In a notice sent to retailers and distributors around the world, and seen by BJP, Kodak has announced that "due to a steady decrease in sales and customer usage, combined with highly complex product formulation and manufacturing processes, Kodak is discontinuing three Ektachrome (color reversal) films."
The films are the Kodak Professional Ektachrome E100G, Kodak Professional Ektachrome E100VS Film and Kodak Professional Elite Chrome Extra Color 100.
"We estimate that, based on current sales pace, supplies of these films are expected to be available in the market for the next six to nine months; however, inventories may run out before then, depending on demand," says Kodak.
Speaking exclusively to BJP, a Kodak spokeswoman adds: "We've reviewed our portfolio and we told our partners that we would discontinue these three slide films. What we have constantly told everyone is that we will continue to make film as long as there's profitable demand. But, in the case of slide films, the decline has been pretty acute, and in addition to that, the complexity of the formulation and manufacturing of these films made it that we could no longer sustain them."
She adds: "This doesn't affect our Portra films, our Ektar and black-and-white films."
The discontinuation means that Kodak will no longer produce any colour reversal films - commonly used to create slides. However, it will continue to manufacture E-6 Chemicals.
Kodak's first colour reversal film was introduced in 1935 with Kodachrome, initially in the movie industry and, one year later, as a 35mm slide film.
The news comes as Kodak is undergoing a wide-ranging strategic review of its businesses with the "commitment to drive sustainable profitability through its most valuable business lines." But Kodak was quick to point out that it would continue to support its film users. It said: "Kodak's continuing consumer products and services will include the traditional film capture and photographic paper business, which continues to provide high-quality and innovative products and solutions to consumers, photographers, retailers, photofinishers and professional labs."
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