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1st Home Processing - What went wrong?


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#1 grantsmith

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 06:36 PM

Hello,

I've just atempted my first home processing and it failed. I'm hoping someone can tell me what went wrong.

I have a lomo tank but decided not to use it as i didnt want to waste too many chemicals on my first try.

I used some old agfa s8 moviechrome, a 2 reel 35mm processing tank and a e6 kit.

I pulled out the film from the cartridge in a changing bag and literally stuffed it into the tank. I then poured in the 1st stage and closed the tank lid. I shook this for 6:30.

When I took it out I was amazed as I could see my footage start to appear.

I then gave it a 3 minute wash (lots of flecks of film started to come off at this point)

I then poured on the colour developer and things started to go a bit wrong (I think this may be the problem?).

By the end of this stage my lovely images had dissapeared to be replaced by a turquoise marble effect over the entire film (which was actually quite nice but I would have preferred what i actually shot).

I thought i would continue the process until completion hoping the pictures would come back but alas they did not.

So what happened? It all started so well.

My thermometer didnt work so I guessed the temperature (luke warm?). Was the wash between 1st stage and developer too hot?

Any help would be great. I'm not looking for lab quality but would like to be able to film something, process it and see parts of what i had shot.

Also, by the stuffing into a film tank method, is there a way of being able to project it and not have it snap when the film gets jammed due to a kink in the film?

thanks,

Grant

Edited by grantgrant, 17 July 2006 - 06:38 PM.

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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 06:56 PM

John Pytlak or Dominic Case would be able to tell you better exactly what was wrong but it sounds likely to be a temperature problem. Successful color processing is extremely temperature reliant. I remember seeing somewhere (I believe one of Mr. Case's posts, to cite my source) that motion picture labs control their chemical bath temperatures to the tenth-degree celsius.


Another problem that was probably there if you had an image would probably be uneven development and washing. Stuffing your film into a tank is probably the worst way to do it, or so. The chemicals need to be able to reach every part of the film, and can't do it if the film is touching other bits of film all over the place.

Edited by Christopher D. Keth, 17 July 2006 - 07:01 PM.

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#3 grantsmith

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 07:10 PM

Thanks for the reply Christopher.

I'm actually looking for that partially processed look so am happy with stuffing it into the film tank.

Would the color stage actually destroy the entire image from the 1st development stage?

I also should have mentioned that I only used 100ml measures.

I'm slightly nerveous about this happening again,

I was happy with stage one so could live with it being b+w. Can I just miss out the color stage?

Can I also use c41 and reverse the image with avid ?

Thanks,
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#4 Mike Rizos

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 07:17 PM

Hello,

I've just atempted my first home processing
Grant


For E-6 processing to work the temperature must be very exact. I think it's 100 degrees. Guessing the temperature won't do. No wonder the emulsion fell off. Also the film must be in total darkness till after the color developer. Since you examined the film after the first developer, you re-exposed it, therefore your image dissapeared never to come back.
I reccomend you try developing black&white film first, because it's way more forgiving with temperature, and there is less steps involved.
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#5 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 09:00 PM

Hello,

I've just atempted my first home processing and it failed. I'm hoping someone can tell me what went wrong.

I have a lomo tank but decided not to use it as i didnt want to waste too many chemicals on my first try.

I used some old agfa s8 moviechrome, a 2 reel 35mm processing tank and a e6 kit.

I pulled out the film from the cartridge in a changing bag and literally stuffed it into the tank. I then poured in the 1st stage and closed the tank lid. I shook this for 6:30.

When I took it out I was amazed as I could see my footage start to appear.

I then gave it a 3 minute wash (lots of flecks of film started to come off at this point)

I then poured on the colour developer and things started to go a bit wrong (I think this may be the problem?).

By the end of this stage my lovely images had dissapeared to be replaced by a turquoise marble effect over the entire film (which was actually quite nice but I would have preferred what i actually shot).

I thought i would continue the process until completion hoping the pictures would come back but alas they did not.

So what happened? It all started so well.

My thermometer didnt work so I guessed the temperature (luke warm?). Was the wash between 1st stage and developer too hot?

