B/W negative reversal for Ilford films

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Jermband, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. Jermband

    Jermband Member

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    I'm trying to find out if Photographer Formulary's Reversal process for TMAX will work for Ilford FP4 125 or Delta 400, and if not, are there any other reversal processes out there?
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Ilford have a PDF file on reversal processing. Here.

    It's very easy. The Formulary kit should work with any B&W film.

    Ian
     
  3. vet173

    vet173 Member

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    This looks like it could be really fun. I hope this doesn't make me out to look like a dork, but could you use the acid from your car battery, assuming specific gravity at full charge of 12.0?
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Probably not, as it may contain a little lead or other impurities.

    Ian
     
  5. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    If you need sulfuric acid, use battery acid from the auto store. In the US it is 35% - 37%. Or, you can get the 48% acid from the Formulary.

    PE
     
  6. amuderick

    amuderick Member

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    I am also starting to explore B&W slides for my stereo Sputnik camera.

    A few questions come to mind from the research I've done so far:

    1) Are there any fogging redeveloper formulas which can deliver neutral toned slides? All of the formulas I've reviewed end up chocolate or sepia if you use chemicals instead of light for the 2nd development
    2) I'm leaning towards a permanganate / bisulfate bleach vs. dichromate. I hear this really softens the emulsion but that colder temperatures can help. Can I slowly cool the film after being washed from the 1st developer before I put it in the bleach? The bleach would be cooled as well. I'm thinking about 55-60F. I would increase the bleach time by about 2x.
    3) I'm planning to use HC-110 according to Jordan Wosnick's formula because I like HC-110 and have it handy. Is there a big reason not to do this?
    4) I'm planning to use Efke 100 and HP5+ for my films. Again, thoughts?

    Thanks! I've learned so much from this group. What an incredible asset to photographer's everywhere.
     
  7. Jermband

    Jermband Member

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    Copying negatives

    My reason for wanting to do black and white development is that I have some rare 4x5 photo negatives that I want to copy for my own keeping. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what film would be best or if it's even worth trying this. How much resolution of the original negative would I be capturing assuming that the camera was focused perfectly and there is no movement?
     
  8. Jordan

    Jordan Member

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    There is at least one. I think it uses sodium dithionite, but I'm not sure. Haist writes about it in his book.

    Alessandro Serrao, who also posts here, uses a process that runs at a consistent 20C (or maybe lower) to avoid stressing the gelatin as much as possible. He is able to get good results. I didn't pursue the permanganate bleach much as I found the dichromate easier to use, despite the toxicity (it is reusable, unlike permanganate bleach).

    The HC-110 trick works well, but do a test roll first to see how it goes in your set-up. And let me know how it turns out!

    I have to confess that it's been a while -- about a year -- since I've done any reversal processing. The last procedure I tried (which worked quite well) involved a strong solvent-free Rodinal first developer, followed by a separate reduction step with a thiosulfate bath. I describe it (with a link to the original) in a post here: http://www.photosensitive.ca/wp/archives/68

    Hope this helps
    Jordan
     
  9. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

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    Imho, you made the right choice.
    The only caveat is to use half the permanganate strenght of what's suggested. For example I've found using 250mg permanganate per 36exp roll quite sufficient without stressing the emulsion.

    Right: the temperature should be mantained at 20°C or lower (max 18°C) and constant (within 0.5°C) during all steps.

    But the most important thing is to use HALF permanganate strenght and not doubling the time.
     
  10. Lowell Huff

    Lowell Huff Inactive

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    Reversal processing usually works best with 100-125 ASA films, random grain silver is much better than "designer grain", and sulfuric acid bichromate bleach results in better quality imaging. We do manufacture reversal chemistry.
     
  11. dr5chrome

    dr5chrome Member

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    The fomulary kit is optimized for the tmax100 film, however you could likely do better making it up yourself.

    None of the kits provide a satisfactory fogging developer.

    Grant Haist has made suggestions on fogging developers but should be modified for each use.

    I would not suggest permanganate bleach. Not only is this agent explosive, it does not provide the best image quality. Sulfuric acid concentrations should be reagent grade - 96 - 13ml per liter [cant figure the % off the top of my head] for bleach. You should also use Di water as well. The bleach will leave deposits on the film if you use poor quality water, bleach agent or Sulfuric.

