Kodak Colour Negative Film and Colour Print Making Materials & Processes - researched by Michael Talbert

Index to this web page:
Michael Talbert
has provided a considerable amount of historical information on the early Kodak print films, Kodacolor, Ektacolor and Vericolor, plus their printing processes. This is set out below.
To assist in reaching a specific topic, please use the hyperlinks in the following index. The images and the Intellectual Property Rights pertaining to the text article, belong to Michael Talbert.
For Michael Talbert's research into Ektacolor Laboratory Films, click
Also, see his research on Ektachrome transparency slide film and prints on Ektachrome RC paper.
Also, see his research on early Agfa colour print materials.
Also, see his research on early Gevaert colour print materials.
Also, see his research on Ansco colour print materials.

 

For an insight into what is happening with Kodak since its demise, here is a link to a New York Times Business Day article, by Quentin Hardy dated March 20th, 2015.
Entitled "At Kodak, Clinging to a Future Beyond Film". it makes interesting reading, complete with a 5min and 33secs video.
"What happens when a tech company is left for dead but the people left behind refuse to give up? At Kodak, the answer is to mine its patents for gold".

Print Processing using Rapid Processors, Drums, Tubes and Tanks.
In the texts below there are various mentions of different types of print processing equipment.
The
Kodak Rapid Processors, Models 11 and 16 are referred to below by their full Kodak descriptions of Models H-11L and 16K. The meaning of the 'H', 'L' and 'K' are unknown, but the numbers refer to the width, in inches, of the largest print which could be processed on each processor. Kodak often just referred to these Rapid Processors by their simpler description of Models 11 and 16. They never made any other processors like them, so using the nomenclature Models 11 and 16, is adequate.
Confusion might arise from their description as being 'drum' processors. They did, indeed, have a rotary drum, but the prints were held emulsion side down onto the outside of the drum by means of a 'net blanket'.
Eastman Kodak were using the word “drum” to describe its Model 11 and 16 Rapid Processors as long ago as 1964 in their “Printing Color Negatives” book.
In 1966, along came their larger Models 30 and 30A Rapid Processors, where exposed but unprocessed prints were loaded inside a tube. Eastman Kodak called these “Kodak 2024 and 3040 processing tubes".

Subsequently, as a variety of manufacturers produced small scale colour print processing equipment in the 1970s, suitable to the amateur worker, the term Drum Processor became almost universally applied to what Kodak had previously refrred to as the 'Tube' arrangement i.e. where the print to be processed is placed inside a light tight tube. In some of the later editions of Jack Coote’s book “Colour Prints”, he recognises this change of terminology by referring to the Kodak 2024 'tube' as a 'drum'.
Jobo, Wilkinson and Paterson are just three of the makers of colour print processing equipment who applied the term 'drum' to plastic light proof tubes, wherein the exposed, but unprocessed print was inserted, emulsion away from the internal wall. Such drums had means of being rotated, manually or mechanically, within a temperature controlling water bath and also means by which the processing chemicals could be poured in, and then out again, through light trapped entries.

A Processing Tank is a term used here to denote a rectangular chamber with multiple adjacent compartments, each holding one of the liquid chemical processing baths. The exposed print is supported vertically within each compartment in turn, with liquid agitation being provided by manual print movement or by inert gas bubbles. The print is moved from one tank compartment to another either by hand or by motor driven means.

  1. Colour Prints before Kodacolor Film became available
    Processing early Kodachrome
    Kodachrome Prints ~ Kotavachrome
    Contrast Masks made from Kodachrome Sheet Film Transparencies for Kotavachrome Prints

    Kodacolor Aero Reversible Film
  2. Kodacolor Colour Negative Film ~ Introduction (from 1941)
    Kodacolor Film from 1942 to 1955
    Kodacolor Film in 1942
    Kodacolor Film in 1944
    Kodacolor Film in 1949 ~ Colour Masked Kodacolor Film
  3. Process C-22 Films
    Kodacolor Film in 1956 'Universal Type'
    Kodacolor Roll Film comes to the UK, October 1957 (the general public by Spring 1958)
    Kodacolor X Films
  4. Process C-41 Films
    Kodacolor II Films
    Kodacolor VR Films
    Kodacolor 400 Films
    Chronology ~ Kodacolor films from 1972 to 1990 in the UK
    (also includes Kodacolor Gold, VR and Ektar films)

 

  1. Kodacolor Film Processing
    Processing Procedure from 1942 to 1944
    Processing Procedure from 1944 to 1949 (1944 film type)
    Processing Procedure from 1949 to 1956 (1949 film type)
  2. Process C-22 Processing Procedure post-1956 (Universal film Type)
    Process C-22 from 1963
    Processing C-22 Film in C-41 Chemistry
    Alternatively, try Black & White Processing Chemistry
  3. Kodacolor II Film and the Flexicolor Process C-41
    Process C–41 using Flexicolor chemistry
    “Rack and Tank” continuous processors using C-41
    A process cross between the C-41 and the C-22 for Kodacolor II film
    Process C-41A and C-41V
  4. How the C-41 processing solutions worked

 

  1. Ektacolor Colour Negative Films; announced 1947, on sale 1949
    Kodak Ektacolor Roll Film
    Ektacolor Type B Sheet Film
    Exposure

    Ektacolor Processing Kit for Type B
    Ektacolor Type B Processing from around 1956 ~ Process B-41
    Proof Printing Type B onto Black & White Paper
    Colour Prints from Ektacolor Type B Film
  2. Ektacolor Film Type S
  3. Ektacolor Film Type L
  4. Ektacolor Professional Film Type S ~ short exposure
  5. Ektacolor Professional Film Type L ~ long exposure
  6. Processing Ektacolor Professional and Ektacolor Type S and L
  7. Storage of unexposed Ektacolor and Ektacolor Professional Films

 

  1. Kodak Vericolor Films; from 1970 in USA, from 1972 in UK
  2. Kodak Vericolor II Professional Films
  1. Kodacolor ~ Making the Print; from 1942
    Kodak 1599 Mchine Printers
    1st Printing Method (as from 1942)
    2nd Printing Method
    3rd Printing Method
  2. Machine Printing in the UK from 1958
    Printing Kodacolor Negatives on the Kodak IVC Printers
    The Kodak Type S.1 Printer
    Machine Printers ~ Compensating for Paper Reciprocity and Subject Failure
  3. Kodacolor Papers, from 1942
    Kodacolor Type I
    Kodacolor Type II
    Kodacolor Type III
    Kodacolor III Type 1348
    Kodak Color Print Material, Type C

    Using Printing Paper by other Manufacturers
    Ageing; Effect on Early Kodak and Agfa Prints

    Kodacolor; processing by others than Kodak
  4. Ektacolor Papers, from 1957-58
    Ektacolor Paper in the USA
    Ekatcolor Paper in the UK

    Ektacolor Paper Availability in the USA in 1960
    Ektacolor Paper Processing Chemicals for Process P-122 in the USA, in 1960
    Ektacolor Paper Processing Chemicals for Process P-122 in the UK, in 1960

    Ektacolor 20 Paper (marketed in USA from 1964-68; in UK from 1966)
    Ektacolor Commercial Paper

    Ektacolor Professional Paper
    Ektacolor 47RC Papers

    Ektacolor 30RC Paper
    Ektacolor 37RC Paper
    Ektacolor 37RC Paper, White packaging

    Ektacolor 74RC Paper
    Ektacolor 78 Paper
    Ektacolor Plus and Ektacolor Professional Papers
    Ektacolor 2001 and RA-4
    Ektacolor Supra, Portra, Ultra & Type L papers, Series II & III

 

  1. Kodacolor & Ektacolor Paper Processing
    The P-122 Seven-Bath Process from 1942
    Higher Temperature
    Processing in P-122 Seven-Bath from 1959
    Chronology of Ektacolor paper processing from 1958 (P-122) to 1966 (Ektaprint C)

    P-122 Six-Bath procedure from 1962 in the US
    P-122 Five-Bath procedure from 1963
  2. Ektaprint C Chemicals from 1965
    Ektaprint C Stabilizers
    Ektaprint C Processing Procedure
    Working with Ektaprint C chemicals
  3. The Kodak Rapid Colour Processors 16-K and 11-L and the CP-5 Process
    CP-5 Processing Steps
  4. The Kodak Color Processor Model 30
  5. Processing in Ektaprint 3 Chemicals, from 1971
    Ektaprint 3 Process with a Stop-Bath
    Kodak Ektaprint 300 Developer with the Kodak Rapid Processors

    Ektacolor 37 RC Paper in Ektaprint 300 using the Kodak Rapid Colour Processors, H-11L and 16K
    Ektacolor 37 RC Paper in Ektaprint 300 using the Kodak Rapid Colour Processors, Models 30 and 30A
  6. Kodak Safelight Filters for Colour Negative Printing Papers
  7. Kodak Ektaprint 2 process, from 1976
    Ektaprint 2 Process for dish or tank processing of Ektacolor 37RC paper or Ektacolor 74RC paper
    Ektaprint 2 Process with additional Stop Bath and Wash steps
    Ektacolor 37RC & 74RC paper in Kodak Rapid Processors; Ektaprint 300 & 200 Developers
    Ektaprint 2 colour print processing chemicals for processing machines ~ 1980
  8. RA-4 Processing
    RA-4 in Mini Labs
    RA-4 for Continuous Processing Machines
    RA-4 for small Manual Tube Processors
    RA-4EC for EP-2 continuous processing machines that could not be converted to RA-4
  9. Using the RA-4 Process

Publications
Acknowledgements

Many illustrative images, provided by Michael Talbert, are embedded within the following text.
Early Kodak colour publications owned by Michael Talbert can be viewed here.


Charlie Kamerman has (February 2012) sent me some pictures of items within his amazing collection of early Kodak films. Charlie says "I have hundreds of boxes of film from 1891 through the 1980's."
To view just a few, please click here.
And do take a look at Charlie's site www.Kodakcollector.com



Colour Prints before KODACOLOR Film became available

Some of the earliest colour processes, as applied to motion picture film, can be read in this Kodak publication for the British Kinematograph Sound & Television Society entitled:
“The BKSTS Illustrated History of Colour Film”.

16mm home ciné colour film, named Kodacolor, appeared in 1928. Improved colour in the form of Kodachrome then arrived in the 16mm ciné format in 1935 and by 1936 Kodachrome was also available in 8mm ciné and 35mm still formats. The early 1928 Kodacolor was a lenticular additive colour film which employed the 'lenticular' process which made use of a black and white film stock, the base of which was embossed with a large number of minute lenses or cylindrical ribs, 22 elements per millimetre. When exposed through the base using a camera lens fitted with a banded three-colour filter, the image was recorded as a number of colour separation elements which, after a reversal processing, could be projected through a similar lens and filter to produce the original colours. The process, which had a number of disadvantages, was discontinued in 1935 with the introduction of Kodachrome.

By the early 1930's, colour photography had reached well past the experimental stage. When “Agfacolor Neu” reversal film first made it’s appearance in 1936 it proved that a multi-layer colour film could be manufactured with the colour couplers incorporated into the three separate emulsion layers coated on the same support and processed in a single colour developer. A year previous to this, Eastman Kodak had marketed 16mm “Kodachrome” motion picture film but had chosen to process the film by a method of including the colour couplers for the three emulsion layers in three separate colour developers. Initially the processing procedure was extremely complicated. Not only were there three separate colour developers involved, but the film also had to be put through three separate “Dye Bleach “ baths, each penetrating the emulsion layers to a varying extent.

Processsing early Kodachrome
It was possible that because Kodachrome's colour couplers were put into three separate colour developers rather than into the layers of the film, processed Kodachrome had more fade resistance than Agfacolor. The Kodak method would have given more choice of colour couplers for generating the yellow, magenta, and cyan dyes in the processed transparency. However, it also meant that from 1935 to 1938 Kodachrome was processed by an incredibly complicated method.

The first step was a black and white developer, which produced a black and white negative image in each layer. As this was not wanted, it was removed by a bleaching bath.
The film was then exposed to white light, to fog the remaining silver halide for development to a transparency. The bottom layer, red sensitive producing a cyan coloured image, was then developed in a developer containing a cyan coupler.
Unfortunately, as the film had been fogged in all three layers, this cyan developer produced a cyan image in the other two layers ! Therefore, following the cyan developer, there was a special bleaching bath which was only allowed to act on the top two layers, (green sensitive and blue sensitive), which bleached out the cyan dye, and made the silver developable again.
The magenta developer followed. This developer containing the magenta colour coupler and developed the middle green sensitive, (magenta dye forming), layer as well as the top layer, producing a magenta dye image in the middle layer and the top layer. Another special bleaching bath, only allowed to reach the top layer, bleached out the magenta dye and prepared the top layer for development in the yellow developer.
The top layer, blue sensitive, was then developed in the yellow dye forming developer
Then the silver images were removed by bleaching and fixing, leaving just the dye image.
No doubt there were also various stop baths, washes and maybe hardening / stabilising baths. It was not a process to carry out in a home darkroom !!

In 1938 the process was much simplified and the re-exposure step was made with red light fogging the bottom layer, which was then developed, then blue light for the top layer, which was then developed, and finally, the magenta layer was chemically fogged, and developed in the magenta developer. The selective exposures made sure that only one layer could be developed at a time. Although much simplified, the sequence was still too complicated to be carried out by a photographer using equipment in his own darkroom.

Colour prints at that time were being made from transparencies by manual 'registration' methods such as "Tri-Chrome Carbro" and the "Kodak Wash-Off Relief", plus others. Mainly, these printing processes were only used by professional advertising photographers, since they were difficult to manipulate and involved much time and skill to get the best result, making the cost of even one print well beyond the pocket of the average amateur photographer. However, by 1941, Eastman Kodak had introduced a fairly quick and relatively cheap method of making prints from Kodachrome transparencies. Despite this facility, a colour transparency is not the ideal starting point for making a good colour print. The brightness range of the average Kodachrome could not be accommodated satisfactorily on the printing paper, resulting in white, burnt out, highlights and black shadows lacking in detail.

Kodachrome Prints
In the late 1930s, Eastman Kodak were making experimental prints from Kodachrome transparencies onto a white plastic film base coated with a type of Kodachrome emulsion. This produced a reversal print from the Kodachrome slide.

In September 1941, Eastman Kodak began two types of colour print services:
(i) mainly for amateur photographers taking pictures on 35mm Kodachrome film, was for “Minicolor Prints”, which were available in 3x or 5x enlargements from 35mm transparencies, and
(ii) aimed mainly at professional photographers who were, by then, using the new “Kodachrome Professional” sheet film, introduced in 1938, to make large transparencies. By 1943, this film was obtainable in sizes up to 11ins. x 14ins. This more elaborate and expensive service was for “Kotavachrome Professional” prints, obtainable from original Kodachrome sheet film transparencies. Before printing, a black and white contrast mask was made from each sheet film transparency which, when bound up with the transparency before printing onto the Kodachrome print material, had the effect of lowering the image contrast, resulting in improved highlight and shadow detail in the finished print. Kotavachrome prints ranged in size from 8ins. x 10ins to 30ins x 40ins.

Eastman Kodak were also considering manufacturing a negative/positive version of Kodachrome.The negative and a print material would both have to be processed by the intricate method of the Kodachrome process. It was decided that the whole concept would have been far too complicated to put into practise.

Contrast Masks made from Kodachrome Sheet Film Transparencies for Kotavachrome Prints
Unless the Kodachrome transparency to be printed was very soft in contrast, the contrast range of most transparencies would not match the print material, reproducing the shadow areas as black without detail and the highlights as almost pure white with no detail in them. The purpose of a mask was to reduce the overall contrast which, if combined with the transparency when printing, would result in a better reproduction of the highlight and shadow areas in the print.

Each mask was made on “Kodak Masking Panchromatic Film”. Masking Panchromatic was a black and white sheet film which had a thin removable light sensitive layer attached to the film base. In total darkness, or under very dim dark green safelighting, this layer was carefully removed from it’s base and cemented onto the emulsion side of the Kodachrome sheet film transparency to be printed. The base side of the masking film’s removable layer was in contact with the emulsion side of the transparency.

The Kodachrome was then exposed through the base, the emulsion side facing away from the light source, thus printing the highlights onto the layer of the masking film. Most masks were exposed with a red filter in front of the light source which improved the colour rendering of the greens and cyans in the Kotavachrome print.

The exposed mask was processed to a negative while still attached to the transparency, the layer of film protecting the emulsion side of the Kodachrome from any harmful black and white processing chemicals. The mask layer was attached to the Kodachrome with its emulsion side outwards, so as to allow the black and white developing chemicals to act on the b&w layer.

When processed and dried, the combination was used to expose the Kotavachrome print material, again exposing with the base of the Kodachrome facing the light source. After the print was processed, the mask layer of film was peeled off the transparency. Unlike other methods of masking, which required a separate piece of film to be registered with the transparency, there were no registration problems using this method as the mask, once exposed, never left the transparency until after the final print was made.

(For a more complete explanation on masking using a separate film and for colour correction see “Duplicating Transparencies”)

Although “Minicolor” prints were made from amateur photographer’s 35 mm transparencies, Eastman Kodak also made Kotavachrome prints from 35mm Kodachromes. The 35mm size was masked in the same way but the protective layer of varnish on 35 mm films had to be removed before the masking layer could be attached.

Kodak Masking Panchromatic Film was available in various sizes, viz:
3 inch x 10 inch for 35mm and Bantam (size 828) transparencies. For sheet film sizes: 3¼ inch x 5 inch for 2¼ inch x 3¼ inch transparencies up to 10 inch x 11 inch for 8 inch x 10 inch transparencies.

Although Kotavachrome prints could only be made by Eastman Kodak, the Masking Panchromatic film was also used by Colour Laboratories and Professional Photographers making colour prints from transparencies by the “Kodak Wash Off Relief “ Process, which became known as the “Dye Transfer” process after 1945 in the U.S.A.

Kodacolor Aero Reversible Film
In 1939
, Vittum and Jelly, of Eastman Kodak, discovered a type of colour coupler which, unlike the Kodachrome developer couplers, could be combined with the three emulsion layers of a colour film. The new couplers were incorporated into a resinous binder. They were known as “Protected Couplers”, as they were carried in small particles of organic materials which protected them from any reactions of the silver bromide emulsions. The colour couplers were then within the emulsion but not in complete physical contact with it.

Like Agfa’s Agfacolor Neu film of 1936, any colour material, film or paper, having the colour couplers combined with the three emulsion layers at the time of manufacture, could be processed in a much simpler, and much faster, manner than that of Kodachrome. Only one colour developer and one bleach bath were required.

The first film manufactured by Eastman Kodak containing “Protected Couplers” was Kodacolor Aero Reversible Film in 1940. Mainly used by the United States Army Air Force for reconnaissance purposes, the special feature of this film was that it could be processed anywhere without elaborate equipment. Kits of chemicals for making up the five processing baths were available. Processing was much like E1 but with longer times, very likely processing at 68°F (20°C). The time taken to process the film, not including drying, was around 90 minutes.

Despite the name “Kodacolor”, the film produced a transparency after processing, and bore no relationship, apart from the colour couplers, to the eventual Kodacolor negative film.The processing sequence and chemical baths for Kodacolor Aero Reversible film were not unlike the processing procedure and baths for the earliest type of Kodak Ektachrome sheet films (see here).

It was probably about 6 to 10 ASA and had a high contrast.

Two sets of filters were supplied with the film, one filter to correct for the various emulsion differences, and to balance it for average daylight. The other filter, or filters, were to correct for “haze”, or blueishness in distant subjects. The “Haze” filters were likely to have been, “Wratten Filter No.1”, and “Wratten Filter No.2A”, 2A being slightly stronger.

It was replaced, or renamed, ”Ektachrome Aero film – High contrast”, possibly in 1946.



KODACOLOR Colour Negative Film
   

Introduction
In the USA, before World War II, there was a definite desire amongst amateur photographers for a film which produced prints in colour, just as easily as black and white negative film. The photographer could then order one print for his album, one for his friends, and one to put in a frame.

In November 1941, the Director of Research at the Eastman Kodak Company, Dr. Kenneth Mees, outlined an entirely new system for making colour prints from a colour negative film - called Kodacolor. The announcement was entitled "Direct Processes for Making Photographic Prints in Color, communication No.832, from Kodak Research Laboratories.” Like Kodachrome, this film was coated with three light sensitive layers, sensitive to red, green, and blue light. Each layer incorporated colour couplers, like Kodacolor Aero film, and after exposure the film could be developed in a single colour developer, producing a colour image in each layer. After bleaching and fixing, an image of pure dyes was formed of the original subject.

However, this was where the similarity between previous colour films ended. Unlike Kodachrome, or Kodacolor Aero film, this was a negative image, colours were reversed as well as density. Areas of blue sky reproduced as dark yellow, grass became pink, and reds became blue-green. The photographic colour printing terms of "pink" and "blue-green" are the subtractive colours magenta and cyan.

All processing of Kodacolor films was undertaken by Eastman Kodak at Rochester N.Y. The photographer handed in his exposed films to a Kodak dealer who sent the films to Eastman Kodak at Rochester. The cost of processing the film was included in the film price at the time of purchase but did not include the cost of any prints.

To allow the film to be used in fairly basic, non adjustable cameras, the film speed of Kodacolor was at least twice that of Kodachrome. A Weston rating of 20 (25 ASA or ISO) was quoted in the data sheets. This was adequate for an exposure of 1/50th of a second at f11 for an average subject in bright sunlight. Initially, the film was balanced for daylight and blue flashbulb exposures. The data sheets gave specific instructions for "fill-in" flash exposures using Nos. 21B and 5B photoflash lamps. The film speed was increased by one third of an f-stop in 1955, to Weston 25, or 32ASA/ISO.

Although the Kodak Data book - "Kodachrome and Kodacolor Films" mentions that Kodacolor film had a limited exposure latitude compared with black and white films, it also pointed out "Satisfactory Kodacolor prints can be made from Kodacolor negatives which received as much as two full f-stops more than the correct exposure". However, overexposed negatives generally gave a lack of detail in the highlights of the print, while under exposure caused black shadows and low contrast prints. Photographers were also warned that Kodacolor pictures made on dull, overcast, cloudy days tended to turn out flat (lacking in contrast) and with a blueish colour cast.

Good black and white prints could be made from Kodacolor negatives, and so a colour negative which had been incorrectly exposed, or lacked colour accuracy due to being exposed under mixed lighting conditions, could often be used to at least produce a satisfactory black and white print.

Eastman Kodak described "Kodacolor" as a "colour medium for snapshotters", who prefered a colour print as their end result, as opposed to a Kodachrome transparency. Kodacolor gave pleasing, attractive colour prints but the process could not give exact colour fidelity. Reds and blues were reproduced well, yellows were rather dull, while greens tended to be tinged with blue.

The structure of the film was similar to the early Agfacolor negative film, consisting of three colour sensitive layers. The Red sensitive layer, producing the cyan dye image, was coated on the base of the film. On top of the red sensitive layer was coated the green sensitive, producing a magenta dye image, then a yellow filter layer, and on top, a blue sensitive layer, giving a yellow dye image.

The film was principally intended for amateur photographers, with simple, basic roll film cameras. In 1942, when Kodacolor first appeared (in the US) roll films were available in six different sizes:- 127, 120, 620, 116, 616, and 122. 35mm Kodacolor film was not manufactured because this film size was well catered for by Kodachrome and, at that time, the enlarging of a small 35mm image would have shown the granular structure of the early Kodacolor film in print areas of medium density, such as a cloudless sky.

At that time, all processing and printing of Kodacolor film was carried out by Eastman Kodak at their laboratories at Rochester, N.Y. The photographer handed in his exposed rolls of film to a Kodak photographic dealer who then sent the films to Rochester for either, “developing only” or “develop and print”. The purchase price of the film included “developing only”. In the first instance the photographer was able to see the negatives before ordering prints. Then he selected the best exposed negatives and marked the order e.g.“one off or two off” as the case might be.

In “Develop and Print” there was no way the photographer could see the negatives before they were printed, and he had to take a chance on whether his exposures were correct. Eastman Kodak printed one print off each of the negatives according to the negative quality within certain limits. Some negatives may have been judged by the printer as too bad to print (gross underexposure, fogged), and if these particular negatives were important to the photographer for personal reasons, those negatives had to be returned by the owner marked “Print regardless”.

All prints, irrespective of negative size, were made 2&7/8ins wide plus white borders of about ¼ins all round. The length depended upon the length of the negative. The smallest prints were from square negative, and the largest from size 122 rollfilm, which, in some cameras, produced a massive 3¼ x 5½ ins negative. The print size from these negatives was 2&7/8ins x 5&1/8ins, a little smaller than the negative! However, 122 rollfilm was short lived, by 1948 this size was no longer manufactured in Kodacolor.

KODACOLOR Film from 1942 to 1955
From 1942 to 1955 three kinds of Kodacolor were manufactured by Eastman-Kodak, each an improved version of the proceeding one. The first two versions were balanced for daylight.

Kodacolor Film in 1942
The original Kodacolor film, marketed as from March 1942, had three colour sensitive emulsion layers. The red sensitive layer was coated next to the film base, on top of this was the green sensitive layer, then a yellow filter layer, and lastly a blue sensitive layer. During development of the film, each layer generated it’s opposite colour. The red sensitive layer would produce a cyan image, the green a magenta image, and the blue a yellow image. The purpose of the yellow filter layer was to prevent any blue light reaching the middle and bottom emulsion layers as these were also sensitive to blue light. The yellow filter layer was not light sensitive. The arrangement of the emulsion layers was similar to that of the early types of Kodacolor paper (see above). The three emulsion layers were coated on a safety film base with an anti–halation backing. This original form of Kodacolor film was marketed from 1942 to 1944.

Kodacolor Film in 1944
Because the dyes generated by the early colour couplers at that time were far from ideal, the colour printing paper was purposely manufactured to be of very high contrast to increase the colour saturation of the prints. Unfortunately, this meant that pictures taken in contrasty lighting conditions, bright sunlight, or flash-on-camera, produced prints with dark shadows with no detail or white, burnt out, highlights.

To alleviate this problem, from 1944 an extra emulsion layer was included, between the yellow filter layer and the green sensitive, magenta dye forming layer. This layer acted as a “positive mask.” It’s function was to decrease the contrast of the colour negative as a whole but without any loss of colour saturation.

The actual layer itself was a black and white emulsion, sensitive only to blue light. It was too slow to be affected by the camera exposure, it’s speed being much the same as a Process film or Line film emulsion. Process film was a slow speed, high contrast, blue sensitive film, used for copying black and white line originals, and for making positive transparencies from soft black and white negatives. It was faster and less contrasty than Line Film. Line film was a very slow speed, very high contrast blue sensitive film for making line negatives from architects and engineers plans and drawings. Both films had various uses in photolithography.

As a result of the positive mask layer, the colour negatives appeared rather “heavy” regardless of exposure and required a longer printing exposure. It is believed that processing of the film took slightly longer because the mask layer had to be developed separately to the three colour sensitive layers.

After processing the mask held back some of the light projected through the shadow areas of the negative. Since the mask added density to the shadow areas, less light could reach the printing paper from the shadow area, so the printing exposure could be increased to put more detail into the highlights of the print, thus lowering the overall contrast. The mask only added density to the shadow areas of the negative.

Kodacolor film with the black and white mask was marketed from 1944 to 1949.

Kodacolor Film in 1949 ~ Colour Masked Kodacolor Film.
Correct colour reproduction in the print relies, amongst other requirements, that each dye image in the negative film absorbs its opposite colour. That is, the cyan dye image must absorb red and pass only cyan light, the magenta dye image must absorb green and pass only magenta, and the yellow dye image must absorb blue and pass only yellow. Unfortunately, the dyes produced by colour development in Kodacolor film were imperfect, particularly evident in magenta and cyan.

Due to the dye deficiencies, the magenta dye absorbed some blue light, which it should have passed freely, and the cyan dye absorbed a portion of light of it’s own colour. Prints made from Kodacolor negatives showed greens tending towards blue and weak reds. In the first case the blue light which was being absorbed by the magenta dye should have been used to make the green yellower. In the second case the portion of cyan dye that was being absorbed by it’s own layer should have been used to make the print redder. More blue light makes the print yellower, and more cyan light makes the print redder. If the green in the print was too blue and a blue filter was inserted in the printer to correct this, it is likely the whole print would turn out too yellow, as the other colours in the print would have been correct, or nearly so.

A solution to this problem of dye deficiencies was first thought of by W.T.Hanson of Eastman Kodak in 1943. His proposal was to create a “mask” in the film by making use of “coloured couplers” to correct for the overlapping absorptions of the cyan and magenta dyes.


