View Full Version : The Hess-Ives Hicro (Color) Camera - Photographic Canadiana

05-16-2012, 12:25 PM
This unique and fascinating camera has been discussed quite a bit in this thread (http://www.apug.org/forums/forum127/79720-one-shot-cameras-any-resources.html) about one-shot cameras. It's the the Hess-Ives Hicro color camera, designed by F.E. Ives. It is one of the earliest attempts at a mass marketed color camera and printing system.

Robert Lansdale, a member of the Photographic Historical Society of Canada (http://phsc.ca/), found one of these relics at a trade show and simply had to know more. Consequently, he wrote up an excellent story in Photographic Canadiana, vol. 38. The PDF is available thru the following link...

http://s000.tinyupload.com/?file_id=15613403999925599808 (the hyperlink to click is in the lower right hand corner in rather plain looking text, "HICRO STORY PC VOL 38-1 single[1].pdf"; don't be fooled by the ads/banners that also say "download")

I strongly suspect that no more comprehensive account of this tri-color camera has ever been written; with a very complete discussion of how the system works, the photographer's that utilized it, the press it received, the marketing they undertook, and a color supplement with a number of prints & photos of the camera.

Hope you enjoy!

And thanks to Bob for allowing me to share it here.

Mustafa Umut Sarac
05-16-2012, 03:34 PM
Chris ,

Which dyes are used to create cmy gum prints at the bottom left woman portrait ?
What was the spectral curves of tri color filters ?
Was lens no different from todays ones or Color MTF graphs are different ?


05-16-2012, 04:35 PM
Hey Umut,

It's not a gum print, but a form of imbibition (dye transfer) printing. The dyes were...

Bayer's alizarin blue A S, 1 gram to 1 quart of water, with 1 gram of citric acid and 1 to 3 grams of citrate of potash. For magenta pink, equal parts of Bayer's alizarin rubinol R and rubinol 3 G, with 1 gram of citric acid and 1 to 3 grams of citrate of potash. For yellow, Bayer's sulphon yellow R, with 1 gram of citric acid and 1 to 3 grams of citrate of potash.

These dyes are cyan: CI Acid Blue 47, magenta: CI Acid Red 80 & CI Acid Red 82, yellow: CI Acid Yellow 42., from here (http://www.apug.org/forums/archive/index.php/t-91788-p-5.html)

The filter arrangement isn't so simple, as it was a bi-pack set up. There was a rose colored compensating filter behind the lens, a yellow reflector that reflected "white" (all) light towards the blue-sensitive plate and simultaneously transmitted the light (minus blue) to the green & red emulsions, which didn't really use filters but were instead spectrally sensitized to the right regions.

The lenses were pretty lousy actually, and the process itself introduced a lot of diffusion.

05-27-2012, 06:36 PM

I'm not sure how much "press" this article (in the link) got, but I figured I'd give it a bump just in case people missed it. It's a pretty interesting camera and process, and Bob L. went to great effort to describe it in unprecedented depth.