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  1. #1
    retro film's Avatar
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    What color temperature illumination to use to view Kodacrome slides?

    Hi,
    What color temperature illumination am I supposed to use to view Kodachrome slides(what were they designed to be viewed with)?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    wiltw's Avatar
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    Kodachrome original was launched by Kodak in 1935. The first practical fluorescent lighting was developed by a group of General Electric scientists researching an improved and practical fluorescent lamp. Under pressure from many competing companies the team designed the first practical and viable fluorescent lamp (U.S. Patent No. 2,259,040) that was first sold in 1938.

    So the only available light source for viewboxes back then would probably have been incandescent.

  3. #3
    retro film's Avatar
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    ok thanks for the response,
    Last edited by retro film; 06-29-2013 at 02:21 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: better response

  4. #4
    retro film's Avatar
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    so 2,700-3,300K would be the the color temperature used back then? Wouldnt this make the slides have a yellowy orange overcast to them?

  5. #5
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retro film View Post
    so 2,700-3,300K would be the the color temperature used back then? Wouldnt this make the slides have a yellowy orange overcast to them?
    I think you may be confusing the colour temperature response of the film during exposure with viewing light. I would suggest you view them by whatever light makes them look good for you.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  6. #6
    retro film's Avatar
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    No, I know the difference. Both the light used to expose a scene for exposure and light used to view slides (projector or viewbox) both have a specific color temperature to them. Im interested in the optimal color temperature bulb for VIEWING a slide. using different color termperature bulbs on a projector will have a difference on the white balance of the projected image for example. Im assuming all slides I view were exposed under the correct lighting conditions (daylight) or indoor using a filter.

    if incandescent bulbs were what they used for viewing slides when kodachrome first came out, then they would have 2500-3300K color temperature which is an yellow-orangey colored light. Also to be clear, Im more interested in the modern Kodachrome that recently got discontinued. I understand that the recent Kodachrome is different than the Kodachrome from the 1930s. So I would imagine the viewing illuminant requirements would be different.

    Im interested in what the correct viewing illuminant would be in Kelvins (Im a calibration freak btw, so I dont want to just eyeball the best looking one)

  7. #7
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Daylight balanced illumination, (i.e.. about 5,600 degrees Kelvin), the better quality light boxes have daylight balanced illumination.
    Last edited by benjiboy; 06-29-2013 at 03:16 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Ben

  8. #8

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    When projecting slides in the dark, the illuminant used isn't too important as the eye will adapt to the white point; viewing transparencies on a light box where there is additional illumination is a different matter.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prof_Pixel View Post
    When projecting slides in the dark, the illuminant used isn't too important as the eye will adapt to the white point; viewing transparencies on a light box where there is additional illumination is a different matter.
    Prof Pixel, your statement is also true for a light box in the dark. Are you confusing the issue by suggesting additional light that shows the slide by reflected light as well as transmitted?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  10. #10

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    I suspect Prof_Pixel means that to make your eye see a colour-cast, even where there is none, is relatively easy when there are different light-sources around. As an example, the lightbox might be a perfect daylight temperature, but if everything else in the room is bright but warmer, then the slides can easily appear blue. However, when the slide is the only light around (projection in the dark, for example) then the eye does it's adaptation thing quite nicely.
    Last edited by MartinP; 06-29-2013 at 06:38 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: copy-paste error

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