Hand processing Tri-X as negative using D76 - Advice Welcome

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nrk13
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Hand processing Tri-X as negative using D76 - Advice Welcome

Post by nrk13 » Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:08 pm

A few months back I was commissioned to shoot an experimental film for a hair stylist client who I had worked with early this year. He let me do whatever i wanted pretty much last time and he was really happy with the results so I was given free reign once again.

Last time I shot using the canon 6D dslr but this time I decided I wanted to shoot the entire film on super 8. A few professional mates were a little concerned in case I buggered it up, the cameras didn't work etc...was a little nervous myself but I knew it was really the only way the piece would work in what was a very stale room with bland light. I just got the 500T back from Gauge Film, who processed and transferred the film, and I am very happy with the results. I was always planning on using the spaghetti method of processing for the black and white though as I am pretty confident it will sit well alongside the cleaner 500T. IF processed well!

And so here I am to ask a few questions.

I have decided to go with the D76 method as I don't have a lot of time to do this and I don't mind the larger grain given that I want this footage to look rawer anyway. So my workflow was going to be as follows;

D76 at 20ºC
- not sure for how long though as I have seen people say 10 minutes, 8 minutes and 12 minutes??? Am thinking 10 minutes at 1:1 is what I will aim for, yay or nay?
Stop bath for 30 seconds - not sure whether to go for" Kodak Indictaor Stop Bath" or "Ilford Ilfostop" - does it matter which one? I know that a stop bath isn't essential but am going to try it this time around.
Fixer at 20ºC - have seen people say 5 minutes and others say 20 mins! Not sure what to go for or which particular fixer, "Ilford Rapid Fixer" at 5 mins is what i am thinking, 20 mins seems like a lot after looking at the Ilford documentation.
Wash for 20-30 mins with tap water - Do I have to run the film under the water the whole time? I assume not, I would imagine I can run it under the water for a few mins then soak it in the tank for a bit then run it under the water again.
Final wash with distilled water for 5 mins - I am perhaps a little reluctant to use Photo Flo as I like the dirty water marks etc...and don't want to get rid of them completely. Bad idea?

So that is the process I will be following. Any suggestions?

Final 2 things;

I didn't take the negative processing into consideration when shooting so will my film be a little underexposed? Should I adjust development time based on this?

Finally, my plan is to buy one of the plastic Paterson 8 (35mm) reel processing tanks and develop 2 reels of super 8 at once in that as opposed to in a bucket, will this be ok? Will the film get agitated enough? Will it get angry and depressed? :((

Thanks for reading this and any advice would be much appreciated.

Here is the previous film shot for the client for anyone interested and I'll make sure to post up the super 8 film once done.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prWPs3wIeTc

ta'
neil

woods01
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Re: Hand processing Tri-X as negative using D76 - Advice Wel

Post by woods01 » Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:20 pm

If you do a forum search you will find a lot more information on this topic. This PDF will be a great start too:

http://www.filmlabs.org/docs/toboldlygo.pdf

6 minutes in D-76 is all I do when I've shot the film for negative (1 stop over exposed). I do it at stock and don't dilute. I keep the chemistry at room temperature and not worry about being precise for B&W work. If you're developing colour then you need to be accurate in temperature. Since you need to push one stop, 8.5 minutes should do the trick. The rule of thumb I was taught is a 1-stop push is 1.4 times the normal developer time. However Kodak's published developing sheets say you should add 2 minutes for every stop you want to push. When in doubt about pushing, pull out a few feet and break it off and develop this test strip. Sacrificing a few seconds this way to be confident is well worth it over the sick feeling you will get when you ruin an entire roll because you were lazy and felt too precious about losing a couple feet to a test strip.

I just use water as a stop bath. Why spend more money and use more chemicals? I usually do two washes for 30 seconds. One is to stop the developing. The second is to give is to remove and traces amounts of developer so I don't cross contaminate the fix.

