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Color Photography

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The first modern ('integrated tri-pack') color film, Kodachrome, was introduced in 1935 based on three colored emulsions. Most modern color films, except Kodachrome, are based on technology developed for Agfacolor (as 'Agfacolor Neue') in 1936. (In this newer technology, chromogenic dye couplers are already within the emulsion layers, rather than having to be carefully diffused in during development.) Instant color film was introduced by Polaroid in 1963.

There are basically two color systems:

  1. Additive: The colors are added as colored lights. In this system, the most common set of primary colors is red, green and blue. Maxwell's experiment was of this type, as are screen-plate methods, such as Autochrome. Modern digital photographs seen on a VDG are also viewed by addition of light from an RGB phosphor array.
  2. Subtractive: Colors are subtracted from white light by dyes or pigments. In this system the most common set of primary colors is cyan, magenta and yellow. Ducos du Hauron made several pictures by this method in the late 1800s.

Several commercial print methods were devised using the subtractive technique during the 1930s for printing from 'separation negatives'. Kodachrome was the first commercially available 'integrated tri-pack' film of this type.
There are two main types of color film in current use:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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