Kodachrome Two-color 1915, after 1930 renamed Fox Nature Color


The Kodachrome process was invented in 1913 by John G. Capstaff for still photography and subsequently adapted to motion pictures. For the process two frames were advanced simultaneously, one located above the other. The light passed either through two lenses or through a beam-splitter, fitted with red and green filters. From the camera negative a master-positive was produced on an optical printer. During this step, optical problems caused by the arrangement were also corrected. The release print was exposed through a beam-splitter whereby the alternate frames were projected onto either side of double-coated stock. After development by a usual b/w process, the film was tanned to harden the exposed areas. The soft areas were dyed red-orange and blue-green respectively.

Due to the loss of light caused by the filters and by the optical set-up, the speed of the process was rather low.

  • Eggert (1932)
  • Steinbacher_Kodachrome2Color_Ryan_1977_fig32_2013
  • Kodachrome2Color_Ryan_1977_fig33.jpg
  • Steinbacher_Kodachrome2Color_Ryan_1977_fig33_2013
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  • Steinbacher_Kodachrome2Color_Ryan_1977_fig34_2013
  • Kodachrome2Color_Ryan_1977_fig35.jpg
  • Coe_TwoColour_Kodachrome_separate.jpg
  • Coe_TwoColor_Kodachrome_combined.jpg
  • Eggert (1932)
  • Eggert (1932)
  • Koshofer_KodachromeTwoColor_1930_variable_density.jpg
  • Koshofer_KodachromeTwoColor_1916.jpg
  • Koshofer_KodachromeTwoColor_1928.jpg
  • Photomicrograph
  • Photomicrograph
  • Photomicrograph
  • Eggert (1932)
  • KodachromeTwoColor_Test_GEH_1922

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Original Technical Papers and Primary Sources

Anonymous (1916): The Kodachrome Process. In: The British Journal of Photography, Colour Supplement, 10, p. 234 View Quote and 485. View Quote

Secondary Sources

Dr. N. (1937): Mehrschichten-Film. In: Film-Kurier, 27.8.1937, Serie “Farb-Film-Fibel”. (in German) View Quote

Klein, Adrian Bernhard = Cornwell-Clyne (1940): Colour Cinematography. Boston: American Photographic Pub. Co.. 2nd revised edition, pp. 14.  View Quote

Koshofer, Gert (1996): Early Colorfilm Processes for the Cinema. In: Monica Dall’Asta, Guglielmo Pescatore and Leonardo Quaresima (eds.): Il colore nel cinema muto. Bologna: Clueb, p. 43. View Quote

Layton, James; Pierce, David (2015): The Dawn of Technicolor. Rochester: George Eastman House, on p. 59 View Quote, on pp. 61–62 View Quote, on p. 63 View Quote and on p. 180. View Quote

Matthews, Glenn E. (1930): A Motion Picture Made in 1916 by a Two-Color Subtractive Process. In: Journal of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers, 15,5, 1930, pp. 624-626. View Quote

Mees, C.E. Kenneth (1929): The Processes of Color Photography. III. Color Cinematography. In: The Journal of Chemical Education, 6, pp. 44–51, on p. 48. View Quote

Nowotny, Robert A. (1983): The Way of All Flesh Tones. A History of Color Motion Picture Processes, 1895-1929. New York: Garland Pub., p. 152. View Quote

Ryan, Roderick T. (1977): A History of Motion Picture Color Technology. London: Focal Press, pp. 66 ff. View Quote