Discontinued Types of Slide Film
With a Look to the Future
2014 September 2 Film How-To & Miscellaneous
Elite Chrome Extra Color 100
photographed on Elite Chrome 100;
"scanned" with this
We're going to look at some discontinued types of slide film.
Some of these films are still around on the secondary market, mostly
from other photographers' stashes. Several of the Kodak
slide films were still being made through 2012; Ektachrome was re-introduced in late 2018.
I'm also going to talk about shooting expired slide film.
For currently-made slide film, see this article.
This article exists only with the support of readers like you,
when you use the links on here to buy your cameras and film.
Your support is much appreciated and helps me bring you new articles and reviews.
In This Article:
Ektachrome - but it was Reintroduced In 2018!
Elite Chrome Extra Color
Other Discontinued Films
Shooting Expired Slide Film
famous Kodachrome was actually a black and white film. That may
sound hard to believe, but yes: it was intrinsically black and
white. The special processing, known as K-14, imparted the colors
The K-14 color process is no more, but there are still places that will process Kodachrome as a black & white slide film.
I haven't sat and pored over the tech documents and patents, but
Kodachrome was almost certainly inspired by the old Trichrome photo
process. A camera was used to take three black-and-white photos
of the same subject. Each photo used a different color filter,
which emphasized various tones. Projecting these through the same
red, green, and blue filters, superimposing the
images on a wall, made a full-color picture. Ingenious!
There were trichrome photos as far back as 1902 or '03. The
best-known of the early pioneers was Russian photographer Sergei
The early color photos actually had to be projected onto a wall, using
Kodachrome offered something completely
unheard-of: combining the colors into one
transparency. No special viewer was required, just an
ordinary white-light projector.
This famous color slide film was introduced in 1935 and was still being made
and processed until 2010. Now it's history.
This film was actually brought back in 2018, so it's not really discontinued... although the old Ektachrome was only sold until 2012. So, what you'll read past this point is historical for 2012-2017, even though as of early 2019 you can buy Ektachrome again. Excellent!!
After Kodachrome there were attempts to create a simplified process for color slides.
This required new and different films. There was a series of
now-defunct processes, beginning in the Forties with E-2, then going
through E-3 and E-4.
The best-known is E-6, a process we still have today. The reason E-6 took off so well was its very low toxicity
and its relative simplicity.
The original E-6 film was Kodak Ektachrome.
There were and still are others, but it was Kodak that introduced the process.
As much as Kodachrome was iconic and all that, Ektachrome was really
just as significant. E-6 was introduced in the late
Seventies; by the early Eighties many photographers had already
A few years ago it didn't seem like such a big deal to shoot
Ektachrome, until Kodak discontinued it in 2012.
Now, looking back, it feels as if we were somehow part of this
historical golden age of photography. (But thanks to Fuji and
perhaps one or two other companies, slide film is still current.)
Up until about 2012 there were at least two versions of Ektachrome: E100G and E100VS.
E100G was the ordinary, neutral slide film. It was a very good film,
but I never shot enough E100G. That's probably because Elite Chrome (see below) was almost as good and cost
E100VS was Kodak's answer to Velvia. The VS stood for "Very
Saturated". E100VS was pretty great stuff. I
liked Elite Chrome Extra Color, but here I actually preferred the
At that point, Ektachrome was the "pro" film that was
sold from the cooler, while Elite Chrome was the "consumer" film that
sat on the regular shelves. (Then again, some boxes of Elite Chrome said "Professional" on them.)
My favorite all-around 35mm slide film was actually Kodak Elite Chrome 100,
also called EB100.
Like Astia and Provia (from Fuji), Elite Chrome didn't max out on the
saturation. It instead went for a more neutral or realistic look.
That doesn't mean it wasn't colorful, though; many of my favorite sky & sunset photos were taken with Elite Chrome 100.
Elite Chrome 100 was actually my go-to slide film most of
the time. That, or EBX100 (which we'll talk about soon). Even though I've said
it's better to start out with a high-saturation slide and turn down the
sat later, I think what I liked so much about Elite Chrome was that it
was cheap (and great). It had really nice tones.
Kodak Elite Chrome 100
I still shoot Elite Chrome 100 (EB100) when I can find rolls that
aren't far out of date. EB100 offers a look similar to the
best Nikon full-frame DSLR's, but I prefer the slide film's colors and tones.
