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Kodachrome Problems  
User currently offline5280AGL From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 414 posts, RR: 1
Posted (14 years 6 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 1522 times:

I recently tried Kodachrome 64 for the first time, the results that I got were less than impressive. The colors were very "washed out" and the most of the slides seemed almost underexposed, very grayish. The conditions I shot under were supposedly ideal for Kodachrome (ie bright sun), but that didn't seem to make any difference.

What do you have to do to get good results with this film? Most of the "good" Kodachrome shots I have seen were all 50mm type ramp shots, which seem to bring out the best in this film. However, when you use it with a 200+mm lens and add the element of movement, this film really seems to crap out. I admit I am an amateur at best when it comes to slide film, but the same techniques I used with Sensia and Provia did not work with Kodachrome at all. The Sensia and Provia shots turned out wonderfully. I would really like to use Kodachrome on a regular basis, but these results have turned me off quite a bit.

Any suggestions from you K gurus?

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineJoe pries From United States of America, joined May 2000, 1957 posts, RR: 51
Reply 1, posted (14 years 6 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 1458 times:

i have no idea why- every one of my shots on airliners.net- from the 50mm ramp shots to the 400mm action shots are on k64 and i have never heard one complaint. Must be something other than the film, especially if you're shooting in full sun.


User currently offlineYKA From Netherlands, joined Sep 2001, 766 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (14 years 6 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 1430 times:

I've noticed alot of the things you've mentioned above when looking at images taken on K64. Many look almost underexposed with washed colours and a general greenish-grey hue to the shots. I'm not a pro or even a real experienced amateur so I may be wrong.

User currently offlineEricp From Singapore, joined Jun 2001, 53 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (14 years 6 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 1418 times:

That's my experience with KR64 as well ... when I started shooting with slides, there were quite a few occasions where I shot this film and Fuji Velvia & Provia side-by-side (well, roll-after-roll at least !), and KR64's colors are not as vivid as the Fuji films.

I've heard a lot of comment about the colors being more "true", and that could well be, but for me it's the beauty of the image that matters, and for that, I'm shooting mostly Velvia & Provia F now ... the more saturated colors just add to the "zing" !


User currently offline5280AGL From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 414 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (14 years 6 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 1415 times:

Is there a "proper" way to expose Kodachrome, unlike other slide film? Because obviously I am not doing something right... Or is it just the case of Kodachrome not having as broad of an exposure lattitude as Provia or Sensia? Most of the really sharp and eye-catching Kodachrome slides I have seen were short range 50-70mm Kodachrome 25 shots. Maybe I should try 25 instead???

User currently offlineStaffan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (14 years 6 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 1411 times:

Didn't they stop making the K25?


User currently offlineSunilgupta From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 791 posts, RR: 13
Reply 6, posted (14 years 6 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 1404 times:

I have always believed that the speed rating for Kodachrome 25 and 64 were actually wrong. For Kodachrome I always shot using the spot meter (60/40 on Nikon bodies) and – 1/3 exposure compensation. This will give you a more color-saturated shot at the expense of shadow detail.

Matrix meter almost always overexposed the film. “Matrix” is Nikon’s name for multi-segmented meters for you Canon users  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

I agree with you on the action stuff. Without top-notch (read: fast) lenses it was hard to get Kodachrome to shine. Essentially you were forced to open the lens aperture up to get the speed required to stop the action but at the same time you loose DOF and you loose sharpness since most lenses are not as sharp wide open vs. a small aperture.


PS. Yes K25 will be discontinued.

User currently offline5280AGL From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 414 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (14 years 6 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 1393 times:

Oh well, Provia kicks Kodachrome's butt anyway. I just wanted to use Kodachrome because it has a very good archival life and it seems to be the standard film of choice among the pros.

I thought they just discontinued 200 and all pro Kodachrome film, not 25?

User currently offlineDSMav8r From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 579 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (14 years 6 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 1400 times:

Kodachrome is a good film, if you know how to use it properly. It is not exactly a film that responds well to auto-everything mode on SLRs, since it does have a narrower exposure latitude (as you mentioned) than a lot of other slide films. You may have to use manual settings to achieve optimum results. I usually leave my F5 in Aperture Priority mode, then use exposure compensation to my liking. I also shoot KR64 at ISO80 sometimes, it seems to give it more snap...

I do agree with you on longer tele-shots, I have not had the best results with Kodachrome in that area either. I generally only use KR (preferrably KR25) while ramp shooting (24-70mm range). I will use Provia 100F for everything else, it just does a much better job in my opinion.

Aric Thalman
Omaha, USA

To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 17
Reply 9, posted (14 years 6 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1389 times:

Not Kodachrome specific (haven't used it) but I have noticed that the matrix mode on my F80 seems to have a tendency to underexpose aircraft shots. Could be because they tend to have more sky in them, leading the electronics to give a higher speed than required to get the rest of the shot properly exposed.
The amount of compensation required differs per type of film, obviously (as some have more lattitude than others). I currently stick with either spot- or center metering, which does work nicely.

I wish I were flying
User currently offlineRindt From Germany, joined May 2000, 930 posts, RR: 11
Reply 10, posted (14 years 6 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 1390 times:

I do ALL my work on good old KR64. (KM25 isn't available here, and hasn't been for quite some time... since '98.)
Keep in mind, every camera is different... two F5's are slightly different. I found the sweet-spot on my F90x is doing -2/3 stop. Sounds like a lot, but on my camera, that setting gives me perfectly exposed shots, time after time, roll after roll, even with my converter at 280mm. But I'm using the "fast-glass", so it would be expected to obtain excellent results, but getting under-exposed slides with 50mm??? Hmmm... if you have it on spot-metering mode, and you're always shooting at glare, you'll get underexposed slides because your camera will over-compensate by giving you a higher shutter-speed than needed.


What other people think of you is none of your business!
User currently offlineTomH From United States of America, joined May 1999, 960 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (14 years 6 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 1371 times:

Underexposed, washed out, and greyish images are not problems I have experienced with K64, a film I have used since it was first introduced.

If I had this problem, I would begin troubleshooting by finding stationary subjects that are colorful, but distant enough to shoot with the lens set to infinity. I would select 1/125 on the shutter and shoot a few exposures on the end of a roll of K64, change the film in the camera to a different product with an ISO rating within 1 f-stop, and shoot the same subjects with the other type film. Adjust the f-stop to compensate for film speed differences. I would use the same camera and lens (without filter) for this comparison.

What do you see then on the Kodachrome?

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