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I'm off to California to pick up my machines.


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#1 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 11:42 PM

I got them and I'm off to California to pick them up, my new 35mm film processor and contact step printer!!! I am completely JAZZED. These machines when used in conjuction w/ my 2 KEM flatbeds should allow me to come close to completeing my 35mm post workflow setup. We are close to being able to shoot, process, print and edit basic 35mm all in-house! The other great thing (for me at least) is the closest processing lab to us is in Denver! There is nothing in this area! Are there any good sites on film pocessing out there (this site has been of great help and I hope to learn all I can about processingas well) ? What is reqired to create an optical sound track? That's one of the last peices I have to get to complete post. Titles and CG are still beyond us, we can create them but will have to send them out to be transfered to film. The same with the sound track at this point. But we're getting closer! To quote Homer Simpson WOOHOO!!!! :D
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#2 Dominic Case

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 12:48 AM

THe Kodak site is the best source of all the standard information on processing - the H24 manuals give you tech details to the ultimate degree.

If you find a copy of my 1985 book "Motion Picture Film Processing" (Media Manuals from Focal Press), you will find that not much is out of date since then. Only it's been out of print for a few years now, so you'll have to search. It covers lots more than just processing. - even extending to optical soundtracks.
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#3 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 09:51 AM

Here are links to Kodak processing information:

http://www.kodak.com....1.4.15.6&lc=en

http://www.kodak.com....1.4.15.4&lc=en

And processing chemicals:

http://www.kodak.com....1.6.6.10&lc=en

And motion picture services:

http://www.kodak.com...=0.1.4.32&lc=en

Don't forget you must meet environmental regulations:

http://www.kodak.com...d=0.1.4.5&lc=en

http://www.kodak.com...pq-locale=en_US

Just a word of caution that most continuous processing machines designed for motion picture films require considerable film to maintain a steady "seasoned" state with good replenishment. If you don't run at least a few hours per week, you will end up running in a "batch" mode, and find you are discarding solutions because they are not being replenished at a high enough rate to attain a stable process.

For optical soundtracks, you will need a sound recorder, and a B&W processing machine. Often done by companies specializing in sound negatives, like NT Audio:

http://www.ntaudio.c...o_overview.html

Even printing optical soundtracks requires precise control of exposure, using established methods to measure "cross modulation distortion":

http://www.kodak.com....1.4.15.8&lc=en

http://www.kodak.com....4.15.8.4&lc=en

http://www.kodak.com...ort/h44/h44.pdf
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#4 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 01:57 AM

Thanks, John :D These links will be great and Dominic, I will definately check out your book if I can find a copy, thanks ;) .
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#5 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 07:58 PM

If you find a copy of my 1985 book "Motion Picture Film Processing" (Media Manuals from Focal Press), you will find that not much is out of date since then. Only it's been out of print for a few years now, so you'll have to search. It covers lots more than just processing. - even extending to optical soundtracks.

Thnaks Dominiic, Good old ABEbooks has several copies listed, ( <A HREF="http://www.ABEbooks....Ebooks.com/</A> )

I will be expecting the postman to be bringing one from California to suburban Ottawa in a few weeks. Looking forward to learning from your wisdom.

Edited by Charles, 26 May 2006 - 08:00 PM.

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#6 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 07:53 PM

After a gruelling drive, I"M BACk w/my beautiful machines! The next step is to set up m small film lab and darkroom w/ my editing equipment nearby. I was wondering if anyone had any advice on setting the film lab and darkroom up and on the storage of the chemecals? I'm sure theres a lot about this on the Kodak website but I was also interested in any personal tips anyone might have. It's hot here and there's a lott of blowing dust. (That's what I get for living in the damn desert) Any advice on keeping things clean and dustfree would also be greatly appreciated. Thanks-The Captain B)
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#7 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 08:16 PM

It's hot here and there's a lott of blowing dust. (That's what I get for living in the damn desert) Any advice on keeping things clean and dustfree would also be greatly appreciated. Thanks-The Captain B)


In the electronics industry they have sensitive processes in a room with the air presure slightly higer than the outside. They then have HEPA filters in the incoming air, (although you may be able to get away with the 3M Filitrite http://www.3m.com/filtrete units)

A central vac is good for removing dust in the first place.

