Farmers reducer for base fog?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by mudman, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. mudman

    mudman Member

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    Hi,
    Just curious, could I use Kodak's farmer's reducer to reduce the base fog of older film? It seems like it should do the trick, but I've never used it before. I have some tech pan that has been in the freezer since 1986 that I would like to use.
     
  2. JOSarff

    JOSarff Member

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    If you get an image, just print through. If you use Farmers or plain ferricyanide you'll loose your low zone detail with the fog.
     
  3. mudman

    mudman Member

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    ok, thanks. How about Edwals fog reducer? Or will that do the same?
     
  4. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Actually, the film might be just fine, especially if frozen. Low ISO films, like Tech Pan, age very slowly when frozen. Shoot it first before defogging.
     
  5. Domenico Foschi

    Domenico Foschi Member

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    Just print through, you'll be fine.
     
  6. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    FR would do the trick, but at the risk of ruining the negs if not done evenly...or if it is over-done, you'll remove your shadow detail. A very light touch is needed. You will want to do it in trays with the film cut in strips -- not rolled up in a tank where you can't see what is happening. Watch out for scratching the negs, of course. Start with a strip of negs that is the least important and judge the results after re-fixing before doing the next strip.

    But I would try printing through any fog first -- the less one messes with one's negatives the better. I recently exposed and processed some Tech Pan (120 size) that was older than yours (and not refridgerated the whole time) -- the added base fog was not significant enough to need bleaching...but since I used the film in a Diana Camera, I can't say that the exposures were spot on!:tongue:

    Good luck! vaughn
     
  7. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    I would concur with the opinions expressed so far, that simply printing through the fog would be best. However, as long as you don't remove all of the fog (leave some) you should be ok with Farmer's. I would suggest diluting it, use it for a while, discard it and replace it with another batch of diluted solution. Take your time. be sure to use a tray larger than the film and keep it moving. That way you may be able to avoid uneven reduction.

    The best way to use it so you can see what is going on: go to a thrift store and get a glass baking dish. Use that for a tray, on an illuminated light box. The problem even with a white tray is that the light has to go through the film, reflect off the bottom and go back through the film for you to see it. Thus, the negative will always look darker than it really is, and will most likely deceive you and cause your over-reducing. A great way to ruin your negative. If you use a tray darker than white, you won't be able to see it at all. Well, not so you can control it.
     
  8. Rob Archer

    Rob Archer Member

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  9. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I do this to pop highlights on prints. Doing it on your film will, indeed, slightly pop your shadows, though subtly, and you have to be very attentive to get it right. If you are going to do this, prepare a very weak solution of Farmer's Reducer (at least 1/10 normal working strength), and do not presoak your film. Go straight to the reducer. If you dunk in a dry piece of film, the thinnest areas of the negs will bleach back faster than the thicker areas at first. Keep a very close eye on your film, and have a running stream of water going. Pull your film out as soon as you think the reducer has started to work on the highlights. Rinse it, then fix again. You only have one shot at it, then you need to dry your film and do it again if you still want to cut the shadows more than the highlights. If you lose a little more highlight density than you would like, use a strong selenium bath to pop it back. You can probably add at least one grade of contrast by combining these methods. I do it with prints all the time. I print down slightly dark, and slightly flat. With a dry print, I then bleach, fix, wash, dry several times until the highlights look good. When dry, if the shadows have lost some punch, I will selenium tone.

    It is time intensive and tedious, and may not even be the best way to get what you want. But you should at least try it on a crummy shot to see what happens.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2008
  10. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    A proportional reducer. It cuts the same from shadows as it does from highlights. A small amount taken from shadow areas can have an immense effect; the same amount taken from highlights changes them very little; probably not enough to notice.