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#1 Oscar Godfrey

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Posted 28 August 2006 - 03:28 PM

Hello,
I have been reading about technicolor on wikipedia. It explains that the image is split by a prism onto two pieces of film, the light from one beam goes throught a green filter and the other a red. The two negatives are then dyed appropriately. What i don't understand is where the blues come from. Can anyone explain?
Thank you.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 August 2006 - 09:02 PM

Hello,
I have been reading about technicolor on wikipedia. It explains that the image is split by a prism onto two pieces of film, the light from one beam goes throught a green filter and the other a red. The two negatives are then dyed appropriately. What i don't understand is where the blues come from. Can anyone explain?
Thank you.


The light goes through a beam splitter. One half of the prism is filtered green and the image is recorded onto orthochromatic b&w stock (blue-green sensitive) to record the green record.

The other half is filtered magenta (red + blue) and the light hits two pieces of b&w negative bipacked together. The top film is blue-sensitive b&w stock to record the blue record.

That blue-sensitive roll is dyed red and has no anti-halation backing so that it acts as a red filter, so the light passes through the blue record, gets filtered red, and hits the panchromatic b&w stock behind it to record the red record.

Look at this page for the diagram of the camera:
http://www.widescree...echnicolor7.htm

And then look at the surrounding pages for the history of Technicolor.
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#3 Dominic Case

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Posted 29 August 2006 - 01:16 AM

This is just one aspect of "Technicolor".

In the beginning there was a two-colour additive system, with the single roll of negative consisting of alternate red/orange and cyan images. Then they went to a two-colur subtractive system, also with a single strip of negative.

Then the most well-known three colour system was developed.

But in addition to the camera systems, the Technicolor imbibition printing process is what made Glorious Technicolor what it was. It used yellow magenta and cyan dyes that were transferred from "matrix" negatives onto print film - having more in common with traditional offset printing on paper than with photography - although for some time there was also a thin black & white image printed into a photographic layer on the print film - almost a cmyk technique, and not unlike the bleach bypass or ACE systems used today.

The Technicolor labs of today use none of this technology - but the name lives on.
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#4 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 29 August 2006 - 09:26 AM

Marty Hart's "American Widescreen Museum" has a very comprehensive section about Technicolor 3-strip:

http://www.widescree...echnicolor1.htm

http://www.widescree...tune-page01.htm 1934 Fortune Magazine Article

http://www.widescree...dcolor/ball.htm 1935 Article

http://www.widescree...olor/kalmus.htm 1938 Herbert Kalmus article

http://www.widescree...color/hoch0.htm 1942 Hoch article

Some Technicolor photos and illustrations from American Widescreen Museum:

Posted Image

Posted Image
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#5 Oscar Godfrey

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Posted 29 August 2006 - 11:39 AM

I see. Thank you.
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#6 Nathan Milford

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Posted 29 August 2006 - 01:26 PM

I believe hearing that those prisms were so valuable that they were kept in valuts / safes after each day's shooting...

I can't imagine how much light you'd lose with that prism, not to mention slow lenses and stocks. *cringe*
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#7 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 29 August 2006 - 01:49 PM

I believe hearing that those prisms were so valuable that they were kept in valuts / safes after each day's shooting...

I can't imagine how much light you'd lose with that prism, not to mention slow lenses and stocks. *cringe*


My records show films Kodak made for 3-Strip cameras included:

1237 EASTMAN Red Sensitive Negative Film 1938-1950
1238 EASTMAN Green Sensitive Negative Film 1938-1950
1239 EASTMAN Blue Sensitive Negative Film 1938-1950

The "Technicolor Monopack" film was 5267 KODAK KODACHROME Professional Film (1942-1951), which had an exposure index of EI 16 Daylight.
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 01:34 AM

Around the time that Technicolor created their "faster" version when "Gone with the Wind" went into production, Kodak also came out with Plus-X (80 ASA) and Super-XX (160 ASA). I suspect that this faster b&w technology allowed Technicolor to boost its sensitivity.

It seems that the faster Technicolor process released in 1938 was around 10 ASA, double its previous sensitivity of around 5 ASA. By the time 3-strip was obsoleted in 1955, it was probably in the 16 to 20 ASA range, since the first Eastmancolor negative in 1950 was around 16 ASA and was designed to compete with Technicolor.
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#9 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 01:36 PM

Around the time that Technicolor created their "faster" version when "Gone with the Wind" went into production, Kodak also came out with Plus-X (80 ASA) and Super-XX (160 ASA). I suspect that this faster b&w technology allowed Technicolor to boost its sensitivity.

