resurgence of slide film... viewing?
Old 12-07-2018   #1
d.dulin
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resurgence of slide film... viewing?

OK, maybe calling one film stock's return a "resurgence" is a stretch, but, slide film (specifically ektachrome) seems to be having its time in the light (no pun intended). But what about viewing slides? It seems -honestly- silly to shoot slide film just to have it scanned, and never view it via projector or in one of those Pana-vue viewers. Would it not seem appropriate for Kodak (or someone) to release a new slide projector/ viewing system? Is it already in the works and I just don't know about it? Is the fate of all (color?) film to be scanned to digital and forgotten in a box? Opinions? Jokes? Snide remarks?

ps. I hope this thread is in the appropriate location.
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Old 12-07-2018   #2
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Slide film looks very different than colour neg film even when printed.
So I print.
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Old 12-07-2018   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Slide film looks very different than colour neg film even when printed.
So I print.
From a digital file I take it? I know next to nothing about color processing past the negative portion, methods of printing are far beyond me.
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Old 12-07-2018   #4
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Yep, I scan the film with my digicam then print. It actually works really well as the film is back lit so in essence projected into the camera, thereby retaining it's tone/feel.
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Old 12-07-2018   #5
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slides are expensive, hard to store safely, hard to shoot correctly. Negatives are humble. Negatives have greater latitude, greater resistance to fading and fungus. Slides atract dirt. Not to mention you could not produce decent copies untill the advent of scans.
Did i mention them being expensive?
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Old 12-07-2018   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d.dulin View Post
Would it not seem appropriate for Kodak (or someone) to release a new slide projector/ viewing system? Is it already in the works and I just don't know about it? Is the fate of all (color?) film to be scanned to digital and forgotten in a box? .
There are so many old slide projectors out there, which work perfectly fine and available for almost nothing, along with the requisite trays, that I can’t imagine there would be a legitimate market for new projection systems.
The supply of already existent projectors is never going to be exhausted, and again, they work fine.
Screens, on the other hand, you’ll be needing a newly manufactured screen to do the slides justice, as the reflective elements generally degrade over time. Older ones are usable, and much better than a white wall, but a good screen matters.

But yes, even though slides can be enjoyed on a light box, or scanned with a scanner, or “scanned” with a digital camera, or used to create an internegative to print “the old way”, they are meant to be projected, color balances of the dyes are selected in order to be used in conjunction with a projector bulb of a compatible color temperature so that the colors in the projected image are “right”. Not that anyone cares that much these days.
Digitize them then move sliders around on the computer to get some kind of colors and let the program algorithm do what it thinks should be done to the color balance and you get some kind of an image you can post on the web, giving someone else an opportunity to opine that emulsion “x” is too green, or too red, or some such.

Transparencies an odd niche these days. I will scan mine and project the good ones as well. But, honestly, people who shoot transparency film and never project it, that seems like an expensive way to miss the boat. If you want or need color, and you are never going to set up a projector and a decent screen, just shoot C41 or digital. Seems to me. But, if someone enjoys shooting it and scanning it, it keeps it viable a while longer for everyone else, so that’s great.
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Old 12-07-2018   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colker View Post
slides are expensive, hard to store safely, hard to shoot correctly. Negatives are humble. Negatives have greater latitude, greater resistance to fading and fungus. Slides atract dirt. Not to mention you could not produce decent copies untill the advent of scans.
Did i mention them being expensive?
Yeah but no negative film looks like slide film, even though some try (and fail, IMO - looking at you, Ektar).

Just this week I shot some 8x10 Fuji RTP and projected HUGE images from an old overhead projector, the ones they have in schools. Looked awesome.

With a tiny bit of legwork one can find a projector of appropriate size/type for the film, or MacGyver something. If you've got a shoebox and a lens you could likely make a simple projection system and put whatever images through it you wanted to view.

