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  1. #21

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    The nature photographer John Shaw used Kodachrome exclusively at one point in his career, and if you look at his books produced during that period the photographs are very sharp. He demanded high quality reproduction of the images in his books, for obvious reasons. Magazines will use a variety of scanning and printing processes, with variable results. Something else that often occurs in editorial situations is that art directors will demand using images that are sometimes extreme crops of photos, and they often will look terrible to someone who routinely is concerned with resolution and sharpness in images. But, I suspect your publication simply does not have a good Kodachrome scanning workflow established, which is a pity.

    By the way, I agree that the National Geographic magazines and books have been very powerful inspirations for generations of photographers, but if you pull them off the shelves and look at ones produced in the 1960s and 1970s, the photos often look really quite fuzzy, even though you know that the cameras, lenses and films of the time were perfectly capable of producing sharp images. It was the contemporary printing methods; the mass production, economical methods of those decades were simply not able to reach the "high definition" standards that are so common today, and people did not expect it.

  2. #22

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    I've scanned a lot of PKR for digital printing. The quality is extremely good. My work was scanned on high quality scanners (Creo IQ2). I would question the equipment used and the person running the scanner. The mag in question may have done non wet scans on cheap gear or the scanner operator may not have been up to the task. I expect 20+ MP quality from Kodachromes wet scanned.. they are very sharp.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by achromat View Post
    I expect 20+ MP quality from Kodachromes wet scanned.. they are very sharp.
    Not too long ago I told myself I wouldn't get a digital camera until I could get 25 MP on a 24x36 frame, because then I would have Kodachrome. Now I can (and maybe even the color quality too), but I just don't care; I'm wedded to film again.

    s-a
    I photograph things to see what things look like photographed.
    - Garry Winogrand

  4. #24
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    I think the problem is more related to scanner that was used for reproducing the Kodachromes.

    Here's an exemple of slides of the Library of Congress (most probably Kodachromes although it is not specified) taken in the late '30s.

    Sharp enough:
    http://extras.denverpost.com/archive/captured.asp

  5. #25

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    A friend of mine has the LoC conract to digitize their files. They have at least one Creo IQ2 doing some of the work. Kodak bought Creo from Sitex some time ago and I don't know the current status of Creo. The scanners are very expensive - $ 40-50K new. The quality is really good. I pay about $150 for a wet scan. This includes the OP often doing several runs until I'm happy. Well worth the money if bigger than 16 x 20 prints are the final product.

    A good wet scan on a high end epson is close in quality until you exceed 16 x 20. Once you see a big scan/print done from a Creo (or like machine) it will change many attitudes about the digital/film argument - and I live in the digital camera world at work. The D800 may be a game changer if some decent lenses are used - but it will never look like Kodachrome.

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