From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Film (Rated C-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Film. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see lists of open tasks and regional and topical task forces. To use this banner, please refer to the documentation. To improve this article, please refer to the guidelines.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
Checklist icon
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by the Filmmaking task force.
WikiProject Photography (Rated C-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Photography, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of photography on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.

Archives of past discussion[edit]

Archive 1

Currently available[edit]

The article starts by saying that Kodachrome is the oldest color film currently available. This looks a bit odd as later on in the article it's made clear that Kodachrome isn't currently available. (talk) 19:40, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Incorrect. Kodachrome is currently available, though many previous variants have been discontinued. Currently Kodachrome is available only in ISO-64 35mm, but it is still around. The current B&H catalog lists it, and Kodak has it on their website. The article, however, could stand to be clearer about this fact. Jo7hs2 (talk) 19:58, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
I've made a minor addition to the introductory portion of the article to clarify the current status of Kodachrome. Frankly, I can see how you were frustrated, because the article has discontinued plastered all over it indescriminately, without careful regard to where it should have been avoided to prevent confusion.Jo7hs2 (talk) 20:19, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Hello everybody. I just would like to inform you all that Kodachrome film ended his life today, 22 June 2009. Pls have a look at the Kodak website for confirmation. (talk) 13:56, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Verified. Damn shame.

Edit I am changing the altered verb tenses back to present tense - the film is still available and the tenses shouldn't be changed until it is no longer being processed - December next year. Tenses involving processed slides should not be altered as these slides still exist. Baffle gab1978 (talk) 21:08, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

We need to be a little more precise than that. Kodachrome is no longer manufactured, and is only available until present stocks are exhausted. Processing is still available. —Scheinwerfermann T·C21:16, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I see what you mean - someone has indiscriminately changed the tenses, including those relating to processed film. There's no rush to change, IMO. Baffle gab1978 (talk) 21:27, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. It looks like we're both working on this article at the same time — hope I haven't inadvertently undone any of your verb tense corrections with my cleanup and expansion. I'm quite certain Kodachrome was available in 127 and 828 formats, having used it myself, but I'm not sure where to go to nail down the availability timeframes for those formats. Any ideas? —Scheinwerfermann T·C21:55, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately have no idea, though you could dig around in Google. If you can get any old catalogues, price lists, print adverts or similar they'd be good refs. I know Kodachrome was available in 126, but I can't reference it. Baffle gab1978 (talk) 23:44, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
December 2010 has come and almost gone. The last roll was processed today. Time for past tense.Don't Be Evil (talk) 14:17, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Some of the comments about the end of processing are not quite correct. Dwayne's did not run out of film, but rather will run out of chemistry to process the film. The last roll was not processed yesterday(12/30) but probably will be some time in the next week. Yesterday was the last day to submit film for processing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:51, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
I received my roll from Dwayne's yesterday. Their web page indicates that processing continues, but that no more film is accepted. So I suspect that the machinery remains in service. For a few more days, anyways. (talk) 23:46, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Another reference[edit]

Just a news story, but with some background: (June 30, 2009): Death of Kodachrome belies technological leap it represented —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:13, 2 July 2009 (UTC)


Thanks for the above history and context. Kodachrome quality was demanded by color magazines such as National Geographic, monthlies. Back in the late sixties, I was shooting color for TV Guide, a weekly, in England, but couldn't get it processed overnight anywhere, to select the shots to send Stateside. I discovered that a quick trip to a hospital in Hemel Hempstead would allow it to be processed quickly but only if deemed a medical emergency. Kodak certainly didn't assist the worldwide needs of the commercial world back then. Now it's less arrogant. JohnClarknew (talk) 00:37, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

Strange, I remember poping on a Honda 250 to get a couple of roll processed by Kodak in London overnight(somewhere in 1992...); Hey maybe it was all a bad dream! (talk) 00:31, 2 June 2010 (UTC)


