Early Gevaert colour materials - researched by Michael Talbert

Index to this web page:
I am indebted to Michael Talbert for the following information of early Gevaert colour print processes.
Information on post-1964 Agfa-Gevaert materials is available on the Agfa web page
Also, see his research on early Kodak colour print materials.
Preliminary Perutz information is viewable here.
Top and bottom stickers on a Gevaert black & white 35mm film cassette canister, maybe around 1950.
  1. GEVAERT
  2. Gevacolor Transparency Films
  3. Gevacolor Negative Films
    Gevacolor N5 colour negative film for daylight
    Gevacolor N3 colour negative film for artificial light
    Processing Gevacolor Negative films, N5 and N3
  4. Structure of Gevacolor Negative Films
  5. Gevacolor N5 Mask Negative Film
    Mask Formation in the Cyan Layer
    Mask Formation in the Magenta Layer
    Processing Gevacolor N5 Mask Negative Film
  1. Gevacolor Paper
    Printing on Gevacolor Paper or Gevacolor Positive Film
    Subtractive (White Light) Printing
    Additive (Tri-color) Printing
    Darkroom Safelighting for Gevaclor Paper and Gevacolor Positive Film
    A Note on Gevacolor Paper Filtrations
  2. GEVAERT Packaging
  3. Processing Gevacolor Paper
    Processing Procedure for Gevacolor Paper, from July 1957
    Processing Procedure for Gevacolor Paper, from April 1963
    Processing Procedure for Gevacolor Paper, Shortened Process
    Processing Gevacolor M8 Paper using the Kodak Rapid Colour Print Processors H11L and 16K
  4. FOOTNOTES
    Michael Talbert
    Agfa and Gevaert

GEVAERT

Gevaert Ltd. was founded in 1894, when Lieven Gevaert started to make photographic printing papers at Anselmo street, Antwerp, Belgium. A year later, 1895, a public company was formed – Gevaert Limited, and in the same year a factory was built on some land near Mortsel to manufacture films, photographic glass plates, and printing papers.

'Popular Photography' magazine for Spring 1988, in its editorial column, suggested the correct proununciation of the Flemish gentleman's name who founded the Belgian comany 'Gevaert' was 'Gay-vaart'.

An earlier pronunciation suggestion, within a Gevaert advertisement on page 89 of 'Popular Photography' magazine, April 1938 is, "Picture takers all over the world say 'Gay-vert' (Gayvert) and know that the film they buy is made for just one thing - 'perfect pictures'. Start now to make all your pictures perfect - use Gevaert Panchromosa - in both Roll Films and Film Packs - fits all cameras".
"
Photography is easy and perfect the Gevaert way". The Gevaert Company of America Inc; 423 West 55th Street, New York (branches in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg).


Gevacolor Transparency Films

Gevaert of Belgium introduced Gevacolor Reversal film for transparencies in 1947. It was first available in 35mm film, 20 exposure cassettes, one type balanced for daylight exposures and an artificial light type for use under 3200°K lamps. Both types of film were sold as “Process Paid”, and were returned to Gevaert for processing. The artificial light film was also sold in sheet film format in various sizes.

In 1948, the daylight type film was also obtainable in 120, and possibly 620 size, roll film, also Process Paid. The British Journal of Photography Almanac (BJPA) for 1948 devotes three pages to the two films, and includes a processing table, though the various chemical baths are only specified by a 'G' number, i.e. G.1 = 1st Development through to G.7 = Fixing. The total time was 87minutes, not including drying. C. Leslie Thomson published successful formulae and a processing table for Gevacolor films in a supplementary leaflet enclosed in his book “Colour Transparencies”, first published in 1948.

The BJPA for 1950 reported that on 15th March 1949, Mr. J. Bracey Gibbon of Gevaert had showed examples of the, then, new Gevacolor film to members of the Royal Photographic Society and had described the processing procedure. At this time the film was still not available for sale in the UK.

It is likely the film was marketed in the UK by 1950, as the BJPA for 1951 tells us “Processing kits are available in Britain……”. It is likely that the kits were intended for use by the professional photographer for processing sheet film Gevacolor, which may have been sold at a price which did not include the processing costs (see below).

By 1953 the daylight type films were known as Gevacolor R5, and the artificial light sheet film and 35mm film were labelled Gevacolor R3. All films had a speed of 12 ASA/ISO, or about 23 Scheiner.

Below is shown a 620 roll film size Gevacolor R5 with an expiry date of April 1968. This film was sold “Process Paid”, and a paper bag was enclosed in the red box to return the film to the processing station. A sheet of paper enclosed in the box gives the addresses of processing laboratories in ten different countries. The UK processing laboratory at the time of printing the sheet of paper (May 1965), was “Gevaert Limited, Great West Road, Brentford, Middlesex.” This was also Gevaert’s main address in the UK at that time. A detailed instruction sheet enclosed with the film is dated March 1966.

   

   

In the Gevacolor Reversal film section in The BJPA for 1954 it is mentioned that Gevacolor R5 and R3 films were sold at a price not including the processing costs. It is possible that the films were sold without the processing costs included after processing kits became available, post-1950. Instead of buying a processing kit, the film could instead be sent to “Allcolor Services, 148 Southampton Row London WC2”. This was the only laboratory listed for processing Gevacolor R5 and R3 films at this time and the cost for processing a 35mm, 20 exposure cassette is given as 7 shillings and sixpence (about 37p). Roll films were charged at 7 shillings per roll (35p).

