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Kodak “dinosaur” movie: A photograph set 65 million years within the making… On ELITE Chrome II 400 slide movie

Whereas wanting by means of a field of memorabilia, I got here throughout two rolls of unopened Kodak Elite Chrome II 400. Not precisely certain why I had it — it might have been leftover from once we retired our movie cameras at work, or I might have bought it hoping to do extra slide work. 

Wanting on the containers, I knew it was fairly outdated. There’s a promotion on the pack to win a visit to New Zealand as a tie-in with The Lost World: Jurassic Park, which got here out in 1997. Positive sufficient, the expiration date was 1999…greater than 20 years previous its prime. And because it hadn’t been refrigerated (the truth is, the field had spent a while in a storage), who knew if it was any good?

Effectively, I used to be destined to seek out out. I had fond recollections of taking pictures it for work, and was up for giving it a whirl. Kodak Elite Chrome II was a 400-speed slide movie, helpful in lower-light circumstances like workplace or manufacturing unit area, and for cameras with slower lenses. It was fairly grainy even when recent, however the colours had been good, and if the pictures I used to be taking pictures had been reproduced, they printed small.

I shot the primary of the 2 rolls in October 2020, utilizing my trusty Nikon N8008s. On the time, I had begun dabbling in older handbook movie cameras, however figured my finest guess to get some respectable pictures out of it was to make use of a digicam whose meter I trusted and had all the time delivered nice outcomes (plus, it was the digicam I used once I first shot Elite Chrome…)

Utilizing recommendation for taking pictures expired print movie, I rated it at 200 ISO, a full cease brighter than field velocity. I shot colourful leaves, backyard harvest, Halloween sweet, and late-season flowers to get as a lot shade onto the movie as potential. When executed, I despatched it to Dwayne’s Photograph in Kansas for processing.

Once I received them again I used to be disenchanted with the outcomes (not with Dwayne’s — they did nice work on a recent roll of Velvia I had despatched with the identical order). The slides had been all very light, with a definite yellow solid. A part of that would have been my overexposure, however I chalked a lot of the points as much as the movie being outdated. 

I scanned the slides on the scanner’s authentic setting, then tried a second scan after monkeying with the publicity settings. These pictures weren’t that dangerous, however none had been ones I’d contemplate keepers. See some side-by-side examples from the roll beneath – seize and transfer the slider beneath to see the unique scan (left) and my edits (proper).

One thing just a little totally different

After that have, I used to be loathed to shoot — and pay to course of — my second roll. It sat on my desk for nearly two extra years once I received an concept: why not shoot it as a cross-processing experiment?

Cross-processing is once you course of slide movie in print movie chemical compounds or vice versa. It’s taking movie designed for E-6 processing and working it by means of C-41 processing. It turns slide movie into negatives, typically with unexpected shade nuttiness. I favor my slides to be slides and print negatives to be print negatives, however this expired Elite Chrome gave me an excuse to strive the approach.

I’ve been processing shade movie since 2020, utilizing Cinestill Film’s Cs41 two-step improvement equipment. I’ve executed dozens of rolls (it’s very economical — 20+ rolls from $30 in chemical compounds); I had a batch of developer and BLIX that had been nearing the top of their life, so I figured why not give them yet one more likelihood?

So, whereas on trip within the Catskills, I made a decision to load the second roll right into a Canon A2e, one other early 90’s digicam with a stable meter that I used to be nonetheless testing out after buying it for $30 from Roberts Digital camera. This time, I shot it at field velocity, once more searching for out topics with as a lot shade as potential to see what the expired movie might do.

As soon as completed, I processed it in C-41 chemistry. I normally do a water pre-soak once I course of shade; with this roll, what got here out of the pre-soak was shiny yellow. I added just a little additional improvement time given the age of the chemical compounds. After BLIXing and rinsing, once I pulled the movie out of the tank, it seemed to be a milky darkish inexperienced, and I didn’t see a lot of a picture. I hung it as typical on the clothesline in my basement utilizing medium binder clips and was involved at how the negatives seemed…not very thrilling in any respect.

You may be involved in…

Because the movie dried and the emulsion cured, the milkiness light and the negatives took on a darkish inexperienced shade; whereas regular shade destructive movie has the brown/orange destructive look, this was a darkish inexperienced shade. 

The subsequent morning, I scanned the negatives on my Epson Perfection V550 scanner as shade destructive movie. I tweaked the colour curves solely just a little when scanning. Listed below are some samples.

There was one odd factor with each these rolls — the final shot on every had some unusual markings that seemed nearly like gentle leaks. Now, each rolls had been shot in several cameras with no gentle leaks, and had been processed comparatively rapidly after taking pictures. As these had been the final pictures, they had been closest to the within of the roll. Maybe there was a crack within the spool?

Who is aware of…

My impressions? The cross-processed colours had been undoubtedly funky. Total, the pictures had a decidedly inexperienced solid. They had been additionally very grainy, which I attribute to a mix of the 400 ASA of the movie and underexposure. They had been additionally just a little noisy — the DigitalICE within the scanner didn’t appear to kick in — unsure if it was the software program or the inexperienced backing of the emulsion that triggered that. However with just a little tweaking, among the scans made for fascinating viewing.

Why did I do that?

With the present scarcity of movie obtainable lately, we have to shoot no matter we will get our fingers on, and never let something go to waste. I’m lucky to have a superb inventory of recent and frozen movie to work with, however I couldn’t see letting these outdated Elite Chrome rolls keep unexposed…particularly since 400-speed slide movie is extremely uncommon (notice: JCH’s soon-to-be-released FuguFilm 400 is a brand new 400-speed reversal movie emulsion…wanting ahead to getting my fingers on some!)

Whereas on one hand, I’m disenchanted that expired movie does what it does — that’s, funky colours, bizarre distinction shifts, heightened grain, lowered sensitivity, and many others. However on the opposite, taking pictures the expired stuff offers us a chance to expertise the surprising and see the world in a unique gentle. 

So for future expired movie finds, what would I do? I believe each commonplace E-6 and cross-processing every provide a artistic outlet. Since we all know entering into that the colours are going to be off and the outcomes surprising, it comes all the way down to the aesthetic we hope to realize. On this run, the E-6 offered washed-out, yellow-tinged colours, however a finer grain; the cross-process had extra vibrant shade density, however with a particular inexperienced solid and coarse grain.

The opposite issue, not less than in my case, is the truth that I can course of the C-41 myself, whereas I must ship the E-6 out for processing. Typically, that $10-$15 distinction in what it prices to get outcomes does make a compelling argument.

In the long run, I loved taking pictures these rolls and discovered so much from what I received out of them. With the inventory of recent/frozen unexpired movie I now have in-house, I’ll seemingly draw back from expired supplies until I make an surprising discover…like two rolls of 400 ASA slide movie with Jurassic Park promos on the field… 

~ Mike

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