Found on the American e-bay, a roll of 120 size Kodacolor Type A film, manufactured in 1949, for Photoflood Lighting and Clear Flash Bulbs. It is dated: ”Develop before November 1950.”

The coloured mask was actually a positive image, exactly registered with a defective negative dye image. The coloured mask corrected the dye deficiencies in the negative image to the extent of the overlapping absorptions. The negatives took on an orange–red colour.

Kodacolor film with “integral coloured masking” as it was called, was produced from 1949, and in the same year an artificial light version of the film was launched (see left). It was balanced for Type A photoflood lamps (approximately 3400°K). It’s speed to photoflood lighting was 20ASA and it could be exposed to daylight with a Kodachrome Type A filter, No. 85 at 12ASA.

Paul Godfrey has supplied me with two pdf files which contain details of Kodak's colour printing services available in the USA during 1952 and 1953.

   

The focal press, in their PhotoGuide Magazine for May 1962, illustrated the difference between masked and unmasked colour negative film using the picture shown alongside. The accompanying text, taken from the Focal Guide booklet entitled "All About Developing Colour Negatives", by Felix Smith, reads:

THE TRUTH UNMASKED?
It is often something of a surprise to many people how unmasked and masked colour negatives yield satisfactory colour prints of similar appearance when the negatives look so different to the eye.

The far left illustration shows an Agfacolor negative (edit: probably CN17) which does not have a mask incorporated. The second picture is of a Kodacolor negative which is integrally masked; while the furthest right shows a print which might have been made from either, though in fact it is from the Kodacolor one.

What is the advantage of masking? The answer is that the makers using this system aim to improve the accuracy of colour rendering in the final print; and to a large extent they succeed, especially with greens, which have always been difficult in colour photography.

In Kodacolor and Ektacolor two masking layers are employed; a pink one to offset failings in the cyan dye, and a yellow one to adjust for the short-comings of the magenta. The combination of the two gives rise to the orange appearance of negatives made by Kodak. Ilford incorporate only a yellow mask for the magenta layer in llfocolor, and hence the rather yellow appearance of colour negatives made with this film.

The mask is produced by colouring the actual colour couplers concerned; thus the cyan couplers are themselves pink. However, where they are used to produce a dye image their own colouring is destroyed, and with it the masking effect at that particular point.

   

Process C-22 Films
Kodacolor Film in 1956

It is thought that the new Kodacolor Universal film, and its new Process C-22 developing sequence and chemicals, was introduced in the USA in February 1956. The Universal Kodacolor was balanced for the light of Clear Flashbulbs (3800°K), and was one third of a stop faster than the older Kodacolor at 32 ASA (ISO).

The colour of the mask was slightly different to the older Kodacolor which produced a yellow brown mask. The mask colour of the new Kodacolor was a reddish brown.

Alongside is ahown the cover of a Kodacolor Booklet of 32 pages, published by Eastman Kodak Company, publication No. E 10, in March 1955.

Intended primarily for the amateur photographer, it contains information on “Outdoor Pictures”, “Flash Pictures”, “Exposure Tables”, “Flood Lamp Pictures” and “Ordering Prints and Enlargements”.

There are several exposure tables, for Daylight and Type A films.

Illustrated with some very well reproduced square colour pictures, as the film was only available in roll film sizes in 1955.

Inside the front cover there is stuck an information sheet advising of changes to Kodacolor film. It states that a new film, Kodacolor Universal Type, is now available, replacing the Daylight type, and the Type A films. The sheet gives new flash distances for some Kodak cameras and a table of new Flash Guide Numbers.

Kodacolor Universal Type film was sold at a price that did not include the cost of developing to a negative, unlike the previous Kodacolor films.

   

Kodacolor Roll Film comes to the UK, October 1957, though not widely available to the general public until Spring 1958
The following article is taken from Modern Camera Magazine, December 1957 issue.
KODACOLOR COMES TO ENGLAND; KODAK'S LATEST COLOUR SERVICE
Kodacolor prints have been distinguished for some time by their particularly good colour rendering. This is largely attributable to the fact that in the manufacture of the film what is known as "integral masking" is introduced. It is known by all who have studied the technique of colour photography, that the available dyes for these processes are by no means perfect. Of the three complementary colours, cyan, magenta and yellow, only the yellow approaches theoretical perfection. The function of yellow in a colour print is to absorb blue but to transmit red and green. The function of the magenta is to absorb green and transmit all red and blue. Equally the function of the cyan is to absorb all red and reflect all green and blue. If the particular dye, in addition to absorbing the colour we want to get rid of, also absorbs any portion of the other two, it usurps the function of one or more of the other colours and thus the final result is degraded. Magenta, for example, the function of which is to absorb green and transmit red and blue, does in all cases absorb some of the blue, and equally we have no perfect cyan which, required to absorb only the red, also absorbs some of the other colours. This is why it is so difficult with some processes to get a really clean and bright red, which is often reproduced as an orangy-brown.

The trouble with unwanted absorption by these cyan, magenta and yellow dyes has been overcome to a large extent by Kodak in Ektacolor and Kodacolor (the former being a professional film) and in the cine film known as Eastmancolor, by using an integral masking system. A similar system has been adopted by Imperial Chemical Industries in the new ICIcolor. The colour-forming chemicals incorporated in colour negative processes are themselves normally colourless before development and only become coloured during processing, when the particular dye, be it cyan, magenta or yellow, is produced in the particular layer in proportion to the blackening of the silver. That is to say, if in the negative light has not acted at all on the emulsion there will be no blackening of silver and no conversion of the colour-forming material into the particular dye. On the other hand, if the emulsion has been fully exposed to light the maximum amount of dye is produced together with the maximum blackening of the silver. In the subsequent bleaching process the blackened silver is removed leaving only the dye image. Now if we consider the cyan layer as fully exposed to light, then after the bleaching and fixing we get a layer of cyan dye, the function of which is to absorb red. Now, as we have indicated above, this cyan dye also absorbs some blue, thereby usurping to some extent the function of the yellow layer. Let us imagine this cyan layer had 20 per cent unwanted absorption of blue. The method adopted in integral masking is to make this colour-forming material yellow in its normal state instead of colourless. Then, if no light action has occurred in the emulsion, after bleaching and fixing we shall have a plain yellow dye absorbing say 20 per cent of the blue. If on the other hand the silver has been fully affected by exposure and fully blackened, then after bleaching and fixing we shall have a cyan dye also absorbing 20 per cent of the blue. In other words, no matter what amount of blackening or what variations of exposure are given to the particular layer, it will have a uniform absorption of 20 per cent of the blue, irrespective of gradation. We are not giving actual figures but merely giving a theoretical example.

In a similar way the magenta layer, whose function is to absorb green, but which may absorb say 15 per cent of the blue, is also made coloured, the particular yellow or orange coloration being so arranged as to absorb the same percentage of blue as the magenta does when fully developed. The yellow layer, which produces very efficient dye, is not treated in any way, but the two colourings in the magenta and the cyan layer can be made to compensate to a very large extent for the faults in these dyes. An integrally masked negative, such as Ektacolor, Kodacolor, ICIcolour or Eastmancolor when held up to the light appears strongly orange owing to this additional blue and green absorption, but when placed in the enlarger and projection printed on to similar tripack paper (which does not contain any masking dyes) the final result is very similar to that which will be produced with a theoretically perfect cyan and magenta dye. The fact that the negative looks a very peculiar deep orange is very puzzling to the uninitiated, but it must be remembered that the appearance of the negative is not important so long as the final result is what we require.

Our own tests, using the British-made material, showed that the prints now being produced are very good indeed. Their prices are as follows:
120 or 620 Roll films 12s.8d (63p). Processing film 6s.6d (33p). Prints (either 3½" x 5" from 8 or 16 on negatives, or 3½" x 3½" from 2¼" square negatives) 2s.9d each (14p).

In July 1958, MCM reported in its "New York Letter":
35mm Kodacolor becoming available in the USA

Kodacolor, the colour negative material which has proved so popular in roll film form, will shortly be available in 35mm cassettes. Apparently this Kodacolor 35mm emulsion has a finer grain than the normal roll film Kodacolor, and it is stated that excellent enlargements up to 11" x 14" can be obtained from it.

   

KODACOLOR X Films
Kodacolor Film became “Kodacolor X” film in 1962
, supplied at first in 35mm 20 exposure cassettes and 12 exposure cartridges for the new Kodak “Instamatic” cameras. The film speed was doubled, to 64ASA (ISO), partly so that the cheaper versions of the “Instamatic” cameras could then cope with exposures in dull lighting. By 1963 the roll film sizes of Kodacolor were doubled in film speed and were re-named “Kodacolor X”.

Kodacolor X remained on the market until 1975, but thereafter the C-22 Kodacolor & Kodacolor X films were gone forever. However, the C-22 process lived on for another four years.
Kodak Ektacolor Print Film 4109, Kodak Ektacolor Slide Film 5028 and Kodak Ektacolor Internegative Film 6110 and 6008 were all processed in C-22 chemicals until the Vericolor Print and Internegative films were introduced, in 1978 (Print) and 1979 (Internegative). To read more, go to the next section, below, Internegative and Print Film.

The C-22 process was last mentioned in the British Journal of Photography Annual (BJPA) 1985 edition, with formulae and processing steps.

   
Below are shown boxes of Kodacolor, Kodacolor X and Ektacolor Professional Type S films. All 120 size.
Kodacolor: Expiry date August 1961.
Kodacolor X: Expiry date December 1968.
Ektacolor Professional, Type S: Expiry date May 1976.

 

C-22 Unit 1 part kit
This part contains the Developer and Stop-Bath for the C-22 process. The Developer chemicals to be mixed in water consisted of two powder components and one bottle of liquid. The powder components were mixed first in water at 70°F – 80°F and then the liquid was added. This solution would keep for 6 weeks if unused, but once used the developer would keep only for 4 weeks.

The Stop-Bath component was one bottle of liquid chemical to be diluted with water. This would keep for 8 weeks, unused or partially used.

The Unit 2 part contained the Hardener, Bleach, Fixer, and Photo-Flo chemicals for the rest of the process.

This Unit 1 Kit dates from 1972, when the author was processing a considerable amount of Kodacolor X and Ektacolor films.

   

Process C-41

Kodacolor II Films
The new “Kodacolor II “ films were first introduced in 1972 in the new 110 cartridge size for Kodak “Pocket Instamatic” cameras. Processing was done in Kodak “Flexicolor” chemicals, later known as “Process C-41”. It originally had a film speed of 80 ASA (ISO), identical to Kodacolor X film. The negative size was 13mm x 17mm, and films were available in 20 and 12 exposure cartridges for instant loading, in the same way as the earlier 126 size film cartridges.

The film produced an ultra fine grained image, suitable for enlargements up to 5inches x 7inches from 110 size negatives. The grain was much finer than Kodacolor X or Ektacolor Professional film negative, and image sharpness was higher.

By late 1973 Kodacolor II film was available in the USA in 126 cartridge size, 12 and 20 exposures, and 35mm cassettes, 20 and 36 exposures, these sizes also being obtainable by 1974 in the UK. Roll film sizes up to 616/116 were introduced in late 1974 in the USA and 1975 in the UK. The speed was increased to 100 ASA (ISO) in 1977.

Kodacolor II film was replaced by Kodacolor VR100 film in 1983.

   

Kodacolor II, Kodacolor 400, and Kodacolor VR films.

The box on top is Kodacolor II 120 roll film, the rest are all 35mm films. The 120 film is dated “November 1979”, and the Kodacolor II 35mm film and Kodacolor 400 film date from the early 1980s. The Kodacolor VR films date from the mid 1980s. All the films were manufactured in the UK apart from the Kodacolor VR1000 film, manufactured in the USA. There was also a Kodacolor VR400 film.

   

Kodacolor VR Films
Kodacolor VR films were based on the technology of Kodacolor HR Disc film, as used in the Kodak Disc camera system introduced in 1982.

Because of the very high agitation rate used for processing disc films, Kodak found that Kodacolor II emulsion, normally rated at 100 ASA (ISO), had its speed effectively doubled to 200 ASA (ISO).

In 1983 Kodacolor VR films were introduced in the following formats and film speeds:
Kodacolor VR100 film, 35mm: 12, 24, and 36 exposure cassettes.
Kodacolor VR200 film, 35mm: 12, 24, and 36 exposure cassettes; 110: 12 and 24 exposure cartridges; 126: 12 and 24 exposure cartridges.
Kodacolor VR400 film, 35mm: 12, 24, and 36 exposure cassettes; 110: 12 and 24 exposure cartridges.
Kodacolor VR1000 film, 35mm: 12, 24, and 36 exposure cassettes.

The name of the film indicated the speed in ASA or ISO. Kodacolor VR1000 film was described as “Very fine grain colour negative film, for those “impossible” light situations”.

Roll film versions of these films appeared in 1984.
VR100 and VR400 films in 120 roll film size only.
VR200 in 120, 620, and 127 roll film sizes.

   

Kodacolor 400 Films
Kodacolor 400 film was introduced, as best can be determined, in the USA in late 1977. The film was labeled “New” in the Kodak Photographic Products Catalog for 1977 to 1978. Initially, the film was available in 110 size, 12 and 20 exposure cassettes, and 35mm, in 20 and 36 exposure cassettes. 35mm and 110 sizes were being sold in the UK in late 1977, and roll film in 120 size was obtainable from the beginning of 1978. Kodak claimed the film was “balanced for pleasing results under most lighting conditions”. Kodacolor 400 film was replaced by Kodacolor VR400 film in 1983.

The author, having exposed many rolls of this film in his Mamiyaflex C330 camera when photographing horses, can afirm it gave extremely good results.

It featured high sharpness, almost negligible grain in enlargements of 20 inches x 16 inches, good shadow detail and a full 400 ISO film speed. In fact, when exposing in sunlight you had to be careful not to over expose! The film had slightly more contrast than Vericolor II Professional film, perfect for dull, flat lighting in winter. The overall colour balance was slightly “colder” than the Vericolor II Professional 120 roll film but this could be adjusted in printing. It was a better film than other colour negative 400 ISO equivalent films, i.e. Fujicolor 400 and Agfacolor CNS400 films. The shadow to highlight balance on Fujicolor 400 film was slightly red to cyan, and Agfacolor CNS400 film was more “grainy” than Kodacolor 400.

When photographing a horse show under tungsten lighting in an indoor venue in 1978, the author exposed a 35mm film at 800 ISO and had the film “pushed” in processing (electronic flash and flash bulbs had been banned on this occasion). Contrast was high in the processed negatives, which was expected, and whites were “burned out”. Some 20 inch x 16 inch prints were made from the negatives and one has survived. It has faded to red slightly, and the print is very “grainy”, but this large print, despite the grain and fairly high contrast, is still a very acceptable result.

For information on Kodacolor Gold, VR and Ektar films, see the table below.

   

Chronology ~ Kodacolor films from 1972 to 1989 in the UK

1972 Kodacolor II film in 110 size introduced for processing in Kodak Flexicolor chemicals, or Process C-41.
1975 All film sizes available in Kodacolor II film. Kodacolor X and Ektacolor Professional films no longer manufactured.
1977 Kodacolor 400 film introduced in 35mm and 110 sizes.
1978 Kodacolor 400 120 roll film.
1982 Kodacolor HR Disc film introduced for Kodak Disc cameras, later known as Kodacolor VR Disc film.
1983 Kodacolor VR films replaced Kodacolor II and 400 films except for roll films. Kodacolor VR 1000 in 35mm format was a new product.
1984 Kodacolor VR roll films introduced in various sizes, except for VR 1000 film.
1987 Kodacolor Gold film replaces the VR films in VR100, VR200, and VR400 in 35 mm sizes and 110 sizes.
1988 Kodacolor Gold film available in 120 and 620 formats as “Kodacolor Gold 200” film. This was the only “Gold” film offered in the 120 format, but Kodacolor VR400 film was still being sold in the 120 size. “Kodak Negative Color Film SO-275” was sold in the 220 format only, being identical to Kodacolor VR400 film. 110 format films were no longer listed in the “Kodak for the Professional” catalogue in the section for Kodacolor Gold films, maybe replaced by Disc film.
1989 Kodacolor VR1000 film wasreplaced by Kodak Ektar 1000 film. No 400 ASA (ISO) roll films listed in the “Non Professional Colour Camera films” section in the April 1989 “Kodak for the Professional” catalogue for the UK. Kodak “Vericolor 400 Professional Type S” film introduced in 35mm and 120 roll film sizes.
1990

Kodak introduced Ektar 125 film in 35mm format only, 24 and 36 exposure cassettes, plus “bulk” packs of five in 24 and 36 exposures. The code for the film was “CW135”. Kodak continued to make Kodacolor Gold films in 35mm, 110, and 126 formats. Kodacolor Gold 200 film was also available in 120, 620 and 127 roll films.

Kodacolor VR100 and Kodacolor VR200 films were listed as an alternative to the Kodacolor Gold range in the “Kodak Consumer Imaging Division” UK catalogue for 1990. VR100 was available in 35mm only, 24 and 36 exposure cassettes, while VR200 was available in 110 and 126 formats only, in 24 exposures. 'Five unit' bulk packs of 110, 126, and 24 exposure cassettes were also obtainable. Kodacolor VR films were sold at a lower price compared to the Kodacolor Gold films. By this date there was no 400 ASA (ISO) emulsion in the VR range; 35mm users were limited to 100ASA (ISO) films (or using thee more expensive Kodacolor Gold) while Kodacolor VR200 was a Disc film (200 ASA/ISO), later to be known as Kodacolor Gold Disc film.

   

The top Kodacolor Gold 100 film was manufactured in the US, dated May 1991. The lower Gold 100 film is dated December 1987 and was manufactured in the UK. These films are rated at 100 ASA (ISO).

The Kodacolor 200 film with a pink label, is dated May 2001. It was equivalent to Kodacolor Gold 200 but sold at a lower price. It was popular with D&P laboratories who offered it as a “Free replacement” film, returned to the customer with their negative and print orders.

The “200 Kodacolor” in the red carton (top, right) is dated August 2001. It is an equivalent to the one with the pink background, but packed for sale in Europe. Most of the carton printing is in French and Dutch.

The Kodak “Color Plus” film (lower right) is dated August 2007. It is thought to be an improved version of Kodacolor 200 film, made for Kodak in China.

All these four films were rated at 200 ASA (ISO).

The Kodak “Ektar 25” film is dated November 1990. It was manufactured in the USA, rated at 25 ASA (ISO). It was classified as a “new product” along with Kodak “Ektar 1000” film in the “Kodak for the Professional” catalogue for the UK in April 1989.

Various Kodacolor film cartons.

Carton sides are shown to the left, and carton ends are shown below.

The end of the film cartons show in most cases the letter coding for the films, such as “CG” for Kodacolor 400 film, or “GA” for Kodacolor Gold 100 film.

The coding for both of the Kodacolor 200 films and the Kodak Color Plus film was DB.




KODACOLOR Film Processing

There is little known of the methods and processing procedures Eastman Kodak used at Rochester to process the earliest versions of Kodacolor film. As early Kodacolor film was available only in roll film sizes, it is likely that “dip and dunk” film processing machines were used to develop the films to colour negatives. Modified black and white film processing machines may have been employed, more tanks being added for extra chemical solutions and washes.

1942 to 1944 ~ Kodacolor Processing procedure
Below is a very rough estimate of a procedure which might be close to the actual processing procedure for developing Kodacolor unmasked negative film i.e from 1942 to1944.

Develop.
Wash.
Hardener or Hardener-Fix.
Wash.
Bleach.
Wash.
Fixer or Hardening Fixer.
Final Wash

The temperature of the baths is likely to have been around 68°F.
This processing procedure is based partly on Kodak colour film process C-22 and also the Agfacolor negative process being used at that time, since the structure of Kodacolor and Agfacolor negative films were fairly similar in the early 1940s.

1944 to 1949 ~ Kodacolor Processing (the second type of Kodacolor film)
Michael Talbert worked out this theory about seven years ago, but doesn’t know if the “chemistry” is correct or, for that matter, if the processing steps are correct. This is a rough outline of how the film might have been processed.

The film had a black and white contrast “mask” layer between the yellow filter later and the green sensitive layer. The mask layer was a very slow speed, blue sensitive emulsion, too slow to be affected by any camera exposure. The film was processed to form a dye negative image in each of the three colour coupling layers. The film was then exposed to blue light through the base, printing the already developed cyan dye and magenta dye layers onto the mask layer. The exposure did not affect the blue sensitive top layer because the yellow filter , underneath the blue sensitive layer would “stop” any blue light. The mask layer was then processed in a soft working black and white developer to form a weak positive mask image of the shadow areas of the green sensitive layer and red sensitive layer. The exposure of this layer took place after the film had passed through the Bleach bath. The idea was, when the negative was printed onto Kodacolor paper, obviously through the base of he film,the mask would have held back some of the exposing light from the shadow areas of the negative, thus lowering the contrast.

The processing sequence may have been something like the one used for the original Kodacolor film outlined above but with additional steps.

Developer Forms a dye image in the three colour coupling layers

Stop-bath or Wash
Bleach The Bleach bath converts the exposed and developed metallic silver (camera exposure) to silver halide so it can be made soluble in the Fixer. The Bleach works only on the exposed, developed silver halide so the mask layer is unaffected
Re-Exposure The film is re-exposed to blue light to print the two developed dye forming layers onto the mask layer. The film is exposed through the base
Black and White development The Mask layer is developed in a soft working black and white developer
After black and white development and before fixing the film may have looked like this from the emulsion side downwards:
Yellow layer – Bleached exposed silver halide.
Yellow Filter - Still present.
Mask layer - Developed but not fixed.
Magenta layer – Bleached exposed silver halide.
Cyan layer – Bleached exposed silver halide
Fixer, performs the actions itemised: 1. Colour Negative. Removes silver halide formed by Bleach in exposed dye layers to leave pure dye.
2. Colour Negative. Removes silver halide in unexposed dye layers.
3. Black and white positive mask. Removes silver halide in unexposed black and white layer to leave positive mask.
4. Removes yellow filter layer (or it is also possible that the yellow filter layer might have been removed in a separate bath inserted between steps 8 and 10 (see below), or it may have been removed in the black and white developer.
The Fixer leaves exposed metallic silver in the mask layer as this was not turned into removeable silver halide in the Bleach. All silver halide is removed from the negative dye forming layers to make a colour negative.

Possible Processing Sequence:

1. Colour Developer
2. Stop-Bath or Wash
3. Hardener
4. Wash
5. Bleach
6. Wash
7. Re-Exposure
8. Black and White Developer for mask
9. Wash
10. Fixer
11. Final wash
12. Wetting Agent rinse
13. Dry

KODACOLOR Film Processing, 1949 – 1956 ~ (the third type of Kodacolor Film)
May have been processed in the same chemicals and sequence as Ektacolor Type B film – four bath process.
To begin with, in 1949, the processing chemicals were used at 68F, but it was found in 1950 the temperature could be raised to 75°F shortening the overall processing time with no adverse effects to the Ektacolor film.

Process C-22 KODACOLOR Film Processing; post-1956 ~ (“Universal” type of Kodacolor Film - see above)
The film was sold without processing charges and was processed in the (then) new C-22 chemicals. In the USA the C-22 chemicals were sold as complete kits in 1 pint and 1 gallon sizes. Instructions for mixing the chemicals and directions for processing the film were included in each kit. The individual processing baths could also be purchased in larger sizes, possibly to make 3 gallons or larger. The same process was also used for the new Kodak Ektacolor Film, Type “S”, a sheet film balanced for clear flashbulbs, or for daylight with a Wratten No.85C filter. It was very similar to Kodacolor film, but only marketed in a sheet film format.

Kodak Color Film Process C-22 to view a C-22 process wall chart click here:
The Developer was used at 75°F, +/– ½°F, and the other solutions and washes were allowed a 4 degree latitude in temperature, 73°–77°F.
The first three steps were carried out in total darkness.
1. Colour Developer Kodacolor Film 12 minutes and Ektacolor Type S Film 14 minutes.
If either type of film were exposed to electronic flash lighting, 2 minutes could be added to the development time to increase the contrast of the negatives.
Ektacolor Print Film 14 minutes
2. Stop-Bath 4 minutes
3 Hardener 4 minutes
Remaining steps could be carried out in white light
4. Wash 4 minutes
5. Bleach 6 minutes
6. Wash 4 minutes
7. Fixer 8 minutes
8. Wash 8 minutes
9. Wetting Agent Rinse 1 minute: “Kodak Photo-Flo” solution, as recommended by Kodak, diluted to 4 times the rate specified in the instructions on the label on the bottle.
10. Dry: not over 110°F

The above C-22 process, dating from 1955–56, shows two processing times:

  • Processing Kodacolor roll and 35mm films wound into metal spiral reels, (Nikor), in a 3 Gallon tank, it was necessary to agitate the rack holding the spiral reels continuously for the first 15 seconds of the development and, from then on, at 20 second intervals per minute for a development time of 12 minutes.
  • The Ektacolor sheet films, Type S and later Type L and, from 1962, Ektacolor Professional Type S, were given a development time of 14 minutes, and were agitated for 15 seconds each minute. Nitrogen Burst agitation was 2 seconds each minute, apart from initial agitation by hand of 15 seconds during the first minute.
   

In 1963, Ektacolor Professional Type S roll film was introduced, the same emulsion as the sheet film on a roll film base. At first available in 120 and 620 rolls, it was joined by a 35mm size in 36 exposure cassettes and long lengths of bulk film a few years later.

About this time, the development time for all C-22 Kodacolor films was increased to 14 minutes, and the agitation rate was decreased to an initial 15 second agitation for the first minute and thereafter once per minute. It was then possible to process Kodacolor, Kodacolor X and Ektacolor Professional Type S roll and 35mm films in the same processing run. The time for the various sheet films remained the same as previous i.e. 14 minutes. By 1965, early Kodacolor film was almost obsolete, having been replaced by the then new faster Kodacolor X.

Process C-22 from 1963, with new development times

New Process C-22
The Developer was used at 75°F, +/– ½°F, and the other solutions and washes were allowed a 4 degree latitude in temperature, 73°–77°F.
The first three steps were carried out in total darkness.
1. Colour Developer Kodacolor Film 14 minutes
Kodacolor X Film 14 minutes
Ektacolor Type L 14 minutes
Ektacolor Professional Types S and L 14 minutes
Ektacolor Print Film 12 minutes
Ektacolor Slide Film 17 minutes
Ektacolor ID Copy Film 14 minutes
2. Stop-Bath 4 minutes
3 Hardener 4 minutes
Remaining steps could be carried out in white light
4. Wash 4 minutes
5. Bleach 6 minutes
6. Wash 4 minutes
7. Fixer 8 minutes
8. Wash 8 minutes
9. Wetting Agent Rinse 1 minute: “Kodak Photo-Flo” solution, as recommended by Kodak, diluted to 4 times the rate specified in the instructions on the label on the bottle.
10. Dry: not over 110°F

Notes.

  1. Ektacolor ID Copy film was a special colour negative film used to make identification cards in ID cameras. The camera recorded a portrait image and at the same time a high contrast line copy. The film could also be used to photograph flat copy originals such as charts and advertising layouts. It was available in 35mm, (bulk film), and sheet film.
  2. Ektacolor Print film was for making large size positive transparencies from colour negatives. It was a fairly thick material with a matt diffuser layer built into it. Available in sheet and wide rolls.
  3. Ektacolor Slide film was similar to Ektacolor Print film but was much thinner and had no matt diffuser layer. It was originally used for making small size 35mm transparencies from 35mm colour negatives but could also be used for making large transparencies in much the same way as Ektacolor Print film. Available in 35mm bulk film, sheet film, and to special order, in wide rolls.
  4. Some Kodak (U.K.) and Eastman Kodak (U.S.A.) instruction sheets for C-22, mainly printed in the 1970s, give a development time of 13 minutes for the Ektacolor Professional Films and Kodacolor X film. When using the small kits of C-22 chemicals, the development time had to be increased for each roll of film processed. The small 600ccs (21 Fl. Oz.) had a capacity for 4 rolls of 120 size film or equivalent area for the Developer and Stop Bath. The starting development time was 14 minutes for the first roll, but the development time was increased by 2 minutes per roll from then on, with the last, fourth, roll being developed for 18 minutes. The time in the Stop Bath was 4 minutes for all 4 rolls of film.
    The time was constant for the remaining solutions throughout the life of the kit, and the solutions had twice the processing capacity of the Developer and Stop Bath, 8 120 rolls of film, or equivalent area... Kodak recommended 8 weeks before they needed replacing but I found it was possible to extend this time by at least 4 weeks with no detrimental effects to the quality of the negatives.
    The kit came in two parts. Unit 1 contained the Developer and Stop Bath, and Unit 2 contained the Hardener, Bleach, Fixer, and Photo Flo solution.
    C-22 kits of processing chemicals were available in 600ccs and 2 Litres sizes.
  5. Ektacolor Film Type L was replaced by Ektacolor Professional Type L film at the end of 1963

Processing C-22 Film in C-41 Chemistry
The following advice is proferred as a 'last resort' possible solution to developing an old C-22 film if no C-22 processing chemistry is available.

