K_crome: How much time do we have?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by PKM-25, May 29, 2006.

  1. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Hello there,

    It is time I let my cat out of the bag. I am working on a tribute to K_crome, mind the cryptics for search engine protection. I have spent the last 2 years getting the right film gear together along with the film it's self.

    I have for the project:

    60 rolls of 200
    140 rolls of 64
    70 rolls of 25

    1 Hasselblad Xpan, all three lenses, underwater housing.
    2 Nikon FM3A's, 1-F4S, 8 lenses, underwater housing.

    Kenyon KS-6 Gyro stabilizer for aerial. The housings are not for marine work so much as other moisture laden images.

    Hensel Porty 1,200 watt battery powered strobe.

    When a couple of grants come in, I am looking at adding another 100 of 64 & 200. I am working with Grant at D_waynes on all this, have been for 2 years.

    I am lining up a few trips for the road, basically a modern look at Americana in between my other shoots this Summer to get images to show prospective backers and publishers.

    I hope to have about 2 years to do this, so I am putting out feelers to those who might have heard rumours as to when the film might be nixed by the yellow box company. Grant figures he will be souping the film at least a year after the film is officially discontinued, but we'll see.

    If the film is around for longer for what I assume, 2 more years, I will be happy, but we all know it won't last forever seeing how the company is posting pretty gnarly losses...:-(.

    What ya think?
     
  2. dmr

    dmr Member

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    Best of luck with the project! I shiver with antici --- --- {say it} PATION for the results. :smile:

    I'm having a final fling with Kodachrome, although I don't have any more 25. I hadn't shot any for maybe 20 years until last spring (2005) and I shot a few rolls just so I could do it before it goes bibi 4ever. :sad:

    I just ordered a few more rolls. I have no clue how long it will be sold. I'm sure that Big K will be announcing some kind of intent to discontinue it before they actually stop shipment.
     
  3. Iskra 2

    Iskra 2 Member

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    Hello there PKM-25, your wish for the demise of Kodachrome so you can get your grant and travel the world taking pictures with it is sort of interesting. How much processing is Grant doing now compared to the last few years? Is he saying it's all over, nobody is using it anymore? Do we all know Kodachrome is destined to be discontinued? Do Kodak's "gnarly" losses have anything to do with Kodachromes demise? Regards.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2006
  4. sanmich

    sanmich Member

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    I shot K14

    Hi all
    Buy Kodachrome and use it!
    it seems the best (or maybe the only) way to pospone its discontinuation.
    BTW, if this convinces someone: the only reason I started lately to use K14 is for its conservation qualities. when I discover what was the gap in archivability between K14 and ALL the rest...It was a no-brainer.
    and yes, I shoot my family and memories that I don't wont to see faded in 20 or 30 years. The investment in time worth it by far, at least for me.
    So buy it, use it, I need it to be available for the next 20 years, untill my kids fly away from home :smile:
    Michael
     
  5. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Well, I am the last person to wish it's demise. If the project lasts 20 years, all the better. If anything, I am concerned that with only 3 labs in the world to soup it and K-Dak's need to remain profitable, it might fall earlier. I have poured about 10K into being able to shoot it the way it should be shot. I hope we ALL have no less than 5 years, but we'll see. Grant does not see any unusual changes in the flow of work. It seems to me from what I have heard, B&H says it is still popular as well.

    It is through 30 years of experience in my 39 years that I believe that it is the single most influential color film of all time. The thought of putting 64 and 25 though a sharp as heck Xpan is over the top to me. The start page on my browser is 25 speed on the "bay". Some times it is outrageous, like $34 a roll. Other times I get really lucky like when a guy posted 8 rolls of batch 1571 / 2003 with a buy it now of $100. Gone in 5 minutes, into my lead lined freezer it goes.

    The title of this piece will be called "O_r Am_rican Dre_m". This is a subject born of my own personal disbelief in how out government is run and how the country is portrayed in the media. Even the great yellow bordered mag is doing a not-so-great job at revealing the magic of who we are as a collective people in the last 5-7 years.

    I grew up shooting this stuff. The first roll, 25, was at the first Space Shuttle landing at Edwards Air-force Base. I was 13. By the time I was 18, I had the stuff down pretty good. I shot it until about 95 when it seemed to be a long turn around compared to the new E-6 stuff.

    2-3 years, I hope I am wrong, that would be great. But this is what my feelers have came up with thus far. Either way, the tremendous film as a still stock is 71 years old this year. So the 25 will sit in the freezer safe until the word is given. I hope I can add to it, the stuff is getting really scarce and I have spent a fortune in getting what I have now. I hope to shoot about 150-200 rolls of 64 and 200 per year until I and it are done.

    After that, I will start every so selectively on the 1,200 feet of Tech-Pan I have in my possession...:smile:.

    As much as I love shooting digital for my other pro work, I dislike some of the ignorance it has created. This film is a true work of art and I personally will not let it die quietly.

    There will never be anything else like it, ever again.
     