Actually, these scans are kind of a poor representation of the slide
film, because the flatbed scanner increased the contrast too much and
lost quite a bit of the shadow range. One of these days I may update
these with proper scans.
Elite Chrome 100
Once again, if the scans look a bit soft (and the shadows a bit dark), it's the scanner. A V700 or V750
scanner is a definite step up from what I was using. If you use Windows / Mac only, I'd also look into the Plustek OpticFilm scanners. Or, use this method.
The key thing to remember is that slides have the detail for when scanning
technology improves. And you don't need a computer to see what's on them!
Elite Chrome 100
Kodak stopped making the ISO 200 version of Elite Chrome (as of 2011 they were still making Elite Chrome 100), but I got
a couple rolls of expired / old stock. Old slide film can acquire
color casts, but these can be fixed at scan time. Magenta cast is the most common.
Here's one that reminds me of Kodachrome. This lot of Elite
Chrome 200 had probably sat in the heat somewhere, so I had to turn
down the magenta quite a bit:
Elite Chrome 200
These old lots of Elite Chrome 200, which are still on the market
occasionally, can have that really "vacation-y" look because of the red
cast. (Just keep in mind that hard-expired slide film is
dicey. I had a roll of Ektachrome from like 1985 that was sitting
in a desk drawer all this time, and when I got it back from the lab,
the whole roll was clear. )
It's hard to convey the beauty of slides in a bunch of 600-pixel JPG
scans for the web. If you really want to know the best of
photography, view some favorite slides on a light table or through a projector.
Elite Chrome Extra Color
There was an improved version of Elite Chrome, called "Elite
Chrome Extra Color"
or EBX 100. It was Kodak's answer to Fuji Velvia, and like Velvia, it had increased
saturation. I liked EBX 100 better than Velvia for some things. The color was
amazing. This was a professional film; I'm pretty
sure another name for it was "Elite Chrome Pro".
Like most slide film, you'd get even better
saturation by underexposing 1/3 of a stop.
Elite Chrome 100 Extra Color
Choosing the right scenery could give you skies like the one shown above, without the need for alpha channel
layering, freehand selecting, thresholding, and other
manipulations. And, you have the slide for your archives.
Slide film may have less dynamic range than negative film, but it still
handles bright areas much better than digital. Sun in the frame
looks so much more natural and smooth. Actually, I've found by doing DSLR slide capture
that slides have more dynamic range than a DSLR does. The
slides look much better on a light table than they do in the
scans. The real slides have much more shadow detail than you see in most of these
Elite Chrome Extra Color
I don't know what the odds are of someone bringing back the discontinued Kodak slide films, but
the E-6 process is still around, and I think if people knew how good
slides are, there would be the demand for it.
Update 2018: Kodak Alaris announced in 2017 that they're bringing back Ektachrome!! This is one of the best things possible.
Here's one I wouldn't even try with digital: a shaded background
with someone wearing white in the sun. Lighting-wise, it's
a lot like what you have in Camera versus Log. That's a place digital doesn't like to go.
I didn't notice what the light meter was saying here, but the
gentleman's shirt is obviously quite a few stops brighter than the
background. Although slide film has narrower range than negative
film, the slide handled the range pretty well. When the highlights do start
to wash out, you get that smooth roll-off instead of a shelf-like
Elite Chrome Extra Color
Elite Chrome 100 Extra Color
Fujichrome Astia was actually a better film than Provia, but
unfortunately it wasn't different enough to be recognized as
such. Astia photos had more red-magenta in them, whereas Provia
has more of that blue-green color balance.
Nikon digital photos also tend to have a slight blue-green color
balance. Maybe some people like this better for landscapes;
I don't know (I like film... and Canon).
I think Fujifilm should have kept Astia instead of Provia.
However, they probably chose the one that was selling
better. Perhaps not enough people knew why Astia was
different, or even that it was different. Or, like I said, Provia
may have been chosen simply because it looks more like what you get
from a digital camera.
I've used Astia to photograph fireworks with a Holga. Great stuff, and greatly to be missed. But at least there's still Provia. And I guess if you want the Astia look, you can always warm up the scans a bit with your editing software.
