Our eyes are very forgiving and somewhat misleading when it comes to the exact quality of light we are seeing when we photograph. Kodachrome puts an end to the question of if you shot in good light or not. If you shoot in rich warm light bounced off the side of a building at an hour before sunset, Kodachrome will show you accurately what that looks like. But if you shoot at high altitude in the middle of the day, well..unfortunately, Kodachrome will be accurate there too.
I just got back some 30 rolls of KR from Dwayne's, flawless processing. And much to my chagrin, some shots were flat, I forgot to approach the film differently in that case. Then there were the shots from Pike Street Market in Seattle with my Leica 35 1.4 aspheric...holy cow were those good!
By the time the year 2010 rolls around and the film turns 75, I hope to have shot close to 1,000 rolls of it.
I am off to New York City in the morning, I am not bringing a DSLR, I am bringing a Leica MP-3 and M3 with Kodachrome 64 and 25.
Just keep shooting the stuff folks, and if you have contacted me through the project site, I have been really busy this Summer, I will return your emails.
Dan / The Kodachrome Project.
On Dwaynes: I've never had a "perfect" experience. The processing itself has always been great, it's the film handling and customer service that's been very poor. The perpetual dust I can live with, but the continually miscut and mismounted slides I cannot. I've had entire rolls miscut so that part of each frame is cut off. Also the last frame is often cut in half, this may be because they need more of the end to tape to the next roll for continual feeding into the processor, but it seems excessive. Beyond that, I've had several rolls with missing bits of film, an unmounted frame cut, not in half, but on both sides, so that just the middle of the frame remains. Where did the rest go? Again, I send in nine rolls in a well packaged box, and get back nine rolls of spilled slides, in an ENVELOP. They didn't bother with a box and sealed the slide boxes with magic tape which then sticks to the spilled slides, what do they expect? Also, I've had unmounted rolls returned in cardboard rolls with just a piece of masking tape across the opening, no box, no plastic bag, just dropped in a USPS padded plastic envelop..... these are NOT really sealed and the post office drops 'em on your front porch, hopefully it doesn't rain (I live in Seattle).
Anyways, I've been very committed to Kodachrome, but currently the biggest factor in wether I keep shooting it is not availability, but that the one place that processes it is not comitted to providing a quality service.
I know people will not like to hear this, but that's my experience.
Sorry to hear of your bad experiences with Dwaynes. I've had the dust issues and the (very) occasional mis-mounted slide, but nothing worse than many other processors (including so-called Pro E-6 labs).
Others have written that Dwaynes are receptive to customer queries and comments....have you taken the problems up with them direct? And would Kodak Customer Service be interested, after all Dwaynes are their "Official Licencees"?
It's sad that this fine film's days may well be numbered partly because of the processing shortcomings. I for one have regrettably given up on Kodachrome for that reason. The dust referred to by MMfoto is just one of many problems and one of the most basic photographic issues for which there is really no excuse. I can't say I've had dust issues with any other processors beyond the occasional fleck of white plastic from a mount. Strangely, my last roll of Kodachrome stock came back somewhat better than others, but whether this was because of any improvement or just coincidence I don't know.
I haven't really had an issues with Dwayne's, but the way they've been sending uncut rolls has irked me.
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I've had nothing but perfect processing from Dwayne's, whether I send it directly or through Wal-Mart. Their scan CDs suck terribly though, so don't even bother. And they take an extra 3 days to do scans if you select that option, so I can do it myself in much less time.
Processing has always been top-notch. I don't much care for the way they package or mail the slides, but for the bargain I get at Wal-Mart I am hardly complaining to be able to get it developed for a low price and no shipping costs. Kodachrome is definitely worth my $12.00 per roll.
They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world's a sunny day, oh yeah.
I've been getting them uncut and having a local pro lab roll scan and mount them for $12.50.
I'm insane. I must pay over $20 a roll for processing.
Interesting that some seem to have nothing but good to say about Dwayne's and others (like me) seem to have had nothing but hassle. There don't seem to be many who are on the fence on this one. I wonder whether some of us are more inclined to be critical because of the high standard of service we have previously enjoyed from Hemel Hempstead and latterly Lausanne?
Originally Posted by kodachrome64
As one who used the Kodak Hemel Hempstead service, and subsequently Lausanne, I think that there is something in what you say. In about 12 years of slides from Hemel, I cannot remember one single fault!
To be fair to Dwaynes, the dust I have had has been loose bits from the card mounts and packing, which brushes off...but why oh why did we lose the modern plastic mounts and boxes which Lausanne provided?
Poor mounting and other marks are, however, inexcusable...I'm still on-the-fence with my own experience, so fingers crossed that my new enthusiasm for Kodachrome will not prove mis-placed......I've not totally forgotten that Fuji are still there to offer quality products, and the Fuji UK processing service is top notch.
Last edited by railwayman3; 09-05-2008 at 10:11 AM. Click to view previous post history.
That could be true - I've only started with K64 recently, and only had about half a dozen rolls done by Dwaynes, but I've been impressed with the service and have no complaints at all. But I never used HH or Lausanne! (Although I'm not sure what they could do that Dwayne's don't; maybe get some attractive Swiss girls to deliver the rolls to me personally .)
Originally Posted by Steve Roberts
Another day goes under; a little bourbon will take the strain...