I fell in love with Ektachrome Type G when I was shooting in super-8 in the late 1970s and 1980s.

My understanding is that it was developed by Kodak for those consumers who could not remember, or understand how, to change the daylight/tungsten switch built into super-8 cameras that would put the appropriate filter in place, or not, and whose use was required by most super-8 color stocks. So Kodak was also able to market a camera designed for use with G without the switch.


It's true that G was balanced somewhere between daylight and tungsten, but it was much more interesting than that: daylight did not look too blue, nor did tungsten look too warm. Depending on your requirements, it would be possible to really hate the color; compared to Kodachrome, when photographing living things, it had a vaguely sickly look. That's what I loved about it. Stefan guesses right in that it was especially interesting with fluorescents. An interior with daylight and several types of artificial light, a twilight street scene with daylight, street lamps, store windows, and some fluorescents would show G at its best. Sunlit pictures of the new baby in a green garden would look a bit weird, even muddy. And it was fairly grainy, very grainy compared to Kodachrome.

The loss of all those old emulsions, each different, Ektacrome G, Ektacrhome SM, Ektachrome ER, Ektachrome MS, Ektacrhome EF, the strange stocks made by Ansco, of course Kodachrome, the Kodachrome-like ECO/7387 printing system, has robbed filmmakers of what was once a very rich palette. Perhaps a software engineer somewhere is working on an Ektachrome G "filter" for digital video...

Fred Camper
Chicago
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