Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rendering Reds (and Purples)

Ken Rockwell has recently brought to our attention the problem of Rendering Reds (and Purples) in digital format. Apparently, Red takes on an orange cast in digital, even if you are photographing something that is cherry red or fire engine red (two shades of red that are definitely NOT orange).

He shows us examples of 'Film Reds' in his Gallery, but no direct comparisons. So I am going to undertake my own side by side tests of Red and Purple on Film and Digital, because it would really be too bad if Digital turned this fire hydrant orange-red. Results will be posted shortly.

Camera: Minolta X-700
Lens: Tamron f/2.8 28-200 Zoom
Film: Kodak E100VS


  1. This is a film red from Kodak E100VS. But I can tell you that scanning alters the color saturation also. This red is actually richer than what you see here.

    I've been given a brief tutorial with my husband's Nikon D40 and will be taking my REDS over the next couple of days. Fortunately I like red so I have a lot around the house for my test

  2. Interesting. I'd never thought of that. Makes sense though. I've been playing around with really old cameras for so long, I've forgotten about the idiosyncrasies of digital. You can see some of the prints I got from a 60 year old camera with expired film at

  3. I actually didn't have to take new photos because I had similar pix of red flowers from my garden. So I'll be posting Part I of my comparison next week.

    The Kodak Duaflex looks like it may be a camera I need to find for my collection. The 620 film is a bit of a complication, but I think I can make my own spools.

    I love the Cyanotype you made from the film. It is my favorite alternative process technique.