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ECN or ECP with a LOMO tank?


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#1 Richard Tuohy

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 04:39 AM

I would like to try some colour neg developing in a Lomo tank. I know that removing the remjet backing is one issue. But is it even possible to get the chemistry? Does ECP (for colour print stock developing) have a remjet backing? Are C41 kits a possibility with appropriate augmentation?
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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#2 dd3stp233

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 09:29 AM

It is possible to order from Kodak, ECN chemicals, but only in large quantities like enough for a 100 gallons. C41 chemisty is fairly close to the ECN process. I've developed ECN motion picture film with C41 with good results. Since the chemistry is slightly different, the results may not be exaltly as they should. The remjet removal is the only real problem. There is a recipe on the net to remove it easily. Otherwise you could just use some Borax and water mixed and a sponge to rub it off.
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#3 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 12:21 PM

All the current Kodak and Fuji motion picture color negative camera films have a carbon-black rem-jet backing to provide anti-halation and anti-static properties. The rem-jet needs to be removed prior to the developer, or it will contaminate the developer with particles of rem-jet that can get permanently reattached to the film causing white "shadow images" of the particles. The normal ECN-2 process has an alkaline prebath and water wash-off with buffing to remove the rem-jet before the film enters the developer.

The C-41 process does NOT have a rem-jet removal step, so the rem-jet will need to be removed as a separate step prior to the process, or the rem-jet will contaminate the process.

Although the C-41 process will produce an image, do NOT expect normal sensitometry (speed or tone scale) or normal color reproduction. The C-41 process uses a different developer formulation that WILL give different results than ECN-2. It even uses a different color developing agent (CD-4) than ECN-2 (CD-3), so even the dyes formed will be different.

Current color print films are all on polyester base, and no longer use rem-jet, so there is no prebath or rem-jet removal step required in the ECP-2D process. The developer is much more active, and uses CD-2 as the developing agent.

Here are the processing specifications:

http://www.kodak.com....4.5.16.8&lc=en

Here is the "kit chemistry" used by smaller labs:

http://www.kodak.com...4.11.6.10&lc=en

http://www.kodak.com...=0.1.4.26&lc=en
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#4 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 09:18 PM

Since the chemistry is slightly different, the results may not be exaltly as they should. The remjet removal is the only real problem. There is a recipe on the net to remove it easily. Otherwise you could just use some Borax and water mixed and a sponge to rub it off.


The formulas are available in the links that John has posted, You can mix the chemicals from scratch for the developer and Bleach. The developer is he most obviously different, but the bleach used to give problems when I tried this about 20 years ago, (for the still camera). The C-41 bleach was sometimes not strong enough to fully oxidise the cyan Dye of all things. Some of the "hot dog" experimenters would sugest using a e-6 bleach, others just mixed up the OLDER and no longer politicaly correct fericyanide Bleach. (made iwth Potassium Ferricyanide )

I am not sure if you can get the REm-jet off BEFORE processing and still get the film in the LOMO tank. If you leave it, you will hav eto use the developer "one-shot" which might not be a bad idea for anything done in the Lomo Tank. (it is SO different than the continuos processors that the chemicals are speced for.

http://www.jdphotochem.com/
is one place that sells small quanities of raw photo chemicals needed to mix the Kodak Formuals. They list both CD-3 and CD-4 for example. You can also try Photographers Formulary in the states.

I would suspect that your lab may have trouble making final prints that are technicaly correct, but you can probaly pull in better colour than some of the deliberatly distorted - cross processed stuff that you see in Music Videos often. (better being in the eye of the beholder.

DO be sure to get that rem-jet off The film while it is still wet.

Depending on what you want, it might be simpler to play with some E-6 film first. to avoid the rem jet and to get something that you can buy in (Small) Kit form. The folks I mentioned abouve sell half-liter E-6 Kits for example.


