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Looking for greyscale testcards

James Kirk

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Hello, I'm new and it's great to be here. This is a question for the purpose of understanding actual hues represented in old photos. Is there a website from where one can download greyscale testcards for RGB tones, both for orthochromatic and panchromatic films? Or if not a website, can someone point the way to how one may be able to find these. Also I'm interested in the same for early 19th century 'blue sensitive' monochrome photography. Thank you.
 

BrianS

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The intensity value captured on film depends on the exposure, reflection of the object, and spectral response of the film.

You can start by collecting the spectral response of the films of interest. I suspect you will have to go looking for older photography books to get these. These older data sheets predate the Internet by a long time. The only resources that I own with this type of information - old books.

 

BrianS

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In addition- you don't know what filters were used to capture the image. Having intensity value alone does not provide enough information to reliably reproduce the color information of the scene.

Two shots of the same color pencils, one with a Red filter on the lens. Both with the Leica M Monochrom.
 

James Kirk

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Thank you BrianS, that is useful to know, I will look in to that. Yes, the filters present additional challenges - however, in the era of photoshop etc, I suppose it is possible to remove or correct any aberant 'colour casts' .
 

James Kirk

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In addition- you don't know what filters were used to capture the image. Having intensity value alone does not provide enough information to reliably reproduce the color information of the scene.

Two shots of the same color pencils, one with a Red filter on the lens. Both with the Leica M Monochrom.
Hello BrianS, I experimented with the two images you posted and thought you might be interested in seeing the result so far.
It's not perfect but it's passable as a sort of colour photo. The purple fringes are where the two photos are out of alignment.
But you are correct of course - the only reason I got this far is because of familiarity with the packaging.
 

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Roger S

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however, in the era of photoshop etc, I suppose it is possible to remove or correct any aberant 'colour casts' .
You reminded me that I really have to start a thread on how to remove those old colour filters that I stupidly added to my film shots back in the 80's.
 

James Kirk

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RogerS, no doubt that will be a fun lockdown project for a lot of people. lol
 
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BrianS

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Thank you BrianS, that is useful to know, I will look in to that. Yes, the filters present additional challenges - however, in the era of photoshop etc, I suppose it is possible to remove or correct any aberant 'colour casts' .
The original Technicolor process used 3 B&W negatives shot through color separation filters. Having the same image shot through multiple color filters would make life easy for you!

I think it comes down to making an educated guess on the color in the image.

I often bring my Leica M9 (color) camera and Leica M Monochrom out at the same time.



 

James Kirk

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Indeed. If only the 19th and early to mid 20th century photographers had taken the three variations lol ...
 
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