The celebrated 75-year run from mainstream to niche photography for Kodachrome -- the first successful color film and still the most beloved -- is coming to an end. The last processing machine, located at Dwayne's Photo in Parsons, Kansas, is being shut down and sold for scrap.
Demanding both to shoot and process, Kodachrome rewarded generations of skilled users with a richness of color and a unique treatment of light that many photographers described as incomparable even as they shifted to digital cameras.
At the peak, there were about 25 labs worldwide that processed Kodachrome, but the last Kodak-run facility in the United States closed several years ago, then the one in Japan and then the one in Switzerland. Since then, all that was left has been Dwayne's Photo.
Last year, Kodak stopped producing the film and the chemicals needed to develop it, providing Dwayne's with enough to continue processing through the end of 2010. And last week, right on schedule, the lab opened up the last canister of blue dye.
The New York Times visited Dwayne's and recounted the effect on the photo shop as well as the photographers who made a pilgrimage there to get their last rolls of film developed before the end:
Did you use Kodachrome? Tell us what you thought of it.
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