To confuse matters, however, the BJPA for 1955 reports in the Gevacolor R5/R3 section that the purchase price of the films did, again, include the cost of processing, and film should be sent to the "Gevaert Colour Processing Laboratory at Acton Lane, Harlesden, London, N.W.10". By 1955 the speed of the daylight films had been increased to 25 ASA/ISO, 26 Scheiner, and the new increased speed film was advertised as Gevacolor 26 in the back advertisement pages of The BJPA of 1956 (see image, below). It is thought that around this time the artificial light film, Gevacolor R3, was withdrawn from the market.

   

   

A further speed increase to 40 ASA/ISO in 1958 brought the film speed in line with a slow, fine grain, black and white film of the late 1950s, such as Kodak Panatomic X.

The film speed was again increased to 50 ASA/ISO in 1961. Following the amalgamation of the Agfa and Gevaert companies in July 1964, Gevacolor Reversal R5 film was gradually replaced by the Agfa equivalent product, Agfacolor CT18 film. Certainly by 1966, CT18, and CK20 films were being labelled Agfa-Gevaert. The size 620 Gevacolor R5 roll film illustrated above, must have been from a batch of some of the last R5 films manufactured, as it has an expiry date as late as April 1968.

Gevacolor R5 was also manufactured as Standard 8mm “double run” movie film, but with a film speed of 10 ASA/ISO.


Gevacolor Negative Films

“Miniature Camera” Magazine, in April 1949, announced a forthcoming colour negative film for colour prints. Gevacolor negative films were introduced into the UK in 1952.

Alongside is shown the earliest advertisement for Gevacolor negative films published in the “Amateur Photographer” Magazine, this being in June 1953. It gives prices for Gevacolor N5 (Daylight type), 35mm and roll films, their processing costs, plus sizes and prices of contact prints and enlargements made from Gevacolor negatives. The advertisement also states that the exposed films must be ”handed to your dealer” for processing and printing and not sent directly to Gevaert Ltd.

There is a short section in the British Journal of Photography Almanac (BJPA) for 1953 describing Gevacolor negative films, recommending that exposed films be sent directly to Gevaert Ltd for processing and printing. The Gevaert Company was then at Acton Lane, Harlesden, London NW10. At that time there were no colour chemical kits supplied by Gevaert, or anyone else, for processing the negative film. It had to be done by Gevaert.

Gevacolor negative film is also mentioned briefly in an advertisement for Gevaert products at the back of the same Almanac.

The prices of the negative films were slightly lower than the price of Agfacolor films of the equivalent format. Film processing charges and printing costs were identical, and the sizes of enlargements, 4 1/8 x 5 7/8 inches to 7 1/8 x 9 ½ inchesins, were exactly the same. It is likely that the printing paper was manufactured in continental sheet sizes or, more likely, cut from rolls to continental sizes. Enlargements in the usual UK formats being used at that time (Whole plate, Half plate, 8 x 10 inches), were not available, and Michael Talbert is certain that, as with Agfa, prices of the contact prints and enlargements were fixed by Gevaert.

As time progressed, other laboratories started processing and printing Gevacolor films, and by the end of the 1950s the BJPA listed five laboratories who would undertake Gevacolor film processing.


Gevacolor N5 colour negative film for daylight
The first Gevacolor negative films to be sold in the UK were available in sheet film, roll film, and 35mm formats. It is likely that all formats were available in daylight balanced film but the artificial light film was only manufactured in sheet film sizes. The daylight type film was known as “Gevacolor Negative N5” and was an unmasked material very similar to Agfacolor CNT film (see Agfa section). In 1953 the film had a speed of 16ASA (ISO). The exposure in fairly bright sunlight was about 1/50 or 1/60 second at f8.

By 1955, Gevaert had introduced new colour negative films of increased speed. The daylight film speed was increased to 25ASA (ISO), and the new film was known as “Gevacolor N5–26” for a time. The “26” was the speed measured in “Scheiner”. The Scheiner speed system was used mainly on the continent at that time, but by the early 1960s the Scheiner speed system was obsolete, as photographers were using the American ASA system, and the film lost it’s “-26” suffix.

The speed was increased again to 40ASA (ISO) in 1962, possibly to keep pace with other colour negative films such as Kodacolor, 32ASA (ISO), Agfacolor CN 17, 40ASA (ISO) and Pakolor Super 40, 40ASA (ISO).

The last Gevacolor negative film for daylight was “Gevacolor N5 Mask”, introduced in March 1963 as a sheet film of 40ASA (ISO). It was similar to Agfacolor CN 17M, introduced at about the same time. By 1964 Gevacolor N5 Mask was obtainable in the usual roll film formats and 35mm. As it’s name suggests, the processed negatives exhibited an orange colour “mask”, much like a Kodacolor negative.

In July 1964, the two companies Agfa and Gevaert joined forces and became “Agfa-Gevaert”. Gevaert continued to manufacture their photographic products in their familiar red packets and boxes labeled “Gevaert” for a time after July 1964, but by 1966 Gevacolor N5 Mask film had been replaced by Agfacolor CN 17S colour negative film, later to become Agfacolor CNS film and products were labeled “Agfa Gevaert”.

Gevacolor N3 colour negative film for artificial light
A Gevacolor negative film balanced for artificial light was first marketed in the UK in 1952, possibly in sheet film format only. The film was known as “Gevacolor Negative N3 film”, having a speed of 16ASA (ISO) and was manufactured as an unmasked negative film. In 1955 it became known as “Gevacolor Negative N3 –24” film and a technical data sheet from 1957 names it as “Gevacolor Negative N3 Studio Film”, the reference to “Studio Film” meaning “sheet film”. Certainly, the film was only sold in sheet film formats.

The Focal Press Photo Guide, No.78, “All about colour with Gevacolor”, published in 1960, confirms that Gevacolor N3 was only available in sheet film format at the beginning of the 1960s, and the film by then had lost it’s pointless “-24” label.

