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Old 17-12-16, 11:29 AM
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Default Canadian Engineer WW2

I recently picked up a photo of a Canadian soldier from WW2.

He is a member of the Royal Canadian Engineers, and is in either one of the three Infantry Division or one of the two Armoured Divisions.

Does anybody know enough about black and white photography to tell which of the five colours in question this soldiers rectangle is?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 17-12-16, 11:31 AM
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Sorry, the enlargement was left off.
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Old 17-12-16, 12:10 PM
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On the printed division signs, the RCE was in red on a blue rectangle imposed on the division sign, except for 2 CID, which was a blue patch and only the RCE was printed. In this image, the sapper appears to be wearing a sign without the second blue rectangle, which indicates it is likely 2 CID. If there is a rectangle around the RCE, the light colour would suggest 3 CID.
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Old 18-12-16, 04:19 PM
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Hi BWEF

I don't have an answer for you but sometimes find this useful when looking at B&W photos.

regards
Darrell
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Old 19-12-16, 05:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darrell View Post
Hi BWEF

I don't have an answer for you but sometimes find this useful when looking at B&W photos.

regards
Darrell
Very many thanks for that Darrell.

I am sure that the chart you posted wil come in very handy. I will now have to check all the old photos I have.
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Old 22-12-16, 11:53 PM
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Default Not all BW film emulsions are the same.

Hi guys, I have seen discussions on trying to ascertain colour in BW images before and it is always overlooked that there are different types of B&W film emulsion and how they react to visible light determines the 'shade' of grey you get.

Grain fineness, reactive speed play a part too, and various companies have their own proprietary formulas for film emulsion, but it basically comes down to two basic types. Isochromatic/Orthochromatic (Blue and Blue-Green sensitive films) and Panchromatic (sensitive to all visible light).

Orthocromatic was the first type developed and still a very common film in WW2. It reacts only to the Blue/Blue Green light and can be developed under red/amber light. This made it cheap and easy to process, which is why its use continued even after Panchromatic films were created.

Darrell's example shows an exposure of a very early type of Orthochromatic emulsion. Note all the red hues are very dark to black as they are not developed... film basically does not 'see' those colours.

Panchromatic films can define the yellow-orange-red hues. However, the film must be processed in complete darkness. (not to be confused with the prints from BW films which are processed under red-amber light)

Orthochromatic films remained in use in the print industry and certain types of specialty photography.

** NOTE! outdoor/natural lighting vs. studio lighting (and camera filters) also play a large part in what A BW emulsion 'sees'...

I put together a quick comparison of the RGB colour wheel and the grey spectrum you can expect with different light sensitivities.
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Last edited by WJ Miller; 23-12-16 at 12:00 AM.
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Old 22-12-16, 11:56 PM
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Default Kodak comparison chart 1929

here is a comparison image from a Kodak brochure of 1929, showing the differences between Ortho (left) and Panchromatic (right) films.

http://www.cosmeticsandskin.com/cdc/panchromatic.php
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Old 23-12-16, 12:27 AM
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Another simulated comparison.

However, it explains why we have so few good photos of our regimental shoulder title in wear. The red-orange thread photograph black/near black and on a black background become nearly invisible to the camera.

(Original photo taken under yellowish fluorescent lighting and through the glass of a display case)
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