[Tig] Scanning tinted negative film (Bojan Mastilovic)

Richard Kirk richard at filmlight.ltd.uk
Wed Nov 12 21:53:06 GMT 2014

> Bojan Mastilovic <chili.styles at gmail.com> sez...
> we are scanning a internegative film made from a copy of the film from
> 1916. The film is tinted by a manual process, so we have some yellow, blue
> and pink scenes.  We have a Northlight scanner, and if we look for a Dmin
> (pure black) in the frame bar between the frames, we get the very slight
> tint color. I do not know how this film was tinted (the process) but I
> would guess that whoever was working on manual tinting did not paint only
> the picture, carefully avoiding tinting the frame bar.

Daaamn! What you got there, man?

Normally I would have expected the whole frame to be tinted. Kodak did film with
several different coloured bases, but that would put the dye everywhere. There
were also tinting processes where the film was soaked in a dye solution and then
fixed, trapping the dye in the gelatin. If this was a European film, I would expect 

There was an early version of the dye transfer process, called the Handschiegl 
process (good summary on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handschiegl_color_process)
but 1916 is almost too early for this, and anyway the dye ended end up on the
blanked out regions of the film, so it ought to avoid the frame bar. This more or
less leaves hand colouring, and the Pathe stencil process.

Do you know anything about how the original film was copied? This is fairly
important - if it was a contact dupe then you will probably have to increase the
black & white density by about 20% for the Callier effect, but if you had a f/4
condenser lens the you probably don't want to adjust the gain at all but the film
might not be able to match the density of the original. The dye not appearing on 
the frame bar may be an artefact of the duplicating film exposure. The dye 
densities would not mach your visual densities if your duplicating lamp-house 
was not using Status A balanced primaries.
...and so it goes on. I am probably gong to need a bit more information before
I start giving useful advice. Or perhaps a scanned frame to look at. Or, maybe 
we just take the black & white information, and then re-tint it from scratch. If
people have been projecting the original for a hundred years or so, then the
dyes have probably faded a bit.

Richard Kirk

FilmLight Ltd, Artists House, 14-15 Manette Street, London W1D 4AP
Tel: +44 (0)20 7292 0400  Fax: +44 (0)20 7292 0401

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