Re-exploring Film: Part Two - Colour Reversal

As previously mentioned, my other film of choice are colour reversal films (also known as slide film) - in this case Kodak Ektachrome. As the name suggests, colour reversal films produce a positive image rather than the typical negative one which makes them perfect for projecting either as still photographs or videos. Variants of colour reversal have been around for a long time but were made accessible by Kodak with their 35mm Kodachrome film in 1936.

I first used colour reversal film during my time studying photography at college and immediately loved the vibrant colours they produced. Unfortunately however, I have lost all of my slides so I am unable to share them with you (I’m sure they were terrible anyway!), but I do have a collection from my grandparents which were all shot in the 60’s during a period when colour reversal was at its peak. Accessible projectors were to thank for this as slide shows were a much cheaper and eventful way of showing off your photographs rather than the costly expense of printing and displaying them all.

60 years later, colour reversal films are about the most expensive film you can buy starting at around £17 for a single roll of 35mm. Developing them isn’t cheap either as they require many more chemicals than black and white film, and have more room for error too, which is why I will be sending mine to a lab.

I have however managed to find a couple of Leitz (or Leica) projectors which are a great way of viewing the resulting slides and also matches my other Leica darkroom equipment. These were a bargain at about £20 a unit and although I don’t have any of my own slides to view yet, it’s been enjoyable viewing those of my grandparents.

I own a relatively budget 35mm film scanner, but I plan on experimenting with new methods and equipment in order to achieve the best possible digitalised photographs from the slides. Please let me know if you have any affordable methods that work for you!