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Guide to Scanning Kodak Film
Scanning positive and negative film is a task that all filmmakers must do. With every film scanner, it’s possible to put a framed Kodachrome-image and scan it as a regular positive, as long as the scanner is able to have a common slide placed in it.
The majority of the time, however, the scan results are usually disappointing. Because of this, certain scanners feature a special configuration for Kodachrome models so that the results are much more satisfactory.
Here we’ll highlight Kodachrome films and how this film material has been digitalized over the years.
What is Kodachrome Film?
Before we delve into the digitization of this film, let’s understand what Kodachrome is in the first place. First of all, this film comes from the company Kodak, hence the name, as well as Kodachrome 25, Kodachrome 64 and Kodachrome 200. These numbers represent the ISO-sensitiveness of the film.
Kodachrome films all feature a high level of fineness and a high capacity of resolution, which is why it offers more details compared to other professional films. In addition, Kodachrome film has brilliant color, even after years of being stored.
Kodachrome features three black and white layers that later on turn red, green and blue. These colors don’t come to be until the development procedure takes place. It’s for this reason that Kodachrome film can’t be developed in any photo development shop. Instead, it needs to be sent directly to Kodak where it will undergo a specialized K-14 process.
There are many advantages to using Kodachrome film. A major one is that the colors of the images are all the same for various types of film. Color integrity is always guaranteed.
How to Recognize a Kodachrome Film
Kodachrome is typically recognized by its address located on the bottom side of the film. Certain abbreviations may be found, such as KM (Kodachrome 25), KR (Kodachrome 64), KL (Kodachrome 200), or P (Profi-Version).
Is Ektachrome the Same as Kodachrome?
Neither one of these films has anything to do with the other. Ektachrome is a normal film family with various rapidities, and is developed in the E-6 developing process much like other slide films. It is completely different than Kodachrome.
Scanning Kodachrome Films
Any film scanner that can digitalize regular slides can scan Kodachrome images. However, the results are usually less than par. Should Kodachrome slides be scanned with regular configuration for positives, a blueish cast will result. Also, natural greens will rarely be able to come to fruition. Refinishing will almost certainly need to be conducted. Digitalizing Kodachrome images in top quality will require special configurations during the scanning phase, as well as color profiles that are specifically adapted to Kodachrome.
One distinct feature of Kodachrome films is that black is really black. Slide scanners with a low density have major issues with the black image areas where the black shades are also strongly distinguished. To digitalize Kodachrome films in top quality, the slide scanner needs to have a high density. For those with low density, the pixel noise in the dark image areas has a negative effect, which means that single pixels may not appear to be black.
Removing Dust and Scratches During Kodachrome Scanning
Good quality scanners come equipped with the ability to remove dust and scratches. This is known as “ICE” technology, which involves an infrared light source scanning the inserted slide and identifying dust and scratches through peaks and valleys on the film. It’s important to note that this only works on color film.
The Best Film Scanner for Kodachrome Film
The ideal film scanner for Kodachrome should feature the following traits:
✓ An effective resolution of at least 3000 dpi;
✓ Software should have special configurations available for Kodachrome images;
✓ Slide scanner requires a very high density to be able to differentiate the strong black areas of the Kodachrome images;
✓ The film scanner should be able to do multiple scans to lower the pixel noise in the dark image areas.
Mr. Video Scan Services
To digitalize your slides, look no further than Mr. Video. We have the latest equipment and scanners, as well as the most up-to-date scanning procedures to ensure the highest quality results. If you’ve got slides to be digitized, be sure to mark if they are positives, negatives, or Kodachrome on the order form. You’ll need to separate the normal positives and the Kodachrome slides. Trust Mr. Video for all your slide scanning.