Good news for photographers, experimental filmmakers, music video directors, and dabblers with some money to spend: Kodak is readying to bring back Ektachrome, the color reversal film that the company discontinued in 2012. Per a company press release, the stock will be at least initially available in the 35mm still and the Super 8 motion picture formats. Originally introduced in the late 1940s as an alternative to the company’s famed Kodachrome (which was discontinued in 2009), Ektachrome developed a following because of its ease of use and distinct saturation. Though Kodachrome, known for its lustrous contrast and color (here’s an example), was always the better film, it was difficult to process and was rated at a lower speed, meaning that it required a lot of light.
Ektachrome, which was designed so photographers and home-movie hobbyists could process it at home, eventually developed a following with filmmakers. As a reversal stock, it did not produce a negative and was never widely marketed for 35mm motion picture productions, though at least two films went through the trouble of shooting entirely on the stock, taking advantage of its unusual palette: Vincent Gallo’s Bufallo ‘66 and David O. Russell’s Three Kings. It was also a favorite of Quentin Tarantino, who used it for flashbacks in Kill Bill, Vol. 2 and Django Unchained, and the late Tony Scott, who shot sequences on Ektachrome for later films like Man On Fire and Domino.
Kodak expects to have Ektrachrome available for sale by the end of the year. There’s no word as of yet whether the company plans to produce in other still or motion picture formats.