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A Complete Guide to Processing Super 8 Tri-X 7266 At Home

super 8 tri-x kodak processing 7266 home processing

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#1 Owen McCafferty II

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 01:38 PM

Hello All!

 

New user here and I'm hoping this great community can help me out. 

 

For the past week, I have been desperately trying to find a comprehensive and complete guide to processing Kodak Super 8 Tri-X 7266 at home. I can't seem to find any localized complete source of information on how to do this--while I've been able to find what sort of materials I'd need, the chemistry bit seems really though to understand. There seems to be multiple opinions on what sort of chemistry to use, but no real guide on how to do it or which chemistry works best. 

 

Now to be honest, I've never developed reversal film at home before--however, I do have a darkroom, and have been devleoping my own still film (black and white and color) since I was about 13 (I'm 25 now.) I've been shooting Super 8 (and Reg. 8, and some 16 here and there) for a long time now, and I'm to the point where I'm shooting so much of it, I think it might make sense to invest up front in the materials to develop at least Super 8 Tri-X at home. 

 

I should also say:

 

  • I'm not a chemist--I have a degree in English, so I took 1 chemistry class in all of my education--and it was the history of chemicals--so my ability to understand how chemistry works is pretty sad, to be honest--I know how to follow mixing instructions on bottles and packets--that's about it!
  • I'm just interested in processing the film for reversal results--I'm not interested in cross processing or anything 'artistic'--I'd like to just reproduce the results from the lab, if at all possible

 

Can anyone provide a resource that goes over exactly what chemicals to use to process Super 8 Tri-X 7266 (and possibly where to buy them), mixing instructions, and processing times? I would be forever in your debt!

Here's my materials list:

 

-Chemistry 

-Spiral Lomo Tank

-Containers for chemistry?

-100 or 300 watt bulb

-Drying device (Morse Drying Drum (or similar)

 

 

Thanks to all for your time and help!

Owen - Cleveland.

 

 


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#2 Charles Cadkin

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 12:20 AM

Based on my limited experience and self-taught knowledge, I've always used normal black and white still photography chemicals (d76 developer, kodak fixer, water for a stop bath). The method that I've always done is to go into a darkroom and pull the film out of the Super 8 cartridge (or I think you can open it or break it open to avoid scratching the film, but I've never done this as you're going to scratch it anyway) and then you take your big jumbled mess of film that you've pulled out and put it into your developing tank. You then develop the film fairly normally, like you would black and white 35mm stills.

 

Develop, stop, fix. The approximate times I've used are:

Develop: 7ish minutes

Stop: 3 minutes

Fix: 8 minutes

 

Experiment with times for yourself.

 

The other option, if your developing tank isn't very big, is to fill buckets or similar containers with your chemicals and develop the film in a darkroom throughout the whole process, constantly agitating the film, rather than doing it in the tank. Your film may be more evenly coated with chemicals this way and you can tell if it is sticking together. Either way, however, you are going to get extremely inconsistent results as you are dealing with a large amount of film and attempting to develop it all at once. It will end up looking very spotty. Depending on your project, it can be an interesting look but it also may not be what you want at all.

 

Your other option, which I have never tried, but have heard about is to use a rewind tank like the Morse G3 (more info here http://www.cinematog...?showtopic=9878 ). Basically you load a maximum of 100' of 35mm I believe and put the chemicals in the tank and wind the film from one side to the other, in a specific amount of time, to pass the film through the chemicals and develop it evenly. Based on what I've read it is pretty time consuming and you end up doing a lot of physical work without taking a break if you're doing a lot of film, but you will get a much more consistent result. You can buy a tank on eBay, but they're generally pretty expensive. I've been watching some myself and often a cheap one will pop up.

 

There really aren't any cheap solutions to developing motion picture film and getting any sort of professional look. The methods I've described above are fun to mess around with and may be right for a project you're working on though. If you've been doing darkroom work for so long, this may be something you'll like getting into. It should be stated that this method is only for b&w, obviously. Color is a bit different.

