Jump to content


Photo

Kodachrome question


  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 Kevin Olmsted

Kevin Olmsted
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 47 posts
  • Producer

Posted 09 January 2008 - 11:27 AM

Hello guys, I'm looking for some help on a recent discovery I made.

Whenever I've shot film, be it still or movie, I've always taken or mailed the film straight to the lab for processing so I never really think about expiration dates. A few years ago, my wife and I took a business trip/vacation in New Mexico along with my cousin. I had owned a few Super 8 cameras for about 5 years by that point but never had the opprtunity to get film and shoot with them. My cousin bought three rolls of Kodachrome through a catalog and we took them and documented the trip with them. My cousin said he'd take care of processing.

Soon after the trip, jobs came up and we both moved. I found places to buy and process Super 8 on the web and started really getting into it at that point. Those Kodachrome rolls were lost and forgotten by all of us.

So I get a call from my cousin recently and he found the rolls in a box in his closet. I told him I had a few rolls of film to send out for process so he sent them to me. Now I have three exposed rolls of Kodachrome 40 that were purchased and shot around May 2004. Should I even bother sending these rolls for processing? They were stored in average conditions after exposing. I know it's only $15 per roll but I don't want to waste $45. If there's a chance they might even have decent images it might be worth it because those were the first rolls I ever shot...

Any advice here would be appreciated. Sorry for the long post... got lost in nostalgia...

Kevin
  • 0

#2 Alessandro Machi

Alessandro Machi
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3318 posts
  • Other
  • California

Posted 09 January 2008 - 11:45 AM

I'm biased in this matter. I say always process the film. The odds are something will come out that represents a moment in time you will appreciate haviing a filmed memory of. In terms of where you are on the evolutionary scale of outdated film successfully revealing images, I would rate your prospects on the higher end, an 8 to 8+ out of 10, assuming the film was exposed correctly and has been stored properly.
  • 0

#3 Kevin Olmsted

Kevin Olmsted
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 47 posts
  • Producer

Posted 09 January 2008 - 12:30 PM

Well, I'm not sure about those last two points in my case.

At that point in my life I had a decent amount of experience with still photography but, as I mentioned, those were the first rolls of motion picture film I ever shot. So I would say the chances of them being exposed properly are 'medium to good.'

As for the proper storage, I would say 'less than good.' They were kept in various boxes in closets in New Mexico and Nevada for the last few years. They were never exposed to extreme conditions but not the best.

I tend to agree, it might be worth the risk to have some nice memories. I think it's just a cost thing for me. $45 would be a lot of money to potentially throw away.
  • 0

#4 Alessandro Machi

Alessandro Machi
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3318 posts
  • Other
  • California

Posted 09 January 2008 - 12:45 PM

Well, you are talking about 3600 frames per film, or close to 11,000 film images on those three cartridges of film.

You could process one of the three and see if you like the result and then base whether to send the other two in one that one processed cartridge.

If you like that idea, then you just have to decide which do you send in, the first cartridge shot, or the third one shot, or the second. Is it possible there will be an increase in quality with each cartridge that was shot, in which case do you want to process the best one, or potentially the first one which could be the worst one?

Also, you could see if any other relative who went on the trip is interested in these films and perhaps you could offer do your own transfer to video for them if they cover the processing cost. (might look tacky, I don't know), of course this assumes you have such a set-up.
  • 0

#5 Richardson Leao

Richardson Leao
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 363 posts
  • Other
  • Stockholm, Sweden

Posted 09 January 2008 - 12:49 PM

go for it... what is 45$ when dealing with memory treasures... Also, it's just 3 years... Let me tell you a story, i've got a 16mm camera from ebay with some kind of black and white film inside. Just out of curiosity I process it and it was a orwo stock probably from the 70's. The image was bad but visible. Off course I cannot guarantee yours but it's likely that you will get stuff out of it.
  • 0

#6 Jim Carlile

Jim Carlile
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 464 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 10 January 2008 - 02:17 AM

The amount of time that has elapsed is really no time at all for a latent image. They should come out well. I've had film-- both Kodachrome and Ektachrome--that was shot 25 years ago come out acceptably well.
  • 0

#7 Kevin Olmsted

Kevin Olmsted
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 47 posts
  • Producer

Posted 10 January 2008 - 09:43 AM

Thanks for all the advise, guys. I think I'm going to just send them all in. Can't hurt, right? I was planning on sending them along with 4 rolls of Tri-X I recently shot, so sending everything at once will probably save me in the long run.

Kevin
  • 0

#8 James Stubbs

James Stubbs

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts
  • Camera Operator

Posted 13 January 2008 - 12:14 AM

Thanks for all the advise, guys. I think I'm going to just send them all in. Can't hurt, right? I was planning on sending them along with 4 rolls of Tri-X I recently shot, so sending everything at once will probably save me in the long run.

Kevin

Kevin, Unless it's been well above room tempurature for extended periods of time your Kodachrome will come out just fine. As to the cost I'm not sure where you're sending it at $15 a whack, but the only Kodachrome processor in the world, Dwaynes, charges $10 per cartridge. That's only $30 plus $5 for priority mail. The best/cheapest way to get your K-chrome processed is to take it to Wal-Mart which costs only $4.88 and it will come back to your local Wal-Mart. Oh yeah guess where it ends up? Dwaynes via Fuji. Don't bother asking the photo clerk if they do it, they likely will say no or don't know. They do. Just put "Super 8 Film" on the envolope and it should find it's way to the nearest Fuji Lab and then to Dwaynes and back again. Should take 1-3 weeks.
Cheers,
James
  • 0


Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

Technodolly

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Aerial Filmworks

Wooden Camera

FJS International, LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Willys Widgets

Paralinx LLC

Metropolis Post

The Slider

Ritter Battery

CineTape

Opal

Tai Audio

Glidecam

Abel Cine

Visual Products

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineLab

rebotnix Technologies

Paralinx LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Abel Cine

Technodolly

Metropolis Post

CineLab

Rig Wheels Passport

Visual Products

Opal

FJS International, LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineTape

The Slider

Tai Audio

Willys Widgets

Glidecam

Wooden Camera

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Ritter Battery