The article states that the film sensitivities were 6/9°, 25/15°, 40/17°, 64/19° and 200/24°. I'm very sure that the 8 mm film my father used in the mid to late 1950s was Kodachrome rated at 12/12°, but I can't find any reference to this. Does anybody else know? Groogle (talk) 01:17, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Check yer numbers, please; there's nothing such as ASA 12/12° film. —Scheinwerfermann T·C17:50, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Do you mean that no one ever made any photographic material with that sensitivity, or that such a combination is impossible? The latter is not true -- 12/12° is one "octave" above 6/9°. (My memory is that the original daylight Kodachrome was 10/11°.) And by the way, the current designation is ISO, not ASA. WilliamSommerwerck (talk) 11:08, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
DIN film speeds were introduced in 1934, ASA speeds in 1943, and ISO speeds in 1974 (however, they became mainstream not before the 1980s). The speed scales for black-and-white negative film were changed significantly for ASA in 1960, DIN in 1961 (and BS in 1963), so that older film speeds first need to be "converted" if they should be expressed in new DIN, new ASA or ISO. This did not apply to color negative or reversal film. Nevertheless, strictly speaking, today's relation ISO 100/21° = 100 ASA = 21 DIN is void before 1961. This must be taken into account when converting old film speeds to ISO. I think, for historical and factual correctness, for the films manufactured before 1961, the article should state their year of production and original nominal film speeds as found on the film boxes in addition to an attempt to translate this into modern ISO speeds. See also: -- (talk) 11:53, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
Interesting and probably relevant, but I'm not seeing a clear statement in the linked article of how such a conversion would be calculated for color reversal film such as Kodachrome. —Scheinwerfermann T·C14:01, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
That's right, there isn't. The "speed doubling" without emulsion changes around 1960-1963 applied only to black-and-white negative film, because that's what the standards were about at this time. There simply was no standard for color film, so film manufacturers had to rate their color films empirically and simply give a recommendation on a corresponding DIN or ASA (or Scheiner, H&D, Weston or GE) setting for the exposure meter. Speed ratings for color film were specified in later revisions of the DIN standard in 1977 as well as in the ISO standards since 1979. I'm not aware of an ASA standard for color film, anyone? So, we must not double speeds of early color negative or reversal film, however, there were other changes in the methods to determine the speeds in the various standards over the decades (before 1960-1963), which introduced slight shifts in the nominal speeds as well and this may indirectly also affect ratings for color film. That's why I propose to list whatever was originally given on the film boxes by the manufacturer's themselves and then for illustration purposes, in parentheses, try and make an educated guess at what this would be in ISO numbers today. I see that ASA speeds are given in the article but in some cases I question if these were really speeds found on the film boxes or already somehow translated values (and thereby void unless the translation method is known) given that ASA was introduced in 1943 and some of the listed films are older. If there was a DIN rating on the boxes, please specify it. If Kodak gave speed ratings in other dimensions originally, please specify, so that we get a clear picture. --Matthiaspaul (talk) 11:27, 4 August 2011 (UTC)


There seems to be a lot of confusion here. The last rolls accepted for development were received today (30 December 2010) but they've said they'll get to everything they received by the deadline. See [1]. - Denimadept (talk) 09:08, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Good link — I've incorporated it and corrected the assertions in the article. —Scheinwerfermann T·C21:49, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Nice to see a familiar name associated with another hobby of mine, Scheinwerfermann. It seems that processing has not indeed been completed as is commonly reported, and the deadline was even extended a bit. I cited what appears to be a reliable reference, especially since traditional media reports scrappage of the machine as a past-tense occurrence. I made an edit reflecting that for the present time, but I left alone a later reference in the article to how it ended and who shot the final roll processed. While it has not yet technically happened, it seems very unlikely that wouldn't prove to be true sometime within perhaps the next week. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:33, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

I didn't notice that I wasn't logged in. The previous message and edit that it described were mine. Dmk9561 (talk) 23:39, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Now it looks, from your link and one in the thread linked to, that some people are trying to get a K-Lab going. They're working with an engineer from Kodak who knows this stuff, and they've found the original patents, which apparently covers the whole thing in detail. There might be some future with existing Kodachrome. - Denimadept (talk) 00:27, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

I don't doubt that people want to, but I'm not holding my breath. I think that Kodak "open-sourced" Kodachrome info for years with no takers, including competitor and Polaroid adopter Fuji. I think the K-labs were leased not sold, so I doubt any are privately owned. Good luck to them, though, and I might use the service if they're successful. Dmk9561 (talk) 01:10, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Apparently, one has been acquired. That's not a question. Check the ref added earlier to the article for details. - Denimadept (talk) 05:32, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
No good. Web boards are not RS and the "reference" provided to the board called the Kodachrome Project did not support the assertions made. —Scheinwerfermann T·C15:51, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
I agree that they're not RS and therefore shouldn't be used in the article, but for normal purposes, they do indeed support the assertions made. It remains to be seen, of course, whether that will lead to anything important. - Denimadept (talk) 21:56, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

