Film just as good as KODACHROME

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by andrew_nossol, Apr 27, 2015.

  1. Hi Everyone,
    I am look for a film just as good as kodachrome in terms of color.
    I don't care what brand as long as its 35mm film.
  2. Depends on what you mean by "good". A lot of portrait shooters would say Portra and Fuji 400H are better than
    Kodachrome and a lot of landscape shooters would say Velvia is better. But they're not similar to Kodachrome.
  3. There is nothing as good as Kodachrome but that doesn't matter since Kodachrome is dead.

    The best (and almost only) slide films left are Fujifilm. Pick one of those. Most likely Velvia 50.
  4. Kodak's only highly saturated color film now is Ektar 100. But it is not good for flesh tones, where Kodachrome was.
    Kodachrome color wan't accurate. It was just very tasteful. It was also very sharp.
    Velvia 50 has very high color saturation. The color rendition is a bit warped, some colors are off. Flesh tones are not nice. It's at its best in the desert southwest.
    If you want an accurate flexible low-grain high-resolution film, consider Kodak Portra 400. You can up the color saturation in digital post-processing, and it has great flesh tones.
  5. Kodachrome had a particular colour palette that was a favourite of many people, but it was by no means the "best" colour film - that's subjective. Fuji Velvia produced saturated colours, and when first released, it attracted some photographers away from Kodachrome. Others preferred Kodak Ektachrome to Kodachrome. If you are looking at slide film, Velvia and Provia from Fujifilm are both still available. Personally, I prefer Provia.
  6. Are you looking for an color negative film with similar characteristics to Kodachrome? Or a similar slide film?
  7. Get some Provia, shoot it, and evaluate it for yourself. From a technical perspective, it's one of the most advanced slide films ever produced.
    However, be careful in shaded conditions. Provia (and, I think, all Fujichrome) tends to provide a more realistic capture of colors than Kodak emulsions ever did. Consequently, your shadows will be blueish, unless you modify with some on camera filtering. At the end of the day, this just comes down to understanding how an emulsion responds to any given situation; figuring that out will require you to shoot a brick or two.
  8. Fujichrome 50 (IMO) was as good or perhaps even better than 'chrome...but the hard core bunch would never admit to it.
  9. I prefer Provia 100 for people (very accurate colors, very good saturation) and Velvia 50 for things (super saturated and slightly color shifted).
    This weekend, I picked up my Dad's Kodachrome 25 slides of his and my Mom's trip to Europe from 1958. He shot a really modest Sears rebranded rangefinder, and used the Sunny 16 rule.
    DANG! Those Kodachrome slides are still sharp and punchy, these 57 years later.
    I'm going to go get them scanned professionally, and I'll post eventually. K25 lasts. I hope my Fuji lasts that well.
  10. As they say, there is NO film just as good as Kodachrome.
    The closest color negative film is Ektar 100, scanned and saturated digitally, but still not quite.
    Here is a 1981 Kodachrome 25 slide
