Forty year old Kodachrome

I started my photography career as a very enthusiastic hobbyist, capturing my images on film and “slides.”  In 1992 I arranged 73 of my color negatives, color slides, and black and white negatives and delivered them to be digitized onto a Kodak Photo CD at a cost of about $3 each.  The originals came from many different cameras with a range of quality. The CD had a proprietary format and Kodak software was required to see the images, which could be opened in multiple sizes, up to ~6000×4000 pixels.

Here is an image from that CD improved by modern software. The original was scanned from a Kodachrome slide I took in 1975 using my Nikkormat EL and 50mm f 1.4 Nikkor prime lens. Since f stop and shutter speed had to manually logged back then, I don’t know those stats.  Based on the bokeh I would say f2.8 or f4. Kodachrome at that time was fairly slow at ISO 64.  I should have used a flash, as the deck rail the bird was sitting on was rendered as black. But another image of wood grain and some quick work using selection, masking and layers fixed that problem. I cropped it to use as a Facebook Cover photo.  The untouched original Photo CD image is shown below.

It is interesting to look back at photos I have kept over the years and see the changes in my skills and interests, as well as the changes in the quality of the images. When around 2000, when I switched from my film based Nikkormat with 2 lenses; a 28mm and a 50mm, to a Digital Sony Cybershot with 3Mpixel sensor and 3X zoom, the photo quality suffered greatly. Those lower quality image years lasted through several more Sony camera point and shoot styles through an early Canon Rebel DSLR, as the image size slowly grew to 8Mpixels. Then with the 450 Rebel I was up to 12Mp and photo quality was more acceptable. For my first full frame DSLR, (image sensor is the same size as an old time 35mm film negative) I had to start over buying lenses and switched to the Nikon brand. And at 24mP digitial imaging finally reached the same theoretical detail as 35mm film.

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