Kodak Ektachrome was initially developed in the 1940’s as a way to allow photographers of all varieties to develop their own film. Requiring a much less intensive process to do so, the release of Ektachrome meant less-professional labs could afford the necessary equipment. In addition, it allowed faster shooting (shutter speeds of up to 1/10,000 of a second without a filter) than traditional Kodachrome.
Outside of its technical opportunities, Ektachrome also became beloved for its unique style, particularly with readers of National Geographic. In addition, it was used in Hollywood films such as Three Kings and the delightful Inside Man.
However, like many film products, demand for Ektachrome stumbled, and the line was slowly discontinued starting in late 2009, coming off the shelves completely by 2013.
Until, that is, this year’s CES, where Kodak announced they would be reviving the beloved film. Due to material shortages, however, the launch was pushed back continually, until four days ago Kodak gave us a glimpse at their progress.
In an Instagram post looping a selection of photos, Kodak showed off some stills taken supposedly on Ektachrome. Appearing straight out of the 80’s, the images feature a girl, a building, a Campbell’s Soup can, and some colored squares. The colors appear extremely washed-out and have left some wondering whether a filter was used.
“Still working hard on the update!” Kodak’s caption read.
However, because of the video’s sloppiness—the framing is strange, the colors are muted, and the actual process used to render them is left unexplained—Kodak fans used the comments section to express their bafflement.
“The problem here is that we don’t know how those images were made,” wrote on user.
“Why pour millions of dollars and man hours into a project that is so dear to many, and then showcase the results with footage that looks like it was taken with a potato?” asked another.
“What even is this?” questioned a clearly camera-obsessed user named chromaticaberrator.
Meanwhile, others thought the shots looked just fine: “Looking good,” wrote one.
“Absolutely delighted to see,” exclaimed another.
The eye of the beholder, huh?