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sanking
22-Apr-2009, 16:51
I know this is a long shot but I am looking for information about National Fotocolor one-shot cameras. These cameras were made in the 1940s and were used to make three-color separations on B&W film. By information I mean any brochures or literature about these cameras from the period and/or any modern literature. My interest in this is that I have one of these cameras, a 5X7 model, and am about to restore it to working order.

Interestingly, the company that originally produced these cameras, National Fotocolor, is still in business selling pellicle bean splitters and other optical products, and they can supply me with replacements for the old pellicles in my camera. However, because of change of ownership over the years they have no history and little knowledge of these cameras.

Any information provided will be greatly appreciated.

Sandy King

Dan Fromm
22-Apr-2009, 17:01
Sandy, Henri Gaud, who hangs out here http://www.galerie-photo.info/forum/list.php?f=1 and whose blog is here http://trichromie.free.fr/trichromie/index.php/ may be able to help you.

Good luck, have fun,

Dan

Gord Robinson
24-Apr-2009, 17:00
Sandy - try the Dye Transfer Group on Yahoo. There is information on the site about the National Photocolor One Shot Camera there as well as some pictures and data about the replacement of the filters and pellicle mirrors. I have a 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 model of the NPC one shot that I hope to use this summer.
Gord

sanking
25-Apr-2009, 12:35
Gord,

Thanks for the information. I have been in touch for some time with dye transfer artist Jim Browning about the NPC 5X7 one-shot camera and am currently in the process of replacing the pellicle beam splitters. My 5X7 outfit, which consists of the camera, 24 matching holders, and carrying cases for the camera and holders, is in rather remarkable shape, easily EX+, and must have been stored in ideal conditions for several decades. The only problem is the pellicles, which were stiff and brittle, and also designed for tungsten film, so they must be replaced for the work I want to do with the the camera.

Best,

Sandy







Sandy - try the Dye Transfer Group on Yahoo. There is information on the site about the National Photocolor One Shot Camera there as well as some pictures and data about the replacement of the filters and pellicle mirrors. I have a 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 model of the NPC one shot that I hope to use this summer.
Gord

sanking
25-Apr-2009, 19:41
BTW, if you can put up with the hassle it is possible to make great color prints from three-color separations on B&W film. Many years ago I spent a lot of time making three color separations with 4X5 and 5X7 view cameras, making three shots through Red, Green and Blue filters. At the time I printed these negative directly by contact with three-color carbon, and that process being as complicated as it is I probably have only printed about .5% of the negatives I made back in that period.

Today I pulled out one of the three-color separation sets and scanned the negatives, then combined them as Cyan/Magenta/Yellow layers in Photoshop, and registered manually the layers. The attached image, which is the first one I have ever made from the many negatives I made in the early 1980s, is attached. It was originally made with a 4X5 view camera on an old Ansco Superpan 400 film in 1982. The scene is White Water Falls in North Carolina. Given that I knew almost nothing about combining separations in Photoshop before today, I don't think the image is half bad.

Sandy

PaulRicciardi
25-Apr-2009, 20:59
Sandy, that's pretty interesting how the rocks are almost entirely monochrome but the trees are colour.

I remember seeing a thread about the colour combination process using filters a while back (probably at least a year ago)...IIRC there might have been some information about the camera in there.

If I can find that thread I'll post it here.

sanking
25-Apr-2009, 22:00
It is not entirely photo-realistic (as that means see what you saw) as I am taking advantages of the very wide tonal range of the separations to interpret the scene. The possibilities with B&W separations are so great one hardly knows where to stop!

Sandy King






Sandy, that's pretty interesting how the rocks are almost entirely monochrome but the trees are colour.

I remember seeing a thread about the colour combination process using filters a while back (probably at least a year ago)...IIRC there might have been some information about the camera in there.

If I can find that thread I'll post it here.

D. Bryant
26-Apr-2009, 06:32
BTW, if you can put up with the hassle it is possible to make great color prints from three-color separations on B&W film. Many years ago I spent a lot of time making three color separations with 4X5 and 5X7 view cameras, making three shots through Red, Green and Blue filters. At the time I printed these negative directly by contact with three-color carbon, and that process being as complicated as it is I probably have only printed about .5% of the negatives I made back in that period.

