Kodak announced this AM that Kodachrome will be discontinued. Sad news for all, but getting it processed recently was a nightmare. The head of the division at Kodak said Kodak will stay in the film business "as far into the future as possible", according to the NY Times. Yikes, doesn't sound too good.
ABC News had a short segment last night on the demise of Kodachrome, basically a retrospective of some of the iconic Kodachrome images from the past (such as Steve McCurry's Afghan girl). Yes, it is sad, at least for those of us who remember when Kodachrome and Ektachrome were the only films capable of good color response. But, the handwriting has been on the wall for some time. I don't think it means that Kodak will be discontinuing all film production, given that they have recently come out with the new Ektar line and have reformulated the Portra series. So, at least the market for color negative film appears to be still viable. Of course, as the migration of photographers to digital continues, the long term prospects are questionable.
I would essentially agree, at least for America and a few other relatively rich nations that have embraced digital. But even much of Europe still remains more film oriented from what I hear from those few that read Shutterbug and e-mail me, as well as the e-photo-zines in the UK with a lot of enthusiasts who post on forums that still prefer film. Then there is the rest of the world that is poorer, India and China as well as SE Asia and much of South America and Africa, not to mention the middle east. It's a big population and one that will be serviced by film brands most of us have never heard of that will keeps some film coating alleys functioning probably for a long time to come.
And there will some outlets in the US who will import some of these lesser known films to fill the gap for those who want to continue shooting film, like Freestyle Sales which for a long time made some of the older style B&W films available produced in eastern Europe without dyes and plasticizers, I found advantageous. Much of those parts of the world that are poorer I don't think were ever significant Kodachrome markets anyway, as it and its exclusive processing was always a premium, and too costly but for a few, the ones who now can afford a digital camera.
I saw a report about the demise of kodachrome on NBC Nightly News , they mentioned that Steve McCurry would have the honor of shooting the last roll they make.