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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Hi, I’m completely new to fuji world, I’m thinking about switching to fuji for my personal works (street, travel, moments and generic shots) since I’m particularly interested in film simulation and minimizing post production time. What makes this recipe impossible to use on a Bayer fuji camera? Is it about some parameters missing (like Color Chrome effect, shadows, highlights…)? Why older X Trans can’t reproduce recipes made for latest X Trans sensors?
Yes, the Bayer cameras (and older X-Trans) don’t have all of the JPEG options, so you can’t achieve this look exactly. Besides that, with each sensor type/generation, there are some subtle differences in how pictures are rendered, even with identical settings.
Please tell me the meaning of simultaneous use in the settings:
Dynamic Range: DR400
In my opinion, the values of one parameter a are excluded by the other.
What is your understanding of the interaction of these two settings.
So I use the Highlight and Shadow setting to set the contrast curve. The DR settings prevent clipped highlights. There’s some overlap in what they do, but it’s not 1:1 the same. For example, try this recipe, except change DR to 200 and Highlight to +3, and then try DR 100 with Highlight set to +2. You’ll notice that it doesn’t produce identical results to DR400 and +4 Highlight. I hope this helps!
The logic is clear.
Amazing work. Have you tried making a new Cinestill 800T recipe using Classic Negative as a base?
I’m in the process of making a new CineStill 800T, but not with Classic Negative (Eterna is the base). Classic Negative has a lot of contrast, but I’ll have to play around with it maybe using DR-Priority Weak or Strong and see how that looks. Great suggestion!
Thank your for your great work Richie! It’s a great addition to the Kodachrome 64 simulation. I have programmed both, as the Kodachrome 1 is a bit more flexible. Are you planning to do a new Ektachrome Simulation for the X100V-generation-sensors?
Thanks! Yes, a new Ektachrome recipe is on my to-do list. I appreciate the comment!
Hey mate, massive thanks for the work you put in to researching and recreating these film simulations. I’m just about to put out a YouTube video on film simulations and will pointing people to this blog. Keep up the good work, Craig
Thank you! Be sure to share the link to the video!
Sure thing – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTIa1Yi1ogc&t=1s
Thank you! Nice video!
Hi there, I’m new to trying out recipes but I have a question, forgive me if it’s been asked before. When I applied this recipe it seemed to slow down my Xpro3 – I now get the few seconds of “storing…” message. I tried various things including switching to jpg only shooting and still the same lag. Is this just an inherent downside to recipes because the camera has to process the settings or am I doing something wrong?
It is the Clarity setting that slows the camera down. Set Clarity to 0 and it speeds up to normal. I hope that Fujifilm improves this with firmware updates.
There’s some things you can do. First, make sure Boost Mode is enabled. That helps a little, but it is still slow. Second, Fujifilm recommends adding Clarity by setting it to 0 and adding it in after the fact using the in-camera RAW converter. This is a workaround, but not my favorite option. I recommend allowing the delay to slow your process down, which can be good. When you need it to be fast, simply set the camera to a burst mode (instead os single shot) and it disables Clarity automatically. You’ll just have to reprocess those pictures to add Clarity back in. I hope this helps!
Works for the XE-4 too, right?
Hey, great work! Nostalgic overload😅 I have a xs-10 and I am kinda sad this is not viable on it, although it‘s the same sensor. Is there anything I can do?
It is compatible with the X-S10; however, when this was published the X-S10 wasn’t out yet, that’s why it’s not listed in the article. You can use any of these recipes with your camera:
When I use a recipe, is the simulation (function, settings) applied to the RAW image if shooting in RAW? Or must one be shooting exclusively in JPEG to get the recipe? Thanks for helping me understand.
JPEG or RAW+JPEG. The RAW editing software of choice will interpret and potentially apply its interpretation of some of the JPEG settings to the RAW file (software dependent), but not all of the JPEG settings, and it won’t look the same. Could be a starting point, though.
In my menu of x-pro 3 with the last release of firmware, I don’t have highlight and shadow options. Is there anything to do ?
Thank you in advance for any help.
Look for Tone Curve
On my x-pro3 with the last release of firmware, I don’t have “highlight” and “shadow”. Is there anything to do ?
Look for Tone Curve
That’s right. I found it. Thanks a lot for your great help !
Fantastic! Have you ever planned to convert it to a LUT? So I can use it in the post.
Yes and no. I worked with someone—probably one of the top 10 leading experts on RAW editing software—on doing just that, and it didn’t work out for several reasons. One reason is that some of the camera settings used when capturing the photo must be correct in order for the LUT to render correctly. Another issue is that, while you can get very close to replicating a Recipe with an edited RAW image, it never is a 100% match. Another reason is that, if you like the look of the JPEG, why are you RAW editing? You kind of have to pick your path and embrace the process of whichever path you chose. Another problem is that RAW presets are literally everywhere—it’s a crowded marketplace. There were other issues, too, that just couldn’t be overcome, so we abandoned the project. Thanks for asking!