History of C41 Process?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Joseph Kewfi, Apr 11, 2005.

  1. Joseph Kewfi

    Joseph Kewfi Guest

    What year did C41 processing first come into wide commercial usage?
    Joseph Kewfi, Apr 11, 2005
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  2. 1941. DUH!!


    - Al.
    Al Denelsbeck, Apr 11, 2005
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  3. I believe it was after 1969 and I also found this

    1980 Ilford develop the first chromogenic film. XP1 was a black & white film
    with colour dye technology so it could be processed in conventional C-41
    colour chemistry.
    Joseph Meehan, Apr 11, 2005
  4. Joseph Kewfi

    Peter Irwin Guest

    I'm pretty sure it was in 1972 at the same time that the
    110 cartridge was introduced. I believe that c-41 Kodacolor II
    film was only available in 110 format at first, so as to
    give the new format an initial advantage.

    So 1973 would be the time you could first get it for a
    35mm camera. Process c-22 died slowly in the mid 1970s.
    When minilabs started springing up in 1977, they were
    c-41 only. I think it was still possible to find c-22
    films until sometime in the 1980s.

    Peter Irwin, Apr 11, 2005
  5. Joseph Kewfi

    Joseph Kewfi Guest

    Thanks alot, this is useful, you wouldn't happen to know where I might find
    longevity projections for C22 & C41 films by any chance?
    Reason I ask is, I just stumbled upon a large archive of old family colour
    negs, the last processed in 1985 and still clear as day.
    Joseph Kewfi, Apr 11, 2005
  6. Joseph Kewfi

    Peter Irwin Guest

    I haven't seen any figures of the sort which you are asking for.
    There is a table in the 8th edition of the Manual of Photography
    (focal press) showing the increase in longevity of the dyes used
    in Kodak colour prints from 1941 to 1971 which shows dye life improving
    by a factor of two every five years or so.

    Temperature and humidity are very important factors in how long
    the dyes used in colour materials will last. It also seems that
    differences in processing can be important. Many of our family
    photographs (prints and negatives) from the 1970s have been stored
    under identical circumstances, but some still appear good and others
    hopelessly bad. I understand that cyan dyes can be attacked by
    residual thiosulphate ions, so differences in processing
    is not an unlikely cause of different survival rates.

    Fortunately the greater number of our family photos from that era
    were either black and white or Kodachrome, both of which have lasted
    just fine. When I get a scanner, I will take a look at the colour
    negatives again. We only have a few rolls of colour negs from the
    late 1960s, they looked ok to me, but I will know more when I try
    to scan them.

    There doesn't seem to be any hard rule that says that old colour
    negatives can't be good after thirty or forty years, even if
    a lot of the films from the 1970s have deteriorated very badly.

    Peter Irwin, Apr 11, 2005
  7. The main book on the top, _The Permanence and Care of Color
    Photographs: Traditional and Digital Color Prints, Color Negatives,
    Slides, and Motion Pictures_ by Henry Wilhelm and Carol Brower, is
    actually available for download from the Wilhelm Research web site,
    see <http://www.wilhelm-research.com/book_toc.html>.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Apr 11, 2005
  8. Joseph Kewfi

    ian lincoln Guest

    scan it all now.
    ian lincoln, Apr 11, 2005
  9. I worked in commercial photo labs between 1975 and the late '90s before
    the eyes went south. We were processing both C-22 and C-41 when I first
    started, and were still getting maybe 10~20% of our incoming neg film as
    C-22 at that time. It dwindled fairly rapidly, I think we switched our
    last C-22 processor to C-41 in late 1978 or early 1979.

    Longevity-wise, I don't have statistical data, but my experience in
    printing was that the earliest C-41 negs seemed more likely to fade
    rather quickly. In later years, we would occasionally get an order in
    from someone who found an old batch of negatives from the '70s, a mix of
    C-22 and C-41 - the C-22 negs were more often than not still very dense
    and colorful (though that blaze-orange film base was a trick to balance
    for on the printers...) while the oldest C-41 negs were too often faded
    to uselessness.

    Bob ^,,^
    Bob Harrington, Apr 11, 2005
  10. Joseph Kewfi

    Nick Zentena Guest

    1985 for well stored negs isn't anything at all. I've got plenty of older
    poorly stored negatives that are perfect. 1985 is also old enough that
    likely they were well processed by somebody who cared at least a little.

    Try the Kodak website. They have the info for prints so they might
    for negatives. If not ask Kodak.

    Nick Zentena, Apr 11, 2005
  11. Joseph Kewfi

    Joseph Kewfi Guest

    1985 for well stored negs isn't anything at all.

    The newest is dated Nov '85, the others date from 1960 upto 1985.
    Joseph Kewfi, Apr 11, 2005
  12. Joseph Kewfi

    Nick Zentena Guest

    The early ones will be C-22 I guess. One of Kodak's people was posting in
    the film and lab group.

    Nick Zentena, Apr 11, 2005
  13. 1972. It was introduced for 110 film. The new proccess allowed sharper,
    finer-grained films to be constructed than C-22 did.
    uraniumcommittee, Apr 11, 2005
  14. Joseph Kewfi

    Joseph Kewfi Guest

    Interesting, thanks. On some of the processed films I discovered the
    numbering goes upto 72, it appears that these films where designed with
    half-frame cameras in mind, although they were exposed by a full frame 35mm
    camera and there are 36 images. Perhaps, they were bulk loaded I'm not
    certain, do you know if any specifically designed films for half frame
    camera's were ever made?
    Joseph Kewfi, Apr 11, 2005
  15. All the half-frame cameras I ever dealt with used standard 35mm
    cartridges. I saw some film manufacturers use the '1 to 72' count, most
    just used the 'x -> xA' method. Reprint orders were often a pain when
    someone wrote '27' when they were looking at '27A' - probably the most
    common cause for us to get a redo on an order - no matter _how_ big we
    printed the ordering instructions on the envelopes.

    Then there was the kindly little grandma that brought in hundreds of 110
    negatives of the grandkids for reprints, she had spent hours preparing
    the order and wanted to be as helpful as she could to the folks at the
    lab by saving us time preparing the negs for printing - she had not only
    cut all the strips into single frames, but she had also carefully
    trimmed away every bit of the film base that wasn't an actual part of
    the image itself...

    I thanked my lucky stars that I was a mere processing jockey down in the
    dungeons, and didn't have to try to explain to her at the front counter
    that what would have been a simple, if hefty reprint order had now
    become a serious custom job that would require hand enlarging with
    enlargers and custom neg carriers and masks.

    God bless her, I never did hear the outcome - just saw the order that
    night while sorting the incoming work...

    Bob ^,,^
    Bob Harrington, Apr 12, 2005
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