Any help would be great. I'm not looking for lab quality but would like to be able to film something, process it and see parts of what i had shot.

Also, by the stuffing into a film tank method, is there a way of being able to project it and not have it snap when the film gets jammed due to a kink in the film?

thanks,

Grant


Lots of flecks of emulsion coming off may show that your temperature was MUCH too high. In effect, the high temperature melted the gelatin emulsion.

You also likely fogged the film as you viewed the image forming in the first developer. So when you went into the color developer, you got uneven dye formation from the inappropriate and uneven fogging of the film.

If you intend to process color film at home, the first thing you need to do is follow the instructions carefully, and maintain good control of temperature and time. The whole idea of a Lomo tank is to keep the film in constant contact with fresh processing solution, and "stuffing" the film into a tank just won't do that. You might start by processing some EKTACHROME slide film in the E-6 process, just to get a hang of how the process works when run correctly. You should also practice loading the Lomo tank until you are confident you can do it without jamming or kinking the film.
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#6 Hal Smith

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 10:14 PM

I'm actually looking for that partially processed look so am happy with stuffing it into the film tank.

May I gently remind you that in no art form can you break the rules until you've thoroughly -learned- the rules?

Pay careful attention to everything John Pytlak has to say about DIY processing - he's the resident authority when it comes to what Kodak knows about film and film processing. When I was young and adventurous I developed my own 8mm B&W reversal. I managed to get images that weren't too bad but boy do I wish I had had this forum and John to get answers from.
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#7 Olex Kalynychenko

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 04:09 AM

You wrote : ====I used some old agfa s8 moviechrome, a 2 reel 35mm processing tank and a e6 kit.

At first, If you beginner of home film processing, i recommend begin from study of B&W reversal film processing. This is processing with not high temperature, not need super precision time processing and result will more real.
After you will have experience on processing of B&W reversal film, you can process of color reversal films.
The color reversal film processing need high stability temperature and fixed time processing, because, all this parameters influence of color balance and quality of image on film.

At second.
Old Agfa Seper 8 moviechrome film have original Agfa ( Svema ) technology processing with temperature 25 'C. The high temperature of E-6 can destroy of emulsion.
You can use E-6 ( I make this test ) but, with less temperature, and need make a some tests.

You wrote :===My thermometer didnt work so I guessed the temperature (luke warm?). Was the wash between 1st stage and developer too hot?


The temperature of first developing and second color developing very important.
The important step of pre-bath too ( before first developing ).
The temperature of first developing must be 38 +/- 0.3 C, the second color developing 38 +/- 0.5C.
The developers must have similar temperature too.
That's why, i stabilize of temperature of developers, tank with film on big basin with water and electronic heater with control of temperature lab thermometer.
This is not too complex, but, need have experience.

Not worry too much, the russian saying : " you must spoil before you spin, practice makes perfect ".
That's why, you need study of processing of film again.

If you wish make experiments with B&W reversal films, i can help you.
The additional information about home film processing you can find on my site " home film processing ".
I can delievery set chemistry for processing B&W reversal film, film dryer and other.

Edited by Olex Kalynychenko, 18 July 2006 - 04:11 AM.

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#8 grantsmith

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 04:18 AM

thanks for your help guys. Much appreciated.

I got the chemistry and film for next to nothing so will use these to practice before I attempt anything costly.

I'll make attempt number two in the next couple of days (and will buy a new thermometer).

Even in my first failed attempt I've learned a lot so hopefully the next one will be better.

Thanks,
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#9 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 08:01 PM

Free is not a good price if you are wasting your time.. Agfa Movie chome is Probaly not going to work in E-6.. It just won't likly work no mater how you play with it.

Get a roll of B&W reversal for your first try! With the B&w Kit.

OR if you insist on using e-6 get a roll of ekatchrome..

100F +/- Not very much!

read the capacity of your kit, You will find that you can do maybe 2 36exp 35mm rolls in 8 oz. somewhere on the kodak site that is converted to super 8. 100ft of 35mm is about 8 rolls of super 8 or 18 36 exp rolls. - you will probaly find if you do the math you need 8 oz of chemicals to do 25 ft of super 8.

