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10-09-2010, 02:12 PM   #16
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Well, you sort of put yourself at a disadvantage.
Kodachrome is not great under heavy overcast, and underexposure in that situation doesn't help it either. Sunlight is where it really shines, and a little underexposure will make the colors deeper. It looks nice exposed at box speed, and that's where I usually shoot it.
Kodachrome can be harder to scan than other transparency films, as it tends to go blue, and infrared dust scanning usually doesn't work well. It needs a different scanning profile than the E-6 films, too.

E-6 films usually scan easily. For heavy overcast a highly saturated film like Velvia or Extra Color Ektachrome will do nicely.

10-10-2010, 06:17 AM   #17
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I agree with the above - E6 films scan easily, generally much easier than negatives, which require trickery and persuasion. In fact, I always scan negative film - whether b&w or colour - as colour positive, as this seems to open the scanner up to the whole tonal range. I've never had an issue scanning Kodachrome, but some of the saturated colours - especially reds - fall pretty far out of any printing gamut I know.
10-10-2010, 08:41 AM   #18
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It's been ages, but my way with Kodachrome 64 was to generally try to expose bang-on for the subject, and I'd use a polarizer pretty constantly in the bright, especially for those skies. But that way you could often bring the highlights closer to where you wanted them instead of trying to expose to meet them. As a result of this, I generally would set the meter as rated and keep the film's latitude in mind for the scene, rather than starting out trying to compensate.

I suppose that's quickly becoming a matter of historical curiosity, though, but for what it's worth. (I actually use a pretty similar approach with E-6 and it's a useful way to think about the potential for blown highlights in digital.)
10-10-2010, 09:25 AM   #19
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I read in a few places that kodachrome did well in overcast light, so I wasn't worried about shooting it this summer in such conditions. The slides themselves are lovely (and the ones in bright sunlight are, too), but the scans are very blue and the reds are diminished significantly. It's quite a pain to fix them, especially the underexposed ones, but really all of them are trouble. Having only 2GB of RAM doesn't help when photoshopping 130+ MB files, either.

I'm glad I did this experiment, it was a good learning experience, I know my scanning software much better, and there are some great shots that came out of it. For someone who doesn't project, though, who scans all his color film because he can't print it, kodachrome's just not worth the trouble or the price.

10-10-2010, 10:04 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by jzietman Quote
I read in a few places that kodachrome did well in overcast light, so I wasn't worried about shooting it this summer in such conditions. The slides themselves are lovely (and the ones in bright sunlight are, too), but the scans are very blue and the reds are diminished significantly. It's quite a pain to fix them, especially the underexposed ones, but really all of them are trouble. Having only 2GB of RAM doesn't help when photoshopping 130+ MB files, either.

I'm glad I did this experiment, it was a good learning experience, I know my scanning software much better, and there are some great shots that came out of it. For someone who doesn't project, though, who scans all his color film because he can't print it, kodachrome's just not worth the trouble or the price.
It's probably part of why it's been discontinued: the jewel-like qualities of it aren't as much of a muchness without the projection or conventional (Or Cibachrome, maybe) printing, anyway. But there's just nothing quite like it, either.

I became somewhat disillusioned with the brightness of the colors somewhere early in my photographic life: for one, I had the pet peeve that I'd be out shooting Kodachrome and when I got back the slides the ubiquitous discarded Coke cans of the day would just keep cropping up somewhere in frame, redder than life. I guess it was also about the same time I had my first really bad sunlight reaction, I ended up getting to be all about subtleties that I could get from E-6 and all. Unfortunately, at the same time the manufacturers were in a 'vivid colors' contest.

I think that for color film, there's no substitute for negative size, in some ways, though: I'm kind of a mostly-monochrome gal long since, but the way I like to think is that digital makes a good substitute for color 35mm and 120 is where I'd really want to do serious color film. If I had much of a budget for color film, this is where the old 6x7 was just my favorite ever. Even if the camera itself was mean to me by being big and heavy, the results couldn't be argued with.
10-10-2010, 10:20 AM   #21
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Kodachrome is a very difficult film to scan. It has the highest D-Max of any film, and is generally outside the range of most scanners.
Also, Digital ICE doesn't work with Kodachrome.
10-10-2010, 10:25 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
...Also, Digital ICE doesn't work with Kodachrome...
Depends on the scanner and one's definition of "work". On the Nikon 5000 ED with Nikon Scan, you can use ICE with no ill-affect. It is not as effective as with non-Kodachrome materials, but is much better than scans without if the slide has any dust or scratches at all. If I get bored today, I might find time to do a few comparison scans. I have a couple of very nasty looking Kodachrome slides sitting around somewhere that would serve just fine for that purpose.


