U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Autochrome and my ideas

Re: Autochrome and my ideas


The making of autochromes has been a matter of discussion in this forum and others for the last several years. The general idea is that even with modern technology at hand, it is far from simple.

Your first idea is more or less what Polaroid did with their 35mm slide films. I see the following problems:
a. Can you get liquid panchromatic emulsion? However, I think that the emulsion in autochromes was ortho. Correct me if I'm wrong.
b. After exposing your plates, you'll have to develop and invert them. So your colorant would have to be resistant enough to withstand all this. I don't know if the colorants used in autochromes are known, but what they did was tint grains of starch (three batches, each of one color), mix them and apply them in a very thin coat on the photosensible emulsion. Then, they filled the spaces between the grains with carbon black. The vector for all this was probably gelatine.

Your second idea: colorants are available, naturally. The problem is to disperse them in sufficiently small sized particles which still retain transparency.
Your third idea looks doable. But the sensors are very small (you are not going to ruin a full FX sensor of a Nikon D3, are you?) so we come back to idea 2: coating the screen with very small coloured dots.

Of course just as an experiment you could use a screen of transparency material where the dots are printed with a good photo printer. A 2440 DPI printer will give you a small dot size, even if not small enough for a 8mm sensor.

I tested this idea some 20 years ago with one of the small plotters that were available then. Just like in the Polaroid slides, I made a series of lines on a transparency sheet. But the resolution was very low, the colour density also, and then maintaining a good contact between the mask and the negative was almost impossible. For me at least :-)


Tom Sobota
Madrid, Spain

On Fri, May 29, 2009 at 4:17 PM, Mustafa Umut Sarac <mustafaumutsarac@gmail.com> wrote:
I am thinking on Autochrome technology and I asked my self what can be done possibly ?
I have 3 ideas:
First : Inkjet Printing with autochrome color chemicals on to a transparent film and than coat the transparent film with panchromatic emulsion and than taking pictures with this plate and the emulsion.
Question : Is there any color chemical used by autochrome plates , could be inkjet printed on to glass or plastic plate ? If they would be with no poison effect , better !
Second : Making flat color filters with these chemicals and take many narrow band spectrum black and white pictures and load to computer and than inkjet printing with same color chemicals on to paper
Question : Is there any autochrome color chemical still available today and can be used to 
A - Coating a glass filter of a analog camera
B - Use the same glass coating chemical as the inkjet paper printing inks  
Third : Making small autochrome plates without covering with panchromatic emulsion and use these plates at the same place of digital camera infrared or ultraviolet filter next to ccd
Waiting your comments and information.
Best regards ,
Mustafa Umut Sarac