Your processors should have filters in the recirulation system to remove particles that get into the solutions. Hope that you water supply is adiquate to run the machines in the desert. Particularly older machines tend ot use a lot of wash water. Konica used ot make a c41 process with an "superstabiliser" to avoid wash water use, but I don't think any one ever extended the concept to #ECN2 or ECP2 and of course Konica is withdrawn from the Photographic business having closed their Film and papermaking and sold their digital camera business to Sony.
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#8 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 11:27 AM

Again, much information in the Kodak H-24 processing manuals:

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

Don't forget that you need to meet all the environmental regulations:

http://www.kodak.com...d=0.1.4.5&lc=en

http://www.kodak.com...pq-locale=en_US

Water supply can be an issue, not only for sediment and solid particulates, but also chemical purity (e.g., high levels of iron, calcium, sulfides, etc. need to be addressed).

In a dusty environment, it is especially important that the air supplied to all film handling areas be filtered. Fortunately, HEPA filters are readily available that filter out over 99% of particles as small as 1 micrometer.

Remember, projecting a 35mm film on a 60-foot wide theatre screen requires 873X magnification. So a 10 micrometer dirt particle on the film is magnified to about 9 millimeters on the screen.
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#9 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 04:13 AM

John, would you recommend filtering the water before running it through the machine? I'm sure they make some kind of highflow water filter that will screw onto the hose bib that connects to the machine. We don't have(at least I haven't seen any) noticable particles in the water here however, as to the mineral content, that's a more iffy issue. A lot of our water comes from the watertable, so it seems to be a bit hsrder than some other places. Will this dramatically effect processing results? also, what is the shelf life on these chemicals? The guy I bought this thing fro said the liquid chemicals had a shelf life the was somewhat limited but the dry chemical would last for quite a while, also how does the heat effect the chemicals? Should I bring them home and store them where the climate is controlled? He also told me the temp of the soulutions were critical, The unit has heaters for each individual bath and are adjusted to within a 10th of degree, the problem is the temp for most of the baths are 80 deg. It's over 100 and can get up to 115! I'm a little concerned because on very hot days the type of cooling systems we use generally will only drop the temp 20 to 25 deg. It's looking more and more like I'll have to enclose the machine in a special room and climate control the area.

Edited by Capt.Video, 06 June 2006 - 04:16 AM.

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#10 bridgett roh

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 08:08 AM

hi, may i suggest you use only kodaks kit chemistry, you will find it so much easier to store and handle, your only real concern with chemistry life will be only your colour developer the others are not so critical, also you will have to house you machine in an air con enviroment definitely. just be aware there is more to ecn processing than just what written in the kodak book. glad to be of any help.
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#11 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 02:23 PM

I appreciate that Bridgett. No Doubt, I'll be asking a LOT of questions when I start using this thing. The total amount of information I DON'T know about film proccessing would fill a library. Any support in this area is GREATLY appreciated. Thanks-The Captain B)
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#12 Clive Tobin

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 11:36 PM

...I was wondering if anyone had any advice on setting the film lab and darkroom up and on the storage of the chemecals? ...


There are a couple of thoughts I have:
1. The simplest place to have the mixed replenisher solutions located is elevated, such as up on a higher floor of the building. That way you can replenish by just opening a pinch valve or some such. The contrary opinion is to have them in the basement and pump them upstairs. That way if you have a leak the processing area won't get flooded with chemicals, but this requires a lot more trouble-prone hardware.

2. Color developers go bad very quickly. The higher the temperature the faster they spoil. Floating lids will help. Hint: if the solution is black, it isn't a developer any more! :-) Most other solutions will work for a longer time. I can't quote exact times since it has been 22 years now since I worked in a lab.

3. Have tile walls. floor and ceiling so you can wash the place down. Color developer fumes will turn everything brown unless you wash it off from time to time. (Ah, the glamor of having a film lab!)
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#13 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 11:43 PM

Clive, would you recommend refrigerating color developer?
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#14 beanpat

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 12:30 AM

I got them and I'm off to California to pick them up, my new 35mm film processor and contact step printer!!! I am completely JAZZED. These machines when used in conjuction w/ my 2 KEM flatbeds should allow me to come close to completeing my 35mm post workflow setup. We are close to being able to shoot, process, print and edit basic 35mm all in-house! The other great thing (for me at least) is the closest processing lab to us is in Denver! There is nothing in this area! Are there any good sites on film pocessing out there (this site has been of great help and I hope to learn all I can about processingas well) ? What is reqired to create an optical sound track? That's one of the last peices I have to get to complete post. Titles and CG are still beyond us, we can create them but will have to send them out to be transfered to film. The same with the sound track at this point. But we're getting closer! To quote Homer Simpson WOOHOO!!!! :D


