A Kodachrome Curiousity

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by greg_miller|10, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. I went on ebay to buy some Kodachrome to test an idea I have to process it into color (digital final image only and sure to be very labor intensive and expensive - primarily to satisfy my curiosity). After checking the completed listings I was surprised to find that many people are still paying 3 or 9 dollars per roll for it. I assume what is going on here is ignorance or not so scrupulous sellers who aren't including the fact it can't be processed into color anymore, thus eliminating the very factor that made this film special.
    Anyway...thought it was interesting and maybe others might think so too.
  2. I may buy a roll myself. We have a song by Paul Simon, a state park in Utah, and someday my grandchildren will wonder what that was all about.

    Thanks for the tip...
  3. Interesting point Marc...maybe people are buying them as memorabilia. Hadn't occurred to me.
  4. The chance that someone will AGAIN process kodachrome as color film
    are between slim and none.
    However years ago when Kodachrome asa 10 was replaced by Kodachome II asa 25
    Dynacolor started up and it was similar possibly even the same process.
    what I did not know until recently was that they also made an asa 25 film.
    Timnes are not the same now, but if a smaller company could do it then
    why could another company do it now.?
    It may be that dynacolor /dynachrome had undercover support from Kodak.
    I realize that the process is very complex and requires some very exotic chemicals.
    so small chance that ANYONE will start making another - new or old-- slide film
    it is interesting to think about it.
    I uses anscochrome and liked it. gone gone gone
    Modern photography made a short reference to someone in california that did Kodachome at home
    no details on his success.
    and reports here say Kodak did it in a sink ( but they are KODAK)
  5. Mr. Degroot....
    You say "Modern photography made a short reference to someone in california that did Kodachome at home
    no details on his success.
    and reports here say Kodak did it in a sink ( but they are KODAK)"
    Leopold Damrosch Mannes and Leopold Godowsky, Jr, the inventors of Kodachrome, did it in their parents' sinks prior to their association with Kodak.
    A. T. Burke
  6. yes I am aware that " god and man" as they sometimes are called.
    did a 2 color , told george eastman, and he waited for the improves version
    I thought it was in a NYC hotel room and they were musicians not chemists
    must have been very intelligent men.
    In 1928 G Eastman hosted a garden party
    when the ladies cam back to change clothing at noon,
    there was a colorful dress waiting for them
    later George Eastman called them all to the livinbg room and demonstrated his new "kodacolor movie film".
    I have no idea what technology was used.
    I read the Kodachrome processing description related here by a former EKC scientist.
    and it is awesome. Film is so much better now. the early Ektachrome was sometimes less than wonderful.
  7. The process may have started in the sink at home, but was it really "Kodachrome" before all the research in experimental labs at Kodak?
    I miss Kodachrome II and Kodachrome 25. I don't think there's any film process today that can match those films.
  8. Mr. DeGroot....
    I guess I could look up the proper answers to your question, but my energy is limited. From memory, many, many, many, many, many years ago, I understood they were classical musicians and students living with their parents. Legend has it their parents got tired of limited use of their bathroom and darkened kitchen. Of some means, they got the youngsters an apartment of their own to tie up the bathroom and fill with chemical odors. One's got to wonder how safe it would be walking on the sidewalk below one of their open windows when the bathroom was tied up. Anyway...
    It certainly wasn't called Kodachrome at first because Kodak wasn't involved. If I remember right, they did go from two color to three color, but I don't know whether it was with or without Kodak help, officially or unofficially. They eventually got a monetary grant and formal lab assistance from Kodak.
    Prior to associating themselves with "Man" and "God," Kodak had an experimental two color movie film. I've seen clips and was surprised how well they did with only two colors. Perhaps the objects, models, and set themselves were all colored, so the two colors within the film could handle it.
    My comment was just meant to say, "Yes, one can do the process at home." What I didn't add is... if one had the proper filters, chemicals, sinks, or dip pans, and of course the light to go behind the filters for each color's reversal.
    Thank you for adding your comments about Kodachrome, as some of us still have a strong interest, despite its demise.
    A. T. Burke
  9. The prevailing story is that Dynachrome benefited from help by former Kodak employees.
    That Garden party at George Eastman's home in 1928 used "Kodacolor movie film" which was a lenticular B&W film. It required a tricolor filter over the camera and projector. You can see some of the movies shot at thatg garden party here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osqjdVZDxCg
  10. Interesting... but what's the problem. People are setting a price on Kodacherome and others are paying that price. Short of blatant lies that it is still processable, I don't see why even imply that sellers might be "not so scrupulous" or buyers might be exhibiting "ingorance". Many people collect many things that are not too usefull anymore but look interesting on a shelf or may be conversation starters. Kodachrome seems to be such an item.
  11. The 1928 Kodacolor motion picture system sported a cine camera fitted with a tri-color filter. This was a stripped filter, the top 1/3 was red, the center 1/3 was green and the bottom 1/3 blue. The film was embossed on the rear, a pattern with a multiplicity lens shaped puberances. This was called a lenticuler array and the lens like pattern was set parallel to the stripes on the filter. The film was black & white panchromatic (sensitive to red, green, and blue). After processing the film was viewed by projection. The projector sported a corresponding tri-color striped filter. The combination, stripped filter and lenticuler embossing projected a full color picture.
    Dynacolor was founded by former Kodak employees. The film was K11 followed by K12. The film, a Kodachrome knock-up was manufactured in New York near Rochester. Their were two Kodachrome processing plants. They processed Kodak's Kodachrome for the trade as well as Dynachrome. For a time, I was Quality Control Manger for the Aurora, Illinois processing plant.
  12. The Kodachrome process is quite complex. Nevertheless, it would be possible to process this material in a home dark room. I am saying possible but not practical. The process itself is a series of chemical baths with agitation. The film is coated on the rear with a stubborn anti-halation coat that usually requires buffing to remove. During the process, two reversal exposures must be precisely applied one for red and one for blue. The intensity and color of these re-exposures are critical. The real problem would be obtaining the specialized constituents of the color developers which are no longer being made. To successfully process to specifications requires intense quality control. Control test film must be fabricated,
    precisely exposed to a specific pattern. These strips must frequently processed and evaluated visually and by instrumentation. Samples of the chemicals of the process must be daily analyzed by a person skilled in photo-science methodology (more frequently in the event of trouble).
    It was a wonderful film. These things are based on economy of scale. As usage drops, the cost to manufacture and develop escalates. When I first entered the photofinishing business in the late 1950's the fee charged to develop a roll of color film negative film was $1.00 US. To make a print was $0.30. The typical charge to develop and mount a Kodachrome roll was under $2.00 US. The price to develop and print color negative materials actually dropped over the years. Remarkable considering 50+ years over the dam.
  13. I enjoyed viewing that film clip Ron, thanks for sharing it with us.

    Towards the topic... I agree with Mr. Burke. Where there's a will, there's a way. It's all in how much trouble
    and effort one is willing to invest in it. I would likely not want to go through all the trouble. The desire can be
    so short lived after your first initial success. I got into the craze of making ambros when I was in my
    younger twenties and went through all kinds of up hill efforts in making the equipment and obtaining all the
    chemistry. I succeeded in making two plates out of four attempts, and ended up with a small silver nitrate
    burn on the back of my thumb. No matter how careful you are, liquids are not always so easy to control in
    a sink-style darkroom set up. Anyhow, I lost all interest due to my sweat drenching fears with cyanide. I would love however to hear of someone succeeding in developing (not as b&w) a roll of Kodachrome in their own home.

Share This Page