I was asked by a couple different Fuji X Weekly readers if I could create some film simulation recipes that mimic the look of renown photographers Ernst Haas, Luigi Ghirri and William Eggleston, each of which are known for their unique style. As I was contemplating how to go about this, I learned that all three of them used Kodachrome film. Although none of them used Kodachrome exclusively, they all used it extensively at one time. If I could make a Kodachrome recipe, I would have something that covers Haas, Ghirri and Eggleston. To copy their look using this recipe, simply find color and light in the same manor as those famous photographers did (easy, right?).
You might be thinking, doesn’t Classic Chrome already look like Kodachrome? No, it actually resembles Ektachrome more than Kodachrome, but it is a good starting point since it has a general Kodak aesthetic. What about the Kodachrome recipe I already made? Actually, that mimics an earlier version of the film, which has a little different look than what I was going for here. You could use that, as I’m certain that some of Haas’ early color work was shot on that era of Kodachrome. Primarily, the Kodachrome that Haas, Ghirri and Eggleston used was Kodachrome II and Kodachrome-X.
In 1961 Kodak replaced the original Kodachrome with a new and improved version called Kodachrome II and a higher-ISO sibling called Kodachrome-X. These films had more accurate color, finer grain and faster ISOs (ISO 25 and 64, respectively, compared to ISO 10 of the original) than the previous version. It was a big leap forward for color photography, and so it is no surprise that the innovators of color photography in the 1960’s and 1970’s relied heavily on it. It’s also the version that Paul Simon sang, “They give us the greens of summer, makes you think all the world’s a sunny day.”
Kodachrome II and Kodachrome-X produced a very similar look to each other. The main differences were in grain, contrast and saturation, but overall the variations were quite minor. Kodachrome-X was slightly more bold while Kodachrome II was slightly more clean. Even so, comparing slides, it’s tough to distinguish one from the other (conveniently, I have my grandparents old slides at my home). Even though I have named this film simulation recipe “Kodachrome II” I think it more closely resembles Kodachrome-X, but I find it to be a reasonable match for both.
Because of the toxic chemicals used in the development of this era of Kodachrome, plus the complexity of the process, Kodak changed from K-12 development to K-14 development, which ushered in new Kodachrome in 1974, called Kodachrome 25 and Kodachrome 64. This version of the film is the one that I have personally used. Interestingly enough, even though this version wasn’t all that much aesthetically different than the previous, there was a big outcry among photographers, and a large group who used Kodachrome II and Kodachrome-X did not appreciate the change.
I believe that Haas, Ghirri and Eggleston continued to use Kodachrome even beyond 1974 when the new version came out, but it seems they used it less extensively, especially Eggleston, who became known for his work with color negatives. Still, each of these three photographers captured some of their most recognizable images on the second era of Kodachrome. And that’s the look that the film simulation recipe below is based on.
Dynamic Range: DR200
Noise Reduction: -3
Grain Effect: Weak
White Balance: Auto, +3 Red & -4 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)
Example photos, all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs captured using my Fujifilm X-Pro2 Kodachrome II Film Simulation recipe:
See also: My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Vintage Agfacolor Film Simulation Recipe
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Please make a recipe for Fujifilm Xa 3
Plss make a recipe for Fujifilm XA3
Amazing! Do you know how to get to these results with Capture One?
Honestly, I have no idea. I very rarely do RAW anymore, just camera-made JPEGs.
Hey Ritchie, such a great body of work, absolutely stunning. Thank you so much for doing this! I will buy a X-T3 in the near future. Will the Kodachrome II recipe look the same on the X-T3? Or will there be major differences compared to the X-Trans III version?
It looks the same. There are some extremely minor differences between X-Trans III & IV, but the recipe looks essentially the same. I’ve used it a number of times on my X-T30
What did you set the color chrome effect to when using it on the xt30?
I used Off, but Weak is probably fine, too.
Love the blog. Will the X-Pro2 Kodachrome II Film Simulation Recipe work on the x100f?
How can I adjust WB red and blue on xt3 ? It is deactivated when choosing classic chrome .. thanks
That’s strange. Someone recently told me of a similar issue with their GFX50 camera (but with Astia, I think). He called Fujifilm support and got it straightened out. I believe he said it was a simple fix, but didn’t tell me what it was. Maybe give Fujifilm customer support a call. 1-800-800-3854
I juste discovered tour blog. Its really cool. I for a question with tour recipes. How do you configure th red ans bleu with the white balance ?
Thank you for your feedbacks
This should help:
Hi Ritchie, just congratulate you over and over on your wonderful recipes. I was wondering if this particular one would work properly on my X100T (X-Trans II) trying to adjust the camera parameters as close to your Kodachrome II recipe as possible. Thank you in advance for your response and suggestions 🙂
I appreciate your kind words of encouragement!
Hi Ritchie I hope you’re doing well. Your site is such a great resource and we’re lucky to have you putting in such great work.
I thought I’d share with you something I wrote about a variation on this recipe. I use it as is in low light indoor but have my own variation I lean if I want to shoot people in low light.
Looks great! Thank you for sharing! I appreciate your kind words.
Are these profile settings meant to be used on the Classic Chrome Simulation or the standard/Provia?
Thank you a lot for your work. It´s really incredible. I´ve been photographing for many years with my own colour palette. But well, you know, that’s a lot of time processing RAWS. Your recipes are great! But I have a question.
I love your Kodachrome II receipe. Using Classic Chrome the cyans are great. But the truth is that (at least for me) the greens are better in the Classic Neg (green with less yellow and more blue. Is there a way to keep all the color in the Kodachrome II recipe but with a different greens. It´s easy to do in Adobe Camera Raw but I know that the tools for the film simulations are limited here.