Scanning and printing digitally is a perfectly valid way to get to a finished products, and probably 95% of color materials, slide or negative, are being finished this way. Unfortunately color printing is getting harder as older color heads fail (I've had my share of these issues, as I continue to try to find a good color head for my darkroom, as I want to print wet).

There's just no comparing Provia and Portra, or Velvia and, well, anything.
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Old 12-07-2018   #8
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I view my slides with a Kodak Carousel, I know not the best projector but it still works and all my slides are in tray. I also have a really nice screen. You have to love Kodachrome (c1971):

1971-1972 by John Carter, on Flickr
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Old 12-07-2018   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Cloetta View Post
they are meant to be projected, color balances of the dyes are selected in order to be used in conjunction with a projector bulb of a compatible color temperature so that the colors in the projected image are “right”.
I have never heard such a thing. I would think the color is balanced for daylight, otherwise slides would look strange in daylight, and I don't think that's the case. At least, none of mine ever have. They look just like "real life." That was the whole point?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Cloetta View Post
But, honestly, people who shoot transparency film and never project it, that seems like an expensive way to miss the boat. If you want or need color, and you are never going to set up a projector and a decent screen, just shoot C41 or digital. Seems to me. But, if someone enjoys shooting it and scanning it, it keeps it viable a while longer for everyone else, so that’s great.
I think the obvious use is printing from scans. Slide film just doesn't look like C-41 or (bleck) digital.

When I had a large show a few years ago, about 90% of the color images were scans of 4x5 chromes.
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Old 12-07-2018   #10
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Interesting question. I've still got my old projector/screen hanging around so this isn't really something that I've contemplated. Working used projectors can still be easily found for little money. I'd guess that the toughest part to find might well be the right kind of bulb for each individual projector. My guess is that the world would see a new film camera hit the market before a new slide projector.
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Old 12-08-2018   #11
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I don't think we're seeing a "resurgence" yet.

When I shot slides, I mostly viewed them with one of those small handheld viewers. Or I viewed them on a light box with a loupe. The handheld viewer allowed me to share my photos with friends and family without the dreaded slideshow many of us were subjected to following someone's family vacation. The light box and loupe were great for editing out the rejects. Properly setting up a slide projector and screen and then tearing it down repetitively is incredibly inconvenient. Few people have the space for a permanent viewing room. But, as others have pointed out, many slide projectors were sold over the years and those that haven't been left on the curb should be available cheap...if you want to give one a try.
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Old 12-08-2018   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corran View Post
I have never heard such a thing. I would think the color is balanced for daylight, otherwise slides would look strange in daylight, and I don't think that's the case. At least, none of mine ever have. They look just like "real life." That was the whole point?
I am unable to find the original reference offhand, so please just consider the assumption that reversal film was made first and foremost to be projected, and thus optimized for that use. The most reasonable assumption, even without backing documentation (sorry).
Light source/bulbs for projection were “daylight”- ish but the Kelvin color temperature wasn’t what we are accustomed now to hearing is “daylight” which most assume is 5600 K. Projector bulbs were/are in the 3300-3400 K range. Even readily available Osram replacement bulbs for slide projectors, now as LED variants, are made at around 3350 K. I am assuming there is an accuracy reason for that.
When emulsions were formulated Kodak, etc would evaluate how the resulting images looked when projected, not how they looked when you walked outside with a slide in your hand and held it up to the sun and looked at it. Besides, the 5600K number for “daylight” is arbitrary, though necessary for standardization today. Outdoor light, actual daylight, can vary by thousands of degrees Kelvin through the day and location.

But, a nice slide can still look nice regardless of what the transmitted light source, it just won’t look “the same.”
My original point, to the extent there was one, was that projection was the purest way to experience transparency film in the way that the designers of the emulsion intended, though it’s not the only way. Scanning software, digital sensors, Photoshop and other processing software, all have one thing in common, they all have algorithms which interpret color data, and interpret it differently. Nikon color is different from Canon color is different from Fuji color is different from Leica color. Capture One color is different from Lightroom color. And, how’s that monitor configured?
A projected slide is the only way to experience the slide uninterpreted, as engineered. The original SOOC.