  11. One of my regrets is that I wish I had shot more K-25. It was far more saturated than K-64 and more balanced. It was not as saturated as Velvia, but it was close to that point I often hit in Photoshop. Whenever I adjust saturation I usually increase it until it looks unreal and then back off. I almost always end up about +15. That is about where K-25 was. In retrospect, I was turned off by some of the manufacturing problems. K-25 was far more difficult to manage than K-64. One of the chronic problems was a sharp magenta toe that led to pink clouds. The raw stock keeping of K-25 was not very good. We changed some of the sensitizing dyes in in K-64 in 1987 to reduce the green-to-magenta color shift with age. With the small volume of K-25, we could never justify the expense of these changes. Manufacturing K-25 was a lot like the weather in Rochester. It was a pain in the backside so often that when we hit the bulls eye, we really enjoyed it. I wish I had stocked up on those emulsion numbers.
  12. worked after all, sorry.
  13. There were many different Kodachromes. My personal favorite was Kodachrome II.
  14. Ditto, Ron's comments on K-25 and 64. I really preferred Kodachrome 25 and my first K-25 slides taken around 1970 still look great. K-64 wasn't accurate, but the color palette was pleasant, distinctive, and very flattering to every skin color. Unlike Velvia, Kodachrome never made people with darker skin look like raw meat.
    Kodachrome photos of people of every color said "This is how we look. This is how we see each other. As family, neighbors, not exotic colorful creatures." Velvia seemed to say "Wow, look at these exotic, colorful people and their strange ways!" The Velvia palette seemed crass, like a photo safari tourist with good intentions but bad taste.
    Incidentally, the magenta tint to highlights such as clouds that Ron mentioned is faithfully reproduced by DxO Filmpack's K-25 emulation. So is the unique blue sky look. But I'm finding it more difficult to get the same skin tones from the digital emulation than with real Kodachrome. However DxO Filmpack doesn't work directly with raw files, unlike Lightroom, and it may be necessary to try various white balance options pre-DxO Filmpack to get the right look in the converted TIFF or JPEG.
    Sadly, I found it more and more difficult to get reliable processing after we lost those Kodak processed Kodachromes in classic cardboard mounts. I finally quit using Kodachrome around 15 years ago when half the frames processed by a non-Kodak lab were unusable, with wonky colors.
    And Kodachrome was tough to scan well, compared with E-6 process slides from Kodak, Fuji, etc. Most of my family's travel slides from the 1960s were on Kodachrome and it's a real chore to scan well. They tend to scan excessively gritty, although the distinctive palette comes through.
    Fuji's color slide palettes were distinctively... Fuji. Provia tended to be a little too blue/cyan in open shade, so it wasn't great for photos of people. Same problem plagues Fuji's X-series in-camera JPEGs using the Provia/Standard setting and auto white balance, so it has to be a preference programmed in by someone at Fuji. Astia seems pleasant at first glance for photos of people, but the pinkish warmth limits versatility and grows tiresome. I never cared for Velvia and don't use the digital equivalent either.
    The one Fuji color slide film I miss is Sensia. It was underrated, dismissed as their consumer grade film. But it had a pleasant slight warmth that was flattering to photos of people, not oversaturated, and unlike Provia didn't color-shift radically after twilight. And like K-64, you could buy Sensia almost everywhere.
  15. But none of it does us any good today.

