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Wednesday, 20 August 2008


...and did Tyler buy all of it?

Kodachrome? Bah, Paul Simon's best work was done in the 60s.

wow, i swear, i live in Fuji-ville. It's all good as long as it's Fuji and i'm lucky to get that. This photo makes me drool and would right on top of my list of stuff I can't buy (and wish to heck I could)

"Momma, don't take my Kodachrome away!" - Paul Simon

Is there any chance to still get the film developed after taking some pictures? It needs a non-standard development process, if I remember correctly.

even though I'd say: who cares if it is expired, I want it?

One day soon we'll take pictures of CompactFlash cards in similar state that are no longer accepted by newer breed of cameras and have been superceded by SDHC cards or whatever the newer standard happens to be.

Not entirely on topic, but the other day I was in Boots, who are the biggest UK chemists (this may be the same as a drugstore in the US). I was looking for a memory card in fact.

I looked idly to see what, if any film they would have, expecting it to be either nothing or some horrible 400ASA print film. They had Kodachrome. Not old stock but current long-expiry rolls.

(Yes, I bought it all.)

Is it the same over your countries as in Hong Kong?

Recently I took a roll of film to a local big name photo shop (which I seldom patronize) for development only to find out that films had been so out of fashion that they must be taken back to the HQ lab for the matter.

"How long will it take for the photos to be ready?" I asked, feeling myself like an outdated caveman.

"Around a week," the shop lady replied

She reminded me of the teasing I had got from a shop owner of a neighbourhood photo shop, "You took film? Are you sure? Who else will use films these days, huh?" He was not making photos from films for customers anymore, he said. And that he asked me to go digital.

So as sad as angry I took the roll back home, hating myself for still enjoying the slow process of taking photos, experimenting exposures, waiting the photos to be developed, checking against the notebook (a real notebook that I can write with a real pen, not a dry, cold and thin GDI stylus), passing around the tangible photos, again taking the next lot of photos in a hope to improve. Who on earth will still enjoy the chance to expect an unknown result and something to look forward to?

The digital era is limiting us that "chance", that "something" and soon a place to even buy a roll of film (except probably if you wish to buy piles of expired films).

I'd better show this photo of expired films to my Minolta SLR, so that it knows the market is ready to get rid of films and it apart from the R from DSLR with the M43 technology.

I still feel like a caveman whenever I shoot with the SLR. Everyone expects me to show them the instant results. I will just give a weird response, "Wait." I mean not for a matter of seconds but for around a week.

And he didn't buy it?

So, did he buy it all?


Whoa... he just shot the image and didn't take that haul home with him? Even if you just end up cross-processing it somewhere cheap it would be great fun to have around to bring some otherwise under-used old cams back to life. My Electro GS is drooling...

"To know Kodachrome was to love the stuff!"
sorry to disagree Mike but despite trying it once or twice I never did like it, preferred Agfachrome. Even if I'd seen such a stash for sale and it had been in date I would have passed it by (unless to sell it on eBay!)

Yes, film is slowly becoming a niche market like vinyl records but fortunately the rise of internet commerce means that it is easier to find and buy stuff for those of us who choose to go against the flow.

Cheers, Robin

I think I hear my N90s calling me...

Kodachrome 25

(guest post by Homer Simpson)

Quote Nevin:
"The digital era is limiting us that "chance", that "something" "

I used to shoot K25 and K64 and I'm not crying. The "chance" and "something" isn't gone. It's just time compressed. Now a beginning photographer doesn't have to wait and see what results. There are people right now learning the precepts of photography that probably wouldn't have tried had it still been film based. Some of those people will be writing the books offered for review here in ten or twenty years. Don't pine away for the past. Embrace the future. For film... it's gonna be big format. If you're weepy for film, start saving for the huge camera. And more importantly the huge price you'll pay for the film that goes into it!

Go black and white — you don't need a lab, just developer, fixer, a tank and you're in business. Assuming you're using small format film. Otherwise you just develop and fix in your trays. Don't turn on the lights!

