Coloring B/W film – An attempt with Colorvir

Coloring B/W film – An attempt with Colorvir

Since the invention of film, black and white film images have also been brought in color. Monochrome toning of entire silent film sequences is well know, e.g. in blue for night scenes, or hand coloring of the individual film frames (which of course is somewhat tedious with the small-format Super8).

Some time ago I experimented with coloring scraps of Tri-X leftovers, using the chemicals from the Colorvir system, which I still have in my lab.

The Colorvir system was available in well-stocked photo shops until the early 2000s and was mainly intended for coloring black and white paper prints. However, the application guide also mentions the treatment of B/W slide film material (from p. 41 in the Colorvir guide).

The Colorvir system, with its different toners and colorants, opened up almost limitless possibilities for colored post-processing of black and white images.

This color table from the Colorvir guide shows some of the options for color design with the system chemicals

I subjected the Super 8 film strips to a multi-stage treatment consisting of toning, (chemical) solarization and subsequent coloring according to the specifications in the system guide.

final treatment with polychrome staining K (shade red)

Unfortunately, the coloring looks a bit restless in the projection:

If you would like more information about the Colorvir system: The guide as a pdf can be found here

Klaus Schreier

hört Platten, fotografiert Kleinbild, filmt Schmal und dilettiert in der Dunkelkammer und am Schneidetisch

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