Could use a little help processing film as reversal.

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Could use a little help processing film as reversal.

Post by slashmaster » Sat Jun 04, 2016 6:52 am

Went to an aquarium with a tri-x cartridge and canon with f 1.2 lens. Aquariums are generally dark, but thought if I filmed at 9 fps at f 1.2 it would work. When I got home I put about 10 feet in a lomo tank, processed as a negative in d-76 for 5 minutes, rinsed then fixer 7 minutes. It worked great but was just slightly inconsistent. So I put about 15 more feet in and processed 5 minutes with fixer for 7 and tried to be more consistent about stirring it. Came out slightly better! So I put the rest of the cartridge in the lomo and tried doing it as reversal. Did d-76 slightly over 5 minutes, rinsed, put in Potasium Dichromat bleach for 7 minutes, rinsed, clearing bath for well over 2 minutes, rinsed, d-76 again for 5 minutes, rinsed, then fixed. It came out way too dark! What should I try different? 1st developer should be longer 2nd developer shorter?

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Re: Could use a little help processing film as reversal.

Post by Mmechanic » Sat Jun 04, 2016 9:33 am

From your description I understand that you don’t employ enough agitation. Consistency and repeatability come only with constant agitation.

If you really want to improve on your processing, say goodbye to closely nesting tanks. Wider troughs is what you want, cheap plastic containers.

Something like that
water trough.jpg
With panchromatic films you’ll have to work in the dark. Rubber gloves. The reward will be best processing, flexibility, and precision down to the second. Once you have done it that way I am sure you’ll never want to go back to a closed tank.

Eight troughs will do to develop, stop (acetic acid, 2% bath, 30 seconds), bleach, clear, rinse-expose, fix, and wash in two steps. First wash with a shot of citric acid, second wash water only. Develop a little longer (at 20 °C), say 8 min., bleach a little shorter, five minutes is enough, clear with a bath of sodium sulfite, expose to diffuse incandescent light under water (the film, not the bulb :ymsmug: ). Last tip I can give: rinse-and-exposure bath before fixing with a little boric acid. This will lower the pH and help fixation. Boric acid does not decompose fixing baths, most other acids do.
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Re: Could use a little help processing film as reversal.

Post by slashmaster » Sat Jun 04, 2016 7:59 pm

Mmechanic wrote:From your description I understand that you don’t employ enough agitation. Consistency and repeatability come only with constant agitation.

If you really want to improve on your processing, say goodbye to closely nesting tanks. Wider troughs is what you want, cheap plastic containers.

Something like that
water trough.jpg
With panchromatic films you’ll have to work in the dark. Rubber gloves. The reward will be best processing, flexibility, and precision down to the second. Once you have done it that way I am sure you’ll never want to go back to a closed tank.

Eight troughs will do to develop, stop (acetic acid, 2% bath, 30 seconds), bleach, clear, rinse-expose, fix, and wash in two steps. First wash with a shot of citric acid, second wash water only. Develop a little longer (at 20 °C), say 8 min., bleach a little shorter, five minutes is enough, clear with a bath of sodium sulfite, expose to diffuse incandescent light under water (the film, not the bulb :ymsmug: ). Last tip I can give: rinse-and-exposure bath before fixing with a little boric acid. This will lower the pH and help fixation. Boric acid does not decompose fixing baths, most other acids do.
Thanks Mmechanic!... Yeah, I've tried your method of troughs before while doing it as a negative. Works great! Last night were my first 2 attempts ever trying to do it as reversal. I'll try the troughs once I can get the brightness and contrast right. So 8 troughs? I guess you don't do this in your bathtub like I do? So after you rinse-expose do you put it back in your developer trough a second time for a few minutes? Is there a youtube or vimeo I can see of a film you did this way?

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Re: Could use a little help processing film as reversal.

Post by slashmaster » Sun Jun 05, 2016 12:49 am

Oh yeah, one more thing. After playing my first 2 attempts at trying to do reversal, it seems they're not really too dark but the contrast is terrible! Does this mean I didn't do a very good job mixing the bleach? I put about 35 milliliters of battery acid from Auto Zone and 15 grams of potassium dichromate in a 1.75 liter bottle full of distilled water. Is this too weak?

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Re: Could use a little help processing film as reversal.

