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Kodak Versamat processing machine for motion picture


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#1 Henri Titchen

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 06:00 AM

Hi,

I have come across an old Kodak Versamat processing machine.

Special versamat chemistry is usually used in these machines. The rollers are hard.

Can this machine be readily used for B&W motion picture use? I'm interested in any opinions/knowledge relating to these machines.

Thanks From,
Henry.
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#2 K Borowski

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 10:34 PM

Pretty much every color processor can be used for B&W. You just have to turn the fixer and stabilizer tanks, if Versamat had a stabilizer.. . into water wash tanks. as all you'll need are a developer and fix tank with no water washes inbetween.

You'll have to adjust the machine's speed through testing so that it will develop the film to the proper gamma, and possibly adjust chemical concentrations if you can't compensate completely with speed and temperature adjustments.

What are the times the film is in each of the tanks when the versamat processor is in its standard configuration, and what temperature does it usually run at?

Regards,

~Karl Borowski
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#3 Henri Titchen

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 02:43 AM

Hi Karl,

Thanks for your reply. It seems that the Versamat processors were intended for B&W film. The temperatures are usually 80-85 Farenheit (26.5-29 Celcius).

Speed of film seems to be variable between around 3-10 feet/minute. I'm not sure what model processor it is at the moment. One model has a path length of 8.5ft another 4ft in the developer.

There are some photos of a similar Versamat machine at:
http://www.rockymoun...nt/versamat.htm

I haven't seen hard rollers like this before.

Thanks From,
Henry.


Pretty much every color processor can be used for B&W. You just have to turn the fixer and stabilizer tanks, if Versamat had a stabilizer.. . into water wash tanks. as all you'll need are a developer and fix tank with no water washes inbetween.

You'll have to adjust the machine's speed through testing so that it will develop the film to the proper gamma, and possibly adjust chemical concentrations if you can't compensate completely with speed and temperature adjustments.

What are the times the film is in each of the tanks when the versamat processor is in its standard configuration, and what temperature does it usually run at?

Regards,

~Karl Borowski


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#4 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 03:41 PM

The Versamat machines are not the best choice for processing B&W camera films -- the do not have good agitation, and so lower contrast camera films have poor uniformity in them. Mostly were used for high contrast microfilms, mattes, titles, and sound negatives.
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#5 Henri Titchen

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 04:56 AM

Thanks for your reply John,

I very much appreciate your advice regarding the Versamat. I would like to try and develop camera negatives so I might experiment to see if I can add a pump to provide additional agitation in the developer.
They look like a very well engineered Kodak machine....it will be good to get it in use again.

Thanks From,
Henry.

The Versamat machines are not the best choice for processing B&W camera films -- the do not have good agitation, and so lower contrast camera films have poor uniformity in them. Mostly were used for high contrast microfilms, mattes, titles, and sound negatives.


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#6 K Borowski

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 03:00 PM

Henry:

I wrote a reply the other day, but it seems to have disappeared. I would recommend, assuming there is enough room to the side of the rollers in the chemical tank, adding perhaps an air stone or some sort of fish tank filter minus the filter cartridge, which would, in effect, make it into a chemical circulating pump.

You understand that you must do some pretty extensive testing if you want to get this right. If there are replen pumps on the 3rd or fourth tank, you could possibly take them off and modify them as additional circulator pumps as well if they're anything like the pumps I have on my roller-transport film processor.

John's right that this machine isn't optimized for the type of work you're doing, but speaking from experience, if you want a piece of equipment to do something for you badly enough, you can MAKE it work for you.

P.S. If you could take some pictures of your processing machine and email them to me at karl.borowski [AT] case.edu, I could probably advise you further. Did you aquire a manual with the machine? If not, I'd find/steal/get one. I have found the manuals for my processing equipment would have saved me a great deal of time and trouble had I read them from front to back cover BEFORE I started testing.

Regards,

~Karl Borowski
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#7 david west

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 08:05 PM

henry,

any luck???


i too am considering a microfilm processor to "play" with som B&W stock.... if agitation is required (beyond what the unit does on its own) i am going to try attaching a small dc motor with an eccentric. this should avoid the oxidation issue that is mentioned somewhere in one of the other threads...


has anyone used the PROSTAR?

good luck and update us on your results...
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#8 Henri Titchen

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 11:24 PM

David,

The Versamat I have was designed for processing b&w still camera film at a large newspaper. Versamats appear to be
mostly used for aerial photography film.

As John P. Pytlak said they are not ideal for motion picture. There is no stop bath between developer and fixer. Also agitation is low. It can process all film gauges up to 5". This means that 70mm or other unusual sizes are not a problem. There is a roll film adapter available that allows 200' of film to be developed. As expected the Versamat has a replenisher unit and built in drying cabinet as well.

The processor has a dial/knob that allows the speed of the film through the processor to be varied.

It is a very neat well engineered, compact machine however. I was lucky to also obtain all the manuals.

Hope this helps.

Henry.

henry,

any luck???


i too am considering a microfilm processor to "play" with som B&W stock.... if agitation is required (beyond what the unit does on its own) i am going to try attaching a small dc motor with an eccentric. this should avoid the oxidation issue that is mentioned somewhere in one of the other threads...


has anyone used the PROSTAR?

good luck and update us on your results...


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Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Glidecam

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