Facts, Not Fiction

 
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    Re: RIP: Kodachrome, 75
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonewolf
    This thread prompted me to re-visit my archive of Kodachrome slides taken of my kids in the early 50s with my Argus C-3, a very simple range finder camera (near or far) requiring a light meter for best results.. until you develped a sense of what f stop and (limited) shutter speed felt right..slides still bright and the equal of/better than later slides and pictures taken with more sophisticated/better equipment...
    My father also used one of those Argus cameras using a Weston meter. Fine cameras and very popular. His Kodachrome pictures still look great. The Ektachrome pictures not so much. Right now I am looking at some samples of both from about 50 years ago, and the difference is really amazing.

    Fortunately when I went to the Peace Corps in Nepal I used Kodachrome.
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    Re: RIP: Kodachrome, 75
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    A number of years ago, Conor was kind enough to give me a "Kodachrome" print--one of a bunch that his father had had made. These prints--positive images on paper made from Kodachrome transparencies--are typically small in format, with rounded corners, with "Kodachrome Print" stamped on the back. While not generally discussed, this technology was introduced in 1941--an extraordinarily early date for anything approximating a stable, commercially viable color print process. These prints were produced through at least the late 1950s but (strangely) seem pretty rare today--I never see them in flea markets, etc.

    Not surprisingly, the stability of these prints was also excellent--vastly better than the negative-to-print processes of the 1960s, 70s, or 80s.
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    Re: RIP: Kodachrome, 75
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    After I had photographed, on Kodachrome and Ektachrome, about 800 courthouses, decided I wanted prints and had 3x5 prints made of all of them. You can tell which are Kodachrome at a glance.. after that, I carried two cameras, one for film, one for slides and took both for every courthouse.. at some point, I switched to exclusively print.. After I had more than 4000 prints/slides, my grandson edited/cropped/exposed the best of each courthouse onto CDs with uniform footprint and label... ready for paginating into book form.. just as soon as I have time
    I also have 3x5 or 4x6 prints of them all in acetate page notebooks, , alphabetically by county/state, with highway stateline marker, state house and governor's mansion title page for every state for quick reference.
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    Re: RIP: Kodachrome, 75
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonewolf
    I carried two cameras, one for film, one for slides and took both for every courthouse..
    For exteriors, I'm sure transparency film was just fine. For interiors, however, I'd really think that negative film would be far better--much more "forgiving" in terms of exposure plus a much longer tonal range (lower inherent contrast) than any transparency film...

    (I've been photographing the interiors of state capitals since the early 1980s.)
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    Re: RIP: Kodachrome, 75
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    I photographed all state houses and governors mansions but did not take many interior pictures. GMs were/are seldom accessible. Access to capitol buildings was less of a problem then but I was moving fast to get as many exteriors as possible and many were taken when the buildings were not open.
    I did take the time and effort to get interior shots of courthouses that had famous histories, for instance the Rhea County, TN (Dayton) courthouse, scene of the Scopes Monkey Trial, which is pretty much unchanged since 1925.
    Movies and TV typically use exterior shots of random majestic urban or rural courthouses to fit the locale of the script. The Mississippin courthouse depicted in Heat of the Night TV series is actually the Newton County courthouse in Covington, GA.
    The Essex County, NJ (Newark) courthouse is popular for exteriors of big city majestic pile of grey stone exteriors.
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    Re: RIP: Kodachrome, 75
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    Re: RIP: Kodachrome, 75
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    Re: RIP: Kodachrome, 75
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    As a teen in the UK, circa 1957-8, I went on a tour of a Kodak factory. What I remember most was a room filled with silver ingots. It was essential to making film at that time.
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    Re: RIP: Kodachrome, 75
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremyp
    As a teen in the UK, circa 1957-8, I went on a tour of a Kodak factory. What I remember most was a room filled with silver ingots. It was essential to making film at that time.
    Absolutely. While other elements can be made light sensitive--iron, platinum, palladium, even uranium--silver has been central to "traditional" photographic processes from the 1830s to the present...but obviously the use of silver has declined as digital imaging takes over. And electrons are free... The photo industry used tons (literally, I'd guess) of silver each year--but no more. Oddly, that hasn't stopped a crazy run-up in the price of silver lately...
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    Re: RIP: Kodachrome, 75
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    Reading the Times article the sad part is that Kodak for some reason is refusing to make the K14 chemicals anymore. I find it hard it is that big of a deal, but maybe they just don't want to be associated with film anymore.

    For my own part, I still shoot a lot of transparency film mostly in 4x5, and there are a few great films out there, primarily Fuji Provia and Velvia film.
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