That doesn’t mean a good slide can’t be enjoyed other ways.
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Old 12-08-2018   #13
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I actually prefer the handheld viewers to projections

Projectors are dirt cheap tho, unless you're getting a fancy hasselblad or leica
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Old 12-08-2018   #14
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I much prefer the colors of various slide films over any color negative film. I scan now, but I used to make Ilfochromes. Now that's a special look.
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Old 12-08-2018   #15
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I stopped shooting slides after the demise of Cibachrome. The last time I purchased slide film was Velvia 100 a few years ago. Ouch! As Colker said the film is very expensive. It is still in the fridge.

I have scanned some slides from the past and had them printed. Again its an expensive process as I don't have a printer at home. Perhaps if Santa brings me a printer (hope my wife reads this) I'll revisit printing slides.
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Old 12-08-2018   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogman View Post
Properly setting up a slide projector and screen and then tearing it down repetitively is incredibly inconvenient. .
It is?

I guess one of the few advantages of being old is that things everybody knows are inconvenient don’t seem inconvenient to me. It’s easier and quicker than getting into a car and driving to a movie, the only difference being that driving to a movie is what people are used to.
Similarly, when I hear people say that loading a Barnack is difficult, I cannot begin to imagine what they are going on about.

But, I would have to agree with you about being invited over to someone’s house to see their vacation slides, being dreadful. Even that experience taught a valuable photographic lesson though, one that applies to all photography. Any time you can imagine yourself saying to a potential audience, “here’s another one of”, that’s the time to throw the “other one of” in the trash, literal or digital, and not inflict it on others.
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Old 12-08-2018   #17
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Larry, I'm actually older than you. I define something as inconvenient when it takes up any of the valuable time I have left for other things I would rather be doing.
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Old 12-08-2018   #18
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I wonder why there has been a resurgence in slide film with the reintroduction of Ektachrome. If people wanted to shoot slide film, Velvia and Provia have been continuously available to them. I have a feeling people are going to shoot a few rolls of Ektachome just for the heck of it, and then revert back to what they were doing before.
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Old 12-08-2018   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Cloetta View Post
But, I would have to agree with you about being invited over to someone’s house to see their vacation slides, being dreadful. Even that experience taught a valuable photographic lesson though, one that applies to all photography. Any time you can imagine yourself saying to a potential audience, “here’s another one of”, that’s the time to throw the “other one of” in the trash, literal or digital, and not inflict it on others.
Everyone fluffs on an on about how sublime projected slides are, but at the same time remembers how dreadful slide shows were. Ironic. Is Flickr the new slide show?
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Old 12-08-2018   #20
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The color temperature of the bulb is relevant.

Based on replacement bulb specs Kodak projectors use 3350K, Argus 3300K, Agfa 3200K.

330 K is at the cool end of the warm (yellow) Kelvin scale.

The photochemical response for the film dye granules (one formulation for daylight and another for tungsten) are not necessarily the same as the transmission properties of the developed media.
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Old 12-08-2018   #21
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Originally Posted by ptpdprinter View Post
Everyone fluffs on an on about how sublime projected slides are, but at the same time remembers how dreadful slide shows were. Ironic.
The first thing is about color. The second thing is about the frequent poor content, which the most sublime color in the world can’t compensate for.
But poor content isn’t an inherent quality of transparencies.
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Old 12-08-2018   #22
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But poor content isn’t an inherent quality of transparencies.
Point taken, but from attending my share of slide shows, it just seems that way. Also seems from the posts here the experience is almost universal. And I shot slides!
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Old 12-08-2018   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Cloetta View Post
If you want or need color, and you are never going to set up a projector and a decent screen, just shoot C41 or digital. Seems to me. But, if someone enjoys shooting it and scanning it, it keeps it viable a while longer for everyone else, so that’s great.
This was largely my point, someone else sparked the thought when they mentioned (on the new ektachrome thread) that the images being posted here are scans and therefor are not true to the actual film stock considering they have likely been tweaked to match preferences. Something completely magical happens when you look through a slide or see it projected.