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10-10-2010, 10:32 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Depends on the scanner and one's definition of "work". On the Nikon 5000 ED with Nikon Scan, you can use ICE with no ill-affect. It is not as effective as with non-Kodachrome materials, but is much better than scans without if the slide has any dust or scratches at all. If I get bored today, I might find time to do a few comparison scans. I have a couple of very nasty looking Kodachrome slides sitting around somewhere that would serve just fine for that purpose.
ICE4 (Coolscan 5000 and 9000) works alright with Kodachrome using Nikon Scan, but earlier scanner generations (ICE3, etc.) don't handle it nearly so well. Vuescan's infrared cleaning is not ICE but a separate algorithm which doesn't work well with kodachrome. If I have vuescan highlight the areas in the preview where is "sees" dust, I often find that it thinks large portions of the image itself need correction for no reason, and the color there gets irreparably bad.

So, that's a big point in favor of NikonScan. If only I could get it to work in other respects as well as vuescan. Even so, scanning kodachrome is hard. I'm going to try to find a projector so I can at least enjoy these slides as they are meant to be (I only have on of those little viewers that you put a slide in and hold up to a light source).

10-10-2010, 11:37 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
It's been ages, but my way with Kodachrome 64 was to generally try to expose bang-on for the subject, and I'd use a polarizer pretty constantly in the bright, especially for those skies. But that way you could often bring the highlights closer to where you wanted them instead of trying to expose to meet them. As a result of this, I generally would set the meter as rated and keep the film's latitude in mind for the scene, rather than starting out trying to compensate.

I suppose that's quickly becoming a matter of historical curiosity, though, but for what it's worth. (I actually use a pretty similar approach with E-6 and it's a useful way to think about the potential for blown highlights in digital.)
Yeah I always just exposed Kodachrome 64 to what my Pentax KX meter indicated. I also used a polarizer or skylight filter all the time and found Kodachrome a forgiving film for a beginner SLR shooter.

My first real KX/Kodachrome 64 outing was a trip to Europe in 1976 as a teenager. I took over 1300 slides and had close to a 98-99% success rate by just following the meter and using the two filters.

Phil.
10-10-2010, 06:25 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by jzietman Quote
ICE4 (Coolscan 5000 and 9000) works alright with Kodachrome using Nikon Scan, but earlier scanner generations (ICE3, etc.) don't handle it nearly so well. Vuescan's infrared cleaning is not ICE but a separate algorithm which doesn't work well with kodachrome. If I have vuescan highlight the areas in the preview where is "sees" dust, I often find that it thinks large portions of the image itself need correction for no reason, and the color there gets irreparably bad.

So, that's a big point in favor of NikonScan. If only I could get it to work in other respects as well as vuescan. Even so, scanning kodachrome is hard. I'm going to try to find a projector so I can at least enjoy these slides as they are meant to be (I only have on of those little viewers that you put a slide in and hold up to a light source).
ICE on the Coolscan 9000 is the biggest reason Vuescan never did it for me. The special Kodachrome setting on the NikonScan works very well.
10-10-2010, 07:33 PM   #26
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I have an LS5000 and have scanned both E6 (mostly Velvia 50 and E100) and Kodachrome (mostly 64.) I'm not totally thrilled with my scans (having done a few hundred now), and hope to improve on them with more practice, but...

I don't see a big difference in film types with regard to scanning. I generally always bracketed in 1/2 stop increments, and generally slightly less exposure works best for projection or on a light table, but slightly more works best for scanning.

I use nikon scan and ICE works pretty well with all the films I've tried. I haven't tried vuescan.

The biggest problem I have with the LS5000 is the horrible lens (or lens cover) flare. It's really horrible and I haven't figured out how to fix it.

I can't see shooting slide film originals today given the high quality and relatively low cost of DSLRs.

Paul
10-10-2010, 08:16 PM   #27
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I may try NikonScan again if some of my latest batch of scans don't work out, at least if they're photos I really want. I'd much rather get on with my parents' slides and my old negatives, though. So sick of scanning these same kodachromes again and again...
10-11-2010, 05:13 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
I have an LS5000 and have scanned both E6 (mostly Velvia 50 and E100) and Kodachrome (mostly 64.) I'm not totally thrilled with my scans (having done a few hundred now), and hope to improve on them with more practice, but...

I don't see a big difference in film types with regard to scanning. I generally always bracketed in 1/2 stop increments, and generally slightly less exposure works best for projection or on a light table, but slightly more works best for scanning.

I use nikon scan and ICE works pretty well with all the films I've tried. I haven't tried vuescan.

The biggest problem I have with the LS5000 is the horrible lens (or lens cover) flare. It's really horrible and I haven't figured out how to fix it.

I can't see shooting slide film originals today given the high quality and relatively low cost of DSLRs.

Paul
Nikon suggests you mask any unused areas in the carrier on the 9000 to minimize stray light. I assumed that was to keep flare down and for best AE performance. As a practical matter, I've never had a problem with it even if I did not. I don't know how that would apply to the LS 5000 with a completely different holder arrangement. It sounds like something is not fitting properly.

I also agree about shooting slides these days. Medium format is tempting, just because you can see a large, gorgeous slide on the light table, but so far, not enough to justify the cost. Even in MF, color neg film is so much cheaper, more forgiving and easy to scan.
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