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Process 16mm at home?


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#1 Jase Ryan

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 08:11 PM

Is it at all possible to effectively process film at home? Is there any way to set somethign up that will accomplish this? If anyone has, or knows how, I'd love to hear the details. It could be for either Negative or reversal...color or B&W.

Thanks!

Jase
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#2 Rolando Fernandez

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 09:17 PM

Well, shure you can the problem is how much you plan to invest base on the quality of results.

when I was in high school I buit a processing room for b&w 35mm and super 8mm and I did a
couple of ektachrome color processing.

Color processing is a temperature critical process so I leave that to a laboratory.

Black & White negative is more simple and less critical in temperature.
Reversal is a little more complex because it requires re-exposing of the negative by a 500w lamp
an then add a second developer.

I'm planing to hand process a tri-x super 8mm and stop the process at the negative level
just for a video transfer and see the results.

good luck!
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#3 Olex Kalynychenko

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 03:57 AM

Is it at all possible to effectively process film at home? Is there any way to set somethign up that will accomplish this? If anyone has, or knows how, I'd love to hear the details. It could be for either Negative or reversal...color or B&W.

Thanks!

Jase

You can processing of Super 8, D8, DS8, 16 mm/35 mm B&W negative, print, reversal films, color reversal film at home lab.
about Color negative film, you will have problme with black jet layer, that's why, this film not compatible with home processing.

And all this real.
At first, i recommed you of visit of my site about home film processing
http://www.geocities.com/cinetank

I have long time experience at home film processing of cine films from 8 mm up to Kodak 35 mm 5285 and you can repeat of my experience.

I recommend you to begin from processing of B&W negative, B&W reversal films, because, the B&W technology of processing have not high requirement of stability of temperature and time of processing of film at every step.

I recommend to use of russian spiral processing tanks LOMO UPB-1, UPB-1A ( S8/16 x 35ft ).
[attachment=3520:tank_kit.jpg]

The other type of processing tanks ( rewind type similar of Morse tank ) show a not stable result.

But, not need ask me about to sell of LOMO tanks, i don't have tanks for sell, LOMO tanks rare and switch of my business on service of professional cine cameras now.

You will need glas lab ware for preparation of solutions, lab thermometer, stop-watch and other devices.
[attachment=3522:st_1.jpg]
[attachment=3523:graduate.jpg]
[attachment=3524:chemistry.jpg]

About film dryers, i can give a some ideas.
[attachment=3521:dryer_16x30m_1_1.jpg]

The processing of color reversal films possible too, but, need experience of processing of film and additional electronic devices - high power waterheater with digital temperature control +/- 0.1C.
And you can commercialize a E-6 process.
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#4 Bernhard Zitz

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 08:12 AM

Is it at all possible to effectively process film at home?


B&W neg is very easy and fast: devlopper, wash, fix, wash, dry. It's very usefull for quick camera tests etc. you don't have to run to a lab each time.

Lilke Rolando said B&W reversal is bit more complicated and longer. Even going really fast it takes over 1h for one film. I did a few times reversal, but I'm to lazy, I give to a lab now. Reversal needs some pretty toxic stuff (bleachbath) an it's a pain in the ... to despose it in a propper way. The newer kodak stocks need less toxic bleach, I never used this one so I can't really tell.

It's fun and a nice experience to hand process.

cheers, bernhard
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#5 Olex Kalynychenko

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 10:51 AM

B&W neg is very easy and fast: devlopper, wash, fix, wash, dry. It's very usefull for quick camera tests etc. you don't have to run to a lab each time.

Lilke Rolando said B&W reversal is bit more complicated and longer. Even going really fast it takes over 1h for one film. I did a few times reversal, but I'm to lazy, I give to a lab now. Reversal needs some pretty toxic stuff (bleachbath) an it's a pain in the ... to despose it in a propper way. The newer kodak stocks need less toxic bleach, I never used this one so I can't really tell.

It's fun and a nice experience to hand process.

cheers, bernhard


I agree of service of professional film processing lab, if you need assured result.
But, if you wish have original style of film after processing, or wish experiment with technology of processing, you need hand made processing of film.
A some comparison.
The processing of film like of cooking.
Yes, we can take of list of components, use of fixed technology, but, the every cooking have special secrets and dish will receive of unique taste.
The technology of processing can be change, you can use of solutions with special formulas and the result will unique.
You need " soft image" - to use of low contrast developers.
You need " super high contrast " - to use high contrast developers.
You need film with more high speed - change of time of processing.
You can change of temperature of solutions and result will other.
You can have many factors influence on final style of image on film.