The speed of Gevacolor N3 film was increased to 20ASA (ISO) in 1962, but unlike the N5 film a masked version was never made.

It is likely that manufacture of the film ceased in 1965 and the nearest equivalent replacement film was Agfacolor CN 17 sheet film. The two films were not identical.

     

Processing Gevacolor Negative films, N5 and N3
Gevacolor negative films were processed at a temperature of 68 +/– ½°F in the colour developer, and a temperature range of 63°F to 72°F was used for the remainder of the processing solutions and washes.
The films were processed in total darkness for the first three steps, and no safelight was recommended.

Step

Gevaert Bath Code

Time, Minutes
1. Colour Developer G - 24 12 for type 530.
10½ for type 540,
(See Note 2, below)
2. Wash Plain water ½
3. Hardener Fixer G - 57 5
Remaining steps in white light
4. Wash Plain Water 15
5. Bleach G - 46 5 to 8
6. Wash Plain Water 10
7. Fixer G – 54 5
8. Wash Plain Water 10
9. Rinse 'Gevatol' Wetting Agent 2
10.Dry Not over 86°F.

Notes:

  1. The date of the above processing table is July 1957. At the present time, this is the earliest processing table Michael Talbert has been able to find for Gevacolor negative films. The processing sequence is different to that of Agfacolor films and it is possible that earlier sequences and processing solutions may have been very similar to the Agfacolor negative processing sequence of three solutions plus washes, but that cannot be said for certain.
  2. The time of Colour Development varied depending on the type of film. The earlier batches of film were designated as Type 530 and required 12 minutes development. Later batches, type 540, required 10½ minutes development time.
  3. The long wash step 4, after the Harden Fixer G – 57, was to wash out as much colour developer as possible from the emulsion layers. Any colour developer remaining in the film would re-act with the Bleach G – 46, with a detrimental effect.
  4. There was much more latitude in the solutions and wash temperatures compared with the Kodak C-22 process, apart from the colour developer. In the data sheet for negative processing, Gevaert stated that it was even possible to carry out the processing of the films outside the temperature limits given, apart from colour development, by giving increased times for lower temperatures and decreased times for higher temperatures. They also warn not to ”depart too much from the temperatures mentioned in the table”.
  5. Processing solutions were obtainable to make up 2.5 litres, 10 litres and 50 litres of each solution. There was also a Colour Developer Replenisher, G – 24R, supplied to make 2.5 litres and 10 litres of solution. All solutions were mixed in water at 68°F to 77°F from powder components, apart from the Bleach G – 46, which consisted of four separate components, where component D was liquid.
     

Structure of Gevacolor Negative Films

The structure of the early Gevacolor unmasked negative films were very similar to the two Agfacolor negative films (CNT and CNK) of that time.

A black anti-halation layer was applied to the base of the film and on top of this was coated an emulsion which was sensitive to blue and red light. The emulsion incorporated a colour coupler which reacted with the colour developer to produce a cyan dye in the exposed areas of the layer.

Following on top of the cyan dye layer was an emulsion which was sensitive to blue and green light, also containing a colour coupler producing a magenta dye in the exposed areas. Because both layers were sensitive to unwanted blue light, a yellow filter was coated on top of the blue and green sensitive emulsion, preventing blue light from penetrating and so preventing it from affecting the two emulsion layers below. Thus, the two lower layers were affected only by red and green light, rerspectively.

The upper layer, coated on top of the yellow filter, was sensitive to blue light only and contained a colour coupler which produced a yellow dye.

Colour development produced three dyes plus a silver image. The unwanted silver image was removed in the following Bleach and Fix stages, leaving a pure dye image.

Information on much of the technology for the manufacture of a three colour negative film and a corresponding three colour printing paper was published in the FIAT reports at the end of World War II. FIAT stands for Field Information Agency, Technical.
FIAT No. 976 dealt with the Agfacolor Process and FIAT No.721 dealt with the Agfacolor Negative Positive Process for Motion Pictures.

By 1947, this information became freely available to companies outside Germany, such as Gevaert (in Belgium), Ferrania (in Italy), and Telko (in Switzerland).

Gevacolor N5 Mask Negative Film

The last colour negative film manufactured by Gevaert was "Gevacolor N5 Mask". In addition to the reversed colour dyes generated during colour development, an orange / red mask was formed in the cyan dye layer and the magenta dye layer. The orange / red mask improved the colour rendering in the print, yellows appeared brighter and more saturated, magentas were less yellow, and greens, always a difficult colour to reproduce well, became brighter and less blue.

Mask Formation in the Cyan Layer
The cyan (red sensitive) layer in the film contained the coupling agent for generating the cyan dye formed during colour development. In addition to the cyan coupler the layer contained a "colourless masking agent". This masking agent was not effected by the Colour Developer but, in the subsequent Bleaching Bath, the remaining component of the cyan coupler, which was not used to form any part of the exposed image, i.e. the part that was unexposed, reacted by oxidation with the colourless masking agent to form a positive red mask. Hence, where the cyan layer was fully exposed there was no red mask, but in partly exposed areas there was a partial mask and in entirely unexposed areas there was a full red mask.

Mask Formation in the Magenta Layer
The colour coupler contained in the magenta (green sensitive) layer was actually yellow coloured. In the Bleaching Bath this coupler lost its yellow colour in direct proportion to the magenta dye formed by colour development i.e. formed where the film was exposed. Hence, where the magenta layer was fully exposed there was no yellow mask, in partly exposed areas there was a partial mask and in unexposed areas there was a full yellow mask.

Processing Gevacolor N5 Mask Negative Film
Gevacolor N5 Mask was processed in a slightly different sequence to the previous Gevacolor negative films, with a different Bleaching bath, viz: G-449.

