Lookin' old...

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Ed_Davor, Feb 13, 2006.

  1. Ed_Davor

    Ed_Davor Member

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    Which color film in your opinion (chrome or print) films
    looks most "retro", if you know what I mean?

    Now I don't mean in terms of grain and image quality, but in terms of
    "vintage" looking tones

    Kodachrome doesn't count
     
  2. eumenius

    eumenius Member

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    Maybe some Fuji negs like NPS160 with some light amber filter? :smile: To me, AGFA RSX50 was the most retro-looking one, but where it is today? :sad:
     
  3. Ed_Davor

    Ed_Davor Member

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    I never used the AGFA you mentioned..

    My opinion is Ektachrome 100, 64/64T, 160T
    These look very 80's to me.
     
  4. fparnold

    fparnold Member

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    Polite request: The 80s aren't vintage yet. Some of us don't really need to feel that old today.

    On a more serious note, if I use old NG and a few family slides as models, then maybe try pushing Astia + adding a warming filter?

    As I posted in another thread, Kodak claims that the 160T is the same film as the 1980s version. The Ektrachrome 64 probably is as well. Add a slight warming filter to counteract the old Ektachrome blue, and you might get a look similar to old Kodachrome.

    The Agfa was nice stuff; very life-like, very restrained palette. Sic transit gloria mundi.
     
  5. boyooso

    boyooso Member

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    I have a few ideas how to do it with any film.

    I would recommend stressing the film, leave it in the hot hot car.

    Also, use old uncoated optics, that tends to do something strange.

    Also, having he control to change color balance yourself will help a great deal.

    Or use a light sepia filter.

    Just a few ideas,

    Corey
     
  6. Ed_Davor

    Ed_Davor Member

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    Well, I know 80's aren't old (hey I lived in 80's too), but films before the 90's generation still had a more vintage look.
     
  7. Ed_Davor

    Ed_Davor Member

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    well that's what you'd do to make the film look faded a bit. But
    in every decade, when films were newly processed, they looked
    quite neutral and clean.

    From what I hear (and it makes sense), the difference is that
    modern films have that linear straight part of the curve much longer,
    so when you expose you can put almost your entire printable image on the straight part of the curve, which makes the image look linear and smooth.
    The old films had the toe and sholder longer, and the linear part was much shorter, so the shadows and highlights were somewhat distorted in an interesting way, which now looks "retro" to us.
    Same goes for slide films.

    The most noticable effects of this is how the blacks quicky faded to black.
    Modern films have smooth gradations in shadows that slowly fade to black, while older films, just give you cartoon-like blobs of black.
    Same goes for highlights. Modern highlights look more like video, they burn out in a linear way, and with older films they get compressed more and more as they go to white, which again gives you pleasant warm white blobs.
    Best example is comparing backlit images now and then.

    When you try to remodel the curve in photoshop all you get is a change in contrast. Instead of twisting an existing curve, you are supose to have the light being recorded on an already twisted curve, which I don't think you can do in photoshop. But there must be a way if you start out with some kind of a low contrast raw scan of the negative. I just didn't see anyone figure it out yet
     
  8. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I object. ORWOcolor never looked neutral - or clean.
     
  9. kwmullet

    kwmullet Subscriber

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    permit me an ackham's razor.

    I'd say don't focus on the film, so to speak. Get an old uncoated or single-coated folder camera and shoot with that. I think as much or more than anything, the "old look" was a product of the lenses rather than the film.

    also, if you need to use flash, try using flashbulbs.

    -KwM-
     
  10. Michael Talbert

    Michael Talbert Member

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    Reply to "Lookin' old"

    You can make colour prints look slightly dated. In the early 1950's Agfacolor paper, amongst other colour papers, was being used in the UK. The greens in the Agfacolor paper at that time faded first leaving a magenta/red image.I have some Agfacolor prints dated from around 1953 and the green dye in them is now very weak, even non existant in some prints. To get this old Agfacolor look, I made a print on slightly uotdated Fujicolor Type MP Crystal Archive paper (RA4 process). When Fujicolor paper is old, it has a "crossover",i.e. magenta highlights,green shadows. Keep your negative on the "soft" side,or maybe photograph on a dull day, and then print on slightly outdated Fuji paper, as above, normal processing in RA4 , or even cut the dev. time a bit, and filter the print with a slightly magenta/red cast.The trick is to get paper of the "right age", and not to overdo the magenta cast. These old Agfacolor prints of mine have been "Dark stored", and the density of them has'nt suffered, but they all have a varying red/magenta cast.
    Very old Fujicolor paper is almost impossible to print on, I have some FA4 paper,which comes up with a magenta image that I cannot filter out. The border whites are almost bright magenta! All Agfacolor papers made pre 1972 were on a "paper" base. This is not available now but a semi-matt surface might give the nearest effect on resin coated. I have some unexposed Agfacolor paper manufactured around 1964. I wonder how that would look if I tried to print on it now! Best of luck. I hope you get the effect you are looking for. MT
     
  11. Ed_Davor

    Ed_Davor Member

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    Thanks, but making images look faded is not my idea of "retro".
    What I'm looking for is emulating older film as it looks when everything is OK (not faded or compromised in any other way)
     
  12. fparnold

    fparnold Member

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    Ed,

    No offense taken, but I was in HS and college in the 80s, and one of my students commented recently, "wow, you've been doing this for 20 years!".

