Is FujiFilm as good as, say, Kodachrome?

Discussion in 'Fuji' started by CanonAE14fun, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. CanonAE14fun

    CanonAE14fun Guest

    Now that I've FINALLY bought a camera, I'm wondering about that. Is
    there a material difference in quality, given that I will be having a
    company do the developing and printing?
    Thanks for your opinions!
    CanonAE14fun, Feb 13, 2008
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  2. No. Kodachrome was unique. It was basicly three monochromatic films,
    each sensitive to one of the primary colors (red, green and blue).
    During development (a long and complicated process), dyes were added
    to replace the unexposed silver in each layer. This produced high quality
    color with resolution and contrast close to monochrome film.

    All the other films have the dye in them already which makes the layers
    much thicker. This reduces resolution and contrast. The dyes are also not
    as stable as the ones used for kodachrome processing.

    Because slide file works with transmitted light and prints with reflected
    light, slides produce sharper, clearer images with better color.

    Assuming slides are properly processed after choice of film, exposure
    will effect your results the most.

    Prints are a different story. Today's prints are computer scanned to
    produce "good" results. Good is defined as the least number of returns.
    Exposure, choice of film and paper type do not effect your pictures
    very much unless you use a lab that will produce correct results
    as opposed to good looking ones.

    If you wish to have real creative control over your results, consider
    using black and white film and developing and printing it yourself.

    It's not that difficult and equipment these days can be gotten cheaply.
    Ask on, if you are interested.

    If you do develop your own fim, you can buy it in 100 foot (33 meter)
    rolls which makes it a lot cheaper. You put it in resuable film cassettes.
    You also can make a contact sheet, which is an actual size print of all
    of your negatives at once. Then you can pick and choose which ones to
    print and after you have done it for a while know how to crop and expose

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Feb 13, 2008
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  3. IS. Kodachrome IS unique. Why the past tense? Kodachrome's still
    around. For how long, we don't know, but if you like it you should be
    using it and show Kodak it's still wanted.
    More corrections: Dyes ARE added, and this PRODUCES high quality
    color. You get the picture. Pun intended. ;)
    Fredrik Sandstrom, Feb 13, 2008
  4. I guess it depends upon where you are. I doubt there is a roll of it for
    sale in all of Israel. I also doubt that you could get it processed. You
    would have to send it off to Dwaynes, via a courier service or take a
    chance that it would neither get x-rayed at the post office, or gama ray
    "inspected" on the docks. :-(

    BTW, does anyone know if Kodak is still making it, or planing on making
    anymore, or are they just cutting up rolls stored in a mine shaft?

    I wish I had stocked up on Ektar 25 while I could, but I guess by now
    it would all be too old to use, even if it had been frozen. :-(

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Feb 13, 2008
  5. CanonAE14fun

    Andrew Price Guest

    Interesting question - how long can freezing prolong the useful life
    of film?
    Andrew Price, Feb 13, 2008
  6. CanonAE14fun

    Pudentame Guest

    Yes, no, maybe ... you're looking for absolutes that don't exist.

    Kodachrome is not what it once was ... except that it's still a
    difficult film to process and not at all environmentally friendly.

    Kodachrome 25 is gone forever, as is Kodachrome roll film (120/220) and
    sheet films. All that's left is KR 135-36 and PKR 135-36 (consumer & pro
    films) and one lab that still processes it (Dwayne's Photo Service in
    Parsons, KS).

    You might find some Kodachrome 25 or Kodachrome 200 on eBay. Kodachrome
    200 was COOL! You could push process it 1-1/3 stops to ISO 500.

    All Fuji films are either E6 or C41. It's a matter of taste whether you
    prefer Kodak or Fuji film.

    For C41 it doesn't really matter all that much, the real difference is
    in the printing and the paper. I prefer Kodak paper, but YMMV.

    As to E6, I use Kodak in studio, and Fuji outdoors. Well, for anything
    that looks like WORK anyway (i.e. I'm gonna' get paid for it).

    I was recently gifted with a couple hundred rolls (hand-loads) of out of
    date (7/2001) Velvia, Astia and Provia (all kept refrigerated of course)
    plus a hundred foot bulk roll of Velvia; the up-side of the "film is
    dead" thingy I guess.

    I'm doing a lot of just plain goofing with it. I mean, it's FREE FILM
    after all ...

