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What is a c-print?

Robert K , Mar 29, 2007; 10:57 a.m.

I find the definition of a c-print at wikipedia rather confusing.


What was the historical origin of c-prints? What makes them "special"? In galleries I found the term being applied to just about anything. In practice today, what should be correctly qualified as c-prints, and what should not be? For examples, should digital prints from film scans be included or excluded?


Rowland Mowrey , Mar 29, 2007; 11:35 a.m.

This has been fully discussed on multiple threads here and on APUG.

I have posted a complete history of Kodak color paper there.

Type "C" color prints is/was a trademark of Eastman Kodak for its color paper intended to make prints from color negatives. No other material may properly have this name.

Ron Mowrey

Ocean Physics , Mar 29, 2007; 11:56 a.m.

It's just a normal color print. They aren't in any way special. If you go to Walmart for prints what you get is a c-print.

Technically I guess it's Kodak's trademark for their paper, but it's sort of like Kleenex.

A better generic name would be dye coupler print.

Mervyn Yan , Mar 29, 2007; 12:07 p.m.

color prints of any sizes

Ocean Physics , Mar 29, 2007; 12:16 p.m.

It's not JUST color prints. An inkjet print is not a c-print. A r-type print from a slide is not a c-print. None of the Ilfochrome processes are c-prints, nor are dye transfers, pigment transfers, polaroids...

Bill Pearce , Mar 29, 2007; 02:09 p.m.

Chromogenic. Wet process paper that produces prints from negatives.

Bill Pearce

Elliot N , Mar 29, 2007; 03:24 p.m.

'from negatives...'

or from digital files (Frontier, Lightjet, Lambda etc)

Robert Himmelright , Mar 29, 2007; 05:05 p.m.

a color coupler print made on a color negative paper?

Robert K , Mar 30, 2007; 12:01 p.m.

Thanks for the responses. It sounds like the term started out with a rather narrow and strict definition, but is now used more liberally to mean a color print from whatever. I think some galleries use it to "disguise" a digital print. Regardless, the important part is to realize that it really means nothing special.

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