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Thread: Kodachrome 4x5

  1. #11

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    Re: Kodachrome 4x5

    From the 1960s through 1990s, I shot lots of Kodachrome II/25 in 35mm as well as a fair amount of 64 in 120. The 25 (especially PKM) was so much better than either version of 64 in my opinion that I begged several Kodak CEOs to offer 120 PKM, to no avail. Then processing became problematic and I transitioned almost exclusively to black and white. I've never found a color film that can hold a candle to Kodachrome 25. Today I go with digital for snapshots and anything that requires color, like magazine illustrations.

    I've another connection to many of those Kodachromes -- spent more than 20 years working at the Douglas Aircraft plant in Long Beach. Even though it was officially a Boeing facility for the last 13 years I was there, we still referred to it as "Douglas." Most wouldn't even acknowledge the "McDonnell" part of McDonnell Douglas.

  2. #12
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Kodachrome 4x5

    I'd certainly agree with Sal. But I was happy to have 120 Kodachrome briefly in anything,
    even if it was 64. The old sheet film Kodachrome seems to have had an internal evolution
    of its own, with a bit different pallette in each case compared to modern roll versions.
    But I can't think of anything equivalent in E-6 films.

  3. #13
    Dominik
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    Re: Kodachrome 4x5

    I agree with Sal the look of Kodachrome 25 is unparalleld by any other color film. I can understand the Douglas guys as well, when I've heard that MD was sold to Boeing I nearly had a heartattack. Douglas products were in my opinion much better than Boeing products. Well it seems that all good products go the way of the Dodo.

    Dominik

  4. #14

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    Re: Kodachrome 4x5

    Edge, bite, yes. Kodachrome 64 had higher edge accutance than most other emulsions. Looked great under a loupe and projected. But that accutance did not bear out in higher resolving power, and made the grain more prominent in prints and scans. Lower contrast scenes it bottlenecked at 60 lpmm. That is a problem mostly in 35mm where the best lenses achieve much better. And, for the last 20 years or so... Simply unavailable in larger formats to scale up the real estate to compensate. That's why it's so endearing to see 4x5s of Kodachrome today (You could bowl me over with feather if the 1940's formulation of it was anywhere near as fine grained and high resolving. LF was a necessity, then, as smaller formats were so film resolution limited, including early Kodachrome). Kodak fiddled with the silver content and the process, numerous times. K25 and K64 were at the peak of their reign, lovely and as good as film got in 35mm. Yet other emulsions leap-frogged it (Hell-- Kodak themselves tried with higher resolving more enviro-friendly E6 emulsions). In the late 80's and early 90's a great many pros switched to E6 as soon as it was reasonably archivally stable and never looked back.

  5. #15
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Kodachrome 4x5

    Ivan - K25 was pure magic on Cibachrome. Of course, being avail only in smaller formats,
    that limited the size of a sharp print per se. I did make 8x10 interpositives of a few images.
    But none of the issues you describe as artifacts of scanning. In direct enlargement it was
    was sharper than E6 film of the era, and probably better than those currently available.

  6. #16

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    Re: Kodachrome 4x5

    I have used Kodachrome since the late 1040's as well as Ansco Color. K was sharper, Ansco had better color quality and was user processable. In LF color when I was a Navy medical photographer, we had to process our own since we used lots of 4x5 and 8x10 so we used Ansco Color until E1 Ektachrome came in. E1 was beautiful in color but not very sharp and had quite a bit of grain. Anscochrome was the best when it became available followed by Super Anscochrome 6500 which was probably the best LF chrome ever, however since the federal government still had there hands on it, they destroyed the Ansco division leaving only behind the chemical and plastics division GAF.

    Lynn

  7. #17

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    Re: Kodachrome 4x5

    I would guess that sheet Kodachrome disappeared not long after the user-processable Ektachrome process was introduced. At least partly because Kodak lost money on sheet K-chrome- it must have needed a different (expensive) processing line, as the big Kodachrome processing machines were built for sprocket-holed movie and 35mm film. I still have some 4x5 K-chromes from my parents' days at RIT in the late '40s; they have lasted quite well against the comparable Ektachromes.

  8. #18
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: Kodachrome 4x5

    These images look like the Marilyn Monroe or Norma Jean Discovery Series images.
    very beautiful set of images
    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedGraphicMan View Post

  9. #19

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    Re: Kodachrome 4x5

    [QUOTE=Sal Santamaura;914706]From the 1960s through 1990s, I shot lots of Kodachrome II/25 in 35mm as well as a fair amount of 64 in 120. The 25 (especially PKM) was so much better than either version of 64 in my opinion that I begged several Kodak CEOs to offer 120 PKM, to no avail. Then processing became problematic and I transitioned almost exclusively to black and white. I've never found a color film that can hold a candle to Kodachrome 25. Today I go with digital for snapshots and anything that requires color, like magazine illustrations.QUOTE]

    Ditto.
    My first digital camera was an Olympus E-20 which shot color which looked like Kodachrome II shot with an Elmar. It was beautiful! But of course they discontinued it with no replacement.
    All my 4x5 Kodachromes from the 1950s are still beautiful. The Ektachromes and Anscochromes are long gone.
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

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