Film Photography Podcast – Episode 204
November 1st, 2018
Topics on the show include a brief history of Kodak Ektachrome, Film Ferrania Update, Great Big Story, and so much more!
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Hey folks it’s the Internet Radio show for those who love, shoot, live, and breathe all things Film! Joining Michael Raso in the studio today is Mark O’Brien, Mark Dalzel, John Fedele, and Leslie Lazenby! Topics on the show (what shoe) include a brief history of (the newly returned) Kodak Ektachrome, Film Ferrania Update, Great Big Story, and so much more! So pull up a chair, grab your beverage of choice, and listening device of your choice and enjoy!
Great Big Story!
As you know a lot of our hosts are not exclusive to the FPP, they are part of many side projects (such as the Smooth Sailors, Alternative Cinema Podcast, and more). Mark has been involved recently with a YouTube project called Great Big Story. Also John Fedele has been in a video! So what is it all about? Well Mark explains that these are short 2-3 minute documentaries about interesting facts. Mark and his pal work mostly on the fun historical videos, but the topics are fairly wide ranging, both in subject matter, and location. You can check them out on YouTube and give ‘em a Like on Facebook!
Mark O’Brien has a quick update for us from the fine folks at Film Ferrania. If you remember, these are the people working on restarting the old Ferrania factory (at least one building). They found some success with the P30 film. Now there have been a number of blocks to get them back to continuous film production. However, they are still committed to getting slide film back in production. And getting P30 into full production. Which is great, because P30 is an awesome film! Sadly, there’s still no estimate to having a new slide film in production. But they aren’t giving up!
Ektachrome History – Part I
Well the day has finally arrived, Kodak Ektachrome has finally returned to market. But Leslie wants to dig a little deeper, what makes Ektachrome worth bringing back? Well for that we have to dive into the past. The first appearance of Ektachrome was in 1940, first as a government/military surveillance film but it came to the commercial market in 1946. The initial release was only in sheet format and rated at ASA/ISO-32. Along with the film, Kodak marketed kits to process the film at home! By 1959 Ektachrome was now available in every format being produced by Kodak (35mm, 120/620, 127, and 828). But why should Kodak introduce another slide film that used a different process than Kodachrome? Well the answer was simple, you cannot do Kodachrome processing at home, Ektachrome you could. And there was a huge number of home darkrooms starting in the 1940s and going well into the 1960s. There was a tonne of different variants of Ektachrome including Ektachrome-X, E100G, VS, GX, even an Infrared variant. There was a more consumer aimed version called EliteChrome, but it was the same stuff. Now when it came to processes, the E-process has changed a lot overtime. The original E-1 process was highly toxic and faded quickly, it would be replaced by E-2. E-3 would see improvements to the longevity to the film to resist fading. E-4 and E-5 are further improvements on the E-3. Of course, today we have E-6 which is modern process for slide film, and can ensure that film can last with storage for a good 200 years. By the early 2000s the sales of slide film began to drop, and in 2007 Kodak dropped Kodachrome, and all Ektachrome films in 2009. So why shoot slide film today? Well it comes down to colour! Slide film has rich, saturated colours, and that’s native in the negative itself. Also its first generation colour, it’s not a print, or a copy, it’s original. Not to mention, you can always see your slide without having to print, scan, or duplicate. Slides provided a quick way to show your family photos in a big way through projection or professional presentations in the business world. Magazines always worked with slide film for their print work. If you are shooting film for the first time, watch out! You do need to watch your exposure, slide film doesn’t have as wide a latitude as colour negative and B&W film. If you blow out your highlights or have deep shadows, you can’t just pull the details out. So shoot it in a camera with a known good meter. It might be a tough go, but when you do it right, you’ll be amazed! If that’s far too scary and complex for you, Sunny-16 works great with slide film! If you are new to slide film, Leslie does suggest on that first time, get it processed properly, especially the brand new E100! If you can’t do it yourself with the FPP E-6 kit, send it off to a lab like The Darkroom to get it done. If you want to read a full timeline on the history of Ektachrome you can check out the article on Emuslive.org. If this peeked your interest, why not head over the FPP Store and get a roll or two, and don’t forget that E-6 kit!
The Camerhack adapters are now back in stock in the FPP Store! These are great little devices that allow you shoot 120 film in your 616, 116, 118, 122, and their Fakmatic adapter that allows you to shoot 35mm in your 126 (Instamatic). Another inventory update is the return of Yodica films! These are pre-exposed special effect films that make every image special, strange, and unique!
That covers it for this show! But don’t worry we’ll be back in a couple of weeks! In the meantime, you can follow along with the community on Flickr, give us a Like on Facebook, sign up for our Newsletter (sign up right on our home page! And you can always get in touch by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by the regular post Film Photography Podcast PO Box 264, Fair Lawn, NJ 07410. To end the show, it’s the FPP superfriend, Darren "Ballard" Riley, if you like his music, why not go over and purchase some of his tracks on Bandcamp!
Alex Luyckx is an IT Professional at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario. He loves shooting both film and muskets as well as reading and reenacting history. He has a particular love of Military History from the French-Indian War up to the end of the Cold War. You can follow along with his adventures at www.alexluyckx.com/blog.