Today I pulled out one of the three-color separation sets and scanned the negatives, then combined them as Cyan/Magenta/Yellow layers in Photoshop, and registered manually the layers. The attached image, which is the first one I have ever made from the many negatives I made in the early 1980s, is attached. It was originally made with a 4X5 view camera on an old Ansco Superpan 400 film in 1982. The scene is White Water Falls in North Carolina. Given that I knew almost nothing about combining separations in Photoshop before today, I don't think the image is half bad.

Sandy

dazedgonebye
26-Apr-2009, 06:35
BTW, if you can put up with the hassle it is possible to make great color prints from three-color separations on B&W film. Many years ago I spent a lot of time making three color separations with 4X5 and 5X7 view cameras, making three shots through Red, Green and Blue filters. At the time I printed these negative directly by contact with three-color carbon, and that process being as complicated as it is I probably have only printed about .5% of the negatives I made back in that period.

Today I pulled out one of the three-color separation sets and scanned the negatives, then combined them as Cyan/Magenta/Yellow layers in Photoshop, and registered manually the layers. The attached image, which is the first one I have ever made from the many negatives I made in the early 1980s, is attached. It was originally made with a 4X5 view camera on an old Ansco Superpan 400 film in 1982. The scene is White Water Falls in North Carolina. Given that I knew almost nothing about combining separations in Photoshop before today, I don't think the image is half bad.

Sandy

This is quite striking. Can someone explain to me how it works? I can't seem to get my poor mind around it.

sanking
26-Apr-2009, 07:44
It works this way. You make three negatives of the original scene through a tricolor filter set, usually 25 Red, 58 Green, and 47 Blue. From these three separations the entire range of the spectrum can created with subtractive printing, which involves converting the Red negative to a cyan printer, the Green negative to a magenta printer, and the Blue negative to a yellow printer. The first color printing processes were subtractive assembly processes, three-color carbon and later dye transfer. In three-color carbon the Red negative is used to make a cyan relief, the green negative to make a magenta relief, and the blue negative makes a yellow relief. The three reliefs are then assembled together to give full color. In three color carbon the reliefs consisted of pigmented gelatin. Dye transfer used a similar concept but the colors were dyes, not pigmented reliefs, transferred to the paper by dyed matrixes.

Today with software like Photoshop you can take the RGB negative separations, scan them, then convert the files to CMY. You then assemble them with layers, moving them about to get good registration, and you basiclaly create a subtractive image. The concept is similar to old printing methods, but much more powerful. I found a tutorial on the web about this but everything is done manually and takes a lot of time. I assume there must be a faster way to do this with the automatic merging tools in Photoshop but for a first time this one worked oki.

Sandy



This is quite striking. Can someone explain to me how it works? I can't seem to get my poor mind around it.

Gord Robinson
26-Apr-2009, 20:17
Sandy that is a striking image made from the separations. From what I understand (this is not gospel) Photoshop has some type of automatic registration program in it's newer versions which would make aligning the negatives a lot less time consuming. My original quest for this summer is to make tests to see if the pellicles in my NPC One Shot Camera and still in good enough shape to make separations for Dye Transfer prints but now that I have seen what you have done in Photoshop I am wondering that if the negs are not acceptable for Dye Transfer than I could use PS to correct them to make digital prints. My camera came with a set of 30 matched glass plate film holders and I am now using a set of septums and TMAX 100 and Tri X cut down to 3x4
to make the camera useable. I have a couple packs of HP3 glass plates but I would think that they are well beyond the "best before date" to be usable for any separation work. Thanks for directing me PS for an alternative method of combining the separations.

Gord

sanking
26-Apr-2009, 21:25
Gord,

The color separations layers can be aligned in Photoshop CS3 or CS4 by use of the File>Script>Load Files into Stacks. Use Browse to load the files, check auto-align, and then click to go. Since the files should be grayscale at ths point it goes pretty fast, even with large files. I processed another old three-color separation set today using the above method and alignment of the three files was perfect. The image is attached. The separations from this set are among the first ones I ever made, on an old Ansco ASA 400 Superpan film, and are very mismatched in terms of both density and contrast but as you can see it was possible to adjust this in Photoshop to make a pretty pleasing image.

The amount of correction that can be done in Photoshop for good in-camera separations will astonish you. In the old days it was very important that the three color records have the same density and contrast. However, with Photoshop one can correct very large density and contrast mismatches.

