Re: Restoration of the tri-color camera. An update.

From: Sandy King ^lt;>
Date: 03/18/05-07:25:14 AM Z
Message-id: <a0602045dbe608732c260@[]>

The color carbon and carbro processes are indeed quite difficult to
control. One of the most intensive efforts to establish factory type
controls over color carbro was the Vivex process of Colour
Photographs Ltd. in the UK. According to descriptions I have read,
the working place had very careful control of relative humidity, room
temperature and electrical currents and daily tests were conducted on
materials so assure they were operating. And before the negatives
were printed they were bought into harmony, i.e. their contrast was
matched using reference charts that were exposed along with the
original scene. For its efforts Colour Photographs Ltd. was accused
of "spoiling the market" for colour photographs in England since
their prices were so much lower than those of other colour printers.

One of the best references I have found for color processes is the
3rd (1948) edition of Colour Photography in Practice, by D.A.
Spencer. Plus there are some tipped in Vivex plates in this edition,
at least I am lucky enough to still have them in my copy.


>----- Original Message ----- From: <>
>To: <>
>Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2005 8:56 AM
>Subject: Re: Restoration of the tri-color camera. An update.
>>Congrats on the ebay win...the cost of restoring the original looked like a
>>real obstacle (not insurmountable but damn inconvenient) but this
>>seems to help
>>you along.
>>I've been watching this thread with interest...I saw an article in one of the
>>OLD issues of American Photographer (before it became a girlie magazine) that
>>described the process and it has always seemed fascinating. I've always
>>been tempted to do some speration type original negs with what I believe is
>>called the Harris Shutter technique but there never seems to be enough time.
>>Getting back to that old article, it looked like the three-color
>>was a standard
>>method of producing color magazine cover shots back in "the
>>day"...I think the
>>subject being photographed in the illustrations accompanying the article was
>>Tex Ritter or Hopalong Cassidy or some other movie cowboy of similar vintage.
>>If I can find the article, I'll try to find a way to pass it along.
>>best and good luck
> I think the magazine you refer to was _American Photography_. This
>was a high quality magazine published in Boston. Eventually it
>became a combination of several earlier magazines. I have a small
>collection of them. It was the bastion of "pictorialism" and had
>many articles on alternative processes. About 1940 it merged with a
>large format magazine published by McGraw-Hill aimed at commercial
>photographers and adopted the larger format. It continued to be
>published into the early fifties but died then. The 1930's period
>magazines are quite intresting both for the technical articles and
>the pictorialist viewpoint they espouse.
> One shot cameras were used for color advertising and magazine
>illustration for perhaps 20 years. They were finally killed off by
>Kodachrome and later by Ektachrome. Especially the latter which
>could be developed by the photographer. Usually, the color
>separation negatives were printed by the three color carbro process
>and that photographed to make the color printing plates. Kodachrome
>transparencies could be photographed directly by the process camera
>resulting in sharper images and better color. Nonetheless the
>control offered by the camera and printing method kept it in use
>long after Kodachrome made its appearance in sheet film sizes. Dye
>transfer printing was also used for the color seps but that did not
>become available in a reliable form until the mid or late 1940's.
> Labs who made color carbro usually did nothing else. It was
>evidently a difficult process to control.
>Richard Knoppow
>Los Angeles, CA, USA
Received on Fri Mar 18 07:25:29 2005

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