Any definitive guides for bleach-bypass processing out there?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Bohngy, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. Bohngy

    Bohngy Member

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    Hi all, I was wondering if people here could share (preferably with pictures) their experiences with bleach bypass processing. It is something that I intend to to in the next few days, but I'm having a lot of problem trying to work out how it's done.

    There's lots of info about where it's been used in movie/film stocks etc, but I was wondering if anyone knows of a definitive guide for photographic stills... on the web somewhere?

    Maybe someone here has tried it?

    here's hoping

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  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Bleach bypass is exactly that. The normal color process, but no bleach. Usually a rinse or a stop bath of 1 - 2% acetic acid is used after the color developer. One then fixes the film or paper and then continues with the process.

    PE
     
  3. Domin

    Domin Member

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    Yes I've tried some. The caveat is that while cine stock uses remjet as antihalation layer, current still negs use either silver or some other means dependent on the bleach. So if the bleach is skipped the neg gets very dense. They might be hard to scan. Other than that its much like in mp - high contrast, low saturation and very grainy.

    The atachment is Gold 200 processed in C41 with no bleach. Not a good shot but its just for reference. I think the light was some diffused flash.
     

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  4. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    I made the mistake of bleach bypassing the king of bad grain... EL400.. lol
     
  5. Bohngy

    Bohngy Member

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    Hello peeps, thanks for the responses thusfar.
    Domin, your example is excellent - just the tonality I was dreaming of. I'm not so keen on the blown highlights and overly cyan or yellow of cross-processing. So Bleach bypass may be the way to go.
    Athiril, would you care to expand a bit more on your findings? If the grain is terrible I'll try it with 120 or maybe 4x5.
    One other point, I'm relatively new to C41 processing (done it only once before). How do I bypass the bleaching stage when I can only get hold of Blix - bleach and fix combined! Could I fix with Hypam (a non-hardening fixer?)
    thanks




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  6. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Hi,

    All you do is skip the bleach and wash, and use a stop bath and rinse (in the dark) instead, then continue as normal.

    The fun part is when you throw a b/w developer into the process in order to control the intensity of the effect. The b/w developer comes after the color developer. When you do this, you do not skip the bleach step; just insert the b/w developer (followed by a quick stop and rinse) in between the color developer and the bleach. What you do with the b/w step controls the intensity of the effect. You are doing this at C-41 temps, which are 25 to 32 F higher than standard b/w temps, so dilute the developer heavily, and experiment to find a good time. I used HC-110 at 1:127 at various times when I did it.

    Ron just corrected me. This is not actually "bleach bypass". It does have a similar effect, and does let you control the intensity by varying the details of the b/w step.

    The best guide for this is lots of trial and error, and good note taking and judgment skills. I don't know of an official guide...I learned about it in motion pictures in my intermediate film class, messed with it using still film in my experimental photography classes, and actually used it to effect in my advanced color photography class.

    As for doing it with blix...you can't...unless you do it with the b/w step. You need to look for the 757 mL bottle of Kodak Flexicolor Fixer and Replenisher. It makes a gallon, lasts 8 weeks or 120 rolls, and costs about $8 plus tax.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 4, 2009
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    2F;

    The bleach does remove silver developed by the B&W developer. It is there to remove all silver metal formed. In fact, that is the way E6 bleach works. It removes all silver. That is, unless you are using weak bleach somehow.

    What does happen, with a B&W developer after the color developer is to continue some color development and cross contamination and so you get higher dye density and contrast with bad color. This takes place in limited amount until the alkali and color developing agent are used up.

    PE
     
  8. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Can't you shorten the bleach time to get a smaller effect? If all you have is blix I wonder if you could shorten the blix time and then run normal fix to get full fixing.

    My impression is the whole process takes some trial and error to find what you want the end to result like.
     
  9. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    OK. I changed the post so it was not wrong. Thank you. Based on the way it looks, I assumed that the b/w developer did something to the silver to make it insoluble in the bleach. Minus the technical details, it does let you fine tune the "bleach-bypass-like" effect, however. (I like it way better than a straight bleach bypass.)

    Do you have any idea what ENR means? That's what the MP industry calls it.

    I just did some Internet searching and found this article: http://images.google.com/imgres?img...al&hs=eHo&sa=N&um=1&ei=PonXSfToDJH0tAOyy9CkCg

    I never saw this movie. The article not only talks about ENR and bleach bypass, but about how and why the look for the film was controlled using analog methods. They did it on the prints as opposed to on the in-camera film.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 4, 2009
  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    2F;

    ENR was the abbreviated name of a Kodak product for the MP industry in the 60s. That is all I can remember about that acronym. I don't know what it means. Maybe Eastman Negative Release? That is the closest I can come.

