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I have 2 rolls of K-14 movie film that have sat undeveloped since the mid 70's. Who can develop this now in color?

These undeveloped home movies have apparently sat in the can unprocessed since about 1974 or so. (I expect there may be some fading if developed from age.)

I understand that Kodak discontinued the chemicals for processing this film and the last K-14 film to be commercially processed in color was in 2011. I have read online that people, Kelly-Shane Fuller, have attempted to recreate the processing. (He apparently only works with still photography.)

I also read about Adrian Cousins, who posts here occasionally, developing Kodachrome movies in color.

Since the process was created by someone working in a photo lab by hand, it can obviously be replicated.

How do I get in touch with Adrian Cousins or someone else who can process my family film?

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    Everytime this comes up (and I'm still amazed at how often it comes up), I have to do a literal facepalm. Your film was exposed almost 50 years ago. Nobody bothered to get it developed. That kind of indicates to me that nobody thought it was worth developing. Why try to achieve the impossible now? Or, if it was worth developing, why are people waiting 50 years to do it? :facepalm: – osullic Sep 2 at 22:20
  • Obviously, I didn't shoot the film. I just learned of it and the problem. The process was originally discovered by a guy working in a small photo lab, and people like Kelly-Shane Fuller and Adrian Cousins have rediscovered it. I am trying to find someone who will do this. Adrain Cousins stated, " The oldest Kodachrome I've sucessfully reversal processed expired in 1968." Mine is newer than that. – CROGO Sep 2 at 22:35
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Outline of steps / times / temperatures K-14

  1. Removable Jet Black Backing (Rem-Jet) Removal 10 seconds ambient temp subsequently buff-off

  2. Rinse 15 seconds @ 85° -2 +15

  3. First Developer MQ formula 2 minutes 0 seconds 99°F ± 0.05

  4. Wash 45 seconds 85° ± 2

  5. Red light fogging Corning 2403 filter 2.5 millimeters distance 1000 micro-watt second per sq cm

  6. Cyan developer 2 minutes 0 seconds 100°F± 0.1

  7. Wash 2 minutes 100°F± 0.1

  8. Blue light fogging Fish-Schuman LB3 2.2 millimeters distance 230micro-watt second per sq cm

  9. Yellow Developer 4 minutes 0 seconds 100°F± 0.1

  10. Wash 2 minutes 100°F± 0.1

  11. Magenta developer + chemical foggient 100°F± 0.1

  12. Wash 2 minutes 100°F± 0.1

  13. Conditioner 1 minute 0 seconds ambient temperature

  14. Bleach 5 minutes 0 seconds 100°F± 0.1

  15. Fixer 3 minutes 0 seconds 100°F± 0.1

  16. Wash 2 minutes 100°F± 0.1

  17. Rinse 1 minute 0 seconds ambient temperature

  18. Dry 105°F ± 5

All the needed chemicals are easy to find except: Kodak Dye Coupling Agents Kodak coupler C-16, (N-[o-acetamido phenethyl]-1-hydroxy-2-napthamide) Kodak coupler M-38, (1-phenyl-3-[3,4-dichlorobenamido]-5-pyrazolone) Kodak coupler Y-54, (Alpha-benzoyl-o-methoxy acetanilide

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  • Thank you for the instructions. I have shot film for years, but I have never developed any of it myself. I don't think this is the place to start. If it is this easy, then someone should be doing this and making some money from it. Where can I find such a perosn? – CROGO Sep 2 at 19:33
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    So, the summary of this answer is to use easy-to-find chemicals alongside impossible-to-find chemicals. Unless you have a time machine, I think this answer is only useful as a curiosity of obsolete information. – osullic Sep 2 at 22:18
  • At 82 and licensed to process K-14 I am obsolete Alan Marcus – Alan Marcus Sep 2 at 22:22
  • Alan Marcus is not obsolete! How do I send you the film? – CROGO Sep 2 at 22:29
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    Establishing a 100°F +/- 0.1 (!!!) regimen sounds HARD. – rackandboneman Sep 3 at 3:39
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The canonical answer is that these can only be developed as black and white, negatives or reversal positives, outside of experimental processes that I wouldn't recommend you try with your home movies.

Beyond that, however, there's the issue of remjet. The remjet antihalation layer isn't terribly difficult to remove on fresh-dated films like Visions3 (which is fairly often used by still photographers, even without Cinestill's "premoval" treatment). My experience, however, is that removing the remjet from older film is more prone to problems, especially if you intend to use a reversal process to get positive film you an project.

There are labs around that offer B&W negative process for older color films, and can handle remjet reliably for Kodachrome stills; the processing is expensive and slow, but unlikely to further damage your film the way an experimental Kodachrome process might.

The other advantage of a B&W negative process is that age fogging (almost certain in your case) is slightly less prone to completely destroy the latent images, and you get a chance during digitization and reversal to adjust the brightness and contrast to have the best chance to produce watchable video.

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  • Can you please explain, "age fogging"? I assume it the deterioration with age. Can it too be reduced with digitization and fine tuning? – CROGO Sep 2 at 19:20
  • Silver halide becomes "exposed" over time, both from thermal effects and from background radiation. This process competes with latent image fading -- generally slow films with poor latent image retention will fog less over time than faster films that hold latent image well. Temperature affects these processes, too -- frozen film generally lasts longer than film at room temperature (at the least, freezing will reduce thermal degradation). – Zeiss Ikon Sep 2 at 19:22
  • Thanks! The second part is can the fogging be reduced or eliminated through digitization and editing? I am also aware that other commentors have noted elsewhere that processing "color" film (actually three layers of B+W) in B+W results in an alternate image, not simply a diminished image. However "experimental" the reverse engineering of the color developing process is, it is at least in color, which could be later digitized, and tweaked with software. That was my plan, if I can find someone to do this. – CROGO Sep 2 at 19:30
  • It's color, unless it's nothing, or very badly wrong color. There are color errors (crossover, for instance) that are almost impossible to correct even in software. The "alternate" image you mention is just a B&W negative vs. a color positive. Also, Kodachrome has a silver filter layer, which must be bleached away to produce even usable B&W images. Bottom line, processing as a B&W negative or positive is at least reasonably possible and has less risk to the images still latent on the film than an attempt with recreated K-14. – Zeiss Ikon Sep 3 at 11:08
  • OK, thanks. So what makes something "recreated K-14" vs. authentic K-14 processing? Alan Marcus has posted the process above which was patented in 1930's, so it needed to have been documented. According to him, there are only three Kodak couplers that are difficult to find. I have a competent chemical engineer in the famly who could make them if needed. What is the risk if the right chemicals are used, vs. substitutes? – CROGO Sep 3 at 12:05

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