As with the previous unmasked films, N5 Mask was processed at a temperature of 68 +/– ½°F in the colour developer, and a temperature range of 63°F to 72°F for the remainder of the processing solutions and washes.
The film was processed in total darkness for the first three steps; no safelight was recommended.

Step

Gevaert Bath Code

Time, Minutes
1. Colour Developer G - 24 9
2. Wash Plain water ½
3. Hardener Fixer G - 367 (previously G - 57) 8
Remaining steps could be carried out in white light
4. Wash Plain Water 10
5. Bleach (including mask formation) G - 449 5
6. Wash Plain Water 5
7. Fixer G - 364 (previously G – 54) 5
8. Wash Plain Water 20
9. Rinse 'Gevatol' Wetting Agent 2
10.Dry Not over 86°F.

Total process time, not including drying, was 64½ minutes. This produced a colour negative suitable for printing onto Gevacolor M8 paper.

     

GEVAERT "Take it in Colour"

This Gevacolor booklet consists of 20 pages, with advice on “Negative or Reversal Film”, “What to take”, “Exposure”, and “Flash Photography”.

Aimed mainly at the amateur photographer, it is illustrated with many colour pictures and coloured diagrams.

Some of the colour photographs printed inside have been reproduced with too much contrast but on the whole the book contains a lot of useful information, plus a very good exposure table for both negative (N5) and reversal (R5) films.

Inside are two price lists dated April 1958, so the booklet is likely to date to a similar time.

Gevacolor R5 120 film cost 18 shillings and 2d, including processing (92p).

Gevacolor N5 120 film cost 10 shillings and 10d not including processing (54p).

The processing charge for a 120 film was 6 shillings and 6d (32p).

An “en print” was 2 shillings and 9d (14p) for a print about 4 inches square from a square 120 negative.
An enlargement of 7 inches x 9 inches cost £1.3s.6d (£1.18).

The booklet price of 2s.6d (half a crown) was the equivalent of the modern day 12.5pence.

   

Photo Exposure Guide

Below is a simple exposure guide for daylight, artificial light and flash bulb photography using Gevacolor N5 colour negative film (as above) plus Gevacolor R5 reversal film, and black & white Gevapan negative and reversal films. It is believed to date to April 1961.

   



Gevacolor Paper

Gevacolor paper was coated with three light sensitive emulsions onto a paper base support.

The emulsion layers were coated onto the paper support in the same order as used with the negative films, i.e. starting with the red sensitive layer on the base, followed by the green sensitive layer in the middle and lastly the (upper most) blue sensitive layer. Notice that this blue sensitive layer was coated directly onto the green sensitive layer; there was no yellow filter layer. This was possible by using silver chloride based emulsions for the green and red sensitive layers, thus rendering them practically insensitive to blue light.

Omitting the yellow filter layer improved the definition of the print image.

At one time during the 1950s the layer order may have been changed. Some literature suggests that the green sensitive emulsion may have been coated onto the paper base with the red sensitive emulsion in the middle of the pack. This is from one source, dating from 1958, but Michael has insufficient Gevacolor technical literature available to confirm this.

When it was first produced, Gevacolor paper was only used by Gevaert Ltd. and was not available for sale to amateur or even professional photographers.

The emulsions were coated onto a byrata covered paper base, possibly of double weight thickness, with a glossy surface. The paper was of "normal" contrast, but by the mid 1950s the paper was supplied in three contrast grades, "Soft", coded "Z", "Normal" coded "N", and "Vigorous", coded "V". The "Vigorous" grade was equivalent to a "Hard" contrast, suitable for soft or underexposed colour negatives. This paper would have been similar to the Agfacolor paper coded CH III.

Printing on Gevacolor Paper or Gevacolor Positive Film
Most of this information is taken from a Gevacolor technical data book dated 1957.

Gevacolor prints could be made by “white light” (subtractive) , or “Tri Colour” (additive) printing methods.

Subtractive (White Light) Printing
The usual method was to expose Gevacolor paper, or Gevacolor Positive film, through an enlarger, altering the colour balance either with individual “Gevacolor” CC filters inserted into the enlarger's filter draw or, for preference, by means of a colour head with “dial in” filters.

Making prints on Gevacolor paper by “White Light” techniques followed the same procedures as if printing on any other type of colour printing paper, especially Agfacolor paper, as the two colour printing papers, viz: Gevacolor 8 for unmasked negatives, and Agfacolor CN III, were very similar.

Gevaert suggested that the first test print should be exposed with the filters marked as “Pos Corr” (Positive Correction Filters) on the label of the packet or box of Gevacolor paper used to make the prints (for an example, see the Gevacolor M8 package photo, below). This would result in a far better colour rendering than if the user started by making test prints without the use of any printing filters, i.e. a “zero” print. The “Pos Corr” figures could also be used to calculate the new filtration when changing from one batch of Gevacolor paper to another, using the same method as when printing on Agfacolor paper (see Agfacolor section).

Once a good print had been made from a well exposed, good quality negative, the same filtration, or filter “pack”, could be tried with the next negative to be printed.

A complete set of Gevacolor CC printing filters comprised of 33 separate filters, 11 in each of: 'j'=jaune (yellow), 'm'=magenta and 'c'=cyan. There were 10 filters in each colour of graduated density, numbered from 10 to 100 in steps of 10 units. There was also a 5 unit filter in each colour, making 11 in total for each of the three colours.

The sets of filters were very similar to the Agfacolor glass printing filters (consisting of 5 units to 99 units in each colour; see Agfacolor section).

