[rollei_list] Re: OT: Leica Film Length-Now Kodachrome

  • From: Mark Rabiner <mark@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <rollei_list@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 29 Sep 2009 04:06:02 -0400

> The cable channel Turner Classic Movies occasionally screens some
> short films that were among the first to use three-strip technicolor.
> They ran the 1937 film Hollywood Party several weeks ago, and there
> are others going back to 1934 or 1935.
> The amount of color saturation in these early films is quite
> remarkable, and it got me to thinking why this was preferred at the
> time.
> I think the answer has to do with what people were used to seeing on
> color postcards and in magazines.  If you look at old color postcards,
> they are generally hand colored, and the color is very artificial
> looking and oversaturated.
> This is what people "expected" color photography to look like, at
> least at first... so the producers of Technicolor and Kodachrome gave
> it to them.
> ---
> Rollei List

I think the majority opinion consensus with anybody in the industry or
having interest in the industry or industries is that the color in
Kodachrome and Technicolor  is far superior to the awful "improvements"
latter which were only created for convenience and were a cheap compromise.
This opinion that these clearly and famously superior processes are great
because they look like gaudy awful postcards is nothing less than bizarre.
Does Robin Hood and Laurence of Arabia look like a cheap post card to
In the film industry the costume ad makeup people really had to scramble to
figure out how to deal with the awful color that came later. They had to
invent new makeup's it was impossible to make the women's lips red.
The great litany of photographs made with Kodachrome is legend.
We have a hard time envisioning what these great photographs would look like
In E4 or E6.  The Afghan girl on the cover of National Geographic. And
whether they would in fact be great photographs at all if shot later on E6.
Especially the garbage Ektachrome looked like until decades later when Fuji
in effect forced Kodak to take the cyan blue tinge out and give it some
saturation. By then Fuji had pretty much taken over. In the end as in right
now the results both Kodak and Fuji get from E6 comes very close to those
from Kodachrome. But as far a flesh tones go not even close. Its a great

Mark William Rabiner

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