How to make flat film?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by RattyMouse, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    Now that I have 3 rolls under my belt, I'm going to prepare and ship off my film for scanning. My films are not as flat as they could be and I fear that my resulting scans will be of poor quality due to that fact.

    What is the best procedure to make the negatives as flat as can be? I am taking my dry negatives, placing them in the plastic storage holder and then putting them under a book and then putting some weight on them (4 kg).

    I just started this so I'm unsure if this will be enough.

    Thanks for all the tips!
     
  2. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    No. Do not do that. That would likely be a very bad thing. Just hang a clothes pin from the free end of the film when you hang the negs to dry.
     
  3. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Check with your lab first - they may prefer uncut rolls for scanning.
     
  4. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    OK, I stopped that 5 mins after starting. Thanks.

    I do hang 3 pins at the bottom of the roll, but there is still a curl to the film along the vertical axis. That's the part I am trying to flatten out.
     
  5. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    Dang! I didnt think of that. Already cut the rolls.

    How would you ship and store uncut film?
     
  6. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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  7. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    I reverse roll the film -- against the curl -- after it has dried, and let it sit a coupla days. This not only removes the curl along the long axis, but also the curl that you get in a dry climate when the emulsion shrinks a titch and pulls the edges up together -- utah is very dry and some films do this a lot.

    I end up with nice flat film that is easy to scan and print.
     
  8. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    Interesting! Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  9. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    Could you explain why you think it would be a bad thing?
     
  10. Regular Rod

    Regular Rod Member

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    The way you dry the films contributes to how curved the film will be and which way it will curve.

    Curled towards the emulsion = dried too warm
    Curled away from the emulsion = dried too cold

    Flat = you got it right.

    Spiralled up like a clock spring = nothing you can do, it's the manufacturer's fault. You can try hanging heavier weights on the film, whilst it is hung up to dry, but it is not by any means a complete cure..

    RR
     
  11. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    Some films curl/cup, others don't.
    all the Rollei film I shoot dries dead flat, summer or winter, hot or cold, humid or not.
    all the Tri-X I shoot cups, summer or winter, hot or cold, humid or not
    All the GP3 I shoot curls up like a pig's tail, summer or winter ... ok, you get the idea
     
  12. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    So is it possible to re-wet or re-wash and dry it again at a different temperature to fix the curl? Or once curled never fixed?
     
  13. Regular Rod

    Regular Rod Member

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    I don't know. I haven't tried that.

    RR
     
  14. AgX

    AgX Member

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    In the past uncut complete 35mm film lenghts were packed in slide- screw-on top canisters a bit like those film cartridges are sold in. Though the former enabled to grip the roll .

    You might roll a processed film (with rest of the leader out), lay a U-bent paper strip around (to facilitate getting the fillm roll out again without forming a helix) and insert in a current canister with the free ends of the paper strip on top.
     
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  15. mwdake

    mwdake Member

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    The only film I ever have bad curl with is Foma and it's Freestyle derivatives; with these films I reverse roll it for a few days.
     
  16. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    You know, I'm not sure I gave all the relevant details. I'm asking about 120 roll film in this thread.
     
  17. Photo-gear

    Photo-gear Member

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    Amazingly enough, I have never ever got curled 35mm films with Foma or its re-branded films (Arista EDU). It might be because of my tap water or the room temperature. Who knows... On the other hand, Tri-X ALWAYS gives badly curled films.

    From my experience, films that don't get curled: Kodak 125 Plus-X [discontinued], all Ilford films, all LegacyPro films [discontinued], Fomapan 100, 400 as well as Arista EDU 100 and 400, Kentmere 100. Even Lucky SHD 100.
    Films that get curled: Ultrafine Plus 100, Kodak Tri-X, Neopan SS, Agfa APX 100.
     
  18. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I dry in a UT100 Durst dryer(its only a simply clear plastic square tube with zips and with fan assistance on top) using fan assistance at ambient temperature only for about 20 mins then leave hanging overnight in still ambient air. I keep a weighted clip in the bottom throughout and have always found that the films be they Kodak, Ilford, Fuji always dry flat

    pentaxuser
     
  19. Alan Klein

    Alan Klein Member

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    Twenty years ago the lab I had processed my 120 films shipped them back to me rolled in 6 inch boxes protected with a long plastic sleeves. When I went to scan them 3-4 years ago, it was a pain. It was hard because of the curls. Now when I have a lab process them, they cut them in 3, 3, 2 and 2 images strips and placed in a glassine negative page when shipped back to me. That's their standard practice where I go although other labs still rollm them. That's nuts! I asked for 4, 3 and 3 but they didn't have those size pages. They stay really really flat this way making it easier to scan at home on my flat bed scanner. If it's negative film I sometimes ask for a contact print that can only be done by cutting the film into strips, regardless. Of course, I don't know what outside scanner labs want. But I can't imagine they wouldn't accept cut lengths although there may be higher scan charges.

    As an aside, why do you want to scan all the pictures?
     
  20. erikg

    erikg Member

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    It may not matter depending on the scanning method, drum or flex tight will handle the curl. Contact the lab.
     
  21. mwdake

    mwdake Member

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    I should of pointed out that I was referring to 120.