Post by Mmechanic » Mon Jun 06, 2016 10:38 am

How to answer?

Battery acid of what concentration? 38 %, 97 %?

How can you put battery acid into a bottle full of water?
Joking

A 2-percent bath is good, that would be 20 ml of 97-percent acid and 20 g of potassium dichromate per liter volume.
Start with 800 ml, slowly pour in the acid, stir, add the dichromate, dissolve, and replenish with water to 1000 ml. Or multiples of that
Constant agitation, five minutes at 20 °C

Poor contrast may be due to exhausted or oxidized developer.

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Re: Could use a little help processing film as reversal.

Post by richard p. t. » Mon Jun 06, 2016 5:00 pm

Hi there
The issue is the developer you are using. D76 is too low contrast for developer. The usual developer used for home processing of reversal black and white is d19.
The Kodak specified developer is d94a. You can get away with dektol for 4 min at about 21 degrees c.
I run Nano Lab - Australia's super8 ektachrome processing service
- visit nanolab.com.au
richard@nanolab.com.au

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Re: Could use a little help processing film as reversal.

Post by slashmaster » Tue Jun 07, 2016 12:25 am

Mmechanic wrote:How to answer?

Battery acid of what concentration? 38 %, 97 %?

How can you put battery acid into a bottle full of water?
Joking

A 2-percent bath is good, that would be 20 ml of 97-percent acid and 20 g of potassium dichromate per liter volume.
Start with 800 ml, slowly pour in the acid, stir, add the dichromate, dissolve, and replenish with water to 1000 ml. Or multiples of that
Constant agitation, five minutes at 20 °C

Poor contrast may be due to exhausted or oxidized developer.
Thanks Mmechanic!.. Not sure what concentration it is. I just know I got it at Autozone and used it as if it were full concentration. Going to have to check later. Guess I should add a lot more potassium dichromate! I can compensate for a weak solution by leaving the film in longer can't I?

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Re: Could use a little help processing film as reversal.

Post by slashmaster » Tue Jun 07, 2016 12:50 am

richard p. t. wrote:Hi there
The issue is the developer you are using. D76 is too low contrast for developer. The usual developer used for home processing of reversal black and white is d19.
The Kodak specified developer is d94a. You can get away with dektol for 4 min at about 21 degrees c.
Thanks Richard! Was just trying to look up where to get one of those. Could not find where to get d94a. I found this d19 for $25. Did it use to be cheaper but the price is going up because they don't make it now? http://www.ebay.com/itm/KODAK-D-19-B-W- ... SwVcFXOmhN

The dektol you're talking about is paper developer like this right? http://www.ebay.com/itm/Kodak-Dektol-B- ... Sw5dNWqkQx

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Re: Could use a little help processing film as reversal.

Post by richard p. t. » Tue Jun 07, 2016 1:03 am

Yes that's d19. Since Kodak stopped making it most people who use it now mix their own. It's cheap and easy to mix your own. Yes dektol is a paper dev. It's only advantage for reversal processing is that it is available prepackaged. Otherwise it is less than optimal. You can't get d94a prepackaged except on huge kits for machine processing. Again you mix it yourself. But for tank processing you can't go past d19 (or d67 which is the same formula but with 2g potassium thiocyanate per litre added and used as the first developer only)
Lomo tanks are fantastic for reversal processing
I run Nano Lab - Australia's super8 ektachrome processing service
- visit nanolab.com.au
richard@nanolab.com.au

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Re: Could use a little help processing film as reversal.

Post by slashmaster » Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:16 am

richard p. t. wrote:Yes that's d19. Since Kodak stopped making it most people who use it now mix their own. It's cheap and easy to mix your own. Yes dektol is a paper dev. It's only advantage for reversal processing is that it is available prepackaged. Otherwise it is less than optimal. You can't get d94a prepackaged except on huge kits for machine processing. Again you mix it yourself. But for tank processing you can't go past d19 (or d67 which is the same formula but with 2g potassium thiocyanate per litre added and used as the first developer only)
Lomo tanks are fantastic for reversal processing
Thanks Richard!.. After attempting to process my own films in a Lomo, I'm very curious about pro machines like what you must have? I know that pro labs splice a bunch of films together in the dark and run them through all at once. How many do you like to do at a time? What kind of machine do you have? What's it's maximum reel capacity?

