Amazing 1940s Kodachromes

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by KevinDks, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. KevinDks

    KevinDks TPF Noob!

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    I was Googling for information on Kodachrome when I came across this photoblog website, which has loads of great old photographs on it.

    There is a large gallery of 4x5 Kodachromes from the early 1940s, and the full size versions are fantastic. I especially like this one, which reminds me of my grandmother (who at around that time was serving in a searchlight battalion of the British army, illuminating the Luftwaffe's nightly visits). It is hard to believe this was taken over 60 years ago.

    Lots of other brilliant images in the gallery - click the thumbnail to see a slightly larger version, then open the full size version with the link in the accompanying text.
     
  2. MissMia

    MissMia TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for that link. Amazing images.

    I've really got to get to work on my grandfather's Kodachrome slides from WWII.
     
  3. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I am blown away. What sharpness and colours, I mean... wow.

    Ok, my D200 just lost a little of it's sparkle... lol.
     
  4. Sandspur

    Sandspur TPF Noob!

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    Wow! Thanks for sharing the site. I actually shot Kodachrome for many years - 35mm, NOT 4x5.

    That experience affects my work - even today - because I always try to simulate that color brilliance in my digital work. Seldom succeed, by the way.

    I'm wondering if any of you know why Kodachromes were so saturated with color and grain-free. (Answer Below)

    And can you imagine being limited to an ISO (we used call it ASA) of 25? And having an exposure latitude of no more than 1/4 stop - else the whole image was hosed!

    Talk about the days when you HAD to get it right in camera ...

    Okay, now you're probably ruined my entire day ... because I'm about to go into the vault (actually it's just an old file cabinet!), pull out some of my own Chromes and spend the rest of the day in a nostalgic frenzy!

    The answer to my question: ... Kodachrome film had NO color dyes or salts in it at the time it was shot. The color was added in the development process - in liquid form. That's why there's no grain, and why the colors were so saturated. That's also why nobody was processing Kodachrome at home or in a conventional darkroom. It had to be done either by Kodak, or by an authorized/specialized lab approved by Kodak.
     
  5. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  6. pm63

    pm63 TPF Noob!

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    Modern DSLRs? Nah, forget that rubbish.
     
  7. KevinDks

    KevinDks TPF Noob!

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    I'm pleased that others are enjoying these images, and if anyone has Kodachromes they would like to post, I would love to see them.

    Sandspur, thank you for the information, that is fascinating - I knew the process was different to other positive films, but I didn't know how.

    Bhop, many thanks indeed - I recognise some of the photos in the Flickr collection from the website I mentioned, but there are a lot more of them there, even if the large sizes aren't quite as big. I can see I'll be spending a lot of time looking at those over the weekend.
     
  8. passerby

    passerby TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the links mate, it open the eyes of who the American really were. Poor and hungry migrants, or selfish opportunists whoever they were from, just like everywhere else by the look of it.

    One of them was this merciless and ruthless tax collector, stay away from him. :D
     

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