Monday, December 10, 2012

When new and improved makes it worse




These shots all taken in Mija, Spain in 1974, tell a tale of progress going awry. I have been touting the superior color permanence of Kodachrome II for some time now. But in the spring of 1974, Kodak came out with new emulsions for Kodachromes and Ektachromes. While the Kodachromes were renamed to Kodachrome 25 and Kodachrome 64, the Ektachromes were not. We were all excited as the color had a slightly more natural look and I especially loved the reds. But looking at these slides now, we see that the new emulsions, said to have been more environmentally friendly, were actually failures. The colors have all faded and are now  like the old Agfachromes.  The Ektachromes have turned super magenta , unlike the older  emulsions, while the Kodachromes are bland and have lost those gorgeous  deep blue skies, Kodak was to repeat the same error in 1975 when they came out with their T-Max line of black and whites. They wisely continued with Tri-X but eliminated Plus-X and that glorious Panatomic-X. What can you say. So much for progress.
As it's obvious, I had to convert these scans to black and whites that are actually very nice.

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