Still remember about twenty five years ago I walked into an old shop and they had ten rolls of KM25 which was seven years out of date, I snapped them up (pardon the pun) for next to nothing and all the slides came out perfectly.

It's stable stuff alright.

I have twenty-someodd rolls of very recently expired (i.e. very shootable) kodachrome 64 in my freezer. The problem is that it's so precious to me that sometimes I'm loath to use it. I know I need to get over it -- that it's no good just sitting there -- but there's something in me that always asks: is x subject worth it?

John Brubaker: You cannot cross process Kodachrome, only E-6 slide films will work for that.

To everyone else: That was Kodachrome 25 !!!!! I've never gotten to try that, hell i'd have bought the whole thing!

Mike, It looks like --Dwayne's Photo in Kansas remains as the sole processing lab in the world for Kodachrome.
The last out of date rolls had an expiration date July 2008 or September 2008 (European version).
http://www.dwaynesphoto.com/ of course I would check price and if they still processing it, before committing images to film
you can't get processed. Never could shoot the stuff, the clients I had always wanted the photo's YESTERDAY.
I also believe because it has black dye in it you can't use the "get rid of the dust and scratches feature on scanners".

Stuffed right between the VHS tape and the audio cassettes. It's almost like a museum.

At a time when photos are "ingested," those venerable Red & Yellow boxes resurrect memories in a way no CF card can. Some of those boxes are even collectible: try that with a Lexar 45x.

I don't know if Tyler bought that pile of film, but if he DID…and actually shot it…there is still one remaining certified processing lab in the US that would be happy to have it: Dwayne's Photo, in Parsons, Kansas. They process disc film, too, if you're really a hardcore holdout.

At the very least he could have bought it and put it up for sale on e-bay!

Kodachrome was the best! It's longevity is the stuff of legend, too. I knew a guy (who has sadly passed on) that was shooting Kodachrome in the 1940s and I was astounded to look through some of his slides. Apart from the anachronisms that naturally occur over 60+ years of history, the shots look like they could have been taken yesterday. Amazing!

So what branch of Boots was that Tim?
Just in case they've got more stock in!

You can still get 35mm Kodachrome developed. It all goes to Dwayne's in Kansas. 120 Kodachrome is dead, soup it in B&W chems.

Personally, I never liked it much, but I didn't start shooting until after Velvia made E-6 viable as an alternative.

Someone should buy it and shoot it or sell it. If you look closely, a lot of it is K25, which keeps well and commands an absurd price on eBay, even in dubious condition.

I had about 40 rolls in the freezer from the last batch and decided a couple of years ago that the price had gotten too crazy to keep it, since I wasn't shooting too much 35mm color slide anyway, and while K25 was the most beautiful 35mm color slide film ever, there are other beautiful color transparency films available in larger formats that I prefer anyway. I think I sold it for twice what it cost new.

The only cross processing that can be done with Kodachrome is as black and white, and I don't see much reason to do that while it is still possible to get K-14 processing from Dwayne's.

Kodachrome 64 is still the film
of choice for me. Dwayne's in Parsons Kansas
is the last processor of Kodachrome
in the world!

I do roster shots of railway locomotives among other things. If the shot I would want to sell is NOT on Kodachrome, it just simply doesn't sell. The longevity of Kodachrome images is proven! Not so for Ektachrome.

Personally the Green dragon has not
conquered the yellow giant. Mind the yellow giant is aging what with diabetes and creeping Alzhiemers. Kodak has missed the digital boat IMO and now is trying to figure out how to catch the boat sailing away,
with a rowboat!

Back in my poor college days, that much film would have cost me more than I made in a year.

What a find. Use it and send it to Dwayne's Photo in Kansas to develop as they are the only lab in the world remaining that can do it. As a matter of fact I just sent them 3 rolls! The color is amazing and there's nothing like it.

I was curious so I just checked B&H. Sure enough they show that they have Kodachrome 64 and Professional Kodachrome 64 in stock. I don't think I can afford to buy their complete stock however.


Chicago's Gamma Imaging will still process Kodachrome.


Gamma is the top lab in the area, and probably in the upper Midwest (America) region.