The more modern, but high temperature (100°F), C-41 chemistry (see below) is incompatible with C-22 films, where the highest process temperature was 75°F. The higher C-41 temperature would damage the C-22 film emulsion. It might even strip it off its celluloid backing !

But it might be possisble to use a modified C-41 procedure. The C-41 Bleach and Fixer will work at 75°F as this was the lowest temperature for processing C-41 films; 6½ minutes in each. You could get away without using the Stabilizer. The Wash times might have to be increased by 50%.

The C-41 Development time is 3¼ minutes at 100°F. Working on the old black and white developer rule, where development time has to be doubled for each 10 degrees Fahrenheit reduction in temperature, would suggest 6½ minutes at 90°F, 13 minutes at 80°F, so about 19 minutes at 75°F.

Hence, it might be possible to colour develop a C-22 film in C-41 chemistry, all at 75°F.

1. C-41 Developer 19 minutes
2. Stop-Bath
(2% acetic acid solution)
2 minutes
3. Wash 4 minutes 
4. C-41 Bleach 6½ minutes 
5. Wash 3¼ minutes or maybe 50% longer 
6. C-41 Fixer 6½ minutes 
7. Wash At least 5 minutes 
8. C-41 Stabiliser (not essential)
or wetting agent
about 1½ minutes 
9. Dry: Room temperature, around 20°C

Notes:

  1. The C-41 developer is a different chemical formula to the C-22 developer, as is the Bleach.
  2. There was a Hardener solution in C-22 after the stop bath, which was 25cc of 35% Formalin to 1 litre of water. It might be best to insert this after the Stop Bath for about 3 minutes or so. It also contained Sodium Carbonate, but it will work as a Hardener fairly well without it.
  3. The fog level of old C-22 film (last likely 'develop before' date around 1980) will be very high, which in turn will decrease contrast, and it will be difficult to print the negs.
  4. If a C-41 kit is not available, it should be possible to develop a C-22 (or C-41) colour negative film in black and white chemistry (producing black & white negatives), but with C-22 film the important thing is to keep the process steps below 75°F, or preferably 68°F.

ALTERNATIVELY, try Black & White Processing Chemistry
Colour negative film can be processed to black & white negatives using conventional black & white chemistry.
This website, is run by a gentleman who enjoys processing exposed film found in old cameras. When he finds a colour negative film, he still uses his same black & white chemicals. By then scanning the negatives and using digital processing to enhance the negatives, he frequently finds it possible to obtain reasonable black & white print images.

The above site's owner puts colour films through Kodak HC 110 developer which is a bit like a liquid D-76, though maybe a bit more energetic than D-76. This route is almost certainly better than trying to develop out-dated colour negative film in hopes of achieving colour results, especially if the original colour chemistry is no longer available.

   

KODACOLOR II Film and the FLEXICOLOR Process C-41
A new colour negative film, mainly intended for amateur photographers, was introduced in 1972. Compared with Kodacolor X film, KODACOLOR II film showed higher sharpness together with a micro-fine grain structure. At the time of its introduction, it was not a replacement film for Kodacolor X.

The film was initially intended to fit the new amateur “Kodak Pocket Instamatic “ cameras taking 110 size film, a new format giving a negative size of only 13mmx17mm. The grain structure of the existing Kodacolor X and Ektacolor Professional colour negative films were not fine enough for use in the new ultra small 110 cameras. Following the idea of the original (1962) Instamatic cartridge Type 126 film, 110 films were sold in cartridges for slotting into the Kodak Pocket Instamatic cameras. The ultra small negatives were sharp enough to make enlargements up to 3½x4½inches. Prints much larger than this size showed objectional graininess.

The film was coded as:-

  • C 110 – 12 exposures.
  • C 110 – 20 exposures.

Kodacolor II could be given the same exposure times as Kodacolor X film. The daylight speed was 80 ASA (ISO), exposed without a filter. Photoflood speed was 25 ASA (ISO) with a Kodak No.80B filter. Tungsten speed (3200) was 20 ASA (ISO) with a Kodak 80A filter.

The negatives were suitable for printing onto Kodak Ektacolor 37RC paper.

Kodacolor II film was designed for processing in the new FLEXICOLOR chemistry, also known as “Process C-41”. Flexicolor chemicals were principally intended for machine processors. Kodacolor II film could not be processed in the recently marketed Vericolor chemicals. In other wordss, Kodacolor II film was not simply an amateur version of the two Vericolor films.

Hence, in 1972, there were three Kodak colour negative processes:-

  • C–22, for Kodacolor X and the various Ektacolor films.
  • Vericolor Process, for use in the Versamat 145 machine, for Vericolor S and Vericolor L films.
  • Flexicolor i.e. C-41, for Kodacolor II film.

The films and the processes could not be interchanged (but see above for advice re: processing a C-22 film in C-41 chemistry).

Process C–41 using Flexicolor chemistry
Originally introduced in 1972 as Kodak “Flexicolor” chemicals, by 1975 this process had become the near universally applied colour negative film processing chemistry known as Process C-41.
The following processing procedure was for a tank processing line, the film being transferred by hand from one tank to another. It was also the procedure for small, spiral reel tanks.

Total darkness for first two steps.
Processing Step

Temperature °F

Time (Minutes)
1. First Developer

100 +/– 0.3°F

2. Bleach

75 – 105

Room lights can now be switched on.
3. Wash

75 – 105

4. Fixer

75 – 105

5. Wash

75 – 105

6. Stabilizer

75 – 105

7. Dry

75 - 105°F

Notes.

  1. Eastman Kodak marketed a 1 pint size kit specially for use with small amateur spiral reel tanks in 1973. The kit could process up to 18 size 110 films of 12 exposure, or up to 15 size 110 films of 20 exposure before becoming exhausted. The development time had to be increased for every set of 2 films.
  2. The Bleach temperature could vary between 75°F and 105°F as long as the time was kept to 6½ minutes. Some processing instructions give 95°F to 105°F for a time of 6½ minutes.
  3. As there was no “Stop Bath” or Wash step between the Developer and Bleach, it was very important to drain the spiral reel tank of developer before filling with Bleach, otherwise rapid contamination of the Bleach solution would occur.

For further information, the reader is advised to download the Kodak Booklet entitled "Processing Colour Film". It is available here as a pdf file in a version dated July 1982.

“Rack and Tank” continuous processors using C-41
"
Rack and Tank" processors operated on the principle where sheet film was clipped into large racks and roll and 35 mm film was suspended in groups of 15 or 20 films in rows above the processing tanks. The films were weighted at their bottom ends to keep them vertical as they were lowered into the solutions. Machinery with lifting arms lowered the films into the tanks, lifted them out at the appropriate time, and moved the racks along to the next solution where the same sequence happened. Some of the processors worked almost automatically, apart from the operator loading the film on at one end and another operator unloading the film at the other end after the film had passed through the dryer. While one rack was passing through the processor, another could be loaded and sent on it’s way following the first rack.

Replenishment was generally automatic and the dwell time in each processing tank could be altered to suit each process, (C-22, E-3, E-4, C-41, Agfa Negative, and others including black and white films.). In the trade this type of processor was known as “Dip and Dunk”.

Films to be laoded onto the processor in total darkness
Processing Step

Temperature °F

Time (Minutes)
1. First Developer

100 +/– 0.3°F

2. Bleach

100 +/- 5°F

4mins 20secs
Room lights can now be switched on.
3. Wash

75 – 105

1min and 5secs
4. Fixer

100 +/- 5°F

4mins 20secs
5. Wash

75 – 105

6. Stabilizer

75 – 105

1min and 5secs
7. Dry

75 - 105°F

Notes.

  1. By increasing the temperatures of the Bleach and Fixer to 95 – 105°F, the processing times in these baths could be decreased. The Stabilizer had more latitude with regards to temperature.
  2. The times included the immersion time in the tank and the transfer time to the next solution tank or wash. The allowed maximum transfer time was 30 seconds.
  3. Adequate ventilation over the Stabilizer tank was important as the Stabilizer contained Formaldehyde.

A process cross between the C-41 and the C-22 for Kodacolor II film
The British Journal of Photography for 1975 gives, in the “Formulae” section for Colour Processing, a process which is a cross between C-41 and C-22 for Kodacolor II film. For interest, it is given below.

Films to be laoded into tanks in total darkness
Processing Step

Temperature °F

Time (Minutes)
1. C-41 Developer

100 +/– 0.5°F

2. C-22 Stop Bath

97 -103°F

½
3. Wash

97 -103°F

4. C-22 Bleach

97 -103°F

Room lights can now be switched on, or even earlier, after the Stop Bath.
5. Wash

97 -103°F

6. C-22 Fixer

97 -103°F

4 minutes 20 seconds
7. Wash

97 -103°F

8. C-41 Stabilizer  

9. Dry

75 - 105°F

Notes.

  1. The process follows the same sequence as the C-22 process (see above). The C-22 Hardener was not needed because Kodacolor II film was hardened in manufacture. The C-41 Stabilizer replaced the C-22 “Photo-Flo” rinse as the final bath.

The British Journal comments: “Results with this procedure are identical to those obtained following the official procedure”. Having never printed any negatives processed in this C-41/C-22 sequence Michael Talbert cannot comment on the (print) quality of the negatives.

   

Process C-41A and C-41V
Below is an instruction sheet showing the processing steps for the Kodak processes C-41A and C-41V.

Process C-41A was for Kodacolor Disc films HR, VR, and the later Kodacolor Gold Disc films.
Process C-41V was for all other Kodacolor films, Vericolor II and III, Vericolor Print, and Vericolor Slide films. An additional “Hardening Bath” was necessary after the second Fixer.

The processing procedures are given in the Kodak (UK) instruction sheet “Instructions for processing Kodacolor and Vericolor Films in Kodak Flexicolor Chemicals (20 litre and larger size packings). The sheet is dated July 1983.

   

How the C-41 processing solutions worked

Developer.
Where the silver halide grains in the film are exposed, the developer reduces these to a metallic silver, forming an image.This oxidizes the developer, which in turn combines with the dye couplers to make a dye image exactly at the point where the film has been exposed. The dye couplers are included in the film at manufacture.

The top layer is sensitive to Blue light and forms a Yellow dye where the developer has acted upon it.
The middle layer is sensitive to Green light and forms a Magenta dye where the developer has acted upon it.
The bottom layer is sensitive to Red light and forms a Blue-Green (Cyan), dye where the developer has acted upon it.

Oxidized Colour Developer + Dye Coupler = Dye Image. The developer will only form a dye image where the film is exposed.

The three coloured dye layers together make an opposite colour image to the subject. When printed onto colour printing paper, the colour printing paper (when developed) will again form an “opposite” dye image, reproducing the original colours of the subject. Apart from the contrast in the colour printing paper being higher than a colour negative film, the paper works on exactly the same principle as the negative film.

Bleach.
The Bleach converts the metallic silver in the film, as produced by the developer, into a silver halide. The silver halide is made soluble in the fixing bath so it can be washed out of the film. The Bleach also stops the Developer working on the film, as there is no separate Stop-Bath or Wash step.

Wash.
The wash removes most of the Bleach chemicals, to prevent possible contamination of the Fixer.

Fixer.
In this bath the exposed areas of the film, made up of the silver halide formed in the Bleach, are turned into soluble silver, part of which is removed in the following wash step. Some remains in the Fixer. Also, the Fixer removes the unexposed silver halide which was not used to form the photographic image, therefore not acted upon by the colour developer.

At the end of the fixing time the film consists of coloured dyes plus some soluble silver.

Final Wash.
The silver halide made soluble in the Fixing bath is washed out, leaving the complementary dyes forming an “opposite” colour image on the film.

Stabilizer.
The Stabilizer hardens the emulsions in the film, preparing it for heat drying. The Stabilizer also contains a “Wetting Agent”, which prevents drying marks. It also goes some way to act as an “anti-fade”, to make some of the dyes more light-fast.

Faults.
If the Bleach was to be accidentally left out when processing the film, i.e. processing sequence: Developer, Wash, Fixer, Wash, Stabilizer, the negatives would take on a rather heavily over exposed, slightly opaque appearance. It might be noticed that this processing sequence is very similar to a black and white film developing procedure. With black and white film, the metallic silver formed by the developer makes the image on the film. In a colour negative film, this metallic silver image is only used to generate the complementary dye image, and if the developed silver image was not removed, it would be extremely difficult when printing the negatives to get enough light through them to expose the printing paper.

At the end of processing, if it was discovered that the Bleach had been omitted from the sequence, it would be possible to re-treat the film by washing off most of the Stabilizer and then re-processing, starting with the Bleach bath.

Interestingly if, by error, an exposed sheet of black and white film was to be put through a colour negative processing sequence, it would be completely blank at the end of processing. It would be be a clear sheet of film ! The colour developer would have acted upon it, making a black and white negative image but, since there would be (of course) no colour couplers in the film, the (colour) developer would be unable to also produce a coloured dye image. When the b&w film subsequently went into the Bleach bath, all of its metallic silver would be converted into silver halide, exactly as a regular colour film.

The fixer would then work exactly as with a colour film (see above) and so, following its use and subsequent wash, all the soluble silver would be removed, including the exposed black silver image, being the black and white negative image formed by the colour developer. But of course, since no coloured dye images were able to also be formed buy the developer, the total negative image would be removed and the result ? ...... a sheet of blank film !


EKTACOLOR Colour Negative Films

Kodak Ektacolor Roll Film
For a short time in the mid 1950s, Kodacolor Roll films were obtainable in the USA at a price not including the film processing costs. The films sold in this way were known as Ektacolor Roll films.

Ektacolor Roll Films were mainly purchased by professional photographers who wanted to process the film themselves, to save time, to provide negatives for printing onto Kodak Pan Matrix film making Matrix positives suitable for the Dye Transfer Process, or the negatives could be printed onto Ektacolor Print film or, from 1955, onto Kodak Color Print Material, Type C.

Ektacolor roll film was available in exactly the same sizes as the Kodacolor films, and balanced for Daylight or as Type A for Photoflood light. The roll film was processed in the Ektacolor Processing Kit in a similar way to Ektacolor Type B sheet film (see below).

This leads to an interesting speculation ! If it were possible to process Ektacolor Roll films, which were identical to Kodacolor roll films, in the Ektacolor processing chemicals, it may be that all Kodacolor roll films, Daylight and Type A, were processed at Rochester, N.Y. by Eastman Kodak through the same chemical baths and sequence as the Ektacolor processing kit. In his book, “Photofinishing Techniques”, the late Jack H. Coote suggests that, in the early 1950s, Eastman Kodak were using “rack and tank” machines at Rochester to process Kodacolor roll films.

Ektacolor Type B sheet film was introduced in 1949, the same time that new Kodacolor 'colour masked' roll films were introduced. Both films were manufactured with built-in coloured couplers which resulted in the familiar orange-red colour negatives. Hence, it is possible that Eastman Kodak may have processed Kodacolor roll films through the 4-bath Ektacolor process starting from 1949.

It is understood that, in 1957, the 4-bath process was changed to a processing sequence almost identical to the, then new, C-22 process, which had been introduced in 1956 for Ektacolor Type S sheet film and the new Kodacolor Universal film suitable for both daylight and artificial light exposures. Ektacolor Type B was replaced by Ektacolor Type L for the C-22 process in 1958.

Kodak Ektacolor Type B Sheet Film

Kodak Ektacolor Type B Film was first announced by Eastman Kodak Company in 1947 but the material was not put on sale until 1949. It was a colour negative sheet film balanced for exposure with 3200°K lamps and designed for processing by the user. The film sizes available in 1949 were: 4 x 5ins, 5 x 7ins, and 8 x 10ins.

It was the first colour negative film in the world to incorporate coloured coupler masking. The processed negatives had an overall orange cast. The orange mask eliminated the effects of the overlapping absorbtions of the magenta and cyan dyes.

Exposure
The Eastman Kodak Data sheet states the exposure index for tungsten light (3200°K) as 8 ASA (now ISO). This was for an exposure time of around 1 second. Because of the reciprocity failure of the emulsion layers of the film the correction for a 120 second exposure was around a two stop increase over the “normal” exposure of 1 second at 8 ISO.

Approximate exposure times and speeds for 1 second to 120 seconds:
1 second 8 ISO
5 seconds 6 ISO
60 seconds 4 ISO
120 seconds 2 ISO plus a CC-10R filter.
CC-10R refers to a Kodak Colour Compensating filter of 10 Red strength. It was used over the camera lens for exposures of 120 seconds.

The film could also be exposed with Clear flashbulbs. Guide numbers were suggested in the Kodak Data sheet and a compensating filter was recommended for exposure with clear flash to correct the colour balance. This was stated on the supplementary exposure data sheet packed with each box of film.

Also stated on the supplementary data sheet was the filter recommended for daylight exposures, using a film speed of 5 ISO.

The supplementary data sheet included in the Type B box (see illustration below) gave the following filter recommendations for various light sources.
No filter was necessary when exposing the film to tungsten light. Suggested filters for other light sources were:
Clear Flash Wratten 81EF filter.
Photoflood Wratten 81A filter.
Daylight Wratten 85B filter.
Kodatron light Wratten 86A filter.
The “Kodatron” light was a portable electronic flash lamp manufactured by the Eastman Kodak Company. The 86A was a fairly strong yellow filter.

Calculating the exposure time for Ektacolor Type B Film
The instruction sheet for Ektacolor Type B film clearly states the ASA (ISO) speed of 8, but there is no mention or table of the range of exposure times that can be used successfully with the film under tungsten light.

Some useful information on the exposure of the Type B film is given in the Kodak Color Data book “Color Photography in the Studio” (first edition published in 1950), on page 59. It was suggested that an exposure time of 120 seconds should be increased by 2 stops over a calculated exposure time based on 1 second. The exposure variations listed above (see Exposure) shows a method of calculating the exposure time based on the same method as given in the later Kodak Ektacolor Type L film instruction sheet. On the last page of the Type B instruction sheet under “Color Balance and Speed Charactaristics” Kodak suggest that for critical work an exposure test is recommended, and that their production tests are made at an exposure time of 1 second.


Front labels of Ektacolor Type B film and Type S film
The “Type B” is dated: “Dev. Before Nov. 1956"
The “Type S” is dated: “Dev. Before Apr. 1958"
   


Rear labels of Ektacolor Type B and Type S films.
This is the earliest label for Type S film as the longest exposure time is 1/25 second. The time was changed to 1/10 second in 1958. Also shown on the label is the first code notch for the film. This was changed to one wide “V” and one narrow “V” in 1957. The emulsion no. is Y6103-11-2 making it the 11th emulsion coated. Ektacolor Type S was one of the first films to be processed in C-22 chemicals.
(For more on Type S, scroll down).

Ektacolor Type B film.
The Type B box of film was possibly manufactured at the end of 1955 and shows the earliest code notch from 1949. The notch was changed to one narrow “V” and two wide “Vs” in 1957. The date on the instruction sheet is May 1955 and the emulsion No. stamped on the side of the box is: 6104-95-1.
Type B Ektacolor negatives were originally intended for making paper prints by the Dye Transfer Process. The instruction sheet enclosed in the box mentions making prints by Dye Transfer and making transparencies by printing onto Ektacolor Print Film.
“Kodabromide” paper No.2 was recommended for making black and white prints from the colour negatives, as “such prints are helpful both in selecting negatives for color printing and in determining the retouching requirements of portrait negatives.”
   

EKTACOLOR Type B Processing Kit

In 1949 an Ektacolor processing kit was available specifically designed for processing Ektacolor Type B film. It consisted of four chemical solutions to be made up with water – Colour Developer, Stop-Bath, Hardener-Fixer (a combined bath) and Bleach.

Originally, the working temperature of the solutions and washes was 68°F, but it was found later (1950) that the film could be processed at 75°F with a correspondingly shorter total processing time.

A possible processing procedure for Ektacolor Type B film from 1949 may have been:

1. Colour Developer
2. Stop-Bath
3. Wash (protecting the hardener-fixer from stop-bath contamination)
4. Hardener-Fixer
The remaining steps can be carried out in white light
5. Wash
7. Bleach
8. Wash
9. Hardener-Fixer (the same bath as in step 4. The hardener-fixer bath was used twice)
10. Wash
11. Wetting Agent. Rinse in diluted Kodak Photo-Flo solution (optional).

Notes:

  1. In Step 11, the use of “Wetting Agent” was optional, and wetting agent was not included in the Ektacolor Processing Kit.
  2. The total processing time was 43 minutes at 75°F, but this time is unlikely to have included Step 11.

Ektacolor Type B processing from around 1956 ~ Process B-41.
A second processing procedure dates from around 1956 or slightly earlier. This second procedure is almost identical to the C-22 process (see above) and was known as Process B-41 (From “Photographic Chemistry” by George T. Eaton.)
In this process, the Hardener and Fixer were separate solutions and the last bath was “user make-up” and, presumably, not included in the kit of chemicals. The Hardener in this procedure contained formaldehyde.

1. Colour Developer
2. Stop-Bath
3. Hardener
The remaining steps can be carried out in white light
4. Wash
5. Bleach
7. Wash
8. Fixer
9. Wash
10. Wetting Agent. Rinse in diluted Kodak Photo-Flo solution plus 3/4oz Kodak Formaldehyde per gallon. (Strength of Kodak's formaldehyde solution is not known).

Ektacolor Print Film, introduced in 1950, was also designed to be processed in the Ektacolor Processing Kit or the later Kodak Colour Film Processing Chemicals, C-22. The two processes did not produce matching transparencies, but the differences in colour balance were small and could be easily corrected with Kodak Colour Compensating Filters.

As the baths and wash temperature was similar to Process C-22, it is very likely that the timings for the individual steps were the same.

In 1958, Ektacolor Type B film was replaced by the faster “Ektacolor Type L” film for Long exposures from 1/5 second (25 ISO) to 60 seconds (10 ISO) with 3200°K lamps. The previous B-41 process became obsolete and from then on process C-22 was the standard process for all Kodak still colour negative films and Kodak Ektacolor Print film.

Proof Printing Type B onto Black & White Paper
Because processed Ektacolor negatives had a strong overall orange cast, difficulty was experienced in judging the negatives for correct exposure. Black and white proof prints could be made on Kodak Ektacolor B&W Proof paper to facilitate choosing the best negatives for printing. Kodak Ektacolor B&W Proof paper is mentioned in the Data sheet for Ektacolor Type B film, (1949) but it is not clear if the paper was panchromatic in sensitivity. It is said to be “specially sensitized to give proper tonal values in prints made from negatives containing color couplers.”

By 1956 it is not mentioned in the Data sheet for Ektacolor Type B film and “Kodabromide Grade 3“ is recommended for making black and white prints in another section of “Kodak Color Films” data book of 1956.

Colour Prints from Ektacolor Type B Film
Type B film was originally designed to be printed onto Eastman Kodak Panchromatic Matrix film to make three (red, green and blue) matrices suitable for use with the Kodak Dye Transfer Process. This eliminated the work of making three colour separation negatives direct from the subject. Ektacolor Type B film negatives were, in effect, three separation negatives in one.

It might also have been possible to print a small size Ektacolor Type B sheet film negative onto Kodacolor paper using the printing machines at the Eastman Kodak laboratories where prints were being made from Kodacolor roll films. However, there is no evidence of this ever being done and it could be that the printing machines used for Kodacolor roll film were not set up for any other kind of film than Kodacolor.

Kodak Ektacolor Sheet Film Type S

Ektacolor Film Type S was a sheet film colour negative material introduced by Eastman Kodak in 1956 balanced for exposures with clear flashbulbs (3800°K – 4000°K), at 32 ASA (ISO).

Daylight exposures were made with a Kodak Wratten filter 85C (bluish) with an exposure rating of 25 ASA. The film was very similar to the (then) new Kodacolor Universal roll film, and the daylight exposure guides mentioned in the data sheets for either film were identical.

Exposure
In 1956, Kodak Ektacolor film type S was designed for exposures of 1/25 second or shorter. By 1959, the maximum length of exposure time had been increased to 1/10th second. Exposures longer than 1/10th second would have caused errors in the colour balance of the film which could not have been corrected in printing.

The exposure for an average subject in bright sunlight was 1/50th second at f/11.
Exposures to photoflood lighting: Kodak Wratten filter 82A (bluish) at 20 ASA.
Exposures to tungsten lamps (3200°K): Kodak Wratten filter 82C (bluish) at 16 ASA.

In 1956, the sheet film sizes available were the same as Ektacolor film type L.

By the late 1950s, Ektacolor Film Type S was available in the U.S.A. to professional users in 35mm and other widths. Supplied in long rolls, it was for use in school, identification, and portrait photography. This bulk roll film version was known as “Kodak Ektacolor Film” without a type designation.

By 1961, the same film was on sale in the U.K. to approved professional customers in 35mm bulk film format. The Kodak Professional Catalogue for July 1961 lists long lengths of 99 feet, 200 feet, and 400 feet bulk film. The film was said to have the same characteristics as Kodacolor film and, presumably, the same speed – 32 ASA (ISO).

Kodak Ektacolor Type S Film was replaced by Ektacolor Professional Type S Film in 1962.

The pictures to the right show a box of 5 x 4inch Kodak Ektacolor Type S film for exposures of 1/25 second or shorter. The expiry date marked on the back of the box is “April 1958”. It is likely to have been manufactured at Eastman Kodak, Rochester, N.Y. around June 1957. It is believed to have the first Ektacolor Type S label, from 1956, as the label shows the original code notch of two semi circles. The notch was changed to two “V” notches in 1957.

The film was balanced for clear flashbulbs, at 3800K. The emulsion number is: Y6103 11 2, making it the 11th emulsion coated.


   
Kodak Ektacolor Sheet Film Type L

By 1958 Ektacolor Film Type B had been replaced by Ektacolor Type L, a new faster film for long exposures in tungsten light (3200°K). The film was rated at 16 ASA (ISO) for a 5 second exposure. The film was for making colour negatives at long exposure times.

The 1958 instruction sheet, packed with the film, recommends exposures from 1/5th second to 60 seconds under 3200°K lamps.

A trial exposure meter reading was taken with the exposure meter set at 16 ASA. If the calculated exposure was much more or much less than 5 seconds (the length of time for 16 ASA), the meter was set at the film speed in the table below nearest to the calculated exposure and another exposure reading was taken.

Exposure

Exposure Time Film Speed in ASA
1/5th Second 25 ASA
1 Second 20 ASA
5 Seconds 16 ASA
30 Seconds 10 ASA
60 Seconds 10ASA

A Kodak Wratten 81A filter (yellow) corrected the colour balance of the film for use in photoflood lighting, converting 3200K to 3400K, for a 5 second exposure at 12 ASA.

The film was rated at 20 ASA for daylight exposures at 1/5 second, with a Kodak Wratten 85B filter (yellow). For exposures shorter than 1/5 second in daylight it was preferable to use Ektacolor Film Type S.

In 1958 Ektacolor Film Type L was available in sheet film sizes (inches) of : 2¼" x 3¼", 3¼" x 4¼", 4" x 5", 5" x 7", 8" x 10".

The emulsion number found printed on the side of each box of film was also embossed on the code notched edge of each sheet of film excepting the 2¼" x 3¼" inch size.

Kodak Ektacolor Type L film was replaced by Kodak Ektacolor Professional Type L film in 1963.


Kodak Ektacolor Type L film for Long Exposures

The film replaced Ektacolor Type B film in 1958. The box on the left hand side has an expiry date of January 1961, and a batch No. of 6106 – 47. The batch No. of the smaller right hand box is 6106 – 99, and is possibly one of the last batches of Ektacolor Type L film to be made, about mid-1963. It is thought that Eastman Kodak began manufacturing the replacement film, Ektacolor Professional Type L film, in December 1963.

The author purchased the (RHS) 9 x 12 cms box in July 1974 and used the film to photograph a “still life” in December 1974. One of the negatives has survived from those days and, because of the film being exposed 10 years after it’s expiry date, the sheet of film shows a “red fog” over the processed negative which appears in the unexposed margins covered by the film holder (dark slide), compared to another negative of the same subject taken on “in date” film. The author remembers the out-dated Type L negative making a reasonable print on Agfacolor MCN III Type 4 paper. Contrast was normal, although the shadow to highlight balance, not surprisingly, showed a miss match.

