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X-ing Kodachrome

  1. Removed Account2
    Now that Kodachrome is soon relegated to the mothballs, xprocessing it might be interesting.

    I had an old roll in a 35mm camera I found on E-bay, and decided to give it a try. Old film, unknown past. I quickly used the rest of the roll, and loaded it into my film tank.

    Used Caffenol-C and just tried it along with other colorfilms I routineously Xprocess in caffenol.

    To my surprise I got images! Faint images but that might have to do with the film being left in the camera for nearly as long as the age of the camera (since the 1960's....)

    This was Kodachrome 64, I would say it should have been exposed at ISO25....

    Other than that it was standard procedure, only big surprise was when I took the film out of the tank : it was totally black!
    Apparently Kodak did put some black layer on Kodachrome, that was supåposed to come off during development and the high temperatures used i K-Chr processing.

    I went for a practical solution: quickly dipped the film back into the last water bath, with wetting agent and removed the black goo between my wetted fingers, under water.

    Then continued to rinse the now cleaned film in 3 more tankfulls of water finishing off with wetting agent and dried the film.

    Might be a handy tip to see what was on a film forgotten in a cupboard drawer!
  2. Ralph Javins
    Ralph Javins
    Good morning, Removed Account2;

    Interesting. It is surprising that you were able to get anything from it. A real surprise. I wonder what Ron Mowery will say about this?

    At the very least, it is nice to know that we might be able to get something off any found orphan rolls of Kodachrome, now that the K-14 Kiodachrome Process Machine at Dwayne's has been shut down.

    Enjoy;

    Ralph
    Latte Land, Washington
  3. Chris Macan
    Chris Macan
    Kodachrome is at its core a Black and White film.
    So yes, you can get images by processing it in B/W chemistry.
  4. Ralph Javins
    Ralph Javins
    Good morning;

    This theme is still relevant. Yes, if you have found an old camera, and also discovered an exposed or partially exposed roll of Kodachrome in it (check and record the ASA setting on the camera before you change it), then just putting the Kodachrome into a black and white developer does make sense. Yes, using a lower ASA setting for your light meter would help with finishing the rest of this now venerable film, if you wish to do that. If you do that, work the film advance system slowly. The film may be brittle and could crack if treated like a more recently manufactured roll of film.

    That ASA setting on the camera might also help in identifying the film that is inside an unopened camera. If the camera is from the 1980s and earlier, then an ASA setting of 25 could well indicate KM-135 Kodachrome II. ASA 64 could be KX-135 Kodachrome-X. ASA 12 or even ASA 10 would be the original Kodachrome from the 1950s and earlier.

    In any case, with an older camera, take a look at it before you open it. If the film frame counter has a number on it, and the rewind knob rotates as you work the shutter cocking and film advance lever, there probably is some film inside it that will have some genuine surprises on the film when you can get it processed. That ASA number will help in identifying a more limited range of possible films that could be in the camera. Yes, it can be processed, and you will be surprised at what can be done to enhance and bring out the detail in such a venerable photographic image. Once processed, and then also scanned on a good film scanner -- not just a flat bed scanner -- the photographic image programs available today can do some real wonders with negatives that many would consider to be unprintable.

    "Found Film" is a real treasure. Finding an old folding camera with 127 or 620 film in it, and then processing it and finding images of men wearing military uniforms and women with "period hair styles" standing by "vintage" cars, really does bring some history directly to you. If you are lucky and the license plate on the car is visible, you might even find the people or their family.

    Enjoy;

    Ralph
    Latte Land, Washington
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