The home processing of film - additional possibilities for create of unique arts.
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#6 GeorgeSelinsky

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 02:59 PM

I used to be obsessed about this subject, started a webpage http://www.geocities.com/gselinsky devoted to it.

I haven't done it in a long time however. It was fun and sometimes economical, but the time it takes is crazy.

I'd forget about doing color seriously, unless you want to spend your life in your basement running a chem lab.

B&W reversal and negative is doable. The trick is having equipment that will produce even results. Rewind machines are a royal pain, esp. with reversal. I've never used them. I had a spiral reel LOMO tank and that was okay, but it would jam sometimes and the film would get messed up.

Anyway, see my website, read the net, and have fun if you want. But don't even think of shooting a feature and developing your own filmstock. You're much better off spending the time raising the money to pay for a lab.
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#7 Nick Mulder

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 04:51 PM

search the archives ...

You'll find plenty of info here and the usual suspects discussing them - reversal aint as hard as some make out, I've never found the lamp to be an issue, in fact have left film out in the sun for days before the 2nd dev ... I think its just a minimum illumination, not a critical one - kinda redundant if you use sodium sulphide as the redeveloper as then the exposure isn't even required - easy! (yet reversal in general is poisonous)

Have fun - Lomo tanks are the best by far, if you shoot 16mm try to get the rare 100' tank which turns up on ebay around twice a year - the 2x50' is a goody too for super8/16mm
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#8 Jase Ryan

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 01:44 AM

Nice... I appreciate all the info. Is this a very expensive operation to set up from scratch? Is it $300, $600, $1000 or more? Thanks!
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#9 Olex Kalynychenko

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 02:03 AM

Nice... I appreciate all the info. Is this a very expensive operation to set up from scratch? Is it $300, $600, $1000 or more? Thanks!

The budget of home lab
LOMO tanks had price $100..150 / 1 pcd
5L set of E-6 tetenal chemistry ( for processing of near 500 ft of 16 mm film) $70
laboratory glassware ( depend of list ) $100..300 / 1 set
Film dryer $100..150 / 1 pcs

From other side,
the processing lab service of 16 mm film can have price $0.5..0.75 / 1 m
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#10 Nick Mulder

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 02:25 AM

The budget of home lab
LOMO tanks had price $100..150 / 1 pcd
5L set of E-6 tetenal chemistry ( for processing of near 500 ft of 16 mm film) $70
laboratory glassware ( depend of list ) $100..300 / 1 set
Film dryer $100..150 / 1 pcs

From other side,
the processing lab service of 16 mm film can have price $0.5..0.75 / 1 m


Th biggest price is the Tank and its the spiral in particular that would be hard to fabricate yourself ... bulk amounts of B+W chems can brings costs down a lot (i.e. avoid chem sets and soup up your own instead) - secondhand glass and labware can be found on auction sites for near on free as many people are going digital and dropping their darkroom gear like there's no tomorrow ...

film dryer - well, depending on your location this could be free - I have 100' drying on the washing line out back as I type, this way I get the least physical contact as possible, and I put the pegs (soft edged ones) on bits of the film where there was an in-camera cut - its also 8:19PM and still dry and hot enough for it ;) I'm lucky also in that there is not much crud in the air around here ...

You also have a splicer ? a winder ? split reels ? bunch of cores ?

splicer aint too necessary unless you want to project longer than the amount you can process continuously, winder pretty much essential - split reels and cores essential or you'll be running out of reels very fast
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#11 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 12:29 AM

I actually saw a small 16mm only film processing machine on Ebay about 2 or 3 weeks ago. I don't know if it sold but you may want to keep an eye out for one. 16mm stuff like this comes up all the time. B)
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#12 NickolasB

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 03:02 PM

To Somebody are necessary new lomo tanks with two spirals and in packing?
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#13 Jim Carlile

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 02:35 AM

The thing to do nowadays is build your own tank, either a rack and tray type of thing, or this looks very clever:

http://www.peaceman....wickler.en.html

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image


Check this out, too:

http://lavender.fort...processing.html
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#14 GeorgeSelinsky

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 12:19 PM

From http://www.peaceman....wickler.en.html

"Results are as good as home processing gets ? I assume most people doing this take some uniqueness of the results into early consideration anyway."

Errr... not enough troubleshooting in the engineering department!

