I do miss the old cameras.


31 posted on 12/30/2010 5:27:28 AM PST by reagan_fanatic (Tralala boom-dee-aye!)
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To: Second Amendment First

At least there’s still E-6.


32 posted on 12/30/2010 5:28:10 AM PST by Sylvester McMonkey McBean
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To: SouthDixie

Yieks. One of the most disturbing films I have watched.


33 posted on 12/30/2010 5:29:39 AM PST by napscoordinator
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To: Second Amendment First

Ink is ...well, INK.

It isn’t silver emulsion & will never achieve the depth of that medium.
I can still use my enlarger if I can covert the digital medium to film, but again, ink is just ink


34 posted on 12/30/2010 5:39:03 AM PST by bill1952 (Choice is an illusion created between those with power - and those without)
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To: napscoordinator
It was a strange movie even for Robin Williams.

35 posted on 12/30/2010 5:44:43 AM PST by SouthDixie (The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly and lie about your age.)
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To: Second Amendment First

The best job I ever had was working in the film processing biz back in the 80’s.
I worked at a plant on the left coast that did all the film that was dropped off at Targets across the nation. What a fun gig!
I never thought I’d see the day.
How sad.


36 posted on 12/30/2010 5:45:09 AM PST by ozark hilljilly (Y'all had enough, yet?)
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To: Bushbacker1

I have about a dozen rolls of film that I never had developed, I was wondering the same thing...What do I do?


37 posted on 12/30/2010 5:48:12 AM PST by alice_in_bubbaland (DeMint/Ryan 2012!!!!!)
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To: Second Amendment First
And what to do with the camera and lenses?

Some of the new Digital SLRs can use the old lenses. Do a search on the internet and see if you're lenses can be used. Unfortunately for me, Minolta lenses aren't one of them. I have a couple of thousand dollars invested in Minolta equipment that's practically useless now.

38 posted on 12/30/2010 5:59:28 AM PST by mbynack (Retired USAF SMSgt)
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To: Rocky
Epson Doth allege that prints printed on their photo printers with Epson ink and stored properly are good for 20 years, I have some 5 year old prints that look fine.
Ah! I will miss the “ Nice Bright Color”, but they took it away anyway. My Nikon F2, being totally Manual still works fine. I bought it used in 1983 with 35mm, 50mm, 55mm. semi micro, and 105mm Portrait lenses with a 2x doubler for a grand. No Zoom lenses for me. Do I still use this wonderful equipment? From time to time, just to keep my hand in. I almost bought a Nikon F1 in a shop in Bangkok, but misspent my money foolishly.
BTW all my electronic equipment is defunct Both Nikons and Canon.
39 posted on 12/30/2010 6:03:40 AM PST by barb-tex (What else did you expect from the likes of 0? BTW, What ever happened to Rhodesia?, Oh, yes, Zimbabw)
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To: Rocky

I heard about CD rot about a decade ago. Luckily, I transferred everything to a hard drive, I now have my pictures saved 3 times on 3 hard drives, the newest being purchased 1 year ago, I figure if I buy a new hard drive every 5 years or so, retiring the oldest drive as I go, I hava a shot of keeping my photos.


40 posted on 12/30/2010 6:03:50 AM PST by dangerdoc (see post #6)
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To: Second Amendment First

I still have some aluminum and maybe some yellow. If i remember from my child hood that Kodachrome had a black lid, PlusX, a brown lid and SuperX a green lid on the yellow cans.


41 posted on 12/30/2010 6:15:39 AM PST by barb-tex (What else did you expect from the likes of 0? BTW, What ever happened to Rhodesia?, Oh, yes, Zimbabw)
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To: Second Amendment First

A tearful bump for reference.


42 posted on 12/30/2010 6:23:00 AM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
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To: bill1952

Archival inkjet printing uses pigment based ink, I know this is a fact for black and I think they have color pigments now.

A pigment based ink should last longer than traditional color photography.


43 posted on 12/30/2010 6:35:36 AM PST by dangerdoc (see post #6)
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To: Second Amendment First

I love old school photography.
I love Kodachrome. But taking money out of
your retirement funds to pay for processing is
just whacked!


44 posted on 12/30/2010 6:52:34 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Las Vegas Dave

The song Kodachrome was a Paul Simon solo effort.
Garfunkel is not on the record. I once heard a radio
station in Youngstown, Ohio play it four times in an
hour during a live remote broadcast (guess they left
most of their records back in the studio)


45 posted on 12/30/2010 6:54:45 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: PowderMonkey

I know a place that can probably recalibrate your Minolta’s meter to the new batteries. (I have two SRT’s that were so modified) Freepmail me if interested.


46 posted on 12/30/2010 7:01:50 AM PST by Notary Sojac (Imagine the parade to celebrate victory in the WoT. What security measures would we need??)
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To: Second Amendment First
In related news from a little while back:

Farewell Kodachrome: Steve McCurry Takes The Final 36 Exposures

At least they entrusted the last roll of Kodachrome produced to one of the best photographers in the world. A fitting end for Kodachrome.

47 posted on 12/30/2010 7:04:57 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
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To: mc5cents

The really sad thing is that Paul Simon declined to be photographed on the last roll of Kodachrome. It would have been one of the most fitting possible photographs, and he blew it.


48 posted on 12/30/2010 7:07:38 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
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To: Second Amendment First
Archiving your digital photos is crucial. Unfortunately CDs may not be the best answer. The standard computer CD can start to lose data in a matter of weeks especially if they are the less expensive kind. There are archive quality CDs that are supposed to last 40+ years, but who knows as the CD hasn't been around long enough to know for sure. CD drives are also becoming rarer in new computers and may like the floppy drives become extinct so the CD media may not be a good choice for the long term.

Better quality USB flash drives might be an answer. I ran one of mine through the washer and dryer and still could access the photos I had stored on it. I also have an external hard drive, but that has the same potential for failure as do any hard drive inside your computer. I am now copying my photos from my external hard drive to flash drives which I will store in my safety deposit box at the bank. Another possible solution is "cloud based" storage backing up your photos to a remote server via the Internet. There are various services available for about $60 per year.

Another problem is the "jpg" digital photo format itself. The "jpg" format is a "lossy" compression that reduces the massive file size generated by your digital camera to a more manageable size. However this compression is done by selectively tossing out data. "jpg" files re-compress every time they are closed and eventually start to loose enough data that the photos degrade in quality. Newer formats like "jpg 2000" are non lossy, but would require you to convert every one of your photos to this format. To avoid the re-compression problem make your archive copy immediately when downloading the photos from your camera and keep these archive files in a safe place and unopened.

Eventually the "jpg" photo format will be changed to something else so it will in the future likely be necessary to migrate your digital files to some new format just like we have to move our 8mm movies to digital format. However given the popularity of "jpg" photos I expect that format to be around quite a while.

49 posted on 12/30/2010 7:12:25 AM PST by The Great RJ (The Bill of Rights: Another bill members of Congress haven't read.)
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To: PowderMonkey
Do that with a digital image placed on a storage device. Come back in 30 years. It won't be there.

Bring back punched paper tape for archival!   ;-)


50 posted on 12/30/2010 7:18:29 AM PST by 6SJ7 (atlasShruggedInd = TRUE)
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