They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summer
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day
Kodachrome is probably the most iconic photographic film ever made. It was legendary, and many people saw the world through its colors. Kodak produced Kodachrome film from 1935 through 2009, when it was suddenly discontinued.
The Kodachrome name has been used for many different films over the years. The first Kodachrome product was a two-glass-plate color negative that was introduced in 1915. Like all other color photography methods of its time, the results weren’t particularly good and the product not especially successful.
In 1935 Kodak released its next Kodachrome, which was a color transparency film with an ISO of 10. This Kodachrome was the first color film that produced reasonably accurate colors and was the first commercially successful color film. It became the standard film for color photography for a couple decades, and was even Ansel Adams’ preferred choice for color work. The December 1946 issue of Arizona Highways, which was the first all-color magazine in the world, featured Barry Goldwater’s Kodachrome images.
Kodak made significant improvements to Kodachrome, and in 1961 released Kodachrome II. This film boasted more accurate colors, sharper images, finer grain, and a faster ISO of 25. While it was still similar to the previous Kodachrome, it was better in pretty much every way. A year later Kodachrome-X was introduced, which had an ISO of 64.
Another generation of Kodachrome, which came out in 1974, saw Kodachrome II replaced by Kodachrome 25 and Kodachrome-X replaced by Kodachrome 64. The differences between this version and the previous weren’t huge with nearly identical image quality. The biggest change was going from the K-12 to the K-14 development process (which was a little less complex, but still complex). This generation of Kodachrome is what most people think of when they picture (pun intended) the film, gracing the pages of magazines like National Geographic.
I personally have shot plenty of Kodachrome, mostly Kodachrome 64. It was a good general use film that produced sharp images and pleasing colors. I haven’t used it in more than a decade. Its days are gone. Even if you can find an old roll of the film, there are no labs in the world that will develop it.
This Kodachrome 1 film simulation recipe is meant to mimic that first era of Kodachrome. This isn’t your parent’s or grandparent’s Kodachrome, it’s your great-grandparent’s. This Kodachrome 1 recipe is actually an updated version of my Vintage Kodachrome recipe. Since the new Fujifilm cameras have more JPEG options, such as Clarity, Color Chrome Effect and Color Chrome Effect Blue, it’s possible to get more accurate or at least different looks out-of-camera. This recipe is very similar to the original version, but I hope this one is just a tad better. It’s only compatible with the X100V, X-Pro3 and X-T4 cameras; if you don’t have one of those cameras, give the Vintage Kodachrome recipe a try. Both the old and this new version have a great vintage analog look that I’m sure many of you will appreciate. I want to give a big “thank you” to Fuji X Weekly reader Thomas Schwab for his help with updating this recipe.
Dynamic Range: DR400
Noise Reduction: -4
Grain Effect: Strong, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Weak
White Balance: Auto, +2 Red & -4 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: -1/3 to -1 (typically)
Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Kodachrome 1 film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X100V:
See also: Film Simulation Recipes
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