It seems that the faster Technicolor process released in 1938 was around 10 ASA, double its previous sensitivity of around 5 ASA. By the time 3-strip was obsoleted in 1955, it was probably in the 16 to 20 ASA range, since the first Eastmancolor negative in 1950 was around 16 ASA and was designed to compete with Technicolor.


Technicolor replaced the daylight balanced 3-strip with a faster tungsten balanced 3-strip around 1952.
It was claimed to double the speed, if I recall correctly.
Spottiswoode's 'Film and its Technique', which was published in 1951, as 12 or 16 ASA.
All the availiable color systems, including bi-pack, were within a half a stop of each other.
So the tungsten 3-strip would have been 25 or 32 ASA. The second eastmancolor negative 5248 was 25T.

The last, at least British, 3-strip movie was Sandy MacKendrick's 'The Ladykillers'.
Otto Heller,who did 'The Ipcress File', was cinematographer.
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#10 Matthew Buick

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Posted 16 September 2006 - 04:17 PM

Can teh Technicolor look be had with any Super 8 stocks ?
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#11 Chris Keth

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Posted 16 September 2006 - 05:13 PM

Can teh Technicolor look be had with any Super 8 stocks ?



Probably, if you started with a saturated positive stock and did expensive color manipulation to get the colorspace right.
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#12 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 12:54 AM

The closest would be 7285 Ektachrome 100D, but production design, lighting, costume, etc. would be a big factor in achieving a Technicolor look.
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#13 Matthew Buick

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 06:58 AM

Egad, too complicated, I'll start with something simpler, like a cheap Reversal.
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#14 Hal Smith

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 07:30 AM

Egad, too complicated, I'll start with something simpler, like a cheap Reversal.

5285/7285 IS reversal. I just shot a bunch of Ektachrome stills with E100VS at Precious Moments in Carthage, MO. The more colorful shots have a very Technicolor look to them. E100VS is almost identical to 5285/7285 so David's telling you how to get your Technicolor look with a modern, readily available film.
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#15 Matthew Buick

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 08:56 AM

Oh yeah, where can I find this Reversal ?

By the way, I mean 3-strip Technicolor look, just like Singin' in the Rain .

Edited by Matthew Buick, 17 September 2006 - 08:59 AM.

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#16 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 01:25 PM

I believe Pro8mm repackages this stock in Super-8 -- I'm not sure if Kodak has decided yet whether to release it directly in Super-8 cartridges.
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#17 David Sweetman

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 02:04 PM

http://www.widescreenmuseum.com

This site is amazing. I learned more in 1 hour of reading than I ever expect to in my film history class.
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#18 Matthew Buick

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 04:54 PM

I believe Pro8mm repackages this stock in Super-8 -- I'm not sure if Kodak has decided yet whether to release it directly in Super-8 cartridges.


It would be good if Kodak would start selling all the stocks that pro8mm do, in super 8 cartridges pro8mm is kinda pricey.

P'S I'm bidding on a Canon 814 XL-S, what does everybody think of my choice ?
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#19 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 07:52 PM

It would be good if Kodak would start selling all the stocks that pro8mm do, in super 8 cartridges pro8mm is kinda pricey.


The reason it is pricey and the reason Kodak won't do that are the same: all movie film formats are slit by Kodak from very wide factory rolls, so a single manufacturing run would make so many Super-8 cartridges that they would be outdated before they were all sold from a warehouse and Kodak would end up throwing most or part of it away.

So the only thing that makes sense for low-volume stocks is to slit them from existing 35mm or 16mm rolls, as Pro8mm does, so basically you're paying twice for the same stock.

However, if sales of E100D would be high enough, Kodak would be tempted to put it out in Super-8.
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#20 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 09:53 PM

some useful info & insight on recreating a 3-strip technicolor look...

http://www.aviatorvf...erview&id=color
http://www.aviatorvf...ndScreeningRoom
http://www.theasc.co...ator/page1.html

http://www.theasc.co...far/index.html#
also, in appears that ed lachman used a similar overexposure technique in "touch" in 1997. i saw "far from heaven" projected and though there were some shots that looked more like 3-strip than others, overall it looked pretty awesome.

hope this helps.
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