Someone figured out how to process Kodachrome (sort of)

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by randrew1, Jan 26, 2017.

  1. After someone indicated the chemicals used for the couplers, I asked a chemical company about them. One is normally available, the other two they would make on special order.
    But they are pretty expensive, even in small amounts. (I never got a quote for the two special order ones, but the available one was already expensive enough.)
    One problem is that they are likely reagent grade, as not many people make photographic grade chemicals. (Photographic grade is about the lowest grade, which means it doesn't have certain chemicals that interfere with the process.)
    Other than the couplers, doing the one sided reexposure could be tricky.
    For all slide films, the tolerances are tight, as you don't get to adjust color or exposure during printing, as you do with negative films. As most now would just scan the slides, it doesn't have to be quite as close as for projection.
    Anyone know the concentrations for the couplers in the developers?
  2. Kodak used to require that two PhD level chemists monitor Kodachrome processing. It's a non-trivial 23-step process
    plus drying and mounting. The heavy metal and toxic byproducts are nothing you want to dump directly into your
    plumbing unless you'd like a visit from the EPA.
  3. I loved Kodachrome, and I also salute the effort of trying to bring back the processing.
    . . . nothing you want to dump directly into your plumbing unless you'd like a visit from the EPA.​
    Two things your grandchildren will not know anything about: Kodachrome, and the EPA.
  4. Supposedly this has already been done a few years ago buy an Australian named Stephen Frizza. I read about it on APUG.ORG.

    I don't see the point, Kodachrome being an obsolete film. Considering the complexity of the process, I can't see anybody doing it for money unless they charge an arm and a leg with the chance of poor quality resulting. Anybody having any Kodachrome left can get it processed in b&w, much easier and cheaper.
  5. Kodak is investigating the return of Kodachrome. Nobody has said much else but that is official policy for now.
  6. Official policy? Could you provide a link to an official source saying this? I recently read a newspaper article saying T.J. Mooney, a spokesman for Kodak Alaris, has said that they considered Kodachrome, but decided Ektachrome was the better choice, so that is returning. The return of Kodachrome would have too many problems to overcome and need too much money to restart; demand is uncertain. Even the success of the return of Ektachrome, which is much more feasible, is questionable.
  7. A comeback for Kodachrome? Maybe, Kodak says

    I see this as a trial balloon at best. T. J. Mooney (quoted in a prior post) knows the additional complexity of re-introducing Kodachrome and the limited benefits. Kodachrome ceased to be the most colorful film in 1975 when Ektachrome 64 was introduced. It fell to 4th place with Fuji introduced RT 50 and RT 100. It dropped another healthy notch when Velvia was introduced and dropped way back in the pack with subsequent E-6 offerings by Kodak and Fuji.
    But what do I know about hipsters? I could never understand those instagram filters that made perfectly good photos look old and faded or (shudder) look like Polaroid or Kodak Instant film.
  8. The vast majority of my portfolio was shot on Kodachrome. I loved that film.
    But I confess that by the time that Kodak quit making it, I had already moved on to C/N films and scanning on my path to fully digital shooting.
  9. Official policy sounds like the usual government "neither confirm nor deny".
    Since there are no K14 labs running, that adds an additional complication to its reissue.
    There are still enough E6 labs that there should be no problem with new Ektachrome.
    Even stranger thought, they could come out with a new Kodachrome that uses E6 processing!
  10. Interesting, though, that they are considering bringing back other films. Or so they say.
  11. At best Kodachrome would be limited production, very high cost, and limited processing if Kodak were to revive it. Might be wise to first see how their revival of Ektachrome goes first. If Kodak is really serious about Kodachrome I would think some serious R&D into both the film and processing (meaning even higher cost) would likely happen. But I'm not holding my breath. I'm thankful for the possibility of Ektachrome at least.
  12. If Kodak is so gung ho about reviving film why don't they just release their Vision3 color negative film stock used for movies and re-purpose for mass consumers? They already have to make it for the movie industry so there shouldn't be that much to retool for redistribution and processing for hobbyist/pro film photographers.
    In a linked video in another PN thread about film directors using film it's mentioned Kodak even provides a mobile processing bus that follows the movie crew and set to each location. They could apply the same thinking outside the box for consumers.
    Here's a sample reel of Kodak Vision 3...
    That's some pretty good looking film stock. Better than what I've seen from Kodachrome. And Kodachrome is a PITA to deal with anyway. I don't blame Kodak for backing out.
  13. If Kodak is so gung ho about reviving film why don't they just release their Vision3 color negative film stock used for movies and re-purpose for mass consumers?​
    They could, but they would have to leave the Remjet backing on. This is not a problem as long as either: there are labs that can process it; or Kodak sells a pre-paid version which you send to Kodak for processing. I'm surprised that they haven't.

    This American lab processes movie film:
  14. Most movie films are tungsten balanced. Is Vision3?
  15. Most movie films are tungsten balanced. Is Vision3?​
    Watch the Youtube video for the 500T version...
    How much would one pay for just one still off of either film stock if they could get it processed at Walmart? Wonder if I could dig out my Minolta Freedom Zoom P&S and get those results with a 35mm roll of Vision3?
  16. I presume the T in 500T is for Tungsten balanced.
    As far as I know, you can filter it to get it close if you expose to daylight balanced sources, but not as good as using read daylight balanced film.
    I do remember when people would use rolls of 5247 spooled for still cameras. It wasn't all that much cheaper than normal C41 films, though. I did once develop some in C41 chemistry, and then during rinse wipe off the rem-jet. Seems to work fine that way.
  17. Not only does the film need the remjet removed, but movie negative film has lower contrast than consumer still films, and requires ECN-2 processing for proper results, all of which makes it difficult for general consumer use.
  18. There were labs for many years that sold and processed motion picture negative film for still camera use. I'm not sure if any of these labs are still offering this service. In general, motion picture negative film has finder grain, lower color saturation, and shorter latitude than still films. The ECN-2 process is designed for high volume use. It uses developing agents that are cheaper and more to cause skin irritation than those in processes C-41 and E-6.
    There may come a day where dedicated film users will have to use motion picture film, but for now, Kodak is selling enough motion picture film to keep the plant open. As long as it is running, they can continue to make some sill film as well.
  19. Ron, those products are effectively redundant today, although they did provide the unique service of providing slides with the negatives. The lab I mentioned above will process ECN-2 film, with Remjet, for photographers.
  20. ted_marcus|1

    ted_marcus|1 Ted R. Marcus

    those products are effectively redundant today, although they did provide the unique service of providing slides with the negatives​
    Those labs could also make slides from normal C-41 negative film. I used that service from Dale Labs for years, with various films. It offered several advantages: It was cheaper than prints; ISO 400 negative film produced slides with finer grain, better color, and lower cost than ISO 400 slide film; negatives produced better prints and (later) scans that are easier to work with. But it's now one of the numerous "legacy" photo technologies the Digital Revolution has made extinct.
    As the Kodak movie print film they used to make the slides is still available, it should still be possible to provide this service. I suppose there just isn't enough demand for it to make it economically viable for any lab.
  21. Ted, if Kodak and Ferrania are bringing back slide film, and if they take off, someone somewhere is going to offer an interpositive solution for those who prefer shooting negative film for positives. You can do all this at home, needless to say, but I suspect a lab might deliver slightly better results.

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