Thank you again for the work.
That would be an interesting experiment. I’ll give it a try and see what I can come up with.
Hi Ritchie. Any updates on this 🙂
Have a nice day!
I don’t think you can do it with Classic Chrome, but maybe Classic Negative. I haven’t tried it with Classic Negative, but I definitely should. When I tried with Classic Chrome I didn’t get the results I wanted.
How to make the Kodachrome 64 Simulation on the X-E1 ? I would love to use this as a preset.
This might work for you: https://fujixweekly.com/2020/08/02/fujifilm-xq1-x-trans-ii-film-simulation-recipe-kodachrome-without-classic-chrome/
I tried this one for the first time today and I absolutely love the warmth and the subtle colours.
There wasn’t a cloud in the sky this afternoon and the sun was baking. I shoot manual and follow the sunny 16 rule. This left me a full stop under exposed! But shooting manual means I’m gonna have to remember to factor in the exposure comp in head.
Awesome! I’m so glad that you liked it!
I’m curious, what’s the difference in setting the White Balance as “Auto, X,Y” & simply “X,Y”? It seems that there’s a subtle shift in color but I’m not sure what drives the logic behind it. Thanks!
I’m not sure what you mean. What other WB would you add the shift to? Daylight?
I’m wondering something similar. Wouldn’t it be better to use the daylight white balance rather than Auto white balance? Wouldn’t the fixed white balance be more authentic?
Well, yes… sort of. Film was often Daylight balanced. I carried warming and cooling filters that I used, depending on the light, to adjust the “white balance”. So you could use Daylight WB and carry filters. Auto WB defeats the need for the filters. I’ve gone back-and-forth on this for years, and I don’t have the “right” answer (probably because there isn’t one). So, yeah, it is perfectly alright for either approach. If you want to use Daylight instead of Auto (or the other way around, depending on the recipe), that’s just fine.
Hi! Thank you a lot for this (as well all the others) recipe!! One of the reason why I bought an X-Pro 3 is just to shot SOOC, and these recipes are fantastic for this! Just a curiosity: comparing this recipe, with the other of yours “Kodachrome I” and “Kodachrome 64”, do you feel the Kodachrome I and II resemble more the color style of street photographers like Haas and Meyerowitz, with their warmer tones, while instead the Kodachrome 64 is a bit more neutral (in color tone I mean) and so it resemble more the color style of Steve McCurry? Do you agree with this my feeling, or I’m wrong?
Yes, that’s true, although perhaps a little more complicated than that. For example, Haas shot all three eras of Kodachrome at one point or another. McCurry “photoshopped” many of his later Kodachromes… even Afghan Girl was edited. But, more or less, you are correct. Kodachrome I is based on the first era of the film, Kodachrome II the second, and Kodachrome 64 the third.
Great work, Ritchie!
I have a question though for if you want to load multiple ‘recipes’ into your camera.
Many of your recipes use slightly different WB in terms of the red and blues while set on Auto WB.
Custom WB presets don’t allow you to choose an Auto WB, so if I were to switch around different recipes, would I have to constantly alter the Auto WB reds and blues?
Yes, unfortunately. Only the newest cameras, X-Pro3 and newer, can save WB Shifts with each custom preset. So for most cameras, you have to adjust the shift each time you change recipes, if they use the same White Balance.
I am able to make color shifts on custom presets on my x100f, but can’t set it to auto WB and would have to set a new white balance every time in different lightings.
Unfortunately that’s how most Fujifilm cameras work, except for the newest ones. It’s really too bad. I don’t think Fujifilm anticipated correctly how so many people would be using their cameras.
Great work Ritchie, but on my opinion this recipe have more Portra colors than Kodachrome 🙂
This recipe is meant to mimic the second era of Kodachrome from 1962-1974, which is a little different than the third era. But I can see what you mean about Portra colors, there’s some similarities for sure.
Hi, I really like using this simulation, and wanted to know more about simulations in general and why certain settings, particularly exposure compensation are set. Assuming I have a good shot with good overall exposure in my image, what is the motivation behind bumping up exposure compensation for a recipe? Should I be composing my images differently in anticipation of the exposure compensation being set? I usually apply my recipes in-camera after taking the shot, rather than whilst taking the shot, so it would be hard to know if I’m blowing highlights, for example.
I ask also because I see that you suggest tweaking exposure compensation in other recipes as well, and would like to understand the process of using them more optimally for my photography 🙂
So the “typical” exposure compensation is intended to get you in the right direction. Some recipes look better with a little bump in brightness, and some look better with a little reduction in brightness. Each exposure should be judged individually, and the exposure compensation suggestion shouldn’t be taken too literally, its only intention is to point you in what might be the right direction. I hope this helps!
Thanks a lot, that clears it up 🙂 I’ve been using your app so much when having a break along my photo walks and just trying out in-camera jpegs! It’s really fun and must have been so much work on your end. I did not grow up with film, but I do love filmic looks. Your blog and app changed my experience completely. Glad to be one of the patrons 🙂
Thank you for your encouraging words and support! I’m just happy to be helpful! So glad to hear it!
Hello Ritchie Je vous écris en français. J’aimerais voir un jour un style de colorimétrie proche de ce que faisait Saul Leiter. Bonne idée non ? Merci pour ce travail. Jean Paul (île de la Réunion, France)
Saul Leiter est intéressant car il a tiré sur Kodachrome à ses débuts, mais pas plus tard, et il a utilisé de nombreuses émulsions différentes. Il était très pointilleux sur son processus d’impression, qui a joué un grand rôle dans l’esthétique de son image. Merci de votre contribution!