Until this film was officially discontinued in 2013, Provia 400X was
the fastest slide film available. It could be pushed to ISO 1600
or even 3200 with very little loss of quality.
It's also good for daylight shots, but with the high prices of
remaining 400X, it's probably better to save it for dim lighting
situations where other slide films would require a tripod. ISO
400 is also good for night sky photography with a wide-angle lens.
Nikkor 28-85 f/3.5-4.5
There are still rolls of Provia 400X available sometimes through this link. (Please help support my site by getting any of your stuff, not just film, through any of these links.)
Time to enlarge that freezer stash of film! Provia 400X is sometimes offered at ridiculous prices, but it's out there for reasonable if you keep looking.
Other Discontinued Slide Films
If you count re-branded slide films, there were actually quite a
I'm not sure how many companies actually manufactured film. There
was at least Kodak, Fujifilm, Agfa, and Ferrania / 3M / Imation.
3M / Imation had "Scotch Chrome". ORWO and GAF also had their own slide films. However, the ORWO needs a special developer (not E6 or C41), and most of the GAF slide film that I see is way expired.
Even Polaroid had one or two slide film offerings ("Polachrome").
Scotch Chrome may be making a comeback, courtesy of Ferrania. (See below.)
Not too long ago there was Konica R100, a.k.a. Konica Chrome. I
don't see this one very often; if you can find it for sale, it seems to be from the late 90's and early 2000's.
Shooting Expired Slide Film
First, be aware that slide film doesn't have the shelf life of C-41 (color negative) film.
Expired C-41 film from the mid to late Eighties can still produce pictures. Extremely grainy, but still there.
Previously I mentioned what happened when I tried some Ektachrome from
the same time period. No pictures; just clear, blank
film. This film had not been cold-stored. It just sat in a
desk drawer all those years.
I've heard that older E-6 film has a
better chance of yielding images when cross-processed (C-41), but I
haven't yet bothered to test this.
It's very important to store slide film in the cold.
At least use a refrigerator, but the freezer is better.
Slide film in the freezer can last for at least ten or
twenty years. The only thing that affects it here is the natural
background radiation. There are high-energy protons and atomic nuclei
from space. There's also the scattered radiation that's produced
when these particles interact with other matter. Some of it could
be shielded, perhaps. Most building and packaging materials also
emit small amounts of natural radiation, so it's probably not possible
to get 100% shielding.
Over many years, even cold-stored film is going to lose contrast.
It also becomes more grainy. Most slide film is ISO 50 or
100, so this should last the longest. Fast films have a shorter
Shooting recently-expired slide film is a great way to diversify your
artistic palette. However, most of my film shooting is with
current-make slide film. I believe in sending the message that
there is still demand for modern slide films.
And no matter how I try, I find that even the best digital cameras
can't quite duplicate the look. Even if full-frame DSLR's
were less than $1,000, slide film would still offer qualities worth having. I, for one, would still prefer it.
It's not strictly nostalgia here. There are still slide films being made.
There's Fujichrome Velvia 50, Velvia 100, and Provia 100F.
There's also Agfa Precisa 100, Lomography Color Slide X-Pro 200, and
Rollei Crossbird and Digibase.
There's also a recent announcement that Ferrania will be making film again. They are supposed to be starting with an ISO 100 slide film. This is incredibly good news!
This has been a look at some discontinued slide films.
As we've seen here and in the main slide film article, there are also slide films still being made.
There have been a lot of people predicting the imminent demise of slide
film since at least 2001.
Just about everyone who was going to "switch to digital" has already done
so; now, people are starting to get into film again.
These are exciting times to be a film photographer. If you haven't tried slide film yet, now's a great time to start. Read my "Getting Started in Film" guide, and have yourself some fun. That article also lists some pro labs that do E-6 process.
These days I purchase slide film through Amazon and Ebay. Please
help keep my site going by using these links to buy your stuff.
It doesn't cost you any extra, and it allows me to keep bringing you helpful articles like this one.
You can get Velvia 100 through this link. (Individual rolls here.) For low-light portraits and street photography, you might even still find someProvia 400X.
I don't care what "everybody" is saying, this is a great time to be a film photographer.
Long live film!
I hope you enjoyed this article.
Have a good one,
o.t o .1 2 0 s t u d i o.. c o m
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How To Scan Slides With a DSLR
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