    Dithionite does nothing to help the reversal process, its not even worth trying.

    The best film for doing interpositives is infact tmax100. It is best shot @ 40iso for this use, to make interpositives. EFKE50 is also a very good film for this use but only in a chemical reverse.

    Rodinal, if it has p-amimo hydrochloride in it [the new version i think does not] is actually a very good agent to use in reversal processing, a very nice image quality but very expensive.

    regards
    dw

    www.dr5.com
    www.filmrecording.net
    www.filmprocessing.us
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2008
  12. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Perhaps a bit over-dramatic on the reasons not to use the permanganate bleach, used properly and fresh the image quality is excellent. It's obviously not suitable for machine use, but it's fine for small scale processing hence the reason it's been recommended for years by many film manufacturers.

    As to Rodinal there isn't a "new version" only the name of the manufacturer has changed, from Agfa to A&O, it's still the same formula made on the same production line.

    Ian
     
  13. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

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    Infact, I'm using 250mg permanganate tablets sold commonly in pharmacies.
    I didn't know that pharmacies would sell explosive materials...

    The permanganate per se is not explosive, it's the Mn2O7 that is explosive.
    Though it's a powerful oxidizing agent but it's not carcinogenic, as the dichromate is.

    DO NOT USE permanganate with HCl 'cause you'll get chlorine gas.
    DO NOT USE permanganate with *highly concentrated* H2SO4 acid, 'cause you'll get Mn2O7 which, as said above, is explosive and also O3 which can start a combustion itself if near alcohols.

    In our bleach, if I've understood correctly, the first reaction is (qualitatively, I've not sechiometrically balanced it):
    KMnO4 + H2SO4 --> MnSO4 + K2SO4 + H2O + O3 (gas)
    and that accounts for the increased pressure in the developing tank when you open it after the bleach phase;
    plus another reaction takes place: MnSO4 is reduced to MnO2.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2008
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  15. amuderick

    amuderick Member

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    Thank you all for your advice. I have designed a few experimental formulas and will post my results.

    One last question: I saw somewhere "Do not use stainless steel reels or tanks" in regards to B&W reversal processing. Is this true? Under what conditions?
     
  16. dr5chrome

    dr5chrome Member

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    ..that is your opinion, and you are welcome to it. I didnt say dont use it, I said 'suggest'.

    I "heard" from unverified sources @ A&O that they infact are not using pAminophenal hydroChloride, which is the main developer in Rodinal. Thats just what i heard, take it or leave it.

    regards

    dw


     
  17. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Agfa's data sheets & MSDS have not shown Rodinal as specifically containing p-aminophenol hydrochloride for quite a number of years now, and A&O's current MSDS lists the same chemicals as before.

    The A&O Rodinal product is still a p-aminohenol developer, and identical to the Rodinal produced by Agfa for at least the past 15-20 years.

    Ian
     
  18. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

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    Mainly because the sulphuric acid will corrode the stainless steel.
     
  19. amuderick

    amuderick Member

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    Gotcha. And since sodium bisulfate becomes a sulfuric acid equivalent in solution, a formula using bisulfate will also corrode the stainless steel correct?

    Looks like I'm going to need to find a plastic reel and tank...
     
  20. Hans Borjes

    Hans Borjes Member

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  21. amuderick

    amuderick Member

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    Thank you all. I did successfully implement a reversal process. I'm not expert at it yet, but after some practice I expect excellent results. I think one can do a lot better than the TMax Reversal Kit and at much better cost.

    I undertook this process with much interest. I reviewed the following information:

    - the notes on this page
    - your posts to Photo.net on the subject
    - the discussions of ImageMaker and Julio1fer on the NelsonFoto forums
    - the Ilford reversal recommendations
    - posts by Alessandro Serrao on photo.net and apug.org
    - posts on B&W reversal processing on apug.org
    - lots of Wikipedia and other Google searches to help connect the dots and elucidate exactly what all of the chemicals do.

    Below is my formula which I tested on 4×5 film using a Paterson Orbital Processor on Ilford HP5+ film.

    All steps were subject to continuous agitation.

    Temperature of all steps at 18C (64F). It is believed that lower temperatures reduce the toll that the permanganate bleach takes on the gelatin emulsion.

