Kodachrome versus E-6

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Wolfeye, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

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    I'm only recently a slide projector owner. Most of my Kodachrome stuff is purely for archival value, given its reputation for longevity - if there's an important event, I want it on Kodachrome with a date right on the slide.

    But sometimes I scan them. (one sample in my photos)

    Since Kodachrome can't use digital ICE, there's always dust, so my K-14 slides take lots of post processing, compared to E-6 film.

    Does anyone have any REAL old E-6 stuff that looks as good as new? Or am I better off sticking with K-14 for the duration of its existance?
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I have E6 from some of the first internal trial runs, and it still looks fine to me. These date from the late 70s to early 80s.

    PE
     
  3. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    And modern E6 is reputed to be even more archivally reliable. But you do need a decent lab: I have some pretty sad early E6s.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  4. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    I'm sure the longevity of E-6 depends to a large extent on the initial processing and on the storage conditions. If you want E-6 to last for decades, it's probably best to either send it to a lab with an excellent reputation for E-6 work (vs. the local drug store, which sends it to Who-Knows-Where) or do it yourself with Kodak or Fuji chemicals (vs. using a lesser-known brand).

    Also, although this is getting into an unapproved area for APUG, you might look into VueScan. It uses an IR dust/scratch removal algorithm that's more successful with Kodachrome than the Digital ICE algorithm that's used with most IR-equipped scanner software. Note that both systems use the same hardware; they just use different algorithms to get results. My own experience is that VueScan's IR dust/scratch removal often works OK on Kodachrome on the lower settings, but it tends to produce scans that look like watercolors if you crank up the dust/scratch removal setting too high. If you'd like to discuss this more, I suggest you PM me, lest we invoke the wrath of the moderators.
     
  5. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Roger;

    Very good point. E6 films are much more subject to variable processing which affects image stability than Kodachrome is.

    I had Kodak processing right on-site. The early work was done in KRL and the later film was processed in B65, the big processing plant at Photo Tech.

    PE
     
  6. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    E-6 was a really remarkable breakthrough in image stability. Kodachrome is still better for dark storage, but Ektachrome is quite good. My older E-6 Ektachromes, which have not been stored particularly well, still look about as they did 30 years ago. I understand the stability of Ektachrome has improved considerably since then, which bodes well for the future. I also have some slides made from color negatives that have faded terribly in just 20 years, so color print film (but not necessarily color negative camera film) does not fare so well.

    The real basis for choice between Kodachrome and Ektachrome now seems to be on things other than stability and longevity, except perhaps for some special archival situations. Convenience is certainly a factor. But the most important thing is the look of the slides. Kodachrome seems to have a much cleaner and truer look to me than the E-6 films. Of course, some people prefer the garishness of Velvia.
     
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Slides made from color negatives used the old Print Films. There were two varieties. One for motion picture (Eastman Color Print -ECP), and the other for still film (Ektacolor Print), each with different contrasts. Both print films were poor for dye stability.

    Even so, I have some from 40 years ago that are nearly perfect, and others that have faded badly. Again it is process that affects this.

    PE
     
  8. dmr

    dmr Member

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    I have some Ektachrome (this would be Ektachrome-X or "High Speed" ASA/ISO 160 Ektachrome) from about 1970 which survived amazingly well. This one here:

    http://www.rangefinderforum.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=15793&cat=4963

    ... was the Pulaski Parade in 1970 or 1971, forget which, scanned in 2005.

    However, I have a number from that vintage which have faded in the magenta direction and a few which have even faded toward cyan.
     
  9. fparnold

    fparnold Member

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    FWIW I've gone through my old slides recently (K25, K64, and Ektachrome 64/200), and only one has shown any signs of deterioration. On the other hand, my dark-stored Polachromes (lovely palette) are fading and turnining metallic.

    I think the modern consensus is that if you take some care, either K or E is going to outlast you, and at that point, will you really care?
     
  10. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I have E 4 from the 60s, E 6 as well as Kodachromens all have held up over the years including the slides I developed myself. The Ansco and GAF from the late 60s to mid 70s are fading as are the poloroid sildes (b&w and color) from the 80s. The GAF 500 is fading very fast. I expect the E4 and E6 to outlast me.