    I wouldn't rely on it for paid work, but it's great to have something to
    experiment with. Quite a bit of it's going to get cross processed in C41
    since I have the processor & I want to see what it's gonna' do.

    But, QUALITATIVELY, there's no difference between Fuji and Kodak films.
    They each have their own look, and that's what should inform your
    choice, i.e. which film gives you the look you want, but there's no
    difference in the quality of the film stock and emulsions.
    Pudentame, Feb 13, 2008
  7. CanonAE14fun

    Ken Hart Guest

    Film begins aging the instant it is made (more or less). Radiation from
    nature (and the beams the Government sends out!) adds to the background fog
    level. Keeping the film cold will slow down the chemical aging process, and
    keeping it in metal freezer will decrease the background radiation (assuming
    it's not the same freezer where you keep your Uranium stash!)

    Black & White obviously will not be affected by a color shift, only fogging,
    so it can kept longer.
    When color film is printed, the color balance can be adjusted to a certain
    amount to compensate for color shifts.
    Slide film has no correction available for color shift or fog, so it will
    show any aging effects first.

    It's really a matter of how much aging shift you can toloerate. B&W or color
    print film that's a year or two out of date and has been frozen the whole
    time shouldn't be a problem.
    Ken Hart, Feb 13, 2008
  8. CanonAE14fun

    Pudentame Guest

    They're still making KR 135-36 & PKR 135-36.

    It's going to go away because the technology is difficult and not
    particularly environmentally friendly and because you can get 90% of the
    quality for 50% of the cost from today's E-6 emulsions, not to mention
    what digital's doing to film in commercial work.

    Funny you should mention that, I found a CK 135-12 (12 exp Ektar 25)
    cleaning out some boxes of old stuff just the other day.

    But, all of today's Kodak C-41 films are based on the Ektar technology
    anyway, so you might try Kodak Ultra 100UC.
    Pudentame, Feb 13, 2008
  9. It does continue to age after being exposed and printed......My old color
    slides show a lot of mold spots, and in some of them (the non-Kodachromes)
    the color fading/shifting is very evident......I don't know how one would go
    about preserving them longer after printing.....Perhaps putting them in a
    dry nitrogen filled case, like they do with historical paper
    William Graham, Feb 13, 2008
  10. Kodachrome is the champion when it comes to "cryogenic film
    reincarnation" or whatever you want to call it. No other color emulsion
    will last longer when properly frozen & thawed. By "last longer" I mean
    still retain its color balance and sensitivity. Photographers who have
    hoarded original 25 speed K-chrome have reported using it twenty and
    thirty years out-of-date with fine results.

    As pointed out, the unprocessed film is B&W with couplers which are
    considerably more stable than dyes. If frozen when fresh and brought
    back to room temperature properly a short time before use, the stuff is

    When K-chrome dupes were used for archival purposes, they proved to
    have wonderful longevity as long as they weren't projected improperly
    (by that I mean leaving a slide or strip in front of a very strong lamp
    for a very long time); In my experience with light boxes (homemade
    kiosk setups) Ektachrome 8X10s were a bit more fade-resistant than
    Kodachromes for this purpose.

    As of about a year ago there is indeed just one source of processing in
    the world, and fans of the product are rightly concerned that EK may
    only be releasing dwindling stocks and not continuing to manufacture
    new Kodachrome beyond the last batch they made.

    Fuji Velvia 50 is pretty good, but there will never be a film to rival
    ASA 25 (or even ISO 64) Kodachrome, and that's a shame.
    Serge Desplanques, Feb 14, 2008
  11. It's not just the technology, it was the "look" Ektar 25 was the closest
    thing to Kodachrome ever made in a color negative film.

    How does the 100UC compare to it?

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Feb 14, 2008
  12. CanonAE14fun

    Pudentame Guest

    90% of the quality at 50% of the cost I'd say. It's been so long since I
    actually shot Ektar.

    And I don't shoot 100UC, although 400UC is nicely saturated, if that's a
    valid description for a color negative film.

    I don't think the one roll of Ektar I found is going to be much use for
    making comparisons. It wasn't refrigerated properly.
    Pudentame, Feb 14, 2008
  13. I'd leave it in the box and sell it on eBay as a collector's item. :)

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Feb 14, 2008
  14. CanonAE14fun

    Tony Polson Guest

    If you want to try UC, try it now, because I have been informed that
    it is no longer being manufactured. There is currently plenty in
    stock, but when it's gone, it's gone.