Fix. I usually do 6 minutes minimum. You can't over fix, so I tend to use this period to start cleaning up the workspace and often go overtime. If you want to be precise in the time, all you have to do is take a snip of undeveloped film, place it the fix and time how long it takes to clear. Double that and you've got the time it takes to fix but 6 minutes is a good safe amount. As you'd have to do that snip test for every time you use the fix to account for exhaustion.

Yes you want the wash to be under gentle stream of running water. You want to clean all the fix off your film or you will get horrible chemical spotting. You can I use Hypo Clear, its cheap and cuts down the wash time considerably. Or just leave the tap and have a beer to celebrate being almost done!

I also recommend using Pho Flo as your last step. Its just a 30 second step, and is a very cheap chemical. Its basically a mild detergent. But I feel my films are noticeably cleaner when I use it.

If you want nice clean film then you will have to track down a rare and expensive Lomo tank. If you start developing at home regularly they are well worth it! But for most people you will have to do it via the famous 'spaghetti' method. The typical plastic Patterson tank will be too small to manage 50ft of super 8, let alone 100ft! It will get all tangled and scratched by jamming it into such a small tank. People do due it but unless you want your film to badly scratched, you should try a bigger container. You will also find that by developing two rolls of super 8 at the same time will not save you any time! You will spend so much time untangling the two rolls that you will wish you'd developed them separately!

You don't need to have a light tight contatiner, just convert your bathroom into a darkroom with some towels. I advise you get some plastic buckets, I've found those 4L Ice Cream buckets to be a good size, but whatever you can find that is reasonable large and deep. Mix up your chemicals in 3.8L batches and fill the buckets up. And use your bathroom Get some quality gloves, and eye protection and an apron. If you have a fan in the bathroom that can help, or get a good mask, as the fumes can get to you over time. DO NOT put your bare hands in the chemistry! It won't kill you but your skin will absorb the chemistry and make you sick. I used to do it with bare hands all the time but I feel at this stage of life its not worth the risk!

Good luck!!!! Its scary the first time but, its really a simple process. Also don't stress about getting the times exact! You can be a few seconds over or under. B&W film is very resilient and easy to develop in imperfect conditions.

slashmaster
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Re: Hand processing Tri-X as negative using D76 - Advice Wel

Post by slashmaster » Mon Aug 03, 2015 5:40 am

woods01 wrote:If you do a forum search you will find a lot more information on this topic. This PDF will be a great start too:

http://www.filmlabs.org/docs/toboldlygo.pdf

6 minutes in D-76 is all I do when I've shot the film for negative (1 stop over exposed). I do it at stock and don't dilute. I keep the chemistry at room temperature and not worry about being precise for B&W work. If you're developing colour then you need to be accurate in temperature. Since you need to push one stop, 8.5 minutes should do the trick. The rule of thumb I was taught is a 1-stop push is 1.4 times the normal developer time. However Kodak's published developing sheets say you should add 2 minutes for every stop you want to push. When in doubt about pushing, pull out a few feet and break it off and develop this test strip. Sacrificing a few seconds this way to be confident is well worth it over the sick feeling you will get when you ruin an entire roll because you were lazy and felt too precious about losing a couple feet to a test strip.

I just use water as a stop bath. Why spend more money and use more chemicals? I usually do two washes for 30 seconds. One is to stop the developing. The second is to give is to remove and traces amounts of developer so I don't cross contaminate the fix.

Fix. I usually do 6 minutes minimum. You can't over fix, so I tend to use this period to start cleaning up the workspace and often go overtime. If you want to be precise in the time, all you have to do is take a snip of undeveloped film, place it the fix and time how long it takes to clear. Double that and you've got the time it takes to fix but 6 minutes is a good safe amount. As you'd have to do that snip test for every time you use the fix to account for exhaustion.

Yes you want the wash to be under gentle stream of running water. You want to clean all the fix off your film or you will get horrible chemical spotting. You can I use Hypo Clear, its cheap and cuts down the wash time considerably. Or just leave the tap and have a beer to celebrate being almost done!

I also recommend using Pho Flo as your last step. Its just a 30 second step, and is a very cheap chemical. Its basically a mild detergent. But I feel my films are noticeably cleaner when I use it.