I can offer some tips from my experience with 16mm microfilm processors. I used to maintain and repair these at a data center. the machine was originally designed for color movie film, but works basically the same. having to work on this thing wich ran pretty much 24/7 I'll give you some things to watch for. I don't know how much is assembled already on your setup but if the circulation pumps for each tank still need to be plumbed, make shure you have valves on the in and out ports of each tank and couplings to the punp so that you can easily remove each pump for cleaning or repairing it. also make shure all your fittings are very neat and glued properly. the smallest leak will case a large mess. most of the chemicals will not simply drip to the floor but cause a large crusty build up around anything that leaks. setup your machine so that all the pumps and other plumbing are over a large troughf so you can easily hose down everything and let the water run into the drain. the most maintenance I did consisted of cleaning the rubber squeegees that the film went through before going to the next tank and replacing bearings and broken or crusty gears. also I spent a lot of time adjusting the torque on the rollers so that the film was not pulled on to hard in each tank but still had enough tension to not let the film develop slack. get a hold of a lot of leader. you'll be using a lot of it especially to let it run with just the leader running through so you can adjust everything.
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#15 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 03:31 PM

I actually lucked out on this machine. It is complete and ready to ROCK! It's a Bray that was used by Rockwell Areospace and is set up strictly for 35mm film and has very few hours on it so it's basically new. It's also a model that's currently in production and came w/ a slew of spare parts. It was modified to use small tanks so that it could be used for small runs of film, making it perfect for processing my own work. It will process both color negative and reversal stock. The only thing that's a pain is it's not automatic threading any more. When it was modified to 35 only that feature was removed. The machine has heaters for the solution and a dryer section. It's also smaller than I thought it would be. It's about the size of a double drawered, highboy dresser.

The step printer is also very cool. it's older, but works perfectly, they guy told me it was used for Ster Trek back in the day. B)

Edited by Capt.Video, 08 June 2006 - 03:33 PM.

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#16 Hal Smith

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 04:09 PM

I actually lucked out on this machine. It is complete and ready to ROCK! .....................

The step printer is also very cool. it's older, but works perfectly, they guy told me it was used for Ster Trek back in the day. B)

Is there an emoticon for envious?
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#17 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 05:07 PM

Well if it makes you feel any better, as my Dad always says, somedays your the pigeon, some days your the statue. Believe me, I've spent my fair share of time riding that big, bronze horse in the middle of the park! I just missed out on a KILLER deal on a sound sync Kinor 35mm w/ EVERYTHING 'cause we didn't have the cash to get it. But you can only do what you can do, ya know. I'll just keep looking, another deal will eventually come around. Til then I'll try and appreciate what I gots B)

Edited by Capt.Video, 08 June 2006 - 05:09 PM.

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#18 Joe Taylor

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 07:54 PM

So Captain. What is your story? Are you setting up a production house or do you paln to start your own lab? It sounds very cool whatever it is. Where are you located? Sounds like you might be in Colorado. If so, I might be startinga job in Aspen soon. Maybe some day we can hook up. Glad to see that you still have passion for film. Keep it alive and good luck.
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#19 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 10:51 PM

Little futher south Joe. El Paso Tx to be exact. What I'm trying to do is set up a production studio capable of do as much as possible in house which will mean setting up a small lab that I will probably use to process other people's stuff when we're not shooting to offset costs and provide capitol for future projects as soon as I get confident in the art of processing. I want to be able to take a film idea from concept to ditribution without approval from anyone. There are still a few thing (well several tjhing really) I have to learn and some equipment I still lack. but I've got a good start. I want to be able to get product out with complte atonimy and eventually even control distribution. I definately would like to meet and keep in touch with any kindred spirits and like minded people but of course the commute from Colorado would be a BITCH for you :D However if you ever head south, let me know and we'll do lunch or barring that hit the topless bars or something :D But siriuosly I do envy you starting work in Aspen, Is this a permanent gig or are you doing a film? The only thing I don't envy is the cost of living up there. I heard property values are insane. It is beautiful though. I love the Rockies. B)

Edited by Capt.Video, 08 June 2006 - 10:55 PM.

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#20 Paul Bruening

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Posted 06 July 2006 - 02:37 AM

Oh Captain, my Captain,

I just got back online today. We moved to a bigger place so I could set up my post facility. Congrats on the lab gear. We share a similar madness. My Houston ECNII is still sitting on the trailer with a tarp over it. I have to build a metal building to put it in.

I'm going 2-perf to further reduce film and lab costs. If my calculations aren't too far off, I ought to be able to shoot a 90 minute feature on a 10 to 1 ratio for about $10,000 to $12,000 in negative and in-house ECNII. Now, I only have to solve that troublesome "crew gets hungry" problem. Are out-takes edible?
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