how to introduce a new revolutionary product

1935 ad for the new 16mm size Kodachrome

Toronto. Leitz, a few years earlier, taught photographers the virtues of an enlarged small negative to introduce their novel little camera with small negatives. Traditionally, much larger cameras were used. The camera size determined the size of the final print since most were contact prints.

The firm realized this was the critical thing to teach experienced photographers –  not what the little camera could do, but how a tiny negative could be enlarged to make a great print.

In a similar fashion, when Kodak released Kodachrome in 1935, it made colour movies far better and with much less fuss than its competitors. Potential customers had to be assured that existing equipment WITHOUT modification or accessories could take and show the new Kodachrome 16mm movies.

Kodak even went further to explain why films had to be returned to Rochester for  processing and why 35mm still film was not yet available. We owe a big thanks once more to that historian and retired cinematographer, George Dunbar, for sharing his findings with us (from an advertisement by Kodak in the May, 1935 issue of American Cinematographer, introducing their new and ground breaking colour film).

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