Old Colour Prints

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Matt5791, Dec 27, 2006.

  1. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    Over Christmas my mother produced a small wedding album full of colour prints from 1968 - apparently produced by a guest at the wedding, who must have been a keen amateur.

    They have very good colour, although there is some minor colour shift, more so in some than others. Really nice photographs considering the age.

    I was really wondering what sort of prints these might be.
     
  2. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Those would be the pre-RC color prints from Kodak, from standard color negatives. It was a process before Ektaprint 3, but can't remember the name. It had at least 5 chemicals, and took about 45 minutes. Prints were dried on a big drum dryer. No hot air drying, as this was fibre paper, and just like b/w baryta paper today, it would curl like crazy if not held tight against drying drum. I remember during that time, I worked for a studio that had a big Pako processing line for this paper in roll form. Had Nord enlargers with roll paper easels and cluster lens heads to make multiple prints at one exposure. The big Pako processor was built into a wall, as only the first steps of the process were in darkness. You went into a small room to load the paper. The larger room had the bulk of the processor, out in the light, including the big drum final stage for drying (face up), and the roll take up. After processing we took the roll out to a table with a cutter and sliced the roll into individual prints. I remember one time, due to incorrect drying temperature, the prints stuck to the drum. What a mess!!
     
  3. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    At that time, they were probably Ektacolor 20, as that was the most prevalent paper being used in photofinishing labs for printing color negatives.

    If it was a professional, then it was probably Ektacolor Professional Paper.

    PE
     
  4. Photo Engineer

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    The process was P-122, and the paper was probably RC, as RC was replacing Baryta in 1966. If it was FB baryta then it was Type 1910 or Ektacolor Professional (the name did not change with base for the pro version until Type 1970 or Ektacolor 70 professional.)

    PE
     
  5. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    The lab where I worked was attached to a bridal and portrait operation and only printed what they shot, so I am guessing it was Ektacolor Professional Paper. What was the chemical process called? for this paper. The OP talked about a wedding album of prints, so I am guessing it would be the same, rather than "snap-shots". I know the color negative film process they did was C-22, and they had a stainless steel Calumet sink-line for that.
    I remember the owner/photographer shot Hasselblads with the big Graflex strobes with the big high voltage battery packs that weighed a ton, for weddings. After film processing he would cut his negatives into individual frames and put each one in a glassine envelope. What a hassle to print all those negatives. My job was to make a 5x7 panalure print from every exposure on the bridal and engagement photos. Went through tons of fibre-based Panalure paper.
     
  6. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    Thanks for the replies - very interesting.

    I dont have them to hand at present, but I was looking at them earlier today and I have to say I did not really think whether they were FB or RC - I was more interested in the colours.

    Thinking about it I think they may well have been FB - anyway I will somfirm this when I next see them.

    The person who shot them was a guest at the wedding and was not a professional photographer - so I guess he probably had them comercially processed on his behalf.

    I am planning on making some duplicates before the colour goes (which I guess in a another 40 years there will probably be substantial changes in the colour?)

    So which would be the best way to make dublicates? I was thinking scanning and then photoshop to amend the very slight colour change that has already occured, followed by RA4 prints.
     
  7. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I am planning on making some duplicates before the colour goes (which I guess in a another 40 years there will probably be substantial changes in the colour?)

    So which would be the best way to make dublicates? I was thinking scanning and then photoshop to amend the very slight colour change that has already occured, followed by RA4 prints.[/QUOTE]

    Unless you want to make a copy negaitve going with PS and R 4 is your best bet.
     
  8. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Do you have the negatives? I don't know if those negatives will work with today's RA4 paper but assuming they will it would be a choice. Assuming the negatives themselves haven't been damaged.
     
  9. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    All color negatives from the 50s onward will work with Kodak paper, including unmasked old Agfa and Konica negatives. I have tested it. Fuji papers will not respond as well.