    I see what you're at, at least a little better.

    What about Ektachrome 64T or 160T, appropriate warming filter, and possibly a push? My original objection came about because I tend to think of a bright, but somewhat muted palette, when I think vintage (Ernst Haas kodachromes, for instance), while my 80s Ektachromes are comparatively bright.

    160T, pushed to 320, will give you that quick shadow clip, while not being obnoxious on the highlights (I checked my old stage pictures, just to be sure). I look at those pictures, and am amazed that I nailed the exposure of slides using a match-needle
    Spotmatic and opening up two stops off my hand (I'm paler than average). Kodak claims that 160T has not changed since around 1984, so that's probably a good starting point.

    Personally, I'd like to get that 50s National Geographic look, but that's a byproduct of the reproduction process as well, I suspect.
     
  13. boyooso

    boyooso Member

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    OK...

    There are several companies in USA that process old, outdated film... outdated processes I mean. They might possibly have a source for that film? maybe...

    I think one place was called film rescue. That might help.

    Are you processing your own film? Or making your own prints? I would think you could manipulate the film curve via processing. Either in the film developing or printing.

    Corey
     
  14. Michael Talbert

    Michael Talbert Member

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    Lookin' Old

    I think I got the wrong idea of what you are trying to do. But I also think that if you want to make a photograph look "Retro" you will have to do more than use present day film which has'nt changed in colour balance or been improved by the manufacturer over the years it's been on the market. There wil not be enough difference in colour balance for most people to notice. Some of my Ektachrome trans. I shot in the 80's I could pass off as if I had shot them last week! I used a colour negative film in the 1990's called ORWOCOLOR QRS100 (100 ASA) It was a very cheap film and gave a rather "gritty" retro old Agfacolor look to the prints. ORWO may still make it or an updated version - might be worth trying to find some. When I was in the USA about 2 years ago, I purchased a film from the "Food Lion" chain of supermarkets in N. Carolina. On the rebate the film was marked "Ferrania". This film gave a colour balance not unlike ORWO. It might be worth trying your local supermarket for a "Retro " film or use a film not labelled by a well known photo company, Private Label. There are many supermarkets selling their own "brand" of film here in the UK. You might get the "retro" effect you want on a "Private Label" film. Best of luck. MT
     
  15. Ed_Davor

    Ed_Davor Member

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    Hi

    Can you quote Kodak on that? I'd like to hear exactly what they said and where/when

    I've asked Kodak one time this question, and they said to check out their history page on kodak.com, the page didn't contain any such information, so I asked again and got no response, I asked again, no response the second time.

    It seems Kodak just doesn't know this, which is hilarious, if Kodak doesn't keep record, or at least if one of their employees can't access that record, who can

    If you had more luck than I please quote everything they said about 160T
     
  16. Ed_Davor

    Ed_Davor Member

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    Ops, I just saw it in the other thread, nevermind

    I have used 64T a lot, and was satisfied, but wanted to go even further "back in time", it seems 160T is even older, probably looks even older too.
    I'll be sure to buy 5 rolls next month
     
  17. Samuel Hotton

    Samuel Hotton Member

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    I was employed in a photolab in Europe in the mid 1970s, my job was exposing and processing 35mm Kodak Ektachorome 64T, E6 process films. I was allowed to bulk load cassettes for my own use when I wanted. I used this 64T film with an 85B filter to correct it to daylight. I thought it looked OK. One day my boss a very old and experienced French photographer, saw me projecting some of my images and said, "My god that looks like Lumiere". He wanted to know how I had found a film with the old look. I told him I was using the film I was copying viewgraphs on that we make slides with and using a 85B filter with it. He and I shot some through the shops Nikon F Photomic with a 50mm 1.4 and it looked good, but not as good as mine had. He wanted to know what camera and lens I used. I showed him my Leica IIIf with a 50mm f1.5 Summarit. Because of the generally lower intensity of the light in Europe and the slower ASA of the film and the filter combined I shot those photos either wide open at F1.5 or no more than f4. The old Summarit was kind of soft when shot wide open, yes I used a lens shade. I found I could duplicate the look with a Jupiter-8 or a Jupiter-3 Soviet lens when shot with wide apertures as they both are old Zeiss designs. So my answer is Kodak 64T with a old lens wide open.
    "May all your shots be Cameos"
    Sam Hotton
     
  18. fparnold

    fparnold Member

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    Ed,

    I can't find the actual message, but i got it in response to asking Kodak online a couple of weeks ago. Maybe I got the Ektachrome fanatic and you got the Gold 100 guy?

    Let us know how the experiments turn out. I looked through my old slides the other day, and realized that in many ways I miss the older, less-vivid, Ektachrome palette.
     
  19. Ed_Davor

    Ed_Davor Member

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    Hi, thanks, I've found the original quote in the other thread...


    What I'm going to do next is try out the 160T. Ive seen some old photos from 84 and 85 shot on that film, and if what Kodak says is true, it should look similar today.
    And if it does, that's the kind of look I was going for.