Gevacolor CC filters were obtainable in gelatine sheets and glass filters, the latter consisting of gelatine filters mounted between two sheets of glass in various sizes:
2 x 2 inches (5 x 5 cms), 3 x 3 inches (7.5 x 7.5 cms), 4¾ x 4¾ inches (12 x 12 cms), and 5 x 7 inches (13 x 18 cms).
The 2 x 2 inch size would have been adequate for 35mm format negatives, and the 4¾ x 4¾ inch size were equivalent to the boxed set of Agfacolor printing filters illustrated in the Agfacolor printing section.

Filtrations were written in exactly the same way as when using Agfacolor printing filters, in the order of “Yellow, Magenta, Cyan”. A filtration of no yellow filtration, 70 units of Magenta filtration and 50 units of Cyan filtration, was written as: -- 70 50, where a line denoted a filter colour not being used.

Gevaert supplied a table in which the exposure increases and decreases could be worked out by means of filter factors when changing the filtration. Corrections for Gevacolor CC filters from “5” to “200” densities were listed alongside the correction factor. For very small density changes, up to 15 units, the exposure could be altered by 10%. The correction table applied to Magenta and Cyan filters only, as exposure changes due to variations in yellow filtration could be ignored.

Example 1:
A test print is made with a filtration of : -- 40 50; i.e.no yellow filtration, a 40 Magenta filter, a 50 Cyan filter, with an exposure time of 8 seconds.
It is found that this test print is too blue and slightly magenta, it is estimated that a 10 magenta correction will make it greener and a 30 blue correction will make it yellower.

To the test print filtration of -- 40 50 Add a 10 magenta filter, making – 50 50, and add a 30 magenta filter plus a 30 cyan filter (equivalent to adding 30 blue). The filtration 'pack' then becomes -- 80 80.
In practice a 40 unit magenta filter would have been added, not separate 10 unit and 30 unit magenta filters.

To determine the exposure correction, the newly added filters had to be added together i.e. add together the 40 of Magenta and the 30 of Blue, to make 70 units. The exposure correction factor could then be read from the table. For +70 units the correction was found to be x2. Hence, the new exposure time for the new filtration of – 80 80 was 16 seconds.

If the separate 70 unit filter in either magenta or cyan was added to the original filtration, ( -- 110 50, or – 50 120) the factor of x2 would apply in each case.

The filter exposure factor could range from x1 i.e. no exposure time change for a 5 unit filter, to x7 for an additonal 200 units of filtration (summing the additional filters together).

By comparing the Gevacolor exposure filter factors with similar factor tables for Agfacolor magenta and cyan filters, the higher value Agfacolor cyan filters were slightly denser. Agfacolor and Gevacolor magenta and lower value cyan filters were almost of the same density. This comparison applied to glass filter sets from both manufacturers. In the case of the Gevacolor filter factors, it seems the same exposure factors applied to both the Gevacolor CC gelatine and the Gevacolor CC glass filters.

Example 2:
Gevaert suggested, when using their glass filters, that four glass filters should be used together, even if only one, two or three filter(s) could be used for the colour correction. This was because the glasses between which the gelatine filters were mounted, absorbed some light and affected the exposure factor.

By way of Example: It is found that a 60 magenta filter on it’s own corrects the colour balance of a print satisfactorily (-- 60 --). The 60 magenta glass filter is placed in the filter draw of the enlarger together with three “blanks”, three glass filters with no gelatine filter in between the glasses. Then, if a subsequent print requires that an additional filter is added, say a 40 cyan, one of the “blanks” is removed and the 40 cyan put in it’s place (making the new filter 'pack' -- 60 40). It is only then necessary to increase the exposure time for the newly added 40 cyan filter without having to consider an exposure change due to any change in the number of glasses.

The point of this method was that, if the glass blank, or blanks, were not there, and the 40 cyan filter was added to the 60 magenta filter, the two glasses that contained the cyan filter would absorb some light that would not have been taken into account when using the exposure correction table for the addition of the new 40 units (cyan) filtration.

Admittedly, the extra loss of light would have been small, but when making large changes to the filtration it was possible, if the user simply relied on the exposure factors given in the Gevacolor table, that the resulting colour prints would have been under exposed if changes in the number of glasses had been ignored.

Example 3:
Four glass filters were recommended to be used at any one time, as this took into account the possible use of the two 5 unit filters.

By way of Example: A filtration of – 65 75 would comprise of four separate glass filters, a 60 unit magenta and a 5 unit magenta, plus and a 70 unit cyan and a 5 unit cyan.

Over 40 years ago, the author used this same method of maintaining the number of blank filter glasses with a filter 'pack' when making Agfacolor prints with massive 9 inch square glass 'ICI Colour' printing filters.

Additive (Tri-color) Printing
The three colour filters supplied by Gevaert for Tri-colour printing were:
Blue, No. 478a
Green, No. 527a,
Red, No. 678

Tri-colour printing required a separate exposure time through each filter in turn. Colour correction in the print was achieved by varying the exposure time through each filter, or by varying the intensity of the printing light through each filter.

Darkroom Safelighting for Gevacolor Paper and Gevacolor Positive Film
Gevaert sold a 'Universal' safelight, under the name 'Gevalor'. It was similar to the Kodak 'Beehive' safelamp and could be attached to a wall or hung from the darkroom ceiling. Like the 'Beehive', it was fitted with a circular safelight filter. A range of circular safelight filters were intended to be used with the lamp. Gevacolor Paper and Gevacolor Positive film could be handled under a dark yellow filter, coded X591 for the Gevalor lamp. Other filters in the range were for use with black and white materials.

'Gevinac' darkroom safelight filters were manufactured by Gevaert in sheet sizes for other darkroom lamps. A dark yellow 'Gevinac' safelight filter, coded X592 for Gevacolor Paper and Gevacolor Positive film was for use in darkroom lamps taking rectangular glass filters.