   

 
The rear label of the January 1961 Type L box, showing the exposure range, unlike the Ektacolor Type B film box labels. By 1960, when this film was manufactured, all Kodak colour negative films were processed in C-22 chemicals.
   
Kodak Ektacolor Professional Film Type S ~ short exposure

In 1962, a new version of Kodak Ektacolor Type S sheet film was marketed for professional photographers.
Ektacolor Professional Type S colour negative sheet film had a film speed of 80 ASA (ISO), and was balanced for daylight, blue flash bulbs and electronic flash. The average exposure to bright sunlight was 1/100 second at F/16, and exposures longer than 1/10 second were not recommended.

Ektacolor Professional Film Type S was very similar, but not identical, to Kodacolor X film. While Ektacolor Professional film was aimed at the professional market, Kodacolor X was principally an amateur photographer’s colour negative film, balanced for clear flash illumination and designed to be printed by photofinishers making en-prints and moderate sized enlargements. Ektacolor Professional film was often processed and printed by the photographer in his own darkroom, using enlargers with a filter drawer or colour head. Correctly exposed Ektacolor Professional Type S negatives generally required yellow and magenta filters for printing, whereas, Kodacolor X negatives, being slightly yellower, or redder in colour than an Ektacolor negative, frequently required the use of cyan filters to balance a colour print.

If Kodacolor X film was exposed to daylight with a Kodak No. 85C filter over the lens, the resulting negatives were very similar in colour balance to Ektacolor Professional film Type S negatives and could be printed with yellow and magenta filters.

As it was possible that amateur photographers might expose their Kodacolor X film negatives to widely differing lighting conditions, the photofinishers who printed the resulting negatives compensated for the variations in colour temperature by means of their automatic colour printing machines. To assist the photofinishers in coping with this range of variation, Kodacolor X film, and the earlier Kodacolor film, were balanced for 3800°K, (clear flash bulbs), approximately mid way between daylight and tungsten illumination.

Prints made on automatic colour printing machines may have had slight colour mis-matches regarding highlight to shadow differences, (magenta highlights, green shadows as an example), but generally Kodacolor X and Kodacolor films were capable of giving a pleasing balance with most subjects. As Ektacolor Professional Film was balanced for daylight, it was to be expected that a slightly higher degree of colour accuracy was obtainable with subjects exposed in daylight conditions compared with the Kodacolor films. However differences were slight and a lot depended on the quality of the final print.

In early 1963, a 120 size roll film Ektacolor Professional Type S Film was made available.

It carried a warning on the yellow box it was packed in: "Not for use in simple, non-adjustable, cameras”. The 120 size rolls were manufactured in the USA, but were finished and packed in the UK.

Like the previous “Kodak Ektacolor Film”, (see above), the Type S professional emulsion was also made in 35mm size and supplied in long rolls. The Kodak Professional Catalogue for 1964, (for the UK) lists Ektacolor Professional Film Type S in 120 rolls, coded “CPS 120” and bulk 35mm film in 100 ft. and 400 ft. lengths. To view a picture of a 120 roll film box of Ektacolor Professional Color Negative Film Type S (above), click here.

In 1966, the speed of all Kodak camera colour negative films were increased by 1/3 of a stop, making Ektacolor Professional Film Type S the fastest colour negative film in the world at 100 ASA (ISO). In the UK, by 1970, an additional size of 70mm film was made available in 100ft lengths. Two years later, another addition was 35mm size film in 36 exposure cassettes. 220 size film was listed in the Kodak U.K. Professional catalogue by 1971. In the U.S.A., 220 and 620 size rollfilms were mentioned in the data sheet for Type S Professional Film in October 1964.

Below is shown a box of Ektacolor Professional Type S sheet film, probably manufactured around mid-1963. Alongside is a box of Ektacolor Professional Type L, probably manufactured around mid-1964, so an early eample.

   
Kodak Ektacolor Professional Sheet Film Type L ~ long exposure

Near the end of 1963, Eastman-Kodak introduced a faster long exposure colour negative film to replace Kodak Ektacolor film Type L (see above). It was designed for exposures in tungsten lighting at times from 1/10 second to 60 seconds.

Like the previous Ektacolor Type L film, the speed of the film depended upon the exposure, and the exposure was calculated in exactly the same manner as with Ektacolor Type L film.

Exposure Time Effective Speed
1/10 Second 80 ASA or ISO
1 Second 64 ASA
5 Seconds 50 ASA
30 Seconds 25 ASA
60 Seconds 25 ASA

Daylight exposures were possible at 1/10 second with a Wratten 85 (yellowish) filter, and exposures under Photoflood illumination could be made using a Wratten 81A (yellowish) filter at 1 second. Both filters cut the film speed to 50 ASA (ISO).

Although not mentioned in the data sheets or the instruction leaflets packed in the film boxes, it was also possible to expose Ektacolor Professional film Type L for exposures as long as 2 minutes. In the Kodak Color Data book “Applied Color Photography Indoors” (E 76), the section on “exposure”, describes that a 2 minute exposure can be made at a speed of 16 ASA through a CC 10R filter – this is a Colour Compensating filter of 10 Red density. This information is similar to the longest exposure that can be made on Ektacolor Type B film using a film speed of 2 ASA. (see above)

Negatives made on Ektacolor Professional film Type L exhibited slightly higher contrast than negatives made on the Type S professional film.

The author remembers exposing some sheets of 5 x 4in. Professional Type L film in daylight conditions without a compensating filter to make use of this contrast increase. The negatives possessed a red cast, but on printing them on Agfacolor MCN III type 7 paper, there was only a slight miss match of colour balance (red shadows, cyan highlights).

In November 1963, Ektacolor Professional film Type L was made in sheet film sizes of 2¼" x 3¼", 3¼" x 4¼", 4" x 5", 5" x 7", 8" x 10" and 11" x 14" (all inch sizes). There was also a “half plate” size (4¾" x 6½") mainly for the UK market.

In 1966, the film speed was increased to 100 ASA for 1/10 second exposure and all the ASA speeds in the table above increased by 1/3 of a stop.

Ektacolor Professional film Type L was never made in roll film or 35 mm sizes, and was replaced by Vericolor Professional film 4108, Type L in 1975.

   
Processing of Ektacolor Professional and Ektacolor Type S and L sheet films

All Ektacolor and Ektacolor Professional films, not Ektacolor Type B film, were processed in Kodak Color Film Processing chemicals, Process C-22. In the USA, a “Kodak Color Processing Kit, Process C-22” was available in a 1 gallon size. In the U.K. kits of C-22 chemicals were sold in 600ccs, and 2 litre sizes containing the five chemical baths and the Photo-Flo solution for the final rinse. Larger sizes, up to 100 litres, were available in individual chemical packings.

When using the 600ccs kit, the Developer and Stop-bath had to be replaced after every four rolls of 120 size film developed. The development time, starting at 14 minutes, was increased by 2 minutes for every 120 size film put through the developer, and thus varied from 14 minutes for the first roll to 20 minutes for the last. The Stop-bath time was not increased nor were any of the other solution timings for the life of the kit. The Hardener, Bleach, Fixer and Photo-Flo rinse, had twice the capacity of the Developer and Stop-bath.

From the author’s experience of processing Ektacolor and Kodacolor films in many of the 600 ccs kits, the Stop-bath was frequently overworked and it was far better to make up the last solution, the Photo-Flo rinse, separately for each processing session. This gave much cleaner negatives ! But provided one worked methodically, and was very careful not to contaminate one solution with another, these small sized kits could provide negatives of a very high quality.

From 1975, the four solution Process C-41 replaced Process C-22 giving a faster total time of 24½ minutes

Storage of unexposed Ektacolor and Ektacolor Professional Films, sheet, roll, bulk and 35mm

Since Ektacolor Type B film was introduced in 1949, Eastman Kodak have recommended refrigerated storage for all types of Ektacolor film at 55°F (12.8°C) or lower. Better still, freezing the sealed, unexposed film in a freezing unit would delay the changes in the film’s characteristics, such as speed and colour balance, for a very long time. But even at this low temperature, the film was likely to change very slowly and it was always advisable to use the film before the expiry date stamped on the box.

Kodacolor film and Kodacolor X film did not require refrigerated storage.

   

Kodak Vericolor Films

Kodak Vericolor colour negative films were introduced in the USA in 1970. They were intended for rapid processing in the Kodak Versamat Model 145 machine, the total dry to dry time being around one fifth of the (then) C-22 wet processing time for Kodacolor and Ektacolor films. Vericolor film had it’s own chemical baths and could not be processed in C-22 chemicals. The films were similar to the Ektacolor Professional films at that time.

Types of Vericolor Film available in the USA in 1972

  • Vericolor Type S film. 120,620, and 220 rolls in packs of 5 rolls. 35mm, 46 mm, 70mm and 3½inch bulk rolls in mainly 100foot lengths. Sheet film. The film was coded “VS”. This film corresponded to Ektacolor Professional film Type S in speed, grain size, and definition.
  • Vericolor Type L film. 120 rolls in packs of 5 rolls. Sheet film. This film was coded “VL”. The 120 roll film was a new product. Kodak Ektacolor Professional Type L film was never made in a 120 size roll film. Vericolor Type L film corresponded to Ektacolor Professional Type L film in speed, grain size, and definition.

Type S and Type L sheet film were coated on a polyester base. In the U.S. A. both types of sheet film were available in 4x5inch and 5x7inch formats (10 sheet boxes), designated, Vericolor Type S 4105 and Vericolor Type L 4106.

Types of Vericolor Film available in the UK in 1972

  • Vericolor Type S film was available in 120 and 220 roll film, (5 roll packs), 35mm bulk film, and 4x5inch sheet film (10 sheets).
  • Vericolor Type L film was available in 120 roll film, (5 roll packs), and 4x5inch sheet film.(10 sheets)

Processing
The “Kodak Versamat Color Processor Model 145” was available to colour laboratories who wished to process and print Vericolor films. As far as Michael Talbert knows, by 1972 only two laboratories in the U.K. were operating a service for processing Vericolor films. One was F.S.Hare, and the other was P&P.F.James, of Houndslow.

Approximate bath sequence of the processing steps:

  1. Hardener
  2. Neutraliser
  3. Colour Developer
  4. Stop-Fix
  5. Wash
  6. Bleach
  7. Wash
  8. Fixer
  9. Final Wash
  10. Wetting Agent Rinse (or Hardening bath, see note below)

Notes.

  1. The processing baths and wash water temperature was 100°F.
  2. There was no “Stabilizer “ bath although the British Journal of Photography Annual for 1972 in the “Epitome of Progress” section (Colour Photography), mentions a “Hardening Bath” as the final bath. The Annual also states that the process starts with a “Pre-Hardener”. The Eastman – Kodak catalog for 1973 lists the Vericolor chemicals in order of processing sequence, and starts with “Kodak Vericolor Hardener and Replenisher” . This is possibly what the B.J. Annual meant by “Pre-Hardener”. The equivalent U.K.” Kodak Professional and Graphic Arts” price list for 1973 lists the same chemicals in order of processing sequence, starting with “Vericolor Hardener”. There is no mention of a Hardener or Stabilizer as the final bath in either catalogue, but it is quite likely that the last bath was a wetting agent rinse, similar to the C-22 Process.
  3. The total processing time was about 11minutes, dry to dry.

The Versamat 145 machine could process sheet film, roll film and 35mm film working at a speed of 3feet per minute. Kodak manufactured other types of Versamat machines, but the 145 model was the only one capable of processing Vericolor films.

The chemicals were obtainable in packs to make up 25gallons of each solution, except for the fixer. Kodak “Color Film Liquid Fixer”, was used for the process, this fixer being common to the C-22, E3 and E4 processes. The Colour developer was made up of Developer Replenisher and Developer Starter. To make the working solution, the Starter was mixed with the Replenisher and the working strength developer solution was then replenished with the developer replenisher alone.

At the time Vericolor films were marketed, very few colour laboratories in the U.K. would consider purchasing a Versamat machine to process Vericolor films alongside the then, current, Kodacolor and Ektacolor films. It was known that the Flexicolor process (C-41 process), with new amateur and professional films would, at some stage, replace the existing C-22 films and process. Indeed, Kodacolor II film was already on the market. Thus, it was hardly worth while investing in a process which would become obsolete in another two or three years time, although it was pointed out at the time that the Versamat machines could be modified to take the new Flexicolor chemistry. The cost of a Versamat Color Processor Model 145 in 1973 was over £10,000. This included three service calls and free maintenance for one year.

Kodak Vericolor II Professional films

Vericolor Type S and Type L films were replaced by Vericolor II Professional films, Type S and Type L in 1974. By 1975, the range of Kodak Vericolor II Professional films were gradually replacing Ektacolor Professional films for camera use.


KODACOLOR ~ Making the Print; from 1942

When Eastman Kodak began to sell Kodacolor Film in various roll film sizes to the general public in March 1942, all processing and printing of the new film was done internally at Eastman Kodak, Rochester, N.Y.

Prior to marketing Kodacolor Film in its various roll film sizes, a method had to be devised of printing thousands of small colour pictures per day from colour negatives. Eastman Kodak had already started a colour print service for making colour prints from Kodachrome transparencies. With regard to correcting the colour balance of the print, printing from a colour transparency is a simpler task than if the same print is to be made from a colour negative. Colour casts on transparency films can be easily seen by the printer, and a correction can be made before printing. However, it is much more difficult to see a colour cast on a colour negative, because the negative appears in “reversed “ colours.

Kodak 1599 Machine Printers
The first printer exclusively designed for making colour prints from Kodacolor negative films was the Kodak 1599 colour printer.

The 1599 printers were equipped with triple negative carriers, and required the negatives to be cut into strips before printing, presumably into strips of 3 or 4 depending on the number of exposures per roll film.The triple negative carriers allowed the operator to change one negative while another two were being exposed to the paper. Three prints of equal size were printed across an 11 inches wide roll of paper in parallel rows. After processing, and before the prints were cut and separated into their individual orders, they were examined by an experienced operator, and any prints not up to standard were marked with a correction and the negatives were returned for re-prints.

Eastman Kodak designed equipment for slitting and cutting the rolls of exposed paper into 3½ in wide prints.

The Eastman Kodak 1599 printer was not made available to any other photofinishing companies, possibly because it was complicated to set up, and was designed to print only from Kodacolor negatives and only onto Kodak colour printing paper (though no doubt it could have been used with other makes of film and colour paper with appropriate settings).

In 1949, Eastman Kodak introduced Ektacolor Type B sheet film, and it might have been possible to print small size sheet film negatives using 1599 printers onto Kodak colour paper. There is no evidence of this ever being done and it is possible that the 1599 printer was not set up for any other kind of film than Kodacolor.

The colour negative was exposed through individual red, green and blue filters, (three separate exposures). The exposures were each the same length of time due to the fact that the final print would show a change in colour if one of the exposures varied in time compared to the other two. At that time, there was no way of altering the exposure time to compensate for any colour casts on the negative film. The intensity of the printing light was adjusted automatically by light sensitive photocells to give the correct exposure to compensate for underexposed negatives, or overexposed negatives. Thus the total time of the three exposures was the same for a thin, underexposed, negative as it was for a thick, overexposed, negative.

This method of making three exposures was known as “Tri-Color Printing”. There seems to be very little written information on how Eastman Kodak operated their printers in those early days but below is an attempt to show how there may have been three distinct methods (phases).

First Method (as from 1942)
After processing the film to a colour negative, each frame of the roll was examined by a colour technician who then decided what colour correction filters to place in the printer (maybe in a filter draw?) to correct the cast on the negative. It is very likely that the photographer’s negative to be printed was compared with a “standard” negative, which could be printed to a perfect print.

Very simply, by way of example, say the negative to be printed was evaluated to have a green cast. Without correction, the resulting print would look magenta. Therefore a magenta filter would have to be placed in the printer to remove the colour cast. Remember that the green exposure cannot be altered to correct for the colour cast.

Estimating colour casts on every single negative must have taken up much time. Therefore, it was decided later to judge only one negative per roll of film for colour casts, and then print the whole roll using the same filter correction.

One drawback with this system was that the individual frames on the same roll of film may not all have been taken in the same lighting conditions, and hence the negatives may have had different colour casts.

Second Method
A second method of printing Kodacolor roll films was introduced to bring greater automation to the whole procedure, possibly with a great saving of time.

All roll films were made slightly longer than was necessary for the standard number of exposures per roll, irrespective of the size of film. Photographers were advised not to expose or fog this part of the film. Before processing to a colour negative, this extra portion of film was exposed by the laboratory to a standard reference colour patch. After processing the film, and before printing, the colour densities on this reference patch were measured and evaluated. Each negative was then punched with a series of very small holes along the extreme edge of the film corresponding to the results of the colour density measurements. The size and location of the small holes automatically regulated the various colour printing filters to correct for the colour cast(s) of the negative being printed. This method, as presumably the first method, took into account the emulsion deviations of the various batches of Kodacolor film.

Third Method
As long ago as 1938, two research workers at Kodak Limited, Harrow, had shown that the colours of an average daylight scene will integrate to grey. If a transparency of an outdoor subject, with no bias of any particular colour in that subject, is placed in a slide projector, and a diffuser of neutral colour is placed in front of the lens, no image will be formed on the screen but the colour of the light reaching the screen will be grey, or certainly close to grey.

By perhaps the mid-1940s, the Kodak 1599 printer was sufficiently advanced to incorporate photo-electric cells to automatically compensate for colour casts of Kodacolor negatives. In common with other automatic colour printers, when the settings on the 1599 colour printer had been adjusted so that the printer produced a good print from a 'standard' test negative exposed to an average outdoor subject with no colour bias, the vast majority of all subsequent negatives would print satisfactorily, or nearly so.

The photo-electric cells measured the light transmitted from the negative for each of the red, green, and blue exposures (additive printing) and terminated each exposure when the amount of colour striking the printing paper (time x intensity) was the same as was expected from the 'standard' test negative. This was done by varying the intensity of the light behind each filter rather than varying the time of exposure; the exposure time was kept constant so as to not upset the reciprocity characteristics of the paper. The exposure intensity of the light behind each filter varied automatically according to the colour cast(s) of the negative being printed, but as long as the total intensity of each of the three light colour exposures remained the same as the total intensity of each colour as required by a 'standard' negative, a good print was likely to result.

This method of assuming customer negatives would integrate to grey without a colour bias, was used for printing Kodacolor negatives on the 1599 printers for almost 20 years.
Subsequently in the US the Type IVC Machine Printer was used, but this was soon replaced in the UK by the British designed and made Kodak S.1 white light subtractive printer.

   
Kodacolor Processing and Machine Printing Comes to the UK ~ 1958
In May 1958, Miniature Camera Magazine (MCM) reported:
Kodak have opened an entirely new processing station at Hemel Hempstead to meet the growing demand for colour photographs, particularly those made from Kodacolor roll films which were released on the British market last October. It is also designed to take care of the processing of 35 mm., 16 mm. and 8 mm. Kodachrome and this work will be gradually transferred from the present Harrow processing department to Hemel Hempstead. When completed, this plant will be a completely self-contained production unit with a staff of nearly 1,000 people.
In February 1959, MCM reported:
Colour Prints For All; A Visit to the new Kodacolor Processing Station at Hemel Hempstead.
Modern Camera Magazine recently had the opportunity, at the invitation of Kodak Limited, of visiting their new colour processing plant at Hemel Hempstead devoted exclusively to the processing of several colour materials now provided by this company. The demand for these is so large that it had been found necessary to start work at the factory before it was fully completed so that at the moment all sections are not in use. At the present time, for example, most of the Kodachrome films are still processed at Harrow, but ultimately all colour processing will be done at Hemel Hempstead. Some idea of the size of the building can be gathered from our first photograph.


The factory frontage on Maylands Avenue, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, UK.
The new building in the foreground is nearing completion.


Constant checks are made on temperatures etc of the various solutions as they are pumped through the system.
   

Although Kodachrome in its 8, 16 and 35mm forms (sheet film Kodachrome is no longer made, its place having been taken by Ektachrome) is the best known of the Kodak colour products, the sales of Kodacolor, a colour negative film designed for print making, are rapidly increasing. The whole of the developing and printing of this material takes place at Hemel Hemp-stead. Colour prints are also made there from Kodachrome 35mm transparencies and special provision has been made at the new plant for the instruction of staff in colour processing, so that outside organisations, such as the well-known photo-finishing firms in various parts of the country, may be able to enter this field. This form of training is most important for it is not the policy of Kodak Limited to process Ektachrome, which they hope will ultimately be processed either by the consumer or by approved developing and printing establishments.

Have you ever made a mistake in addressing your Kodachromes to Kodak or omitted to add your own name and address? Some seven thousand people did last year, although actually this represents a very minute proportion of the total number of films sent in. Satisfying the customer is one of the main aims of this plant and we were interested to see the various steps taken to prevent such films being entirely lost to the user.

In cases where films have been sent in without any obvious means of identifying the sender, after processing they are always examined to find whether, for example, there is a photograph of a motor-car on which the registration letters and number can be seen, whether there are other indications of the places in which the films were taken, the types of subject, or indeed anything unusual. These entries are made on specially printed forms with columns for various indications and the film then goes to a kind of "dead letter office" awaiting enquiries. If a customer complains that he has not had his film returned another special form is sent to him with certain specific questions and in a considerable number of cases the sender is traced by comparing the film with the "dead letter" form. The special museum, if it may be called such, at this dead letter office, is well worth a visit and shows what strange things people will do at times in the way of wrong treatment. For example, Kodachrome films all have to be processed in continuous strips, each length of film being carefully spliced to the previous length for the continuous processing machine. This continuous running is essential, since processing Kodachrome is a very complex procedure and, if in spooling up, before processing, a break in the film is discovered, a proper cemented splice is made. However, it is not unusual to find that the two ends of the broken film have been pinned together or even stapled by the customer, and often the two ends are roughly joined with adhesive tape. If joints of this kind were allowed to get into the machine they might cause serious damage.

   


An operator checks a 'difficult' Kodacolor negative against a set of printing standards.


Making up developer soluions.
   

The careful preparation and testing of the necessary processing chemicals before they are pumped into the huge tanks from which they are circulated to the processing machines, occupies an important section of the building. So far as the Kodacolor print making service is concerned, there are two main divisions of work ~ (i) the processing of the colour negative and (ii) the making of the print. After the colour negative comes from the processing machine it is carefully examined visually and marked frame by frame so that grossly over, or under, exposed negatives, which would not make satisfactory prints, can be eliminated. The negatives then go to automatic printing machines which select the correct printing filters and automatically determine the exposure required. This general integration of the negative for exposure and colour balance is perfectly satisfactory with average subjects but, like the integration method of determining exposure for monochrome work by photo-electric meter, it is not always right for exceptional subjects. Thus when the finished prints come through (they are all printed on a continuous band) another inspector marks those prints which require re-printing in adjusted conditions, so that before the final batch of prints reaches the consumer, the best has been made of every negative.

We were greatly impressed by the care and discrimination used throughout the processing of colour material and this probably accounts largely for the high standard of Kodacolor prints now being turned out.

Michel Talbert comments: in these early days, some prints were of poor quality due to their negatives being of scenes with an imbalance of colours compared to a theoretical 'average' scene i.e. they suffered from what the trade described as 'subject failure'. The classic example is a girl in a white dress sitting on a lawn – the dress comes out pink from an automatic printer that has no means to recognise that there was an 'excess' of green within the original scene and compensated for that 'excess' by applying additional magenta filtration. Such automatic printers integrated all the colours coming through the negative and applied a printing colour filtration that would make the resulting mix of image colours in the final print integrate to pure grey, regardless of whether the original scene colours would have actually integrated to grey. On the later generation of printers, when the operator spotted one of these 'subject failure' negatives, he pressed an “L1” button, and this would make the printer use a lower correction, i.e., the negative wasn't integrated to 100% grey, and this took care of 'subject failure' negatives. There may also have been an “L2” button, for even less integration of scenes with severe subject colour failure.

 


Colour Printing at the new Kodak plant.
Michael Talbert identified this as a Kodak Roll Paper Printer Type IVC. It was a 'variable time' additive printer, giving three variably timed exposures through each of red, green and blue filters The earlier Kodak 1599 Printer was a 'variable light' printer where each colour filter exposure time was the same length, but the intensity of the light through each filter was varied to achieve the correct colour balance and avoid paper reciprocity failure.


Kodacolor prints at the take-off end of the developing machine.
The prints are not being glazed. Kodak didn't glaze early Kodacolor prints. The prints came out of the P-122 Buffer bath, a sort of “Stabilizer”, straight onto what looks like a glazing drum, but notice that the prints are 'face up'.
This drying drum area was not the best place to linger in a processing lab. with acid fumes being given off by the hot drum! But it was even worse when heat drying early Agfacolor paper, since the prints had been soaked in Formalin in the Stabilizer.
   

Printing Kodacolor Negatives on the Kodak IVC Printers
The Machine Printer Type IVC was originally based on the Eastman Kodak Velox Rapid printer used in the USA. It was an additive printer, giving sequential exposures through red, green and blue filters.
The IVC was equipped with a “Slope Control” system. Slope Control enabled the IVC to produce a print automatically from under-exposed and over-exposed negatives, without the negative density differences causing variations in print colour balance. In the late 1950s this was all very new and its believed the IVC was the first printer with Slope Control.
Without Slope Control, prints from under exposed negatives tended towards green, while over exposed negatives tended towards magenta.

Kodacolor Universal film, introduced in 1956, was balanced for optimum print quality when exposed to the light of Clear Flashbulbs at a colour temperature of about 3800°K. When exposed to daylight or artificial light sources, compensation for out of balance negatives was made in the printing process. The colour temperature for daylight was deemed approximately 5500°K, and for artificial or tungsten light, 3200°K to 3500°K.

The operator of the Kodak IVC printer could adjust the printer to compensate for Kodacolor Universal negatives which looked as if they had been exposed in artificial light. The negatives would appear slightly blue when compared to a normal balanced negative exposed to clear flashbulbs. For “Artificial Light” negatives, a button on the printer was pressed and the machine would increase the blue exposure time and at the same time decrease the green and red exposures. Without this correction, a “blue” negative would result in a print which was too yellow to be acceptable.

The opposite would happen to negatives taken in daylight. Here the negatives took on a yellow cast, as the average daylight colour temperature is higher than that of clear flashbulbs. Another button on the printer increased the blue exposure and decreased the green and red exposures to make the print more yellow.

If the film was exposed to any other light source it was likely that the colour of the negatives could be compared to other already processed negatives to find a colour match along with a colour correction setting. The colour correction setting, or filtration, was then “dialed in”, or colour correction buttons were pressed on the printer, and this would bring the balance of the negatives to produce a correctly balanced print, or nearly so. (see photo, above, of a young woman comparing negatives to others on a light box, entitled “An operator checks a 'difficult' Kodacolor negative against a set of printing standards.)

The procedure given above related to normally exposed negatives. All three printing exposure times (red, green and blue exposures) had to be adjusted to keep the density of the print correct. In the first example, if only the blue exposure time was increased, the colour would be corrected, but the print would then appear slightly too dark as the total exposure time was now too long. Therefore, the other two exposures had to be decreased in proportion. Increasing the blue exposure makes the print more yellow, and decreasing the red and green exposures does the same thing.

As both types of Kodacolor film, i.e. the new Kodacolor Universal and the former Kodacolor films (Daylight and Type A) were being sold in the USA at the time of the Kodak IVC printers being introduced in 1956, there was also a button on the IVC to compensate for the difference in the mask colour of the two types of film.

The Kodak Type S.1 Printer
After the Type IV, the Kodak Type S.1 printer was the next model. This was a subtractive 'white light' printer.

White Light printers started off with a “White Light” exposure i.e. no filters in the light beam. While the white light exposure took place, the negative was assessed by the printing machine. When the machine decided that the red exposure must end, a cyan filter came across the light beam, the printer carried on giving the exposure through the cyan filter which was equivalent to the green and blue exposures with tri-colour additive printing. The green exposure ended with a magenta filter sliding across the light beam, but the blue exposure carried on, since the cyan and magenta filters were effectively a blue filter. The blue exposure ended by a shutter on the printer cutting off all light to the paper.

The blue exposure was usually the longest, because of the red/yellow masked negatives, which had a high density to blue light. Obviously, the red exposure was the shortest, green somewhere in between.
On the later printers, these exposures took place in milli seconds. Most negatives which were normally exposed took only a second or two to print.

The exposing light was always kept “on”, the shutter opening only when the exposure was being made, like a camera. White Light printers were much faster than the previous additive tri-colour printers, partly because of the white light exposure at the beginning with no filter in the light beam, where the red, green and blue exposures took place simultaneously. The trouble with tri-colour printers was that the three exposing filters were always very dense, which increased the overall exposure times drastically.

