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Copying in Color--A Difficult Photographic Task

Copied with permission of Eastman Kodak Co.

Copying a color photograph to make a reproduction would appear to
be a simple task, but unfortunately, it's not. Copying reflection
color originals is one of the most challenging tasks you can
encounter in color photography. Depending on the original that
you want to copy, choose a special-purpose copying film, such as
KODAK VERICOLOR Internegative Film / 4112 or 6011, or one of
several other color films to cope with unusual problems.

In copying, you must avoid a buildup of excessive contrast and
maintain good blacks and clean whites in the reproduction. Using
a conventional camera film such as KODAK VERICOLOR III Professional
Film can increase the contrast throughout most of the scale, yet
produce less than clean whites. Camera films are designed to
reproduce original scenes that have average brightness ranges of
160 to 1. Negative materials reduce the brightness range so that
it is suitable for reproduction on color paper that has a 1.8
density range or approximately 60 to 1.

The mid-scale portion of the characteristic curve of camera films
exhibits higher contrast than the toe and shoulder. When these
films are used for copying reflection originals that have a reduced
brightness range of 60 to 1 (or occasionally, 80 to 1), the
relatively higher contrast of the mid-scale portion produces excess
contrast in the reproduction. At the same time, the lower-contrast
shoulder portion of the camera film tends to give whites that will
not reproduce cleanly. To obtain a good reproduction, it's best
to use specialized materials.

When you photograph a scene with a camera film, you may not have
the opportunity to make a direct comparison of your photograph and
the original scene. Therefore, you are accepting a photographic
interpretation of the scene rather than an actual reproduction.
However, in copying, you can directly compare the reproduction with
the original. No current materials can give you an exact
reproduction of the original. The degree of similarity will depend
on your choice of copying materials and your skill.

The following paragraphs describe color films that you can use for
copying.

-KODAK VERICOLOR Internegative Film / 4112 and 6011

This film has relatively low contrast through the shadow and
midtone range with higher-than-normal contrast in the upper scale.
This curve shape makes VERICOLOR Internegative Film 4112 or 6011
the preferred material for copying full-tone photographs and
similar originals. The lower-contrast portion of the curve
prevents excessive contrast buildup in the second-generation
reproduction. The high-contrast portion of the curve increases the
contrast of the highlight areas to produce clean whites. To use
internegative film, you'll need an understanding of contrast
control and densitometry. See KODAK Publication No. E-24S,
Balancing KODAK VERICOLOR Internegative Films (4112 and 6011), for
detailed information.

NOTE: VERICOLOR Internegative Film 4112 or 6011 is a more suitable
film for making internegatives from reflection copy than KODAK
VERICOLOR Internegative Film, Type 2 / 4114. VERICOLOR
Internegative Film, Type 2, features adjustments for improved
reproduction of transparencies on KODAK EKTACHROME and
KODACHROME Films that make it less suitable for copying reflection
originals when accurate color reproduction is important.

-KODAK VERICOLOR ID/Copy Film / 4078 -KODAK
VERICOLOR III ID Film / 5078

These films have emulsion layers similar to those of VERICOLOR III
Professional Film, Type S, but have an additional high- contrast
emulsion layer that controls the upper scale. The film provides
both the lowest contrast of normal camera film emulsions and high
contrast in the upper scale to provide for clean whites. Unlike
VERICOLOR Internegative Film, the individual layers of this film
do not have to be balanced and aligned, however, you should run a
test exposure series to determine optimum exposure. A properly
exposed negative will be relatively dense because sufficient
exposure is required to use the extra emulsion layer. Too little
exposure can produce unclean whites. Overexposure can result in
burned-out highlights, pastel colors, etc. These films are
balanced for daylight or electronic flash exposure at times in the
range from 1/10,000 to 1/10 second.

VERICOLOR III ID Film is intended for use in cameras that make two
separate exposures to produce portrait and line-copy images on the
same frame for identification cards, driver's licenses, etc.
VERICOLOR ID/Copy Film has the same emulsion coated on a thicker
base. Use this film for copying artwork, line copy, architectural
renderings, and photo composites. You can also use this film for
copying originals on a copy stand with filtered tungsten
illumination. The recommended exposure range is 1/10 to 1/10,000
second; however, with additional adjustments in exposure and
filtration, you can obtain satisfactory results with times up to
10 seconds. See KODAK Publication No. E-90, KODAK VERICOLOR
ID/Copy Film (4078) and KODAK VERICOLOR III ID Film (5078).

-KODAK VERICOLOR III Professional Film / Type S

Use this film for copy applications when you want higher overall
contrast and can accept a slight loss in the whites. You can use
this film for copying such low-contrast originals as artists'
renderings, blueprints, watercolors, and charts or graphs. You can
also use it for casual copy needs with full- tone photographs if
you don't have the technical knowledge or the appropriate equipment
to use VERICOLOR Internegative Film. Kodak does not recommend this
film for copying, but it may serve your needs as long as you
understand its limitations.

-KODAK VERICOLOR II Professional Film / Type L

This film has higher overall contrast than VERICOLOR III Film. It
also displays high color contrast that can affect its reproduction
characteristics. Use this film for copying only when high contrast
is acceptable.

-KODAK VERICOLOR HC Professional Film / VHC / 4329 and 6329

This film features high color saturation and a moderate increase
in contrast. Use this film for copying where visual impact of the
image is more important than the accuracy of the copy. For normal
copy applications, these features can be detrimental.

-KODACOLOR GOLD Films (replacing KODACOLOR VR-G Films)

KODACOLOR GOLD Films are designed for original pictorial
photography. In general, the contrast and color saturation are too
high for copying. However, if you want to use KODACOLOR GOLD Film
simply as a matter of convenience, use KODACOLOR GOLD 200
Film for the best compromise in speed, contrast, and color saturation.

Summary

VERICOLOR Internegative Film / 4112 or 6011 or VERICOLOR ID/Copy
Film / 4078 is recommended for most copy applications. Because
copying of reflection materials can encompass a wide range of
originals, select the film that best suits your needs.

Alternatives

Copying systems that utilize direct-positive papers can offer an
effective and simpler alternative for many copying needs. The
following products are available from Kodak:

KODAK EKTACHROME Color Copier, Models 11 and 18

These copiers are integrated precision camera/processors that
produce high-quality copyprints or overhead transparencies without
the need for internegatives or copy negatives. They use KODAK
EKTACHROME R-3 Chemicals and accept three types of printing
materials:

-KODAK EKTACHROME Copy Paper

This paper provides high-quality color prints directly from prints.
It features clean whites, excellent color saturation, and striking
resolution and contrast. Use this paper to produce copying prints
for point-of-sale pieces, large posters, advertising layouts,
portfolios, and display prints for trade shows or wall decor.

-KODAK EKTACHROME HC Copy Paper

This paper provides crisp, clean color copies of high- contrast,
detailed, opaque line originals such as maps, schematics,
blueprints, and diagrams.

-KODAK EKTACHROME Overhead Material

Use this material to produce color overhead transparencies from
almost all kinds of originals, including photographs,
illustrations, charts, graphs, 35 mm slides, and three- dimensional
objects. You can also make copies of existing overheads and proof
sheets of pages of slides.

- Excerpted from CIS-34, Copying in Color--A Difficult
Photographic Task, dated 12/87
 

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