    Here in the UK we get UC in ISO 200 and 400 versions as Elite Color,
    It is my negative emulsion of choice on dull, grey days (we get plenty
    of those!) when it manages to inject colour into scenes that would
    otherwise be rather flat.

    UC is the last remaining descendant of the outstanding Ektar
    emulsions, so I am particularly sad to see it go. I've ordered
    several bricks and I hope they will last me a year.

    (I don't buy into the idea that the Ektar technology has been
    incorporated into all C-41 Kodak films, sorry. Kodak's marketing
    department hasn't got a clue.)
    Tony Polson, Feb 14, 2008
  15. CanonAE14fun

    Andrew Price Guest

    I was hoping it would be a little bit more than just a year or two - I
    have quite a bit of Agfa Scala which I bought and froze when the
    company went bankrupt about two years ago. I suppose I'd better start
    using it up.
    Andrew Price, Feb 14, 2008
  16. CanonAE14fun

    Ken Hart Guest

    If you have some that was processed when it was 'fresh', you could shoot and
    process some now and compare the density of the edge of the frame. As the
    film ages, it will build up fog. You could also periodically shoot a
    greyscale target and check the densities of that. As you start losing
    contrast, then you should probably pick up the pace of your shooting. And
    by changing your developer, you may be able to counteract some of the
    effects of aging (The film's aging, not your own!)

    When I said "a year or two out of date", I probably should have mentioned
    that I'm pretty particular about color and contrast. Also, one brand might
    have substanially more frozen life than another.
    Ken Hart, Feb 14, 2008
  17. Isn't Scala a black and white film? You should be able to get a decent
    slide out of it by exposing a "test" subject with bracketed 1/4 or 1/8th
    stops (if you can go the low) exposures and seeing which is best.

    My guess from using old black and white film is that a useable neagtive
    can be produced for many (20-30) years. All film fogs from exposure to
    cosmic radiation (where did I put that lead lined freezer?) with ISO
    1600 film starting to show noticable fog in a year or two. ISO 50 film
    would need 32 times the exposure, ISO 100 16, to show the same fog, so
    Scala is safe from that for a long time. Other sources of fogging may be
    a problem first.

    Or you could look into reversal processing of other films. One lab in
    New York had good luck with Efke film and the Scala process. At one time
    Kodak sold a reversal kit for regular film (I think it was Tri-X or
    Plus-X) and later a similar kit for T-Max.

    The kits are discontinued, but the formula has been published and at
    least one third party sells a kit, which may or may not be exactly the
    same, but should work.

    I am partial to Ilford PAN-F, which is by my reconning the closest thing
    to Kodak Panatomic-X still made. When Freestyle stopped carrying it as
    their house brand, I was able to get several 100 foot rolls cheaply, and
    they live in a 40F refrigerator.

    It would be worth, IMHO, if you are up to the expermentation, to try a
    roll of that in reversal processing along with the Efke KB-25. You might
    just find a replacement for Scala.

    More information can be obtained from

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Feb 15, 2008
  18. CanonAE14fun

    Michael Guest

    On 2008-02-15 04:49:06 -0500, (Geoffrey S. Mendelson) said:
    Kodak marketed a b&w film for reversal processing called Kodak Direct
    Positive film and sold the kit to process it. I don't think any
    commercial labs did it, you had to do it yourself. Of course, back in
    the 1960s there were a lot of us doing our own processing. But Kodak
    also recommended processing Panatomic X in the chemistry rendering a
    transparency. Pan X was a very fine grain very slow (ASA 32) negative
    film and as I recall it was rated somewhat faster when processed as a
    positive in that chemistry.
    Michael, Feb 16, 2008
  19. CanonAE14fun

    Michael Guest

    And a short answer to the OP: NOTHING is as good as Kodachrome, at
    least nothing is as good as Kodachrome 25 (RIP) but 64 is pretty good
    Michael, Feb 16, 2008
  20. CanonAE14fun

    Pudentame Guest

    And Kodachrome 25 wasn't as good as the older Kodachrome II which wasn't
    as good as the original Kodachrome ASA 8 ... but that's how it is, and
    no use crying for what you can't have.

    But while I was looking for some history on this, I ran across a site
    the Library of Congress has on Flickr of Kodachrome images (4x5 sheet
    film) from the 30s &40s. Some might be interested in seeing them.
    Pudentame, Feb 16, 2008
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