Anyone who is really interested in machine colour printing is recommemnded to obtain a copy of Jack Coote’s book, “Photofinishing Techniques”, published as long ago as 1970 by Focal Press. It’s one of the very, very few books written on Machine Printing. Some basic information from the Jack Coote book can be read here:
Machine Printers ~ Compensating for Paper Reciprocity and Subject Failure
The following notes serve only as a quick introduction to a technical subject. There were many different types of colour printer, and, of course, each processing laboratory had its own particular way of working.

Every colour printing paper was susceptible to what is known as “Reciprocity Failure”. If a print was exposed for 5 seconds at f5.6, the colour balance and density should have equalled that of another print given a longer exposure time at a smaller aperture, e.g. 40 seconds at f16. Unfortunately this was not the case, and the second print would have been under-exposed and with a different colour balance, due to the paper's Reciprocity Failure.

With regards to colour prints made in Machine Printers; low density, i.e under-exposed, negatives required much shorter exposure times through the printer's red, green and blue filters than was the case with high density, over-exposed, negatives that required relatively longer exposure times. With such printing time variations, the printing paper's Reciprocity Failure became a problem. In addition, an under-exposed negative, printed with a short exposure time, may have produced a print with a green cast. An over-exposed negative, requiring a much longer printing exposure time, may have resulted in a print with a magenta cast. It may also have been lacking in density. Both prints would have been considered unacceptable. To overcome this problem, the first colour printers that were used by the Eastman Kodak Company from 1942 (called the 1599 printer) overcame this problem by varying the intensity of their exposing light. The 1599 exposed all prints at a fixed exposure time. An under-exposed, thin, negative took as long to print as one which was over-exposed, avoiding shortening or lengthening the exposure times would have caused the three colour sensitive layers re-act differently to one another, producing colour casts in the prints due to the printing papers reciprocity failure.

By the mid-1950s Machine Printers were being manufactured with a facility known as “Slope Control”, which enabled the Type IVC Machoe Printer to operate using variable time exposures through its three colour filters, rather than using the Type 1599 variable light intensity method.

If calibrated correctly, the “Slope Control” facility in a Machine Printer compensated for colour balance and density changes from negatives which were from 2 stops under-exposed to 2 stops over-exposed, correcting the green cast by automatically giving a longer “Green Exposure” (for an under-exposed negative), or decreasing the “Green Exposure” (for an over-exposed negative). The Slope Control setting would also have applied any necessary correction to the print density. Reciprocity Failure colour balance changes varied according to the make of colour printing paper.

Outside the +/- 2 stop exposure range capability of the 'Slope Control', the colour balance would have had to be corrected by using colour correction buttons on the Machine Printer. But any negative outside the +/- 2 stop exposure range might equally have been considered of such poor quality, especially when under exposed, that the Machine operator might have simply declined to print it. In this case, the customer would have had to return the negative with instructions to 'Print Regardless', if the image was of such importance that obtaining even a poor quality print was better than no print at all.

Correcting the density of under and over exposed negatives could also be done by the Printer operator using +1, +2, (or more) buttons on the printer (with dense negatives), and using -1, -2, (or more) buttons (with 'thin' negatives). Operators were taught to use the 'Plus' buttons with dense negatives and 'Minus' buttons with thin ones.

Achieving Acceptable Prints
Because of the overall orange red cast of masked colour negatives, it was difficult for the Machine Printer operator to spot 'Subject Failure' negatives and looking for such negatives slowed down print production. However, it was easier for the operator to notice negatives with density errors and to correct these using the 'Plus' and 'Minus' buttons.

Very few negatives contained the ”theoretical” one third exact proportion of red, green, and blue colour component dyes and experience showed that a Machine Printer operating at a lower level of integration (than theoretically correct) would produce acceptable prints from negatives of subjects coming in between scenes which would integrate exactly (to grey) and to scenes bordering on 'Subject Failure' i.e. scenes with an excess of one colour or another. By setting a lower level of integration it was found that there was more chance of the Machine Printer producing a high level of ”acceptable” prints from a wider range of negatives. This applied especially to Machine Printers where the negatives were printed only once and no test strips were made. However, below 100% integration was just as valuable on Machine Printers where the price level of the prints produced allowed at least one test strip. The nearer the first test strip was to the correct colour and density, the easier and quicker it was to make a good final print.

Pictures of landscapes were common 'Subject Failure' negatives, contained large areas of green landscape that meant there was a large area of excess magenta in the negative. As explained above, the landscape area would have been both lighter than the sky and maybe twice the sky area (the sky might have been only one third of the total negative area). Hence, for both reasons, when the Machine integrated the light passing through this type of negative, the tendency would be for the Machine to over-correct the magenta content of the negative by (incorrectly) increasing its green exposure so as to 'correct' what it assessed would otherwise be an excess of green in the final print. The resulting prints from landscape subjects were noticeable by the “pink” clouds in the sky. This was a fairly common case where the Machine Printer could not tell if the colour cast in the negative was due to a technical error of, say, faulty processing (needing correcting), or was the actual colour of the subject (not needing correcting).

By operating a Machine Printer at a lower integration rate, many of these subject failure landscape negatives would produce first time acceptable prints.

“Acceptable” prints, say up to a size of 6 inches x 4 inches and 5 inches square, printed at a laboratory dealing mainly with amateur photographers’ work where the negative was printed without any test strip first, the colour balance could actually vary from ideal by around 10 units of Kodak Colour Printing filter cast in any direction. Most prints could have been improved by hand printing on an enlarger, but in the case of the best Machine prints made from correctly exposed negatives, they could be improved only slightly and, in a few cases, not at all.

The colour balance of prints made from very over, and under-exposed, negatives would have greater colour casts than a 10 unit Kodak Colour Printing filter. Standards varied considerably according to the laboratory and price per print.

On a personal note, Michael Talbert made many 6 inch x 4 inch machine prints on a Pako printer, and found that the general public would accept quite wide variations in the colour balance of their prints, but the density of the print had to be correct, or very nearly so.



KODACOLOR Paper

Kodacolor Type I paper
In 1942
, the first type of colour printing paper used for Kodacolor prints was called Kodacolor Type I paper (= Type 1). It was a multi-layer material, with the red sensitive emulsion containing the cyan dye coupler, coated next to the paper base. On this was coated the green sensitive layer, with the magenta dye coupler. A yellow filter layer followed this, and the top layer was sensitive to blue light, containing the yellow dye coupler. The yellow filter layer was to prevent any blue light reaching the bottom two layers, which were both sensitive to blue light. The red, green, and blue sensitive emulsion layer arrangement was identical to the early type of Agfacolor paper, CN111, and the colour sensitivity of the paper, like CN111, was balanced for unmasked colour negatives, the speed of each layer being almost equal.

The emulsions were coated onto a fibre base support, with an unglazed gloss surface. The contrast was normal, or medium. The equivalent Kodak black and white papers manufactured at that time were (in the U.S.A.) Kodabrom F2 white, glossy, smooth, normal, and (in the U.K.) Bromide BG2, Nikko *(see footnote, end of page) medium. The base weight of Kodacolor paper was Medium, in between single and double weight.

With Kodacolor Type 1 paper, the magenta dye faded rapidly in the processed prints, causing the white borders and eventually the image aitself, to turn yellow. The magenta dye coupler was much improved in later versions of Kodak colour printing papers.

Kodacolor Type II paper was introduced in 1950. It was very similar to Type I, but had an ultra violet (UV) absorbing layer above the emulsion layers.

Kodacolor Type III paper superseded Type II in 1952 and was used for enlargements and prints from Kodacolor internegatives. The paper contained a new magenta coupler.

Kodacolor III Type 1348 paper
The last version of Kodacolor paper was known as Kodacolor III Type 1348. This paper was first manufactured in 1954. The layers on this paper were coated in reverse order, the red sensitive layer now coated on top, the blue sensitive layer next to the base. There was no yellow filter layer, but the UV absorbing layer was placed in between the red sensitive and green sensitive emulsion layers.

This new arrangement of layer order improved the visual sharpness of the print. As the red sensitive, cyan dye forming layer was now on top, this now became the sharpest layer. It had been noticed as long ago as 1928, that the cyan dye layer provided most of the apparent sharpness of a tri-pack material, partly because it often forms the heaviest dye deposit.

There is some doubt concerning the information on the two types of Kodacolor Type III papers i.e. Type III and Type III 1348. In the literature, other sources suggest that it was Kodacolor Type III paper (in 1952) that was made with the reverse order of sensitive layers. My own research has failed to confirm this, though there was a change made to Kodacolor film in 1949 that may be at the root of this confusion. In 1949, a new version of Kodacolor film was marketed incorporating an orange/red masking layer to improve the colour rendering of prints. Prior to this, the two earlier films were of the unmasked variety, though the second type included a contrast mask in black and white.

It is probable that, in 1949, Eastman-Kodak changed the layer sensitivity of its Kodacolor paper, increasing the speed of the blue sensitive layers, to compensate for the high density of the orange masking layer in the new Kodacolor film. An orange masked Kodacolor negative printed onto a paper designed for unmasked colour negatives would have otherwise needed a long blue exposure to prevent a strong blue/cyan cast caused by the mask. However, I can find no firm evidence that Eastman-Kodak actually did change the layer sensitivity of the paper at that time.

Eastman-Kodak knew that the green and blue layers would have to be increased in speed (sensitivity) because of the orange mask as long ago as 1946, as was mentioned in the P.S.A. Journal (Photographic Society of America), February 1947, where Hanson and Vittum described the forthcoming masking system and how it was to work for Kodacolor ("Colored Dye-Forming Couplers In Subtractive Color Photography”. It was presented at the PSA Convention at Rochester N.Y. in November 2nd, 1946. It became Eastman-Kodak communication No. 1106).

The above types of Kodacolor papers were used internally by Eastman-Kodak for prints and enlargements in their own laboratories and were never sold to any other photo finishers or photographers. During 1954, the US Supreme Court ruled that the Eastman Kodak Company were required to release technical information on the printing and processing of Kodacolor films and papers to colour processing laboratories and photofinishers in the USA who wanted to handle the processing and printing of Kodacolor film.

     

KODACOLOR; processing by others than Kodak
As from 1955, Kodak colour printing materials, and the corresponding processing chemistry, were made available for sale to photographers, photofinishers, professional processing laboratories, or anyone else - but this applied only in the USA.

In the UK, Kodacolor Film was first sold in 1957 but all processing and printing was still carried out by Kodak Ltd. Kodak did not release the processing chemicals and printing paper for general sale to anyone in the UK until 1959.

Kodak Color Print Material, Type C
As from 1955, Kodak colour printing papers, and the processing chemistry for them, were made available for purchase to anyone in the USA. Also during that year, Eastman Kodak introduced 'Kodak Color Print Material, Type C', their first colour printing paper to be put on sale to the general public. It included a new yellow coupler and increased UV absorption levels. Colour prints could be made from Ektacolor negatives using enlargers fitted with a filter draw, using “Kodak Color Compensating Filters” to change the colour balance.

Using Printing Paper by other Manufacturers
In the late 1950s it was very likely that attempts were made at printing Ektacolor Type B and Kodacolor film negatives onto a European make of colour printing paper, such as Agfacolor CNIII paper or Agfacolor CHIII (Normal and Hard grades). At that time, only photographers who had attended a course of instruction in the use of Agfacolor materials at an “Agfacolor School” were permitted to purchase these papers and chemicals.

Agfacolor CNIII and CHIII papers were balanced for unmasked colour negative materials, such as Agfacolor negative films “K” and “T”. The orange mask present in an Ektacolor negative would have caused problems when printing onto a paper balanced for unmasked negatives. Very high magenta and cyan filter corrections would have been necessary to achieve a neutral balance. Because of the high filtration necessary, prints may have shown colour mis-matches between highlight and shadow, such as highlights too yellow and shadows too blue.

Other colour printing papers available at that time, all balanced for unmasked colour negatives include: Gevacolor, (Belgium), Ferraniacolor (Italy), Telcolor (Switzerland), and papers specifically designed for amateur colour printing, Pakolor, Synthacolor, and Raycolor (all UK made).

ICI colour negative film possessed a colour correction mask similar to Ektacolor Type B film. ICI colour negative film could be obtained for a time in the 1950s, principally by the professional user. Because of the colour correction mask in ICI colour film, the corresponding ICI colour printing paper may have been more suitable for printing Ektacolor and Kodacolor negatives.

 

This image illustrates the ageing differences between early Kodak (top print) and Agfa (two lower prints) colour printing processes.

The Kodacolor print dates from 1952 and the Agfacolors date from 1954.

On the back of the Kodacolor print it says:
"This is a Kodacolor Print made by Eastman Kodak Company, T.M. REGIS. PAT. OFF. Week of August 25, 1952".
The film the picture was taken on would have been Kodacolor Daylight Type rated at 25 ASA (ISO) with the orange colour correcting mask incorporated. The printing paper (see descriptions above) would have been either Kodacolor Type II or Kodacolor Type III. As far as is known, the Type III material was introduced in 1952.

The two Agfacolor prints were made in 1954. They are most likely to have been printed on Agfacolor CN III paper. They have “Agfa” printed faintly on the back at various intervals. The film the pictures were taken on would have been Agfacolor “CNT” film for Daylight rated at 10 to 12ASA (ISO) producing an unmasked colour negative.

The difference between the colour balance of the Kodak and Agfa prints is quite considerable. The Kodacolor print suffers from “Thermal Yellowing” very badly, a fault inherent in the four early Kodacolor papers.

Thermal Yellowing was caused by heat and humidity reacting with the dyes in the print. It was also caused by the unused colour couplers left in the emulsion layers reacting with the print dyes, mainly the magenta coupler. For instance, in this case, where the colour Magenta is not generated by colour development, there are unused colour couplers left in the emulsion after processing the print. Very early Kodacolor prints turned green as the magenta dye faded faster than the other dyes. Thermal Yellowing also caused the borders of the print to turn yellow rapidly.

This Kodacolor print does retain some traces of pink in the flowers on the left and green in the lawn on the right. It is said that there are now no Kodacolor prints made between 1942 and 1954 which remain in a reasonable condition.

“Kodak Color Print Material Type C” (introduced in 1955), brought about a marked improvement in Thermal Yellowing but the cyan and yellow dyes in Kodak prints made in the mid to late 1950s faded quickly, giving the prints a magenta cast. Much the same could be said about Agfacolor prints made during the same period. Very generally, with prints made between 1955 and 1959, Kodak colour prints now look magenta, while Agfacolor prints now look red. There are exceptions, depending on how and where the prints are stored.

Kodak Ektacolor papers introduced from 1958 to 1965 resulted in prints with much improved dye stability, even greens, and Thermal Yellowing was virtually eliminated. It is the author’s opinion that the equivalent Agfacolor papers were less stable, and that Agfacolor MCN III Type 4, introduced in 1972, was the first Agfacolor paper to approach the dye stability of Kodak’s Ektacolor papers.

EKTACOLOR Papers

The change of name from Kodacolor paper to Ektacolor paper, post-1955, is thought to have occurred when it became possible for photographers to self-process Ektacolor Type B film and self-print their results onto the new (in 1955) Kodak Color Print Material Type C. The Type C material subsequently (1957-58) became known as Ektacolor paper (see below). At the time of the name change from Kodacolor to Ektacolor, the 'Koda' prefix is thought to have referenced print materials which could only be processed by Kodak, while the 'Ekta' prefix referred to materials which could be self-processed by the photographer, if he wished his results to be all his own work.

Ektacolor Paper (in the USA)
Kodak Color Print Material Type C was marketed from August 1955, and was followed by Kodak Ektacolor Paper Type 1384 in 1957 or 1958, (some sources give 1957, others, 1958). Kodak Color Print Material Type C continued to be manufactured for the professional user.

In 1959, the emulsion layers of Ektacolor Paper Type 1384 had sufficient hardness to enable processing to be carried out at 85°F, thus reducing the overall wet processing time to 25 minutes in the P-122 processing chemicals. The Developer was used at 85° +/– ½°F, and the rest of the chemicals and washes were used at 83–87°F.

However, there is some uncertainty here, as the Ektacolor paper which could be processed at this higher temperature may have been a new paper, designated, “Ektacolor Paper, Type 1502”, introduced in 1959.

Type 1502 was followed by Ektacolor Paper Type 1583 in 1962.

Ektacolor Paper (in the UK)
Kodacolor negative camera film was introduced to the British market in October 1957 in 620 and 120 roll film formats. In 1957, all exposed films were returned to Kodak for processing and printing to en-prints. Two sizes of en-prints were available, 3½ inch x 5 inch prints made from rectangular negatives, and 3½ inch square prints from square negatives. It is not known what colour paper was used for making these prints but it is likely that from 1957 to 1958 Kodak were importing Kodak Color Print Material Type C, from the USA.

By 1958-59, Kodak, London, included Kodak Colour Print Paper Type C in their advertisement published in The British Journal Photographic Almanac for 1959. Details of sizes and prices of the new paper were given in the “New Goods” section. More information on Colour Print Paper Type C appeared in the “Tripack Paper Print Materials” section in the same Almanac, and it was likely that Kodak were manufacturing the paper in the UK by 1958. The Almanac would have been on sale by the beginning of 1959.

Certainly, by 1959, the name of the paper had been changed from Kodak Colour Print Paper Type C to Kodak Ektacolor Paper. In 1959, the paper was available for sale in four sizes, 8 inch x 10 inch to 16 inch x 20 inch, mainly in 10 sheet quantity packets.

It is not known if this later paper was identical to the equivalent Ektacolor Type 1384, or 1502 paper, being manufactured by Eastman Kodak in the USA (see above). The label on the 1959 packet of British made Ektacolor paper gives no indication of any type number. The paper was definitely designed for the 42 minute seven bath 75°F P-122 process, and it was very unlikely that high temperature processing of the paper at 85°F was being carried out in the UK at this time.

In the UK, Ektacolor paper was replaced by Ektacolor 20 paper (see below) in 1966, but it was still listed for sale in the Kodak Limited UK Dealers’ Catalogue for 1966 to 1967.

The colour balance of Ektacolor papers varied slightly from one emulsion to another and the white light filtration or the tri-colour exposures had to be altered when changing from one batch of paper to another. When using Kodak Colour Print Material Type C, or the earliest type of Ektacolor paper, the user was expected to expose a print on the new batch of paper and then compare the colour balance with a similar print, from the same negative printed on the old batch of paper. The print on the new paper then gave the colour balance and density difference between the two papers. The filtration and exposure for white light printing or the tri-colour exposures on the new print were then altered to match the colour balance of the old print.

Certainly, by 1960, Kodak in the UK gave the user a guide as to the difference between the various emulsion numbers of Ektacolor papers. Stamped on each label were “Arithmetical Factors” for Tri-Colour (additive) printing and a Filter Pack Adjustment and Speed Factor for White Light (subtractive) printing. The figures given were only an approximate guide to help the user make filter changes or change exposure times in the right direction. They were no help in giving a starting filtration to an unknown negative.

     


Two 10 sheet packets of Ektacolor paper. The left hand packet dates from 1961 to 1963. The right hand packet is believed to be slightly older, possibly late 1950s to 1961. Ektacolor paper was made in the U.K. and was replaced by Ektacolor 20 paper in 1966.
     


Rear label of the later Ektacolor packet shown above: The Filter Pack Adjustment reads: +05Y -15M. (Plus 5 Yellow, minus 15 Magenta). The instruction sheet found enclosed in the packet is dated March 1961.


Rear label of the earlier Ektacolor packet: This is believed to be a label dating from 1959. The information given below “Kodak Ektacolor Paper” is different and the emulsion number, at the base of the label, is a lower number. The Process P-122 mentioned on both labels refers to use of the seven bath chemical process.

Ektacolor Paper Availability in the USA in 1960
Ektacolor paper was sold in sheet sizes from 8 inches x 10 inches to 30 inches x 40 inches, mainly in 10 sheet and 50 sheet packet quantities.

Roll sizes were available from 3½ inches to 8 inches wide in 250 and 500 foot lengths mainly for use by Developing & Printing (D&P) laboratories for amateur photographers’ prints. Photographic murals were made by professional laboratories on 20 inch and 40 inch wide roll paper in 50 and 100 foot lengths.

Ektacolor Paper Processing Chemicals for Process P-122 in the USA, in 1960 (for details, see here)
A price list for this date lists the P-122 Color Developer in 1 gallon, 3½ gallon, 10 gallon, and 25 gallon sizes, and a Color Developer Replenisher in 5 gallon and 25 gallon sizes.

Six chemical solutions, other than the Developer, were listed for sale in 1 gallon and 3½ gallon sizes, namely: Stop Bath, First Fixing Bath, Bleach, Hardener Fixing Bath, Hardener and Buffer.

Five chemical solutions were listed in 5 gallon, and 25 gallon sizes, namely: Stop Bath and Replenisher, First Hardening Fixer and Replenisher, Bleach and Replenisher, Hardener and Replenisher, Buffer and Replenisher. These solutions could be mixed as working solutions or replenishers.

The Hardener Fixing Bath was not listed in a 5 gallon or 25 gallon size.

By this time, when processing in tanks of more than 3½ gallons in capacity and solutions were more likely to be replenished, the First Fixing Bath, previously being used at Step 3, was replaced by the Hardener Fixing Bath, previously used at Step 7. Both Fixers then became known as the “First Hardener Fixer”. P-122 then became a 6-solution process, but the newly named “First Hardener Fixer” was used twice, at Step 3 and Step 7. There was no change in the processing times.

In the USA, by 1962, Step 7 had been replaced by “Formalin Fixer”, combining the Step 9 Hardener with the Hardening Fixer.

Ektacolor Paper Processing Chemicals for Process P-122 in the UK, in 1960
Kodak Colour Print Processing Chemicals for Process P-122 are listed for sale in the February 1960 Kodak Professional Catalogue for the UK as a 7-solution process. The two Fixers, First Fix, Step 3, and Hardening Fix, Step 7, are given as separate chemical components. In later catalogues only “First Hardener Fixer and Replenisher” is given for Step 3 and Step 7 of the P-122 processing sequence.

     

Ektacolor 20 and Ektacolor 20 RC paper marketed in the USA from 1964 to 1968
Ektacolor 20 paper Type 1720 was introduced to the Amercan market in 1964 with a formaldehyde free base to improve the magenta dye stability.
Two more versions, with continued improvements, were introduced as (i) Ektacolor 20 paper Type 1852, in 1966 and (ii) Ektacolor 20 paper Type 1870, in 1967.

The first Resin Coated (RC) colour negative printing paper was marketed as Ektacolor 20 RC paper Type 1822 in 1968. The 1822 designation was essentially the Type 1870 emulsion extrusion coated in polyethylene. The paper was manufactured with a “High Gloss” surface which eliminated glazing, and the surface was coded “F”, similar to the American black and white papers at that time.

Later in 1968 an improved version was introduced as Ektacolor 20 RC paper, Type 1910. This paper was also offered in two additional surfaces, “Silk”, coded “Y”, and “Lustre”, coded “N”, again similar the black and white papers of that time. The surface textures were almost identical to the equivalent “Y” and “N” black and white papers, such as “Kodabromide” and “Medalist”.

All Ektacolor 20 and Ektacolor 20 RC papers were processed in Ektaprint C chemicals, taking a total of 22 minutes at 85°F wet processing time.

Various literature suggests that the processing times were reduced for the two types of Ektacolor RC papers, notably (and logically) the last wash time, but Michael Talbert has been unable to find any actual Eastman Kodak processing sequences or printed literature where this was included when using Ektaprint C chemicals.

None of the Ektacolor 20 papers could be processed on the Rapid Color Processors using CP5 chemicals. These papers were mainly used in D&P laboratories in the U.S.A., and gradually replaced the older Ektacolor paper (see previous, above). Professional photographers who printed and processed their own colour prints, and Professional Colour Laboratories whose work was exclusively processing and printing professional photographers negatives, used Ektacolor Professional paper (see below).

The Ektacolor 20 RC paper Types 1822 and 1910 were replaced by Ektacolor 47 RC paper in 1970.

     

Ektacolor 20 and Ektacolor 20 RC paper marketed in the UK from 1966
Ektacolor 20 paper was introduced into the UK in 1966, as a replacement for Ektacolor paper. The UK instruction sheet dated August 1966 suggested that the new paper had “better glazing characteristics” and “improved stability” than Ektacolor paper. It was available in sheets and rolls in the same sizes and quantities as Ektacolor Commercial paper, excluding 11 x 14 inches, and was sold at the same price.

Much of the information given in the instruction sheet was identical with the instructions for Ektacolor Commercial paper. Two differences were that (i) Ektacolor 20 paper could not be processed on the Kodak Rapid Color Processors, and (ii) the exposure factors given on the sealing label of each packet or box only related to different batches of Ektacolor 20 paper, and could not be used to switch from one make of paper to another, such as from Ektacolor 20 paper to Ektacolor Commercial paper.

Kodak “Brightening Additive” could be used with Ektacolor 20 paper, mixed with the Formalin Fixer, to make the colours more brilliant, increase the print contrast, and give extra stability to the dye image. However, since the smallest quantity of “Brightening Additive” which could be obtained from Kodak UK was 3 UK gallons, it is unlikely that many amateur colour printers purchased it. The chemical was more likely to have been used by the professional D&P laboratories.

Ektacolor 20 paper was intended for processing in Ektaprint C chemicals, with a total wet processing time of 22 minutes at 85°F.
Although of similar speed to Ektacolor Commercial paper, the finished prints on Ektacolor 20 had a softer contrast and only a “semi gloss” finish if not glazed.

By 1970 the paper was being coated on a Resin Coated base and designated Ektacolor 20 RC paper with a highly glazed surface. It was obtainable only in rolls for the photofinishing trade.
Both Ektacolor 20 papers, i.e. the “paper” byrata base material and the resin coated (RC) material, were manufactured in the UK.

Ektacolor 20 RC paper was replaced by Ektacolor 37 RC paper in late 1971.

A label from an Ektacolor 20 paper packet showing printing data for Tri-Colour and White Light printing. The “Speed Factor” relates to the actual speed of the paper. The higher the Speed Factor, the slower the paper was to light. The factor was used to calculate exposure times when changing between batches of Ektacolor 20 paper. The Kodak instruction sheet enclosed in the packet states that the “exposure factors given on the packing of this paper do not relate to those on the old Ektacolor Paper or Ektacolor Commercial Paper”. Ektacolor 20 paper replaced Ektacolor paper in 1966 in the UK.

“Speed Factor” was changed to “Exposure Factor”, shown as “Ex. Factor”, when Ektacolor 30 and 37RC papers were introduced in 1971. This packet contained the earliest type of Ektacolor 20 paper with a “paper” base. It was not “RC”, (Resin Coated).

Ektacolor Commercial Paper
Ektacolor Commercial paper was introduced in late 1964. It could be processed in the 5 bath P-122 processing chemicals, Ektaprint C chemicals and using the Kodak Rapid Colour Processors. It had a higher contrast than Ektacolor and Ektacolor 20 papers with improved color rendering and cleaner whites. It was a fibre based product with a glossy surface, with slightly more sheen than the equivalent Kodak Bromide or Bromesko unglazed glossy paper (designated WSG).

Ektacolor Commercial paper was available in sheet sizes from 6½ x 8½inches to 30 x 40inches and wide rolls up to 40inches wide.

It was replaced by Ektacolor 37RC paper in 1972 although for a short time both products were being sold concurrently.


Pictures of a box of Ektacolor Commercial paper dating from 1964 to 1966. Ektacolor Commercial paper was only manufactured in the UK. The sealing label (left) shows factors for Tri-Colour printing plus the filters and speed factor for White Light printing. These figures were used when changing from one batch of paper to another. This information was only a guide and was subject to change as soon as the paper left the factory due to variations in storage temperatures and age of paper.

The P-122 process on the label refers to the five bath P-122 process described prior to the CP-5 process. Ektacolor Commercial paper could also be processed in CP-5 chemicals for drum processing, or in the later Ektaprint C chemicals. This label was printed before the P-122 process name was changed to Ektaprint C (in the U.K.), but the instructions packed inside the box gave details of the CP-5 process. (Printing date of instructions is October 1964.)

Left is a label from another (later) packet of Ektacolor Commercial Paper. This label dates from 1966 to 1969 and recommends Ektaprint C and CP5 chemicals for processing. Also are shown the factors for Tri-Colour printing and the White Light filter pack adjustment, with minus values for filtration changes.

The Speed Factor of 60 means the paper has double the speed compared to the other Ektacolor Commercial paper label shown above, which has a Speed Factor of 130 and plus values for filtration changes.

