Film Friday #31: Kodak Kodachrome

Film Friday this week will be a classic that we all love so dearly, and its Kodak’s Kodachrome colour positive slide film!

Kodachrome has been around for a long time, as it was one of the first truly successful colour processes . The film as we know it today was first introduced in 1935, being a three-color process in place of the older two color process. The two color process was a subtractive process, being layers of blue-green and red-orange. Two musicians saw a film in 1917 made with an atrocious color process and decided to use their science degree to make something better. So they spent the next 18 developing the new colour process to get to Kodachrome.


It was first released for 16mm and 8mm and only later released in still photography formats. It would go on to be updated throughout the 20th century, with different speeds and minor modifications made to improve it.

Now, unlike the standard E-6 process that films like Ektachrome or the Fujichrome films require, Kodachrome uses a proprietary process known as K-14. This complicated process means that very few labs can develop it, and indeed in Vancouver, only one place does it, The Lab. This process is complicated enough that simply amateurs cannot do it at home, and indeed, Kodak does not sell the chemicals needed to do it.

And it only comes in one speed these days: ISO 64. Its perfect for these beautiful sunny days! Landscapes, portraits, cityscapes.

Why do people love it so much, and is it worth it? Many reasons, but the primary reason, as it has always been, is simply how it looks. There is no film, and there still isn’t, that looks quite like Kodacrhome. The colours and contrast is quite unique to the film, with a warmth that really reminds you of past years. A lot of famous photos taken throughout history was taken on Kodachrome, and many images that use to adorn National Geographic and Life Magazine were taken on the film too.

To celebrate it, we will be putting it on sale this weekend only, 10% off in 35mm online and in store! In the meantime, here’s some photos I’ve taken with Kodachrome in the past.




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Beau Photo Supplies Inc.
Beau Photo Supplies Inc.