The iconic film for collectors
'They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day,
- 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 90% 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 a 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 ISO/ASA values ranging from 8 to 200.
Kodachrome - aviation and transportation art photography
This section introduces you to the many aviators using different type of oil. We have collected information from some artists and the slides which proudly represent them.
Kodachrome mounts 1939 - 2009
Information around Kodachrome
Information on emulsion, archival stability, scanning processing and product time line for Kodachrome II, 25 and 64
Kodachrome - Technical data
Kodak data sheet about the Kodachrome 25, 64, and 200.
Handling and preservation of color slides collections
Information on how long a Kodachrome slide should be used in a projector, or what are the storage conditions to preserve the colors from fading.
Discover over 80 years of history of both aviation photography and Kodachrome.
At first, the processed film was not mounted by Kodak, photographers were expected to mount their film. Kodak introduced a projector for them in February 1937, and Kodak glass slide mounts were introduced in April 1937. Pressboard mounts were announced in February 1939 as being standard on all processing effective April 1, 1939.
The Pan American Boeing B314 Clipper NC18602, seen at San Francisco is a nice and rare Kodachrome example in a cardboard mount dated as early as 1939, Zoggavia Collection.
Early Kodachrome made in the first few years of production used the date code symbols of Kodak movie film.
TWA Douglas DC-3 NC18945 pictured at San Francisco on 17 April 1943, Clinton H. Groves via Zoggavia collection.
Well preserved cardboard mount of high quality. Pan American World Airways L-749 N86520 'Clipper America' pictured on arrival from its first 'Round-the-World Service' at San Francisco in June 1947, Zoggavia Collection.
"Consent Decree Kodachrome" after June 1954. 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.
This change of imprint was made because other labs began offering Kodachrome processing, which previously had only been done by Eastman Kodak.
TWA L-049 Constellation N86514 in 1956, Zoggavia Collection.
Technicolor labs; a collection of film laboratories across the world owned and run by Technicolor for post-production services including developing, printing, and transferring films in all major developing processes, as well as Technicolor's proprietary ones. (1922 - present)
Transocean L-1049 N1880 at Oakland, CA November 1958, Clinton H. Groves via Zoggavia Collection.
Eastman Kodak brand colors were used the first time, yellow and red corner, the cardboard used to be in natural white.
Airport scene at Amsterdam airport with Connies, DC-7s, and DC-3s. Zoggavia Collection.
Kodachrome II film was introduced in 1961, known as maybe the best slide film of all times
Example of an unknown processor of Kodachrome slide film. Most probably developed in Hawaii.
Slick L-1049H Super Constellation during a stop en route from the West Coast to the Pacific region. summer 1961, Clinton H. Groves via Zoggavia Collection.
Kodak produced the Kodachrome II film in the United Kingdom and also in France to meet European demand for the film.
Bristol Br.170 Freighter on a passenger charter to Ronaldsway, Isle of Man, UK, July 1963, Zoggavia Collection.
Technicolor developed Kodachrome slide dated July 1963.
Paradise Airlines L-049 Constellation basking in the Californian Sun, July 1963, Clinton H. Groves via Zoggavia Collection.
Similar mount and Kodak brand logo like earlier seen.
SP-LVC LOT Vickers Viscount series 700 photographed at Zurich-Kloten, March 1966, Guido E. Bühlmann via Zoggavia Collection.
The famous "corner curl" trademark began to shrink in late 1966 and additionally Eastman Kodak patent number 3.1013.364 was added.
G-ANBF Britannia Airways Bristol Br. 175 Britannia Series 100 seen at Zurich-Kloten, December 1968. Zoggavia Collection.
The "curled corner" trade mark was dropped and a new Kodak logo was introduced in the 2nd half of 1972. Beside in the Americas Kodachrome films were also produced in European countries, like Germany, France and United Kingdom.
Lufthansa Boeing B747 D-ABYA c/n 19746 'Nordrhein-Westfalen' the first Jumbo Jet delivered to Lufthansa 10 March 1970, just three years after the last Super Constellation operation. Frankfurt March 1973, Zoggavia Collection.