    PE
     
  10. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    FWIW, I've been reprinting some family negatives from that era (all on Kodacolor film). I've been able to get color that's just fine (at least to my eyes) on both Konica and Agfa paper. I don't happen to have any Fuji paper at the moment, and my only Kodak RA-4 paper right now is in 11x14, which I'm not using for this project, so I've not used it, either. I have needed to use some odd filtration, though. I'm not sure if the negatives have faded or if the balance was odd originally. (I posted about this a while ago and PE mentioned a Kodak film of the time with a color balance in-between tungsten and daylight; it could be that.)

    My main point being that I can vouch for the ability to print negatives from the mid-to-late 1960s on modern RA-4 paper.
     
  11. Michael Talbert

    Michael Talbert Member

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    Hi Matt.
    If they are Kodak Prints, they may have been printed on:
    Kodak Ektacolor 20RC paper Type 1822, introduced in 1968 or
    Kodak Ektacolor 20 paper Type 1870, introduced in 1967. 1822 was 1870 on an RC base. 1822 was the first color printing paper in the world on an RC base. Ektacgrome Paper was RC based in 1969, Agfacolor paper was RC based in 1972 (MCN310 Typ 4)
    or
    Kodak Ektacolor Professional Paper, this was on an ordinary paper base.I think the other two papers are more likely.
    The paper, whatever kind, would have been processed in Kodak "Ektaprint C" chemicals at 85F. Process time around 22 minutes.
    P-122 was not around in 1968, (unless there were some Retro labs in the USA!). P-122 was superseded by Ektaprint C in 1965.
    Ektaprint C was a five solution Process: Dev, Stop-fix, Bleach, Formalin Fix, Stabilizer.Washes in between.A five solution process called P-122 was around in the UK in 1963-65. This became Ektaprint C in 1965.
    If they are on Agfacolor paper, (from masked negatives) they would have been printed on: Agfacolor paper MCN111. Process time 30 minutes at 68F or (unlikely) process time 17 minutes at 77F.Times varied a little at the higher temperature.
    MCN111 was introduced in 1963. There was another paper called "MCN111 Typ7" introduced in 1968 (rolls only, sheets in 1969). Don't I remember!I was a photo color printer in those days and must have made thousands of prints on MCN Typ7 and on the improved version MCN111 Typ4. All the best MT
     
  12. Michael Talbert

    Michael Talbert Member

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    Hi Matt, It's me again!
    Sorry, I thought you werein the USA!
    They may also be on Kodak Ektacolor Commercial Paper, introducedin 1964. This was the paper I first made colour prints on in 1969. It was only made in the UK. The other paper available in the UK at that time was "Ektacolor 20 Paper" on an ordinary paper base.You could order Ektacolor Professional paper from Kodak but it was expensive as Kodak had to import it from the US.It is exceedingly likely they are made on Ektacolor 20 paper if they are Kodak prints.Ektaprint C process. MT
     
  13. Photo Engineer

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    Michael;

    I worked on Kodak color paper from 1965 - 1970. The paper in the US was T1910 from about 1966 - 1968, using P122 or Ektaprint C which were the same processes after 1965. In 1969, Kodak introduced T1970 and Ektaprint 3, one year ahead of schedule using my developer and blix formulations.

    This was the first cadmium free paper produced by Kodak.

    The professional equivalent was Ektacolor 70 paper.

    The project, internally, was C970 which was intended for introduction in 1970. We came in ahead of schedule.

    This was US of course.

    PE
     
  14. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    Thanks for the replies everyone - all very interesting.

    I will check today if they are FB or RC.

    Definitely no chance to track down the negs I'm afraid.

    Looks like a job for PS and RA4.