I have never used Kodachrome, not even a film slower than ASA 100. But I wish I did, at least, for experience.

The problem is that it is becoming pretty hard to find people who develop B&W (and that's why I'll learn to do it at home) and E-6 film here in the south of Brazil.

I wonder if there's anyone in Brazil that develops Kodachrome...

Yeah, it was pretty when you projected it, but it has been a nightmare to scan the stuff. It do have a problem with cyan cast. I see/hear the problem everyday from art historians trying to get their old tungsten Kodachromes to look good when scanned and project digitally.


Where's this thrift shop located---I'll buy the stuff. I'm down to my last 4 rolls of K25, and even five years past its sell-by date, the slides turn out great. And they'll last well beyond the next digital product cycle.

For UK readers, 7dayshop.com has Kodachrome 64 in stock at £6.35 and the website says Stock-Plenty!

Cheers, Robin

Kind of hard to be sure, but it looks like there's maybe 100-140 rolls there? And what are the odds the thrift store would take 10 bucks for the lot, just to get if off their hands? The possibility just kind of makes me drool a little bit.

Buy ASA 64 through the Amazon links here and help Mike out.

Mmmmmmmm. THANKS, Robin. I want my Kodachrome back, momma.

I bet I'm not the only one out there who liked to take a whiff of the Kodachrome after unscrewing the can (yes, I am dating myself).

Photographic perfume...

Dear Mike,

I'm amongst those who knew Kodachrome and did not love it. An entirely acceptable film, don't get me wrong. But nothing about the images that curled my toes.

Dear Carl,

What prevents anti-scratch scanning on *some* scanners with *some* Kodachrome slides is that Kodachrome cyan dye absorbs a fair amount of near infrared. That's what the scanners use to distinguish between crud and image (most dyes are transparent in the NIR).

Depends on the slide and the scanner model. Not always a problem.

Got nothing to do with the black anti-halation coating on the film. That's scrubbed off in processing.

pax / Ctein

Kodachrome 25 was always my favourite film. It would almost be worth buying the lot just to see if it exhibits any colour shifts, although I don't think there's anywhere in Canada that processes Kodachrome anymore...

Dear Frank,

Don't know what vintage originals you're scanning or what scanner you're using, but K25 and K200 scan perfectly well on my Minolta Dimage Multi-Pro with the default exposure and color balance settings. Within a few CC of dead-on correct.

Kodachrome dye sets have changed over the years; it's possible that K-12 and earlier versions don't scan the same as K-14. If you want to discuss this further or have me look at a couple of problem slides, email me: ctein@pobox.com

pax / Ctein

This kind of film is compatible with my G7?

Yes, Kodachrome does not have dyes in the emulsion, so x-pro will not work.

I have several K64 rolls in the fridge, I got them on sale at a local drug/chemist chain a few years ago for less than $3.00/24 exp. What I've shot so far has been perfect at EI 64. The only issue i know of for old K14 is that it might lose speed.

K25, now that is the bee's knees! I have trwo precious 36exp rolls waiting for the right time, place and kit.

Walt: With all due respect, (especially if you're the OM Walt from GA,) BALONEY! They may learn the mechanics and exposure theory, but unless they've seen a "perfect" K25 chrome on a light table, they ain't even started. ;)

There seems to be some confusion among some of the respondents about availability. Kodachrome (64, not sure about the professional version) is still available: you don't have to buy expired film. It is still easily processed in the UK and US. In the UK, mailshots.co.uk have KR64, process paid, for approximately the same price it has cost here for the last 10 years or so. In the UK you have to pay postage to Switzerland (from where it is wormhole-routed to the states): it's not much.

I'd encourage anyone to shoot some, while you still can: it is a great film in all its varieties, and this is the last one left. Yes, it's laborious compared to digital. Yes, it's hard to scan. One day we are all going to realise that making images which are hard to clone is half the point.

"This kind of film is compatible with my G7?"

No, but it will work with a Canon 7s...

Mike J.

As other have already said - that lot would fetch a good price on ebay. I dream of finding stuff like that in thrift stores.

