Kodachrome Secrets

Discussion in 'Silver Gelatin Based Emulsion Making & Coating' started by Mustafa Umut Sarac, Jun 20, 2007.

  1. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Photo Engineer , Do you know the secrets of kodachrome ? Can you post whatever you know about the greatest film ?

    Best ,

    Mustafa Umut Sarac
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    There are none. That is the secret.

    It is a set of B&W emulsions processed in a B&W first developer and 3 color developers. If the old color developers are used the old color gamut is attained, and if the new color developers are used, the new gamut is attained.

    Nothing magic about it.

    It can be done at home, and you can even duplicate it using tricolor exposures on TriX Pan and 3 color developers then laminating the film together.

    No magic, just hard work.

    PE
     
  3. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    Darn Photo Engineer you gave away the only 'secret' I know about Kodachrome.

    Happy B&W shooting. Grin.
     
  4. dmr

    dmr Member

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    I'm not a technogeek by any means, but a totally fascinating description of Kodachrome, and of Kodachrome K14 processing is in a set of documents describing the theory and operation of the K-Lab processor, the machine that does, or did K14 processing. I thought I had it bookmarked here, but apparently not. Google it. If you can't find it I may have it bookmarked on the machine at work.
     
  5. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    DMR;

    There are the patents to read as well. I don't have the references here, but they give the entire process that can be used.

    PE
     
  6. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Mustafa,

    The fascinating thing about Kodachrome (1st version) to me is that, after chromogenic development of all three layers with the same coupler, by sheer control of diffusing time of a dye-bleaching solution it could be achieved that one single layer was spared. Then doing it all over again…
     
  7. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Photo Engineer , Are patents from Kodak ? There are 7000000 patents at uspto and hundreds may be thousand of them using kodachrome term.
    I think I am interested in 3 color developers. Can you write more and give us specific patent class least for this process. Or you can copy and paste from united states patent office lists as a reference ? There are zillions of chemicals and your eye can select them.
    I want to do this at home and i need your guide.
     
  8. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Laminating ? I worked at a company which uses 4 color process proofer with heat lamination. I made hundreds of 2 meter long proofs. I think you are pointing this technology.
     
  9. dmr

    dmr Member

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    Actually, I have followed a couple of your previously posted patent links.

    The problem with the patent docs is that you have to be a, well, uh, photo engineer to get the most out of them. :smile: I'm certainly not one. :smile:

    Out of your posts and the on-line documents, I have however developed a strong appreciation for the precision that goes into creating the film and processing it with such stunning results.

    I find the Kodachrome process fascinating. The precision at which the re-exposures are done without contaminating the other layers, the color developers, etc., all with very consistent results.

    Now, from reading the notes on the coating workshops, and how difficult it is to get a single layer coating, B&W only, it just boggles my mind to look at how many layers there are in Kodachrome (or Ektachrome or C41) and the precision by which those must have to be applied for such consistent results.

    Another thing that totally fascinates me (yeah, a bit off topic for this thread) is how the CD3/CD4 reacts to produce the correctly colored oxides or whatever the end result of the color development process is, and to have accurate and stable colors as well.

    These are all above my head a bit, but I admit some awe and fascination with them. :smile:
     
  10. dmr

    dmr Member

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    Sorry for monopolizing this thread, but here's the link I referred to earlier:

    http://www.kodak.com/global/en/service/Zmanuals/z50.shtml

    Part 3 is the one that goes into the nuts and bolts about Kodachrome and how the K14 process works.

    One very fascinating thing is the description on how to salvage a customer's film during a malfunction using a "trouble bucket", but I don't know how successful that actually is.
     
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The entire process is given in a patent to Bent and Mowrey of Eastman Kodak. In this, the CD-6 developer is disclosed.

    You will note that the patent has been abandoned (thereby donating it to the public).

    PE
     
  12. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Mustafa,

    before you are going to follow the paths of Mannes and Godowsky, don't forget that you have a lot of image diffusion transfers to do...
    I just did that post on Polaroid.
     
  13. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Leadly and Stegmeyer disclose a method of making tricolor separations that can be combined into Kodachrome type transparencies.

    PE
     
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  15. John Shriver

    John Shriver Member

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    US Patent 3,658,525.
     
  16. Neanderman

    Neanderman Member

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    They abandoned this in 1975, a mere 3 years after its granting. So what didn't work in it? :smile:
     
  17. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    It is fully implemented in the current Kodachrome process. I have no information on why it was abandoned. The patent was on the yellow layer color developing agent, CD-6. There were several patents on this developing agent.

    PE
     
  18. Craig

    Craig Subscriber

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    There could be many reasons for abandoning a patent. In Kodak's case, it could be that they perceved a lack of competition, thus no need to keep the patent valid. Since they have the patent issued, no one else could patent it, so Kodak is free to use it as they see fit. All that changed is that they are no longer claiming a mononply on it.

    Perhaps they didn't feel it was worth paying the maintenaince fees?
     
  19. wirehead

    wirehead Member

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    Maybe to avoid anti-trust difficulties?
     
  20. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Craig;

    The maintenance fees on all of the EK patents is a yearly killer in the budget, and so if there is no competition they will not maintain the patent. Since they decided not to use CD-6 in Ektachrome E6 nor in RA chemistry, it was therefore used only in Kodachrome. And, that is about the year that Fuji begain withdrawing from Kodachrome.

    PE
     
  21. Craig

    Craig Subscriber

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    That makes perfect sense, and is likely the reason for the patent being abandoned, as the first maintenaince fee is due at 3.5 years from issuance. The fees increase as the patent ages, so it would be logical for EK to review each patent for usefulness before paying the fees.
     
  22. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    This does highlight two important points.

    1. There are no secrets to Kodachrome. It is free for the taking if you can get the chemicals and it can be home processed.

    2. There is no competition nor interest in it by anyone but Kodak, and the customer base is decreasing. (it is not the other way around as I have pointed out before - Kodak even developed that 400 speed Kodachrome and was met with frank indifference in the market to any 'improved' Kodachromes in the late 80s)

    PE
     
  23. Earl Dunbar

    Earl Dunbar Member

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    That (no interest in improved/400 Kodachrome) is really sad.
     
  24. Neanderman

    Neanderman Member

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    Thanks for that info. I have to admit that I wasn't aware there were maintenance fees on patents. That puts it into a whole different light.

    Ed
     
  25. Neanderman

    Neanderman Member

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    So what can you tell us about the manufacturing? How many layers make up Kodachrome?

    Also, I heard stories about the process being a nightmare to monitor -- not only temperatures that have to be held sometimes to +/- 0.05 degrees, but pH, specific gravity, etc. One story was that you essentially had to have a degreed chemist on staff to run a line.

    I also got the impression that Kodak didn't sell the chemicals "ready mixed", that you essentially had to compound each solution.

    And, finally, no one else has mentioned the coincidence of the last name of the co-author of USP 3,658,525...

    TIA

    Ed
     
  26. Craig

    Craig Subscriber

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    That patent describes Kodachrome processing. I must admit I wouldn't want to have to make those chemicals from scratch, but then I'm not a chemist either.