side note; my love for that feeling was sparked when I found a beautiful single slide of a woman on the ground somewhere in Paris.
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Old 12-08-2018   #24
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Larry, if slides were meant to show pure "white" when projected by a warm incandescent, the base material would have to be bluish. So I don't agree with your premise on color balance of the slide. But if someone has a source for that, sure I would love to read it. But my slides are perfectly balanced to daylight as far as I can see.
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Old 12-08-2018   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corran View Post
Larry, if slides were meant to show pure "white" when projected by a warm incandescent, the base material would have to be bluish. So I don't agree with your premise on color balance of the slide. But if someone has a source for that, sure I would love to read it. But my slides are perfectly balanced to daylight as far as I can see.
I’ll see what I can do as far as more authoritative sources are concerned. Put it on my list, as my wife says. I don’t doubt that your slides are beautiful to look at, and I tip my hat to anyone who is shooting 8x10 transparencies, and not about to argue with you in any meaningful way as to how to be a better photographer. But, let me ask you this..if you project slides, given the color temp of the light source, do they appear wrong to you? Because they would have apppeared wrong/too yellow to everyone everywhere who ever projected slides.
Different, yes, and I’m not saying it’s a huge difference, but the idea that color reversal emulsions were formulated specifically to not look correct when projected, that seems odd to me on its face.

Interesting topic.
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Old 12-08-2018   #26
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A blast from the past (FWIW):

“ When you shoot color, your final goal is usually a sparkling, detail-rich image on a projection screen. No current color printing process can match the crisp brilliance of a projected image.”

- - Leica equipment catalog, c. 1962
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Old 12-08-2018   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d.dulin View Post
OK, maybe calling one film stock's return a "resurgence" is a stretch, but, slide film (specifically ektachrome) seems to be having its time in the light (no pun intended). But what about viewing slides? It seems -honestly- silly to shoot slide film just to have it scanned, and never view it via projector or in one of those Pana-vue viewers. Would it not seem appropriate for Kodak (or someone) to release a new slide projector/ viewing system? Is it already in the works and I just don't know about it? Is the fate of all (color?) film to be scanned to digital and forgotten in a box? Opinions? Jokes? Snide remarks?
I don't think any company could make a credible business case for producing a new slide projector in 2019 based on predicted consumer trends. But having said that, you don't have to project slides to enjoy them. They look pretty terrific on a light table.
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Old 12-08-2018   #28
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Re: the color temperature of light sources vis a vis color accuracy of viewed color reversal films.....
I have not found my original source from Kodak, but this link does explore the subject a bit. Perhaps too much in the weeds and this one pertains mostly to Kodachrome, but might be helpful...

https://forum.luminous-landscape.com...?topic=50508.0

Need to get back to other chores, but it is an interesting topic.
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Old 12-08-2018   #29
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But back to the original question as to whether Kodak or some other manufacturer might be thinking of producing new slide projectors.
Checking eBay, there was a Leitz 153 ir projector in like new condition with a Leitz Colorplan 90/2.5 lens, three Leitz slide trays, remote and a manual for slightly less than $100, shipped.
That’s not unheard of in terms of availability.
Doubtful any manufacturer is going to look at that, realize what their competion is, and decide to spend millions, possibly, to tool up for all that and then face their shareholders.
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Old 12-08-2018   #30
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I much prefer the colors of various slide films over any color negative film. I scan now, but I used to make Ilfochromes. Now that's a special look.
Especially those super glossy ones. I hated the high gloss ones when I made them in the early 90s, but now I think I could use that super glossy Cibachrome look to my advantage.
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Old 12-08-2018   #31
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I believe ektachrome and slides were meant for .. printing in industrial scale.

