Utocolor

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Michael Talbert, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. Michael Talbert

    Michael Talbert Member

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    An interesting process from before the 1st World War was UTOCOLOR. Dr. J.H. Smith of Zurich, Switzerland introduced Uto color paper as long ago as 1904. It worked on the principle (which Dr. Smith called) of the Bleach Out law."A coloured body sensitive to light will only be affected by the light it absorbs, but not by the light of it's own colour". This means, as regards to the process: that Red light will destroy a Cyan dye and leave red dye, and so forth with other colours. This was by no means an original theory. Grothus had written about a theory not unlike this as long ago as 1819.
    The paper was used to make prints from the very few colour transparencies of that time, notably Autochrome. There was no dev. or fix, after exposure to the trans. by contact printing, the paper was "stabilised" (!) in a Uto bath. I suppose today's equivelant would be a reversal colour print paper. Although there were improvements, (1906, 1911) I beleive the process died out before the 1st World War. But Utocolor marked the beginning of the "Silver Dye Bleach" process. The principal name associated with the process is Dr. Bela Gasper. "Gaspercolor Opaque" became "Cilchrome" then "Cibachrome" .
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The problem was that the bleaching process never stopped, and so the prints gradually faded away.

    Besides which, the exposure times to get the original print were so long and at such high intensity the original transparency could fade and it took hours in full sunlight.

    The dye bleach process relies on silver halide to form the oringinal image, but again, the process involves long exposures due to the dye blocking the incoming light and it also involves rather coarse grain so we see no practical in-camera applications of dye bleach.

    PE
     
  3. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    Seems like an interesting process, though.

    What light-sensitive material was used in the UTOCOLOR paper? Or was it just dyes??
     
  4. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Utocolor used dyes bleached by light itself. A cyan dye was bleached by red light as an example. Stopping the process was virtually impossible and therefore it was slow photographically, but then the image just continued to fade when hung out for display.

    Of course, when you get down to it all dyes are bleached by light and that is why all dyes fade. Rate is just very slow in current products. It is slow enough to allow display in open sunlight and still last for nearly 100 years. This, of course, would be a very slow photographic material requiring about a 100 year exposure for starters. Then you could hang the print out for anohter 100 years for display.

    PE
     
  5. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    I've always been interested in Utocolor. Are there any examples anywhere? Of course, it would be faded. But surely there's been one that was stored well and is in reasonable condition.
     
  6. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Your assignment, should you decide to accept it, is to find one! :D

    Good luck!

    PE
     
  7. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    And so my journey begins...
     
  8. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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  9. Photo Engineer

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    There is a complete description in "History of Color Photography" by Friedman.

    PE
     
  10. Ray Rogers

    Ray Rogers Member

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  11. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Well for you Ray... Photo-era magazine, Volume 28 edited by Juan C. Abel, Thomas Harrison Cummings, Wilfred A. French, A. H. Beardsley p. 145. "The New Utocolor Paper" by A. Le Mée. Now you can go to the library! If you're in Japan though, that might be quite a feat in itself.

    I'd like to make a crude Utocolor paper. What was unique about it (construction wise), apart from just layering CMY on a piece of paper?
     
  12. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    PE ,

    Can we blend CMY dyes and than expose ?

    Umut