Dye Diffusion Processes

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Date initiated March 2020
Contributors Luisa Casella, Joan Walker


Dye Diffusion Processes

Dye diffusion processes are instant photographic processes based on the subtractive color principle. The image is created within minutes of exposure as a result of a single step processing that is an integral part of the film. The image is recorded within the separate color layers of a tripack film; the development process is activated; and the three separate images are diffused from their separate location onto the same image-receivng layer (Pénichon, p. 232).
Dye diffusion processes can be categorized as peel-apart color films or integral color films. In peel-apart materials, the image formation is stopped when the negative and the positive layers are stripped apart. With integral color films, negative and receiving layers are sealed into a single unit that includes the reactive processing materials. After development, all these coexist in a stable structure.

Dye diffusion processes timeline (cf. Pénichon, p.233)

  • Polaroid peel-apart films (1963-2008) - Peel-apart color film
  • Polaroid integral films (1972-2006) - Integral color films
  • Eastman Kodak integral films (1976-1986) - Integral color films
  • Ektaflex PCT (1981-1988) - Peel-apart color film
  • Fujifilm integral films (1981-present) - Integral color films
  • Copycolor (1983-1986) - Peel-apart color film
  • Agfachrome-Speed (1983-1986) - Integral color films
  • Fujifilm peel-apart films (1984-2016) - Peel-apart color film
  • The Impossible Project (renamed Polaroid Originals 2017) integral films (2010-present) - Integral color films


Peel-apart processes (cf. Pénichon, p.233)

  • Generic names: instant, dye diffusion transfer, diffusion transfer
  • Brand names: Polacolor, Polacolor 1, Polacolor2, PolacolorER, Polaroid, Polaroid 20x24, Polaroid 600, Time-Zero, Ektaflex PCT, Copycolor, Fuji FP-100, Fuji FP-800, Viva

Integral color processes (cf. Pénichon, p.233)

  • Generic names: integral dye diffusion, internal dye diffusion transfer, one-step, instant color film, dye incorporated
  • Brand names: Polaroid, Polaroid 500, SX-70, Kodak Instant Print Film, PR-10, Kodamatic, Trimprint, Agfachrome-Speed, Fuji FI-800GT, Fuji Panorama, Spectra, Captiva, Vision, iZone, Mio, Instax

Historical Facts

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Identification Characteristics

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Image layer

Color

Support

Conservation

Housing and Storage Considerations

Housing

Storage

Exhibition

Emergency Recovery

References

Conservation


Process and History


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