Color transparency film is the most frequently used original material in the color separation process. Recent technological advances in color negative film and electronic color generated scanners capable of working from a color negative have led to new avenues of exploration in the area of color separation. By using a color negative film as the original it may be possible to produce color separations of equal or higher quality than those produced from color transparencies. This research project has investigated the possibility that a set of color separations made from an Eastman Kodak Ektar color negative could yield a set of color separation proofs of equal or superior quality to those made from an Eastman Kodak Kodachrome color transparency. The attributes that were investigated were image detail, color saturation and tone reproduction. A total of six original scenes were photographed by the author; six using Kodachrome 25- 35mm slide film- and six using Ektar 25-35 mm negative film. Four of the original images were photographed at the same time in a controlled studio environment. The remaining two images were photographed outdoors to include a normal exterior scene. Twelve color separations were then generated using the Royal Zenith 210-L color scanner. These twelve separations were then proofed using the DuPont Cromalin proofing system. The last stage of the study involved a visual evaluation by thirty judges with professional experience in either the fields of photography or printing. Under standard viewing conditions, the thirty judges simultaneously compared a color proof created from a Kodachrome original against a color proof created from an Ektar color negative original of the same scene. They were asked to examine the six sets of color proofs and select the one from each set that they judged to be superior for the criteria of: image detad, color saturation and tone reproduction. Their evaluations were then recorded using a carefully designed response sheet. The results of this experiment indicated that there was no significant difference for the criteria of image detail and tone reproduction between the proofs generated from an Ektar color negative and the proofs generated from a Kodachrome color transparency. For the specific criteria of color saturation the study indicated that the proofs generated from an Ektar color negative were significantly better than the proofs generated from a Kodachrome color transparency. The data indicates that under the conditions tested, it makes little difference in the final proofed images whether the camera original material used is Ektar color negative film or Kodachrome color transparency.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Color separation; Color printing; Color photography--Films
Department, Program, or Center
School of Print Media (CIAS)
DuBois, Dawn, "A Comparison of the photochemical reproduction quality from color negative films versus color transparency films" (1993). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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