Wednesday, February 10, 2021


"That's all there is, there won't be any more." Those are words that will cause me to really evaluate how I enjoy something. Whether it's something as trivial as the last scoop of pistachio ice cream in the house late on a Saturday night or more somber, like the last book from a favorite author who'd recently passed. It makes me want to savor it properly and stretch out the enjoyment.

This was the entire theme of a short, half-hour National Geographic documentary, entitled "The Last Roll of Kodachrome". It documents the travels of photog Steve McCurry, who got the last roll of legendary Kodachrome slide film off of Kodak's Rochester production line, as he decided what to shoot with those final thirty-six frames.

This was brought to my mind recently when Fuji announced that they were discontinuing their Pro 400h color film, due to the complexities of manufacture.
FUJIFILM PRO 400H film is a unique product that is coated with a fourth layer – requiring specialized raw materials and chemicals. As it has become increasingly difficult to procure the raw materials needed to produce PRO 400H, we regret to inform you that after careful consideration, Fujifilm has made the difficult business decision to discontinue PRO 400H.
When I got the news, I checked online sources as well as my local brick and mortar camera shop, but I might as well have been looking for toilet paper last April or 9mm ball ammo last August. The locusts had already descended.

Some sites have offered more balanced, philosophical, or even contrarian, takes on the significance of the event and what it portends for the future of the film biz itself. (Film sales are, in fact, surging in general. Kodak Alaris is actually bringing dead films back and talking about releasing a new one. And vinyl outsold CDs last year.)

None of that changes the fact that I have thirty exposures left on the roll that's currently loaded in my EOS-1N, and then there's this...

My last roll of Pro 400H (probably)

Sixty-six shots left. I need to spend them wisely, savor them. I'm pretty certain at least half will get used at Tac-Con next month, shooting portraits of friends.

And so it goes...

Anyway, if you're interested, the entirety of "The Last Roll of Kodachrome" is on YouTube for your viewing pleasure:

Kodachrome was iconic enough that its ending, and the pilgrimage of the final rolls to the last lab still running a K-14 processing machine was the inspiration for the movie Kodachrome.

I find it unlikely that there will ever be a 400H movie, let alone a song by Paul Simon or a 400h State Park.