Gevacolor Paper and Positive film could also be handled under a 15 watt Sodium Safelight fitted with a 'D2' filter.

No precise time was given for the handling time of Gevacolor paper and Gevacolor Positive film under any of the safelight filters. It was suggested by Gevaert that the paper or film, when handled under the safelight filters, must not show any signs of fogging for a time equivalent to the normal processing time of the Gevacolor paper. The 'normal' processing time of the paper was about 10 minutes, if the time is taken from placing the paper in the Developer to the end of the Fixing time, when the white-light could be turned on. It is probably safe to assume that Gevacolor paper and Positive Film could be handled for a maximum time of 10 minutes, with a safelight to printing material distance of about 5 feet.

A Note on Gevacolor Paper Filtrations
The filtrations given in the Gevacolor data sheets suggested that when printing from unmasked negative films, N5 and N3, filter 'packs' were generally a combination of either magenta and cyan filters, or yellow and cyan filters. It is very likely that the correction filters, when printing from Gevacolor N5 MASK films onto Gevacolor M8 paper, would have been a combination of yellow and magenta filters (due to the orange / red colour of the negative film mask) 



GEVAERT Packaging

Below are shown various examples of packaging used by Gevaert prior to its 1964 merger with Agfa and in the few subsequent years that the Gevaert name remained 'stand-alone'.
By the late 1960s the name was linked to Agfa as Agfa-Gevaert and lost its unique identity.

A label from a packet of Gevacolor M8 paper for printing from masked colour negatives.
“Grad 2” was of Normal Contrast and “M8” was the Gevaert code for “Mask, White, Glossy”.
Gevacolor paper was one of the very few colour printing papers to bear an expiry date (May 1966).

The “Pos. Corr” figures were for use with “White Light” printing when using Gevacolor printing filters on an enlarger with a filter draw, or the figures could be dialed into a colour head. The figures were a guide as a starting filtration, or when changing from one batch of paper to another.
The figures 130 , 115 , – meant 130 Yellow, 115 Magenta, 0 Cyan filtration, similar to the Agfa “Grundzahl” figures. (see Agfa section).

“Speed Figures” were used for Tri-Color Printing, and these figures related to either the Red, Green and Blue, or the Blue, Green and Red speeds of the individual layers of the paper. They were used when calculating the tri-colour exposures on automatic printing machines in D&P laboratories, or when using tri-colour filters on an enlarger when changing between batches of paper or to a paper with different emulsion numbers.

Gevacolor M8 paper was introduced in early 1963, for making prints from Gevacolor N5 Mask film.

     

Two boxes of Gevacolor chemicals for colour print processing.

The left hand box is Colour Developer G - 21 to make 2½ litres of working solution.
The right hand box is a Regenerator i.e. a Replenisher, for Gevacolor Paper Fixing bath G - 366, to make 10 litres of working solution.

The boxes date from around 1964 to 1966. There is a date of 25th May 1966 on the G - 366 box.

     

Gevaert Negative N5 film boxes.

The two 35mm film boxes on the left, Gevacolor N5 Mask, had a speed of 40ASA (ISO).

On the right is a 120 size roll film of the unmasked variety with a speed of 25ASA (ISO). The “Dev. Before” date is July 1959.
It also shows the earlier “Gevaert” logo, before it was changed to capital letters enclosed in a nearly rectangular box, as shown on the chemical boxes (picture above). The change was made gradually in 1957 to 1958.


Processing Gevacolor Paper

In 1957, four solutions were required for processing Gevacolor paper:

Colour Developer; G-26
Fixing Bath; G-56
Bleaching Fixing Bath; G-70
Colour Stabilizer; G-61

All of these were sold to make working solutions of 2.5 litres, 10 litres or 50 litres. All components in each pack were powder chemicals, with the exception of the Colour Stabilizer, where one component was a liquid, the other component being a powder. The liquid part was Formalin, similar to the Agfacolor “Stabilizer” solution. Whereas Agfa provided the powder component of its Stabilizer but required the Formalin component to be purchased separately, Gevaert provided both parts in their “Colour Stabilizer” packs.

Keeping Properties of the made up solutions were specified as follows:

The Developer, G-26, would keep in a full bottles for 2 months.
The Fixing bath and the Colour Stabilizer would keep under the same conditions for several months.
The Bleaching Fixing bath would keep for one month in full bottles.

Processing Procedure for Gevacolor Paper, from July 1957

A safelight could be used during the first three steps if desired, either a Gevinac X592, D2 or Gevalor X591 (see above).

Step

Gevaert Bath Code

Temperature, °F

Time, Minutes
1. Colour Developer

G-26

68 + /– ½

5
2. Wash

Plain Water

63 – 72

½
3. Fixer

G-56

63 – 72

5
Remaining steps could be done in normal room lighting.
4. Wash

Plain Water

63 – 72

10
5. Bleaching Fixing

G-70

63 – 72

5
6. Wash

Plain Water

63 – 72

10
7. Colour Stabilizer

G-61

63 – 72

5
8. Glazing or Drying without any further washing
Prints could be dried at a temperature not exceeding 86°F.
Glazing could be carried out on glazing machines at a temperature not exceeding 175°F

Total processing time : 40½ minutes.

Replenishment.
The only information to hand concerns replenishment of the Colour Developer and Colour Stabilizer. It has not proven poissible to find out any details on replenisher solutions for the Fixer bath or the Bleaching Fixing bath, or of the quantities of replenisher used for these baths. It is possible that these two solutions were replenished with the actual working solutions, as in the case of the Colour Developer.

