Non Kodachrome slides with embossed images? What am I seeing?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by pandabob, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. pandabob

    pandabob Member

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    I'm scanning in a slide collection for a coworker that has slides dating back to the early 60's. Up until this point everything I've seen (including other vintage slide collections) the only slides that have had an embossed image on one side was a Kodachrome slide mounted in a Kodachrome cardboard mount. Anything else was smooth on both sides.

    In this collection, however, I'm seeing some slides with an embossed image that are in non Kodachrome mounts (actually... non Kodak-branded mounts) that have embossed images. These slides are branded, "Sears", "Anscochrome", or generically "Color Transparency."

    The little bit that I know about the history of Kodachrome and slides in general is that Kodachrome used a very unique process and very few labs even processed it, moreover for a long time it was Kodak-only? I understood that only Kodachrome had an embossed aspect to it and I've always assumed that all Kodachrome slides (especially pre 70's) were mounted in Kodachrome-branded mounts.

    So, somewhere my information is wrong/incomplete...

    My primary concern, beyond trivial photographic history, is wether or not I should treat them as Kodachrome in terms of scanner settings.

    Any help clearing this up would be mucho appreciatedo.

    -Steve
     
  2. Dave in Kansas

    Dave in Kansas Member

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    Steve,

    I believe a number of labs processed Kodachrome when it was popular. I have slides that I took back then developed in non-Kodak labs and some of those also say "Color Transparency" on them, and some say nothing at all, but they are Kodachrome. Sears may have processed Kodachrome at one time, I don't know.

    Dave
     
  3. nickrapak

    nickrapak Member

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    Kodachrome was Kodak-only until 1955, when the consent decree mandated Kodak sell its chemicals to other labs. In addition, there were a few Koda-clones out there, the most famous being Dynachrome, started by Kodak engineers after they left EK. Although it's past your time range, I have noticed some E-6 has an embossed image after processing, although it's nowhere near as clear as Kodachrome. In fact, I am looking at a roll of EPN right now that seems to have an embossed image when held at an oblique angle.
     
  4. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    I can look at the Kodachrome slides I got back last week from Dwain's (yes it took that long) and an E-6 slide from yesterday that was supposedly processed by Fuji (I think Dwain's did them as well, but I have no proof) and the mounts are identical right down to the dating and numbering on the slides. My guess here is that you can't go by the mount alone, if it says Kodachrome it is Kodachrome, if it doesn't say Kodachrome it still might be Kodachrome.
     
  5. pandabob

    pandabob Member

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    I think I might have some of both (Kodachrome in non Kodachrome mounts vs. "Koda-clones".) Some of the non-kodachrome mounted slides have very distinct embossings when held at an angle while some are more slight. The Kodachrome-mounted slides have a VERY distinct embossment, comparatively speaking. I'm not sure that (before now of course...) I've ever noticed any embossing at all on say - Ektachrome - on my own slides and some of these here in this collection. That could be due to the way I'm holding them to the light, but the known non-kodachrome slides are smooth as glass.

    Was Anscochrome a "Koda-Clone" or was it E-4/E-6? Were these clones similar in color balance - by way of the considerable difference in processing chemistry?

    Thanks for the replies!
     
  6. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    There were 3 other "Kodachrome" type films made and processed by Fuji, Konica and Dynacolor. This stopped in the 70s, but up to then these companies processed Kodak Kodachrome and other brands along with their own, and did it with either their own slide mounts or generic mounts.

    PE
     
  7. kevs

    kevs Member

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    Ilford (UK) made 'Ilfachrome' and 'Ilfochrome' films in the 1960's; both non-substantive films. I have some examples of the latter film, they look every bit as good as the few Kodachromes in with them. The Ilford slide mounts are red on the reverse side; my examples are the same as those there. http://www.photomemorabilia.co.uk/Ilford/Chronology.html
     
  8. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    Ansco was the American associate of Agfa in the 1930's, and I have read that they based their wartime reseach to introduce Anscochrome on the original Agfacolor slide film? I've read that it was similar in principle to Agfa, but the exact processing proceedure was not interchangable.

    I have some transparencies taken by my late Father around 1960, on Ilford Colour Film and on Dynachrome (when it was repackaged as Gratispool Color Slide)...the Ilford is pleasing, very similar to Kodachrome of the same time, and has lasted perfectly, while the Dynachrome has dull colours and a significant magenta hue. That could be due to the Gratispool budget processing...I believe that they were regarded as a "cheap-and-cheerful snapshot" operation. :laugh:

    I remember my Father (or maybe my Grandfather, who was also a keen photographer in the 1940's/50's) saying that the cassette labels of the earliest versions of the Ilford Color Slide film each had a batch number on them, which had to be left intact so that processing adjustments could be made for best results from each particular emulsion. No idea if that was true?
     
