Kodachrome RIP

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by nail33, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. A sad end to perhaps Kodak's greatest film legacy:
    http://stevemccurry.com/galleries/last-roll-kodachrome?view=info
     
  2. Very long-lived production, 1935 to 2009, and with processing availability, 2010. An impressive 75 year history in various versions. Elsewhere, Ilford's FP4 B&W film started as Fine grain Panchromatic (FP) film in the same year (1935), Kodak Tri-X film became available in 1954 (both are still made in modern versions and were even available earlier in the 1930s as plates rather than film).
    Great film for 35mm, somewhat contrasty, but with better permanency than other transparency films. Curry and his fine portraits did the last roll justice. Thanks for posting.
     
  3. Really nice! Personnally, I can't think of a more fitting person to get the last roll than Steve McCurry.
     
  4. Good riddance film elitists.
    I say this because as it has always been in the consumer level film roll photography industry as shown in those Steve McCurry samples, no regular Joe Blow consumer shlub ever got their Kodachromes to look that good or else why do these...
    http://www.tecgrillsonline.com/VMPersonal/Samples.htm
    ...don't look like Steve's in image quality?
    You don't know how pissed off I'ld get in the years as a consumer level film shooter to NOT get Steve's results no matter what lab I sent my film to and it ain't just Kodachrome either. Yeah, I'll say it again...GOOD RIDDANCE FILM ELITISM!
    Thank god for DSLR's.
     
  5. my aunt, an army nurse had many Kodachrome slides sho with a C-3 and a kodak 35 rf,
    she was not a photo whiz, yet with primitave equipment by todays standards, she had many interesting slides.
    this is all with the asa 10 film.
    it had it's quirks and limitations. but the final result was magnificent.
    when kodak and others stopped making paper to print slides it was the beginning of the end.
    cameras with dx coding that could not accept asa 10 25 or later 64 film was another serious blow.,
    the sometimes sloppy metering with auto exposure cameras was another.
    I was sorry to see kodachrome go. but the changes in cameras and the radical improvement in negative films made is all but inevitable.
    I do not want to see a film vs digital debate.
    but the situation now with thousands of people woth cheap digicams shooting hundreds of thousands of " images"
    it not that much different that the same number of people shooting 127 and 620
    burning up film and flashbulbs and leaving prints in an envelope possibley to be viewed once and siscarded
    negatives were ignored. and often tossed out the day the prints were brought home.
     
  6. Why is this popping up again?
    When it was "current" news there must have been a half dozen or more threads on this very topic?
    Believe me, I remember it clearly as I was the one who in the course of the discussions asked "who the hell Steve McCurry was". I was very forcefully reminded, and I carry the psychic scars to this day.
    I do have to admit that I think that it is always nice to look at McCurry's work, having posted on it recently myself http://www.photo.net/casual-conversations-forum/00ayQ5
     
  7. Do you get images that look like Steve McCurry's with your DSLR?​
    Generally speaking with regard to image fidelity, quality and color? Yes. Using a DSLR to copy the look of McCurry? No, not interested.
    I have higher aspirations in my attempt to create an image I haven't seen before which was excruciatingly difficult with film before desktop scanners were affordable and even then, shooting and processing Raw from a DSLR makes that endeavor even far more faster and easier to achieve than with film.
     
  8. Who needs another Kodachrome wake? Most of the tears seems to have been shed by people who hadn't shot the stuff for years and weren't aware of the processing limitations that led to the last stand at Dwayne's. It got knocked sideways off photo editors' light tables by Velvia 20 years ago. McCurry and others could squeeze off a great shot with an iPhone. Besides, isn't this already cross-posted elsewhere on PN. Enough already.
     
  9. Enough? No, because I had not seen those images before, even though they are obviously not news. I certainly like the subject matter and the scanner output. But the compositions are quite ordinary. I don't see anything there which makes me envious.
    I haven't used Kodachrome in ages, but maybe, now that I'm using film again (not too much) I wonder if I would use Kodachrome if it was still available.
     
  10. It's sure taking a long time for Kodachrome to expire. Sorta like watching Jimmy Cagney slowly, slowly die, whilst talking fondly of his dear old mum.
     
  11. "I haven't used Kodachrome in ages, but maybe, now that I'm using film again (not too much) I wonder if I would use Kodachrome if it was still available."
    If you're OK with shooting a film only one lab on the planet could process then maybe you would. Never bothered since I didn't like its "look" or the PITA processing delays or scanning issues relative to Fuji E-6 materials or the pro Ektachromes. Always amazed me the stuff survived as long as it did once flagging demand eventually cut processing down to Dwayne's. Suspect most of what they were processing was yanked from freezers and purchased years ago.
     
