5 Frames… With Kodachrome 25 (EI 1.5 / 35mm format / Canon EOS3) – by Richard Kowalski

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.

~ Richard

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This series is 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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Richard Kowalski
Richard Kowalski
Richard A. Kowalski is from Tucson, Arizona. A professional researcher who regularly uses a 110 megapixel camera attached to a 3000mm f/ 1.7 telescope to produce and examine about 1000 images each clear night he is at work, he first fell in love with photography in the mid 1970s and shot film until around 2000. He and his wife have worked semi-professionally shooting weddings, events, landscapes and wildlife.

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  1. Kodachrome…Had to be one of the easiest workflows ever. Shoot,pick favorites,turn in to the lab for a Type R print, with the note to match transparency. Sometimes I would have an interneg made to print on other paper surfaces. Thanks for bringing a moment of reflection and recollection into my day.

  2. How lovely! Richard, did you know that Kelly-Shane Fuller (USA) has almost perfected a colour process for Kodachrome? He can be found on Etsy and in FB groups and I’m pretty sure he had his own website. Maybe have a chat with him!

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