I am of course asuming that you have been sucessful in processing some black and white in the lomo.
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#5 Richard Tuohy

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 04:42 AM

Many thanks all for that!
Yes I get good results with B/W and E6 in Lomo tanks. I am in the process of buying a 16mm contact printer (this sort of equipment is cheap nowdays!) and am exploring my options. Cerainly I can neg/pos black and white with it. Perhaps I can avoid the rem-jet issue by getting my camera stock processed at a colour lab, but contact printing onto pos film (which is cheaper than camera film) to my hearts content and process with CD-2 mixed from scratch if I can. Given e6 is fairly cheap and easy, the primary advantage for me in considering neg/pos is that colour neg short ends and recans are considerably more available, and that print stock is cheaper than using reversal 100d for prints.
Cheers!
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#6 Paul Bruening

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 12:17 AM

Hello Folks,

I am compelled to ask: What is the cost differential in lab processing and self processing. I ran an old B & H, B & W, 16mm processor back in college. It was cheaper than a lab per foot but results where dubious on the best of days. It didn't matter since this was only the football team's practice footage.

When quality counts is the savings so great that anyone should do their own processing? I mean, other than for s**ts and giggles?
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#7 Richard Tuohy

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 05:08 AM

Hello Folks,

I am compelled to ask: What is the cost differential in lab processing and self processing. I ran an old B & H, B & W, 16mm processor back in college. It was cheaper than a lab per foot but results where dubious on the best of days. It didn't matter since this was only the football team's practice footage.

When quality counts is the savings so great that anyone should do their own processing? I mean, other than for s**ts and giggles?



There is ofcourse a simple anser to that: it depends!

If film stock and lab costs are only a component of a total budget for a moderate sized film, then no.
If one is making a no budget narrative but still using film and other people's time and locations and you still want to own your house at the end of it then perhaps, or perhaps not.
If making abstract/experimental films on one's own and you are capable of home developing, then yes, especially if you have an artists usual level of income!
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#8 dd3stp233

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 05:54 AM

Achieving profesional results with hand developing is matter of how much skill the person has that is doing the processing. Most professional fine art photographers develop and print their own film, why is so unprofessional to do the same in cinema. For black and white home processing, there are other benefits to doing it by hand. Number one is choice of developers. Labs only use one developer, no choices. There are literally hundreds of developer recipes out there. Some are more modern and superior to the one used in labs. Also with the choice of developers any type of result can be produced. Such as, highering or lowering of contrast, different tonal gradations, multi-bath developers, bringing out shadow details, pushing or pulling film beyond what a lab will do and the overall look and developing properties that each developer produces. I would think that a really good cinematographer would do his/her own processing to make the film exactly the way they want. This is something that I think many cinematographers do not know about, a major part of the way a film negative looks is dependant on the processing. Manipulations of the formula (even in color) changes the final result and no labs even do this. (Other then simple stuff like skip bleach) There is an entire art and science to the processing of film. For black and white it dates back 150 years or so and a modern lab only does it one way. I personally can get superior results developing film myself, for about 2% of what a lab charges for developing. And all the effects that they can't do for free.
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#9 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 07:00 AM

Labs only use one developer, no choices.


Not quite true. Many labs run both a D96 (negative) and D97 (print) process for B&W. And developer time is usually adjustable. And for color, there's always push/pull processing, and various forms of deliberate silver retention.

But yes, if you "soup" it yourself, you have almost infinite choices.
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#10 dd3stp233

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 08:32 AM

Yes, I meant only one developer for negative developing. I guess most people trust labs, I don't. You never know if their chemicals are fresh. Many times they are not. They are business so alot of the time they may be streching them at least a bit, depending on the lab. They may not even know if chemicals go a little weak, oxidation rates in chemicals are not exact. They may test but they don't after every roll. Many times your color negatives may look a little flat, in color rendition, may mean the developer is not quite right. I've had really horrible experiences of them losing or ruining irreplacable film that I've shot. No one will care more about your film then you. I've taken identically shot film of the same stock to the same lab but at different times and gotten completely different results back. Have you not noticed that labs have in their forms that you will not hold them liable for losing or damaging your film in their labs except to the extent of replacing the raw stock? That means they could anything to your film and not be held responsible. Doesn't matter how much it cost you to shoot it. I know that it isn't realistically financially possible for them to be liable. Guess it is really a matter of trust.
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#11 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 08:55 AM

Good labs run rigorous control of both chemistry and sensitometry, based on the specifications published by Kodak:

http://www.kodak.com.../h241/h2401.pdf

The variability is probably much less than most home/hobby processors can achieve.
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#12 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 01:10 PM

I am curious how people that develop motion picture film at home dry 100 ft. lengths without scratches, etc.
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#13 K Borowski

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 02:12 PM

I am curious how people that develop motion picture film at home dry 100 ft. lengths without scratches, etc.