     

An Ektacolor Commercial Paper label dating from 1970 to 1972 showing exposure and filtration figures for changing from one batch of paper to another.

Note the unusually high Green arithmetical factor for Tri Colour printing.
This was the last type Ektacolor Commercial Paper label.

     

Ektacolor Professional Paper
“Professional” was a fibre based product, introduced as long ago as October 1961, and was recommended for social, wedding , and portrait photography. At the time of it’s introduction, it was said to produce colour prints of improved sharpness, lower stain, and truer rendering of yellows and greens compared with Ektacolor Paper. In the mid-1960s, “Professional” paper exhibited the highest degree of image stability compared to other Kodak colour negative printing papers. The paper was made in the USA, but was also listed in the UK Kodak Catalogues for Professional, Graphic Arts, and Industrial Users. It is believed to have replaced “Kodak Color Print Material, Type C”. Listed sizes were 8 x 10inches in boxes of 100 sheets, 30 x 40inches in 50 sheets, and rolls of 30inches wide by 50feet long. Other sizes were available, but had to be imported from the USA. The price of the paper was slightly higher than the equivalent price of the same size and quantity of Ektacolor Commercial paper.

The paper was originally designed for the 7 bath P-122 Process at 75°F, but later could be processed in the 6 bath P-122 chemistry (USA), the 5 bath P-122 chemistry (USA and UK), and Ektaprint C chemistry. In 1963, “Professional” was the first and only colour negative printing paper which could be processed in 7 minutes on the then, new, Kodak Rapid Processors i.e the H11L and 16K, using CP-5 chemistry.

Ektacolor Professional Paper was last listed for sale in the Eastman Kodak Professional Products catalogue for 1972. Sizes ranged from 25 sheets of 8 x 10 inches to 50 sheets of 30 x 40 inches. Roll paper was manufactured up to 40 inches wide. Ektaprint C, CP-5, and CP-100 chemicals for five bath processing were also included in the catalogue for the last time. Ektacolor Professional paper was the last colour paper to be emulsion-coated by Kodak onto a paper base. Replacement paper was Ektacolor 37RC.

Although replaced by Kodak Ektacolor 37RC in 1972, for a short time both products were being sold concurrently.

These are scans of a recently (2015) purchased packet of 11 x 14 inch Ektacolor Professional paper dating from 1963, which contained not only the instruction sheet for the paper, but also a very rare instruction booklet for the P-122 Six-Bath process.

The left hand image shows the front label while above is shown the label on the back of packet, with the advised filtering data.

Ektacolor 47RC Papers, Y – Silk surface and N – Smooth Lustre surface
Both these papers were introduced in 1970 (USA) and 1971 (UK) and were obtainable in roll sizes only for D&P laboratories.
In 1971, roll sizes ranged from 3½inches wide to 10inches wide. These two printing papers were mainly aimed for sale to processing laboratories for making medium sized to large machine prints for professional wedding and social photographers who were prepared to pay more for a standard of print i.e. at a cost higher than the low cost amateur en-print, but lower than a cropped, expensive, hand made print. A glossy surface could be added to the two choices of surfaces by using Ektacolor 20RC paper. 47RC paper was for processing in continuous processing machines using Ektaprint C chemicals. The two papers were replaced by Ektacolor 37RC papers in 1972, but both products were being sold concurrently for a short time.

All these papers could be handled under a Kodak Wratten safelight with a 25watt bulb, fitted with a 10H filter, (Dark Amber), for as long as 4minutes of direct lighting provided the paper was kept at least 4feet from the safelight.

The papers could be exposed by “Tri-color” (additive filtration) exposures, or by “White light” (subtractive filtration) exposure. The labels on the boxes and packets carried exposure factors for both types of printing methods, used when changing from one batch of paper to another. The exposure factors were no help when making the initial “set-up” exposure, using the papers for the first time. First time use required a trial and error procedure, but once a successful print was obtained, the exposure factors on subsequent packets could be used to modifty the result achieved with the first pack of paper.

The early instruction sheets for Ektacolor Commercial paper and Ektacolor 20 paper suggested exposing a first test print with no printing filters in the light beam. But as the papers were balanced for the use of yellow and magenta filters to correct the negative's colour balance (cyan filtration was hardly ever needed), Kodak, in their later instruction sheets, advised a starting filtration of 50 Yellow and 50 Magenta filters. (50 50 --). Either Kodak Colour Compensating ( CC ), or Kodak Colour Printing ( CP ), filters could be used to correct the color balance, but Colour Printing filters could not be placed in the image forming beam below the lens, as definition of the print would be reduced. Colour Compensating filters, being thinner, could be placed below (or above) the lens, but Colour Printing filters had to be placed in the filter drawer of the enlarger (above the negative and the lens). Any number of Colour Printing filters could be put in the filter draw, but no more than three Colour Compensating filters could be fitted below the enlarger lens if maximum definition was of importance. By the early 1960s, most colour processing laboratories were making colour prints using enlargers fitted with Agfacolor or Chromega colour heads, a much quicker way of changing the filtration than the laborious method of handling separate gelatine filters.

It was recommended that the enlarger should be fitted with a heat absorbing glass, or filter, to remove any infra red light to which the paper was sensitive. The filter, or heat absorbing glass, was fitted directly above the printing filter drawer to protect the filters from the heat of the lamp.

If it was found that the majority of the test prints exposed exhibited a green cast, and yellow/cyan filtration was needed to correct the colour balance despite the heat absorbing glass placed above the filter draw, Kodak recommended the CPIR filter to be fixed above or below the enlarger lens. This filter would bring the colour balance of most test prints to a red/magenta direction, and colour casts could be corrected using the more normal yellow/magenta filters. The CPIR was an infra red absorbing filter. All Ektacolor papers were sensitive to infra red light to some extent.

For “white light” printing, a Ultra Violet filter was recommended. This was a Wratten No. 2B or a CP2B. It could be placed in the filter draw and left there permanently. For “Tri-colour” printing it was not necessary, as each of the three Tri-colour filters filtered out UV light.

Ektacolor 30RC Paper
For some years, research had been going on at Eastman Kodak to try to reduce the number of processing baths and the total processing time for the negative colour print paper processes. Following on from the success of their first resin coated colour negative printing paper, Ektacolor 20RC type 1822 paper (see above), trade trials began in 1970 of the kind of colour printing paper that could be processed with a combined Bleaching and Fixing (BLIX) bath.

Earlier Kodak colour negative printing papers, such as Kodak Ektacolor Commercial paper, could be processed satisfactorily in a combined Bleach-Fix bath, and it is possible that Agfa patents had prevented Kodak from using a Bleach-Fix bath in their earlier colour print processes. (For formulae of Bleach-Fix baths compatible with Kodak colour papers, see the technical sections of the British Journal of Photography Annuals for 1968 and 1970.)

In the USA, in 1971, this paper was marketed as “Kodak Ektacolor 30RC paper”, designed to be processed in the then, new, “Ektaprint 3“ process. Ektacolor 30RC was only obtainable in roll form, and was mainly made available to photofinishers. Roll widths varied from 3½ inches wide to 11 inches wide, with roll lengths of 250 feet to 700 feet. The only surface available was Glossy, a highly glazed surface. Manufacture of “30RC” was discontinued in 1974, replaced by Ektacolor 37RC paper.

     

Ektacolor 37RC Paper
In late 1971, Eastman Kodak introduced Ektacolor 37RC paper, another paper designed to be processed in Ektaprint 3 chemicals. In November 1971, Ektacolor Commercial, Ektacolor Professional and 47RC papers, and the Ektaprint C process chemicals, were still listed for sale in the Kodak Catalogue for Professional, Graphic Arts, and Industrial Users in the UK. Hence, it is likely that Ektacolor 30RC and 37RC papers were not sold in the UK until early 1972.

Kodak Ektacolor 37RC paper was made available in roll and sheet formats. It had, like 30RC, a resin coated base which made for fast processing and drying in Ektaprint 3 chemicals. The paper was available in three surfaces:- Glossy, Code F; Silk, Code Y; and Smooth Lustre, Code N. The sheet sizes, in the U.S.A., ranged from 8 inches by 10 inches to 30 inches by 40 inches and roll sizes from 2¾ inches width to 40 inches width. The larger width rolls were for mural prints and came in 50 foot lengths. The narrow rolls were for photofinishers and were packed in 250 foot and 500 foot lengths. When air dried, the Glossy paper produced a highly glazed surface and the other two surfaces were much the same as the black and white papers’ equivalent surfaces.

Ektacolor 37RC paper was approximately the same speed as Ektacolor Commercial paper, and could be handled under a Kodak safelight filter No.10H for about 4 minutes provided the paper was kept at least 4 feet from the safelight.

The paper could be exposed using either Tri-color filters, or by the “White Light” method. The U.K. instruction sheet dated October 1971 recommended a trial starting filter pack of 50 Yellow and 50 Magenta, made up of Kodak colour printing filters or Kodak colour compensating filters. This was exactly the same filter recommendation as given in the later instruction sheets and Data sheet PP-12 for Ektacolor Commercial paper.

The labels on the boxes carried factors and filter changes for both Tri-colour and “White light” printing when changing over from one batch of paper to another. It was possible that the factors and filter changes may have worked satisfactorily when changing from one type of paper to another, e.g. from Ektacolor Commercial/Professional/47RC to Ektacolor 37RC paper.

The UK instruction sheet also has a very useful section on mounting prints, as at that time few photographers, including the author, had experience in mounting colour prints made on paper with a resin coated base. Before the introduction of Ektacolor 37 RC paper, the author, when trying to dry mount some prints made on Kodak Ektachrome RC paper, ruined several good prints made on this material during a “Trial and Error” session of mounting colour prints for his College portfolio!!

Ektacolor 37RC paper was suitable for making prints from all Kodak colour negative films. A Data release sheet, No. E-69, dated January 1973, gives suggested trial starting filtrations for Kodak Vericolor Type S, Ektacolor Professional Type S, Kodacolor X, and Kodacolor II films for three different types of enlarger or commercial printer light sources. Kodacolor X negatives were given a lower yellow filtration, i.e. less yellow, than Vericolor/Ektacolor Professional films because the mask used in the film was slightly more yellow. Kodacolor II filtrations were higher, because the negatives were slightly more blue in colour. In 1974, Kodak Vericolor Professional films were introduced, and because of their slightly blue/magenta mask, trial filtrations were similar to Kodacolor II films.

Ektacolor 37RC paper could also be exposed by the Tri-color method of printing, one exposure through each of three filters, such as:- No.70 Red, or No.25 Red, No.99 Green and No.98 Deep Blue. Varying the exposure through the filters changed the colour balance and density.


Above: Two boxes of Ektacolor 37 RC paper. “N” -- Smooth Lustre surface, “Y” -- Silk Lustre surface. These boxes date from 1973 – 74 and were manufactured in he U.K.


Above: A label from the back of an Ektacolor 37 RC paper box, showing “Tri Colour” and “White Light” printing data for calculating exposure times and filtrations when changing from one batch of paper to another. This label dates from 1973.
   
For a time during the 1970s, perhaps starting 1975 or 1976 and not beyond 1980, Kodak used an unusual white packaging envelope for 37RC paper. Below is shown an example from (believed to be) 1975 or 1976.
     

A packet of 11 inch x 14 inch Ektacolor 37RC paper dating from 1975 to ’76. The “N” denotes “Smooth Lustre” surface, very similar to a semi matt


Above is shown the back label from the white packet of 37RC paper, shown alongside here.

Below is a yellow back label from an earlier (1973) packet of 37RC paper. The “F” denotes a highly glossy surface. This label duplicates the previous yellow back label, see above, but that one is from a box of paper, with the usual black cardboard base to the box.

     

Ektacolor 74RC Paper
Ektacolor 74RC paper was introduced in 1976 as a faster version of Ektacolor 37RC paper (see above). The red layer was made approximately 5 times faster, and the green layer approximately 3 times faster, the blue layer remaining unchanged.

The paper was available in sheets and rolls, and could be handled in the darkroom by direct safelighting, under a Kodak safelight filter No.13 for no longer than 1½ minutes at a distance of at least 4feet from the safelight. By 1976, the older Kodak safelight filters, Nos.10 and 10H, were no longer recommended for Ektacolor papers, but the filters remained on the market for use with Kodak Ektacolor Print and Slide films, and for Kodak Panalure papers, panchromatic black and white papers, used for making b&w prints from colour negatives.

Filter factors were given on the sealing label for Tri-color and White Light printing to assist the printer when changing from one batch of paper to another.

74RC paper was available in three surfaces; F, Glossy, N, Smooth Lustre, and the then new “E” surface, termed as “Lustre Luxe”. Lustre Luxe was gradually replacing the previous “Y, Silk” surface, which had been first available as Ektacolor 20 RC paper “Y” in 1968 in the USA. The new surface was recommended for portrait and social photography. The surface was similar to, but not identical to, the Kodak Bromide and Bromesko black and white papers' “White Fine Lustre” surface at that time, until their demise in 1982.

Kodak Ektacolor 74RC paper was replaced by Ektacolor 78 Paper in 1979 but 74RC was reinstated in 1982 (see the following section).

Below are shown rear labels from Ektacolor 74 RC boxes. The label on the left hand side dates from 1977, and shows filter corrections for a box of “N” surface paper. The label also advises the use of the (then new) "Ektaprint 2” chemicals for processing. The label on the right hand side dates from 1978, and gives storage and filter corrections in three languages.


Ektacolor 74 RC paper. The bottom box is 74RC paper made in the UK. The other box is 74RC paper made in France by Kodak Pathé. Both boxes contained “N” surface paper, “Lustre”, much like a semi–matt surface.

Below the emulsion number on the French box is the correction for “White Light” printing: EXPO 135 +5M +30Y. “Exposure Factor 135, 5 Magenta, 30 Yellow”. These figures were for working out the exposure times and filtration when changing batches of paper.

Both boxes date from 1978.

     

     

Ektacolor 78 Paper
Although Ektacolor 78 was a Resin Coated paper, it was always labelled (by Kodak) without the “RC” suffix, though consumer magazine advertisements usually referred to it as 78RC. It was the last colour printing paper where Kodak gave batch corrections printed on the label. The batch corrections were so minor, something like + or –5 yellow/magenta, that it was no longer worth printing them on the packaging.

Research using Eastman Kodak literature shows the following chronology:
In 1979:  Ektacolor 78 paper, a new colour print material for negatives, replaced Ektacolor 74RC paper in the UK. Ektacolor 78 paper was similarly introduced in the US but Ektacolor 74RC paper also remained available on the US market. The 78 paper was available in F, N, and E surfaces in the UK and US, with an additional “Y” surface, Silk, in the US.
Ektacolor 78 paper was the same speed as 74RC but had higher contrast. It could be handled for about 1½ minutes under a Safelight with a No.13 (amber) screen, fited with a 7½ watt bulb.
A suggested starting filtration was 90 50 -- i.e. (90 Yellow, 50 Magenta, 0 Cyan).

In 1980:  Some Kodak instruction sheets in the UK advised that Ektacolor 78 paper could be handled under a No.13 safelight filter for slightly longer than 3 minutes before the print exposure took place, but no longer than 3 minutes after exposure.

In 1982:  Early in 1982, both in the UK and US, the “78” papers were increased in speed and renamed Ektacolor 78 paper Type 2492. In the US, the still available “74RC” paper became Ektacolor 74RC paper Type 2492. Later in 1982, Ektacolor 78 paper Type 2492 was further increased in speed and was renamed Ektacolor 78 paper Type 2524.

In the US, Ektacolor 74RC paper Type 2492 was also increased in speed and became known as Ektacolor 74RC paper Type 2524. This paper was then also introduced into the UK in just an “E” (Lustre-Luxe) surface and only a narrow range of sheet and roll sizes. 74RC was a lower contrast alternative to Ektacolor 78 paper and was designed for social, wedding, and portrait photography.

Because of the speed increase of these Type 2524 papers, their allowed exposure time under a safelight was reduced. Some instruction sheets stated just 1 minute, but others suggested the papers were safe to be handled for 1 minute before the print exposure took place, but no longer than 1 minute after exposure.


A label from a 1985 box of Ektacolor 78 Type 2524 paper, Glossy surface, F, which contained two rolls of paper, each 10.2 cms x 175 metres, (4 inches x 574 ft). This paper was for use in Machine Printers at a D&P processing laboratory. “SP224”, printed to the right of the Type No., underneath the brown tape, specified that the paper was wound emulsion out.

This was one of the last Ektacolor Paper labels to carry the “Tri Colour” and “White Light” data. Later labels of Ektacolor 78 paper showed only the “Ex. Factor”, (Exposure Factor).

     


Kodak Ektacolor 78 paper in Lustre Luxe surface.
The smaller box is TYPE 2492 paper and dates from 1982 (see "In 1982..." text above).
The (lower) larger box dates from 1980.
     


Rear label of the Ektacolor 78 Type 2492 paper box.
The top line reads; “Store below 13C and protect from high humidity”.


The rear label from a packet of 5 inch x 7 inch Ektacolor 78 paper. This dates from 1979 and is the first type of label used for Ektacolor 78 paper.
     

Ektacolor Plus and Ektacolor Professional Papers
Ektacolor 78 paper, Type 2524, was replaced by Ektacolor Plus paper, while Ektacolor 74RC paper, Type 2524, was replaced by Ektacolor Professional paper. “Plus” and “Professional” were listed as “New products” in the “Kodak Products for the Professional Photographer” catalogue for the UK in February 1986. The two papers were made available for sale on a stock turnover basis as from March 1986 onwards.

It is likely that this paper changeover took place in the USA in 1985. Ektacolor Professional paper was only manufactured in the USA and the paper was imported into the UK in “E” surface only.

Ektacolor Plus was a normal contrast paper suitable for most subjects, including advertising, industrial and commercial photography. Ektacolor Professional was a lower contrast product, suitable for wedding and portrait photography.

This new Ektacolor Professional paper was a totally different material to the previous Ektacolor Professional paper mentioned above for processing in the P-122 process.


This label, from a UK Ektacolor Plus paper packet, shows the Exposure Factor of 80 in the top left hand corner. No colour correction filtering guides were printed on Ektacolor Plus or Ektacolor Professional labels. This label dates from the mid 1980s. By 1990 “Process EP2” in four languages was printed in place of “EXP. FACT.”
 


A box of Ektacolor Professional Paper.

All Ektacolor Professional paper was manufactured in the USA and only the “E Lustre-Luxe” surface was imported and sold in the UK, where it was available in limited sheet and roll sizes.

This box contains “F Glossy” surface and was sold in the USA – hence the price ticket of $42.85

This box dates from the mid to late 1980s.

     

In 1989, the UK version of the Kodak Professional Catalogue still listed both Ektakolor Plus and Ektacolor Professional (EP-2) colour negative printing papers, despite Kodak having introduced its first RA-4 paper, Ektacolor 2001, in 1986. These "last of the Kodak EP-2 papers" were gradually phased out in favour of their new RA-4 equivalents, but were still listed in the USA edition of the Eastman Kodak Professional catalogue in 1992.

The EP-2 and RA-4 processes co-existed for at least 6 years and even as late as 1995, Agfa, Fuji and Tetenal (at least) continued to offer EP-2 paper and chemistry alongside their RA-4 equivalents. The EP-2 and RA-4 processes and papers could not be interchanged.

     

Ektacolor 2001 and RA-4
Ektacolor 2001 paper was introduced in 1986 for Mini Lab use. It was the first paper designed to be processed in the newly introduced Kodak RA (Rapid Access) process chemicals, with a “dry to dry” time of only 4 minutes, twice the speed of the Kodak EP-2 process. It was available in rolls only, in three surfaces, Lustre Luxe, (E), Glossy, (F), and Smooth Lustre, (N). Roll sizes ranged from 8.9cms (3½ inches), to 50.8 cms (20 inches) in width.

2001 paper was principally intended for Mini Lab use in combined “Printer/Processors”, and to be processed in RA-4 or RA-4NP chemicals. RA, meaning Rapid Access, was essentially a “speeded up” version of the previous Process EP-2. In the Mini Lab process the wash step was replaced by a “Stabilizer”.

The previous Ektaprint 2 (EP-2) papaers (Ektacolor Plus and Ektacolor Professional) remained on the market for approximately a further 5 years.

Kodak's RA-4 sheet papers first appeared in 1989 in the USA (in 1990 in the UK). Ektacolor 2001 paper was replaced by Ektacolor Supra, Portra, and Ultra papers, though the two types of paper (EP-2 and RA-4) were sold concurrently for a time. Ektacolor Supra paper was the nearest equivalent to the Ektacolor 2001 paper, as it was intended for normal contrast negatives.

     
Ektacolor Supra, Portra, Ultra & Type L papers, plus Series II & III

Ektacolor Supra was the RA-4 equivalent of the EP-2 Ektacolor 78 paper, while Ektacolor Portra was the RA-4 equivalent of the EP-2 Ektacolor Professional paper; a lower contrast product, suitable for wedding and portrait photography. The third RA-4 paper, Ektacolor Ultra, was intended for advertising and commercial photography or wherever a higher contrast was desired than was obtainable using Ektacolor Supra paper.

To the left is shown the label of an 'Ektacolor Ultra' paper packet made in the USA, dating from the early 1990s. The 'F' denotes its Glossy surface.

The emulsions of Ektacolor Supra Type L and Portra Type L papers were sensitized for long exposure times. The Type L papers were principally used for making very large prints or murals on horizontal enlargers at long exposure times when the reciprocity failure of the printing paper may have increased the exposure still further.

In the UK in 1990, Ektacolor Supra Type L paper was obtainable in large sheet sizes of 22inches x 27inches and 30inches x 40inches. Roll sizes for mural prints were available in 30inch and 40inch wide rolls. As far as is known, Ektacolor Portra Type L paper was sold only in the USA in large sheets and wide rolls.

Kodak Ektacolor Ultra paper, with its higher contrast and designed for making large prints, already had an emulsion with characteristics suitable for long exposure times. Hence, there was never a “Type L” Ultra paper.

In 1994, Kodak introduced Ektacolor Supra II, Portra II and Ultra II colour printing papers. These papers are believed to have been made suitable for longer enlarger exposure times than the original Supra, Portra and Ultra papers, thus obviating the need for a Type L paper in the “II” series.

Most Ektacolor RA-4 papers were available in a Glossy surface, (F), and a Lustre-Luxe surface, (E). Certain sizes of Supra and Ultra were also obtainable in a Smooth Lustre surface, (N). Ektacolor Portra was also sold on a special order basis in “Y” surface (Silk surface, with a fine regular grain of minute dots. Suitable for portraits and social photography).

     

To the left are shown labels from two 'Ektacolor Supra II' boxes of paper. Paper in both boxes had Glossy (F) surfaces.

The upper label dates from the mid to late 1990 and has the text "Made in England by Kodak Limited'.

The lower label dates from early 1994, when Supra II was first marketed. The label states 'Made in the EC by Kodak'. It has an overlay sticker printed in four languages saying:

"NEW! READ NOTICE ENCLOSED; • Brighter Colours • Blacker Blacks • Increased Sharpness"

There is also text saying "Open in total darkness and use KODAK EKTACOLOR RA Chemicals for Process RA-4 or equivalent. Protect from high humidity".

Around 1999, Kodak made Professional Supra III paper, a replacement for Ektacolor Supra II paper. Kodak dropped the Ektacolor label and called it Professional instead. There was an Ultra III and a Portra III as well as the Supra III. These were replaced by Endura papers which were for digital and (film negative) analogue printing, in 2002.
Follow the link to read about the transition from the previous EP-2 to the new RA-4 process and materials and to read a user experience.
     

KODACOLOR & EKTACOLOR Paper Processing

The P-122 Seven-Bath Processing Procedure, from 1942
To view a P-122 Seven-Bath process wall chart click here.

As from 1942, all types of Kodacolor paper were processed in Process P-122 chemistry. There were seven chemical baths and four washes, taking a total wet processing time of 42 minutes.

Colour Developer at 75 +/- ½°F,
Other solutions and washes at 73° – 77°F

Total Darkness
1. Colour Developer 12 minutes
2. Stop-Bath 2 minutes
3. First-Fix 2 minutes
The rest of the procedure could be carried out in artificial light
4. Wash 2 minutes
5. Bleach 4 minutes
6. Wash 2 minutes
7. Harden-Fixer 2 minutes
8. Wash 8 minutes
9. Harden 3 minutes
10. Wash 2 minutes
11. Buffer 3 minutes

Dry

Total Time: 42 minutes

Notes:

  1. It is not known if a safelight was used for the first three (or four) steps when processing Kodacolor papers, but by the mid 1950s a safelight filter was available which had been designed specially for Kodak Color Print Material, Type C, later Ektacolor paper. The Safelight filter was known as “Wratten Series 10”. It was a dark amber colour, and Kodak colour papers could be handled in the direct light of the safelight at not less than 4 feet away from it for about 4 minutes.
  2. The P-122 Colour Developer used Kodak colour developing agent CD-2, but this developing agent was changed to CD-3 in 1955.
  3. The Hardener chemicals contained Formaldehyde as the hardening agent, to provide extra hardening after the Harden-Fixer. The Buffer was a kind of “Stabiliser”. Prints not treated in the “Buffer” would show stained whites, (border areas) and eventually, blue stains would appear on the backs of prints.
  4. Rolls of prints were dried after the Buffer treatment without rinsing, the drying drums giving off acid fumes.
  5. It is unlikely that Kodacolor prints were glazed, as this would have incurred additional time in the Hardener, Step 9. If prints were to be glazed directly after passing through the Buffer solution on hot glazing machines, the time in the Hardener was increased to 9 minutes.
  6. In 1955 it was advised that processing could be carried out in “white light” after the step 4 wash. By 1958, it was thought safe to turn on the room lights after the paper had been fixed in Step 3, (First Fix), as advised in “Printing Color Negatives”, Kodak Data Book, first edition.

As far as is known, the processing procedure outlined above was used without change for Kodacolor paper from 1942 to 1955.

P-122 Higher Temperature Seven-Bath Processing Procedure, from 1959
Kodak Color Print Material, Type C was marketed from 1955, followed by Kodak Ektacolor paper, Type 1384 in 1958
.
Type 1384 was designed for 75°F processing, but by 1959 the paper was found to have sufficient hardness to enable the processing temperature of the P-122 process to be increased by 10°F. The Colour Developer temperature was halved to 6 minutes, taking 14 minutes off the total processing time, thus increasing productivity.

Colour Developer at 85°F,
Other solutions and washes at 83° – 87°F
Safelight for first three steps
1. Colour Developer 6 minutes
2. Stop Bath 2 minutes
3. First-Fix 2 minutes
Articial light
4. Wash 2 minutes
5. Bleach 2 minutes
6. Wash 2 minutes
7. Harden Fixer 2 minutes
8. Wash 4 minutes
9. Harden 2 minutes
10. Wash 2 minutes
11. Buffer 2 minutes

Dry
Total Time: 28 minutes

A Kodak UK Professional Catalogue for July 1963 shows that Kodak were still selling the Seven-Bath P-122 chemicals for Ektacolor paper as late as July 1963, a year after Agfa had changed to their faster Four-Bath system.

Kodak Color Print Material Type C (see above, under Kodacolor paper)
When Eastman Kodak introduced this multi layer colour printing paper for sale to the general (US) public in 1955, colour prints could be made from Ektacolor negatives using enlargers fitted with a filter draw, using “Kodak Color Compensating Filters” to change the colour balance.

Using Printing Paper by other Manufacturers
In the late 1950s it was very likely that attempts were made at printing Ektacolor Type B and Kodacolor film negatives onto a European make of colour printing paper, such as Agfacolor CNIII paper or Agfacolor CHIII (Normal and Hard grades). At that time, only photographers who had attended a course of instruction in the use of Agfacolor materials at an “Agfacolor School” were permitted to purchase these papers and chemicals.

Agfacolor CNIII and CHIII papers were balanced for unmasked colour negative materials, such as Agfacolor negative films “K” and “T”. The orange mask present in an Ektacolor negative would have caused problems when printing onto a paper balanced for unmasked negatives. Very high magenta and cyan filter corrections would have been necessary to achieve a neutral balance. Because of the high filtration necessary, prints may have shown colour mis-matches between highlight and shadow, such as highlights too yellow and shadows too blue.

Other colour printing papers available at that time, all balanced for unmasked colour negatives include: Gevacolor, (Belgium), Ferraniacolor (Italy), Telcolor (Switzerland), and papers specifically designed for amateur colour printing, Pakolor, Synthacolor, and Raycolor (all UK made).