    PE
     
  11. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    If you do it on the prints you can screw it up and it's only the cost of the film and processing. Screw up the negatives and it's game over.
     
  12. Photo Engineer

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    I could not find anything about a B&W developer, just bleach bypass. ENR is apparently the process used here for release stock prints so the name is still in use. You might ask Dan Ochiva, editor of Millimeter Magazine about it, if he is still with them. He has kept very well abreast of this type of work, but has gone into the digital world along with the magazine.

    PE
     
  13. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Another interesting discussion, with some info from Hollywood cinematographer David Mullen: http://www.cinematography.com/index.php?showtopic=36214. Apparently it is always done at the print stage, which makes a lot of sense for MPs.

    More info, including variations and examples of who uses them: http://www.cinematography.net/bleach.htm

    Another link, with the author saying he got his information from David Mullen: http://www.filmmaking.net/faq/answers/faq39.asp?catid=8

    According to the guy who wrote this link: http://www.cineman.co.uk/bleach.html, the results are different at each lab.

    According to these sources, it also seems that my film instructor's description of the process was correct. It involves using black and white redevelopment to control the amount of retained silver.

    You can't trust what you read by strangers on the Internet. You have to do your own research and experimentation. It seems that "ENR" is a term invented by Technicolor, who came up with the process. So, if anyone knows EVERYTHING about the process, it is Technicolor. Give 'em a call and see if they'll talk to you. Same with big MP labs. See if you get someone who will give you some info. Try MP message boards instead of APUG, and you will likely get much more (and much better) information.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 4, 2009
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  15. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    2F; (apologies for using your first name :smile: )

    I cannot understand that really. A bleach is a bleach. It removes silver from any source. Therefore it will remove silver from both color and B&W developers.

    I have to believe personally that the people who tried to explain it to others did not understand what was going on. I'm sorry.

    You can test it yourself by just placing some B&W film into a bleach such as Ferricyanide or Ferric EDTA and let it go. The silver turns to Silver salts and then can be fixed out.

    As I described before, use of a B&W developer right after a color developer has effects on the color image. However, if that is combined with bleach bypass, IDK what would happen. Using a B&W developer is somewhat like a push process and combining it with bleach bypass the results would be as you describe with very much heightened effects such as color contamination and increased contrast and grain.

    But, if bleaching is being carried out, then silver is removed to the extent that the bleach was designed to do, and that is completely. We know from normal usage that bleaching and fixing are steps that go to completion and that applies here as well.

    PE
     
  16. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I understand the benefits, and apparently, it is also easier for labs to do it on prints, so that is the only way it is done.

    I have never done it with the RA-4 process; just in-camera still film.
     
  17. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I was thinking myself that it must be followed by a partial bleach step or something similar.

    But, if we really want to know, we can call Technicolor. As I said, the Internet is always suspect.
     
  18. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Actually much cheaper than that if you get the 1 gallon size. It's about $9 to make 5 gallons of working solution. Works for everything B&W and C-41.
     
  19. Mr Bill

    Mr Bill Member

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    I think perhaps the mystery about this is due to 2F erroneously describing the process sequence. I find a plausable description here: http://www.theasc.com/magazine/nov98/soupdujour/pg2.htm

    The gist is that Technicolor's ENR, "named for its inventor, Ernesto Novelli Rimo..." leaves metalic silver in the film, apparently by this means: First, the film is developed normally, and then bleached. As in normal processing, the (rehalogenating) bleach converts the metallic silver back into a silver halide, capable of being dissolved by fixer, BUT fixer is not used yet. Rather, the film goes through some sort of B&W developer, which begins "developing" the silver halide back into metallic silver (I presume appropriate fogging or whatever is done to the silver halide to make this "development" possible). It seems possible to develop to whatever degree one wants, and then stop/rinse or whatever, followed by FIXER. So all of the remaing silver halide will be dissolved out, leaving behind whatever amount of metallic silver that had been redeveloped.

    I think, as PE surmises, "that the people who tried to explain it to others did not understand what is going on." That is all. Some steps were out of place in the explanation, so it didn't make sense.
     
  20. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Indeed. That is a very good price. I just assumed that most people might prefer to deal with the smaller quantities that are readily available at pro photo shops rather than special ordering or mail ordering.

    Excellent info! Thank you.

    FWIW, I had already come to the conclusion that my original understanding of the order of steps in the ENR process must be wrong, but that it did involve b/w redevelopment.

