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Beginner to Film/Processing

Film 16mm processing Bolex

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#1 Nicholas Jarry

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 10:26 AM

Hello.

 

I just recently purchased a Bolex H16 and Morse Film Developer, and want to shoot and develop my own 16mm films.

 

I did not go to film school and have learned everything on digital. However, I want to shoot film, so that's what I'm doing. (mainly color) I've tried to research developing online, but I'm either not finding a lot of information, or it's way over my head. 

 

My question for the group is, what chemicals do I need to hand processing 16mm with the Morse? The safer the better, as I currently live in an apartment with no windows in the kitchen or bathroom. But I have other options so I'm not going to let that derail me. I understand this will not result in the highest quality possible. But I'm not looking for that. I just wan to learn.

 

Thanks in advance for any tips you all may have!

 

Cheers!


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#2 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 11:15 AM

Processing black and white reversal film isn't very complicated. However, without adequate facilities, are a real pain to deal with.

Processing color negative film at home is much more tricky, remjet removal and achieving proper/consistent temps, add to the complexity.

This subject has been covered on this forum dozens of times. The net result is always it being a waste of time and money. Even with all the right equipment and perfect workflow, the results are substandard. Generally stuck remjet, and sections of unprocessed film, destroy consistency.

Here is a link to a site all about it. http://www.oocities.org/gselinsky/

There are many more available by using Google to search.
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#3 Nicholas Jarry

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 12:14 PM

Thanks for the tips. Do you have chemical recommendations? Are the same chemicals used for movie film development as they are for still photo development?


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#4 Simon Wyss

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 12:51 PM

Yes, you can well start out with X-tol, Rodinal, D-76, Caffenol, Peenol, Amidol, whatnot. The colour formulae are standardised, however, C-41 and E-6. If you can switch to spiral reels instead of the Morse system, you will have great benefit. What serial number has your camera?


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#5 aapo lettinen

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 04:37 PM

Remember to use rubber gloves and goggles when handling the chemicals and read the safety instructions. You can start with mixing some Coffenol, it is fun to do and the results can be great. Also one of the least hazardous formulas for film developing. 

For fixer it is usually more practical to use factory made concentrate than mixing it by yourself from the start. Remember to use washing aid and to use distilled water for developer especially if you plan to store the developer solution for long. the developers don't like oxygen but for later stages you can usually use tap water if you want.

 

If you are trying later something more hazardous or carcinogenic stuff (some color developing kits contain formaldehyde for example) you will need even better ventilation in the darkroom and/or other solution for preventing breathing the fumes. 

scott-promask.jpg

 

the main concern with all developing chemicals though is usually that they seriously irritate skin so don't handle without gloves


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#6 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 17 May 2016 - 04:27 PM

Which Morse system are you using? They also made spiral tanks didn't they. I think I used one, still have one. I don't like the winding back and forth idea at all.

Processing B&W is fairly simple. From what you say, it would be interesting and usefull for you. It really depends on the consistency of result that you need. Some great little films might be possible without the perfectly constent processing that labs normally achieve.

Some assumptions about what a film is often underly the opinions that people have on what acceptable processing is. Film is a medium or method for expressing those assumptions. If one threw these assumptions out the window....?

I saw a film recently where some artists were processing their film in a Morse spiral tank while riding on train. It may have been a stylish affectation, but they threw the used chemicals out the window....For me, a nice metaphore for the unnecessary boundaries that they had abandoned.
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