ICI colour negative film possessed a colour correction mask similar to Ektacolor Type B film. ICI colour negative film could be obtained for a time in the 1950s, principally by the professional user. Because of the colour correction mask in ICI colour film, the corresponding ICI colour printing paper may have been more suitable for printing Ektacolor and Kodacolor negatives.

     

Chronology of Ektacolor paper processing from 1958 (P-122) to 1966 (Ektaprint C)
The following table identifies the chronological changes in Ektacolor paper processing in both the USA and the UK.

Although general indication is given in each of the following sections of the years when processing procedures, or number of baths involved, changed, the table below should be consulted for definitive information regarding what & when changes took place in the USA and UK chronology.

1958
Both the US and UK used the Process P-122 7 bath process at 75°F; 42 minutes total processing time.
This was seemingly the standard colour print process for Eastman Kodak colour papers from 1942 in the US and from 1957 in the UK.

1959
In the US the Process P-122 7 bath high temperature process was tried for the first time with Ektacolor Type 1384 paper. The temperature of the Developer was raised to 85°F, halving the development time to 6 minutes. Other solutions and washes were used at 83 – 87°F.
Total processing time was about 28 minutes. It is possible that the Stop Bath and First Fixer times were reduced to 1 minute in each solution.

1960
In the US, the First Fixing Bath was replaced by the Hardener Fixing Bath, so that Step 3 and Step 7 used the same fixer, which was renamed “First Hardener Fixer”.

1961
In the US, Ektacolor Professional paper was introduced.

1962

In the US the P-122 6 bath process was introduced, combining the Hardening Fixer with the Hardener. Step 7 in the new process was now “Formalin Fix”. Kodak “Stabilizing Additive” was made available in liquid form for adding to the P-122 Buffer solution for increased dye stability in Ektacolor Professional paper.
Total time processing at 85°F was now 22 minutes with Ektacolor paper, and 23 minutes with Ektacolor Professional paper. The Ektacolor Professional required 7 minutes development time at 85°F, not 6 minutes.

In the UK, chemicals to make up the seven solutions for P-122 in a 1 litre size kit were now available. The Hardener-Fixer was made up to double the quantity i.e. 2 litres, and then split into two equal parts for use at Step 3 and Step 7.

1963

In the US 'Rapid Processing' was introduced using the Kodak Rapid Processors, H-11L and 16K. These could process sheets of Ektacolor Professional paper in 7½ minutes in the new CP-5 Rapid Process chemicals at 100°F. CP-5 was a five solution process. It was much like the P-122 6 bath process but with different formulae for high temperature processing. The second solution was a “Stop-Fix”, a combination of a Stop Bath and a Fixer. The last solution was a “Stabiliser”.
Ektacolor paper was not suitable for processing at 100°F.

In the UK the P-122 7 bath processing chemicals were still listed for sale in Kodak's UK Professional Catalogue for July 1963.

1964

In the UK the Rapid Processors were introduced and also a new paper, Ektacolor Commercial paper. This paper was suitable for processing in the Rapid Processors with CP-5 chemicals. It could also be processed in dishes, tank lines, and continuous processing machines using Process P-122 chemicals. Ektacolor paper was still on the market but only for processing in P-122 chemicals.

Also in the UK, a modified process P-122 was introduced. The Kodak Professional Catalogue for July 1964 listed a 5 bath P-122 process. Solution names were identical with the CP-5 process but the last solution was still named “Buffer”. The Stop Bath and First Hardening Fix were combined to a “Stop-Fix” (2 minutes at 85°F).

In the US a 6 bath P-122 process was still in use but with the same total time as the UK's 5 bath P-122 process.
Total process times for Ektacolor papers in 1964 at 85F:
Ektacolor paper; 22 minutes with 6 minutes development time.
Ektacolor Professional paper; 23 minutes with 7 minutes development time.
Ektacolor Commercial paper; 24 minutes with 4 minutes Bleach time.

Although the papers could be processed at 75°F, by 1964 an 85°F temperature was the recommended temperature for the development of “Professional” paper, and for all other papers when processed in tank lines and continuous processors.

1965

In the UK the name of the P-122 5 bath process changed to “Ektaprint C”. Chemicals, temperature, and timings remained unchanged apart fromthe “P-122 Buffer” bath became “Ektaprint C Stabilizer”.
Possibly minor chemical changes had taken place with the processing solutions.
The CP-5 process remained unchanged.
The “Kodak Dealer Catalogue” for 1965, published in May 1965, lists a 1 litre kit of Kodak Colour Print Processing Chemicals, Process P-122, for Ektacolor paper, in two units, Unit 1 being the Developer and Unit 2 containing the rest of the chemicals. Unfortunately, there is a printing error concerning the Unit 2 chemicals. A separate “Stop Bath and Fixer” have been listed instead of a “Stop-Fix”, and a “Hardener” solution has been included.
There are no Kodak Rapid Processors or CP5 chemicals listed in the catalogue.

In the US the P-122 6 bath process changed to “Ektaprint C” five bath, in line with the UK.
The CP-5 process remained unchanged.

1966

In the UK a 75°F processing table was still given in the 1 litre kits of Ektaprint C chemicals, with 12 minutes development time at 75°F. The 1 litre kits were mainly for use by amateurs, processing colour paper in dishes. Instruction sheets for the 3 Gallon size Developer chemicals gave development times only at 85F, but 73 – 77°F could be used for the rest of the solutions and washes.
The “Kodak Dealer Catalogue” for 1966, published in April 1966, lists a 1 litre kit, containing Unit 1 and Unit 2 of Kodak Ektaprint C chemicals, and the correct solutions are shown.

In the US the Stabilizing Additive used with Ektacolor Professional paper was replaced by “Ektaprint C Type 2" Stabilizer.

     

P-122 Six-Bath procedure, from 1962 in the US
The faster high temperature procedure paved the way for a Six-Bath P-122 process (not including the wash steps) in 1962 (but see also Note 5 below), development being at 85°F (other solutions at 85°F or 75°F), with a further reduction of the total wet processing time. This sequence is taken from the Kodak Color Dataguide of 1964. This process was mainly for Ektacolor Professional Paper.

An earlier (1962) P-122 6-Bath procedure instruction sheet can be seen by clicking here.

     

 

A scan from a recently (2015) purchased packet of 11 x 14 inch Ektacolor Professional paper dating from 1963, which contained not only the instruction sheet for the paper, but also a very rare instruction booklet for the P-122 Six-Bath process.

The image shows a small part of the label on the front of the packet. It reads:
IMPORTANT: See new processing data in the enclosed Process P-122 instruction sheet. Note change in processing temperature to 85°(F).
The P-122 Six-Bath process was introduced in 1962 and it was advised to use a developing temperature of 85°F with a time of 7 minutes. Developing at 75°F was not recommended.

The Six-Bath process combined the ”Hardening Fixer” and the ”Hardener” to become “Formalin Fixer”. Also, by this time, a hardening agent had been added to the “First Fix”. The actual Eastman Kodak 7-page instruction booklet gives Step 3 as “First Fixing Bath”. The booklet is dated December 1962.

Colour Developer at 85°F +/-½°F; other solutions and washes at 83° – 87°F (or 73° - 77°F).

Total Darkness or Wratten Series 10 or 10H for first three steps
1. Colour Developer 7 minutes
2. Stop-Bath 1 minute (or 2 minutes at 73° - 77°F)
3. First Hardener Fixer 1 minute (or 2 minutes at 73° - 77°F)

Remaining steps can be carried out in white light
4. Wash 2 minutes (or 2 minutes at 73° - 77°F)
5. Bleach 2 minutes (or 4 minutes at 73° - 77°F)
6. Wash 2 minutes (or 2 minutes at 73° - 77°F)
7. Formalin Fixer 2 minutes (or 3 minutes at 73° - 77°F)
8. Wash 4 minutes (or 8 minutes at 73° - 77°F)
9. Buffer 2 minutes (or 3 minutes at 73° - 77°F)
10. Dry; Not over 180°F
Total time: 23 minutes (or 33 minutes if using or 73° - 77°F for steps 2 - 9)

Notes:

  1. This process was intended mainly for "Ektacolor Professional Paper". Eastman Kodak recommended a development time of 7 minutes at 85°F with this paper.
    “Ektacolor Paper” was processed in the same procedure using a development time of 6 minutes at 85°F, or 12 minutes at 75°F.
    Ektacolor Paper was a photofinishers’ product, for use mainly in D&P laboratories for printing amateurs’ colour negatives. In the U.K., by 1961, it was obtainable in roll and sheet sizes.
  2. If the prints were to be glazed, the times in the Formalin Fixer were doubled.
  3. For greater dye permanence, Kodak Stabilizing Additive could be added to the Buffer solution using slightly longer processing times. For 83 – 87°F processing, the Buffer time was increased to 3 minutes, and for 73 – 77°F processing, the Buffer time was increased to 6 minutes. The Stabilizing Additive was not recommended for use with Ektacolor paper.
  4. It is likely that the above procedure was operated only in laboratories in the U.S.A. Michael Talbert can find no evidence that the Six-Bath P-122 process was used in the U.K.
  5. The above sequence is included in the 2nd. Edition, second printing of the “Kodak Color Dataguide”, published in November 1964 by Eastman Kodak. The P-122 Six-Bath process originated in 1962. A Five-Bath Process P-122 was first used in the UK in 1964, combining the Stop Bath and the First Fix to make “Stop-Fix”.
  6. The Buffer solution for use with the 6 bath process was an “Improved Type”, available in 1 and 3½ US gallon sizes.
  7. A more concentrated solution of Bleach Replenisher was used with “Ektacolor Professional” than with ordinary "Ektacolor" paper.
     
To view a P-122 six-Bath
     

P-122 Five-Bath procedure
By 1964, the “Stop Bath” and the” First Hardening Fix” were combined to “Stop-Fix” and the procedure was again shortened to a total of 22 minutes wet processing time.

Colour Developer at 85°F.
Other solutions and washes at 83° – 87°F.

Safelight for first two steps.
1. Colour Developer 6 minutes
2. Stop-Fix 2 minutes

Artificial Light
3. Wash 2 minutes
4. Bleach 2 minutes
5. Wash 2 minutes
6. Formalin-Fixer 2 minutes
7. Wash 4 minutes
8. Buffer 2 minutes

Dry
Total time: 22 minutes

As far as Michael Talbert knows, the 28 minute and the 23 minute procedures were not widely used in the UK.

The P-122 Process was renamed “Ektaprint C” in 1965 with minor chemical changes; the “Buffer” becoming “Stabilizer”. Processing times were identical to the Five-Bath P-122 process above.

Ektaprint C Chemicals, from 1965
In 1965
the collective name of the Kodak colour negative paper print processing chemicals was changed to “Ektaprint C”. The times and temperatures of the processing baths and washes remained the same except the last bath, the “Buffer” bath, was changed to a “Stabilizer” bath.

The Ektaprint C processing chemicals were used for dish processing, batch processing in tanks, or in continuous processing machines designed to process long rolls of paper. The chemicals were available in sizes from 1 litre to 100 litres. Kits of chemicals in 1 litre and 5 litres were obtainable, the developer being separately packed in Unit 1, and the Stop-Fix, Bleach, Formalin-Fix, and Stabilizer were packed in Unit 2. The processing chemicals were also sold separately to make 3 gallons, 40 litres, and 100 litres of working solution. All sizes were sold as concentrates to be mixed to make the working solution.

In the late 1960s to early 1970s, three resin coated Kodak colour papers for the Ektaprint C process were available in roll form to photofinishers i.e. D&P laboratories, namely Ektacolor 20RC, Glossy F surface, Ektacolor 47RC, Silk Y surface, and Ektacolor 47RC, Smooth Lustre N surface. These papers were never sold in any sheet sizes and were replaced by Ektacolor 30 and 37RC papers for the Ektaprint 3 process.

Ektaprint C Stabilizers
It is interesting to note that the cost of Ektaprint C Stabilizer Type 2 was over 5 times the price of the “normal” C Stabilizer in 1972.
viz: 3½ US gallons of Ektaprint C Stabilizer was $1.70; 3½ US gallons of Ektaprint C Type 2 Stabilizer was $8.75.
Type 2 Stabilizer gave an increase in dye stability with Ektacolor Professional paper with extra processing time. It seems likely that the Type 2 Stabilizer was not available for sale in the UK.
Ektaprint RC Stabilizer to make 25 US gallons, as listed in the “Kodak Professional Products Catalogue” for 1972, may have been used in colour print processing machines for resin coated Ektacolor papers processed in Ektaprint C chemicals as an alternative to the regular Ektaprint C Stabilizer.

Ektaprint C Processing Procedure
This procedure was for the 1 litre kits and the four page instruction leaflet gave mixing directions for the chemical baths and information on processing prints in dishes.
Prints could be processed at either 73 – 77°F, developer at 75°F, or 83 – 87°F, developer at 85°F.

Processing Step

temperature °F

time(minutes)

temperature °F

time(minutes)
Safelight (Wratten 10H) for first two steps
1. Developer

85°; + / – 1/2°

6

75°; + / – 1/2°

12
2. Stop-Fix

83 – 87°

2

73 – 77°

2
White light can be turned on
3. Wash

83 – 87°

2

73 – 77°

2
4. Bleach

83 – 87°

2

73 – 77°

4
5. Wash

83 – 87°

2

73 – 77°

2
6. Formalin Fixer

83 – 87°

2

73 – 77°

3
7. Wash

83 – 87°

4

73 – 77°

8
8. Stabilizer

83 – 87°

2

73 – 77°

3
9. Dry or Glaze; Not above 180°F

Notes:

  1. The above times as they are printed in the table are for the old Ektacolor paper, Ektacolor 20 paper, Ektacolor 20RC paper, or Ektacolor 47RC paper.
  2. Ektacolor Commercial paper required double the above Bleach times. Ektacolor Professional paper required 7 minutes development at 85°F
  3. If the prints were to be glazed, Either:
    Prints could go through the whole sequence, dried, and then bathed in water for 1 to 2 minutes, then transferred to the glazing sheets or dryer for hot or cold glazing.
    Or:
    The time in the Formalin Fixer could be doubled and the prints glazed directly after leaving the Stabilizer.
  4. “Dish tilt” agitation was given and up to three sheets of paper could be processed by interleaving the sheets at one time.
  5. Except for the Developer, 1 litre of each working solution could be used to process 10 off 8 x 10inch prints before discarding the solution. (800 square inches per litre). For the highest possible quality, 1 litre of Developer could process only 250 square inches of paper which amounted to just over 3 off 8 x 10inch sheets. If the Developer was protected from oxidation as much as possible, and a slightly lower quality of print was acceptable, up to 10 off 8 x 10inch prints could be processed in 1 litre of developer.
  6. If the Wash water could not be kept at the recommended temperature range, it was possible to wash the prints in water at lower temperatures down to 50°F. In this case the wash times for the 73 – 77°F processing sequence had to be increased by 50%.

 
A tin of Kodak “Ektaprint C” Bleach chemicals

The tin contained two powder components to be diluted in water to make 3 Gallons of working solution of Bleach chemicals. This was not part of a “Kit” of chemicals. Each working solution of the processing chemicals for the Ektaprint C process were available separately in 3 Gallons, 40 litre, and 100 litre sizes.

The 3 Gallon size was intended for colour printing laboratories batch processing prints through a 3 gallon tank line using Kodak Colour Print processing baskets. Once mixed, the Bleach chemicals would last for 8 weeks, unused or partially used, in a 3 gallon tank. On a commercial scale, most tank processing lines were replenished, and the processing solutions were not replaced unless dirt had worked it’s way into the system or one or several solutions were badly contaminated. The process could be monitored by processing “Ektaprint C Control Strips” on a regular basis.

This tin dates from 1965. Kodak included a 4 page instruction sheet packed with the 3 Gallon Ektaprint C Developer chemicals.


A tin of Kodak "Ektaprint C" Developer

An image suplied by Peter Smyth of Murray Bridge, South Australia.
Peter says "an unopened tin of Ektaprint C developer that has been kicking around my darkroom probably since the early 1970s".
"I started processing colour prints as a teenager in 1967 just around the time the P-122 process was phased out (see above foir P-122) and continued up until just a couple of years ago (2015). I am still shooting film in my Rolleiflex SL-66, Leica M3 and M6 and processing C41 colour neg on a very regular basis. I get so much more enjoyment using film than digital although I do some digital. I scan the negatives on an Epson V800 scanner and do some inkjet printing".

The tin of Ektaprint C Bleach, see left, was to make 3 UK Gallons (3.6 US Gallons; 13.5 Litres), whereas the tin of Ektaprint C Developer, above, would make 1 UK Gallon.
Note that it was packaged by Kodak (Australia) PTY, Ltd; Elizabeth Street, Coburg - Victoria, Australia.
 

Working with Ektaprint C chemicals
Michael Talbert had experience of processing Ektacolor Commercial and Ektacolor 20 papers in dishes, like black and white prints, using Ektaprint C chemicals, during 1969 to 1971.

Five dishes were essential, keeping one special dish for the colour developer to prevent contamination. A Paterson Dishwarmer with a thermostat was used to maintain the developer temperature within the strict limits of 85° +/– ½°F. Processing was always carried out using the higher 83° – 87° sequence, doubling the Bleach time for “Commercial” paper. Since the prints were of rather soft contrast when developing at the Kodak advised time of 6 minutes, the development time was increased to 8 minutes at 85°F for all prints made on Ektacolor Commercial paper.

The last wash, step 7, was also increased in time to about 6 minutes, for greater permanence. All washes were carried out in a large sink with running water at approximately 85F.

Test strips were processed only up to the Bleach stage, then washed briefly and dried for assessment. As “Commercial” and “20” papers exhibited a blue/magenta colour cast whilst wet, it was extremely difficult to judge colour casts before drying. Hence, a small, amateur print dryer was used to dry the test strips and so reduce the time before assessment could be carried out.

The Paterson dishwarmer performed well, but could accommodate only two 8 inch by 10 inch dishes on the top. Michael kept the Developer and Bleach dishes on the warmer, and the Stop-Fix dish was placed by the side of the warmer. The Stop-Fix temperature was at room temperature for processing, but in winter the solution had to be warmed occasionally to prevent its temperature from falling below about 65°F. This seemed to work well, and no detrimental effects were noticed in the processed prints caused by using the solution at a lower than recommended temperature.

The Developer dish was covered with a wooden lid to prevent oxidation and also prevent other solutions from being splashed into the dish whilst transferring prints from the wash to the Bleach. When a final print was made, the Formalin Fixer and Stabilizer bottles were heated to 87°F and the solutions poured into the two extra dishes. Most prints made were 8 inch by 10 inch or smaller, but 15 inch by 12 inch prints were tried, pouring the solutions in and out of one large dish.

There was little processing latitude with regard to the Developer temperature, but more latitude with timing errors.

Both makes of paper did not keep well and so off-white borders were common. Ektacolor 20 paper was of very soft contrast and had a semi-gloss surface which enhanced the low contrast. Both papers were fibre based, so drying times were long.

In date Ektacolor Commercial paper was capable of giving very good results, as long as the original negative was not too soft, or the subject matter was of low contrast. Michael seldom made prints on Ektacolor 20 paper. The two packets that he tried were out of date and gave very soft results with poor whites and muted colours.

Compared with using a light tight drum for print processing, dish processing was difficult !
(i) The first two processing steps had to be carried out in the dark or, at best, using a very dim safelight. Not having the recommended Wratten 10H safelight filter, Michael made do with a Wratten series 3 filter, i.e. dark green, for use normally with panchromatic black and white films. White light could be turned on after 10 minutes.
(ii) The Developer oxidized very quickly, partly because of being in an open dish, and was very prone to contamination from other chemicals.
(iii) A test strip took about 20 minutes from placing it in the Developer to being able to assess it.
(iv) A final print could take as long as 28 minutes to process, even without the drying time. A resin coated paper would have speeded up the drying, but at that time, no Kodak colour negative printing papers were available in resin coated sheet form.

By 1972, Ektacolor 37 RC paper was available for processing in the then new Ektaprint 3 chemicals, giving a much shorter total wet processing time of 8 minutes.

     

Kodak Rapid Colour Processors and the CP-5 Process
In 1963, Eastman Kodak introduced two compact colour print processing machines, each designed to process one sheet of paper in the amazingly short total processing time of 7 minutes at a high temperature of 100° F (37.8°C). The smaller machine was known as Model H11-L and was capable of processing prints up to 11 x 14ins. It required 125ccs of each processing solution for each processing run. The larger machine was known as the Model 16-K; mainly for professional photographers, it took sheets of paper up to 16 x 20ins. It required 250ccs of each solution for each processing run. The machines were known as “Drum Processors” and used the same colour processing chemicals as the (then) dish and tank processors, i.e. Five-Bath Process P-122, or later, Ektaprint C. Because of the high operating temperature, the individual chemical baths had different formulations than the dish and tank process. The collective name for the process was “CP-5”. The same process timings were used with both drum processors.

The machines consisted of a hollow drum on it’s side, into which water was pumped from a large dish of temperature controlled water at 100°F. The water flowed in and out the drum keeping the surface temperature of the drum at 100°F. The drum, powered by a small electric motor, revolved through a trough which held the processing chemicals. At the end of each processing step the trough was lowered and the chemical drained out, then the trough was raised and another chemical bath was poured into it. The stainless steel surface of the drum was covered in grooves, or channels, which picked up the chemical solution at the bottom of the drum and carried it underneath the print surface. The print was held emulsion down on top of the drum underneath an epoxy coated net blanket, attached to a metal bar which clipped into slots at the front of the processor.

The 16-K processor had its own water heating unit built into it on the left hand side. For the smaller H11-L machine it was possible to purchase a separate heating unit that provided continuous temperature controlled water to the Processor. This unit was made by TECHNE of Cambridge. The unit was called the Techne 2 and it clipped onto the inside of a fairly deep dish of water. A hose from the Techne 2 was put inside the processing drum and water at the correct temperature for maintaining 100°F was pumped continuously into the drum, with the water subsequently draining back into the deep dish. The hose also served for washing the back of the print.

Picture alongside taken from the Kodak book “Printing Color Slides”, page 18, publication No.E-96.

The original Kodak instruction sheet for the CP 5 process, dated December 1964, tells how to load the drums.

To start, you poured the developer into the tray at the base of the drum, then switched on the drive motor. The drum then revolved taking the developer over the top of the drum in the grooves. Then the room lights were switched off leaving the Wratten 10H safelight on, and the print or test strip, which had been put in a light tight box after exposure, was placed in a dish of water when using the 16K processor, or the reservoir for the Techne 2 heating unit when using the H-11L processor.

After ½ minute the print/test strip was taken out of the dish or reservoir, drained for 10 seconds, and then arranged on the net blanket which was also soaked in the dish or reservoir. A metal bar was fixed at the end of one of the shorter sides of the net blanket. The short side of the print or test strip was placed at the “bar” end of the blanket, spaced about ½ inch away from the bar with the emulsion facing the operator, the back of the print against the blanket.

The print was then laid emulsion down on top of the drum with the net blanket on top of the print and the operatror rapidly hooked the metal bar, at one end of the net blanket, into a lug either side of the drum. As soon as the print touched the drum, you started timing the development. Loading the drum with a print or test strip took 3 or 4 seconds, in the dark or by the very dim light of the Kodak Wratten 10H safelamp ! You had to have a chemical solution (or wash water) between the drum and the print, or the 'drag' of the dry drum surface would eject the print off the drum. Hence the developer had to be in the trough at the base of the drum before the print was loaded. The internally heated rotating drum then heated the developer to the right temperature before the print was placed onto the drum and developed.

After the development step, the temperature of the drum most likely dropped slightly, but this didn't matter much as the temperature wasn't critical for the other solutions or washes, and the drum quickly regained it’s 100°F temperature.

In 1963, when the drums were first sold in America, it was an amazing process, less than 8 minutes to process a print. Some labs in the U.K. at that time were still using process P-122 at 42 minutes to process a print. The P-122 short process, later Ektaprint C, almost halved that time by 1965. By 1966, Agfa Gevaert had almost halved their “Short Process”, the Pa process, to a total of 17 minutes by raising the process temperature to 77°F.

A user comments: Mike Hayslett has e-mailed from Iowa, USA (November 2016) to tell me he still uses Kodak Rapid Processors. "I have four Model 11 units; three have 'after market' heaters fitted and I have recently assembled a very nice Model 16k. These processors work quite well with RA-4 chemistry, are much faster and are less tedious than the famous Jobo tube (drum) system for printing color". (But note: the Rapid Processors have to be used in darkness or safelighting throughout the processing sequence, whereas the Jobo drum (and similar; see the notes at the top of this page for a fuller explanation) could be used in normal room lighting once the exposed paper was loaded inside).
"I have also used these units to process black and white RC paper in less than four minutes at 95°F. I have done some early testing with Ilford MG IV double weight fiber base paper and am able to produce a very nice print in five minutes, including a three minute wash at 95°F. These are not truly archival but pass the "good" residual hypo test with Kodak HT-2 hypo test reagent". For more on this topic see here.

     

CP-5 Processing Steps
The first three steps had to be carried out under a Kodak Wratten 10H safelight, but before this stage, the drum was switched on and the developer was poured into the trough. Then, under the safelight, the exposed print was taken from it’s light-tight box and was pre-soaked for ½ minute in the large dish containing the Techne 2 before being loaded onto the drum. After ½ minute, it was taken out of the dish, positioned on the net blanket, and drained for 10 seconds. Holding the print on place on the blanket, the blanket and print were lowered onto the revolving surface of the drum and when the emulsion surface made contact, the net-blanket bar was quickly clipped to the front of the drum. Timing of the development step began as soon as the emulsion of the print made contact with the drum.

Under a Kodak Wratten 10H safelight
Processing Step

Time (in minutes)
1. Colour Developer

2. Wash

½
3. Stop-Fix

½
Remaining steps could be done in normal room lighting
4. Wash

½
5. Bleach

1
6. Wash

½
7. Formalin Fixer

½
8. Wash

½
9. Stabilizer

½
10. Dry

Not above 180°F (82°C)

The developer temperature had to be at 100°F +/– ½ a degree F. The rest of the solutions and washes could deviate 2°F either way from 100°F.

The Kodak Colour Print Drier, Model 1-R, was able to dry a print in seven minutes, and it was capable of drying a print up to 20 x 16ins. The dryer was recommended by Kodak for use with either Rapid processor.

In 1963, Kodak Ektacolor Professional Paper was used with the drums as this had sufficient emulsion hardness for the high processing temperature. This paper was available mainly in the USA, but by 1964 the drums were beginning to be sold in the UK, and in that year a new colour printing paper was marketed, namely,”Kodak Ektacolor Commercial Paper”. Only made in the UK, this paper was suitable for use with the rapid processing drums. It had a fairly high contrast, with brighter whites, and was particulary suitable for advertising photography. It could also be processed with P-122 chemicals and the Ektaprint C process.

In 1963, 7 minutes was a remarkably short total processing time. In 1963, Agfacolor and Gevacolor papers took ½hour to process. But by 1971, a colour print processed in the new Ektaprint 3 chemicals took only 8 minutes, with the advantage of using only three solutions and one wash step. By the mid-1970's, drum processors were beginning to be used more for the convenience of processing one print at a time rather than speed of processing. Also, by then, it was found much easier to load a print inside a light-tight drum, with the chemical solutions being poured inside the drum. This enabled the whole processing procedure to be conveniently carried out in white light. Such processors were the “Wilkinson” and later the “Simmard Color Drum” and the “Kodak Printank”. (For the amateur home processing market, noteably Durst, Jobo and Paterson produced versions of varying sophistication and price).

Michael Talbert had considerable experience of processing prints using the H11-L drum in the early 1970's. His comments are:

  • As the H11-L drum could only process one 11" x 14" print at a time, it was difficult to achieve two exactly matching prints, as the developer temperature fluctuated and the development time, being so short, became critical. It was possible, but not easy. However, the machines were really designed for the solo colour darkroom worker who wanted to make one high quality print occasionally. If much care was taken with the timings and temperature, very high quality prints resulted.
  • Experience showed that, with very careful loading, individual prints of 12" x 15" could be processed; also two whole plate prints could be procesed together.
  • The wash after the Bleach was too short, and it was best to increase it to 1minute to avoid possible contamination of the Formalin Fixer. Likewise, Michael always extended the last wash to 1minute for print permanence before Stabilizing. It should be noted that the colour paper in those days was not resin coated, and the paper base soaked up chemicals "like a sponge", requiring far more thorough washing than a resin coated paper.
  • Compared with Ektaprint C, the CP-5 processing method was expensive, because 125ccs. of chemical solution had to be used for each processing run. However, it was possible, if one was careful, to use only 100ccs, of each processing solution for each processing run. A test strip would use as much chemical as a full size print. Test strips were usually processed only to Stage 6 (see table above) to save time and chemicals. They could then be dried and assessed for colour balance. Ektacolor Commercial paper was difficult to judge whilst wet because of a blue/magenta colour cast which disappeared on drying.
  • At one time, Ektaprint C developer was substituted for the CP-5 developer. This gave rather soft results and the development time had to be increased to 3½ minutes (from 2½minutes). Even then, the Ektaprint C developer never matched the quality of the CP-5 developer.
  • The author also used the H11-L machine to process Ektachrome RC paper, Gevacolor M8 paper, and Agfacolor MCN111 Type 7 paper.
     
