LEICA M 240 Is it the new Kodachrome?

Yes! I think it is. As a sports photographer, Kodachrome 64 was my film of choice for any outdoor events,  and I would use around 2500 to 3000 rolls a year. For major tennis events I would take around 250 rolls of 64 Kodachrome and later when it came out I also took about 30 rolls of Kodachrome 200 for bad weather. I was never a fan of Kodachrome 25, it didn’t seem to have the “earthy realism” of the 64 asa emulsion. With 300 mm f2.8 lenses and 400 f2.8 lenses Kodachrome was  the film to use for magazines, posters and other publications.

Now that Kodachrome is no longer with us, it was difficult to get the “earthy realism” I required with my other digital cameras. Then came the Leica M 240 and there it is  . . . Kodachrome style images. The pictures below show the characteristics of Kodachrome 64. They are not too bright like Velvia, to me they are just right. Kodachrome was a contrasty film and require very accurate exposures to avoid blocking up the shadows and because of this it was very difficult to produce duplicate slides from Kodachrome originals. Now in the digital age every copy is as good as the original.

The pictures below show a contrast similar to Kodachrome and hold the shadow detail because of exposure accuracy. So let’s get to the pictures . . .

All pictures shot on a Leica M 240 with Leica lenses. The Leica lenses contribute to the feel of the picture just as much as the sensor software does.

Exposure important to be able to hold shadow detail. a real Kodachrome looking image.

Exposure critical or you would not be able to read the sign at the front of the church.

Great looking building, ugly sign post. A real Kodachrome feel to it.

This is very much a Kodachrome type image, not too bright and saturated but realistic to the place it was taken.

This picture is an example where correct exposure is essential, the contrast adds some drama to the picture but must have shadow detail to be effective.



About Roger

Roger Gould, Australian international sports and advertising photographer has worked on assignment for some of the worlds leading magazines. he emerged from photographing record covers of rock and roll musicians to start one of Australia's first specialist sport press agencies, photographing tennis, cricket, golf, football as well as the Olympic and Commonwealth Games. Roger is a past President of the International Tennis Photographer's Association and has conducted photography seminars for Kodak in many countries. He currently works in aerial and advertising photography.
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