The answer is: not easily! :lol: I have done some processing in a B&W rewind tank, a morse, for camera tests and some old B&W home movies I shot back in the day. I will just throw it around a line strung across the room in the basement, or across a shower curtain rail in the bathroom. Now that is just for tests. I will get a few emulsion pulls and scratches in some spots of the film, but since it's just for testing that really isn't important. For critical applications, you have to be very careful of dust, and 100 feet will drive you crazy trying to hang it on a rung with only the base of the film touching the surface so as not to damage the soft emulsion. Martin Baumgarten, the Super8 authority in the US, does a lot of processing by hand, although he's mostly doing 25 foot lengths of DR8 (16mm film) and 50 foot lengths of S8. He has a sort of rotating rack that is a much smaller version of the professional driers used in the olden days by MP labs for drying. It's basically a rotating runged hollow cylinder. You tape the film on at one end, still in the processing reel so you don't have to deal with a 100 foot pile on the floor. THen it is slowly wrapped, emulsion facing outwards, onto this cylindrical rack. Once you reach the end of the roll, you tape the film at the other end to keep it from sliding off and leave it to dry for a few hours.

Regards.

Karl Borowski
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#14 Richard Tuohy

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 06:58 PM

[ He has a sort of rotating rack that is a much smaller version of the professional driers used in the olden days by MP labs for drying. It's basically a rotating runged hollow cylinder. You tape the film on at one end, still in the processing reel so you don't have to deal with a 100 foot pile on the floor. THen it is slowly wrapped, emulsion facing outwards, onto this cylindrical rack. Once you reach the end of the roll, you tape the film at the other end to keep it from sliding off and leave it to dry for a few hours.
[/quote]

Yes this is what I do too. Actually I haven't found it a problem as long as the emulsion is facing out. Build yourself a drying rack. You can make the ends out of ply wood cut in a circle with a jigsaw. I used 1/2 inch dowling (wooden rod) for the central axis, and 9 bits of 1/4inch dowling for the rungs. These are spaced evenly around the ply wood disks at each end. I sanded and varnished the dowling so as to stop the rack absorbing liquid. Do something like that, its easy and dust is not that big an issue. You really should lubricate your film before projection however.
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#15 dd3stp233

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 10:15 PM

Spiral reels are the best for home processing, basically a larger version of what pro-photographers use to develop roll film. Rewinds processors do not achieve as professional results. Wear gloves to avoid scratches and fingerprints, basic film handling techniques. Film hangers from editing trim bins work great. Two hung in a row, easily hold 100 ft of film without the film touching. Most modern films, the emulsion is prehardend. Also John's reply from Kodak, I've had Kodak's lab lose my still film and a negative to be enlarged was destroyed, that is actually why I started developing my own film.
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#16 Sam Wells

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 11:11 AM

Yes, I meant only one developer for negative developing. I guess most people trust labs, I don't. You never know if their chemicals are fresh. Many times they are not. They are business so alot of the time they may be streching them at least a bit, depending on the lab. They may not even know if chemicals go a little weak, oxidation rates in chemicals are not exact. They may test but they don't after every roll.


I'm all for DIY and going off the rails, but... I do trust the labs I work with and can get *very* predictable results.

I'm curious, what do you find lacking in ECN processing ? True I routinely push EXR and Vision stocks one stop, not for speed but for preference, so I'm not 100% By The Book (altho this is hardly radical !)

Also curious, what would you do differently, say if you were developing your own Portra ?

You do have to realize motion picture labs are runninf continuous run processors and thousands of feet of film daily.... it's the nature of the beast, and I'm not sure you can fault them for that per se.


-Sam
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#17 Paul Bruening

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 05:01 PM

Okay. Let's say the transport, tanks, speeds, temp, replenishment and squeegie issues could be solved by home widgetry. What is the cost differential per foot of doing the job yourself compared to a lab at $0.19 per foot?
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#18 Luke Prendergast

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 08:31 PM

the cost differential per foot of doing the job yourself compared to a lab at


Including time.
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