Processing a Kodachrome 64 film as we all know is a very unique process (K-14). The production of this film stopped in 2010 but why stop at color processing when we can do it in black and white?
Last July, I found a nice camera on a flea market in Munich. It was a Revue 35CC (it’s the same with the Chinon Bellami) and I opened the back but closed it again quickly as I noticed that there was still film inside. I had just enough time to see that it was a Kodachrome 64!
My first reaction was “wow!” I love discovering old cameras with films still inside. It gives so much mystery to the camera and the photos that they contain.
So I was pretty excited about the idea to have some Kodachrome inside the camera. But then I asked myself how I could get some pictures out of the film. I looked around on the internet and found various tips about how Kodachrome can be processed and whether it can still be done with B&W chemicals.
Well, I found out it’s not the same thing with the legendary magic color processing of Kodachrome slides but I guess it’s ok if I can get some good B&W pictures out of the roll.
I absolutely don’t know when or where this Kodachrome roll was shot or who the past owner was. I gave the process a try but didn’t expect much from it. Though I had a secret hope that it would work out just fine.
Here’s how I did it:
- I pre-washed the film in 20°C water for 2 minutes. The water came turned very yellow after.
- Then, I processed it in D76 chemical (stock solution, 20°C) for 11 minutes. Agitated the solution during the first minute, and then with 30 second intervals. I threw the chemicals away since I didn’t hope to use them again.
- Then I poured in the fixer (Tetenal Superfix, 20°C) and let it stay in the developing tank for 10 minutes, agitating the solution steadily for the first minute and then with one minute intervals. I also threw away the fixer.
- Finally, I rinsed it with water for 10 minutes. For the last minute, I put in some drops of dishwashing liquid.
So it was ready. Well, I thought it was.In fact the roll was totally black after then I remembered that the film has a kind of special black layer that must be removed. I removed the black substance by sliding the film between my fingers in the bathtub and with the gloves on as it can get a bit messy. I did that several times and did it under running water. After a few minutes the film looked clean enough and some pictures started to appear.
I’ll need to improve the final technique as I saw that there were still some black marks on some of the photographs.
Amazingly, I got some great pictures out of it! A big part of the film was burned resulting from repeated opening of the back of the camera. I also think other people did the same thing before me and advanced the film to see if the camera still worked. I managed to get a total of 9 pictures from the whole roll.
The pictures are about boats and the sea. Must have been good memories for the person who owned the camera. Enjoy the photographs!
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