Sandy King



Sandy that is a striking image made from the separations. From what I understand (this is not gospel) Photoshop has some type of automatic registration program in it's newer versions which would make aligning the negatives a lot less time consuming. My original quest for this summer is to make tests to see if the pellicles in my NPC One Shot Camera and still in good enough shape to make separations for Dye Transfer prints but now that I have seen what you have done in Photoshop I am wondering that if the negs are not acceptable for Dye Transfer than I could use PS to correct them to make digital prints. My camera came with a set of 30 matched glass plate film holders and I am now using a set of septums and TMAX 100 and Tri X cut down to 3x4
to make the camera useable. I have a couple packs of HP3 glass plates but I would think that they are well beyond the "best before date" to be usable for any separation work. Thanks for directing me PS for an alternative method of combining the separations.

Gord

Gene McCluney
26-Apr-2009, 21:48
This is quite striking. Can someone explain to me how it works? I can't seem to get my poor mind around it.

You expose three sheets of panchromatic film, each through a separate primary color filter. So each sheet records the amount of one color in the scene. When you combine the image, tinting each b/w record its complimentary color you get a full color print.
(I hope this is the correct simple description). A tri-color camera simplifies the process by exposing three sheets of film at once from one lens thru a beam splitter and three filters. Splitting the whole color spectrum into three colors is the basis for all color photography practiced today, film or digital. It is just that modern color films expose three layers in the film emulsion, one on top the other through built-in filters. There are 3 dyes in processed color film representing when combined a full color spectrum. Modern digital cameras have 3 primary color filters over alternating pixels.

bvstaples
26-Apr-2009, 22:14
When you convert the RGB by subtractive, you end with with CMY. What about K (black)? How is black brought into the image?


Brian

Gord Robinson
26-Apr-2009, 22:49
Thanks Sandy for the PS alignment info - I will dig out some old separation negs when I have some time and give this a try. I don't use PS a lot so it will take some time to figure it all out.

Gord

Gene McCluney
27-Apr-2009, 00:15
When you convert the RGB by subtractive, you end with with CMY. What about K (black)? How is black brought into the image?


Brian

In color photography using dyes, there is no "K" (black). Maximum amount of all three dyes produce black.

Struan Gray
27-Apr-2009, 01:38
Sandy, is the main difficulty with colour carbon a physical one of handling the tissues, or is it the conceptual problem of previsualising the effect of all those stacked transfer characteristics?

If a digital step can tame some of the complexity and make things a little more predictable for a beginner, colour carbon is something I have always wanted to try.

sanking
27-Apr-2009, 06:25
There are several main difficulties in carbon printing. First, there is at present no supplier of color carbon tissue so you have to make your own. This may change soon as B&S in Santa Fe has indicated that they will supply color tissue at some time in the near future. But for now, there is none.

Another difficulty is that completion of a print requires several wet/dry mating stages that are quite sensitive to humidity and temperature. Even the sensitivity of the carbon tissue can vary a lot with changes in RH and drying time so getting color balance can be very challenging.

Previsualizing what the final image should look like is not a problem today if you assemble the images on the computer and print digital separations. Before digital photography getting the negatives right in terms of density and contrast demanded a lot of skill in exposure and development but today it is possible to correct almost any separation set.

By the way, there is a couple in Sweeden knowns as Hans and Chia who do good color carbon work. They are located in Goterborg, I believe.

Sandy King





Sandy, is the main difficulty with colour carbon a physical one of handling the tissues, or is it the conceptual problem of previsualising the effect of all those stacked transfer characteristics?

If a digital step can tame some of the complexity and make things a little more predictable for a beginner, colour carbon is something I have always wanted to try.

Drew Wiley
27-Apr-2009, 09:01
There's quite a bit of info on dyetransfer.org about restoring tricolor cameras. Complicated. Jim Browning uses a 5x7 tricolor Devin. The three separate films are scanned and aligned in Photoshop, then output to his homemade 40K film recorder
with registration pins, then finally to DT matrix film. The end result is a tonal range impossible for any current color film or even digital camera. It would be easier to make
a tricolor camera from scratch using a beamsplitter rather than separate pellicles,
but very expensive. Technicolor movie cameras are based upon this idea.

dazedgonebye
27-Apr-2009, 09:02
Fascinating idea. I'll have to try it at least once.

sanking
27-Apr-2009, 09:33
Jim has been a great source of information for me. I think he actually has a NPC 5X7, though it may be same as a Devin. At one point NPC and Devin appear to have combined.

