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Vericolor Slide Film So-279 – Engineering 2D Graphic Photography

It’s the original encounters, which unfolds the most energy and evokes the strongest feelings! There's nothing quite like finding a film that has its own secrets and leaves you guessing. Such is the Kodak Vericolor Slide Film, a sensation in blue and black.

I always buy strange films, but I often don’t have the time to research them. Before a travel I make quick decisions, which films get into the bag, and which aren’t. With this Kodak Vericolor Slide, I did the same, when I visited Vicuna and Katoun in Polynesia. Honestly the box of the film was not very enlightening either, beside the fact that it was expired in the nineties. You don’t really know what this film is about. Is it slide or is it C41? How do you have to expose it, what is its light sensitivity? I knew nuffin’!

I went with it and just exposed it as a 100 iso and didn’t think too much. Then Satomi developed the film as C41 in LA and we were absolutely absorbed by the look of the negatives. They looked like nothing we had seen before, orange and violet tones which didn’t reveal what to expect when scanned. I mean by now I could tell by any negative, if the contrast is strong and I would approximately know how the picture will look like. Here it was impossible.

Photo by wil6ka

When I scanned it, I was right away flashed by the graphic quality of the vericolor slide. Everything was blue and you basically only saw silhouettes. But within the silhouettes you still had grades of contrast. Actually two contradictory elements of photography, how I see it. I love that the pictures are like a graphic creation, a 2D object caught on film. Reduction to the max.

So how does it happen? The vericolor slide is a film that was made to create slides from a color negative in a time, when scanning was not a consumer affair and photoshop or digital reproduction was nonexistent. For this purpose this emulsion was constructed. But when expired and crossed, everything goes coocoo crazy.

My bonding to this film is really strong, because of the feeling of uniqueness and my naive story of finding it. I also hit the nail right, when I tried it first, so it feels really natural to me. I later tried it consciously at several other occasions and learned more about it. You definitely need strong contrasts within the picture. Large panels of light and dark. Or lets say there is sky and everything before it will be dark. Otherwise the Vericolor Slide doesn’t really pay to its full potential and this rare film-gem is lost in the shades of nothingness. But when you understand, you are a engineer of 2D graphic photography and you will be surprised to the max.

written by wil6ka

7 comments

  1. spendospend

    spendospend

    thats amazing!! awesome film i have to watch out for, and awesome review, love your narrative style!!

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  2. stouf

    stouf

    Excellent review Herr Willie! This reminds me I have to put together a review of Kodak's Edupe which has some similarities with this film...

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  3. herbert-4

    herbert-4

    I remember this stuff!! It was for making slides from colour negatives by contact printing, c-41 to c-41, and the blue was to cancel out the orange of the negatives with exposure compensations for other background colours and basic ISO was maybe 25 or 50 (??). Seattle Photo had some sort of mail order cheap deal on slides and negatives from outdated movie film in 35mm cartridges in the early 1970's. Used for that, it looked rather funky, crappy. Matter of taste. I didn't like it. Anyway, your photos are wonderful!!!

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  4. herbert-4

    herbert-4

    It just occurs to me... about the Vericolor... try shooting it through a light orange filter at ISO 25 (with filter factor ISO 10), i.e. like f/4.5 at 1/50 sec. in bright sun, then develop and scan at normal way and see what you get. You might need a bit extra exposure for age, but the stuff is slow and possibly pretty stable so maybe not so much. Experiment with cutting down the amount of blue light reaching film, and see what you get.

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  5. megalithicmatt

    megalithicmatt

    I've got a bulk roll of this stuff somewhere. Must get round to using it at some point.

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  6. istionojr

    istionojr

    yeah it produced seriously awesome stuff 2D graphics and you've described the tipster flawlessly!
    I really wanna try this film someday. ;)

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  7. petterf

    petterf

    a little more of this blue bizarro film here: http://www.lomography.com/homes/petterf/albums/1898632 I still have a few rolls left so next time I'll def try to raise the ISO to 100 and hopefully get as dramatic results as you did here! great stuff and great review.
    about 1 year ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Italiano.