This article is great[edit]

This article is a good example of what Wikipedia is all about - informing people in an interesting manner. (talk) 18:56, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

What about the special characteristics of Kodachrome images?[edit]

I have always thought of Kodachrome as giving 'National Geographic Colour". Vivid reds, strong blues and almost translucent greens. the reds, especially, always looked over-saturated to me, but that was part of the character and appeal of Kodachrome. Although this was much abused by postcard photographers who /always/ tried to get someone in a red top in shot!

So why does such an otherwise excellent article say so little about the aesthetics of Kodachrome?

The Yowser (talk) 17:25, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Because that'd be a Point of View, and WP:NPOV is a rule. - Denimadept (talk) 19:29, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
fair enough if it was saying 'I like the blues' but I'm asking what distinguishes a Kodachrome picture from those taken on other films. Surely the relative levels of saturation and the sensitivity to different parts of the spectrum are objective criteria that distinguish a particular film. I notice this info is in the entries for some other films, and also that I have confuses Ektachrome with Kodachrome (the Ektachrome article mentions National geographic!) Perhaps someone an bring this article in line with those on other films?The Yowser (talk) 16:09, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
The fix is to phrase it in a NPOV way. No opinions, just documented facts. Personally, I get along just fine with Velvia, but Kodachrome has its points. - Denimadept (talk) 18:23, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Stops/Density Range[edit]

Is it correct to say: "Kodachrome has a dynamic range of around 8 stops, or 3.6-3.8D" I agree with the 3.6 - 3.8D part as I've checked the Kodak data sheets, but is that equivalent to 8 stops? A density range of 3.8 is about 6300:1. Assuming a stop is 2:1, 6300 = 12.6 stops, more in line with other tech specs I've read about film characteristics. Guyburns (talk) 06:00, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

This is referenced by Ref 19, a press release by the company Silverfast pitching to sell its products. Better referenced to original Kodak technical document here:

I'm challenging the use of Ref 19, as well as the second reference to it in relation to the "blue cast" problem. Both references should be replaced. The "blue cast" problem needs a reputable reference. It is cited as a problem by lots of people, but I can find no reputable source. In my limited scanning experience, the "blue cast" is common when scanning all types of slides and is inherent in the scanning process, not the particular slide. Talk on the link below is typical, and suggests that most slides exhibit this blue cast when scanned:

Guyburns (talk) 06:33, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

You'd need to see the curve, not just the density range, which is on the wrong axis. With a gamma of 1.5, an 8-stop exposure range would give a 2^12 transmittance range, or density about 3.6. From the curves in the doc you linked, the gamma looks to be closer to 2 in the middle region. The usable exposure range looks like about 10^2; 7 stops at best. Dicklyon (talk) 07:21, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Historical addition[edit]

I would like to add Amateur usage and appreciation of Kodachrome in the historical summary, changing the line to "Kodachrome is appreciated in the archival, professional and amateur market for its dark-storage longevity." Along the same line, I'd like to add the Zapruder film as a famous amateur usage of Kodachrome. An example would be: "Famous amateur users of Kodachrome include Abraham Zapruder, who on November 22, 1963 filmed the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas on his 8mm movie camera" kittyranma (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 10:06, 15 January 2011 (UTC).

Storage potential[edit]

I don't know exactly what article change I'm suggesting, but I assume a reliable reference has written about this:

Our society just took a step backward, obsoleting Kodachrome. Yes, it was much more inconvenient to use than a digital camera, but the archival properties are superior. (I have perfectly viewable, but color-shifted Kodachrome from 70 years ago. Not to mention black & white photos negatives from 120 years ago.) That is to be compared with CDs, where even the "archival" gold ones are now suspected to have a life of only a few decades. And non-gold ones can fail in a few years. Moreover, Kodachrome doesn't fail catastrophically. If a CD is unreadable, the information is gone. Kodachrome degrades more gracefully. It's possible to observe degradation, and take steps when the problem becomes severe.

Tape isn't better. I was in a NASA storeroom years ago, talking to an archivist on an emergency project: Retrieving information from space probes, stored on magnetic tape. The magnetic material was unbonding from the backing. Many of the tapes, he said when placed in the tape reader, sent confetti all over the room.

