Kodachrome III At The Car Show

on January 18, 2015

Those of you who are feeling the chill of winter settling into your bones would be well advised to visit the Swan Valley on any Sunday in January. The open areas, the reflective grass, and he lack of wind will serve to concentrate the heat for you. Should you be out in the direct rays of the sun at 12:00 you will get the full benefit. As it was, yesterday the mad dogs and the Englishmen were sitting in the shade with cold drinks while the rest of us - the car enthusiasts - strode manfully round the paddocks and fried.

In my case it was all science - I was trying out the new Classic Chrome jpeg setting in my Fujifilm X-E2 camera and seeing if I could get the camera and the Fujifilm EF 42 flash to adequately cope with the contrast glare. Those of you who follow this shop blog or my own " Here All Week" blog at hrhoa.wordpress.com will know that the Fujifilm X-100 cameras and the EF 42 flash are well able to do the mid-day shoots, but this time it was the turn of the X-E2.

The Classic Chrome was a gift from Fujifilm in a Cristmas-time firmware upgrade. Together with interval shooting and control from my iPad ( Which works quite well.) it is an addition to the insides that you can put in yourself.

Classic Chrome? Well, they already have some film-simulation settings in all their cameras that replicate Fujifilm transparency films pretty well - Provia, Velvia, and Astia are in there if you look for them. I don't think they are going to say the K word for legal reasons, but quite frankly that is the look that is coming out of this setting - and I am prepared to cheer them on.

I have decades of Kodachrome and Ektachrome slides in my library - as well as Ansco, Ward, Sears, Agfa, Ferrania, and Perutz films. Some started out well but have gone all manky - the Agfa are worst for fugitive dies. Some started out horrible and have stayed that way - Ansco and Ferrania come to mind. Some have started out well and remain so to this day - The Kodachrome slides are still colourful and accurate. Surprisingly, so are the cheapies I got from Montgomery Ward in the 1960's - Pure luck, I suppose.

Point is, I have direct examples to compare the new files to. I think that Fujifilm have done us a signal service in this upgrade as it means that we can recreate the 60's look digitally.

I am not saying it is the most accurate look at colour - it never was. It deals with contrast differently than standard digital outputs. Colours can be muted in some segments of the spectrum, and intense in others. Shadows can be well handled but some highlights can blow - well, that is what what Kodachrome did and what everything does in the Swan Valley on a summer Sunday. No cloud + white car tops + chrome bumpers = blowout. Boom. If you want to avoid this bring your own cumulo nimbus and park it over Midland.

Into retro? Try Classic Chrome. I love it - I love it a lot.