Dewey, it sounds as if the "special" quality of the Pan Matrix film was in its convenience to get a positive tanned matrix relief from a C41 image in one step. Is the spectral sensitivity of the emulsion any different than other modern pan emulsions like TMax 100?
Yes, a direct-from-neg solution, convenience and accessibility for advanced darkroom users were the point of the product. Plus, it produced really beautiful dyes. Maybe it was the directness of the process or the greater range of color negs, but they could look really spectacular.
I don't recall that it was anything unusual about its sensitivity, but exposures through the blue filter could run quite long.
Of course, this product is long gone except for any that's been hoarded in a freezer. And despite the respect I have for anyone attempting to revise the dye transfer process, I think that the challenges are pretty substantial. I hope the payoff is worth it.
If we forget about analog separation negatives the process really isn't all that challenging; not much different than carbon, especially in the making of the materials.
My desire is not necessarily to reproduce the fidelity, color, saturation & rendering of a professional made dye-transfer print (yet). I figure if people are getting enjoyment & making attractive prints from tri-color gum, which is far from technically perfect reproduction, then spitting images of reality from this imbibition scheme need not be the goal.
As time passes and ideally more people jump on the bandwagon, each step will become more refined and the collective wisdom will grow, with new ideas & contributions springing forth. I think that carbon & dye-imbibition are poised to potentially be the only "analog" options for printing color photos in the future, and I would love to see a renaissance. The beautiful thing is that it can appeal to digital shooters just as equally.. and no darkroom needed!
Check out this print... http://gary.saretzky.com/photohistor...sky/index.html The scan is low quality, but this is an imbibition print made by F.E. Ives at the request of Elias Goldensky, using his tripack film and a Hi-Cro camera in 1916 (information courtesy of Gary Saretzky). I see a lot of potential from this print.
I understand your point completely. I would love to experiment with tricolor carbon from large format, but I'm concerned that I would a) never see my family b) go broke c) spend all my time in the darkroom and not shooting.
Likewise, I could imagine shooting with my iphone and printing small Epsons with the same satisfaction.
The darkroom is definitely addictive. It's a tragedy that the films once available for the intermediate steps are mostly gone. Pan masking, pan highlight, separation negative film, super XX are all gone. For me this seems like a closed (maybe slammed shut) door, but to your credit, you seam to see it as a puzzle.
On the bright side... you're probably getting some killer deals on used gear. Every now and then I look at darkroom stuff on Ebay (darkroom porn) and lust for a Leitz Focomat IIc or a Durst 5x7 for a crazy low price.
This extensive list includes a number of dyes that are suitable for the dye-imbibition process.
I haven't done any checking yet, or specifically looked at the product offerings of any companies, but it's entirely possible that there are a handful of companies in the U.S. that will sell these (3 listed below) or better yet send you a sample of the dye for free. I had great luck obtaining pigment samples for color-carbon in this way. The amount that you receive as a sample will probably be enough to make many, many prints.
http://www.organicdye.com/ - http://www.pylamdyes.com/ - http://www.classicdye.com/
- Acid Blue 45, EK cyan dye for Kodak Dye Transfer Process. Blue not really cyan in color.
- Toluidine Blue I - CAS: 3209-30-1,CI# 63340, lightfast bright cyan hue, note: this is NOT "Toluidine Blue O" or Basic Blue 17.
- Acid Blue 277 - high lightfastness, much bluer that CI Acid Blue 45 transfers well. High mobility.
- Direct Blue 87 - I thought this was a bit poisonous but it was mentioned in a publication and it has a good cyan color.
- Reactive Blue 5 - one of the Morey Bard's dyes. Not good spectral purity; similar to Acid Blue 45.
- Reactive Blue 19 - nearly the same color as CI Acid Blue 45, higher light fastness. From Morey Bard of B.E.E.
- Acid Blue 258, TECTILON BLUE 6G - more green and saturated than Acid Blue 45. Doesn't transfer very well.
- Tracer RB Blue - Possibly CI Acid Blue 88 or 80
- Acid Red 58 - same dye that was used in Kodak Magenta. Possibly available from Crescent Chemical Co. Inc.
- Acid Red 80 - slightly yellower than Acid Red 58, less gelatin absorption.
- Acid Red 131 - reddish magenta color.
- Acid Red 167
- Acid Red 249, Orco Milling Brilliant Red B - bright magenta color
- Acid Red 257
- Acid Red 264 - Dr. Jay Patterson claims is good a magenta.
- Acid Red 274 - bright color, good spectral purity.
- Acid Red 388 - bright color, good spectral purity.
- Direct Red 83 - reddish magenta color.
- Direct Red 227 - good magenta color.
- Direct Red 243 - reddish magenta color.
- Direct Red 75 - similar to Direct Violet 62, good for transparencies.