Colour Developer G-26.
It seesm that the actual made-up working solution was used as a replenisher. Without replenishment, one litre of solution would process 4 square feet of paper, about 60 sheets of 2½ x 3¾ inch prints.
By adding 50ccs of working developer solution after every 10 sheets of 2½ x 3¾ inch prints processed “the capacity could be increased “. Currently there is no knowledge of by how much.

Fixer G-56.
Without replenishment, one litre of working solution would process 40 sheets of 2½ x 3¾ inch prints, approximately 2.6 square feet.

Bleaching Fixing bath G-70.
Without replenishment, one litre of working solution would process 300 sheets of 2½ x 3¾ inch prints, approximately 20 square feet.

Colour Stabilizer. G-61.
Without replenishment, one litre of working solution would process 400 sheets of 2½ x 3¾ inch prints, approximately 26 square feet.
Up to 2,000 sheets of this size paper could be processed if 30 ccs of replenisher was added per 70 sheets processed.
The Colour Stabilizer replenisher was possibly made up using one third of the volume of water used for making up the working strength solution.

Processing Procedure for Gevacolor Paper, from April 1963
Now with replenisher solutions for each bath. (see picture of G-366R box above).

Safelight for first three steps (Gevinac X592, D2, or Gevalor X591).

Step

Gevaert Bath Code

Temperature, °F

Time, Minutes

Replenisher
1. Colour Developer

G-21

68 + /– ½

5

G-21R
2. Wash

Plain Water

63 – 72

½
 
3. Fixer

G-366

63 – 72

5

G-366R
Remaining steps could be done in normal room lighting.
4. Wash

Plain Water

63 – 72

10
 
5. Bleach Fix

G-470

63 – 72

5

G-470R
6. Wash

Plain Water

63 – 72

10
 
7. Stabilizer

G-663

63 - 72

5

G-663R
8. Glazing or Drying as in the 1957 procedure (see above)

Total processing time: 40½ minutes

Notes:

  1. The 1963 procedure was for Gevacolor 8 paper balanced for unmasked negatives and for the then new Gevacolor M8 paper balanced for Gevacolor Mask film.
  2. The numbers of the processing solutions had been changed since 1957; the “Stabilizer” was also known as G-63 for a time.
  3. The replenishers listed were packed and labeled as separate solutions and not made up from the working solutions.

Processing Procedure for Gevacolor Paper, Shortened Process
This may date from the late 1950s to the mid-1960s, when Gevaert ceased producing their Gevacolor print processing chemicals.
This shortened process is mentioned in Jack H. Coote’s book, “Colour Prints”, 2nd edition, published in February 1963 by the Focal Press.

Safelight for first three steps (Gevinac X592, D2, or Gevalor X591).

Step

Gevaert Bath Code

Temperature, °F

Time, Minutes

Replenisher
1. Colour Developer

G-21

68 + /– ½

5

G-21R
2. Fixer

G-366

63 – 72

5

G-366R
Remaining steps could be done in normal room lighting.
4. Bleach Fix

G-470

63 – 72

5

G-470R
6. Wash

Plain Water

63 – 72

10
 
7. Stabilizer

G-663

63 - 72

5

G-663R
8. Glazing or Drying as in the 1957 procedure (see above)

Total processing time: 30 minutes

Jack Coote gives some estimates of the capacity of the solutions if used without replenishment.
Per one litre of working solution, the developer will process six 8 x 10 inch prints.
The Fixing bath will process four 8 x 10 inch prints.
The Bleach Fix will process twenty-four 8 x 10 inch prints.
The Stabilizer will process about eighteen 8 x 10 inch prints.

The very low capacity of the Fixing bath is due to leaving out the Wash step between the Developer and the Fixer; the Fixing bath becoming rapidly contaminated with Developer.

In the 2nd edition of Jack Coote's book “Colour Prints”, the Stabilizer time is given as 1 minute. This is too short and is probably a printing error.

In the 3rd edition of Jack Coote's book "Colour Prints" (published in May 1968 by the Focal Press) he mentions the longer 1963 Gevacolor print process.

Processing Gevacolor M8 Paper using the Kodak Rapid Colour Print Processors H11L and 16K

Safelight for first three steps (Gevinac X592, D2, or Gevalor X591).

Step

Gevaert Bath Code

Temperature, °F

Time
1. Pre-Soak

Plain Water

86 +/- 2°F

30 seconds
2. Colour Developer

G-21 @ 2/3 strength

86 +/- ½°F

1 to 1½ minutes
3. Rinse

Plain Water

86 +/- ½°F

5 seconds
4. Fixer 

G-366
 

2 minutes
Remaining steps could be done in normal room lighting.
4. Rinse

Plain Water

86 +/- 2°F

5 seconds
5. Bleach Fix

G-470

86 +/- 2°F

1½ minutes
6. Wash

Plain Water

86 +/- 2°F

1½ minutes
7. Stabilizer

G-663

86 +/- 2°F

30 seconds
8. Glazing or Drying as in the 1957 procedure (see above)

Total time: 7 minutes 10 seconds to 7 minutes 40 seconds.

Notes:

  1. Temperature of solutions and washes was 86°F, but this could vary by 2 degrees either way without affecting the quality of the print, except for steps 2 and 3, where it was recommended that variations in temperature should not exceed +/– ½°F.
  2. In Step 1, the prints or test strips were soaked in a large dish of water, preferably at a temperature of about 86°F before being loaded on the drum.
  3. It was recommended not to exceed the processing time in Step 3 or Step 5.
  4. Draining time was for 5 seconds before the end of each step apart from the two Rinse steps, where the processing tray underneath the drum remained “open”, or at “dump” position.
  5. If higher contrast was desired, all the processing solutions, rinses and wash step could be used at 92°F leaving the times unchanged provided no fog resulted.
  6. The Colour Developer was diluted two parts Developer to one part water.

