In a previous post we said:
>>Well, true carbon is certainly not easier than EverColor's Agfa Proofing
>True carbon is not commercially feasible.
>>system and all the Scitex equipment designed for offset reproduction. I'm
>>sure EverColor doesn't need cold rooms with humidity control, either.
The "true" carbon, if there is such a term applied to color photography, in
my book(s) refers to the traditional technique described in _History and
Practice of Carbon Processes_ (1982), long out of print but available in
many libraries. It refers to a three-color dichromated system somewhat
popular ca. 1900-1938, that requires, besides manufacturing the materials,
and color separation on continuous tone negatives (1) Sensitizing and
Drying the pigmented papers (2) Exposing them (3) Transferring them to
temporary plastic supports (4) Developing in hot water (5) Drying them (5)
Transferring them one at a time (and drying) to a STS, i.e., Soluble
Temporary Support (paper coated with soft gelatin) (6) Registring
carefully, usually with fingers in icy cold water with floating ice cubes
(to prevent heat from the fingers from cementing the layers too quickly)
all three layers (complete drying between each step) and finally
transferring this STS to a permanent high quality support to find out,
usually, that the cyan printer was 10% overexposed and the magenta lacked
I think there were 47 steps, not counting color seps and making the
materials. By the time all the necessary corrections and lengthy drying
steps were done, it took days to get a first excellent print.
The above "true" carbon ain't feasible, period.
The newer approaches typically use pre-sensitized pigmented papers on
*stable* polyester supports with automatic registration and direct
development, one on top of another. Some people in recent memory tried to
claim the latter step *their* invention, but I clearly indicated in my
analysis of the McGraw Colorgraph patents they they were the ones who came
up with it a long time ago.
There are only a fraction of the steps and variables involved in these new
techniques and they are overall a hundred times easier than the traditional
method. These processes should be feasible especially if they can offer the
appeal of a true *paper* surface.
The problem here is that Wilhelm in his recent book, indicated that $1.99
prints on the right RC paper (of all things!) can last over 100 years while
$199 prints can last 300 years and many people are not willing to pay the
difference to see their wedding pictures or whatever last that long;-)
If these newer carbon processes had appeared in the 70s they would have
created a multi-million dollar business in a hurry. Now, from what I hear,
they are struggling. I do hope their niche market allows them to survive.
>>>system and all the Scitex equipment designed for offset reproduction. I'm
>>>sure EverColor doesn't need cold rooms with humidity control, either.
>We are experimenting now with UCR (actually on the Crosfield it's GCR). It
>can be useful, especially when we work from a supplied RGB file and have no
>control over the original gray balance settings. It does reduce the
Well, as expected! You end up with one dense layer (black) instead of four.
>It's strange, some people don't like the relief. It may
In depends very much on the image. For the benefit of the many on this list
who may find this discussion rather esoteric, and who have never seen
actual carbon prints of the nature we are talking about here, the relief
(and therefore, to a point, the 3-D effect) refers to solid black areas of
a print physically raised above the surface of the paper or support
surface. This is just a fraction of a millimeter but it is quite visible to
the naked eye. In a print that has limited solid black areas, in one area
of the image, this relief can be really annoying and most people would find
it quite undesirable. On the other hand, in a photograph that has a lot of
regular lines or patterns, the effect can be quite stunning. The best image
of this sort I did in tricolor carbon was a photograph by the late
Time-Life photographer Dean Brown. It is a picture of an archeological
site, perhaps in New Mexico, which features roofless stone houses. You'd
swear the stones were actually part of the print. A blind person trained to
read braille could "see" (i.e., feel) this photograph. This work was done
for the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, which probably still has
This relief on *paper*, from what I have seen to date, is not available
with the newer generation of carbon processes. I have excellent Evercolor
prints here (on polyester) that don't exhibit this feature. I also have a
"fairly good" Archival Color print (ca. early 80s) on paper that has no
relief either. It is also quite soft. Difference in shinyness in the blacks
should not be confused with relief.
>also prove helpful in my repellance problem, who knows?
You should find out soon enough;-)