[Tig] lenticular film

Tom Nottingham nottinghams
Wed Aug 24 18:48:58 BST 2005

Hello Everyone,

Yes, lenticular photography has been around for some time. The process was
fairly simple. A graticule was placed in the camera at the film plane. It
consisted of red, green, and blue filters arranged in dots or stripes. The
corresponding image on black and white film contained the luminance
information directly behind each color filter. In the late 60's this process
was sold to broadcast stations as a way to present color news film with out
the expense of upgrading their processing equipment, or with out the cost of
color stock. A telecine film chain projector was fitted with a similar
filter in reverse to the camera, and with careful alignment, a color image
of sorts was retrieved from the film.

There were many problems. Only fast Tri-X reversal film stock could be used.
Tri-X was excessively grainy, and the color filter extracted two stops from
the film speed of ASA 400. As you can imagine, the filter alignment was
critical, and that usually restricted the process to only one projector.
Since many television stations of that era had only one film chain, that
would only leave one other projector for other uses. The
photo-multiplex/beam-splitter systems in use on film chains were excessively
sensitive to polarized light which often conflicted with lenticular filters.
At its best, this process exhibited serious artifacts that were found to be
objectionable to many - especially on 16mm film stock.

Some experiments were done by imbedding the color filters in the film base,
but this raised the cost to above that of color stock which certainly
produced better results. But since most applications that I am familiar with
required the use of filters, I am not sure the altered film stock ever got
beyond the development stage. This process was not restricted to motion
picture photography, and there were several applications of "Screen Plate
Processes" in large format between 9010 to 1934. Some of these processes
from the past had names such as: Luminiere, Early Agfacolor, Finlay, and
Dufaycolor. There are some excellent examples of these processes on display
at The Getty Museum's photography exhibit in Los Angeles, and also at the
Eastman House Museum in Rochester, New York.

In his book, C.B. Neblette's "Photography - Its Materials and Processes",
outlines the development and use of "Methods Of Color Synthesis" in chapter
32. Contained therein is more information on these types of processes that
anyone might desire. Hope this helps the discussion.

Tom Nottingham

 -----Original Message-----
From: 	tig-bounces at tig.colorist.org [mailto:tig-bounces at tig.colorist.org]
On Behalf Of Marc Wielage
Sent:	Tuesday, August 23, 2005 9:16 PM
To:	Jeff Kreines; TIG
Subject:	Re: [Tig] lenticular film

Help support the TIG... contribution interface at
(top of the page) thank you.

On 8/22/05 4:12 PM, "Jeff Kreines" <jeffkreines at mindspring.com> wrote on the
TIG List:

> Lenticular film made a very brief comeback in the mid-50s as a way of
> doing color kinescopes -- not sure if any of those survive.

Back in the late 1980s, a client of mine at Complete Post brought in about
two dozen episodes of NBC's NAT KING COLE variety show on B&W 16mm prints.
We transferred them to 1" C for the Cole estate over a period of several

When I was unpacking the cartons, I also stumbled over a 1-hour 16mm
kinescope reel of a late-1950s PERRY COMO variety show.  The client told me,
"hey, those were done in lenticular color," and we examined the print on a
light box.  The image was B&W, but if you held it at a certain angle, you
could see kind of a weird rainbow pattern radiating from emulsion side.  On
the Rank, all we got out of it was B&W, and as I recall, the pictures were a
little soft.

More information about the Tig mailing list