 

Edit: I should also mention that this method is for developing tri-x reversal as a negative.


Edited by Charles Cadkin, 29 March 2017 - 12:29 AM.

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#3 Michael Carter

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 10:31 AM

Owen,
Reversal developers are higher contrast than still film. D-19 is suggested. Photographers Formulary sells a duplicate version they mix. I used Fomadon LQR according to the tech sheet for Fomapan R 100, available from Freestyle Foto.
I made a video on how I reversed Foma R100 using chemicals from the tech sheet, not from the reversal kit sold on line.
https://m.youtube.co...h?v=3GYWdzrA83I
The same chemicals will be used on ORWO UN54 next. And if I had some I'd use them on TriX, too.
The upb1a holds s8.
Michael
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#4 Owen McCafferty II

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 10:54 AM

Based on my limited experience and self-taught knowledge, I've always used normal black and white still photography chemicals (d76 developer, kodak fixer, water for a stop bath). The method that I've always done is to go into a darkroom and pull the film out of the Super 8 cartridge (or I think you can open it or break it open to avoid scratching the film, but I've never done this as you're going to scratch it anyway) and then you take your big jumbled mess of film that you've pulled out and put it into your developing tank. You then develop the film fairly normally, like you would black and white 35mm stills.

 

Develop, stop, fix. The approximate times I've used are:

Develop: 7ish minutes

Stop: 3 minutes

Fix: 8 minutes

 

Experiment with times for yourself.

 

The other option, if your developing tank isn't very big, is to fill buckets or similar containers with your chemicals and develop the film in a darkroom throughout the whole process, constantly agitating the film, rather than doing it in the tank. Your film may be more evenly coated with chemicals this way and you can tell if it is sticking together. Either way, however, you are going to get extremely inconsistent results as you are dealing with a large amount of film and attempting to develop it all at once. It will end up looking very spotty. Depending on your project, it can be an interesting look but it also may not be what you want at all.

 

Your other option, which I have never tried, but have heard about is to use a rewind tank like the Morse G3 (more info here http://www.cinematog...?showtopic=9878 ). Basically you load a maximum of 100' of 35mm I believe and put the chemicals in the tank and wind the film from one side to the other, in a specific amount of time, to pass the film through the chemicals and develop it evenly. Based on what I've read it is pretty time consuming and you end up doing a lot of physical work without taking a break if you're doing a lot of film, but you will get a much more consistent result. You can buy a tank on eBay, but they're generally pretty expensive. I've been watching some myself and often a cheap one will pop up.

 

There really aren't any cheap solutions to developing motion picture film and getting any sort of professional look. The methods I've described above are fun to mess around with and may be right for a project you're working on though. If you've been doing darkroom work for so long, this may be something you'll like getting into. It should be stated that this method is only for b&w, obviously. Color is a bit different.

 

Edit: I should also mention that this method is for developing tri-x reversal as a negative.

Thanks but, as I said, I'm interested in how to develop Tri-X at home as a positive--not a negative


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#5 Owen McCafferty II

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 11:00 AM

Owen,
Reversal developers are higher contrast than still film. D-19 is suggested. Photographers Formulary sells a duplicate version they mix. I used Fomadon LQR according to the tech sheet for Fomapan R 100, available from Freestyle Foto.
I made a video on how I reversed Foma R100 using chemicals from the tech sheet, not from the reversal kit sold on line.
https://m.youtube.co...h?v=3GYWdzrA83I
The same chemicals will be used on ORWO UN54 next. And if I had some I'd use them on TriX, too.
The upb1a holds s8.
Michael

Hi Michael! I actually came across your video on Youtube a few days ago! I understand (from the labs I've used) that the process for Tri-X and Foma are very different, as the Foma emulsion is much softer. Do you think the Fomadon would take forever to process the Tri-X??

 

In regards to the kit--how many rolls of Regular 8 R-100 can you get from one kit, in your experience? 

 

Thanks again!

