Dye Transfer Supplies

Old processes weren’t static — they changed, often rapidly. I say old, but they weren’t old then, they were new; at their early stage. That is the stage when much of the work was being done without big industrial support. It so happens, that is the point we get to after the process has been abandoned by its industrial supporters.

Process is a life-style thing at the beginning, and at the ending. The Cycle of ….

The equipment needed listing from two different issues of the Kodak Dye Transfer guide. These are from the 50s, as the process went from a maybe to the main way of printing from color. Dye Transfer rapidly replaced Carbro, becoming the preferred way for print publishing — advertising, in fact all media.

By the time Dye Transfer entered the 60s, Kodak had already introduced its replacement: Type C, the process now called RA-4, after the chemistry used. Fujifilm and Kodak have color paper for the process. The process of printing color this century doesn’t involve anywhere near the amount of supplies of last century.

These days: No Assembly Required. Unbox. Mix. Print.

dye transfer: one film process

Under the useless information heading comes this secret from the past. Ektapan film could be used as the (almost) only film need to make dye transfer (imbibition) prints. It could be used to make masks, separations, and even the matrix itself. that last is the big secret.

Full disclosure: it couldn’t do all those things better than the specialized films used for masks, seps, and mats; it could serve well, well enough to be a simple solution for workshops and weekend workers to acquire the foundations of making dye transfer prints. In school, I would take students through in several circuits of the process, each pass around we would add more control, increasing the understanding of choices to make — how the image was made.

Ektapan could also be used as a collotype film. It was a nice emulsion; not just for studio photographers shooting color plus B&W negatives of the same thing.

Notice the DK-50, HC-110, & T-Max RS lines.

you can also see the similarity of DK50 & HC110. dilution makes them the same!

I used the Dilution B for Seps; Dilution F for masks.

Exposing and developing (tanning) Ektapan as a mat wasn’t the same as Kodak Matrix film. Two reasons, Ektapan is panchromatic, so required total darkness for working. Kodak Tanning Developer didn’t work well enough; contrast was too low, or else way to high. So we relied upon tanning bleach method.

Details won’t help you now. I offer this to you as a point of reference; as something you can consider as an alternative way of recovering a process. Try what is at hand. Don’t wait for the perfect something from someone else.

More, another time, about origin stories. Getting beyond the now state.