I think it's possible to get lab excellent results with a home processing rig if your equipment works well.
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#15 Olex Kalynychenko

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 01:30 AM

The thing to do nowadays is build your own tank, either a rack and tray type of thing, or this looks very clever:

[


Interested idea.
But, a few questions.
- how many liters of chemistyr need for tube 770 mm x 110 mm ?
Or you wish processing of film at horizontal position of tube with not full contact of full film with chemisty ?

- can be problem to load film at full darkness with gaps between coils.

- can be problme with IR light. Not all type of plastic can protect from IR light.
I can recommend to glue of aluminum foil from outside surface of tube.

- I think, need special support or device or frame for winding of film on tube.

Any case, this idea need develop.
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#16 Jim Carlile

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 05:08 AM

Here's an old fashioned way: use a film apron for processing.

They used to be readily available in the old days, but you can still make them easily-- the old WWII way.

Just take an old 100 foot spool of film, raw unused, double perf is better. Bleach it off first to make clear leader. When it's dry, then take some thick nylon fishing cord and interleave it through all the perforations, on both sides. It's best to stagger them on each side of the film.

The idea is that you create a raised surface on the leader, and then interleave it with your to-be-processed film. The fishing line or cord will create an uplifted space for the processing chemicals to make constant contact with the other film's emulsion.

It's easy to wind the two films together-- just wind them onto a core in a 400 foot split reel. When you're done wrapping them on the core, you take off the reel, which leaves the core intact with your film sandwich.

Then you process this core sandwich in a suitable tank-- big sheet film tanks will work fine. The thicker the nylon cord, the more easily the developing solutions will reach the film.

People back then were resourceful-- and it worked! Instead of raised 'pimples' like in the commercial versions, the interleaved-through-the-perfs nylon cord does the same trick.
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#17 Nate Downes

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 08:57 AM

The thing to do nowadays is build your own tank, either a rack and tray type of thing, or this looks very clever:

http://www.peaceman....wickler.en.html

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image


Check this out, too:

http://lavender.fort...processing.html

I was planning on modifying his designs for 100' 16mm, but haven't done all of the work yet.
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#18 GeorgeSelinsky

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 10:51 AM

Then you process this core sandwich in a suitable tank-- big sheet film tanks will work fine. The thicker the nylon cord, the more easily the developing solutions will reach the film.


Two questions:

1) How even and smooth is the processing, and

2) How much chemistry does the tank require?

The areation in agitation usually kills the solutions pretty fast, so the less room it takes the better...
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#19 Jim Carlile

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 02:08 AM

Don't know how effective it is for reversal, but it's got to be better than a G-3, and much easier.

Apron processing was once extremely popular, especially for still films. Freestyle has an apron and tank kit available for about $5. The only problem is the agitation method.

The deal with MP film is that it eats up solutions big time, no matter the method. The old TMAX kit which I used to use with a G-3 lasted-- maybe on a good day -- about 200 feet of Super 8, about half that for 16. Not cheap.

The lack of availability of reversal chemicals nowadays has put a temporary halt to my processing fun-- nobody will ship the bleach any more (meaning-- for less than $70 they won't) so it's a non-starter. I think even Freestyle has dropped the TMAX kit, which wasn't that great anyway compared to the old Kodak direct positive kit.

The bleach step is the big hassle for reversal B/W. Unless you want to go custom mixing with a scale and all I think reversal at home is difficult--

As an experiment awhile back, I did a pretty long Super 8 snip test using this fishing line apron method, in a regular 4-reel stainless tank. It worked well- I processed it as negative so I could pull it out as I went along and could check the results. As far as efficiency goes I think it will take a bit of experimentation and time to bring down a reliable method, but they did it all the time in the 30's and 40's and were happy with it. They also used to make their own processing drums and containers out of layers of Kraft paper and shellac!

The absolute best method of home processing is the rack and tray-- somewhere Martin Baumgarten has a DIY rack project using plexiglas or something similar as the base.
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#20 GeorgeSelinsky

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 12:48 AM

You should just have mixed the R9 bleach yourself, it's such an easy formula - Potassium Dichromate + Sulfuric Acid (car battery acid). They used to sell car battery acid in Sears, although post 9-11 I think it's hard. You don't even need a scale, there are tablespoon/teaspoon equivalents.

Basically B&W reversal is 1) a high con first developer like Dektol (I used to use Rodinal for the super sharp grain), 2) the R-9 bleach (will process Plus X at 50 asa), 3) A clearing bath, which is Sodium Sulfite, 4) second developer can also be Dektol, 5) any off the shelf fixer.

- G.
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