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  9. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Ansco Color was indeed very similar to Agfa Color of the time period.

    I have read the Ilford history and although Ilfachrome (later Ilfochrome) may be a Kodachrome type film with no couplers, it does not explicitly say so in that history, so I am not sure. I do know that Ilford had a negative and a positive film that each used a proprietary process. Both of these, at the time I was familiar with them were coupler containing films.

    PE
     
  10. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    I'm 99% sure that the original Ilford Colour Slide film of 1948 was a Kodachrome type, but it's past midnight here, so I'll need to track this down definitively tomorrow!

    The later variants of Ilford slide and neg films of the 1960's and early 70's were rather so-so in performance, certainly not competitive with the quality of the Kodak, Fuji and Agfa products being introduced at the time. They tried various sales gimmicks such as contact sheets, slide folders, competitions and a free magazine with returned slides, but in the end they withdrew from color film manufacture. (Although they did have another try some years later with a consumer C-41 negative film (maybe suppied by Konica?).)

    (Of course, this was all the "old" Ilford company, nothing to do with the present Harman/Ilford.)
     
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  11. Photo Engineer

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    RRman;

    I am sure you are right, it is just that I cannot find any confirmation. I was surprised that Ilford did not appear to discriminate between these types of product. They seemed to lump everything together.

    PE
     
  12. kevs

    kevs Member

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    The films are mentioned in a British Government Competition Commission report (.pdf download); briefly the first of these films was introduced in 1948 as 'Ilford Colour 'D''; these were non-substantive films (for the benefit of all; not containing couplers) with a different colour filter layer to avoid infringement of Kodak's patents. 'Ilfachrome' and 'Ilfochrome' were improved versions of this - the latter was closer to Kodachrome as Kodak's patents had expired. (ref; p26). Ilfocolor, the negative material, is covered on page 27. Sorry if this has been mentioned elsewhere... :smile:

    Ron, there was a substantive film from Ilford, called 'Colorslide' and 'Super Colorslide' (p.28). the report says it was "...very similar to Ilfochrome" - perhaps the author meant similar aesthetically rather than physically; I don't know.

    BTW, the full report can be accessed at http://www.competition-commission.org.uk/rep_pub/reports/1960_1969/029film.htm

    Later Ilfochrome and Ilfocolor films were E-6 and C-41 film from another manufacturer; Konica, apparently, according to David Kilpatrick on the linked forum.
     
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  13. Photo Engineer

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    Kevs;

    Thanks. I was aware of Gevaert products, Agfa products, ORWO products, Soviet products, and Japanese products, but I missed out completely on the Ilford (UK) products.

    FWIW, I just bought a new box of Ilford MGIV paper today! :D

    PE
     
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  15. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    Kevs - I'd forgotten that Government Report, thanks for the reference. It sets out some interesting details as to the development and availability of materials in 1969.
    I wish that I'd asked my Father (and Grandfather) more about this while they were still around, but there wasn't the same interest in photo history twenty years ago, when I guess that you could still choose from a great variety of film in every local store.

    I do remember the opinion from my Father (from his keen involvement with lectures and judging on the local photo society circuit) that 1948 "Ilford Colour D" was a good film, similar and comparable with the Kodachrome of the same era, but that Ilford seemed to lose their way a bit, in color films, with they went the route of using the older ICI research rather than, say, the Ektachrome/Kodacolor direction.

    Other smaller brands then were using the alternative processes developed from the old Agfacolor.....that family of films were also competent and competitive at the time (though perhaps more popular in the European countries than in the UK), whereas none of the later Ilford Color Slide, Super-Color-slide and various color negatives could, TBH, really match the quality of other available films.

    As the report also mentions, Ilford tried very hard with some odd marketing ideas in the 1960's, like contact strips and 35mm color negs mounted individually (!) , with the free slide folders, competitions and magazines to which I referred.

