The real Kodachrome film is dead but lives on as Fujifilm X camera film simulation recipes or as Adobe Lightroom presets.
For straight-out-of-camera JPEGs, I have used Ritchie Roesch’s Kodachrome II film simulation recipes. I used these JPEGs when I am out in the field, and I want an image for direct upload to my blog. But quite often I like to post-process the Fujifilm RAW image files (RAF) in Adobe Lightroom before uploading to my website for a blog post. Sometimes I want to remove a distracting object from the frame, something that I could not remove by re-framing, or change the shadow or highlights in a particular section of a frame, etc. JEPGS are not the best option for doing that. Often, after making my edits, I will apply an Adobe Lightroom preset before uploading. Several months ago, I purchased the Classic K14 Lightroom Preset.
The Classic K14 Lightroom Preset is an easy way for me to create the famous Kodachrome film look in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop Camera RAW. With this Adobe Lightroom preset the camera profile is included to ensure the preset will perform uniquely for each camera model.
I can apply this preset in Adobe Lightroom during import or later using the develop module. Examples are given below for some of the images I took on my Nikon D5100, a rented Sony α7 and my Fujifilm X-T2.
I can also apply the Kodachrome II film simulation recipe to un-edited RAF file using the Fujifilm X RAW Studio app.
Last week I was contacted by a Fuji X Weekly reader who wanted help creating an in-camera look that was similar to the pictures from this other photographer. It didn’t take me long to realize that the photographer in question was using a digital camera (Nikon D750) and applying a plugin preset (most likely VSCO) to achieve the desired look. If I had to take a guess, I would say that the preset is supposed to resemble Kodak Portra 400, although probably one of the alternative versions and not the straight Portra 400 preset. Anytime that I get one of these requests I always make an attempt to create it, although oftentimes my efforts are not successful and no recipe is made. This time, my first stab at it was pretty close, and a little refining made it even closer. I was able to quickly create a film simulation recipe that produces similar results in-camera to what that other photographer is getting with software.
After taking a look at Ritchie’s recent Kodacolour Film Simulation recipe, I decided to capture a few images with the new recipe to compare to Kodachrome II, one of his other film simulation recipes that I use quite often. It seems that Ritchie had the idea before me because he wrote a post comparing his various film simulation recipes . I used Fujifilm’s X RAW Studio software to process the images in my X-T2.
The images of the Rocky Hill Inn were taken in the early morning with a cloudy sky.
I believe that Haas, Ghirri and Eggleston continued to use Kodachrome even beyond 1974 when the new version came out, but it seems they used it less extensively, especially Eggleston, who became known for his work with color negatives. Still, each of these three photographers captured some of their most recognizable images on the second era of Kodachrome. And that’s the look that the film simulation recipe below is based on.
Yet another excellent film simulation recipe with which I can experiment to create one for my X-T2. Thank you, Ritchie!
The following images were hurriedly taken short after reading this article. I apologize for the banality of the subject material.