Kodachrome 2017 - In COLOR!

As dusk descended upon the historic town of Frederick, the man set his trusty 1947 vintage Kodak Bantam atop his tripod facing a scene of increasing darkness along Carroll Creek and fired off his last shot of the roll of Kodachrome 828 film, experimenting with a setting of 10 secconds at f/11 and drew his photographic day to a close.  The day had been a long one, starting off with delays and disruption from livestock on the B&O Railroad line linking Frederick with Washington, DC, but had managed to improve quite a bit, turning out to be an unseasonably warm Winter's day with vivid blue skies.  Returning home, he unloaded the film from the Bantam and prepared to mail the parcel off to be developed in the hopes he had made the proper exposure calls through his sojourn of the day so as to get some rich color slides back from the 828 Kodachrome.

Reading the narrative above, one might think it depicts a time long passed in settings vastly different in appearance than they are today, but this in fact a condensed retelling of the events I experienced on January 25, 2017.

Yes, you read that title right.  Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, it is possible to shoot Kodachrome again and get results in color!

Just what is this you are looking at?  Read on! (Photo by Kelly-Shane Fuller)


Svelte in Steel: The Minolta Vectis 300

It may be the three letters that the film photographic community wishes to forget the most, or at least the three letters that have been most forgotten...


Promised to be the next generation of film format that would be able to adopt all that technology had to offer at the time, the Advanced Photo System, which debuted in 1996, turned out to be much ado about nothing.  Largely aimed at the casual consumer market, the 24mm wide film format enabled multiple print formats from the same roll, title and data printing on print backs, mid-roll changes, and data exchanges for optimal print quality.

After a somewhat rocky start of getting the infrastructure in place to APS film across the country, the APS film format briefly made inroads into share of the film photography market in the late 1990's, before the full scale advent of consumer digital camera imaging, which tore deeply into its market share.  The film format officially held on to about 2011 before being discontinued.  

The reasons for the failure of APS are many, and since the internet has been around for its entire history, there is much written online to document the timeline of the rise and fall of the format. Today, there is little in the way of nostalgia for the format; in fact there is often downright resentment for it being a "gimmick" to which the camera and film manufactures placed their attention instead of the existing formats.  Still, some of the best features of the format made their way into the last models of 35mm cameras, or were adopted and refined in digital formats popular today.  

While a handful of consumers may stubbornly shoot their APS cameras and remaining stock, there seems little in the way of nostalgia for the format or the cameras which defined it.  The result is that for the savvy shooter, there are a nice mix of interesting bargains available in APS.  Film of still quite usable vintage can be had for under $3 per roll online, while some nicely featured APS cameras are a great bargain on the used market.  This is just one such camera...