In a sense, Kodachrome and other films are simply "write only memory" technology. The use for that doesn't go away. The use for Kodachrome didn't go away, as much as marketing emphasis shifted away from it.

From here, it's sheer OR speculation. But how good would Kodachrome be now, if Kodak hadn't stopped researching and improving it? (talk) 16:13, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

There is no reason, in principle, why digital photographs should not be viewable a million years from now. It requires making multiple backups, and periodically checking them for integrity. WilliamSommerwerck (talk) 02:20, 8 April 2011 (UTC)


I've cleaned up and clarified the description of Kodachrome development. However, there is no mention of the need to bleach the yellow dye layer that keeps the red and green layers from being exposed by blue light. I know where it goes in the process, but I don't know how it's done. WilliamSommerwerck (talk) 02:17, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

"Kodachrome" prints?[edit]

"Prints for sale to the public were also produced using Kodachrome." There is no such thing as a Kodachrome print. Not that it's impossible, but the processing complexities would render it not merely inconvenient, but expensive. It was possible, however, to make reversal prints directly from Kodachrome slides. WilliamSommerwerck (talk) 20:56, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

If I remember correctly, that's a sentence about the movie of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953; the article means movie prints (copies of movie film) not photographs on paper. It's referenced, so the onus is upon you to provide evidence to the contrary. Cheers, Baffle gab1978 (talk) 23:46, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
I have altered the wording to remove the confusing ambiguity between the cinematographic and photographic meanings of the word "print". Problem solved. —Scheinwerfermann T·C01:52, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Thank you :-) Baffle gab1978 (talk) 18:34, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

1922 kodacrome film[edit]

I don't know if add this to the article, Here it is: i'm asking because this article is at 2 steps of being a good article and, i can't find a place for it.

Please type: Oppose or Support and your reason. *by Pancho507, questions?? (talk)

It's already been part of the article for a long time, under the section First use of 'Kodachrome' name. I agree the section could be worded better. It was basically a bipack film with only two colors instead of three, in the case of this early two-color Kodachrome those were red and green. It had nothing to do with the glorious Kodachrome that came out in 1935 and that's still legendary today. -- (talk) 14:05, 7 September 2015 (UTC)


"Non-substantive"? Excuse me? Kodachrome is Kodak's most legendary (reversal) film stock ever, so sharp, fine-grained, and with such vibrant colors that it took 60 years for a rival to appear with Fuji's Velvia, and with a darkroom stability that measures not in years but in centuries. I suspect this "non-substantive" talk in the lead to be a case of vandalism. What do other people think?

Also, Ektachrome never was a serious contender for Kodachrome, particularly due to the reasons given above, although the article claims otherwise. When people used Kodak, they shot either on negative or Kodachrome. The only substantial exceptions were 16mm TV news gathering during the 1970s (Ektachrome VNF = Video News Film), and shooting 8mm under bad lighting conditions, as movie Kodachrome was only available in 25 and 40ASA, whereas movie Ektachrome had 100-160ASA. Fujichrome was a serious contender only in 35mm during the 90s, whereas its use in 16 and 8mm was restricted to Single8, which was always virtually non-existent outside of Japan. Fuji's serious contender to Kodachrome was Velvia, not Fujichrome.

Also, Kodachrome's heyday when there were many labs was during the 1940s-1980s, while the way in which it's currently worded makes it sound like there were still many labs around by the 1990s, both Kodak's own and independent ones. In fact, by the 1990s, there were only two Kodachrome labs left in the world, which were Kodak's own in Rochester, NY and in Lausanne, Switzerland. It was only after the announcement of K40's discontinuation in Super8 made in 2005 that Kodak closed down its last two labs and for one last time since at least the 1980s allowed a licensee to process Kodachrome, which was Dwayne's in Kansas that would go on to process the last of Kodachrome up until late 2010 (in fact, a few thousand films were still processed in January, 2011, as some postal services such as Canada's had messed up in late December, and because of that, Dwayne's were fair enough to use up their very last drops of exclusive K-14 developer for their last few thousand Kodachrome customers from all around the world). -- (talk) 14:05, 7 September 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to 2 external links on Kodachrome. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true to let others know.

N Archived sources still need to be checked

Cheers. —cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 05:18, 17 October 2015 (UTC)