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Hand processing Tri-X as negative using D76 - Advice Welcome


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#1 neil kerr

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 02:10 PM

A few months back I was commissioned to shoot an experimental film for a hair stylist client who I had worked with early this year. He let me do whatever i wanted pretty much last time and he was really happy with the results so I was given free reign once again.

Last time I shot using the canon 6D dslr but this time I decided I wanted to shoot the entire film on super 8. A few professional mates were a little concerned in case I buggered it up, the cameras didn't work etc...was a little nervous myself but I knew it was really the only way the piece would work in what was a very stale room with bland light. I just got the 500T back from Gauge Film, who processed and transferred the film, and I am very happy with the results. I was always planning on using the spaghetti method of processing for the black and white though as I am pretty confident it will sit well alongside the cleaner 500T. IF processed well!

And so here I am to ask a few questions.

I have decided to go with the D76 method as I don't have a lot of time to do this and I don't mind the larger grain given that I want this footage to look rawer anyway. So my workflow was going to be as follows;

D76 at 20ºC - not sure for how long though as I have seen people say 10 minutes, 8 minutes and 12 minutes??? Am thinking 10 minutes at 1:1 is what I will aim for, yay or nay?
Stop bath for 30 seconds - not sure whether to go for" Kodak Indictaor Stop Bath" or "Ilford Ilfostop" - does it matter which one? I know that a stop bath isn't essential but am going to try it this time around.
Fixer at 20ºC - have seen people say 5 minutes and others say 20 mins! Not sure what to go for or which particular fixer, "Ilford Rapid Fixer" at 5 mins is what i am thinking, 20 mins seems like a lot after looking at the Ilford documentation.
Wash for 20-30 mins with tap water - Do I have to run the film under the water the whole time? I assume not, I would imagine I can run it under the water for a few mins then soak it in the tank for a bit then run it under the water again.
Final wash with distilled water for 5 mins - I am perhaps a little reluctant to use Photo Flo as I like the dirty water marks etc...and don't want to get rid of them completely. Bad idea?

So that is the process I will be following. Any suggestions?

Final 2 things;

I didn't take the negative processing into consideration when shooting so will my film be a little underexposed? Should I adjust development time based on this?

Finally, my plan is to buy one of the plastic Paterson 8 (35mm) reel processing tanks and develop 2 reels of super 8 at once in that as opposed to in a bucket, will this be ok? Will the film get agitated enough? Will it get angry and depressed?  :(

Thanks for reading this and any advice would be much appreciated.

Here is the previous film shot for the client for anyone interested and I'll make sure to post up the super 8 film once done.

ta'
neil


 


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#2 Simon Wyss

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 12:43 AM

Wondering how you store 8 mm wide film in a reel for the 35-mm. width


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#3 neil kerr

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 01:44 PM

Just remove the film from the reel and stick it in, bunched up but as lose as I can. I am going for a rawer aesthetic and am aware that this method will damage the film but that is fine.

 

I saw another post where someone said that a tank that accommodated 5 35mm reels was sufficient for 2 super 8 reels but I am going for the larger 8 reel plastic tank.

 

A bucket might be a better idea but I don't want to do it all in complete darkness, I am way too clumsy for that.


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#4 Josh Gladstone

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 11:27 PM

Here are some examples of my super 8 tri-x hand processed in D-76 and scanned with my DIY scanner:

 

 

And here's some 16mm:

 

 

I use a lomo tank, but here's my usual process:

 

- D-76 with no dilution @ 20ºc for 6:30 or D-76 1:1 @ 20º for 9:15

- No stop bath. I just rinse out with water to get the developer out of the tank.

- Fixer at room temperature for 5 or 10 minutes. You can't over fix, so sometimes I let it go longer. Especially if the fixer is old.

- Wash in 10 changes of water (I use hardening fixer, so that might be overkill for you)

- A few drops of photo-flo.

- Hang to dry.