The Kodak Color Processor Model 30
By the mid-1960's, another larger colour print processor was available for processing prints from 20 x 16ins to 30 x 40ins. The Kodak Color Processor Model 30 could process a single sheet of 30 x 40ins paper in 7 minutes using CP 100 chemicals. The processor could be operated in ordinary room lighting as the exposed print was placed inside the drum. There were 10 processing steps of ½minute each, excepting the development time of 2½ minutes.
     

Processing in Ektaprint 3 Chemicals, from 1971
In 1971, the Kodak Ektaprint 3 process replaced Kodak Ektaprint C, CP-5, and CP-100 processes. Ektaprint 3 consisted of three chemical baths and one wash for fast processing of Ektacolor 30RC and 37RC papers. Colour printing papers of the byrata base type, i.e. non-RC, such as Ektacolor Commercial, Professional, and earlier resin coated papers, Ektacolor 20RC and 47RC, could not be processed in Ektaprint 3.

Ektaprint 3 Process for dish, and batch processing in 3 gallon tanks using colour print baskets.

Processing Step

Temperature °F

Time in minutes
Total Darkness or No.10H safelight
1. Colour Developer 88 +/– ½°F 3½ minutes
2. Bleach-Fix 86 – 90 °F 1½ minutes
Remaining steps can be done in normal room lighting
3. Wash 86 – 90 °F 2 minutes
4. Stabilizer 86 – 90 °F 1 minute
5. Dry Air drying if possible. Not over 225°F.
Remember: Do not glaze glossy paper !
Total time 8 minutes

With regard to dish processing, because the print went from the Developer into the Bleach-Fix without a wash in between, rapid contamination of the Bleach-Fix bath was common by too much developer being carried over into the Bleach-Fix. Kodak recommended a “Drain Time” of at least 15 seconds over the developer dish or tank, but despite this, contamination of the Bleach-Fix still produced cyan or magenta stains on the prints in many instances. To alleviate this problem, an extra bath and wash could be inserted into the processing sequence.

     

Ektaprint 3 Process with a Stop-Bath

Processing Step

Temperature °F

Time in minutes
Total Darkness or No.10H safelight
1. Colour Developer 88 +/– ½°F 3½ minutes
2. Stop Bath 86 – 90 °F 1 minute
3. Wash 86 – 90 °F 1 minute
4. Bleach-Fix 86 – 90 °F 1½ minutes
Remaining steps can be done in normal room lighting
5. Wash 86 – 90 °F 2 minutes
6. Stabilizer 86 – 90 °F 1 minute
7. Dry Air drying if possible. Not over 225°F.
Remember: Do not glaze glossy paper !
Total time 10 minutes

Notes.

  1. The Stop Bath originally recommended was the Process C-22 Stop Bath, exactly as used in the C-22 colour negative process. Later on a formula was given such as a 2% solution of Acetic Acid.
  2. It was possible to use cold water for the wash steps, not lower than 50°F, provided that many changes of water were given with vigorous agitation.
  3. When processing one sheet in a dish, continuous agitation was necessary by raising and lowering alternate sides of the dish. When processing more than one sheet, interleaving agitation was recommended, up to a maximum of three sheets processed at one time.
  4. Manual or gaseous burst agitation was used in a 3 gallon tank installation for batch processing colour prints in print baskets. It was possible that batch processing in tanks would still need the extra Stop Bath step plus Wash.
     

Kodak Ektaprint 300 Developer with the Kodak Rapid Processors
A different colour developer, Kodak Ektaprint 300 Developer, was used for processing Ektacolor 37RC paper in the Rapid Colour Processors Models 11 and 16 and the larger Kodak Rapid Processors Models 30 and 30A. The Bleach Fix and Stabilizer were the same Ektaprint 3 chemicals as used for dish, tank, and continuous processors. In the UK in 1973, Ektaprint 300 Developer was available in a 1 US gallon size (3.8 litres). At the same time in the US, Ektaprint 300 Developer was available in 1 US gallon and 3½ US gallon sizes.

To download a pdf file of the Kodak Ektaprint 300 user instructions, click here.

Ektacolor 37 RC Paper Processing in Ektaprint 300 using the Kodak Rapid Colour Processors, H-11L and 16K
Ektacolor 37RC paper could be processed on the Kodak Rapid Colour Processors, Models H-11L and 16K, in the same way as Ektacolor Commercial Paper.

As the back of the resin coated paper was much smoother than the paper base support of Ektacolor Commercial paper, a green coated 'Net Blanket' was used to hold the resin coated paper on the drum. The green blanket gripped the smooth surface of the back of the print to prevent it from sliding out of the drum.

Note by the author: I processed many test strips and prints on Ektachrome RC paper between January 1971 and April 1971 using the regular Net Blanket on a Kodak H-11L drum processor and (I think !) never had any problems of prints or test strips sliding out of the drum. So perhaps it made little difference which Net Blanket was used for RC paper processing. The new green Net Blanket is believed not to have been on the market in early 1971. The thickness of both papers was the same or very nearly so.

The smallest packing of Ektaprint 3 Bleach Fix or Stabilizer was 5 litres. (From Kodak Professional Catalogue, November 1973). The smallest size of Bleach Fix or Stabilizer sold in the U.S. was 1 U.S. gallon. (Kodak Professional Products Catalog, 1973 – 74).

Processing Step

Temperature °F

Time in minutes
Total Darkness or Kodak No.10H or 10 safelight filter
1. Pre-Wet in tray of water at room temperature to 102°F ½ minute
2. Develop 100 +/– ½°F 2 minutes
3. Wash 100 +/– 2°F ½ minute
4. Bleach-Fix (Ektaprint 3 100 +/– 2°F 1 minute
Remaining steps can be done in normal room lighting
5. Wash 100 +/– 2°F ½ minute
6. Stabilizer (Ektaprint 3) 100 +/– 2°F ½ minute
5. Dry Air drying if possible. Not over 225°F.
Remember: Do not glaze glossy paper !
Total time 5 minutes

Notes:

  1. The print or test strip to be processed can be “pre wetted” in a tray of water at room temperature or in the reservoir of water being pumped into the drum to keep the drum temperature at 100°F. The print or test strip had to be drained for 10 seconds before being loaded onto the drum.
  2. A 5 second drain time was required for the other steps, including washes.
  3. The processor tray was tilted to dump the chemicals out, 5 seconds before the end of each step.
  4. When the Kodak H-11L processor was used, the print or test strip could be washed with the contents of two 1 litre containers of water, prepared in advance with water at 102°F. One litre of water was used for each wash step. The Kodak 16K processor required a separate wash hose for the two wash steps with a flow rate of at least 1 gallon per minute. During the wash steps the processor tray was kept at the tilted position.
  5. Unlike the dish, tank, and continuous processing procedures, a Stop Bath was unnecessary.
  6. Taken from “Kodak Color Dataguide“ published in January 1974.

Ektacolor 37 RC Paper Processing in Ektaprint 300 using the Kodak Rapid Colour Processors, Models 30 and 30A
The Processors were loaded with the exposed paper under Kodak Safelight filter Nos. 10H or 10, or in total darkness.

Processing Step

Temperature controlled at 100°F by the Processor

Time in minutes
Total Darkness or Kodak No.10H or 10 safelight filter
1. Pre-Wash ½ minute
2. Develop 2½ minutes
3. Stop Bath ½ minute
4. Wash ½ minute
5. Bleach-Fix (Ektaprint 3) ½ minute
6. Wash ½ minute
7. Wash ½ minute
6. Stabilizer (Ektaprint 3) ½ minute
5. Dry Air drying if possible. Not over 225°F.
Remember: Do not glaze glossy paper !
Total time 6 minutes

Notes:

  1. All solutions and washes were used at a temperature of 100°F. The 30 and 30A processors bring the processing solutions and wash water, held in eight separate reservoirs filled before the start of processing, to the correct temperature. The machines then keep the temperature at 100°F during processing.
  2. Ektaprint 3 Stabilizer was used for the Stop Bath step.
  3. The drums were drained for 10 seconds at each processing step or wash before the next solution was poured into the drum.

Kodak Safelight Filters for Colour Negative Printing Papers
During 1973, Kodak introduced a new safelight filter for Kodak colour negative/positive printing papers, Kodak Safelight Filter, No. 13. The previous safelight filter was known as 10H in the U.K. and 10 in the U.S.A.

Kodak safelight filter No. 13 was recommended for use with all Ektacolor papers, to be used in a safelamp with a 15 watt bulb. The previous 10, or 10H, filter could still be used with a 7½ watt bulb.

All Ektacolor papers could be handled for a little over 3 minutes at a distance from the safelight of no less than 4 feet before exposure, and no longer than 3 minutes after exposure with either safelight filter. The No. 13 safelight filter gave a brighter illumination than the 10H or 10. The colour of the No. 13 safe light filter was designated as “Amber”, best described as an orange – brown. The 10H or 10 was approximately the same colour but darker, designated “Dark Amber”.

Kodak Ektaprint 2 process, from 1976
Kodak Ektaprint 2 chemicals for processing Ektacolor papers were introduced in 1976. The process was essentially a shortened version of the Ektaprint 3 colour print process with the Stabilizer bath omitted. Temperatures of the solutions and washes were slightly different to Ektaprint 3.

By increasing the final wash time from 2 minutes to 3½ minutes it was possible to omit the Stabilizer giving the same degree of permanence to the prints. It was also recommended to increase the development temperature to 91°F, (33°C), giving a development time of 3½ minutes.

Ektaprint 2 Process for dish or tank processing of Ektacolor 37RC paper or Ektacolor 74RC paper

Processing Step

Temperature °F

Time in minutes
Total Darkness or Kodak Safelight Filter No.13
1. Colour Developer 91 +/– ½°F 3½ minutes
2. Bleach-Fix 86 – 93 °F 1½ minutes
Remaining steps can be done in white light.
3. Wash 86 – 93 °F 3½ minutes
4. Dry Air drying if possible. Not over 225°F.
Remember: Do not glaze glossy paper !
Total time 8½ minutes

Two additional steps, Stop Bath and Wash, could be inserted when the developer carry over into the Bleach Fix was excessive, causing marks and stains on the prints, see below These additional steps were almost essential for dish processing.

Ektaprint 2 Process with additional Stop Bath and Wash steps

Processing Step

Temperature °F

Time in minutes
Total Darkness or Kodak Safelight Filter No.13
1. Colour Developer 91 +/– ½°F 3½ minutes
2. Stop Bath. 86 – 93 °F 1 minute
3. Wash. 86 – 93 °F 1 minute
4. Bleach-Fix 86 – 93 °F 1½ minutes
  Remaining steps can be done in white light.
5. Wash 86 – 93 °F 3½ minutes
6. Dry Air drying if possible. Not over 225°F.
Remember: Do not glaze glossy paper !
Total time 10½ minutes

Notes:

  1. There was slightly more latitude in the temperature of the processing solutions and washes, except for the Developer, compared with Ektaprint 3 i.e. 86 – 93°F for Ektaprint 2 compared to 86 – 90°F for Ektaprint 3. It is quite likely that perfectly processed prints were made using temperatures outside these limits.
  2. To ensure permanence in the processed prints, it was essential that the final wash water was used at a temperature not lower than 86°F. If a Stabilizer was used, as in the Ektaprint 3 process, prints could be washed in water at a temperature as low as 50°F provided frequent changes of water were given. This gave photofinishers a choice; they could either pay for heating the water to at least 86°F in the processor, or pay for the extra chemical bath, the Stabilizer, preceded by a cold water wash.
  3. In 1976, Kodak introduced a new colour negative printing paper, Ektacolor 74RC paper. Ektacolor 37RC paper could be processed in Ektaprint 2, and an instruction sheet for the paper dated December 1976, recommended either Ektaprint 2 or 3.
  4. Process C-22 Stop Bath was suggested for Step 2 in the second Ektaprint 2 processing sequence (immediately above), or a 2% acetic acid solution.
     

Ektacolor 37RC and Ektacolor 74RC papers in the Kodak Rapid Processors; Ektaprint 300 & 200 Colour Developers
In conjunction with Ektaprint 3 Bleach Fix, Ektaprint 300 Developer was initially recommended for use with the Kodak Rapid Processors (see above).
Ektaprint 2 Developer (from 1976) was recommended for use in all other processing equipment, even in the small Tube Processors as were mostly used by amateurs.

By 1984 Ektaprint 300 Developer became Ektaprint 200 Developer and was now advised for use in both small Tube Processors as well as the Kodak Rapid processors.

In the late 1970s, the first table top roller transport machines had been put on the market, such as the Agfaprint machines, and Ektaprint 200 Developer was recommended for these machines if using Ektaprint 2 chemistry. Ektaprint 200 Developer was obtainable in 5 Litres and 15 litres sizes.

Ektaprint 300 Developer was for use with Ektaprint 2 or Ektaprint 3 Bleach Fix. There was never an Ektaprint 300 or 200 Bleach Fix.

The only change in the Kodak Rapid Processor sequence (see above, here and here) was the time in the last wash which was extended to 1 minute, the Stabilizer bath being omitted.
The total length of the process remained the same, 5 minutes.

     
Ektaprint 2 colour print processing chemicals for processing machines ~ 1980

By 1980 Kodak Limited (U.K) were manufacturing Ektaprint 2 colour print processing chemicals for many different processing applications and types of processing machines.
This section also gives some idea of the range of processing methods and processing machines at that time, ranging from those used by amateur photographers through to the large processing laboratories.

1.  Rapid Colour Processors.
Such as the Kodak H11L, 16K, and by then the possibly obsolete Models 30 and 30A

2.  Small volume Rotary Discard Processors.
Such as the Kodak “Printank”, the “Simmard”, the Durst “Codrum” plus others. Although a different design to the last three processors mentioned, the “Wilkinson” Tube processor could be included in this section.

3.  Replenished Tank Lines.
Meaning by then the old fashioned method of manual processing colour paper in a Kodak No.3 Color-Print processing basket which was dunked by hand, part of the time in total darkness, in and out of 15 litre, or 3 gallon tanks situated in a temperature controlled water bath. By the late 1970s this was becoming a rather out-dated system of colour print processing. Dish processing for amateurs could be included under this heading although by this time many amateur processors had switched the more convenient and easier method of using a rotary discard processor. (see above).

4. Continuous Strand Processors.
Rolls of paper for processing were attached to thin aluminium rods, each end of the rod was then clipped onto thin plastic continuous belts, one each side of the processor. The leading end of the paper roll was folded around the rod and stapled back onto itself. When the machine’s drive motor was switched on the rod attached to the belts then “pulled” the paper, which unrolled from it’s spool, through the machine.

A paper dryer was incorporated at the end of the machine. Once the end of the paper had been through the dryer the operator unclipped the rod, tore the end of the paper off the rod, and attached the end of the paper to an empty spool. The spool would revolve taking up the processed prints until the end of the roll had been reached. A small “darkroom” had to be built at the loading end of the machine as the paper rolls had to be loaded onto the machine in total darkness. In use, the machine's electric motor was running continuously, as then the operator could load one roll while others were still going through the processor. As the author found out in 1975, you had to learn how to load the machine while the machine was running, and in the dark !

This was the system with the “Durst 1112” colour print processor. This machine would take rolls of paper up to 12 inches wide. It was not possible to process sheets of paper on this machine. The two solutions and one wash were temperature controlled, and the replenishment system was automatic. The Durst 1112 Processor could be used for Ektacolor papers with Ektaprint 2 or 3 solutions, or with Agfacolor papers using Process 85 or 86. Process 85 and 86 were three solution chemistries plus one wash, similar to Kodak Ektaprint 3. It was an excellent colour print processor and took up little floor space. Dry to dry processing times were about 10 to 15 minutes.

5. Roller Transport Processors.
The colour paper, usually in sheets, was fed into one end of the processor, usually emulsion up, the operator being in a small darkroom built at the “feed in” end of the machine, similar to the Durst 1112. The rollers inside the processor “took up” the paper which was transported by revolving rollers through the tanks and washes to the built-in dryer where, once the paper had been dried, the processed prints dropped out of the machine into a basket. These machines were easy to load in the dark, and as long as the paper was the right way up when “fed in”, the machine could be left unattended, the operator collecting his prints or test strips when they had dropped into the basket at the end of the machine. The machines would process test strips as long as they were at least an inch wide. The author found out to his cost, when learning to load one of these machines in the dark, that you had to wait until the print you had just fed into the machine was, in fact, taken up by the machine and not to load another print on top of the first print !! Many roller transport processors were able to process rolls of paper as well as sheets, the method being similar to the one described with the Durst 1112 processor. The leading end of the paper roll was fed into the machine, and instead of a basket at the other end, a “take up” roll was installed. Dry to dry processing times were similar to continuous strand processors. As with the continuous strand processors, temperature and replenishment were controlled automatically and Ektaprint 2 or Agfa Process 85 or 86 could be used.

The “Kreonite” roller transport processor was a well known make. Others included the “Hostert Automata”, and various models of paper processors by “San Marco” taking different paper widths. There were many other makes of roller transport processors, some taking paper widths up to 54 inches wide for mural prints. In the 1970s, Kodak Ektacolor papers and Agfacolor papers were made in widths up to 50 inches wide.

Quantities of Ektaprint 2 chemicals ranged from a small kit of chemicals to make 1 litre of Developer and Bleach Fix for amateur photographers using dishes or rotary discard tanks to 100 litre units of each solution for continuous strand and roller transport processors, plus others, in use in medium to large colour processing laboratories. Ektaprint 3 Stabilizer chemicals were also obtainable to make up to 100 litres of working solution.

     

RA-4 Processing
It was recommended that all RA-4 papers were handled and processed in total darkness, since RA-4 papers were faster than the previous EP-2 papers. If a safelight was necessary, Kodak suggested handling RA-4 papers under a Kodak No.13 safelight (Amber), with a 7½ watt bulb, keeping the safelight at least 4 feet from the paper. Kodak also suggested that the user made a “safelight test”, to determine how long the paper could be handled under the No.13 filter without danger of fogging.

The Ektacolor RA chemicals for the new RA-4 (Rapid Access) process consisted of the same (named) solutions as in the Ektaprint EP-2 procedure but the developers are believed to have been different. The RA-4 developer was an improved EP-2 developer. Advantages were:

  • No Benzyl Alcohol in the RA-4 dev eloper
    Benzyl Alcohol was added to colour developers, negative and print, to increase the penetration of the developing agent as it worked it’s way through the different layers of the colour material. Benzyl Alcohol contributed to “tar formation”, a kind of brown stain which gradually built up on the sides, lids, and replenisher pipes of processing machines. The dark brown stain was extremely difficult to remove completely, but most of it could be removed with hot water and scrubbing brushes. When changing over processes, such as from EP-2 to RA-4, Kodak recommended that flexible plastic hoses and filters were replaced as they could not be cleaned sufficiently. The stain caused no harm to the new developer but, if left, the “tar” would work it’s way into other processing tanks and wash tanks, causing dirt on the prints, or negatives. Michael Talbert remembers that the Process C-22 developer was particularly prone to “tar” formation.
  • Lower replenishment rates.
  • Slower oxidation rate, meaning the developer was more stable and lasted longer than EP-2 developer.

When using continuous processing machines, paper could be processed in three minutes, not including drying time. In drum, dish, and small rotary tube machines, the total time was slightly longer, due to the addition of a stop-bath and another wash.

In 1992, small size RA-4 kits for amateur colour printers were not available. The least quantity sold was a gallon size of each RA-4 Developer and Bleach-Fix. It should be noted that this was measured in US gallons, equivalent to 3.8 litres (not UK gallons). Hence, Kodak helpfully gave splitting information for making up as little as 1 Quart (0.25 UK gallon = 946ml) of working solution, diluted from the 3 part concentrate of developer and the two part concentrate of Bleach-Fix.

Also in 1992 a “Kodak Hobby-Pac Color Print Kit” for amateurs was available (in the USA) for the previous Ektaprint 2 chemicals, possibly to make up one (US) gallon of each solution. Another larger size kit of chemicals known as “The Kodak Ektaprint 2 Processing Kit” was obtainable in a 3½ US gallon size.

     

RA-4 in Mini Labs
Ektacolor 2001 paper was introduced in 1986, principally for Mini Lab use in combined “Printer/Processors” and to be processed in RA-4 or RA-4NP chemicals. RA (Rapid Access) was essentially a “speeded up” version of Process EP-2. In the Mini Lab process the wash step was replaced by a “Stabilizer”.

The following is the “No Wash” process for Ektacolor 2001 paper in a Mini Lab.

Solution

Temperature °F

Time (seconds)
Ektacolor 2001 paper is loaded into a “cassette or magazine”, in total darkness, which is then loaded into the printer in “white light”. The paper is then exposed before proceeding from the printer to the processor (printer/processor combined).
1. Colour Developer 37.8C +/- 0.3°C
100 +/– ½°F

45
2. Bleach Fix 30 - 36°C
86 - 97°F

45
3. Stabilizer 30 - 37°C
86 - 99°F

90
6. Dry Usually 1 minute, but can vary.
Total time, dry to dry, 4 minutes

Notes:

  1. The working strength developer was made up of Developer Replenisher and Developer Starter, packed as 80 litres of Developer and 1 litre of Starter. 1 litre would “start” 40 litres of Developer. The Bleach Fix was obtainable in 20 litres, same solution used as Replenisher. The Stabilizer was available in 20 litres and 120 litres, the same solution used as Replenisher.
  2. Ektacolor 2001 paper was also packaged in disposable cassettes for certain types of printer/processors in 8.9 cms (3½ inches), 10.2 cms (4 inches), and 12.7 cms (5 inches) width rolls.
  3. The above is a generic process, as process times, temperatures could vary according to the printer/processor machine in use. It was possible to process Ektacolor 2001 paper in continuous processing machines, where a two solution process was employed, viz: Developer and Bleach-Fix. A 90 seconds wash replaced the Stabilizer step.
  4. Ektacolor 2001 paper was replaced by Ektacolor Portra, Supra and Ultra papers in 1989 in the USA and in 1990 in the UK, though the two papers were sold concurrently for a time. Ektacolor Supra paper was the nearest equivalent to 2001 paper, as it was intended for normal contrast negatives.
     

RA-4 for Continuous Processing Machines

Bath

Temperature, °C

Time
1. Developer 35°C +/– 0.3°C 45 seconds
2. Bleach-Fix 30 – 36°C 45 seconds
3. Wash 30 – 40°C 1 minute & 30 seconds
4. Dry  Not over 96°C
Total time, excluding drying; 3 Minutes

Notes:

  1. Development time could be from 44 seconds to 48 seconds, depending on the cross-over time from the developer tank to the bleach-fix tank. Paper was processed in roll form, not sheets.
  2. It was possible to process “Duraflex RA Print Material” in the above bath sequence using the same timing. Kodak “Duraflex Print Material” had similar properties to Ektacolor RA papers but was coated on a white opaque polyester material, suitable for postcards and large display prints.
  3. Squeegees were used at the top of the development tank, wiping off the developer from both sides of the paper to prevent too much developer from being carried into the Bleach-Fix.
  4. The paper went from the developer straight into the bleach-fix tank. There was no stop-bath or wash in between.
  5. Another squeegee was used to wipe off the bleach-fix before the paper entered the wash tank. The “wiped off” solution in both cases drained back into the appropriate tank.
  6. Paper from the wash tank went directly to drying. There was no stabilizer or wetting agent rinse.

RA-4 for small Manual Tube Processors

Bath

Temperature, °C

Time
1. Pre-Soak 30 – 36°C 30 seconds
2. Developer 34°C +/– 0.3°C 1 minute
3. Stop-Bath 30 – 36°C 30 seconds
4. Wash 30 – 40°C 30 seconds
5. Bleach – Fix 30 – 36°C 1 minute
6. Wash 30 – 40°C 1 minute & 30seconds
7. Dry  Not over 96°C
Total time; 5 Minutes, but developer and bleach-fix times could be altered

Notes:

  1. Steps 3 and 4 were optional. They were recommended if stains and marks were noticed on the print, caused by insufficient agitation or too much developer being carried into the Bleach-Fix.
  2. There was a drain time of 5 seconds, included in the time of each step, which was most important as regards to the development step if the additional stop-bath was not used.
  3. The Development time and the Bleach-Fix time could be altered according to temperature. Both bath times ranged from 2 minutes at 28.3C to 45 seconds at 36C.
  4. The Developer temperature had to be maintained at +/- 0.3°C for consistant results.
  5. The Stop-Bath was made up by diluting 28ml of glacial acetic acid with 1 litre of water. It was also possible to employ an “Indicator Stop-Bath”, diluted as for black and white printing papers.

Smaller quantities of processing solutions could be made up from larger packing. Kodak provided splitting information for diluting the 10 litre size of developer and bleach-fix to make quantities as small as 1 litre. The developer consisted of three separate parts to be diluted, and the bleach-fix consisted of two parts. For 1 litre quantities an accurate measure was required ! The unused concentrates were liable to oxidation and it was essential to keep them in full, tightly stoppered, bottles.

The Kodak Rapid Color Processors could also be used for processing sheets of RA-4 paper. Processing followed the same sequence as with the small tube type machines. It was recommended to use development and bleach-fix times of 45 seconds at 35°C. Total wet processing time was 4½ minutes.

This sequence applied to the Rapid Processors Models: H-11L for 11x14 inch prints, 16K for 20x16 inch prints, and 30A for 30x40 inch prints. The maximum size print that can be processed on the machines is given in each case. Pictures and more information on the H-11L and 16K processors can be seen here.

RA-4EC for EP-2 continuous processing machines that could not be converted to RA-4
The RA-4EC process enabled the use of processing machines that could not be converted to RA-4 due to speed limitations or where the tanks could not be removed or by-passed. The developer time had to be 44 to 48 seconds but extended Bleach-Fix and Wash times were permissible.

Bath

Temperature, °C

Time
1. Developer 35°C +/– 0.3°C 44 to 48 seconds
2. Bleach-Fix 32 – 38°C 44 seconds to
1minute 45seconds
3. Wash 30 – 40°C 1 minute 29 seconds to
3minutes 30seconds
4. Dry  Not over 96°C
Total time; from near 3 Minutes to just over 6 Minutes

Notes:

  1. The extra time involved made no difference to the quality of the prints.
  2. If there were two or more developer tanks in the original (designed for EP-2) machine, the last tank could be used for the RA-4 developer which would be adjacent to the first tank used for the Bleach-Fix solution. In this way, only the surplus developing tanks would be “skipped”, as after the paper had been through the developer, the process became “EP-2” with regards to the timing.
  3. This process could not be used for EP-2 colour papers.
     

PUBLICATIONS - see also

Eastman Kodak published various documents on the handling, processing and printing of their colour negative materials. One of the first of many was a 16 page booklet issued free of charge to professional photographers entitled “Printing Color Negatives on Kodak Color Print Material, Type C”, published in 1956. This was later enlarged to an A5, 56 page publication entitled “Printing Color Negatives”, the first edition being published in July 1958. “Printing Color Negatives” gave instructions on how to make successful prints using the then, new, Kodak Color Printing Filters which could be placed in a filter draw above the negative (white light printing).
Directions were given on tank processing and dish processing of Ektacolor Paper in Process P-122 chemicals including a page on processing faults. Also there were sections on “Negative Evaluation”, Contrast Control”, and “Printing Transparencies”.
“Printing Color Negatives” was available as one of Eastman Kodak’s “Color Data “ books, No. E-66.

The book was subsequently enlarged again to A4 size, published as the fourth edition in 1969. By this time the “Ektaprint C” process had been in use for a number of years, to be replaced by “Ektaprint 3” in 1970. A fifth edition, published in May 1975, gives instructions on Ektaprint 3 chemistry, and printing Ektacolor and Vericolor II negatives on Ektacolor 37RC paper.


Acknowledgements:
Michael Talbert sends his many thanks to Richard Frieders of the “Photographic Society of America” (P.S.A) for finding and sending various articles from past P.S.A. Journals concerning Kodacolor film and other information relating to colour negative materials.

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.


This page last modified: 28th June 2017