Owen


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#6 Michael Carter

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 04:14 PM

I got two rolls from the kit, but that was Fomapan, which was longer. It did not fit on the smaller Lomo tank spiral made for 25 ft or 7.5m. So maybe 3 of the shorter film in the smaller tank, diluted.
I did not notice the softness?? And I think the time was shorter using Fomadon than the Foma kit. 10 min? So, that is longer than D-76. 7min. A longer time or higher temps increase contrast. That may melt off Foma film
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#7 Jesse Andrewartha

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 12:35 PM

Up front, if you're looking for results that rival a lab, that's not going to be a quick and easy thing, it's going to take practice. It's a bonus that you've had experience processing still film... but I recommend you take the time to research the chemistry, how to use and handle the materials and learn exactly what you're doing and why, for several different, important reasons:

 

1. It will allow you to understand what happened when things go wrong

2. It will allow you to use the best chemistry for your intended application

3. You will be safer.

 

Don't let the chemistry intimidate you, just learn what you're dealing with and how to handle it safely... with that...

 

For tank processing, I certainly recommend the ORWO process. In tank processing, I get much closer to the Kodak calibrated Tri-X reversal test strip with it than any other process, plus it provides a pleasing, slightly cool tone and a longer 1st development time which for me helps with evenness.

 

http://www.filmotec....I-VV-4185-e.pdf

 

You can buy these chemicals through photographers formulary. Note, you will always go through sodium sulfite quickly, so buy alot of it.  Also please note this process uses a dichromate bleach which is extremely hazardous, equivalent to Kodak R-9. Any bleach will be really nasty, but if you use the dichromate bleach, never pour down the drain, neutralize before disposal and never let it contact the skin (hexavalent dichromate damages DNA). As far as fix, use of a standard rapid fix with hardener is fine... so at least you don't need to mix that!

 

Use of a 50ft Lomo tank will provide the best result for consistent, scratch-free results at home. Note it will take a few rolls before you get accustomed to proper agitation so shoot a few tester rolls and process before you do any important, irreplaceable film.

 

As far as re-exposure you can just use room light... as soon as you're done bleaching, open the tank and process in the light... or get a desk lamp and place it next to your processing area, and flash the film on the reel for 30s-1min, moving the reel and getting all angles.

 

You can dry by hanging the film over the bath tub, that's what I do... never had a problem.

 

Finally, I recommend ditching reversal and developing as a negative... it's much better for several reasons:

 

1. better latitude

2. safer, less toxic chemistry

3. the chemistry lasts longer

4. after you've gotten a print/scan you can keep your negs safe!

 

Cheers, 

 

-Jesse-


Edited by Jesse Andrewartha, 30 March 2017 - 12:38 PM.

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#8 Michael Carter

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Posted 01 April 2017 - 11:43 AM

I will try using off the shelf developers in clip tests first. Buying all those chemicals is a huge commitment.
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#9 Owen McCafferty II

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 09:31 PM

Thanks to all who contributed. I think I will try the ORWO process as Jesse recommended. 

 

Michael--just to clarify--will D19 also work on Foma R-100? Or must you use the Foma chemicals? I do also shoot that, though I want to try Tri-X first as I originally posted. 


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#10 Michael Carter

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 06:10 AM

Owen,
The D-19 I have is an old packet by Kodak. It makes a gallon and I haven't mixed it yet because I'd never use it up by the time it would go bad. So, who knows? Why not? It is only silver in gelatin.
Please let us know the cost of buying all those chemicals on the ORWO tech sheet. Some day, me too.
Michael
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#11 Owen McCafferty II

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 02:41 PM

To complicate things further: 

 

This gentleman in Deutschland uses Tentenal Dokumol as his developer for B/W reversal films (the video is in German with English subtitles)

 

 

Anyone have any opinions about using Dokumol? Also--he uses what appears to be a run of the mill developer--Adofix--which may even be similar to D76. 

 

Sehr interessant.... 


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#12 Jesse Andrewartha

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 04:36 PM

A few notes on the chemicals:

 

- If the water where you are is soft, don't worry about pentasodiumtriphosphate... I don't include it and have no worries.