Sure.. you could project slides at home but all color advertizing, fashion, magazines etcetera were done with slides. It was corrected for taht kind of use.
Also it meant once the photographer delivers his originals to the art department, bye bye.. You won´t have it for your book project or anything else. It´s gone. Good luck calling whatever company bought the job and asking for the original so you could archive. That´s i believe another important reason which kept color as just a comercial value media while black and white was an artistic medium.
I could not be more happy when i got rid of slides. If at least i had access to kodachrome... but in my country we had ektachromes and fujis on E6 only.. 35mm E6 slides were not good enough for the advertizing business nor magazine covers. We had to shoot 120... not because we liked but because we had to. Yeah... a 120 precisely exposed velvia slide is a thing of beauty bUt it´s a 100 asa film that needs lots of color corrected light. 400 asa on 35mm ektachrome was cool.. and pushed to 800 even better. It was grainy, tinted heavily towards yellow and red and very expressive.. but slides have so many dowwnsides that when i first shot digital color i was almost shouting Hallellujah!!
No.. don´t bring slides back. Those things are horrible.
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Old 12-08-2018   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Cloetta View Post
But back to the original question as to whether Kodak or some other manufacturer might be thinking of producing new slide projectors.
Checking eBay, there was a Leitz 153 ir projector in like new condition with a Leitz Colorplan 90/2.5 lens, three Leitz slide trays, remote and a manual for slightly less than $100, shipped.
That’s not unheard of in terms of availability.
Doubtful any manufacturer is going to look at that, realize what their competion is, and decide to spend millions, possibly, to tool up for all that and then face their shareholders.
Thank you for trying to bring things back full circle. We've learned that some people just can't be bothered with projecting images from slides and that others hate slide film all together — no surprises there. (Those who don't like reversal film just shouldn't shoot it. Problem solved, lol.)

But as far as the OP's original question goes yours is the most logical response of all. Used projector availability certainly extends past Ebay. Just look through craigslist. Even the place where I'm currently having film developed has boxes of used projectors and other associated equipment sitting around for purchase on the cheap.
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Old 12-08-2018   #33
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But, let me ask you this..if you project slides, given the color temp of the light source, do they appear wrong to you? Because they would have apppeared wrong/too yellow to everyone everywhere who ever projected slides.
Back when incandescent bulbs were everywhere, and not supplanted by CFL / LED, the standard in-home color temperature of light was around 2700-3000K. I am sure there are some interesting color science and perceptual studies on this, but as digital camera users know, if you shoot something inside set on "daylight" WB, everything is horrendously yellow. And yet we perceive the incandescent light as relatively "white." Most LED bulbs sold now still balance to around there. I personally have replaced all bulbs in my house with LEDs with 3000K light, which I find pleasing and not fatiguing to live with.

I would assume the same thing happens with projected slides. That said, I believe one article I saw said slide film projector bulbs were actually balanced slightly bluer, to be closer to daylight, but not all the way to ~5500K. I think it said 4000K. Which would probably perceptually look right, especially in a space with incandescent lighting still in use.

I only have an overhead projector, but I could photograph a slide on the projector as well as on my window to get "daylight" balanced backlighting, with the camera set to daylight as a "norm" and post the difference. You are correct about color temp varying during the day but for most of the normal daylight hours it's about 5000-5500K.

Regarding Kodachrome: I have never seen a Kodachrome slide myself. However, I have noticed the persistence of Kodachrome scans to be very bluish. Perhaps there was some truth in what you say, but at a certain time in history?

I figure that no bulb is perfect (discussions of CRI and the like abound when discussing LED) but our eyes correct for a lot of it. Or our brain, I guess. So "seeing" is not necessarily "believing."

Interesting discussion. I have to pull out some of the 35mm slides I have from the estate of a deceased professional photographer...
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Old 12-08-2018   #34
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Funny thing that no one mentions the physical connection to the actual image itself. Long lasting, archival final images that can be seen as originally seen many decades ago with or without a machine. Special look, special experience.

