May 2004 - Cine Miscellany
was one of the first colour processes to be used in cinematography.
It was introduced in 1928, although the first patents were taken out
in 1908. It was directed at the amateur market (the quality of results
was not up to professional requirements) and was only availabe in
16 mm. 8 mm. had not been introduced at that time.
The process utilised a black-and-white
sensitive film used with the emulsion away from the lens The film
base, in front of the emulsion, was embossed with a mass of tiny lenses,
the object of which were to form small images of a striped filter
which was placed on the camera lens. This filter was a glass screen
with three coloured stripes - red, green and blue-violet. When a picture
was taken, the varying proportion of each colour reflected from the
subject, passing through the glass screen, was recorded on the film
underneath each of the embossed lenses, as tiny areas of stripes in
groups of three, with each strip varying in density according to the
colour value received in that area.
The filming process required the camera
to be used at f/1.9 only, so that the striped filter worked properly.
The original Kodachrome film was very slow, requiring an exposure
of about a thirtieth of a second at f/1.9 in bright sunlight (this
represents a film speed in modern terms of about 0.5 ISO). A later
version of the film, Super Sensitive Kodacolor, could be used "outdoors
in any good photographic light, and even indoors under favourable
conditions." Kodak's home movie cameras then available, such
as the Cine-Kodak Model BB, could be used. When the film was exposed,
it was returned to Kodak for processing.
To project the film, a projector was fitted
with the Kodacolor Projection Filter, which appears to be similar
to the screen fitted to the camera. The lenticular image on the film
is transformed into a natural colour picture on the screen, and it
must have given a striking image at the time though we would find
it very dull today. As with all colour processes involviing a lenticular
image, the pattern intrudes, and there is substantial light loss (about
50%). Even the cheapest Kodak 16 mm. projector of the day, the Kodatoy,
could be adapted for projection of Kodacolor films.
Kodacolor film was priced at £2
for a 100ft. spool, exactly twice the price of black-and-white film.
The film process became obsolete when Kodak introduced Kodachrome
cine film in 1935.
The Eumig C3M is one
of the most common cine cameras seen on the second-hand market now.
It started life as the Eumig C3, which was one of the first
cameras to feature a built-in coupled exposure meter. The clockwork
drive gave three filming speeds (8, 16 and 32 f.p.s.) plus single
frame, and ran for 40 seconds at 16 f.p.s. (a relatively long run).It
has a Schneider f/1.9 fixed focus lens. It was a popular camera and
sold well, which is surprising considering the cost (about £71
By 1959 an improved
version of the C3 had been introduced. This was the Eumig C3R
which included a lens turret carrying wide-angle and telephoto converter
lenses which were coupled to the viewfinder. This version cost £84
The Eumig C3m
was introduced in 1960. The lenses now included a focusing lens with
central focusing for all three focal lengths. Filming speeds were
16, 24 and 32 f.p.s. and there was back-wind, enabling dissolves and
multiple exposures to be made. The camera was sold as an outfit, with
a pistol grip. The colour of the camera was changed to a distiinctive
pale grey with blue trim. Accessories included a parallax correcting
device and a amtte-box. The camera cost £81 7s. 6d.
P1 is a versatile Standard-8 camera. The body is based on the
pocket cameras (B, C and D series). It has a Som Berthiot Pan-Cinor
f/1.9 8 mm. to 40 mm. zoom lens (not interchangeable), reflex viewing,
split-image rangefinder, and a built-in t.t.l. exposure meter. The
spring drive gives seven speeds from 12 f.p.s. to 64 f.p.s. and single
frame. It was an expensive camera when new - over £162 in 1962,
including pistol grip and a hide carrying case.
It was not available for very long - introduced into the UK in about
1962, it was joined by the P2 the following year, then by the P3 in
1964; by 1965, the P1 and P2 have disappeared and after the introduction
of Super-8 in 1965, the P3 and P4 soon disppeared as well.
P2 was a cheaper version of the P1, with a 9 mm. to 30 mm. f/1.9
Pan Cinor lens. In 1964, the P2 cost almost £80, but this did
not include a case (over £8 extra) or a pistol grip (over £6
P3 is an improved version of the P1 with power zoom, superb
co-incident image rangefinder, variable shutter and backwind. It cost
nearly £143 in 1964.
P4 was a completely different camera, with a new body and mechanism,
and featured automatic exposure control. It has a shorter zoom range
than the P3 (though it still has the lovely rangefinder, one of the
best on any camera), only three filming speeds (12, 18 and 40 f.p.s.),
single frame, variable shutter and backwind. In 1965 it cost almost
Part of this column
has previously appeared in International Movie Making, a magazine
for film-makers published by Roy
Salmons, and appears with his permission.
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