One more thing - Color film does have funny colour until it drys..

have fun
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#10 Clive Tobin

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 11:40 PM

...I used some old agfa s8 moviechrome, a 2 reel 35mm processing tank and a e6 kit....


This is totally wrong on several counts:
If Agfa Moviechrome is the same as GAF/Ansco Moviechrome, I am pretty sure this is made to be processed in the long obsolete Kodachrome K-11 sequence. It is a non-incorporated coupler emulsion so you will never get any kind of color result in E-6. The best you can hope for is a B&W image using B&W chemicals. It can maybe be developed as B&W reversal if you use very long times in the developers, bleach, etc. Doing it as B&W negative will probably retain the yellow filter layer.

Also it has a rem-jet black back coating that requires an alkaline soak and scrubbing to get it off. If the film is very old, it may not come off at all or only in patches.

Maybe John can educate us, but K-11 was a low temperature process, perhaps 68 or 75 F, so in lukewarm water the emulsion will turn to Jello and dissolve, as others have mentioned.
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#11 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 01:13 PM

Kodak developed emulsion forhardening technology in the early 1970's, leading to the higher temperature (faster) ECN-2, ECP-2, C-41, E-6, and K-14 processes. Older films without forhardening will be damaged by processing temperatures much hotter than about 25 Celsius, with softening, reticulation, or even emulsion delamination.

I don't know what version of "Moviechrome" Grant is referring to, and what process it was designed for. It should say somewhere on the packaging. If the film is over 30 years old, it probably is not worth even trying to process it, unless the images are invaluable (e.g., a never processed film of the JFK assasination).
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#12 Hal Smith

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 01:31 PM

. Older films without forhardening will be damaged by processing temperatures much hotter than about 25 Celsius, with..............reticulation...............

Which is exactly why I wish I had you (JPP) as a resource back in the days when I was processing my own 8mm B&W. I never understood the reticulation I was getting - the film look pretty cool for what I was doing but I sure would have liked to known how to introduce a calibrated amount of reticulation rather than just praying to the gods on Mount Rochester. :)
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#13 grantsmith

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 05:12 PM

Hi guys,

I can't find what version of Moviechrome it is John, the use by date is 1988 and is in the blood red packaging (I also have use by 1994 in the white packaging)

I tried another roll. This time I had more success. I had the 1st developer at 37C, the color at 25 and the bleach at 35.

The original footage was underexposed by about 1 stop. Most of the footage is very dark but I am able to see a picture and there is some faint color reproduction which resembles the original scene. I only used 100ml of solutions but shook the tank for the full development time for each stage (I think I should use more).

Mostly however it is an interesting psychedelic lightshow with vague glimpses of what i shot coming through.

I actually quite like it and am having lots of fun.

I'll try some old ektachrome which I have and see how I get on.

I might give up on the color stage. What would you recommend for B+W? If I want just the negative can I use C41?


Being serious, I'm actually just experimenting (and having lots of fun) but will turn to professional labs (and new film) once I use up the old film I have.

I think I would probably have to use a new roll of K64 to get a real idea of whats going on. I think there are too many elements for me to get a clear idea of whats happening (i.e. old film in an unknown state)


thanks for the advice
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#14 grantsmith

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 06:44 PM

mmmn. i'm wrong about the color. it's waaay off. it cyan/turquoise
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#15 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 10:21 PM

mmmn. i'm wrong about the color. it's waaay off. it cyan/turquoise


Hey, Appologies firsthand if my comments aren't totally accurate, but from what I am reading, I think you aren't reading enough about how to develop your film correctly. You are using very old film, which a few people have said is a big problem.

Also, you can cross process your film, but when you take ektachrome film and process it with c-41 chemicals, you need to take special precautions for developing.

I have a manual at home that tells me if my first developer (for E-6) is at 100 degrees, it's going to take less time in the first developer bath than if the FD was at 70 degrees (Fareignheit).

Check up on that. telling us that your thermometer was broken doesn't help. Film needs to be developed at a strict temperature.

Also, the more you shake your film during 1st developer and color developer the more contrast you will build up.

I suppose if you shook it the whole time, with old film, and extremely hot temperatures for too much length of time, you'd end up with what you have.

Go get some new film, and follow directions.

