Kodachrome in B/W Chemistry

From: Ken Paul Rosenthal (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Jun 14 2009 - 13:55:08 PDT

it's been many, many years since i processed Kodachrome in b/w chemistry. you can see a frame enlargement from my film, 'Blackbirds' accompanying a catalog essay at: http://www.kenpaulrosenthal.com/manipulations.htm
the processed film will emerge with a highly unstable image that will slide into your palms unless you let it air dry. of the thousands and thousands of feet i've processed over the years, those 50-ft of Kodachrome that i processed in b/w chemistry back in '97 were probably the most satisfying. the granular structure of the image was almost entirely upset, though the photographed image was still retained. it was a perfect collaboration between surrendipity and control. it looked like phil solomon's 'snowman' without doing god-(and mary beth reed)-knows-what he does to it--hey, maybe he processes kodachrome in b/w!
anyway, it's a process i've long wanted to indulge at length. but save workshop demo's, i'm on a long sabbatical from hp'ing for physical (and spiritually) toxic health reasons. in the meantime, the following steps should help you on your way. i did not write them. but they worked for me back in the day:
1) kodachrome, like any reversal stock, can be processed
as black and white positive image, or as a negative. overexpose 1/2 to 1 stop when
shooting to get a lighter, higher contrast image. normal or light underexposure
creates a dense, brown toned, if not muddy image. the images that lay submerged
in these dark pools can be coaxed out through optical printing.


2) depending on the exposure,
develop your film for 12 to 14 minutes in the first AND second developers. follow standard b/w guidelines for the other steps depending on your tank. to bring out some
Kodachrome color in tones between sepia and orange, briefly return your film to the bleach, and then re-develop
it once again.


3) to process as negative, D-76 is
recommended for the first developer, although any b/w first developer
solution will work. after washing, simply skip to the fix step, followed by a
final wash.


4) when using 16mm film in the hand
crank tanks, the developing times need to be increased because the film is slowly
moving through the solutions from one reel to the next. you will need to figure
out (read ‘discover’) the conversion for yourself. It’s much easier to process
16mm ‘spaghetti style’ because the film is completely immersed. for total
immersion, you can follow the development times listed in the reversal kit


5) processing Kodachrome in b/w chemicals will deplete your solutions very quickly. Depending on what you
consider acceptable, three rolls are generally the limit before the solutions become
exhausted. do not use the same chemicals to process other film stocks once the
containers have been 'contaminated' with the Kodachrome emulsions.
viel spaas! (just had breakfast with a german friend...)

http://www.kenpaulrosenthal.com http://www.crookedbeauty.com

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