    We have little left to pick from and if we don't pick that, then soon enough we will have nothing at all.

    I shouldn't speak since I still have 18 rolls of Elitechrome sitting in the freezer. But I intend to get to using it up and
    replenish it with fresh Fujifilm products.
  16. From 2006 until about 12:40 PM on January 17th, 2011, I shot a ton of Kodachrome film. Even though I shot plenty of KM-25 in the 80's and 90's, this stuff from 06-11 was far better because I made the color and tones great, not just relying on the film's attributes.
    What I did not shoot enough of until the very end was Kodachrome 200, that stuff was just gorgeous, grain and all. So I have a test roll of Fuji Provia 400X in a Nikon F100 that I am trying to see if I can dial it in to at least look close. I don't bother with all the usual BS shots but instead insist on what colors, tones and times of day I know will get me close. It has taken me about 4 moths to shoot 1/2 the roll.
    Once I am done with that roll and I get a feel for where it meets or falls short of KL-200, I will take the other 60 or so rolls with a pair of Leicas and do at least one, maybe two essays in the hot light regions of the world this year....and that will be it for color slide in 35mm. I have some Velvia 50 and 100 in 120 and 4x5 that I expect to use up on a few projects in the next two years and then that will be it for color film for me as far as I can tell.
    But a film as good as Kodachrome? I can confidently say there is none.
  17. "As good as," As you've heard by now is subjective. Kodachrome 64 is what we used for reportage shooting as well as wildlife. Kodachrome 25 was used for landscapes, and still life stuff. When Fuji released their RDP line, before Velvia, it caught the attention of many Photographers, but when Velvia 50 turned up, the impressions were so favorable, it is probably one of the major reasons for Kodachromes demise. Velvia sales exploded for landscape Photography, and set the standard. Today, Velvia 50s color palette, and resolution continues to be, "The Standard."
  18. Well, Velvia 50 may have delivered some sort of coup de grace, but I think Kodachome (and all slide films, for that matter) were already weakened.
    Much as I loved Kodachrome 25 (and I used it for wildlife too, when it was sunny, anyhow), I confess that, before I converted to digital, I had already gone over to color negative film that I scanned in. By 2003 that was common, and by 2004 many people shifted to digital cameras as they became higher resolution (10-12MP seemed to have been the cusp, ruminations at link).
  19. My reason for leaving Kodachrome was the poor processing from all the labs except Kodak/Rochester. The contrast was all over the place, usually HIGH, which made printing a bearcat, especially on Cibachrome.
  20. There is a new 50 iso film:
    and i still have one roll of ektar 25(120) left in frigo....
  21. Michael, Cinestill isn't new. It is just standard Kodak stock with the remjet removed.
  22. There is nothing like Kodachrome left. I regret switching from K64 to Astia/Sensia 100 in the late 90s - not because they were bad, but in the end analysis I like them less, even though they had a number of advantages, not least their higher speed. Personally I was never a fan of Provia 100, but that and Velvia (which I did like on occasion) is all there is left.
    I liked Provia 400-X, but it was nothing like Kodachrome 200 in my opinion.
  23. For you Provia 400X shooters, how do you like it? (we can start a new thread, I feel guilty hijacking this one...). I have mixed feelings with it, but I fear I might be the one to blame: I used it mostly in bad lighting conditions (e.g. rain or so). I am also probably expecting too much Velvia colors out of it, something it has never been designed for. I recently decided to try it in better conditions, let's see what comes out. (long live Hasselblad interchangeable backs hey hey )
    Talking about new films, the first batches of Ferrania should come out anytime soon according to their schedule. Their first endeavour is a 100 ISO E-6. See
  24. As others have said, nothing like Kodachrome. Current offerings may surpass it in a specific area or two, but subjectivity plays a huge role here. There are plenty of subjects that I photographed on Kodachrome 25, 64, or 200 that IMHO, wouldn't have looked as good to me on anything else. However, I do have some images on the old E4 process Fujichrome R100 (from early to mid-70's) that I don't think would've done well with Kodachrome. You would have to make your own tests to see what works best for you. Unfortunately, slide film and processing are so expensive that not everyone wants to do tests.
  25. When I was young, my father used mostly Kodachrome-X. About the time I started doing slides of my own, he switched to more Ektachrome, and I also used mostly Ektachrome (X and then 64). And especially, there was High Speed Ektachrome (at 160) when Kodachrome only went to 64.
  26. I guess Velvia 100 is closest… maybe...
    50 is nice, sometimes exceptional, but I had problems many times now, and I guess there is something more special or unstable with it…
    and I am pretty sure already that Ektachrome had much greater latitude than Velvia
  27. Velvia 50 is a mind set. If one is honoring film by bouncing from one to the next, it is harder to know one film, unless one happens to be a prolific shooter. I had the same impression with Velvia at first then considered it my challenge to feel it because others results were stunning, so they presented the possibilties. Feeling Velvia means, being critical as to what conditions to shoot. Seeing contrast, especially the slightest backlit situation with skylight will show up worse than you thought you saw. Color temperature of light is critical, if there is blue in the air, overcast, Velvia is sensitive to it. Once mastered through time, and error Velvia 50 is awesome. Exposure lattitude with positive films are a given, 3rd stops matter so know a mid tone. Zone V.
    Ok, so after all that, I miss Kodachrome!

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