By CH SCOLIK.
Since the emulsion process has taken root, no improvement has awakened such a lively, steadily increasing interest as photography of colored objects in their correct tone proportions; a process which makes it possible to reproduce the warmer color-tones, particularly yellow, orange-red, and yellow-green, in their correct light value as they appear to the eye.
In professional circles, as also among the public, the value of this invention cannot possibly be underestimated; an invention with which a new epoch in photography may begin, and by which the handsomest results, particularly in reproductions of oil paintings, can be attained. But in portraiture, as well as in landscape photography, recourse must also be had to orthochromatic plates to obtain effective pictures, particularly as plates can now be produced in which the relative sensitiveness closely resembles that of the ordinary emulsion plate. Although a good deal has been written about this subject, none of these sometimes excellent treatises contains a complete and generally comprehensive formula for the production of color-sensitive plates, and this circumstance causes me to publish my own experiences.
The following coloring matters are particularly recommended in the several publications as preferable:
Eosine yellow and eosine blue shade, iodine cyanin, erythrosine, methyl violet, aniline violet, iodine green, azalein, Hoffmann's violet, acid green, methyl green, rose bengal, pyrosine, chlorophyl, saffrosine, coralline, saffranine, etc.
Particularly important is the correct concentration. The most excellent color matters make the plates oftentimes quite useless by an incorrect proportion of concentration. If this should be too strong, the total sensitiveness will sink (decrease); but when too weak, the color sensitiveness is much reduced.
This fault, particularly, cannot be corrected during washing, but I have mentioned, at the end, how such overcolored emulsion can be made of use before wetting (flowing).
By the addition of some coloring matter to the emulsion, the light sensitiveness of the film toward some individual colored rays is increased, but the sensitiveness for the stronger refractive rays is, as a rule, generally reduced. The result is a loss of the total sensitiveness for white light. Color-sensitive plates are therefore less sensitive to light than ordinary plates of the same origin.
The action of the coloring matter depends also very essentially upon the emulsion. If the emulsion contains iodide of silver, it has a greater sensitiveness for light blue and blue-green light. At all events, the iodide combination must not amount to more than one or two per cent., a small quantity of iodine acting much better upon the total sensitiveness of the plates than can be obtained by pure bromide of silver emulsion.
Methyl violet, rose bengal, and azalein act perceptibly in 1/10000 per cent. upon yellow sensitiveness. Eosine and its varieties, eosine yellow shade, or eosine J, pyrosine J, erythrosine yellowish, may all be noted as very good sensitizers for green, yellow-green, and eventually for yellow. The bluish shades of eosine colors, on the contrary, have an absorption band further in the yellow. This is also the case with the blue shade eosine (eosine B) and the most bluish of all eosines, the bengal rosa. Of both eosines, yellow shade and blue shade, the latter gives a little more intensity.
Although the eosine permits a large limit in the quantity, it will reduce the sensitiveness greatly in larger quantity.
If eosine solution is mixed with bromide of silver emulsion, which is entirely free from nitrate of silver, no eosine silver can form; it acts, therefore, only as an optical sensitizer.
Of the several kinds of cyanin, chlorosulphate, nitrate, and iodide, the latter acts best, as stated by Eder.
Schumann has already said that one drop of cyanin solution, 1 to 2,500 to 6½ c. c. emulsion, already acted as sensitizing in orange; five to ten drops cyanin. 1 to 1,500 to 15 c. c. emulsion, even gave red action.
There are two ways to color the gelatine film with a suitable coloring matter: by mixing the latter directly before filtering into the ready made emulsion, to produce at once colored plates; or to bathe dry emulsion plates for one to five minutes in a solution containing the sensitizing coloring matter. The plates have previously to be soaked for a few minutes, whereupon they are bathed in an aqueous alcoholic solution (with eosine yellow shade and eosine blue shade, in a solution of 1 to 3,000; but with cyanin in a diluted solution of 1 to 5,000). A mixture of 1/10 cyanin and 9/10 eosine yellow shade (of above concentration) acts as a very favorable sensitizer. Lohse recommended bathing of the gelatine plates in a solution of 0.03 eosine and 10 c. c. ammonia in 100 parts of water. He found that very diluted eosine solutions, 1 to 20,000, acted as a yellow sensitizer.
After washing, the plates have to be rinsed and dried - colored plates, as long as they remain moist, being less sensitive than dry ones, and very seldom the reverse.
This bathing of the ready made plates may give good results, but pure and faultless plates are very seldom obtained, wherefore the first mentioned manner (direct addition of color to the emulsion) is to be preferred.
After the experiments made by me, eosine mixtures acted equally in the yellow and blue shade; likewise mixtures of cyanin 1/10 and eosine yellow shade 9/10 were the most favorable. The process with eosine underwent first of all a thorough test, of which the following are the results.
The color, solution I made as follows:
I. 0.5 grm. eosine yellow shade in 750 c.c. alcohol (95 per cent.) is dissolved under good shaking.
II. 0.5 grm. eosine blue shade is also dissolved in 750 c.c. alcohol.
(The emulsion preparation I do not repeat, supposing that everybody is conversant with the same.)
To an emulsion after Monckhoven's method, I add, before filtering, above eosine solutions to 1,000 c.c. emulsion, 15 c.c. each of yellow shade and 15 c.c. of blue shade eosine; mix with a glass stirring-rod, filter, and begin the flowing of the plates. On the contrary, to an emulsion made after Henderson's method, double the quantity of coloring matter can be added before flowing, without reducing the sensitiveness perceptibly.
Cyanin and eosine mixtures I give in the following proportions;
III. 0.5 grm. cyanin (iodo-cyanin) dissolved in 1,000 c.c. alcohol under good shaking.
(All coloring matter solutions have to be filtered.)
To 1,000 c.c. Monckhoven emulsion I give:
25 c.c. eosine solution, yellow shade (I.).
5 c.c. cyanine solution (III.).
With Henderson emulsion I increase to double the quantity.
Further experiments taught me that even if 60 to 80 c.c., and more, of these coloring matter solutions were added, and the emulsion was left to coagulate and then laid in alcohol for several days, after which it was washed well, so that hardly any coloration could be observed, it showed, when making a copy of an oil painting, that the color sensitiveness of the emulsion was not reduced, and that it had rather increased in relative sensitiveness.
Anyhow, I put every colored emulsion for eight days in alcohol, having experienced that hereby, after washing, just a sufficient quantity of the coloring matter will remain as is necessary for the color sensitiveness.
For the correctness of what I have said here, the following experiment made by me will speak:
I mixed with an emulsion a quantity of coloring matter five times increased, flowed a plate with same, which I then exposed, but obtained no picture whatever.
The same emulsion I placed for fourteen days in alcohol, washed it well, and flowed a plate again, which latter had not only the full color sensitiveness, but almost equaled an ordinary emulsion plate in total sensitiveness.
From this can be concluded that - as above said - by placing the emulsion in alcohol, all superfluous coloring matter is removed from the same, and that only the quantity necessary for the color sensitiveness remains therein.
Further, it may be mentioned that it might be of advantage to add to all emulsions eosine besides iodide of silver, because this will give to the emulsion clearness and brilliancy besides color sensitiveness, and produce fine lights.
Finally, I express the hope that these communications may be useful to the practical photographer, and it is my intention to report also about other coloring matters at some future time. - H.D., in Anthony's Bulletin.