Dye Diffusion Processes

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Date initiated March 2020
Contributors Luisa Casella, Joan Walker


Dye Diffusion Processes[edit | edit source]

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)[edit | edit source]

  • 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)[edit | edit source]

  • 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)[edit | edit source]

  • 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[edit | edit source]

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Identification Characteristics[edit | edit source]

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Image layer[edit | edit source]

Color[edit | edit source]

Support[edit | edit source]

Conservation[edit | edit source]

Housing and Storage Considerations[edit | edit source]

Housing[edit | edit source]

Storage[edit | edit source]

Exhibition[edit | edit source]

Emergency Recovery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Conservation[edit | edit source]


Process and History[edit | edit source]


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