Tinting Movie Film at the Kitchen Sink

Popular Science, huhtikuu 1942

By Charles G. Clarke, A. S. C.

You need no darkroom to tone or dye movie film, but can work in the kitchen. About 7' of film can be handled with ease on the reel shown

Amateur movei makers may obtain beautiful color effects at small cost by toning and dyeing black-and-white film. Flaming sunsets, blue skies, waterfalls, green pastorals, and even portraits and interiors can be made to sparkle with a touch of color. No darkroom is necessary.

Through washing after treatment is important. Turn the reel in a tray of water or under a faucet stream

Below, a tank reel hold 50' of film. An embossed apron wound on with the film keeps adjacent turns separated

Toning chemicals color the image only, while dyes impregnate the whole emulsion. Both are available in a range of colors. To apply any of them is a simple as immersing film in a sulphide solution to get sepia tones. Similarly, other chemicals turn high lights or shadows blue, green, copper or red. Most photographic manuals supply formulas, but commercial concentrated colors in either powder or liquid form require only the addition of water.

An open glass drum or a tank may be used, depending upon the length of the film. If the film has been projected, wash it in a weak solution of acetic acid, and dry it. Then wind it, emulsion side out, in a spiral around th e drum to prevent overlapping. Pour just enough color solution into a glass tray to cover the lower surface, and revolve the drum slowly until the desired color density appears (six or seven minutes should do); then place the drum over a second tray containing water, or under a slow-running faucet, and wash the film thoroughly.

If the film is to be both toned and dyed, tone it first, wash it well, and draw it between layers of well-soaked chamois from which the moisture has just been wrung. Then revolve the drum through the dye solution.

For final drying, short and medium lengths of film may be suspended by both ends. For greater lengths, a drying drum will be needed. One may be made from two bicycle wheels with strips of varnished wood molding attached at 1½" intervals around the rims. The drum should be supported at each end by one prong of an old bicycle fork, and turned by a ¼-h.p. motor. Clip the ends of the film to elastic bands, which will take up the slack, yet give enough to permit use of the drying chamois while the drum revolves.

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