- Reactive Red 49 - dark magenta.
- Reactive Red 66 - similar color to Acid Red 58 but yellower.
- Ramazol Brilliant Red R.F.C. (Hoechst) - possibly CI Reactive Red 35. Bright color, slight permanent stain.
- Hostalen Red 4 B.N. (Hoechst) - Reactive dye unknown CI name
- Acid Violet 7
- Direct Violet 47 - similar to Direct Violet 62.
- Acid Yellow 17 - good light fastness
- Acid Yellow 19 - bright yellow color and spectral curve but not heat stable
- Acid Yellow 34 - good yellow color, good spectral curve, high light fastness
- Acid Yellow 42 - good yellow color
- Acid Yellow 151 - metal complex might be slightly poisonous. Has good saturation.
- Acid Yellow 169 - greenish yellow.
- Acid Yellow 174 - high light fastness, good spectral curve.
- Acid Yellow 200 - good yellow color and spectral curve.
- Direct Yellow 11
- Direct Yellow 12
- Direct Yellow 14
- Direct Yellow 44
- Direct Yellow 50
- Direct Yellow 86 - medium yellow.
- Direct Yellow 106 - reddish yellow.
- Direct Yellow 142 - has long absorption tail, but has good color.
- Reactive Yellow 15
- Reactive Yellow 24
- Reactive Yellow 37 - bright yellow might have leak in spectrum.
- Reactive Yellow 86 - greenish color; low saturation narrow peak.
- Direct Orange 37 - can be used in mixture with compatible dye.
- Direct Orange 26 - can be used in mixture with compatible dye.
- Reactive Orange 86 - can make a good yellow for transparency use.
- Basilin Yellow E.3R. (Hoechst)
- Acid Green 25 - medium bluish green dye
- Acid Green 41 - bright bluish green dye. Not compatible with most mixtures of Anthraquinone dyes including Acid Blue 45.
- Procion Black SP-4 - I haven't located the CI number. Good fastness, fairly neutral on Kodak DT paper.
- Direct Black 38
This should be enough to get anyone started, eh?! :whistling:
Also, for anyone that wants a "plug & play" solution, investigating the Procion Reactive Dyes would be a good place to start. These are readily available.
Lastly, it should be noted that I cannot take credit for this extensive list, or the hard work that went into creating it. That goes to Michael Garelick; a passionate and uncompromising researcher into this process.
Wow.You're pretty serious about this.
I was contacted by Michael. He's got a good handle on this.
Is this info being compiled in any sort of common area? It would be good to start a DT group site to warehouse all this data. Has anyone contacted Guy Stricherz? He was the last man standing in NYC with his lab CVI, which made dyes for big shot art photographers. He would have the freshest memory of masking techniques, developing times, etc.
I think Chris's article here is a first stab at getting things compiled.
Originally Posted by Dewey2
I think he's done a bang up job.
In fact, I make a motion that we rename it Holmbergurs Dye Transfer method.
I'm serious about it in the sense that I really enjoy doing it, reading about it and ultimately thinking about a photographic system and all its complexities. Since graduating college it's become my sole "academic" pursuit, and the support of people I've met online has been great. I've been pointed in the right direction many times.
I'm also lucky to have a relatively relaxed job... If only I could get paid for this!
Mike G. really latched onto my idea to produce DCG matrices and has elevated the project orders of magnitude.
Guy Stricherz sounds like a good man to get in touch with as well; there are undoubtedly countless "tricks of the trade" that lie with only a handful of people.
You know, the funny thing is.. I've maybe seen 5 dye-transfer prints with my own eyes since undertaking this, but, when reading I have a most vivid imagination.
It's great that you're doing this. And I agree that it's a bang-up job.
I hope that you get to see more dyes. They all share common elements that make them beautiful, but it's interesting that the quality varies wildly.
A lot of Elliot Porter's dyes are rather mediocre - despite his strong identity with the process. And William Eggleston is all over the place. Some are very nice, while others have all the subtlety of a color Xerox.
I still remember being overwhelmed by Bruce Davidson's Subway show of oversized dyes. And Mappelthorpe's flowers were absolutely, meticulously flawless. These were a pet project of Frank Tartaro's. I made seps on most of these and Frank was rejecting whole sets of seps for a microscopic dust spot.
I bought some Harold Edgerton dyes a few years back (bullets going through apples and cards, etc.) and I'm tortured every time I look at them and see dirty highlights and plugged shadows. I wonder if sound engineers have trouble enjoying music?
Amazing you mentioned those 1st two; the only prints I have seeen were one of Eggelston's shots of Graceland (National Portrait Gallery) and several of Porter's prints of his 35mm work (Amon Carter Museum). The latter were surprisingly uninspriring.
That's great though, that means I haven't seen the best.
Always loved Edgerton...