Kodachrome: processing still tolerable?

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by samuel_dilworth, Dec 11, 2006.

  1. Hi folks,

    It's been about a year since I last shot Kodachrome (been mostly using Sensia
    100 for colour), but I'm going to be spending a bit of time in Paris over the
    New Year holiday, and I'd like to take some Kodachrome 64 along for its various
    qualities including its long storage life.

    What is the state of Kodachrome processing these days? I live in the UK so the
    mailer will presumably go to the Swiss lab (if it's still open). Has anyone shot
    Kodachrome recently and if so how was the processing? Comments regarding
    quality, turnaround time, dust, etc. most appreciated.
  2. The only place left that still develops it is Dwayne's, here in the states. The Swiss lab closed not too long ago... As for quality, Dwayne's is a top notch shop that does very good work, are easy to deal with, and are always friendly. I don't think you will be disappointed by their work.

    - Randy
  3. That is incorrect.

    The Swiss lab is still open and processing. You can get the film (with mailer obviously) from mailshots.co.uk. There's also a facility still open in Germany, but that's only for Germans.

    I have a roll there at the moment and got some back only a couple of weeks ago, it takes about seven days, which isn't too bad.

    Personally I think the standards have dropped a bit, but I haven't done enough to get a big enough picture to judge them properly.
  4. The Swiss location does not do processing, but is the correct address for European mailers. The film is forwarded to Dwayne's and returned and then re-mailed in Europe.
    See http://www.kodak.com/US/en/motion/about/news/kprocessingQA.jhtml note this press release is for movie film and explains that super 8 is a different emulsion and Kodak won't certify Dwaine's for that although Dwaine's is doing it on the same machine as 16mm with some success. Other sizes including 35mm are certified at Dwaine's by Kodak though.
    In Kodak's Q&A http://www.kodak.com/US/en/motion/about/news/kprocessingQA.jhtml question #4 says the european prepaid mailers have been extended and will be honored until the end of 2006 for 16mm. They don't specically say when 35mm mailers in europe will no longer be accepted. The answer to question 5 indicates they are still selling 35mm with processing and will honour the mailers and no end date is given.
    As to quality, --- well we are all hoping its good. Cardboard mounts are the norm.
    As reported on various threads -the concensus seems to be Dwayne's is better than Kodak's Fairlawn NJ processing which had a lot of complaints in the last couple years before it closed. There was one thread complaining of a lost roll of film, but generally sevice has been good.
    Question #7 is about how long Dwayne's will process Kodachrome. Given that they set up additional machine and hired more people just for Kodachrome at the rate of 200 + rolls a day, they won't quit any time soon.
  5. About 3 weeks ago I received my first KL ever from Dwaynes and was totally happy with the quality. Before that I always used Lausanne, since I live in North Europe. Only one little minus for me is that they don't cut it in strips (of 4 pictures) as Lausanne did. Dwaynes sent me the whole film as a roll. Anyway, I'm happy and will use their services again.

    What about the quality in Tokyo? Tokyo Kodachrome-scene, anybody...?
  6. I just got back 6 rolls of KL, unmounted and uncut. Rolls were returned in perfect order,
    and the look of the rolls is just stunning. I can tell, they did a good job on this film. The
    film was outdated slightly, but refriged, and they look amazing. No green or magenta
    shift, clean, solid black. Film was returned to me within a week. This is all good, I still have
    a lot to shoot and process in my freezer. May even BUY some more!
  7. Completely happy with Dwayne's here. Last roll was Kodachrome 25, gorgeous. (I wish I'd understood why that film was so much better than Kodachrome 64 when it was discontinued.)
  8. Thanks for your responses, everyone. I'll give it a shot then.

    John, the last roll of Kodachrome I shot was the ISO 25 version (PKM). Beautiful stuff: I still miss it.
  9. Just send it to the Lausanne adress and they'll take care of the rest. I've used Lausanne processing and Dwayne's processing since Lausanne lab stopped processing Kodachrome. Dwayne's is at least as good as Lausanne, the only difference you'll notice is the cardboard mounts that replaced the plastic ones.

    Personally I am happy to send my film to USA for processing if this will keep Kodachrome alive longer.
  10. Berk, good to know. Like you I will be more than happy to send it to the US if the quality is acceptable. With the boom in efficient worldwide courier companies that has accompanied the rise in internet retailing, this centralised processing model seems to me to be something that might be sustainable in the long run, as long as Kodak continues to produce Kodachrome. I tend to think that the worldwide demand for Kodachrome, although a tiny fraction of what it was in the past, simply must be sufficient to make it worthwhile for Kodak to keep producing the emulsion, particularly as the development costs must have been recouped decades ago. If it can survive until something like the current vinyl revival hits film it might even make Kodak some respectable profits in the future.

    Regardless, I plan to enjoy the stuff as long as it sticks around. I have boxes upon boxes of carefully organised Kodachromes, which I dip into regularly to run through the projector. And in the future when a used Flextight scanner can be picked up for 500 pounds I'll start the enjoyable task of digitising the better images for high quality printing.
  11. i shot a roll of sensia and kodachrome today, lets see which gets back first. i find that E6 usually comes back in horrible plastic mounts while kodachrome comes in cardboard.

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