'They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, Oh yeah' - Paul Simon
We don’t know of any other film brand that also became the title of a hit song like Paul Simon’s 'Kodachrome', released in 1973. But that is not all that makes Kodachrome unique among 35mm color films, as many of you who have collections of Kodachrome slides know. Besides reproducing the color of reality with a unique color palette, Kodachrome has also proven to be much more enduring than other color films. Any collection of Kodachrome slides stored in reasonably good conditions will have its original color and density very much intact, like some of our slides that go back 60 years.
Zoggavia collection wouldn't be in existence without Kodachrome. The oldest slide is dating back to 1939 and until the discontinuation of the film in June 2009 more than 95% of the slides in the collection are Kodachrome.
Kodachrome - in brief
The additive methods of color photography, such as Autochrome and Dufaycolor, were the first practical color processes; however, these had disadvantages. The réseau filter was made from discrete color elements that became visible upon enlargement, and the finished transparencies absorbed between 70% and 80% of light upon projection, requiring very bright projection lamps, especially for large projections. Using the subtractive method, these disadvantages could be avoided.
Kodachrome was invented in the early 1930s by two professional musicians, Leopold Godowsky, Jr. and Leopold Mannes, hence the comment that Kodachrome was made by God and Man. It was first sold in 1935 as 16mm movie film. In 1936 it was made available in 8mm movie film, and slide film in both 35mm and 828 formats. Kodachrome would eventually be produced in a wide variety of film formats including 120 and 4x5, and in ISO/ASA values ranging from 8 to 200.
Kodak did all processing on Kodachrome until courts decreed it a monopoly. Initially, Kodak sold the film and processing together and the customer paid for both when they bought the film. After the decision, Kodachrome was sold as film and processing could be done by independent laboratories or by Kodak. After this date, Kodachromes processed by Kodak say so on the mount.Swiss Air Lines Douglas DC-6B HB-IBU serviced at Zurich-Kloten airport in summer 1954, Zoggavia Collection.
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