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prints from Kodachrome slides

Melinda Killian , Jan 07, 2005; 11:27 p.m.

I inherited my father's mounted Kodachrome color slide collection (about 150) most of them dating back to the 1960's. Most of them look to be in fair condition - some have scratches. I would like to have multiple prints made to give away as gifts to my family. Would it be better to have the prints made directly from the prints (my research so far seems to indicate this could be very pricey) or can I have them scanned to a CD and then make prints from a printer? Any suggestions? Thanks!

Responses

L G , Jan 07, 2005; 11:40 p.m.

My experience with scanning Kodachrome has been that it is much harder to get a good scan than with E-6 films. I assume the dyes are different than what the scanners use in their filters.

Conversely I have found Kodachrome to be the easiest film to print on Ilfochrome material. If you can find a lab that does Ilfochrome I would test them out on a few samples. Same with the digital route. Then see which you like best.

Dan Schwartz , Jan 08, 2005; 12:01 a.m.

Kodachrome is a breeze to scan... *IF* the scanner software has the proper film curves available. For example Nikon scanners do a nice job with Kodachrome...

Frank Oddsocks , Jan 08, 2005; 08:09 a.m.

I wouldn't spend time hunting down an Ilfochrome processor. It was always an expensive process and probably only the very high-end printers still do it. Go with scanning, especially as you need to retouch those scratches.

John Shriver , Jan 08, 2005; 10:41 a.m.

Well, it all depends on how good you want them to be. Note that a lot of the people participating here are perfectionists, so they are offering suggestions which are obviously out of your ballpark, like Ilfochrome prints!

Most places with a Fuji Frontier minilab can scan Kodachrome to CD, and/or print it. (If they bought the mounted slide holder, and they have employees who can think outside the box.) The Frontier might even do decent automatic scratch removal on the Kodachrome. (Frontiers have automatic scratch removal software because so many nincompoop minilab operators scratch the negatives). You will get "snapshot" quality results, with a loss of detail in the shadows and bright highlights. But you may be perfectly happy with this.

If you want quality results, and are willing to pay more, find someplace that will use a film scanner on a PC, and retouch out the scratches.

Tom Wigand , Jan 08, 2005; 11:16 a.m.

Some in this forum have recommended this place in the past. I haven't had occasion to use them, but others may be able to chime in on how they do in general and with Kodachromes in particular!

http://www.theslideprinter.com/

Walter J. Flint , Jan 08, 2005; 01:04 p.m.

Ditto for the Slideprinter. They do a good job and are inexpensive. They also have free mailers to send your slides in.

Jeff Adler , Jan 09, 2005; 01:29 p.m.

I also recommend The Slideprinter. I was disappointed when they switched from Type R to digital printing but the contrast control for printing Kodachrome slides is now much better. You will not see the exact grain pattern with digital printing but in a 4X6 you wouldn't see grain from Kodachrome slides even with Type R printing. As for whether the lab can help with dust and scratches, you will have to contact them.

Ed Ralph , Feb 18, 2007; 07:27 p.m.

No, Fuji Frontier minilabs don't have digital ICE to hide scratches done in the lab. As a lab technician I can say you have to be exceptionally sloppy to scratch negatives normally. It is one of those snide little myths that annoys me. However, most older slides and negatives, even those that have been relatively well looked after will have accumulated a surprising amount of dirt and damage. For this ICE is invaluable.

A classic example would be my granmother's Kodachromes from the late 50s and early 60s. They have always been stored safely in a slide box and rarely viewed. A cursory inspection would give the impression they are in pretty much perfect condition. However, without ICE the defects are bad enough to spoil the prints and would require a lot of time in Photoshop to remove.

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