I don't understand your use of the term "beamsplitter"? Pellicles are commonly referred to as beamsplitters since this is essentially what they do in one-shot color cameras.

Sandy King




There's quite a bit of info on dyetransfer.org about restoring tricolor cameras. Complicated. Jim Browning uses a 5x7 tricolor Devin. The three separate films are scanned and aligned in Photoshop, then output to his homemade 40K film recorder
with registration pins, then finally to DT matrix film. The end result is a tonal range impossible for any current color film or even digital camera. It would be easier to make
a tricolor camera from scratch using a beamsplitter rather than separate pellicles,
but very expensive. Technicolor movie cameras are based upon this idea.

Bill_1856
27-Apr-2009, 09:36
Don't forget that for still subjects it's easy to make sep negs by shooting three B&W exposures in one camera through tri-color filters.
I have a really neat tri-color filter set made by Leitz for the Leica, which is attached like a regular screw-on filter and rotated to make the three sequential shots as fast as the film can be advanced.
I'm always amazed at those "instantaneous" Russian pictures taken near the turn of the 20th century with a camera which dropped the filters between the lens and the film. My surprise is that I didn't think there was red sensitive film at that time.

Marko
27-Apr-2009, 10:13
This is the image I did a while ago using Cokin red and green and Hitec blue filter in a Cokin holder. Tri-X in D76.

http://48pixels.com/images/tc_tulip01.jpg

I combined the scans into an RGB image by merging channels from grayscale images. Had to do a lot of adjustments and cleanup since the filters where not real color separation filters, but it worked relatively fine for a simple test.

Tried the same thing with a violet/blue-colored orchid, but wasn't happy with the results, no matter what I did, I couldn't get the blue and violet right.

I think I will have to use an apochromatic lens and better set of filters.

sanking
27-Apr-2009, 10:25
Bill,

All of my separations from the past were made that way, i.e. making three successive exposures with a view camera changing the filters, Red first, then Green, then Blue. I was usually able to make all three shots within 20 seconds or less.

Using a regular view camera has some obvious advantages over one-shot cameras. The typical view camera is much lighter and compact than a one-shot camera of the same format, flare from reflections is less of a problem, and shutter speeds can be much faster as each film gets all of the light, whereas with the one shot camera it shared three ways. Also, the negatives made with the view camera are more consistent in size since the pellicles, if not very precisely registered, warp the image slightly for the Blue and Red records.


Sandy King






Don't forget that for still subjects it's easy to make sep negs by shooting three B&W exposures in one camera through tri-color filters.
I have a really neat tri-color filter set made by Leitz for the Leica, which is attached like a regular screw-on filter and rotated to make the three sequential shots as fast as the film can be advanced.
I'm always amazed at those "instantaneous" Russian pictures taken near the turn of the 20th century with a camera which dropped the filters between the lens and the film. My surprise is that I didn't think there was red sensitive film at that time.

Bill_1856
27-Apr-2009, 10:52
FYI:

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/empire/making.html

Drew Wiley
27-Apr-2009, 10:57
I spent quite a bit of time last year "reinventing" separation negatives. Using TM100
and a special developer tweak I found I could get very high-quality matched straight-line separations darkroom-style without resorting to photoshop at all. Of course, just one variation in materials and there goes a lot of work down the drain. So that's right when Kodak decided to downsize their boxes of 8X10 film! In such cases, you have to be certain all your film comes from the same batch and buy in multiple boxes. And a
good separation for DT work is quite a bit different than one for carbon, and even
varies with the specific dyes used. For now I have to store the separations and hope
I have time after I retire to deal with them. So little time, so many negatives!

sanking
27-Apr-2009, 11:15
Prokudun Gorskii was certainly among the first to utilize panchromatic films and he left an incredible body of work that clearly make him one of the greatest color photographers (if not the greatest) of his time. Digitizing and making it available to the public is one of the most important achievement of the Smithsonian. According to the link his first work began in 1909 and lasted until 1915. Panchromatic plates were first introduced on the market in 1906 by the English firm Wratten and Wainwright.

Sandy King




I'm always amazed at those "instantaneous" Russian pictures taken near the turn of the 20th century with a camera which dropped the filters between the lens and the film. My surprise is that I didn't think there was red sensitive film at that time.

sanking
27-Apr-2009, 11:26
My interest in sensitometry dates from the demands of producing separation sets matched in contrast and curve shape for color carbon printing. Most of my very early work, including the images I have included in this thread, produced very mis-matched separation sets. After I learned how to precisely control exposure and development it became easy enough to produce balanced separation sets, and all of my better separations are on Kodak Super XX film, which was long the standard for color separation work.