  6. Iskra 2

    Iskra 2 Member

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    Amen! My 50 year old slides still "light up" the screen and interest the kids when projected or printed. The "other" slide films are fading away. Good luck with your project! Regards.
     
  7. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Sounds like a great project. Over at filmshooting.com, some people participated in a "pass the cart" tribute to K-40 in Super-8.

    I had 40 rolls from the last batch of K-25 in the freezer, but as I was shooting less and less 35mm except for birds (for which K-25 isn't the ideal film), and the price was getting nutty, I sold it off on eBay. I did keep one last roll in my Voigtlander Vitessa-L and spent about a year shooting it, and I sold the camera when I finished the roll. Here are a couple of the last shots--

    http://www.apug.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=3573

    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=10701&cat=500&ppuser=60
     
  8. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    That's the point, really, isn't it?

    Fewer and fewer people use it, and most of those that do, use less and less of it.

    Even 10 years ago the advantages over E6 were slender enough that many people had switched to E6. Today's E6 films are so good that I've not shot Kodachrome for several years.

    Yes, it will be sad to see it go. But if I'm honest, I don't buy it, so I won't really miss it. Emotionally, perhaps. As a photographer, no.

    As someone else said, if you want to see it stay in production, BUY IT AND SHOOT IT!

    This is of course true of any film, paper, camera....

    Cheers,

    Roger (www.rogerandfrances.com)
     
  9. battra92

    battra92 Member

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    I would hope more time. I'd shoot it if it didn't cost 3-4X the price of shooting E-6
     
  10. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    If you love any medium enough, you can make it sing, and if you can make it sing, it has a voice.

    I have Kodachromes that blow away any E-6 film.

    You have to be at the top of your game to get it to do that. When that is accomplished, then nothing can touch that incredible look, nothing.

    I have shot both E-6 and K-14 and seen David Alan Harvey, Jay Maisel, Pete Turner, Eric Meola and Galen Rowell's work long enough to know that in the proper circumstances, Kodachrome can and will look amazingly different than any other film.

     
  11. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    No one buys a 36 canvas pile and paints all of them in one month.

    Don't shoot it like film, because it is more than that and with a refined approach to shooting it, it will materialize as such and at that point, it will all seem to be a bargain.



     
  12. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Actually, I still use K-64 for bird photos.

    Here's a favorite K-25 shot. I don't think I could get this look in 35mm with any of the E-6 films--

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear PKM-25,

    Sorry, don't quite see your point.

    My favourite colour film of all time (and the one on which I got the most good pictures) was Fuji RF/RFP ISO 50.

    I think that I did on occasion 'make it sing' (to use your phrase). And I could say that RF/RFP at its best could 'blow away' any Kodachrome, of mine or anyone else's. There's not much point in saying this, though, because it's a hopelessly subjective statement, just like your assertion about Kodachrome.

    Yes, Kodachrome could indeed look different from other films. So could RF/RFP. What is your point here? YOU liked it. So did many others. That doesn't mean that it is in any absolute sense 'the best'.

    I'd also sugggest that while a good photographer can (and indeed should) exploit any film to get its best, especially a film he loves, it's a poor photographer who is defined by a single film.

    Anyway, the real point is that although I used very little else, there weren't enough people buying RF/RFP, so it died (besides, the poisonous Velvia 50 came along). The same will happen to Kodachrome sooner or later. Sad but true.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
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  15. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    The point would have to be that if some one is posting a thread on how a fine documentary and tribute is going to come about and why, what is the point of chiming in as to why you don't like or use film?

    All that does is start a what is better banter and that is a waste. If you were to go see a large show of images that you really took too and had never seen before, would finding out it was on a film you personally never liked change your viewpoint?

    I used RFP, I like KR better. By the way, you can still shoot KR, so how about we talk about it in a present sense then?

    Give me a couple of years, I'll show you what I am talking about with this film.......

     
  16. tchamber

    tchamber Member

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    Several years ago I raided my parents' slide collection to create a picture book for one of their anniversaries. The Kodachromes were amazing. Some were from the mid-40's, yet they looked as if they had been shot the day before yesterday.
     
  17. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  18. battra92

    battra92 Member

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    Eh, don't get me wrong, I love the Kodachrome look, but I tend to use it only at car shows for some reason. $15 a 36 including processing for 35mm is a bit much. I love that "etched" look but really admittidly do not have 30 years of practice with it. I've shot it before but never was able to spend the time and devotion to learn the ins and outs of it.

    What's too bad is that you can't get it in 120. I'm sure a 6 x 6 Kodachrome slide would be stunning! That etched look would be really keen!
     
  19. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    I have shot it in 120 about 15 years ago, pretty neat indeed. But you can shoot it in 35mm X 65mm in a Hasselblad XPan, that is what I have been doing...:smile:.
     
  20. DBP

    DBP Member

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    I'm confused. I've never noticed that Kodachrome is more expensive than E-6 films. For example, K200 at B&H is currently $7.19, E200 $8.95, and domestic Sensia 200 $7.95. Is it the expense of the K-14 process versus doing your own E-6? Admittedly shooting C-41 and going to the drugstore lab is cheaper, but with good reason.
     