Don't shoot anything important until you have sucess regulalry.

ps, you can also try to open the lomo can halfway through the 1st developer in total darkness and flash a regular flashlight, off and on super quick to soloarize you film.
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#16 Dominic Case

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 06:12 PM

It seems to me that you are working in the true, tried and tested method of "suck it and see" rather than the boring and marginally predicable approach of "rtfm" (read the **ing manual).

Seriously, you seem to be mixing up several entirely different film types and processes more or less at random. Of course you will get results, but they will be quite unpredictable - even professionals are left guessing at the likely results from processing 25-year old Agfachrome (non-coupler incorporated) stock in the entirely wrong E6 chemistry at unmeasured temperatures with the stock "bundled in" to the tank.

When you get much closer to the mark, you will find that temperature is critical, and also that agitating a full tank to ensure even development is very different from shaking a partly full tank - which will oxidise the developer and make it less effective, and also, in the original scenario, increase the likelihood of the remjet backing coming off and sticking to the emulsion - that is, if the emulsion hasn't already softened and fallen off due to the excess temperature!

The very first known attempt to process motion picture film in Australia - by a visiting Lumiere cameraman assisted by a local fashion photographer in 1895 - was quite similar to yours. They bundled up a 50-foot camera roll into a bucket and sloshed in the chemicals. Theirs wasn't successful either B) . They soon learnt better ways too. You might find that sometimes it's helpful to stand on the shoulders of giants rather than simply to follow in their footsteps. Read up a little as you try it all out.

Oh - and good luck with your experiments. Enjoy.
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#17 Robert Hughes

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 11:40 PM

Start with the simplest photo development process first; b&w negative. Here is a simple "bucket process" that works:

Buy a new roll of Plus-X or Tri-X film, a new package of D-76 developer, and a new bottle of Rapid Fixer.

Take some pictures, then mix up a batch of D-76 developer (follow the directions on the packaging, i.e. dissolve in water at 122-130 degrees F, then let cool to room temperature). Mix up a batch of fixer, also.

In TOTAL DARKNESS, place your film in a bucket of developer and slosh it around for 5 minutes, then drain off the developer and rinse with running water for another 5 minutes. By now development is complete and you can turn on the lights.

Place your film in the fixer and slosh it around; the film should clear in about 5 minutes - keep it in the fixer another 5 minutes. Drain off fixer, then rinse in running water for another 5-10 minutes. Remove film from the rinse bath, squeegie off with your fingers, and hang the film over a clothesline or shower rod to dry (about 1/2 hour).

When you're done you'll have a roll of developed negative. Practise this technique until you can get it consistently right before you move on to more complicated reversal or color processes.
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#18 grantsmith

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 06:17 AM

Thanks guys,

All advice is taken on board.

I just got a little excited and tried to walk before I could run (though I did learn a lot from my mistakes)

Rather than try Tri-x, can I use the same process with Quartzchrome (only because I have a few rolls of it anyway)?

Thanks
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#19 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 11:25 AM

Thanks guys,

All advice is taken on board.

I just got a little excited and tried to walk before I could run (though I did learn a lot from my mistakes)

Rather than try Tri-x, can I use the same process with Quartzchrome (only because I have a few rolls of it anyway)?

Thanks


So what does Quartzchrome recommend for processing? :rolleyes: Somewhere there must be published recommendations that you should follow for best results? Learn from the mistakes you just made -- READ THE MANUFACTURER'S INSTRUCTIONS.
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#20 Chris Keth

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 02:18 PM

Thanks guys,

All advice is taken on board.

I just got a little excited and tried to walk before I could run (though I did learn a lot from my mistakes)

Rather than try Tri-x, can I use the same process with Quartzchrome (only because I have a few rolls of it anyway)?

Thanks



Try some B&W still film first. It's pretty forgiving of things like agitation and temperature. It's also pretty cheap to practice with. It allows you to try normal development, N+1, N-1, et cetera with cheap chemicals. For 8 or 10 dollars, you can get a gallon drypack of D76 and Kodak rapid fixer. Once you have that down-pat, then perhaps try some finicky processes.

Edited by Christopher D. Keth, 21 July 2006 - 02:20 PM.

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