I loved Kodachrome! It was a wonderful film and untold rolls of it went through my cameras in the 1980s and 1990s. I had picked up a few rolls of fresh Kodachrome 64 in 2010 to shoot before K-14 processing ended, and obtained 5 rolls of my all-time favorite film, 25 speed to put on my shelf.
Fast forward to 2018 and against my wildest dreams, I was shooting Kodachrome 25 again! Those 5 rolls had been moved to a warm closet for several years as I never expected to use them. 3 of the 5 boxes were in less than “collectable” condition too. Lately I have been shooting a lot of fresh and expired color films and cross processing them to black and white using Kodak’s HC-110.
I thought about those rolls I had packed away and thought “Why not?” The 3 in the damaged boxes came out of storage and the first one has gone through my camera. To say that I was tickled to have Kodachrome 25 in my camera again is an understatement! My rolls expired in 1986, so I shot them 4 stops over box speed, at EI 1.5!
Whenever I test out a new film, I usually shoot a roll around my house. This was no exception. During processing, I gave them a long pre-soak and removed much of the remjet coating with a simple baking soda bath. I was less than happy with the action of that bath and will use a borax solution next time. However, much to my delight, I had well- exposed images on my film!
An EI of 1.5 is pretty slow, so the next two rolls will be saved for a time when I prefer to use long exposures, such as flowing water. Combined with this slow speed, a small aperture and an ND filter, even in bright sunlight, I should be able to get some really nice effects in my images. I’m looking forward to spending more time with a very old friend.
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This series is being produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.
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