  21. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    .... or by a single camera, paper, developer, lens or anything else. However, with Kodachrome, the issue of colour permanence is hard to ignore. Unfortunately, where I live in SW England we have a very damp climate and although the colours of my earliest KCs are OK (35 years), they are from the cardboard mount days and have suffered quite often from fungus growth. On the other hand plastic mounted Fuji, Agfa and Boots although not nearly as good technically then or now don't show the threads or purple blobs of fungus anywhere near as often.

    Steve
     
  22. Ed_Davor

    Ed_Davor Member

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    I consider myself blessed because I need so little film.
    When it comes to photography, I spend most of the time daydreaming and visualising photographs, and little time actually realising those images, I only realise the ones I'm sure are going to come out great. I always want to make every frame count.
    I guess I'm sort of a conceptualist by nature, I walk and see some kind of interesting scenery, like Ivy on the wall or whatever, and I'll walk a thousand times imagining it in all kinds of light before I capture it. I'd be most satisfied If I were invisible, so that I may bring a van full of light equipment and light it all like I want it.

    I feel really bad when I get a roll from processing and find a whole bunch of snapshots on it, and only a few photographs that I would consider art.
    I hate junk photography. Well I like other peoples "junk" photography, I really do , but I hate my own.
    When someone else makes a snapshot it always feels more valuable, than my own.
    And now that I've switched to MF, it's even worse. There is nothing as hearbraking to me as to see a giant LF transperency containing a junk shot, what a waste of material, what great detail revealing boring objects.
    I've had my MF camera for a few days now, and so far I've made only 3 images. I thought 12 frames is going to be a problem (little room). Now I can't
    seem to get rid of my first test roll, because I can't stand such a large piece of film being exposed to nonsense.

    For me 10 rolls is a LOT of film. (a couple of months of shooting)
     
  23. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Steve,

    I suspect -- no-one actually knows -- that the permanence issue is no longer decisive. My wife has family Kodachromes (including quarter-plates!) going back to the 40s and I have had access to the collection of HH Dalai Lama from the 50s. Next to anything else, and indeed next to my own earliest Ektachromes from the 60s, Kodachrome survives very well (subject, as you say, to the cardboard mount problem).

    But E6 has delivered equal or better quality for many purposes for a decade or so. When I say 'for many purposes' I'm not talking about 'almost good enough for some shots', I'm talking about 'better for many of the colours, scenes and effects I want to capture'. This is admittedly subjective, but what isn't?

    Well, longevity isn't, but there's not many as can do reliable accelerated aging tests. Admittedly 'reliable accelerated aging tests' is a bit of an oxymoron, but I'm willing to take a chance on it. I've not shot Kodachrome for years and don't miss the palette or the fine grain: I prefer other colours (especially the late, lamented RF/RFP) and there's plenty of fine-grain E6 around today. Nor do I miss the expense or the hassle of getting Kodachrome processed.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  24. Earl Dunbar

    Earl Dunbar Member

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    Roger: I find your comment that a photographer being "defined" (whatever that means) by a single film is a poor photographer puzzling. Are you saying that a photographer who deliberately chooses to use one film, for whatever his/her reasons, but does great, great work ... is a "poor" photographer?

    You have repeatedly said that one's preference for a film, whether Kodachrome, and E6 is subjective. I find the "poor photographer" so subjective as to be meaningless. I can't figure out the difference.

    PKM-25: FWIW, I applaud and am excited by your project. I am a real lover of Kodachrome. Hell, I was disturbed when K-II was replaced by K-25 ... K-25 just didn't look like K-II! :wink:

    I have a small stash of K64 (amateur emulsion) that I bought last year when the local Eckerds was clearing it out. I also have a couple of rolls of K25 that I got for the price of shipping from an APUG member. I'll be looking for more Kodachrome to stock up. I'm already in pre-mourning for its passing. Whether it is "better" or "superior" is irrelevant, a silly discussion, and way OT from your original post. It is unique and historically important.

    Earl
    Rochester, NY, home of Kodachrome
     
  25. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Yes to the E-6 equation. But when you look past what you want to capture and take into account what others want to, you might find that there is a certain look that is attained in specific circumstances that yield a result that you simply can't get in any other medium. I have been shooting for 30 of my 39 years, I have seen it. And I have seen it in other's works too and they say the same thing.

    I read you loud and clear about what your preferences are and why. But do you understand that their are some who see it differently and that might hold some weight too?

    Surely you you can applaud a project that might be giving a great film a great tribute....right?

    To not would be severely close minded.

     
  26. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear PKM25,

    Sorry, I did not mean for one moment to belittle the project, which I think is an excellent idea. It was more in the nature of a sigh at the transience of all things (except perhaps early Kodachromes as compared with their competitors). I wish you the very best of luck with it.

    Cheers,

    Roger