Kodachrome, is it the best ?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by digiconvert, Jun 19, 2006.

  1. digiconvert

    digiconvert Member

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    Having just discovered KC 64 I found the results to be pretty stunning. On 35mm it just looks sharper than Fuji films I have used (still waiting or my forst velvia 100 to be developed though) and I really like the look of it on a light box. Now the questions;
    -Why do those who use it continue to do so given the problems in getting it developed and in obtaining scans if you want to use it as part of a semi digital workflow.
    -Is it really so much sharper than other chromes or is it just my initial impression (given that my photography is ,hopefully, improved in the 6 months since I last used 35mm slide film.)

    I know that there will be strong advocates of this film and this may be a pretty dumb set of questions but I am intrigued by the fact that it's still in production despite Kodak's apparent best efforts to make using it as difficult as possible.

    Cheers CJB :smile:
     
  2. DBP

    DBP Member

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    1. I like the look, it matches the way I expect chromes to look.
    2. It's extremely archival.
    3. The grain is as fine as anything you will find.
    4. It gives us the nice bright colors, oh wait a minute, don't mean to break into song.

    or maybe I do

    Mama, don't take my Kodachrome
    And leave your boy so far from home
    Mama, don't take my Kodachrome away
     
  3. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    I love Kodachome, and have since the days of the ISO 25 kodachrome, the problems in getting it processed in addition to not being able to get the 25 version, which was stunning has turned me away from it to a more mainstream film that I can get processed in a quick manner, I have never heard anyone against kodachrome, but the problems associated in this day and age for the working photographer is just not worth the trouble, the 64 was okay and the 200 is terrible in my opinion.

    It is no more difficult to scan kodachrome than it is to scan traditional B&W film, I have scanned tens of thousands of koda slides with no problems at all.

    R.
     
  4. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    Im going to use it! processing is 13, compared to 10 with slides, but its cheapher than velvia 100 and lasts longer
     
  5. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    Of all of the transparency films, I have always liked Kodachrome the best, slides I took in the 60s are just as bright and clear as the day I had them processed. I still have a couple of rolls, but printing has become a problem as I cannot get any direct printing materials I have moved to negative film. When I get time I want to experiment with making internegatives and print R4.
     
  6. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Processed correctly and stored correctly, Velvia lasts a good amount of time as well, I still have my first Velvia slides when the film was first introduced that look as good as the day they were processed, yes Kodachrome has better archivial properties, but the E6 slides will last a good long time as well if stored properly.

    R.
     
  7. Eric Leppanen

    Eric Leppanen Member

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  8. Ed_Davor

    Ed_Davor Member

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    It's a film with a very specific look, not something you'd use for anything.
    It looks very vintage, like something from 50's, so It's nice for that kind of a retro look, but some types of work require a more modern look.
     
  9. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Now I have to say, this is a funny statement Ed, I have never heard Kodachrome described this way, could you please define "Vintage" and "Modern" for me...

    If I could get a hold of some fresh ISO 25 Kodachrome, I guarantee you it would look as modern as anything around!

    LOL

    :D

    R.

    [​IMG]

    Tell me Ed, is this kodachrome retro, or is it modern film, this is a very low resolution scan, the image was taken in the field with a softfocus filter for a job I did a few years ago, tell me if it is "Vintage" or "Modern" film, it was used in a very large ad run here in the states.
     
  10. dmr

    dmr Member

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    I see Kodachrome as being "vintage" in that it does not have the vivid saturation that many of the newer films have. Let's face it, people (most of them lately, anyway) want colors to pop. Saturated films sell.

    Maybe you could say that Kodachrome shows colors the way they are, as opposed to the way some want them to be. :smile:
     
  11. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Well I have to disagree, if you know how to use the film, it does pop, I feel sorry for the younger photographers comming into the business, they will never understand what Kodachrome is, but if you knew how it worked, you could get it to pop, just as much as the super saturated films of today.

    R.
     
  12. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Roxi,

    I just think of different slide films as having different color palettes which can be manipulated with exposure, filtration, and light.

    As for 25 speed film I miss K25 and Ektar 25.
     