If you want nice clean film then you will have to track down a rare and expensive Lomo tank. If you start developing at home regularly they are well worth it! But for most people you will have to do it via the famous 'spaghetti' method. The typical plastic Patterson tank will be too small to manage 50ft of super 8, let alone 100ft! It will get all tangled and scratched by jamming it into such a small tank. People do due it but unless you want your film to badly scratched, you should try a bigger container. You will also find that by developing two rolls of super 8 at the same time will not save you any time! You will spend so much time untangling the two rolls that you will wish you'd developed them separately!

You don't need to have a light tight contatiner, just convert your bathroom into a darkroom with some towels. I advise you get some plastic buckets, I've found those 4L Ice Cream buckets to be a good size, but whatever you can find that is reasonable large and deep. Mix up your chemicals in 3.8L batches and fill the buckets up. And use your bathroom Get some quality gloves, and eye protection and an apron. If you have a fan in the bathroom that can help, or get a good mask, as the fumes can get to you over time. DO NOT put your bare hands in the chemistry! It won't kill you but your skin will absorb the chemistry and make you sick. I used to do it with bare hands all the time but I feel at this stage of life its not worth the risk!

Good luck!!!! Its scary the first time but, its really a simple process. Also don't stress about getting the times exact! You can be a few seconds over or under. B&W film is very resilient and easy to develop in imperfect conditions.

I plan to try processing a tri-x cartridge myself but want to do it as a positive. Is Potassium Dichomate bleach a good idea? If not what would you recomend?

nrk13
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Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:34 pm
Real name: neil kerr

Re: Hand processing Tri-X as negative using D76 - Advice Wel

Post by nrk13 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:58 am

woods01 wrote: Good luck!!!! Its scary the first time but, its really a simple process. Also don't stress about getting the times exact! You can be a few seconds over or under. B&W film is very resilient and easy to develop in imperfect conditions.
Thanks so much for that, much appreciated. I was a bit concerned about stuffing the reels into those 35mm tanks and they looked so narrow so am going to take your advice and process in buckets instead. I am quite keen to have the film a little damaged as I want a raw aesthetic and so will perhaps agitate the film a bit more so in the buckets.

Is there any particular fixer that you would recommend from this supplier? I assume it's not so big a deal as to which one I get, was going to probably go for the Ilford Rapid Fixer.

Will pick up some Hypo Clear seeing as its so cheap.

One thing I hadn't considered was getting the film back onto a reel once developed, is this simple enough? Will I have to buy a few new empty reels or can it go back on the reel from the original cart?

Thanks again for taking the time to respond!

woods01
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Location: Vancouver

Re: Hand processing Tri-X as negative using D76 - Advice Wel

Post by woods01 » Tue Aug 04, 2015 3:41 pm

Yes Slashmaster, the R9 bleach is the what I use. I have tried an organic bleach popular with the 'caffenol' crowd. Which IIRC used lime juice. However, you needed a lot of supplies, and exhausted very quickly, so it wasn't very cost/time effective. The pottasium dichromate is a carcenogen. So wear a mask and mix it outdoors and keep the raw chemicals stored safely!

Nrk13, you will need an empty reel to wind your film back on, try eBay or a film supplier like Urbanksi. I normally use the Kodak fixer, but have used Ilford's in the past. Buy whatever's cheapest/most accessible.

200ft of 16mm or 400 ft of super 8 per 1 litre of developer, is what I've used for determining how much film I can process with a batch of chemistry. As a I mentioned in the first post, I suggest you mix a lot of chemistry so its easy to bucket process the whole cartridge in 50' lengths, but you can develop the film with smaller amounts, you just have to agitate very aggressively and be content with scratching or uneven results that you will get. Or just develop shorter strands off the cartridge.

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wahiba
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Re: Hand processing Tri-X as negative using D76 - Advice Wel

Post by wahiba » Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:36 pm

You could try these alternative methods: from my link below.

http://8mmovies.yolasite.com/processing-equipment.php
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