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Cross-processing Kodak Tri-X 200


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#1 Nikolas Jaeger

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 01:13 PM

Hello all. I'm a high school senior living in Berlin, Germany (though I am American by birth), with an interest in film. I recently purchased a Super-8 camera (Kalimar Electric Zoom Reflex) and tried shooting one cassette of Kodak Tri-X 200.

Since my funds are somewhat limited (being a student), I decided to process the film as a negative in my school's darkroom, with the same chemicals I've been successfully using for developing Kodak Tri-X 400 35mm still images. I assumed that, because both films have the same chemical components, that this would work. Unfortunately, however, when I was finished, the film did not have any images on it, but was transparent and dark blue/purple in color.

Barring a camera malfunction, does anybody know what I might have done wrong? If anybody has perfected a way of cross-processing Kodak Tri-X (or a similar stock), I'd really appreciate finding out about it.

Thanks in advance.
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#2 Richardson Leao

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 02:51 PM

Hello all. I'm a high school senior living in Berlin, Germany (though I am American by birth), with an interest in film. I recently purchased a Super-8 camera (Kalimar Electric Zoom Reflex) and tried shooting one cassette of Kodak Tri-X 200.

Since my funds are somewhat limited (being a student), I decided to process the film as a negative in my school's darkroom, with the same chemicals I've been successfully using for developing Kodak Tri-X 400 35mm still images. I assumed that, because both films have the same chemical components, that this would work. Unfortunately, however, when I was finished, the film did not have any images on it, but was transparent and dark blue/purple in color.

Barring a camera malfunction, does anybody know what I might have done wrong? If anybody has perfected a way of cross-processing Kodak Tri-X (or a similar stock), I'd really appreciate finding out about it.

Thanks in advance.


Was the film all the same (i mean, no edges around frames)? i'd say that your development time was too short or your developer is too old.
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#3 Nikolas Jaeger

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 03:05 PM

Was the film all the same (i mean, no edges around frames)? i'd say that your development time was too short or your developer is too old.

I developed for around 8 minutes, and the developer (Tetanal Ultrafin, diluted 1:9) was right out of the bottle.
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#4 Nikolas Jaeger

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 06:05 PM

Just to clarify: what I'm looking for is a way to cross-process Tri-X 200 or any similar b/w reversal film (Foma, etc).
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#5 Jim Carlile

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 09:01 PM

Processing reversal as a negative is going to result in a thin negative anyway and it sounds like the fixer wiped away whatever you had.

There's really no advantage to processing Tri-X reversal as negative because reversal's easy enough to do, and you can even use a non-light second developer to avoid the flashing step, thus giving you a more sepia look.

Lots of people are starting to reverse B/W negative slide film these days a la the old Agfa Scala thing and around a college darkroom somebody should be able to help.
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#6 Nikolas Jaeger

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 07:18 AM

Processing reversal as a negative is going to result in a thin negative anyway and it sounds like the fixer wiped away whatever you had.

There's really no advantage to processing Tri-X reversal as negative because reversal's easy enough to do, and you can even use a non-light second developer to avoid the flashing step, thus giving you a more sepia look.

Lots of people are starting to reverse B/W negative slide film these days a la the old Agfa Scala thing and around a college darkroom somebody should be able to help.

I may look into that; what kind of second developer would one use?

Nonetheless, if I did go ahead with negative processing, would it be reasonable to use the same chemicals, but to do tests first on short lengths of film?
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#7 Justin Lovell

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 01:08 PM

Cool ideas.

I have, and almost always cross process my tri-X in neg chemistry at niagara custom lab
Samples here:
http://framediscreet...cessed-64t.html

There are more other custom processing super 8 samples on the blog as well for you to dig through. Hope this helps!

www.framediscreet.blogspot.com
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#8 Justin Lovell

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 01:17 PM

Posted Image

(just the tri-X in this image)
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#9 Nikolas Jaeger

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 01:27 PM

That looks really interesting. Are there any considerations to think about when shooting it (pushing, pulling, etc.) or do you treat it just as if it was going to be reversed?

NCL looks like it may be within my price range (shipping costs excluded), but I dunno, there's something appealing to me about processing myself. Is there anyone I could contact who knows the process? I guess I could always ask at a lab, but that might feel awkward.
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#10 K Borowski

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 02:01 PM

I may look into that; what kind of second developer would one use?

Nonetheless, if I did go ahead with negative processing, would it be reasonable to use the same chemicals, but to do tests first on short lengths of film?


IT'd be reasonable, but unffortunately, with Kodak, reasonable is not the way things are done.

These aren't the same films. And, counterintuitively, with Tri-X Rev. as a neg, you actually *loose* speed. Never done it myself, but I think I heard the number 80 being thrown around as the working E.I.