    When I tried the process myself in this order: C-41 dev., b/w dev., stop, wash, bleach, wash, fixer, wash, stabilizer, I did get the desired wonky results, but PE has already explained why.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2009
  21. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    There are two common processes that use either retained silver or augmented dye images to get odd effects in color. They are:

    Color develop
    stop
    wash
    fix
    wash
    rehal bleach (ferricyanide + bromide)
    clear - stop + sulfite
    wash
    fog with light
    EITHER: color develop or B&W develop depending on effect desired
    wash
    fix
    wash
    stabilze

    One process will accentuate color and contrast and the other will give you an intense bleach bypass look.

    The sequence with two color developers can be repeated as often as desired to get higher and higher color saturation and contrast.

    PE
     
  22. danzyc

    danzyc Member

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    PE enr is the acronym of the inventor ERNESTO NOVELLI RIMO ...here in rome ..at techincolor lab..with the collaboration of the great cinematographer VITTORIO STORARO
     
  23. Photo Engineer

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    Dan;

    The two processes that I described in an earlier post here were well known at Kodak for years as REHAL processes. We used them as analytical tools to compare silver developed to dye formed and to determine the maximum amount of dye that could be formed. It was adapted for cienematography. We also used this type of process in making color prints to increase contrast. I have run it many times myself but we never used the acronym ENR for this process.

    I do seem to remember an ENR film or something in the 60s though, but as I said, this is vague to me. There were so many EN prefixes we used at Kodak for Eastman Negative products and EP for Eastman Print products that it is getting hazy at this date.

    It may be that this process was discovered by several people at about the same time, or not, but the popularization of ENR in the motion picture industry has probably firmed up that acronym. It is still REHAL at Kodak.

    PE
     
  24. mikemarcus

    mikemarcus Member

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    The process described by Photo Engineer is not ENR (although it sounds like an interesting alternative to bleach bypass with greater control).

    From reading around, it seems that ENR uses the latent image of undeveloped silver halides which survive the bleaching process. These exposed silver halides are mixed with unexposed halides during bleaching to create similar conditions to that in the original exposed film. However as the film has already been through colour dev, the emulsion contains image dyes. The film is then either partially or completely redeveloped in black and white chemistry to superimpose a controlable density of silver onto the dye image before being fixed to remove all remaining halides.

    The process is as follows:

    Colour dev
    Bleach
    Wash
    B&W dev
    Stop
    Fix
    Wash
    Stabilise

    This is a proprietary Technicolor service which explains the lack of reliable information. It is designed to be applied to only the positive print or interpositive and in this sense differs from bleach bypass which is applied to either the camera negative, positive print or intermediate depending on requirements.

    I conducted tests yesterday which suggest that ENR has no effect on C41 negatives although more experimentation is needed to be sure of this conclusion.
     
  25. Photo Engineer

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    Mike;

    A bleach following a color developer, if powerful enough to bleach the silver, will result in 2 things. First, carryover of color developer into a bleach will cause an instant veil of fog to form via oxidation of the color developing agent by the bleach. Therefore, a clearing bath would have to be used between the two baths as well as a wash to remove the clearing bath.

    Second, the bleach, if powerful enough to bleach color developed silver would be strong enough to bleach the latent image in most cases. We had to be careful of that in our experiments into catalytic image amplification. See the patents by Bissonette et. al. on this subject. It is very sticky and hard to pin down exactly how much latent image is left after the first development. Usually it is considered that there is none left, since if it is a latent image, it develops.

    In fact, the B&W development is usually considered to develop all of the silver that the color development woud have, and therefore it is equivalent to bleach bypass.

    Lastly, the lack of a fix after the color developer or bleach would probably lead to bad fog in any case.

    I'm sure it must work, but that there are missing steps and a lot of misunderstandings over the process cycle you describe.

    PE
     
  26. georgegrosu

    georgegrosu Member

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    In Romania, by the year 1974 was a process GRAFIS COLOR - process for color print Orwo PC 7.
    It consists for using a color developer more diluted (I think about 20%) and a partial bleaching. The images were obtained desaturate. The partial removal of silver, we obtain a good level of black.
    By 1994 I know that there was a movie " Pepe & Fifi" using this method http://www.cinemarx.ro/filme/Pepe-38-Fifi-Pepe-38-Fifi-70940.html. Color print used was Kodak 5386. I remember they were trouble to scan a picture of the color print. Containing color images and metallic silver - sure to be problems with scanning.
    By 1984 I did some tests - mixing color image and b & w on color print. The effect obtained was a partial color image. It can adjust the weighting of each image (color and b & w). Work with color negative and a dupe negative b & w (DP 3 - DN2 Orwo) made from color negative. Color positive process was classic ECP 2.
    My opinion is that applying a particular technique to a negative film is a bit hazardous.
    It is more lucrative to apply to positive film.
    George