Well, as the man said, "I know they'd never match my sweet imagination and everything looks worse in black and white"
Originally Posted by Roger Cole
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
Kodachrome was around for 75 years. What was stopping Kodak from putting a bit of progressive R&D into it with a view of balancing its many odd nuances?
So very, very true.
Originally Posted by Diapositivo
Kodachrome did not get much research over time, and its needs for couplers was quite particular as they had to be soluble in the developer at pH values near 12, and they had to be stable. They had to make stable dyes, and etc... So, during the life of Kodachrome, we probably had 3 dye sets. I'm not sure now. Other films had many dye sets.
Kodachrome satisfied a very happy but narrow customer base. It made slides with low detail in red objects (cyan again), and odd greens and blues. It made flesh tones seem chalky in some cases. But, I have remarked elsewhere that each person sees color a bit differently. This is due to the ratio and nature of the pigments in the eye and many other factors.
Over time the E6 film dye set evolved more rapidly and E6 films from about the mid 80s are far more stable (I think) than films from the mid 70s. I know this is the case for C41 films and the color papers which evolved very rapidly.
I have done Kodachrome-Ektachrome-Kodacolor comparisons in the original and in prints. Kodachrome was most often picked last for color quality.
PE, it's all very interesting and quite telling that Kodachrome was not quite (in terms of technology) the holy grail of emulsions as so many people emotively make it out to be. So much advanced progress was made with E6 (even more with digital) that, as Diapositivo pointed out, Kodachrome was doomed from the time E6 and digital leaped ahead. I will have a look at some old Kodachrome slides that feature red and pink roses; I'm sure that as beautiful as they were to photograph, Kodachrome did not show them with reasonable colour fidelity (or sharpness; grain was always noticeable), which is no doubt why so many were never printed to Ilfochrome Classic media (a task my printer at the time was loathe to do because of lesser quality results than from E6).
I discarded my last four rolls of Kodachrome 200 in 1994. It was too costly to process and I had already been shifted in my mindset of better quality materials. And I'm not moved at all by the flood of emotive overtures at its demise.
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
It is nostalgia, not quality, that people are holding onto.
I suspect that the reasons we like the quirkiness of Kodachrome are similar to the way guitarists like the distorted/compressed sound of their guitars through non linear, non hi-fi valve (tube) amplifiers.
Things don't have to be technically perfect to have appeal.
"People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.
Kodak worked on a t-Grain and an ISO 400 Kodachrome but none of this went to market. The photo magazines who got samples were "ho-hum" about it in the face of the new E6 films.
No argument with any of this at all.
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
Kodachrome is never coming back any more than the Kodak of old is coming back. Perez and the board have made sure of that. And whether Kodak survives in any incarnation is still very much up in the air. For the sake of everyone who still depends on them, I hope they do. But we'll just have to wait and see.
Actually, what motiviated my post were the comments in this post from the other Kodachrome thread, where it was implied that APUG should shut down all of the currently related Kodachrome threads and ban any new similar ones.
Given Kodachrome's place in American culture over the generations, I thought that was a little harsh. Notwithstanding some here (not you!) who seem compromised in their ability to emote, the memories many of us hold of long ago friends and family members are, in fact, Kodachrome memories.
If you've seen my photo contribution to the Epic Kodachrome Thread, you've seen one of mine. Without that precious single frame there's no way I'd still remember the names of half of my long ago teammates. But with it, that memory is colorfully secure for my lifetime, and beyond. I have the Kodachrome slide and I have the camera used by my late father to make it. That has real value. Emotable value.
See this post for another perfect—and perfectly timed—example of what I'm saying (the emphasis below is mine):
"i never got the chance to shoot kodachrome despite my families boxes of slides being exclusively full of it."
I'd bet dollars-to-donuts that this poster and his family are not unique in that regard. I also read that the staff chemist at Dwayne's Photo spent the last year or two documenting their family members with Kodachrome. This person could have chosen any of the more modern films.
As I've said, a cultural phenomenon. Capable of generating value far beyond the simple cost of its manufacture. Even with a slightly less than perfect cyan dye.
"Take her to sea, Mister Murdoch. Let's stretch her legs."
The First Officer then reaches out and confidently rings the engine room telegraph over to ALL AHEAD FULL...
— Captain Edward John Smith to First Officer William Murdoch, on the bridge of the RMS Titanic, 11 April 1912
There are 3 or 4 active "Kodachrome is dead, the sky is falling" threads active right now. A fair percentage of my mail is about "what can you do about Kodachrome" and what I can do or want to do is zip! To me, to some extent, these threads are an annoyance. Now, if someone is faced with the best photomaterial in the world, and has never used it, well, how can they complain now when it is gone? They were part of the problem!
I laugh but there is some truth to the bizarre proposal to chain me in a barn and have me process Kodachrome, or build the equipment to coat it. Some people think I can or would do something if the price was right.
Perhaps you see where I am coming from? I wish all of these threads were closed.