    Matt
     
  15. Michael Talbert

    Michael Talbert Member

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    To PhotoEngineer
    Thank you for the information on US colour Papers. These papers were never available ion the UK. P-122 had definitely dissapeared by 1968 in the UK, taken over by Ektaprint C which was essentialy the same process.
    Ektaprint 3 was first available in 1971 in the UK, with Ektacolor 30RC paper for photofinishing labs, then after that, Ektacolor 37RC paper. I beleive Ektacolor 30 RC was only made as a roll paper.
    The color prints in question are likely to have been made on Ektacolor 20 paper.
    At that time most of the large colour labs in the UK handling professional photographers work used Agfacolor paper, MCNIII and later MCN111 Typ 7.
    The old Agfa paper for unmasked colour negatives , CN111, was extinct by the time I started working in colour printing (1971) but we were still getting unmasked Agfa negatives in for reprints.
    I must admit I don't know much about Kodak US colour papers. I beleive there was only two colour papers (Ektacolor 20 and Ektacolor Commercial paper) in the UK in 1968.
    Thanks again, MT
     
  16. Photo Engineer

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    Michael;

    Ektacolor 20 was T-1920 (T = Type). P122 and Ektaprint C were just about identical, but Ektarprint C ran at 85 degrees and combined the hardener and fix into an alkaline hardener fix bath. This was the only alkaline fix bath ever sold commercially contrary to information that I have seen elsewhere.

    It was based on sodium hypo and formalin.

    Ektparint C also offered the Type II stabilzer with Sorbitol rather than the P122 AEH stabilzer. They both offered the same print stability but with less tackiness to the prints with sorbitol. AEH was rather sticky.

    Ektaprint 3 was introduced here in Rochester, a bit earlier than planned, because a Webster school photo finishing plant nearby to Kodak was shut down due to a ferricyanide accident, so Kodak released the blix process to them to get them back up, and they had to pre-announce the process then.

    PE
     
  17. Michael Talbert

    Michael Talbert Member

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    To Photo Engineer.
    Thank you for the info about the different stabilizers. You may remember the CP5 process for the old Kodak Drum processors, H11L and 16K? The Stabilizer for that, if I remember correctly (many years since I worked the process), consisted of 2 parts to mix with water, a powder and a liquid. The liquid was a kind of gummy substance. I don't think CP5 stabilizer was formalin based but it was very different to Ektaprint C stabilizer which consisted of just one powder to mix.

    I have a process sequence for a six bath P-122 with the combined alkaline hardener-fix bath that you mention. It actually lists it as "Alkaline Formalin-Fixer".
    The process dates from 1962 running at 85F - 6 minutes Dev time. The other times are not given but I reckon the total time was 24 minutes. 2 minutes for each solution and two washes, last wash 4 minutes, + 6 minutes Dev.
    Very fast processing time for paper in those days, faster than Agfa, which was (1962):
    53 minutes for sequence N (on it's way out)
    30 minutes for sequence K (New)
    Sequence K could be "trimmed" a little by leaving out the first wash,not recommended by Agfa unless absolutely necessary.

    Interesting about EP3. Agfa were a little later with their 3 bath process. I think I first worked with Agfa 3 bath in 1974-75. MT
     
  18. Photo Engineer

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    Michael;

    The CP5 process was only sold with the Type II stabilzer IIRC, that is why the 2 part kit. The gummy part was first AEH (a type of sugar) and then sorbitol. The P122 and Ektaprint processes were so similar that they overlapped for a while.

    I worked with a Gevaert process that ran at 68 deg F and took a very long time as did the Agfa process. They both used blixes, but the blixes were not very stable being at pH 4.5 or so. The EP3 blix was the first commercial blix that had the stability needed for a photofinishing lab. It was pH 6.5.

    I remember the Agfa well, as I did a lot of work with it. I discussed color paper extensively with one of the 'wheels' at Agfa at a photo conference in NYC in the 70s and remember having a gyros sandwich with him at a street vendors cart on broadway, as we tried to pump each other. ~insert smiley here~

    I still have an Agfa kit here, and a Japanese kit from the time along with several remaining boxes of the Japanese initial efforts to match EP3 processes.

    Kodak had under development a CD6 based color paper and the Japanese did as well after the patent issued, but Kodak cancelled plans after the Pavelle and Ansco law suits. This would have led to more process changes and probably another law suit.

    PE