You could probably get a 400-speed, but you'd have to extend the first developer time a lot longer, and maybe the grain would be too bad. I think it's 50% per stop with Tetenal Ultrafin, and I probably would use it undilluted in this case, but hypothetically, assuming my guess of 80 is right, that'd be three stops, so you'd probably be up near 20 minutes with a 3- or so stop push that'd probably just give you a blurry, grainy mess.

Also, a purple film means you need to extend the fixer time longer. The rule of thumb is you need to fix twice as long as it takes for the purple to go away. So fix say 5 minutes to be safe, open up the tank and watch the film until it is totally clear, and then take whatever time that is and continue to fix until double that time.
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#11 Nikolas Jaeger

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 02:55 PM

IT'd be reasonable, but unffortunately, with Kodak, reasonable is not the way things are done.

These aren't the same films. And, counterintuitively, with Tri-X Rev. as a neg, you actually *loose* speed. Never done it myself, but I think I heard the number 80 being thrown around as the working E.I.

You could probably get a 400-speed, but you'd have to extend the first developer time a lot longer, and maybe the grain would be too bad. I think it's 50% per stop with Tetenal Ultrafin, and I probably would use it undilluted in this case, but hypothetically, assuming my guess of 80 is right, that'd be three stops, so you'd probably be up near 20 minutes with a 3- or so stop push that'd probably just give you a blurry, grainy mess.

Also, a purple film means you need to extend the fixer time longer. The rule of thumb is you need to fix twice as long as it takes for the purple to go away. So fix say 5 minutes to be safe, open up the tank and watch the film until it is totally clear, and then take whatever time that is and continue to fix until double that time.

So basically, you develop for 20 minutes so the negative is dense enough so as not to be destroyed by the fixer? That may have been my mistake. I developed for 7 minutes and fixed for 1 minute, which would explain both the lack of an image and the blue tint.
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#12 K Borowski

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 03:50 PM

So basically, you develop for 20 minutes so the negative is dense enough so as not to be destroyed by the fixer? That may have been my mistake. I developed for 7 minutes and fixed for 1 minute, which would explain both the lack of an image and the blue tint.


Jesus, one minute?!?!

If you still have that film, throw it back in the fixer immediately!

You should be fixing a minimum of one minute. Also, tell me you didn't develop your film in a tub or a bucket. You really need a speciallized processing tank for this sort of thing.

Fixer doesn't "destroy" anything, it removes silver halides. So if you didn't develop long enough, you didn't convert the latent-imaged silver halides into black metallic silver. It isn't the fixer's fault, it's inadequate development.
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#13 Jim Carlile

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 07:43 PM

Yeah, developing reversal as negative can be done and the results look cool. You'll lose some film speed, etc.-- you just need to experiment. Conventional chemistry can be used-- D-76, whatever-- but you need to really experiment and the results will never be consistent unless you use a movie film tank.

But-- consistency shouldn't matter anyway because that's the look you want. Too much fixing won't hurt anything as long as you have an image there in the first place, that's right. Have fun!

Are you sure your camera is exposing correctly in the first place? If there's a manual override, use that, bracket different exposures, and then correlate that with your processing experiments to see what works best.
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#14 Steve Wallace

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Posted 15 November 2008 - 01:05 PM

Here are a couple of Tri-X stills developed as negative from a music video I shot. Thanks to Justin for his blog, and Sebastjan at Niagara. (interiors were pushed 2 stops, exteriors were developed as normal), I will give the video an official thread later. I am waiting for it to play at a couple festivals first.

For those of you attending the Salford Film Festival 11/22, it will being showing as part of the Super 8 in a Digital World event

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image
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#15 Andries Molenaar

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Posted 15 November 2008 - 02:53 PM

If getting the chemistry is the trouble you should look here:
http://www.wittner-k...mm/filmentw.php
FOMA Entwicklungs-Kit für S/W-Umkehrfilme Fomapan R100
Vollständiger Umkehrentwicklungssatz für die Umkehrentwicklung von Fomapan R100 oder anderen S/W-Filmen.

The price isn't too bad. Using LOMO tanks you can process 4 films in it.

The Kodak Tmax sets are good too but prohibitively expensive in my opinion.


There is also www.fotoimpex.de
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#16 andres victorero

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 10:32 AM

Cool ideas.

I have, and almost always cross process my tri-X in neg chemistry at niagara custom lab
Samples here:
http://framediscreet...cessed-64t.html

There are more other custom processing super 8 samples on the blog as well for you to dig through. Hope this helps!

www.framediscreet.blogspot.com


Looks great, love this kind of grainy look.
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#17 Will Cummock

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 08:29 AM

i seem to remember kodak have instructions for cross processing tri-x on their website. i really really want someone to try cross developing in a pyro developer. i have really high hopes for the results but no time/tank to do it in.

one day i'll get it done!
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