- All the chemicals on this list are easy to come by... I tallied the cost of doing 10L of ORWO chemistry, basically 5-6 tanks worth*, on Photographers Formulary: it came to about $120. Even then it would probably just be the sulfite you'd need to get more of...

 

*Assumes one shot... you could get through more than that through as long as you filter between each process.

 

 

Please let us know the cost of buying all those chemicals on the ORWO tech sheet. Some day, me too.
Michael


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#13 Owen McCafferty II

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 10:26 AM

A few notes on the chemicals:

 

- If the water where you are is soft, don't worry about pentasodiumtriphosphate... I don't include it and have no worries.

- All the chemicals on this list are easy to come by... I tallied the cost of doing 10L of ORWO chemistry, basically 5-6 tanks worth*, on Photographers Formulary: it came to about $120. Even then it would probably just be the sulfite you'd need to get more of...

 

*Assumes one shot... you could get through more than that through as long as you filter between each process.

 

 

The "Tentenal" process from the german gentleman above, would be much cheaper--but I wonder what the results are....


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#14 Jesse Andrewartha

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 11:27 AM

Results are probably pretty decent once you have tested your workflow... I know people that use Dektol in a similar way which seems to give a very 'chalk & charcoal' look to the images, but that could also be operator influence. Otherwise, here's a starter shopping list of chemicals (just add rapid fix)....  based on Tetenal guy this should be good for at least 100 rolls of super8

 

Sodium Sulfite Anhydrous Size: 10-1341 5 lb $19.95

 

Phenidone* (Class 6.1)(Ground ups only) Choose ups ground at checkout Size: 10-0870 10 g $6.95

 

Hydroquinone* (Class 6.1)(Ground ups only) / Choose ups ground at checkout Size: 10-0670 100 g 8.95

 

Sodium Carbonate Anhydrous Size: 10-1189 1 lb $5.95

 

Potassium Bromide Size: 10-0930 100 g $5.95

 

Potassium Thiocyanate Size: 10-1090 100 g $39.95

 

Potassium Dichromate*(Class 6.1) (Bichromate)(§) (GROUND UPS ONLY) DEA FORM REQUIRED / Choose ups ground shipping at checkout Size: 10-1000 30 g $8.95

 

Sodium Hydroxide* (Class 8)(§) (GROUND UPS ONLY) DEA FORM REQUIRED / Choose ups ground shipping at checkout Size: 10-1270 100g $6.95

 

Sulfuric Acid 48%*(Class 8) (§)(GROUND UPS ONLY) DEA FORM REQUIRED / Choose ups ground shipping at checkout Size: 10-1445 100 ml $15.95


Edited by Jesse Andrewartha, 05 April 2017 - 11:30 AM.

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#15 Owen McCafferty II

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 11:53 AM

Results are probably pretty decent once you have tested your workflow... I know people that use Dektol in a similar way which seems to give a very 'chalk & charcoal' look to the images, but that could also be operator influence. Otherwise, here's a starter shopping list of chemicals (just add rapid fix)....  based on Tetenal guy this should be good for at least 100 rolls of super8

 

Sodium Sulfite Anhydrous Size: 10-1341 5 lb $19.95

 

Phenidone* (Class 6.1)(Ground ups only) Choose ups ground at checkout Size: 10-0870 10 g $6.95

 

Hydroquinone* (Class 6.1)(Ground ups only) / Choose ups ground at checkout Size: 10-0670 100 g 8.95

 

Sodium Carbonate Anhydrous Size: 10-1189 1 lb $5.95

 

Potassium Bromide Size: 10-0930 100 g $5.95

 

Potassium Thiocyanate Size: 10-1090 100 g $39.95

 

Potassium Dichromate*(Class 6.1) (Bichromate)(§) (GROUND UPS ONLY) DEA FORM REQUIRED / Choose ups ground shipping at checkout Size: 10-1000 30 g $8.95

 

Sodium Hydroxide* (Class 8)(§) (GROUND UPS ONLY) DEA FORM REQUIRED / Choose ups ground shipping at checkout Size: 10-1270 100g $6.95

 

Sulfuric Acid 48%*(Class 8) (§)(GROUND UPS ONLY) DEA FORM REQUIRED / Choose ups ground shipping at checkout Size: 10-1445 100 ml $15.95

Excuse my thickness here--so are these the ingredients to essentially make the Dokumol, bleach, stop, and clearing? 


