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Kodachrome

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
Kodachrome, the legendary slide film beloved of generations, is endangered. There is only one lab in the entire world still processing it on the eve of its 75th anniversary in 2010.

It is still being sold and still being processed by Dwayne's Photo in Parsons, Kansas -- the only working Kodachrome lab in the world.

One photographer has been inspired by his love of Kodachrome to undertake the Kodachrome Project to celebrate the iconic film on its 75th anniversary and possibly help keep it around a bit longer.

If you have never used Kodachrome, you owe it to yourself to shoot a few rolls while it is still possible, because once it is gone it is unlikely ever to come back.
post #2 of 62
Had to do it.

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post #3 of 62
That's shocking.

What about Velvia?
post #4 of 62
Velvia is an E-6 process, so developers are more readily available. But the handwriting's been on the wall for Kodachrome for many years now.

When I think of Kodachrome, I think of all of those saturated National Geographic images, and the power look for late 80s magazine pictures of CEOs. I liked to underexpose by 1/3 stop (eg. setting ISO 80 for Kodachrome 64) to get those saturated colors.

--Andre
post #5 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by A Y View Post
Velvia is an E-6 process, so developers are more readily available. But the handwriting's been on the wall for Kodachrome for many years now.

When I think of Kodachrome, I think of all of those saturated National Geographic images, and the power look for late 80s magazine pictures of CEOs. I liked to underexpose by 1/3 stop (eg. setting ISO 80 for Kodachrome 64) to get those saturated colors.

--Andre
Writing's on the wall, huh?
post #6 of 62
I don't really shoot slides, but the day they phase out Portra 160 and 400, I will probably go weep in a cave or some shit like that.
post #7 of 62
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by why View Post
Had to do it.

Of course you did!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wmmk View Post
I don't really shoot slides, but the day they phase out Portra 160 and 400, I will probably go weep in a cave or some shit like that.

I'm a slide guy, though I recently shot a couple of rolls of Ektar and liked it a lot.

When I got back into film photography about a year and a half ago, I went to the local film emporium expecting to find Kodachrome readily available. When I couldn't find it, I actually experienced the only panic attack of my life. It felt like a cartwheeling freefall into an abyss. Since then, there's been this big hole in my photographic life where Kodachrome used to be. Weeping in a cave is an apt metaphor.

----------------------------------

I was basically married to Kodachrome 64 for ten years starting in '79 when I got my first Nikon F2. My first roll was shot entirely with a 200 f4 Nikkor-Q (the only lens I had at the time, given to me by a photojournalist friend of the family), and there were lots of keepers. Last weekend, I sorted the roughly 300 Kodachromes that represent my best photos from that period (clearly I couldn't afford much film in my teens) and took them to my local lab to be scanned. They'll be making their way to my Flickr gallery sometime next week.

I've also just purchased 36 rolls of Kodachrome 64 that I'll be shooting over the next couple of months, and when my supply gets low I'll order two dozen more. I'm ridiculously excited about still being able to shoot Kodachrome!

But I'm also sad that it's on the brink of extinction. Not that I don't love me some Velvia, but with its narrow exposure latitude, it's not Kodachrome by a rather large margin (and I'll be doing a comparison). When Kodachrome is gone, it will be the end of a golden era in Photography.

Don't miss the boat. Everybody, get out and shoot some Kodachrome while you still have the chance. If you're of the digital generation who has never even shot film, do yourself a favor and shoot some Kodachrome just so you can tell your future grandkids you did -- and show them the actual physical slides! Dust off some old film camera and experience the iconic film for yourself.

You can get it at Adorama, Just Film, Dwayne's and a number of other places (Amazon's price is fucking ridiculous, so fuck them). Send it to Dwayne's for processing (by good old snail mail like back in the day).

Celebrate 75 years of the most successful film in history and maybe help keep it around a while.
post #8 of 62
^Wow, didn't know you were a photog. I just looked at your flickr page, and your stuff is really great. I could never afford a Leica, but I've been thinking about getting a Bessa or some other cheap rangefinder for times when the 1D and heavy L glass isn't necessary. Any favorite old rangefinders (preferably cheap) that you'd recommend?
post #9 of 62
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmmk View Post
^Wow, didn't know you were a photog. I just looked at your flickr page, and your stuff is really great. I could never afford a Leica, but I've been thinking about getting a Bessa or some other cheap rangefinder for times when the 1D and heavy L glass isn't necessary. Any favorite old rangefinders (preferably cheap) that you'd recommend?