    - FIRST DEVELOPMENT

    6 tbsp Sodium Carbonate
    15ml HC-110 (dilution B)
    2g Potassium Bromide (optional)
    500ml distilled water

    2x Digital Truth recommended development time (to completion)

    - FIRST WASH

    Wash in distilled water, 15 seconds, empty
    Wash in distilled water, 30 seconds, empty
    Wash in distilled water, 60 seconds, empty

    - BLEACH

    A - 4g Potassium Permanganate
    1L distilled water

    B - 55g Sodium Bisulfate
    1L distilled water

    Mix A + B immediately before use

    After 30 seconds lid can be removed. All additional steps can be in room light. Do not allow the film to be exposed to sunlight! Continue bleach for as long as it takes to remove all of the black silver image. Emulsion is extremely soft. Be careful in handling!

    - SECOND WASH

    Wash in distilled water, 15 seconds, empty
    Wash in distilled water, 30 seconds, empty
    Wash in distilled water, 60 seconds, empty

    - CLEARING BATH

    30g Sodium Metabisulfite
    1L distilled water

    Generates sulfur dioxide gas which can be irritating. Ventilate this step!

    - THIRD WASH

    Wash in distilled water, invert 5 times, empty
    Wash in distilled water, invert 10 times, empty
    Wash in distilled water, invert 20 times, empty

    - CLEAR HIGHLIGHTS

    10g Sodium Thiosulfate
    1L distilled water

    note: higher concentration will speed the process up to 50g / L

    Agitate and inspect until highlights are just almost clear. This step sets your maximum ‘white value’. Should take between 0 and 20 minutes depending on solution’s concentration, the film, and EI

    - SECOND EXPOSURE

    Expose with 60-100W lamp at 1 foot distance for 1 1/2 minutes on each side

    - SECOND DEVELOPMENT

    1/2 - 1/4 strength FIRST DEVELOPMENT solution
    Use 1.5x recommended development time by inspection until desired shadow density is reached. This step sets your maximum ‘black value’.

    - FIX

    5-10 minutes with hardening fixer inversion every 1 minute. You may not really need a fixer (if you’ve done the 2nd development to completion) but you do need a hardener. I use Kodak Hardening Fixer which does both.

    - FOURTH WASH

    Wash in running water for 10 minutes

    - PHOTO FLO

    1.25ml + 16oz water

    - HANG AND DRY

    Note 1: This film processor only uses 55ml of chemistry to develop four 4×5 sheets, 2 5×7 sheets, or 1 8×10 sheet. This is excellent economy. However, even at 4g / L of Potassium Permanganate, 55ml is not enough to bleach the film completely. For now I have extended this step to doing serial 5 minute bleaches until the pour-off is still purple (an indicator that the solution is NOT exhausted). I may experiment with a stronger bleach concentration.

    Note 2: There is nothing magical about my wash technique. Use whatever means you are comfortable doing. I prefer using distilled throughout the process especially since it is only 55ml each time.

    Others use tap. I like the consistency. I also mix all my solutions using distilled water for the same reason.

    Note 3: The Paterson Orbital Processor is made with black plastic. After the silver from the first exposure is removed, you will still see a negative image because the black plastic is shining through the bleached areas. Lift the film and inspect in the light to make sure bleaching is complete.

    Note 4: I chose permanganate bleach instead of dichromate bleach because, like many of us, I do my development in a bathroom used by all the members of my family. Permanganate is acutely toxic but dichromate is carcinogenic. I prefer obvious poisoning vs. lurking danger.
     
  22. dr5chrome

    dr5chrome Member

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    Sounds like you've drawn your own conclusions. Thats what makes the darkroom fun. You've also picked a good film to start with.

    dw
     
  23. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

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    Is there any difference between using a silver halide solvent in the first developer or after the clearing step?
     
  24. Hans Borjes

    Hans Borjes Member

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    In principle, no. It just needs to be done before fogging.

    Note that the clearing step itself can also have a certain silver solving effect. That's why the overall composition of all solutions need to fit together.
     
  25. Hologram

    Hologram Member

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    An ascorbic acid solution (at ~75g/L) can be used as a non-toxic alternative for the nasty metabisulfite clearing solution.
     
  26. Jordan

    Jordan Member

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    Hologram -- clever idea. Do you see any development of the positive image when using ascorbic acid? Do you buffer the solution at all?