    But the 60's were the time when ordinary snap-shotters began to use color neg on a larger scale, and all that they wanted was good quality film which you could buy anywhere, drop into their local pharmacy rather than mail away, then collect a simple packet of nice "en-prints".
    Which, of course, Kodacolor in C-22 gave them. :smile:
     
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  16. Stephen Frizza

    Stephen Frizza Member

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    As a lab owner who processes a lot of E-6 film i on occasions see a anomaly occur with mainly fuji E-6 films Velvia and Provia. These 2 films sometimes produce an embossed effect like kodachrome. I can be processing 60 rolls at a time and out of the 60 i process maybe 1 or 2 rolls in the run will produce the effect. It never effects image quality but i do find is unusual. It is a really rare occurrence but it does occur and whenever I see it I make sure to show the client....though i think I'm the only one who gets a buzz out of it hehehe. Its like the Ghost numbers (from the backing papers) on E-6 120 film that sometimes in rare occasions show up on the film emulsion in the colour developer and then disappears by the time it hits the fix.only to reveal nothing when the film is dry.......ohhhhh spooky.
     
  17. Photo Engineer

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    The relief image that appears would indicate either that something is being added or something is being subtracted in great quantity. It also implies that the layers are very thin. In Kodachrome, something is being added to very thin layers. As for other films, IDK what could be taking place.

    PE
     
  18. Neanderman

    Neanderman Member

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    It is true that the dyes formed by the K-14 process are molecularly larger than those formed in E-6?

    Ed
     
  19. Photo Engineer

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    Ed;

    Kodachrome dyes are much smaller than E6 dyes. The Kodachrome couplers must be small to diffuse into the coating, and the E6 couplers must be large to prevent them from leaving the coating during processing.

    The difference between the two that causes the relief image is the relative change in thickness wherever there is dye formed in Kodachrome films. In theory, an E6 film could show a relief image, but the change in thickness is very tiny in proportion to the thickness of the emulsion.

    PE
     
  20. Neanderman

    Neanderman Member

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    So I would deduce from this that you couldn't make a Kodachrome-like, E-6 film just by incorporating the Kodachrome couplers into the emulsion; they would need to be modified in some way to keep them from migrating during processing (other changes to the film and/or processing notwithstanding.)
     
  21. Photo Engineer

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    Sorry, but size is not the factor in question, but rather color reproduction and sharpness. These can be done in E6 films by modification of the couplers and emulsions to gain a Kodachrome like color palette. A new Cyan coupler is probably the only thing needed.

    PE
     
  22. accozzaglia

    accozzaglia Member

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    For all to know, could you link and share the different K-type brand names with their respective companies above? Cheers.
     
  23. Photo Engineer

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    Fuji film = Fujichrome from unknown date but in 40s to about 1975 or 80, then Fujichrome with couplelrs until about 1990 and then Fuji split into Velvia, Astia and etc. The Daibutsu photo in my gallery is taken on the Fujichrome that was ISO 10 and comparable to Kodachrome. It was taken in 1960 IIRC.

    Konika = Konishiroku = Sakuracolor film which was in about the same approximate order as the Fujichrome. K-14 kind did them both in at the same time. I have slides on this film as well. It was ISO 10 and much bluer than Fuji products.

    Both companies had substantive color negative films at this same time, based on Agfa formulas using proprietary processing.

    Dynacolor = Dyanchrome which is a Kodachrome like ISO 10 film that was made until about the time that the ISO 25 Kodachrome came out. The company, founded by former Kodak people, could not keep up. The film was grainier than the last version of ISO 10 Kodachrome and slightly inferior in color. It was made using a very much older Kodachrome formula. I have seen both names used, but Dynachrome is the name of the film. There was a Dynachrome 25 film made with a 3M label and it is not clear whether they bought the company or the name. The 3M factory was about 3 blocks from the Dyanchrome factory.

    I wish I could give better dating, but I can only approximate the Japanese and Dynachrome materials. I have seen one of the Japanese plants in action processing Kodahcrome and Japanese versions back in the early 60s. Does this help?

    PE
     
  24. accozzaglia

    accozzaglia Member

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    Outstanding. It should help others who will ask again in the future (yes, I know, it'll get lost in the shuffle). :smile:
     
  25. d235j

    d235j Member

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    Here is an enlightening page about Gratispool, which distributed Dynachrome films in the UK.
    http://www.photomemorabilia.co.uk/Gratispool.html
    If this is correct, Dynachrome was first a K-11 process and then later was improved to use a K-12 type process.

    I have some Dynachrome slides from (I believe) 1967 and they're just as sharp and colorful as Kodachromes of the same era. I'm quite sure this is the later "K-12" process Dynachrome. (Meanwhile, our GAF brand slides of the time faded horribly.)
     
  26. Photo Engineer

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    Interesting name D235J. At Kodak, CD6 was really named D106J. AFAIK, there was no D235J. :D

    The K12 version of Dynachrome appears to be their last effort. The plant is now vacant and subject to vandalism having been set afire twice in the last decade. The last Dyanchrome I saw had a 3M label as mentioned above.

    PE