The job of learning to make color separations on B&W film is definitely not for those who seek instant gratification as the learning curve is very long. But for me it was always a huge amount of fun doing this kind of work, and having fun has always been the main motivator for my photography. I have always been much more interested in the doing of photography than in the final result.

Sandy




I spent quite a bit of time last year "reinventing" separation negatives. Using TM100
and a special developer tweak I found I could get very high-quality matched straight-line separations darkroom-style without resorting to photoshop at all. Of course, just one variation in materials and there goes a lot of work down the drain. So that's right when Kodak decided to downsize their boxes of 8X10 film! In such cases, you have to be certain all your film comes from the same batch and buy in multiple boxes. And a
good separation for DT work is quite a bit different than one for carbon, and even
varies with the specific dyes used. For now I have to store the separations and hope
I have time after I retire to deal with them. So little time, so many negatives!

Struan Gray
27-Apr-2009, 11:37
Sandy, thanks for the info. I'm not afraid of making tissue and experimenting with the hands-on craft of print making, but I know from experience that I learn best when I can practice and experiment in a concerted manner, and for now other commitments preclude that. It's fun to dream though, and to plan ahead for later - I just know that colour carbon or some sort of colour intaglio work lie in my future.

My own interest is in the freedom to choose pigments and filters at will, without being necessarily tied to the standard primary and secondary colours. To have the freedom of a printmaker or painter in choosing colour renditions, while still being tied to reality through the lens, seems like a great combination.

I think you've linked to Hans Nohlberg and Chia N-Lfqvist's work (www.pictoform.nu) in one of your online articles - I'm pretty sure I got the link from you. Their colour carbon on glass really tickles my fancy.


A pellicle is a beamsplitter, but it splits all colours evenly, which is why tricolour cameras using pellicles have colour filters somewhere too, often close to the focal planes for each colour. What I think Drew was referring to is a technology used in 3-chip video cameras and some technical cameras, where the splitters are dichroic mirrors and only divert particular colours: the spatial separation and the spectral filtering are done in one step. Because no red light is sent towards the green film/chip there is no intensity disadvantage over using a sequence of filters in front of a regular camera. The systems I have seen all use prisms with imaging chips face-mounted onto the prism faces (which solves the alignment problem nicely). This would be very very very expensive and heavy for LF formats, but doable, albeit on a military-style budget.

Thanks again. I'll come and take a workshop when I get serious :-)

isaacc7
28-Apr-2009, 12:27
FYI, there have been quite a few astrophotographers to use color separation techniques. It was the only way to get acceptable color results because of the funky reciprocity issues of the different layers of color films. Believe it or not, the most common film used for this was tech pan that had been hyper-sensitized. Total exposure times for deep space objects routinely ran into the 7 or 8 hour mark! This page has a really good primer on the subject:
http://www.rphotoz.com/astrophoto/tricolor.html

There are some amazing examples of this type of photography on the net, they are technical tour de forces!

Isaac

Drew Wiley
29-Apr-2009, 09:23
The kind of beamsplitter I was referring to is a special single-piece prism which splits
all three (or four) beams simultaneously. This kind of glass could be differentially
multicoated or used with separate filters. In other words, if someone had a lot of
machining capability, time, and money they could come up with a tricolor camera a lot
more sophisticated and precise than anything from the past. You would also want
registered vacuum film positions. Simple project in theory but nervewracking in execution. Would weigh a lot and probably no one will ever build one. Just a fun idea
I've long had. As for carbon printing, I believe it could also be modernized by thinking
outside the box, using a whole new class of pigments and a different tanning regimen
for the gelatin; but again, no one is going to have the time or budget to do this, let
alone a potential market for the materials. Sad. Such a beautiful process. What is being done with the older tricolor cameras typically requires a faster film for the blue
separation than for the red and green. Try 100TM for R&G and 400TM for the B. It is
easier to get matched separations with these films than with the older Super XX, which
had problems building enough contrast with the blue separation. Photoshop simplifies
things, but I have demonstrated to myself that very precise separations can still be made the old-fashioned way vis darkroom alond, indeed, much better than in the "good old days" themselves. Time-consuming to learn, however.

sanking
29-Apr-2009, 09:38
Actually carbon printing was modernized a lot by Charles Bergger and Richard Kauffman with the Ultrastable color carbon method, which used pin registration (in lieu of the registration and assembly by eye done in the old days) and a diazo based sensitizer that was incorporated into the sensitizer. Evercolor was also a modernized version of color carbon. Ultrastable pigment papers are no longer made commercially but a few photographers, Tod Gangler in Seattle and John Bentley in Toronto, make their own materials and print following the method, with variations they have introduced.

