What IS the difference between orthochromatic and panchromatic?
May 2, 2018 10:42 PM   Subscribe

The Timeline of Historical Film Colors is a comprehensive resource for the investigation of film color technology and aesthetics, analysis and restoration, developed and curated by Barbara Flueckiger since 2012
posted by klangklangston (6 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Oh wow. This is so in my wheelhouse. I've been sort of obsessed with Autochrome and early additive color systems like Prokudin-Gorskii used in Russia.
posted by octothorpe at 4:54 AM on May 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thanks for this. It's interesting that on the main page are two of my old faves - various Méliès (Hand Coloring) and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Toning) {Link contains Spoliers!}.
posted by achrise at 5:51 AM on May 3, 2018

This is a great resource. I'm kinda worried for non-instant color film -- color film is much more difficult and expensive to make than black and white and I worry that the current resurgence in film photography will eventually plateau. It's for that reason that making the info in the FPP available to everyone is important for keeping some kind of color process, even a resurrected one from the early/mid-20th century, alive for the future.

There aren't very many emulsions left -- I'm 99% sure Fujifilm is going to get out of its entire film business apart from instant. Agfa Vista is gone, but Precisa has been resurrected in recent years.

One of the few bright spots left is Kodak, which is likely to hang onto its emulsions and is bringing back Ektachrome.

In the world of re-brands, there has been some activity, but none of these manufacture color film (it is likely Agfa or Kodak doing it whitelabel for them):
-Lomography is a relatively new entrant that seems popular.
-Rollei's got one or two, but I can't say they've been blowin' up (in the US).
-Cinestill is re-spooling Kodak Vision3 movie film with the remjet removed. It's great, but pretty expensive stuff.

Here's hopin'.
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 8:05 AM on May 3, 2018 [4 favorites]

Can someone please explain, like I'm a five-year-old, what manner of calendar/time notation the website is using when referring to time points and events? I'm seeing things like "This idea was further improved upon in E.P. 17,023, 1913." and have no earthly clue what "E.P. 17,023" means.

There appears to be both "E.P" and "F.P" notations.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:14 AM on May 3, 2018

If you click through to the detailed information, you can see that those are patent numbers, and there is usually a PDF of the actual patent. F.P. would be French Patent; E.P. is English Patent; there are also U.S.P.s for United States Patents.

I found this page because I checked out a book from the library on single-lamp lighting techniques, and it mentioned that beginning photographers were encouraged to use the newly-introduced "panchromatic" films rather than the earlier "orthochromatic," though they would be providing tables for both. I'd never heard of orthochromatic, so searched around and stumbled onto this page.
posted by klangklangston at 11:35 AM on May 3, 2018

What IS the difference between orthochromatic and panchromatic?

In case people are wondering, ortho is sensitive to blue & green light and can be handled with a red safelight, pan is sensitive to all visible light.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:46 PM on May 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

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