COLOR PRINTING by the yard (Apr, 1946)

COLOR PRINTING by the yard

A NEW assembly-line technique is turning out as many as 300 prints an hour from Kodachrome and Ansco transparencies, providing seven-day service to the growing army of color photographers. The speedy apparatus that makes this possible has recently been put to work by Pavelle Color, Inc., at its plant in New York City. Electronic controls in the enlarging machines make them function almost automatically in blowing up 35-mm. transparencies to 3 by 4-1/2-inch “Printon” prints.

Human judgment is still needed to decide the best exposure range for the principal subject matter on a color transparency. But once expert coders have marked a frame “normal,” or with a double or single plus or minus sign, the printing-machine operator has merely to press a correspondingly marked button to obtain a proper exposure for each frame.

As light from an R-2 photoflood lamp shines through a transparency, one image is projected on printing material (passing through the machine on a 240-foot roll) and another is thrown horizontally toward a photoelectric cell in the housing at the rear of the machine. The cell, assisted by a battery of electronic tubes behind it, determines each exposure on the basis of the total light that passes through the film. The amount of light therefore must be controlled, and is gauged by the button that the operator pushes. Prints are clipped and mounted as they come off the assembly line.

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