Example of a French Kodak mount. On some mounts a red + was stamped, meaning that the new development process K-14 was used as Kodak switched from KII (which used the K-12 process) to Kodachrome 25 and 64.
Delta Air Transport DC-6B OO-LVG seen at Paris Le Bourget, June 1973, Zoggavia Collection.
Standard Kodachrome II 25 ASA film. One can say that Kodachrome was at its peak quality-wise; fine grain, great colors, and contrast, even when underexposed the slide showed nice results.
A common sight at European Airports at that time, Delta Air Transport DC-6B OO-VGK, seen at Vienna, Austria, September 1974, Zoggavia Collection.
Slightly revised design of the classic white cardboard mount, just before the edges were rounded for better handling in projectors.
One of the last take-off pictures of this classic swing tail DC-6A/C of Kar-Air Finland on its twice-weekly freight run to London Heathrow and Amsterdam, Helsinki August 1981, Zoggavia Collection.
Sometime after 1980/1981, mounts began to appear with round corners which were probably introduced to be easier to insert into projector trays. The red "+" also disappeared as all films were developed with the K-14 process.
A new Kodak logo was introduced again in this mount design launched in 1983. Developed and framed in Australia.
CX-BOP Boeing B737 of Pluna, taken October 1984, Zoggavia Collection
Since 1983, the "new" corporate logo started to undergo many variations because of the business agreements in various parts of the world and designs surfaced that more or less integrated the symbol within other symbolic shapes. Slightly changed the position of the Kodak logo on this frame.
B-2625 Boeing B737 in the colors of Far Eastern Air Transport photographed in 1985, Zoggavia Collection.
Again an Australian Kodachrome mount, this time in black and red colors.
RP-C1866 Boeing B707 of Samoa Air taken at Manila, November 1985, Zoggavia Collection.
In 1989 there were up to 3 different mount designs in use. Here a slide developed in France.
N997CF Douglas DC-8-62 CF Air Freight taken January 1989, Zoggavia Collection.
Yellow color was brought back in the next series of mounts. This slide represents a North American development process.
Nice shot of N861TA Douglas DC-6 in the new livery of Universal Airlines, used for freight flights, November 1990, Zoggavia Collection.
Premium processing was added to guarantee consistent quality.
9M-MAW leased from Malaysian in World Airways colors, an earlier Lockheed Constellation operator, March 1969, Zoggavia Collection.
Starting from 2000 Kodak's standard mount was made of synthetics, a PP plastic mount, where the number and date were embossed by heat. Cardboard mounts were still available, to be marked on the right lower corner on the processing pouch "please cardboard mounts" - and it worked perfectly.
Antonov AN-12 in the colors of Ukraine Cargo Airways, one of the many freighters, at Sharjah, U.A.E. in April 2000 Zoggavia Collection.
Again a cardboard mount, now with Kodak Picture Processing, with stamped number and date.
Sharjah was also known for the older jets, mainly operated by African Enterprises, A6-SAA Boeing B727 series 200 with Trans Air Benin title, November 2002, Zoggavia Collection.
In 2000, a straightforward design, just plain Kodak in red color, was implemented. Cardboard mount development was in Lausanne, Switzerland, the only laboratory in Europe for Kodachrome 64 film.
G-DEFL Avro Liner, or BA146 operated by British Club Air, seen here at Geneva, July 2003, Zoggavia Collection.
Simply marked Kodak plastic mount, processed by Kodak laboratory in Lausanne.
Already a classic airliner, the Boeing B757 as used by the Airline of Azerbaijan registered as VP-BBR seen at Frankfurt, July 2006, Zoggavia Collection.
Eventually, the last Kodachrome mount design, cardboard, though sent to Lausanne, the processing took place in the USA.
N836D Douglas DC-7B, being nicely restored by Carlos Gomez of Florida Air Transport and his team, Opa Locka, FL, February 2009, Zoggavia Collection.
Sources: Kodak, Historic Photo Archive, photo.net, and Shutterbug