  13. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Don, I agree,

    I just look at the state of the film industry and the current generation is the "Velvia" generation...

    K25 was an awesome film and could do alot of things, I miss it..

    R.
     
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  15. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Problems getting it developed? What problems? I drop mine at the local Long's drug store same as any other 35mm color film. It takes two weeks and costs just under $6.00...no problem.
     
  16. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    No problem if you not working, but I tell ya, two weeks is a long time when you need it yesterday..

    R.
     
  17. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    When I've sent film to Dwayne's it's usually taken about a week using Priority Mail. They offer rush service, and you can FedEx both ways, if you've got a client willing to pay for it.
     
  18. Amund

    Amund Member

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    I like K64 muted palette, but I love Kodachrome 200. Bold colors and the big grain gives a really sharp impression. Too bad noone stocks K200 here in Norway anymore :sad:
     
  19. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

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    I too greatly miss Kodachrome 25, but have never found 64 and 200 worth the fuss it now takes to get it processed. I have a freezer full of Velvia 50 which should keep me going for a while.
     
  20. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    You might be able to get Kodachrome from 7dayshop.com
    £6 per roll for 200 speed or £5.79 for 64.

    As a general question, when did Kodachrome stop being produced in 120 and/or 4x5 sizes?
     
  21. Earl Dunbar

    Earl Dunbar Member

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    120 was discontinued in the (early?) 80s, while sheet film sizes were discontinued quite some time before that. I don't ever recall Kodachrome sheet film being available during my adult photo "career", which began in the mid-70s.

    I've posted my thoughts elsewhere, so let's just say I still miss K-II, as well as K25, of course. I've never tried K200, but have a bunch of K64 and will mourn the day the plug is pulled on Kodachrome.
     
  22. kb244

    kb244 Member

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    IF I remeber correctly, kodachrome was primarily used because it had excellent dark-storage life (tho not that great of a light-storage like how ektachrome has). Also last time I checked theres only 3 labs in the world that'll still process kodachrome.
     
  23. Ed_Davor

    Ed_Davor Member

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    You said you were in photography for 25 years, and you don't see a difference between old emulsions and new ones?

    p.s. this image looks neither modern or vintage to me, because its so trivial
     
  24. Ed_Davor

    Ed_Davor Member

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    It's not just saturation, saturation can be adjusted in photoshop. The characteristics that make an emulsion look vintage can't be emulated in photoshop, or at least I've never seen anyone acomplish it.

    It's difficult to describe such a thing. It has to do with a lot of things, the way highlights turn out, the way shadows look, the crossover, the skintones. Old emulsions have this wonderful "glow" that is hard to describe and emulate.
    Kodachrome still has that, and it's very obvious when you photograph formiliar things like people, cars etc. (and not so obvious when you photograph black backgrounds with an out of focus stain of color on top)
     
  25. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Well Ed, thanks for you obviously well educated opinion, not that the image was posted for the purpose of critique, I am glad the client didn't think this was trvial, but trivial was not the question was it. By the way, there is a difference between soft focus and out of focus....the image was actually taken with a UV filter that had been smeared with vasaline, so as you call out of focus stain, was in fact done on purpose.

    Bye Ed, I leave you to your expert opinions..

    R.
     
  26. Ed_Davor

    Ed_Davor Member

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    I didn't say it's a bad image.
    It's just useless for comparing filmstocks, isn't it?
    A portrait or a cityscape is something where you can do that more easily.
    Our eyes are most sensitive to different "looks" when watching the human face because that's the object we are most formiliar with.

    p.s. What I'm about to say has nothing to do with our discussion, but I notice you judge yourself as a photographer through the opinion of your clients, who are probably not photographers. Maybe you should not do that for your own sake. People really pay for all kinds of things. Setting customers as your standard of quality is a pretty low standard to set for yourself, unless your customer is an art-director that hired you for some ad campaign.
    Isn't it?
    I'm sure your taste for art in general is probably 100 times more sophisticated than that of your avarage layman client. So why judge yourself based on their opinion instead of your own, and that of those similar to you?