Canon P or Canon 7 in Leica thread mount (LTM) would be a great choice, but you'd need to use a separate meter. Cosina Voigtlander (CV) makes a range of LTM lenses that are a great quality for the price.

In Leica M mount, a number of the Bessas (I'm not familiar with their line) or the current Zeiss Ikon would be good choices. You might also consider a Leica M2 in user condition. The advantage of an M mount camera is that you could use a wider range of lenses than with LTM, including all Leica M and LTM lenses (LTM requires an adaptor), Carl Zeiss ZM lenses (less expensive than Leica), and the CV lenses (cheaper still).

Rangefinders are great!
post #10 of 62
Yeah, seeing that my whole motive for picking up a rangefinder is having a camera that I can stuff in the pocket of my peacoat with a 35/1.4, I'd rather not have to deal with external meters, and I'm not really good enough to shoot without any meter. On keh, I can get a Contax G1 for $150, but even the cheapest lenses are $300-ish. Bessas are more expensive. Would I be stupid to consider an old Leica point & shoot? The Minilux 40/2.4 Summarit goes for $280, while the 35/3.5 Elmarit is only $80. Decisions, decisions...
post #11 of 62
Thread Starter 
Why not get a Leica-Minolta CL or Monolta CLE instead? They'd be more reliable, more versatile and more fun.
post #12 of 62
Canonet QL17 - small, decent viewfinder, sometimes a working meter. Look on Ebay for a refurbished copy from a reputable buyer. Replacing the seals and so on can be messy and a pain in the ass. Check the classifieds forum on apug.org and rangefinderforum.com as well. I got a very nice QL17 for $70 a couple of years ago off RFF. (Broke it doing something stupid, though.)

The Bessas are nice. Nice enough that I wouldn't be averse to selling my M7 (I've got an R2A) if I weren't so wary of selling a big-ticket camera on Ebay.

With negative film, particularly color neg, it won't take you a half-dozen rolls to learn to judge the light, BTW. Once upon a time I was only shooting with a Holga and HP5+ or one of the 'neutral' Kodak color negs - you can be off a suprising number of stops and get great prints.
post #13 of 62
As far as point-and-shoots, the standards once upon a time were the Nikon Ti or Contax T3. No idea what either of those sells for these days.

If you want a small, high-quality rangefinder, you could look for an Olympus XA. (Not the later models, they went to zone-focusing.)
post #14 of 62
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by milosz View Post
With negative film, particularly color neg, it won't take you a half-dozen rolls to learn to judge the light, BTW. Once upon a time I was only shooting with a Holga and HP5+ or one of the 'neutral' Kodak color negs - you can be off a suprising number of stops and get great prints.

Kodachrome has a huge tolerance for underexposure in my experience.
post #15 of 62
Photography was one of the many things my father taught me. There was always a camera around when we went anywhere, and as I grew up, two. It was the lenses that got me into photography. Having particular lenses to do particular things appealed to me and my father had some cool ones -- the mighty 58mm Noct-Nikkor that he used to shoot in the near dark, the perspective control lens that defied reason by offsetting itself in the middle, the Macro lenses, the big supertelephoto, and the beautiful Fisheye with the big rose-colored front element. My father likes to tell the story that he showed the Fish to me when I was five, and the first thing I did was reach out and put a big fat fingerprint on that element. One thing I loved about him was that he always tried to show me things and involve me in things that I really couldn't yet participate in, even if this resulted in cleaning charges for lens elements. It was Kodachrome 64 that I first shot from my father's FE and later, the N2020, while he shot his trusty F3. To this day the act of making a photograph is still an important one to me. Been over a decade since I shot K64. That's about when I switched to Provia -- which may have been some minor rebellion as my father shot K64 and Ektachrome 400 all the time. Or perhaps it was that Provia 400F gave me less grain than the E400, so I switched the slow film also. Will have to grab a few rolls. I didn't know there was only one processor left. My father did some corporate photo work back in the day with his F3, and once won a K64 igloo at a photo show -- it's soft, about 2' around and 18' high with the classic yellow label on it. Pretty cool. I'm humming that song now. ~ Huntsman
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