Kodachrome would have died regardless of digital. E-6 rules. Long live E-6. Anything which cannot be developed at home makes no sense. Film must be cheap if it simply wants to be.
All that's true, and E6 did surpass it in any objective measures I can think of.
But the Kodachrome look was never duplicated or even, IMHO, equaled. We all understand the reasons for its demise. But that doesn't mean we have to like that demise, and it's good to remember it with others, and even to dream about how it or a similar film could live again, even if we understand too well that the chance of that happening is vanishingly small.
You must understand that the Kodachrome "look" was a colorimetric accident or mistake, due to the peculiar nature of the cyan dye that was formed. To get good stability and reactivity, the dye had a very peculiar visual response that created neutrals that were often green. Some thought that the greens were beautiful, and that the sky was beautiful, but in reality flesh tones were harsh and greens were often dark or even black.
It was quite hard to print, and prints and dupes lost detail in reds due to that oddball cyan.
You know Roger, that's a good point.
Originally Posted by Roger Cole
It makes me wonder if there was a purposeful effort by Kodak to NOT duplicate the look. If they made an E-6 look like, or better than, Kodachrome it would have died out a lot sooner.
If Kodachrome was their color quality flagship for so long I would bet they were very protective of its status.
Of course EK is no longer interested in a look-alike E-6 replacement for Kodachrome.
I missed PE's post before this went in.
Given the colorimetric mistake mentioned above, perhaps they wanted to avoid replicating it?
Well...dunno. I concede that Caucasian flesh tones, at least, tend to look, to me, a bit whiter and paler than either other films or reality. I'm not so sure I see that in greens - not saying it isn't the case, just not sure I see it. I'll review some of my Kodachromes with an eye to looking for it.
And hard to print depends on the media, I think. It seemed to print beautifully on Ilfochrome but I'm judging this from prints of others on it. I printed a fair amount of Ilfochrome but always from E6, because I could develop it at home (getting back to the above point.) So I really have no way of knowing how much difficulty those printers faced in producing those results, I just know some of them were quite beautiful.
I think for many of us the look just reminds us of our youth. Even though my family didn't shoot slides and barely shot consumer prints in my early days, a lot of what we saw in media was done on Kodachrome through the 70s and even much of the 80s.
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Well guys, the "norm" in visual response is a balance between C/M/Y when we look at films. Kodachrome has a mismatch in C/M/Y in terms of band width and density of the cyan, and this does what Roger states. Caucasian flesh tones tend to be washed out, African-American flesh tones often turn greenish, especially in the highlights.
Take a look at the 4 figures and observe how well matched the Ektachrome characteristic curves and dye curves are compared to those of Kodachrome. This mismatch in Kodachrome gave it excellent dye stability as well as unique (but odd) color reproduction. Direct side-by-side comparisons of any E6 film with Kodachrome would show you.
And there was an effort made to get Ektachrome to "look right" in terms of overall color response. I would guess that if Kodachrome had had another round of R&D, the "errors" would have been fixed.
Reports of (Colour) Kodachrome Home Processing Emerge from Sydney
PE, interesting. When I was in the printing world, there was a saying that the 'C' in CMYK stood for 'cockeyed' ;-)
I did not know that cyan dyes were all around pesky!
Hopefully we'll get that with the upcoming $300/roll processing.
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
Those are very interesting curves. Thanks for the information.
It goes to show that accurate isn't always preferred by everyone.
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
The is exactly what my Ilfochrome Classic printer remarked to me in communication about the difficulty in printing from Kodachrome trannies. But on occasion he also mentioned something that turns things on its ear: that Kodachrome was preferred for printing over e.g. Fuji for the quality of hue in the red spectrum, though personally I could not understand what he was getting at, but it seemed to my understanding Kodachrome was better at reproducing very subtle tones of red-pink (in the days I used it I frequently photographed a friend's rose growing business, and roses as we all know, come in myriad colours, some very rare and unusual) than E6. The resulting print from Kodachrome (not sure if I still have it or framed it and sold it) looked a mud muggy by recollection. I don't think the matter was resolved fully, with the suggestion that Velvia be used for reds and greens.
Kodachrome seemed OK in the hue of a blue skies (even when polarised), but didn't ever look right with people photography. I now see what has happened by reading PE's posts regarding the colourimetric oddity. Still, all my Big K slides are remain in great shape more than 30-40 years after exposure. Not sure how three times as many Fujichrome trannies will fare over the longer term.
.::Gary Rowan Higgins
One beautiful image is worth
a thousand hours of therapy.
"It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government
to save the environment."