I have clear memories of the "family tours" at the Kodak processing laboratory in North Vancouver, British Columbia Canada where my father worked. Every few years they would close down the processing lines for a day, and set things up so that staff and their families could tour the operation, to see what really happened there (they even had the lights on).
This was quite a production, because during the summers (in the late 1960s and early 1970s) they were running the Kodachrome and Ektachrome machines 24 hours a day, using three shifts. They didn't even have colour print facilities there - everything was either slide film or movie film (how things have changed :rolleyes: ).
The machines were massive. All the rolls of film to be processed were pre-spliced on to large reels, and then run through those massive machines at quite high speeds.
For the tours, they ran the leader through the machines. If I recall correctly the leader rolls were very long (100s of yards?, 1000s of yards?). The leader roles were necessary, because in order to calibrate the process correctly (a procedure repeated on a regular basis), the machines had to have either film or leader running through them, because otherwise the normal amounts of chemistry would not be displaced, and the calibration would be incorrect. Again, if I recall correctly, the first calibration run each day (or possibly each shift) was done using just the leader.
I expect that some of this process may have since then been streamlined somewhat, or made more appropriate for smaller volumes, but as I understand it the Kodachrome process has very narrow tolerances, and requires such high volumes to maintain those tolerances, that home processing would be very difficult to accomplish.
If I have mis-remembered any of the details above, I trust that PE or someone else will correct me.
As you may guess, those tours, plus all the rest of my youthful exposure to all things Kodak, had a lasting effect on me.
The question is whether one-shot processing with fresh chemicals would be feasible. I understand that things need to be kept in balance in a continuous processor. But perhaps fresh solution could be prepared that works correctly.
I also wonder if Kodak would sell the original chemistry, that would make things a lot easier I guess.
There has got to be a reason why a home processing kit has never been offered. I guess the difficulty associated with the process might be one reason.
[QUOTE = "Petzi"]There has got to be a reason why a home processing kit has never been offered. I guess the difficulty associated with the process might be one reason.[/QUOTE]
I'm sure that that has to do with the re-exposure steps. I think that two re-exposure steps are required; one through the base (red light?) and one through the emulsion (blue light?). This is quite difficult to do on anything other than sheets (for obvious reasons).
Also, we're probably some of the only people who've actually thought seriously about home processing this stuff.
[QUOTE = "Petzi" ]I also wonder if Kodak would sell the original chemistry, that would make things a lot easier I guess.[/QUOTE]
That would definetely be nice; then its just a matter of running the process ... if not, perhaps you could convince some Kodachrome - processing lab to sell you some??
It seems unlikely to me that exposure from a particular side of the film is required, other than that the film is opaque at this point in the processing, and that this means the light might not get to the right layer if applied from he wrong side. I would assume that the side is irrelevant if enough light gets to the emulsion. Perhaps Photo Engineer can shed some light on this issue.
Originally Posted by htmlguru4242
Actually Jobo film spools are made of clear plastic in order to facilitate exposure during processing without removing the film from the spool.
I have a rotational processor that includes a lamp to expose reversal film during exposure. You can program it to light up during the process! The film is spooled onto the outside of the drums here.
It might not be that easy. The chemicals are made for a replenished continuous process. You would need some kind of starter to make a solution for one shot development. I assume this is necessary because it so with other processes like C-41.
Originally Posted by htmlguru4242
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
IIRC the three layers must be re-exposed to the proper colour of light or fogging developer as the case may be in the right order, with the correct developing/couplers in between steps. Red through the base, blue through the emulsion side (yellow filter layer masks centre layer), centre layer by fogging developer, etc. I don't have the info at hand, and am a little foggy on the details, but PE can surely set us straight.
Originally Posted by Petzi
Just a few comments before I dash off for the day.
1. Rem jet is removed in hand processing by hanging the roll of film up and then wiping the back down with a sponge dipped in dilute alkali. Then the film is wiped again with a sponge that is wet with distilled water. This removes the rem jet and all extra particles and leaves a clear film base. This is not practical with motion picture, and makes subsequent feeding onto reels difficult, but that is not desirable anyhow in the long run.
2. All research scale Kodachrome was processed in a small tank holding about 2 - 4 gallons of solution. I have seen 35mm developed in 1 liter graduate cylinders. We mixed the solutions up in small batches from the formula. There is a 1 liter formula.
3. The Kodachrome process is very sensitive to keeping. It drifts in color balance with keeping and seasoning. Fresh solutions are best. That is what we did at the research scale. In fact, we used a 2 part color developer and mixed in the color developing agent at the last minute. Aerial oxidation quickly turned the color developers the color of the dye that it formed. It was a colorful process.
4. The film requires 2 reexposures and one chemical fogging step. The sequence has been published over and over and over, but here is a rough outline again!
rem jet removal then:
a. First developer
c. red exposure through base
d. cyan developer
f. blue exposure through emulsion
g. yellow developer
i. chemical fog
j. magenta developer
q. final rinse
I ran across an interesting tidbit in Tom Grimm's The Basic Darkroom Book, 3rd Edition (Plume, 1999, p. 188):
I don't know if Grimm was misinformed, was reporting on a machine that never made it to market, or if this equipment was withdrawn from market so soon after being introduced that it didn't have any impact. In any event, I certainly don't see these machines sitting next to the Fuji Frontiers in drug stores. Perhaps PE can comment on it.
...in 1997 Kodak introduced the K-Lab Processor
, which is simple to operate and far less costly for a photo lab to install. It requires only 2 percent of the space occupied by the older machinery, and is run by computers watched over by a single operator. Kodak's goal is to make fast, high-quality Kodachrome processing easily available to photographers everywhere.
A few smaller labs had the K-Lab machine, including A and I, and there was one in Florida, and I think one in Vancouver maybe. A and I even used to do push processing with Kodachrome.
New York Filmworks (not my favorite lab) used to do Kodachrome, but I think they had the old-style processing line. I don't know if they eventually switched to the K-Lab processor.
These links may be helpful.
Some redundancy, but perhaps the Kodak support number or Rocky Mountain can advise if chemicals/support are still available.
Looks like the perfect size for the spare room.