Personal notes by the author on the use of this process.
In June 1970, I was fortunate enough to be able to make some prints on Gevacolor M8 paper using this processing procedure. I say “fortunate”, because at that time Gevacolor M8 paper and the corresponding print processing chemicals had been obsolete for at least three years, and the chances of obtaining any Gevacolor paper and chemicals in any reasonable quantity were extremely slim.

In 1970 I was a student at Medway College of Art, Rochester, Kent. On one occasion, when the colour darkroom lecturer was absent, I was searching the cupboards in the colour darkroom for a particular colour processing chemical to mix up. In one of the cupboards I found many unopened red boxes of Gevacolor print processing chemicals, mostly in 2½ litre sizes.

A day or so later I happened to mention the Gevacolor chemicals to the colour darkroom lecturer and he told me that when he first lectured at the College there was a Gevacolor paper processing unit instead of the present Ektachrome E2 and E3 3 gallon tank line. He also said Gevacolor paper could be processed successfully on the Kodak Rapid H11L processor, which we were using at that time for Ektacolor Commercial paper.

A few weeks later the darkroom was running low on the CP5 chemicals, used for Ektacolor Commercial paper. The lecturer asked me if I would like to mix some Gevacolor print processing chemicals to use instead of the Kodak CP5 chemicals. “I haven't got any Gevacolor paper”, I said to him. “Ah, but I have”, he replied, and unlocking one of the large metal cupboards standing outside the darkroom, he pointed to the top shelf where I could see at least 8 unopened red packets of 15 inch x 12 inch Gevacolor M8 paper, 10 sheets in each. We found the paper was all the same batch, with an expiry date of August 1967, possibly some of the last Gevacolor paper made.

I mixed the Gevacolor developer, fixer, and bleach fix, but there was no stabilizer. I asked the lecturer if there was any stabilizer chemicals, whereupon he dived underneath the Ektachrome processing unit and grabbed a large plastic bottle which had accumulated a thick layer of dust since the last time it was used, possibly before the expiry date on the Gevacolor paper ! However the solution worked perfectly, and gave no trouble.

When opening a packet of paper to cut some test strips, I found the sheets to be well wrapped in one layer of thick metal foil. It was interesting to note that by this late stage of Gevacolor paper production, the “Pos Corr” and “Speed Figures” were written on the labels in blue biro. The “Pos Corr” yellow filtration was given as 195 (see picture of Gevacolor M8 paper label above, from an earlier packet).

The paper turned out to be somewhat slower in speed than Ektacolor Commercial paper, not suprising considering it’s age. Contrast was low, but not unacceptably so, and the white borders were off white, going slightly yellow. Test strips were processed up to the last wash, (Step 7), and judged for colour balance while still wet. Colour balance changes between wet and dry prints were small, the paper was slightly more red whilst wet. Colour casts were not difficult to access on the wet prints, much easier than with Kodak colour papers, and test prints were dried on the heated dryer when they were very nearly of the correct balance. The paper was not Resin Coated (i.e. not RC or PE).

Pink casts on the processed prints.
A pink stain, or colour cast, occasionally appeared on some of the prints, mainly in the “sky” areas or any area which was high key. We never found out the cause of this odd fault and the lecturer contacted Agfa Gevaert to find out if they could solve this problem, but Agfa Gevaert could give no satisfactory explanation of the cause, or any remedy. I had to make several “final prints” in the hope that one of them would be “pink cast” free. Fortunately, with some subjects, the cast or stain was hardly noticeable.

With hindsight, and now having a lot more experience in colour printing, I believe the stain was caused by traces of Colour Developer finding it’s way into the Bleach Fix. At the time it was not thought to be fogging from the Safelight, although we were exposing Gevacolor paper to the light of a Kodak Wratten 10H safelight filter, suitable for Kodak colour papers. The filter colour was known as “dark amber”, a very dark orange, and if it had been safelight fog the highlight colour would have been cyan or green.

It is possible that the two 5 second rinses were not long enough to wash all of the Developer chemicals out of the paper and Developer was still active in the Bleach Fix, the Fixer in between being too weak to “stop” the developer chemicals. The dish and tank process operating at 68°F recommends a wash step of 10 minutes between the Fixer and Bleach Fix. (see previous processing tables, above).

Another cause may have been the age of the Gevacolor paper.

Despite these problems, I remember making a few acceptable prints on Gevacolor paper, and it was interesting to have the experience of an obsolete process.


FOOTNOTES

Michael Talbert started making colour prints in 1969, using Kodak Ektacolor Commercial paper. He was a photographic colour printer in the 1970s, printing colour negatives mainly onto Agfacolor paper. He also had experience using about 10 types of Kodak paper, plus other makes, Gevacolor, Fuji, Paterson, Konica.

Michael now sets up and takes “Retro” fashion pictures, but prints them digitally.

     
Agfa and Gevaert:

“Gevaert” was a large Belgian photographic material manufacturing company founded by Lieven Gevaert in 1894. The company’s plant at Mortsel made colour film and colour printing paper as from the early nineteen fifties, initially mainly for D&P laboratories. The company started marketing their colour film and colour printing paper in the UK in 1953, with the sizes of prints and prices being similar to Agfacolor at that time.
A much more detailed history of Agfa and Gevaert can be read here.

Agfa and Gevaert joined forces in July 1964. Both companies continued to make colour film and colour printing paper with their own brand labeling for a year or two after 1964, and by the late 1960s film and paper products were labeled “Agfa-Gevaert.” In 1981, Agfa's 100% owners Bayer, who previously had only controlled 50% of the combined Agfa-Gevaert group, became 100% owners.


This page last modified: 21st March 2017