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#5 John E Clark

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 11:56 AM

D76 at 20ºC - not sure for how long though as I have seen people say 10 minutes, 8 minutes and 12 minutes??? Am thinking 10 minutes at 1:1 is what I will aim for, yay or nay?
Stop bath for 30 seconds - not sure whether to go for" Kodak Indictaor Stop Bath" or "Ilford Ilfostop" - does it matter which one? I know that a stop bath isn't essential but am going to try it this time around.
Fixer at 20ºC - have seen people say 5 minutes and others say 20 mins! Not sure what to go for or which particular fixer, "Ilford Rapid Fixer" at 5 mins is what i am thinking, 20 mins seems like a lot after looking at the Ilford documentation.
Wash for 20-30 mins with tap water - Do I have to run the film under the water the whole time? I assume not, I would imagine I can run it under the water for a few mins then soak it in the tank for a bit then run it under the water again.
Final wash with distilled water for 5 mins - I am perhaps a little reluctant to use Photo Flo as I like the dirty water marks etc...and don't want to get rid of them completely. Bad idea?
 

 

 

What ISO value did you use? And if you 'underexposed', what's the estimate of 'how much under'...

 

I'm presuming when you are discussing your development process you are using 35mm still film development equipment. For all films I would agitate, for the first minute, continuously, and approximately 5 seconds every 30 seconds for the remaining development time. If 10 minutes was the manufacturer's recommended time, I'd see what the 'push' process times are. I don't recall exactly, but say 2 minutes+ for 1 stop push.

 

I always used a stop bath, with agitation pattern similar to the developer phase.

Like wise for the fixer.

 

The water wash was always with running water.

 

Always used some for of 'photo flo' to prevent the water droplets from beading up, and thus producing 'whiteish' rings on the negative.

 

Drying was in cabinets with filtered air. Usually did 'air' dry rather than with some sort of 'heat+forced' air.

 

For my home situation I would also take a squirt bottle of fresh water and 'mist' the area before I hung the negs to dry, so as to take out some amount of the dust that may be flying around.

 

If you going for grunge on the other hand... ignore all that and just do the minimal.

 

Never left negs or prints in fixer longer than necessary.


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#6 neil kerr

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 03:20 PM

 

 

What ISO value did you use? And if you 'underexposed', what's the estimate of 'how much under'...

 

I'm presuming when you are discussing your development process you are using 35mm still film development equipment. For all films I would agitate, for the first minute, continuously, and approximately 5 seconds every 30 seconds for the remaining development time. If 10 minutes was the manufacturer's recommended time, I'd see what the 'push' process times are. I don't recall exactly, but say 2 minutes+ for 1 stop push.

 

I always used a stop bath, with agitation pattern similar to the developer phase.

Like wise for the fixer.

 

The water wash was always with running water.

 

Always used some for of 'photo flo' to prevent the water droplets from beading up, and thus producing 'whiteish' rings on the negative.

 

Drying was in cabinets with filtered air. Usually did 'air' dry rather than with some sort of 'heat+forced' air.

 

For my home situation I would also take a squirt bottle of fresh water and 'mist' the area before I hung the negs to dry, so as to take out some amount of the dust that may be flying around.

 

If you going for grunge on the other hand... ignore all that and just do the minimal.

 

Never left negs or prints in fixer longer than necessary.

Thanks for the advice guys!!

 

I shot 500T and Tri X and got exposure levels with a lightmeter. The 500T looks great but a little underexposed a points, just a little. Given that I didn't think I was going to process these reels as negative I am going to give the film a little extra time in the developer to push the film.

 

I'll probably will use a stop bath seeing as it's not particularly expensive to buy the chemical or awkward to do.

 

I am still undecided about the Photo Flo as I want a grungy look to the film but without it, maybe it will be far too much...decisions, decisions....

 

Is it difficult to get the film back onto a reel? Do I need to buy empty reels rather than reusing the reel within the cart?

 

Sorry, finally can I switch on the light after the developer phase or do I have to wait until I apply the fixer?

 

Many thanks for all your help.


