When did color photography become accessible to the average person?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Gary Edstrom, Sep 26, 2006.

  1. Gary Edstrom

    Gary Edstrom Guest

    When did color photography become accessible to the average person?

    I know that color photography has been around for 100 years or so, but
    it was well beyond the capability of the average person in the early

    I have been digitizing some of my father's old slides and just started
    to wonder about it. The oldest slides in his collection are some
    Kodachrome slides from 1951. I know that Kodachrome had been around
    for a while before that, however. The 55 year old Kodachrome slides
    are just as vivid as they day they were shot. However, he also shot
    some "Ansco" film on occasion. All of them are faded and color
    shifted. Some are beyond the point of any kind of recovery.

    I have seen a few older color negatives in my mother's collection, but
    they are pretty useless. The image is almost gone.

    Thanks, Gary
    Gary Edstrom, Sep 26, 2006
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  2. Gary Edstrom

    UC Guest

    With Kodachrome, in 1936. Also in Germany, around the same time, color
    film was introduced by Agfa.
    UC, Sep 26, 2006
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  3. Gary Edstrom

    Murray Guest

    During WWII professionals had some colour film
    but it was rare. 'The average person' didn't get
    the stuff until abt. the time you mention.
    My own Kodachromes were 1953/4 because the price
    included processing. OK until you ruined a film
    somehow and tried to claim the processing fee back!

    I still have my original slides - must scan them sometime.

    Murray, Sep 27, 2006
  4. Gary Edstrom

    dadiOH Guest

    True that Kodachrome was available mid-30s but the "average" person
    didn't use it for two reasons; firstly, it is reversal; secondly, it
    was way too slow (ASA 10) for the unskilled.

    Color negative film was commonly available in the late 40s. Faster
    too...fast enough to use in box brownies.



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    dadiOH, Sep 27, 2006
  5. Gary Edstrom

    UC Guest

    It was popular from the start among miniature camera users.
    UC, Sep 27, 2006
  6. Gary Edstrom

    Marvin Guest

    I recently scanned several dozen slides of that vintage. I
    don't know if they were Kodachrome or Ektachrome. They were
    all on the same metal slide file. Some had faded to the
    point where only red was visible, but others are still fine.
    I suspect the difference is how they were developed. The
    scanner (Epson 3490) software included fade restoration, and
    with some I bypassed that software and used Paint Shop Pro
    X's fade restore function. The results were better than I
    expected, but not perfect by any means. I prefer PSP, but
    only because I have some control over the result and can go
    back to the original scan if I want. But having the scanner
    do the restoration is faster.
    Marvin, Sep 27, 2006
  7. Good day all,
    I think that Kodachrome could not be processed in any lab but Kodak. That
    was a problem: at best you could not expect the photos to be back in less
    than a few days.
    And there were such labs in the States only.
    I have used myself the Lumière process (Autochrome) and you can see the
    result in old copies (till 1935 Ibelieve) of the National Geographic
    The colors were very nice, completely different from the Kodachrome.
    You could process the film in an amateur lab, and the Lumière manual 1931
    gave very nice instructions (to dry a plate you had first to modify a
    turntable, put the plate in the middle, so that the water would gently drip
    There was a film on the same principle. The first commercial plates were
    sold in 1905, and picctures of the first world war have been recently
    published (although after a photoshop conversion! And it was just
    The german had a similar film, and the British used the Dufaycolor, although
    they got into that business just in time to be driven out by Kodachrome,
    obviously vastly superior.
    (all these processes were reversal)
    Robert Hirschel, Sep 27, 2006
  8. Kevin L. Kitchens, Sep 27, 2006
  9. Gary Edstrom

    Murray Guest

    Ouch! I better take another looksee. :-(
    They are in a steel box but no special precautions.
    The climate is mild except in summer. 27.5 deg south.

    Murray, Sep 28, 2006
  10. Kodak's website will help you. Kodachrome was invented around 1935 and
    by 1936 was available for home movies and home slides. Kodacolor came
    out in 1942. Ansco was, IMHO, the worse color slide film ever invented.
    The fading is significant, but they never would have been really good
    even when new. Kodachrome is a technology unto itself and it's sad that
    it is going to disappear in a few years, due to lack of interest.
    Michael Weinstein, Sep 30, 2006
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