My First And Last Roll of Kodachrome

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by bvy, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    I picked up some Kodachrome 64 late last year when B&H still had some stock. It’s been in my freezer ever since.

    Well, the clock’s ticking, and I have a few challenges. My transition to film has been slow, and I shoot (only?) a couple rolls of film per month. Also, with a few exceptions, I’m still toying with pinhole and plastic (point and shoot) cameras. The slowest film I’ve shot is 200 speed.

    Obviously I have neither the time nor the resources (i.e. more film) to experiment. And I want the images to special. I’m thinking some outdoor pictures of my sons, and maybe some local architecture or other outdoor subjects.

    Here are the cameras I can shoot with: Olympus XA2, Yashica T5, various plastic cameras (Smena 8M, Vivitar Wide & Slim, etc.). As much as I love the cheap cameras, I don’t think I want them to consume my Kodachrome. I also have an old Pentax ME with kit 50mm lens that my in-laws gave me. But something’s wrong with it – the shutter or advance gets stuck, it seems.

    I’m not beyond picking up another camera, but I’m hoping to hear that the XA2 or T5 will do the film justice. If so, that brings up my second concern. Since these are automatic cameras, will I need (or should I use) a tripod? Again, I’m planning to shoot in bright outdoor light.

    Any thoughts would be great. Thanks.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2010
  2. mattmoy_2000

    mattmoy_2000 Member

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    Since this is your only chance ever to use Kodachrome, I'd suggest buying or borrowing a decent SLR with good metering. Any functional camera will work with it, it's not magic, but if you've only got one chance to do something, it's probably best to do it well.
    I personally like it used in slightly softer light, like window light coming in to a room for a portrait, or when the sun is low in the sky (my scan here needs a slight warming but show the capabilities: http://www.flickr.com/photos/msmoynihan/4550509471/ )
    Having said that, shot on the beach it can be lovely too:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/justfilm/3654589613/ (not my image)
     
  3. urbantarzan

    urbantarzan Member

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    No clock is ticking. The freezer will keep the film well. You don't seem too confident in your ablilty based on your hesitation on trying the new film. With fim, you have to burn to learn. It does not matter which camera you use, but if you want the best results, and sureity that the film will be exposed in the best possible way, rent a nice camera like a F5/F6 or an EOS3/1n and research how people expose that film on it. Using a lens with vibration reduction (VR for nikon) or image stabilization (IS for canon) will ensure that you don't get shake, and allow you to forget about the tripod for shots as long as 1/30s (Even longer if you use propper technique) Getting a fast lens (2.8-1.4) wil help eliminate the need for flash, as experimenting with flash for a film with which you are not familiar with seems to be a recipie for disaster.

    Hope I helped, even a little...
     
  4. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    The Oly is a capable little cam, so is the Yash. For the life of me, I dont know why people place such reverance and awe on a Kodachrome. Its just film. Shoot it and get it developed. Years ago I shot miles of the stuff(starting with k25), and there was no mystery or fear of ruining the crap. Any half-decent camera will suffice. I switched to Ektachrome when it became possible to process it yourself in the early 70's, and never looked back.
     
  5. urbantarzan

    urbantarzan Member

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    ^^^^Sig material right there :smile:
     
  6. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    I shot lots of rolls of Kodachrome with an Olympus XA and the results were very nice. That Yashica T5 is a nice camera also. Both of those cameras will do fine .
     
  7. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    There is one clock ticking. That's the countdown to Dwayne's stopping processing this film at the end of this year.


    Steve.
     
  8. mattmoy_2000

    mattmoy_2000 Member

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    Australia isn't very exciting for an Australian to visit, but for a Brit or an American, it's on the other side of the world so you want to make sure you get the most out of the time you spend there on holiday. Just because you shot miles of it and find it mundane doesn't mean that everyone else does. It's the only film of its type remaining in the world and is almost certainly never going to be manufactured again, I mean, if you found some unexposed autochromes, wouldn't you want to make sure you exposed/developed them properly, despite the fact that they were fairly boring for most of the people who used them?
     
  9. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    But why give it god status, its just a material thing, and on its way to the dumpster. The point here is that in a few weeks time there will be no way of processing it, so better to just shoot it and be done with it. Thats a more fitting end for it than the rubbish bin, or it sitting on a shelf with you wondering what could have been.
     
  10. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    Yeah, it's killing me that I cannot use my 3 rolls of 120 Kodachrome 64...
     
  11. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    I would agree that you should just shoot it, and not get caught up in any name-worship.

    That said, Kodachrome IS unlike any other film. Like anything else, it has a 'look' and its look is particularly unique.

    I've got 4 rolls left and am well aware the clock is ticking. I had great luck shooting my stock last year while on a trip - lots of street stuff, interestingly, so don't worry about slow speed.
     
  12. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    *****************
    Translation?
     
  13. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    It'd make a good signature
     
  14. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Subscriber

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    I believe , kodachrome works like taking expensive Leica images with a cheaper camera. If you want to take similar quality with different films and if you fallen love to Kodachrome , collect money and buy a Leica.
    It is the only way to not losing this film rest of your life
     
  15. Brian Legge

    Brian Legge Member

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    Few weeks? I thought Dwaynes was processing it up through December?
     
  16. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Check your callendar, we're nearing the end of July, doesn't leave much time . You have to figure turn around time for them in the equation. I'm sure there are plenty of people that are gonna say "oh, Sh_t" and they are gonna get swamped toward the end. Dont procrastinate.
     
  17. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    The Yashica T5 will probably work fine. The Olympus XA2 as well. I'm not totally sure, but I think that the Auto-DX film speed setting in the metering system in the T5 will set itself to ISO 64.

    The XA2 requires that you set the film speed manually, so you can be sure that it will be set to ISO 64 if you want it there. That can be important for slide film.
     
  18. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    Test that XA2 first with more common film and make sure you have Silver Oxide batteries in that puppy. The XA2 should give you some excellent slides. (with a possible touch of vignetting, an XA2 'signature')
     
  19. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    I shoot Kodachrome exclusively in one of my T5/T4 Supers. The exposure system is accurate enough for K64 and the lens is sharp enough to do justice to the film. A Yashica Tx will produce Kodachrome slides with the same quality as one can get out of a Nikon F series. The only problem with it is that one can't really use a polarizing filter.
     
  20. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    Thanks everyone. Pressure's off a bit. I'll just shoot it and have fun. I get what I get.

    Great idea, Nicholas. I have a weird problem with my T5. I compose in the viewfinder to the best of my ability, but the resulting shots all seem to lean to the right. Maybe my head's on crooked. I guess I can work that out.

    Do you use a tripod with your T4/T5 loaded with Kodachrome 64?
     
  21. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    I had the same problem with some of my cameras -- I solved it by putting gridded focusing screens in the SLRs (Nikon 'E' screens).

    I haven't been having a tilt problem with the T's. But I suppose my tilt-free days are over now that I have informed my subconscious of the fact.

    I put the T's on a tripod if the light is very low and I expect the shutter speed to be out of hand-holding range. The program for the camera is such that the lens goes to wide open before the shutter speed starts going down. So if the exposure would be 1/15 or slower at f3.5 then it is time for a tripod. For an ASA 64 film deep shade or open sky just before sunset is OK, anything dimmer isn't. A tripod never hurts, however.