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#7 neil kerr

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 03:28 PM

Here are some examples of my super 8 tri-x hand processed in D-76 and scanned with my DIY scanner:

 

 

And here's some 16mm:

 

 

I use a lomo tank, but here's my usual process:

 

- D-76 with no dilution @ 20ºc for 6:30 or D-76 1:1 @ 20º for 9:15

- No stop bath. I just rinse out with water to get the developer out of the tank.

- Fixer at room temperature for 5 or 10 minutes. You can't over fix, so sometimes I let it go longer. Especially if the fixer is old.

- Wash in 10 changes of water (I use hardening fixer, so that might be overkill for you)

- A few drops of photo-flo.

- Hang to dry.

Those look great, I am feeling optimistic :)


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#8 Josh Gladstone

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 04:39 PM

Lights on after the fixer unless you want it to look something like this (this was processed in caffenol, not D-76, but still intentionally flashed for just a second before fixing):

 

Stop bath is fine, and some may disagree with me, but all it's really going to do is make your fixer last longer. Which is good. But fixer is pretty cheap and (I use kodafix) and I have a ton of it, plus I don't process a HUGE amount of film, so it's not a big deal for me to skip the stop bath. But of course that's just me and I'm pretty lazy. Do what makes you happy!

 

I really recommend the photo-flo. It's super cheap and you literally use a few drops after you wash, just before you take it out of the water. It just helps to reduce water spots, but I mean if you look at my stuff, you can definitely still see water spots. I think you're probably going to get that to an extent with hang-drying regardless of how you treat it.


Edited by Josh Gladstone, 03 August 2015 - 04:41 PM.

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#9 neil kerr

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 05:47 PM

Cheers, will make sure not to turn the lights on as that would be too much fogging for this project.

 

Without meaning to sound like a dumbass, it's going to be pretty awkward doing the developing, washing and fixing in complete darkness. I have a small, crappy sink in my studio and no natural light in the bathroom whatsoever but I can't see my hand in front of my face. I am clumsy at the best of times so this could get interesting. How do you navigate your way around in the dark, are you all half human, half mole?

 

I am assuming I can develop the second reel right after the first one in the same developer etc...?

 

Seems like it will be straight forward enough. Apart from not being able to see anything.

 

Thanks


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#10 Josh Gladstone

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 06:27 PM

Simple, you don't do it in the dark! ;)

 

I use a Lomo tank, a soviet made processing tank. It looks like this:

lomo_upb-1a(2).jpg

 

You load the film into the tank it in the dark, but you work with the tank in the light. There's a port on top where the chemicals go, a tube to drain everything out, and a little twisty spigot on the top that spins the reel inside the tank, since you can't invert it for agitation.

 

Now, if you're going to do it in a bucket, get something as dark, opaque, and light-tight as possible (so with a lid!), then reduce the lights in the room to a low but comfortable working level. You're going to have to turn the lights off every time you want to dump liquid out and pour the next solution in, but that could work. If you're feeling DIY inventive, you can put a drainage port/spout/hose at the bottom of your bucket. On the top, you could put a PVC u-bend, which should keep the light out since light can't bend around 90 degree corners. But like I said before you could also just use something with a lid and then shut the lights when it's open.

 

The other thing you should take into account is that wet film sticks together. If you bunch your film up and stuff it into a bucket, some surfaces will touch, and those areas won't receive any chemistry and thus won't be processed. This can lead to interesting results, especially when perfs sort of bleed through, so it might work for your aesthetic, but just be wary of it. That's why the film in the lomo tank is wound onto plastic spirals, it separates the film, ensuring that chemicals can flow over all the surfaces evenly. This guy is getting some fantastic results from his home-made processing tank with home-made spirals, if you're interested: http://www.chrisgavi...k-for-cine.html


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#11 Josh Gladstone

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 06:43 PM

And yes, you can develop the second reel right after the first in the same developer. Though, if you do decide to use spirals to keep your film separated, you will have to wait for them to dry, since the film will just stick to everything and you'll never get it loaded up.

