I just got back a roll of Kodachrome 25 I shot at the Japanese Festival on Labor Day. I took several shots parallel with a roll of Kodak EIR. Just to see the difference and record the actual colors of the subject vs. the false colors of the EIR.
I know a lot of folks really like Kodachrome - and some say it is the best film out there. Having never shot it - Only Ektachrome (E100V) - what is the advantage of Kodachrome? I heard somewhere it really brings out the skin tones and shows reds really well? ? ?
Interesting thread - I would like a little perspective on the subject.
B & D
Quiquid Latine dictum sit altum viditur
Kodachrome is(or was) a great film, but it is not the where with all to photographic startdom! It was just another tool that photographers used to achieve a certain result, there has been so many good films in the past and still currently, I don't quite understand Why people don't branch out and look at other alternatives, most any film that has been produced in the last 65 years have been good, the skill comes in knowing how to use it!
I love the classic Kodachrome look as seen in the work of Helen Levitt & National Geograpic photographer William Allard.
Soft, muted, gentle colour.
I much prefer it to the saturated colour & sharpness of most modern films.
It does seem however that the current version of Kodachrome is different to the classic formula. Not just in the lack of a 25 ISO but also in the formulation.
Funnily enough I have noticed a trend recently away from saturated hyped up colour & back to a more muted look. I see this in TV commercials, feature films & general still photography, both commercial & artistic. A lot of this is being done digitally, using the desaturate option in photoshop, but it is interesting to observe.
I would like to shoot some Kodachrome again but it's a headache living in Australia. You can't buy it here anymore so I would need to have it shipped from USA, then post it back after exposure & then have it posted back to me. So that's 3 sets of postage to be paid.
I'm having a final fling with Kodachrome. I have 3 more rolls of 64 left, and probably will not get any more.
Originally Posted by Bromo33333
Back when I first used Kodachrome (I think the vintage was Kodachrome II 25) it was regarded as having the "nice bright colors" as the song said. This was long before the enhanced saturation films and the "Fuji blue" sky.
While muted by today's standard, yes, it reproduced skin, reds, any warmer shade, autumn foliage, etc., quite well.
Ektachrome, on the other hand, was kind of a "cooler" film, more grainy, and less sharp than Kodachrome. The Ektachrome colors of that vintage had just a bit more "pop" than Kodachrome, and the soon to be extinct Walgreens/Agfa 200 reminds me of the look and feel of the Ektachrome of the early 70's era.
Back then I shot a lot of slide film because I wanted color but I could not afford to get roll after roll printed only to throw 70% of them away. I could inspect them with a magnifier or projector and have the ones I liked printed.
Kodachrome of that era was most definitely sharper than Ektachrome, and to me the current Kodachrome 64 appears sharper than Velvia 100.
I've accepted the fact that Kodachrome has only a few years left. I would love for some company to buy the rights to it and make it, but that would be a poor investment. Just taking a trip to the real world here.
I can imagine the day that Big Yellow announces its end. All the talking heads playing the song and reading inaccurate copy about what Kodachrome was. I get nauseous just thinking of it.
Oh well -- so it goes ...
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Originally Posted by Dave Parker
In all honesty, I felt Kodachrome went extinct when "Big K on the yellow box" discontinued Kodachrome II. Not even 25 had the "zip" II did. Lucky for me I had several bricks of K-II in my refrig well into the Kodachrome 25 era. As for why Kodachrome? I have Kodachromes my Dad shot in the late 30's and early 40's and they still look fantastic. Then there are the Ektachrome from the 60's that are totally gone. Besides the look of a Kodachrome the long term storage in my opinion is a huge advantage of Kodachrome.
What he said!
Originally Posted by PhotoHistorian
As long as the fungus doesn't get them (more of a problem in the earlier cardboard mounts) my 30+ year old Kodachrome slides seem set to outlast much more recent material of other types/processes (not that I have many of those).
My one proviso about Kodachrome II/25 is that if you went out on a gloomy day the film really showed it. Often a problem in SW England.
The old arguments for buying Kodachrome were:
Greater longevity when processed
Greater longevity/toughness before processing (no dye precursors in the emulsion)
In my own view -- I started shooting Kodachrome II and Kodachrome-X (the latter was a really nasty film) in 1966, and my late father-in-law shot original Kodachrome from the 1940s onwards -- most or all of these advantages have been eroded over the years, several to the point of non-existence. Of course we don't know about longevity after processing but I am prepared to believe the manufacturers' claims of multi-decade life. I've not bought Kodachrome in maybe a decade. When it goes, I'll be sorry, but only for nostalgia's sake, as I don't actually use the stuff.
My own favourite of all time was Fuji RF/RFP ISO 50, which was dropped when Fuji brought out the vile, slow, garish, magenta-tinted original Velvia 50: I will never understand why that film has so many devotees.
Which only goes to show that colour quality is a matter of opinion anyway, and that styles change. Today I shoot almost exclusively Kodak Elite Chrome 100 Extra Color, which gives me a very different look from my 1960s to 1980s Kodachromes, 1970s Ektachromes (best forgotten, but then, they've faded badly anyway), 1980s Agfachromes and 1990s Fujichromes.
Roger (www.rogerandfrances.com -- with decades of colour in it...)
I liked the old Fujichrome 50 too. Fuji Astia is OK too, but I prefer Kodak E100G for skin tones. As you say, it all comes down to personal preferences.
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
What she said - because she said it all!
Originally Posted by dmr