  12. If Velvia and other Fuji films had not been there, the passing of Kodachrome might have been met with more pain than it was. In retrospect, the earlier disappearance of K25 was more of a loss in my mind than that of K64 (less good color balance) or K200 (never even tried it). Agfachromes also had a look (chromatic balance and good H&D curve) that I felt the others, including Kodachrome, didn't possess.
    There is just one aspect of Kodachrome that I miss. Waiting for that little plastic box to come back from Kodak's Toronto lab, receiving it and seeing for the first time the result, was always a pleasure. I get the same feeling when processing current black and white films and enlarging the negatives to print, although color is much more conveniently used in my digital cameras, where quick feedback helps to hone in a trial and error manner the visualisation and capture process.
     
  13. I stopped shooting slides decades ago so I won't miss much. In fact, I wonder those who swoon over these pics could really tell what film it was if they didn't know. What should I look for?
     
  14. Not impressed by 60 per cent of the images. Kodachrome? Shot 25 and 64 until I took up velvia 50 long ago. Scanned a
    lot of medium format velvia. Held out with medium format for a while. Now, why would anyone feel that that was
    necessary? Hobby, ok but necessary? Digital lives and is better than me.
     
  15. "Digital lives and is better than me."
    Not with those tiny viewfinders emulating peep holes. Give me full size VF for 50 bucks and I might switch to digital.
     
  16. What should I look for?​
    I am not sure that this is the point. If you like the character of the photos, that's what matters. If you like scans of cheap prints from crappy negs, forget Kodachrome. Me, I am unimpressed by poor reproduction, even if I don't know what it's from. We clean our windows so you can enjoy the view, not the windows. >:)
     
  17. I never had problems with Kodachrome, where in the US or Japan. For a long time I used only Kodachrome because of the care Kodak took with my slides. My only problem with Kodachrome was that 64 was too slow and 200 never turned me on.
     
  18. I don't particularly miss Kodachrome even though I shot thousands of rolls of K64 professionally. Once the Fujichromes came out, I found the Fujichrome color response worked better under a wider range of light conditions. However, in the right conditions Kodachrome could look wonderful, and some photographers used it brilliantly. Check out Ralph Gibson's L'Histoire de France of you'd like to see Kodachrome used really well. It's a look I doubt I'll ever see from a digital camera, though I'd be happy to be proved wrong.
     
  19. The examples are either a bad use of Kodachrome or lousy scanning. the older people look worswe than they really are and the colors are off. Kodachrome is, in my humble view, a lot better than this. Kodachrome was just another tool which worked fine if you wanted very high quality and off-the-chart colors. You don't use a Rolls Royce to haul horse manure.There are better tools for that.
     
  20. ...if you'ld like to see Kodachrome used really well.
    The examples are either a bad use of Kodachrome or lousy scanning.​
    Could you get any more obscure? How does one use a film recording medium poorly or well? How would you know if it's the fault of the photographer, Kodak or Kodak's lack of quality control spread across a wide range of labs?
    Film image capture and processing has always been a team effort unlike digital which puts all the responsibility on quality of the image on the back of the photographer, the only one to blame when it's done well or bad.
    It's these kind of vague comments that only drives home my point about film elitism. Everyone seems to think the film photographer did all the work in delivering the final result which farthest from the truth.
     
  21. To respond to Tim, I'd say to some extent you have a point. As I recall, Kodak was a sponsor for Ralph Gibson's L'Histoire de France, so I think it's a safe bet he had access to the very best in the way of film and processing. I'm also certain he used the professional version (PKR) which would have provided more consistent, predictable color. In general, though--and I say this as someone who was disappointed a number of times by Kodachrome color--I think Kodak did its upmost to maintain consistent, high quality K14 processing.
    To use a film well--particularly a transparency film--it's a question of understanding what color and contrast the film will deliver in various situations and then working to the particular strengths of that film. If you examine L'Histoire de France (which isn't very expensive used), this becomes immediately apparent. It's much easier to see than to talk about. The particular look of that book isn't something I think we're likely to see again. You can view many of the book images on Gibson's website (though I think web images are a poor substitute for the book).
    I have no idea what you're referring to with regard to "film elitism." Every medium has its strengths and weaknesses. Some folks learn how to used each medium to its best advantage. Others flounder around. Nothing new about that.
     

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