in Honor of
Frank Tartaro & Bob Pace
Material presented here was taken in part from
Dye Stability Testing of Color Imaging Media- Edition II
by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.
The Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection was able to acquire a few samples of Kodachrome print media to be tested for dye stability fading. This material is very rare to come across, especially the acetate based material.
Test results show Kodachrome prints exhibit good dark storage dye stability. But when exposed to light they show very poor dye stability.
Here is a 1950 era 5 x 7 Kodachrome enlargement made on acetate that was stored in dark storage conditions in a photo album until 2016.
You can see the gloss of the acetate. The prints do not have a paper feel at all. They feel like they are printed on plastic, which of course acetate is. Later on, Kodak switched to paper base for its Kodachrome prints as is shown below. A characteristic of the acetate prints is that the material has rounded corners.
For the dye stability tests photos in this post, I cut the media in half. One half of the media was put in sunlight for 6 months. The other half was stored in total darkness. After 6 months of sun, the 2 halves were married and scanned. The half exposed to the sun was marked with an ‘S’. The half stored in the dark was marked with a ‘D’.
Sample of acetate Kodachrome print fade tested for 6 months of sun.
Sample of paper based Kodachrome print fade tested for 6 months of sun.
Here is some information on the various print material Kodak used.
Kodachrome slides have very good dark storage dye stability. Here is a vintage slide from the 1950s that was scanned in 2017. No color enhancement was done, this is how the slide looked after 60 years of dark storage.
But give Kodachrome slides some sun and they fade pretty quick.
Selection from Rainbow Girls of the Beat Generation artist’s book by Daniel D. Teoli Jr. / Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection
I have dark stored Kodachrome slides dating back to 1939 and the colors look perfect. The earlier Kodachrome had a tendency to fade. Around 1939 Kodak improved on the dye stability. It will be interesting to see if Kodak’s Kodachrome acetate print material ages the similarly.
Selection from The Americans…60 years after Frank artist’s book (Candid)
Daniel D. Teoli Jr.
A complete list of artist’s books by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.