No more Kodachrome Film? Make your own.
December 8th, 2009 by Isaiah Beard

A 1949 Kodachrome Slide of Shaftesbury Avenue from Piccadilly Circus, in the West End of London. Although discontinued by Kodak, Kodachrome is a well-known format by preservationists for its longevity and color accuracy over decades of time.

The announced obsolescence and discontinuation of a number of film formats by their vendors has resulted in an expected outcry from a niche of users who continue to use these older formats for their creative and artistic works. But another, more surprising result of this community outpour is a sort of grass-roots resurrection of these media, through user involvement and investment.  It happened with the Impossible Project and Polaroid film.  Now, after Kodak has signed the death warrant for the once-venerable Kodachrome format, a film enthusiast has built his own film manufacturing device.

Not a whole lot of background detail is available yet, but this photoset on flickr has been making the rounds among gadget blogs and photography discussion forums.  It depicts the “Filminator,” a homemade film manufacturing machine, intended by its creator to make a homebrew version of Kodachrome film.

According to the person who took the photos:

Can’t buy the film you want any more? Just make the stuff!

In this set you will find random photos and information on a project a friend has undertaken – a machine to make his own camera film.

Plastic and goop go in one end, and camera film comes out the other end. This is not a trivial undertaking.

Indeed.  Although it’s gotten a lot of interest from enthusiasts who obviously want to see a way for Kodachrome to keep on living in some fashion, the builder of this contraption is strictly using the Filminator for his own personal use.  No plans exist at this time to go commercial, or to sell any film stock made from it.

The Filminator is apparently working “quite well,” but so far there’s no known images online for people to assess the results for themselves.  Nor is it known whether film stock coming out of this machine has the same longevity and resiliency that the real Kodachrome was celebrated for in its time.


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