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Re: Could use a little help processing film as reversal.

Post by doug » Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:01 am

Mmechanic, is using 8 tanks imperative ? I too would like the consistency of open tank processing, and probably others here too. But would it not be simpler and space-saving to use one tank ? With a tap or something to drain off the chemicals each time ? Or does this act make it less good. In the old days they used to sell open tanks but they never seem to appear for sale now. Maybe all chucked away on landfill sites =p~
Doug
www.filmisfine.co

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Re: Could use a little help processing film as reversal.

Post by Mmechanic » Tue Jun 07, 2016 10:36 pm

You can press it down to six: developer, stop, bleach, clear-second exposure, fix, water. Blackening or second development in the first bath

You lose time and control over agitation with draining and that is just the point of prepared baths. A film portion gets immersed as a whole in a second, the entire surface. I take the spiral reel out a bath about ten seconds before it’s time, let it drip, then move it over to the next bath and more or less push it under water or dip it on the swing of the seconds hand of my darkroom timer.

Image

It may sound a little silly or exaggerated but it is my best practice. A couple seconds means less over eight to ten minutes or longer but a black-and-white positive print can call for as short a developing time as three minutes. I used to pull-process special duplicating stocks at under two minutes. Consistent times, on the second, give me quiet conscience. Together with the formula booklet where I record each preparation in and with the temperature of the developer measured right prior to turning off the light I have repeatable processes. To determine exactly what went wrong in case something goes wrong I co-process a grey scale strip. The strips I make in series on the printer equipped with Memochrome, the most modern printer light control system. Its accuracy lies within 1/10,000 of a stop. Madness, isn’t it?

One can find a way of shunting tubs. If you can shelve one or place one under the table, covered against dust, you’re already better off. By the way, when not in use, put a plastic flower pot saucer afloat plus a lid. Oxidation can be greatly slowed down by that.

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Re: Could use a little help processing film as reversal.

Post by slashmaster » Thu Jun 09, 2016 4:45 am

Mmechanic wrote:You can press it down to six: developer, stop, bleach, clear-second exposure, fix, water. Blackening or second development in the first bath

You lose time and control over agitation with draining and that is just the point of prepared baths. A film portion gets immersed as a whole in a second, the entire surface. I take the spiral reel out a bath about ten seconds before it’s time, let it drip, then move it over to the next bath and more or less push it under water or dip it on the swing of the seconds hand of my darkroom timer.

Image

It may sound a little silly or exaggerated but it is my best practice. A couple seconds means less over eight to ten minutes or longer but a black-and-white positive print can call for as short a developing time as three minutes. I used to pull-process special duplicating stocks at under two minutes. Consistent times, on the second, give me quiet conscience. Together with the formula booklet where I record each preparation in and with the temperature of the developer measured right prior to turning off the light I have repeatable processes. To determine exactly what went wrong in case something goes wrong I co-process a grey scale strip. The strips I make in series on the printer equipped with Memochrome, the most modern printer light control system. Its accuracy lies within 1/10,000 of a stop. Madness, isn’t it?

One can find a way of shunting tubs. If you can shelve one or place one under the table, covered against dust, you’re already better off. By the way, when not in use, put a plastic flower pot saucer afloat plus a lid. Oxidation can be greatly slowed down by that.
Nice! So you don't return the fluids to bottles for longer term storage but just use lids for your tubs? When I do the tub method I worry about the cracks around the bathroom door letting in a little light, or the shower curtain that seems to very slightly glow in the dark. Do you ever have problems like that?

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Re: Could use a little help processing film as reversal.

Post by Mmechanic » Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:35 am

Did I have light leak problems? The first darkroom I had was horrible. Draught, mineral dust from the sculptor neighbour, tiny sun beams. Found I had to smear up the window. A glowing shower curtain I never had.

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Re: Could use a little help processing film as reversal.

Post by aj » Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:20 am

slashmaster wrote:
Nice! So you don't return the fluids to bottles for longer term storage but just use lids for your tubs? When I do the tub method I worry about the cracks around the bathroom door letting in a little light, or the shower curtain that seems to very slightly glow in the dark. Do you ever have problems like that?
Storage in dark colored glass bottles is way to preferred. Especially when working on amateur scale when processing interval more likely is weeks rather than single days.
Kind regards,

André

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