Today, as I look into any one of the many boxes of slides, negatives, prints, cd's, and backup drives, I am drawn to and feel an emotional tie to holding a slide that I loaded and unloaded myself, looked at countless times, and see the fingerprints from all of that image handling. When I pick up an old CD I realize that my MacBook Pro does not have a CD drive, so I skip going back to look at the digital files... too much trouble.

No, slides are not any real trouble to view with a light table, loupe or even a carousel. Decades from now they will be in the same condition as now but I don't think I will find a CD drive to view my digital files.

While most of my work is MF digital, I don't feel any particular connection to the drive it is on. But I really do feel more connected with my slides, and negatives.

I hope in the distant future my grandkids will realize they can touch the same camera and the same film I touched, and my parents touched when making those images many decades before.

I have no idea where the digital images will be by then or if they will even be viewed.
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Old 12-08-2018   #35
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I view my slides with a Kodak Carousel, I know not the best projector but it still works and all my slides are in tray. I also have a really nice screen. You have to love Kodachrome (c1971):

1971-1972 by John Carter, on Flickr
Beautiful image, John!
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Old 12-08-2018   #36
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The two 'Ina' in the foreground were my neighbors in South America. The blondie is my daughter in Ina's backyard. Thanks and thanks to Kodachrome.
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Old 12-08-2018   #37
ChrisPlatt
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35mm slides can be sorted on a light table but it's not satisfying for viewing.
Most small handheld viewers are inconvenient and can distort.

IMO some sort of projector is required.
Kodak Carousels are convenient, affordable, reliable and won't chew up your slides.
My current projector is an Elmo Carousel-style model.

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Old 12-09-2018   #38
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Originally Posted by dave lackey View Post
Funny thing that no one mentions the physical connection to the actual image itself. Long lasting, archival final images that can be seen as originally seen many decades ago with or without a machine. Special look, special experience.

Today, as I look into any one of the many boxes of slides, negatives, prints, cd's, and backup drives, I am drawn to and feel an emotional tie to holding a slide that I loaded and unloaded myself, looked at countless times, and see the fingerprints from all of that image handling. When I pick up an old CD I realize that my MacBook Pro does not have a CD drive, so I skip going back to look at the digital files... too much trouble.

No, slides are not any real trouble to view with a light table, loupe or even a carousel. Decades from now they will be in the same condition as now but I don't think I will find a CD drive to view my digital files.

While most of my work is MF digital, I don't feel any particular connection to the drive it is on. But I really do feel more connected with my slides, and negatives.

I hope in the distant future my grandkids will realize they can touch the same camera and the same film I touched, and my parents touched when making those images many decades before.

I have no idea where the digital images will be by then or if they will even be viewed.
This is why we shoot film!
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Old 12-09-2018   #39
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I have no idea where the digital images will be by then or if they will even be viewed.
Have you considered printing them so that they too are reduced to something physical?
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Old 12-09-2018   #40
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The Kodak slide projectors I have had and used over the years, including the one I have now work well enough if a bit noisy,, but I have used them for many classroom lectures as an adjunct and found them not only convenient but enjoyable.

The heat always bugged me, so I always had duplicate slides made for projecting. The originals were never subjected to fading (or melting if something went wrong )....

I find that slides are wonderful little framed images that I simply enjoy with a loupe. Scanning appears to be an issue with the new Ektachrome, but then, I have never had great results from scanning slides or even color negative film.

Perhaps if I had been able to afford a high-end scanner, I would have enjoyed that part more. But then, when one can have professional prints made directly from slide film, I am not sure why I would bother to scan while looking for an exact match with the slide. So I don't. I treat each scanned image as a different file and apply what processing works best for my eye.

I have been very happy with the results of that approach.

As for new scanners? I never say never (in absolute terms). But it does seem unlikely.
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