K25 Film

While going through some old slides — yes, slides…you remember those little film snippets? — I came across this 1982 Kodachrome 25 image of American elms, taken on a winter twilight.  For all you youngsters out there this was an ISO 25 film, and was recognized as one of the sharpest, finest grained films around.  This piece of film, or one of the duplicate frames I shot on location, was professionally scanned when I first stared using Photoshop in early 1994.

American elms at winter twilight, K25.

American elms at winter twilight, K25.

But today when I inspect the scanned image at 100%…well, it is a sharp film but look at the grain.

Kodachrome 25, 100% crop.

Kodachrome 25, 100% crop.

Times have certainly changed.  With my current cameras I routinely use ISOs five or six stops higher, and see less noise than the grain showing in this K25 image.  Of course, back when I started, high-speed Ektachrome was all of ISO 160, with special push processing available to get to 400.  I have to say it, I don’t miss using film.


  1. Dave Spindle August 6, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    While I also do not miss using film, I will always have fond memories of K25. What a beautiful film!

  2. Abdolreza Kazemi August 7, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    this image is 5 years older than me…
    i only use film for few years but i am agree with you in this…
    thank you john for sharing all of this with us.
    i hope you continue….

  3. Kuryan Thomas August 10, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

    I agree that I don’t miss film either, but looking at the 100% version, I see some pretty visible sharpening halos. Is it possible that the film scan had the sharpening set too high?

  4. Adam Knolla October 11, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

    I think I remember this image from one of your books. I don’t miss film either, but I’m glad I started with it, as I feel like i take more care with my photography in general, compared to the new generation of digital “photographers” with their point and shoots, and cell phone cameras.