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#16 Michael Carter

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 09:46 PM

Before you buy all that, try what I was told to use on ORWO 54, Rodinal, One Shot, 1:50, 10 min, 68 degrees, normal agitation, stop, fix 10 min. It worked great! I put some movie clips up on FB two places.
https://www.facebook.../?ref=bookmarks
It is also buried on 8mm and 16mm filmmakers group.

Edited by Michael Carter, 07 April 2017 - 09:49 PM.

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#17 Sandy McLennan

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 11:34 AM

My success with Tri-X 7266 super 8 reversal for experimental film (will not look like it's from a lab, there shall be emulsion chunked off, floating in your buckets, so go gentle on the agitation/picking up) as follows:

 

In total darkness, pull the film out and gather it in a dry bucket. Cut off with scissors (it's hard to tear).

 

Ten plastic buckets (1 gallon, 4L each) laid out on a table in the darkroom. In Canada, buy at a dollar store.

 

First bucket Dektol 1:5 (333ml Dektol stock, 1666ml water), 22C, 10min, agitate @ 30sec (raise up the film with a gloved hand, put it back in). This chemistry can be re-used. I've added 1/2 teaspoon of sodium thiocyanate to the Dektol, but don't know what difference it makes.Does it make the emulsion softer?

 

Two buckets of water for rinse, house room temp, two minutes in each bucket with gentle swishing, or pick up and dunk.

 

Third bucket is bleach (a 1:1 diluted version of "Ilford reversal bleach" is 2g potassium permanganate, 10ml 93% sulphuric acid, in 2L water), I get the chemicals from Nymoc, 24 McGee St, Toronto, ON M4M 2K9,Phone: (416) 465-1929. I'm fortunate I can drive 3 hours to pick them up (or the other photo chemicals they sell) and I don't know if they ship.

 

20C, 1 minute then turn on room light, bleach to completion. I believe you can't over-bleach, but I get nervous so watch it. Might be 2 or 3 minutes. Hold the film up to light and look for cleared areas where you can see the colour of the bucket behind the film, so not opaque. Best to throw this out after one use, or enjoy the thrill (angst) of uneven bleaching next use.

 

Two buckets of rinse water, 2 minutes each.

 

Place the film in a dry tray (eg. 11" x 14") and wrangle to expose all frames on both sides a few inches under a gooseneck 800 lumen desk light. It will be tangly and drippy (annoying). I understand you can't over-re-expose under a room light. If frames don't get exposed to this light, there can be some crazy "effects" when projecting.

 

A bucket of Dektol 1:5, without the sodium thiocyanate, 20C, 2 or more minutes, until black parts like edges are fully black. I understand you can't over-use this second developer. You could re-use the first developer (without any sodium thiocyanate) but then throw it out.

 

A bucket of rinse water, or two, or take it to running water and change out the water a couple of times.

 

A bucket of fixer. I've been using Kodak Fixer, diluted 1:1, 20C, 4 minutes. When it is well used, do a clip test to determine if it's still working and how long to leave the film in it: snip a short length of super 8 Tri-X that's been completely exposed to light, hold it in the fixer and time how long it takes to clear, then double that time.

 

A bucket of rinse water (or the same on used for the second developer, with fresh water). Rinse and replace the water two or three times.

 

A bucket of water with a few drops of Photo Flo (or I've read dish soap?), 20C, 1 minute.

 

To dry I've draped it over the shower curtain rod, hung it by paper clips spread open on a clothes line, through the sprocket holes, or draped it around a portable clothes drying rack.

 

Good luck. Enjoy the experience and the ride! Then thread up a projector.


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