Sandy



The kind of beamsplitter I was referring to is a special single-piece prism which splits
all three (or four) beams simultaneously. This kind of glass could be differentially
multicoated or used with separate filters. In other words, if someone had a lot of
machining capability, time, and money they could come up with a tricolor camera a lot
more sophisticated and precise than anything from the past. You would also want
registered vacuum film positions. Simple project in theory but nervewracking in execution. Would weigh a lot and probably no one will ever build one. Just a fun idea
I've long had. As for carbon printing, I believe it could also be modernized by thinking
outside the box, using a whole new class of pigments and a different tanning regimen
for the gelatin; but again, no one is going to have the time or budget to do this, let
alone a potential market for the materials. Sad. Such a beautiful process. What is being done with the older tricolor cameras typically requires a faster film for the blue
separation than for the red and green. Try 100TM for R&G and 400TM for the B. It is
easier to get matched separations with these films than with the older Super XX, which
had problems building enough contrast with the blue separation. Photoshop simplifies
things, but I have demonstrated to myself that very precise separations can still be made the old-fashioned way vis darkroom alond, indeed, much better than in the "good old days" themselves. Time-consuming to learn, however.

Drew Wiley
29-Apr-2009, 09:56
Sandy - by "modern" I mean something totally new. I'm aware of all that past stuff and the real limitations in both the mechanism and the "look" to each. There are whole new ways (non-dichromate) of tanning gelatin, and entire classes of pigment manufacture which get around some of the inherent problems of the past. But no one is going to drop a few million dollars into R&D developing something with no conceivable possibility of a financial return. ... On slightly different note, the first digital camera Sinar marketed was a three-shot scanning back with a revolving
color wheel in front of the lens. I've seen a few of these come up dirt cheap now that
they're relatively obsolete for studio use, but they'd make a great color-separation
system for someone doing still-life.

csant
29-Apr-2009, 10:31
Also, for those that read French: http://www.galerie-photo.com/test-trichromie.html

sanking
29-Apr-2009, 12:20
If one is only interested in the final product a good case can be made that there has been a lot of R&D in the development of color pigment inkjet printers. In most important ways pigment inkjet prints, which appear to have very good permanence, are much more like traditional color carbon transfer prints than prints made with any of the dye based systems.

Sandy




Sandy - by "modern" I mean something totally new. I'm aware of all that past stuff and the real limitations in both the mechanism and the "look" to each. There are whole new ways (non-dichromate) of tanning gelatin, and entire classes of pigment manufacture which get around some of the inherent problems of the past. But no one is going to drop a few million dollars into R&D developing something with no conceivable possibility of a financial return. ...

Drew Wiley
29-Apr-2009, 16:21
Sandy - that's the problem. The financial incentive for all the new patents and R&D is
headed toward inkjet. But that is no substitute for the real deal. If even a fraction of
that interest went toward a redux or DT or carbon I think we'd have something visually remarkable, though not necessarily profitable. And I'm extremely skeptical that
inkjet is a permanent as "accelerated aging" tests claim. I reviewed a number of the patents of what goes into the inks, and also have a lot of experience with pigment
testing in other fields, as well as the kind of bull that generally accompanies marketing.
But that's a bit off topic. I also believe inkjet R&D will plateau at "good enough" very
soon, if it hasn't already. Basically, the process colors used for carbon haven't changed
a whole lot in the last century - certainly in some specifics. But pigments are generally
designed to be opaque, which is a disadvantage when it comes to suquential layers of
color in a print. I also believe there is often an undersireable interaction with the gelatin causing premature cross-linking, either in certain pigments themselves or certain impurities. These issues can be solved using one or two wholly new classes of
pigments; but so far, I don't think anyone on the Carbon forum is even aware of this
possibility. It would have to be a lobor of love and $$$ to reinvent the wheel, however.