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 and image quality was very similar. The biggest change was going from the K-12 to the K-14 development process (which was a little less toxic and complex, but still toxic and 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.
While I’ve published a number of recipes with the Kodachrome name, I’ve never made one for X-Trans I because Classic Chrome is necessary to replicate the look, and X-Trans I doesn’t have Classic Chrome. Well, Thomas Schwab got himself a Fujifilm X-E1, and he figured out a pretty phenomenal Kodachrome facsimile using PRO Neg. Std! Unbelievable! It’s amazing how good this recipe looks considering that it doesn’t use Classic Chrome. The X-M1 doesn’t have PRO Neg. Std, so this recipe isn’t compatible with that camera, but if you have an X-E1 or X-Pro1, this one is sure to become an instant favorite! Thank you, Thomas, for creating and sharing this recipe!
PRO Neg. Std
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +1 (Medium-High)
Shadow: +2 (High)
Color: -2 (Low)
Sharpness: +2 (Hard)
Noise Reduction: -2 (Low)
White Balance: Auto, +1 Red & -2 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 3200
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)
Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “Kodachrome II” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-Pro1:
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