I used to have a shooting routine that revolved around Kodachrome. Early in the morning, I would drop off my film at the old Prairie street Kodachrome lab in Chicago, right next to the Illinois Central tracks in the South Loop. Then I would go and make the rounds of the various areas of the city that I was shooting in back in those days. The next day I'd be back at Prairie street to pick up yesterday's film and drop a new batch. I always ordered it uncut and sleeved. After the drop i'd sit in my car and scope out the previous day's work and plan my course of shooting for that morn.

It was a cool routine...most memorable and marked by winter mornings sitting in my car looking at film..what probably marked it was the weak ass heater in my 67 mercury comet. Very fond memories there.

Ross Elhert, a pro lab in the west loop in Chicago, processed Kodachrome and, at one point, opened a Kodachrome only lab on west Lake Street..fairly short lived. That lab, I recall, coincided with the availability of Kodachrome in the 120 format...short lived release.

I loved the 120 stuff but i think i loved the 35mm better because it just seemed to suit what Kodachrome first meant for me.

My memory is faulty.

But didn't Kodachrome/Kodak fall victim to processing woes in the misty past? Commercial/magazine pros dropped the film like a bad habit and switched to E-6 in droves, didn't they? I was never much of a chrome shooter myself.

But I want to see film thrive...

i will admit it. Miss Kodachrome. Preferred 25, also 200 when it came out. K200 "felt" like color Tri-x. I miss the pallete.

In further reference to Tim Bradshaw's comment. I checked out my local branch of Boots. They had some Kodachrome 64 as well. Better than that, it was on a 3 for the price of 2 sale! Result!!

(More unexpectedly, they had some packs of Kodak Ultra 110 film. I didn't even know they made that stuff!!)

I shall look at larger branches of Boots in a new light as possible sources in future.

K25! That's quite a haul. I hope someone who can appreciate it buys the lot before the thift store tosses it in the garbage. The film is probably still usable, being as slow as it is. The colors may have shifted a bit but the worst of it could probably be corrected during scanning.

I've been shooting some (slightly expired) K64 myself lately and have really enjoyed it. I drop it off in Walmart's mail-out film kiosk with "Kodachrome K-14 Special 2-Week Processing" written on the envelope. They send it to Dwayne's for developing and mounting at $4.88 per roll. Scans fine with my Nikon Coolscan V ED.

Nevin, there are several labs in Hong Kong who will do a much faster turn around than a couple of weeks, try Digital Force/Digital Pro in Tai Koo, Excellent Colour in Wan Chai or Colour Six in Stanley Street in Central for a start. Both do same or next day service. Plus there are lots of minilabs around.

This reminds me of being in a store in Monument Valley (Gooldens Trading Post perhaps ?) one winter six or seven years ago. I was traveling about taking pictures with my old Canon A1 and using mainly Provia 400 I think, when I saw a basket of Kodachrome 64 on the counter. I thought I might buy a couple of rolls and looking at one saw it was out of date, by about two weeks. All of them - about 30 rolls - were. I mentioned this to the Navajo lady behind the counter and she said "Oh dear" and started to take the whole basket and put it down behind the counter. "What are you doing?" I asked "You aren't going to throw it away surely?"..... "Can't sell it if it's out of date" she said in the beautiful relaxed sing-song of Navajo english..."You want it?". She was going to just give me the lot, and I ended up giving her $10 for it, and buying a couple of other things in the shop. But still. Ten bucks for 30 odd rolls of K64/36. PROCESSING ENVELOPES INCLUDED....... I have some beautiful shots from those rolls - particularly of Monument Valley and the Mojave Desert where the colours just sing. Kodachrome for me is really in its element with bright sunshine...... One other joy of it all was just posting the films off to the lab each time I finished a roll then having it waiting for me, or turning up every few days, when I got back home to the UK.

I remember using Fuji film if I wanted the greens to pop and Kodachrome for the reds and yellows. These days its all in post, sometimes I miss the happy accidents that occurred using the wrong film for what I wanted to happen. I have one shot I took with a yellow filter on and Kodachrome and the shot came out looking like an old sepia tone photo.

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