June 22, 2009

Kodak to retire ‘iconic’ Kodachrome film

Eastman Kodak Co. said it would end production of Kodachrome color film 74 years after introducing it to U.S. consumers.

The company called the product, first sold in 1935, a photography icon. Sales, however, have declined dramatically due to newer films and the popularity of digital cameras that require no film at all.

It was certainly a difficult decision to retire it, given its rich history, said Mary Jane Hellyar, president of Kodak's Film, Photofinishing and Entertainment Group.

However, the majority of today's photographers have voiced their preference to capture images with newer technology.

Kodak said it will give a few of the last rolls of Kodachrome to the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film.

The company will also give one of the last rolls of Kodachrome to photographer Steve McCurry, whose photo of a young Afghan girl graced the cover of National Geographic Magazine in 1985.

Curry will then donate the images from his last roll to the museum, Kodak said in a news release.