 

Developer will eventually degrade with continual use, so be wary of that. It also degrades over time. Stored D-76 officially has a shelf life of about month when exposed to oxygen (although i've used it 6-9 months later with no problems so I say its shelf life is much longer, but generally if it's not clear you should probably make a new batch). Personally, I rarely reuse developer. D-76 is very cheap to start with and on top of that I'm diluting it 1:1, so I don't mind throwing it away after each batch. But that's totally up to you.


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#12 neil kerr

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 08:46 PM

Thanks again for your help, it's really appreciated.

 

Just going to go with buckets and will agitate the film throughout in a bid to aid the processing. I know parts won't be processed but i am ok with that.

 

I'm still not sure about hat I do once I have developed the film, I was going to try it over a clothing rack that I have then attempt to put it back on a reel. Do I need to buy some sort of special reel or will it go back on the reel from the original cart? Have never opened a cart up so am not sure if it is even possible to get it back on that reel?

 

Thanks, I owe you a beer!


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#13 Josh Gladstone

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 08:25 AM

No problem, happy to help!

 

You just hang it to dry. The easiest way is to twist paperclips around a clothesline and then hang the film to dry by the perfs. The key is to space it out so that none of the wet film is touching itself while it dries, or those sections will stick together and you'll get uneven drying/water spots.

 

You need reels. They're plastic and very inexpensive. Spectra and Pro8 sell the 50' reels for about $1 each, which is the length of one roll of film. If you're going to be editing or need to store longer durations of film, they make 200' and 400' reels as well.

 

http://www.spectrafi...m/Products.html

http://www.pro8mm.co...ode=DIYSupplies


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#14 John E Clark

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 01:14 PM

Thanks again for your help, it's really appreciated.

 

Just going to go with buckets and will agitate the film throughout in a bid to aid the processing. I know parts won't be processed but i am ok with that.

 

I'm still not sure about hat I do once I have developed the film, I was going to try it over a clothing rack that I have then attempt to put it back on a reel. Do I need to buy some sort of special reel or will it go back on the reel from the original cart? Have never opened a cart up so am not sure if it is even possible to get it back on that reel?

 

Thanks, I owe you a beer!

 

 

From the look of that Lomo canister, I would suggest taking lengths of exposed or junk film, to get use to feeding it on to the reel... is this 'by hand'... just 3 feet of 35mm film for still development required a bit of training in the light first...

 

There were some ratchet type 'auto feeders' but I never got those to work reliably and had film that jumped the track or got bent in some way, and thus ruining the section where that occurred.


Edited by John E Clark, 04 August 2015 - 01:14 PM.

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#15 Vivek Venkatraman

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 06:30 AM

Neil I like your aesthetic but that much of strobing [in the edit I guess] is just too distracting to watch for so long.

Also did you remove the lens from the mount to let some light leak in onto the sensor ?

Nice stuff


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#16 neil kerr

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 06:48 PM

Neil I like your aesthetic but that much of strobing [in the edit I guess] is just too distracting to watch for so long.

Also did you remove the lens from the mount to let some light leak in onto the sensor ?

Nice stuff

Cheers, the strobing was done on set, there was no strobing added in post. It is pretty relentless but I am pleased with it overall as I wanted it to be disorientating, I can understand why some people would find it a bit much though.

 

It was very much a last minute shoot, I had to assemble the set and sometimes got only 15 minutes with a model so I am quite surprised that i ended up liking it so much.

 

Yeah, I am pretty fond of lens whacking and veering off to the left a bit. There isn't that much added in post, I shot in really low light at points to get lots of noise etc...that along with the whacking created a pretty surreal feel.


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#17 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 09:41 PM

I'm all in favour of buckets or batthtubs if that suits the resulting look.  But,  I have to follow Josh in suggesting you enquire into the lomo tank idea.  There is still plenty of room for quasi random changes in density etc.  But you will find it more manageable.

 

Doesn't sound cool enough?  Can someone point to those guys processing with a Lomo tank on a train,  throwing the chemicals out the window etc.  People think that the anarchic, cool stuff happened yesterday...I remember my photography tutor in 1978 (approx) describing to me a short movie made by throwing a vintage typewriter out the window of a Jaguar car at 90mph and recording the destruction in close detail.


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