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  1. #1

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    On the topic of Kodachrome

    I just got back my first rolls of Kodachrome from Dwayne's. I've shot VS almost exclusively for more than 10 years, with some occassional Provia (very occassional, and always with a warming filter) and even less Velvia. The Kodachrome is obviously a very different film from VS. The landscape shots were somewhat disappointing. Neither the saturation or contrast were comparable to VS (or Provia). The slides had a bit of a washed out look. The dynamic range was very impressive, though - much better than VS or Provia. Also skins tones came out beautifully (but VS is not a portrait film).

    But then I got to the roll shot at the Spring Flower Show at the Dallas Arboretum. The close-ups of the flowers were absolutely mind blowing. I've shot a lot of flowers, but I've never seen this sort of texture and tonality - you could practically smell them. I suspect this is because of the reduced saturation. I've had issues with flowers being so oversaturated that they take on a neon blurr (ahem, "Velvia").

    On the other hand I was using an OM-3 with the 90mm, f2 Zuiko - a well respected lens. So is this sort of 3-D detail typical of close-ups with Kodachrome? Or was it the lens?

  2. #2

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    Kodachrome is special. Much do I miss Kodachrome 25. I would suggest thatthe lens, film, camera and photograper were all equally guilty.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  3. #3

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    I haven't shot much Kodachrome in the past few years, but I have kept track. It used to be my favorite film, but then it go expensive and hard to get processed, and I got into MF. I saw a good comparison a few years ago, and Kodachrome was by far the most accurate color film. I don't think things have changed, and that reflects my experience. The old K-12 version was more intense, but the K-14 chromes have worked hard to reflect the actual color values in the scene. VS isn't that way, and Velvia is far worse. VS (and Velvia) has purposely enhanced saturation, and VS tends to be a bit blue. Many people prefer that effect. I find it disturbing.

  4. #4

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    [QUOTE=thuggins;672945]I just got back my first rolls of Kodachrome from Dwayne's. The Kodachrome is obviously a very different film from VS. The landscape shots were somewhat disappointing. Neither the saturation or contrast were comparable to VS (or Provia). The slides had a bit of a washed out look.

    QUOTE]

    I enjoy using Kodachrome, but have found also that landscapes can look rather washed out, while close-ups are fine. I tend to rate K64 at about 80ASA, particularly for landscapes, and bracket as I think appropriate in each case.
    I sometimes feel that Kodachrome is not the easiest or most forgiving film to use, but the results can be stunning when everything works well.

  5. #5
    Alex Bishop-Thorpe's Avatar
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    My grandfather, mother, and now me have all recorded snapshots of my family on Kodachrome now. It's a nice tradition.
    I prefer Kodachrome 64 for slides, and have some K25 from 1986 which still produces wonderful results. However my last batch from Dwaynes had dust and (oddly) some form of string through the boxes and on the slides. I assume I just drew the short straw, but makes me think twice every time I load up kodachrome now.
    The Analogue Laboratory, or 'so you built a darkroom in an old factory in the industrial zone'.
    Blog thing!.

    Worry less. Photograph more.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleath View Post
    However my last batch from Dwaynes had dust and (oddly) some form of string through the boxes and on the slides. I assume I just drew the short straw, but makes me think twice every time I load up kodachrome now.
    There was a lengthy thread about a year ago with numerous horror stories of Dwayne's processing problems similar to yours, so you're certainly not alone. It's hard to tell just how common these problems are, though; threads like that tend to attract problem reports like a flame attracts moths, but reports of lack of problems don't seem to be as attracted to such threads, so you're left with a skewed perception of how bad the problem is. It could be anywhere from quite rare to extremely common.

  7. #7
    kodachrome64's Avatar
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    The Kodachrome I get back from Dwayne's has always been perfect. They do an outstanding job, but everyone has problems now and then. Even though I shoot mostly B&W, it is by far my favorite color film. "Accurate" is how I'd describe it, and it's great for documenting families or trips. There's just nothing that compares.

    I send mine through Wal-Mart to Dwayne's and get their great service for only $4.88.
    Kodachrome
    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.
    -Paul Simon

  8. #8
    dmr
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    Quote Originally Posted by kodachrome64 View Post
    The Kodachrome I get back from Dwayne's has always been perfect. They do an outstanding job, but everyone has problems now and then.
    I was a bit concerned when reports of problems started showing up, but every roll I've sent in has been great. I'm thinking of trying them for E6 as well.

    My last K14 roll was stunning!

  9. #9
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    dmr: they only do cardboard mounts, and you can get cheaper/better (service wise) E6 processing done elsewhere.

    Personally, Kodachrome is my _favorite_ color film. I also shoot velvia, though.

  10. #10
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thuggins View Post
    I just got back my first rolls of Kodachrome from Dwayne's. The landscape shots were somewhat disappointing. Neither the saturation or contrast were comparable
    Kodachrome picks up UV from atmospheric haze. That old skylight filter kicking around at the bottom of the gadget bag is the cure. A UV/haze/skylight filter used to be standard equipment on lenses and most folks have forgotten they had a purpose other than the gathering of dust and fingerprints. Sometimes changing the meter ASA setting to 80 can help with landscapes by being a better balance between the meter and the film UV sensitivity. Kodachrome works really well with polarizer filters.
    DARKROOM AUTOMATION
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