Reversal of Ilford films, also reversal in general

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Llamarama, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. Llamarama

    Llamarama Member

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    Hello everyone,

    After quite a lot of head scratching and creative use of household goods, I've managed to obtain everything I need to reversal process some films.

    I plan to go by what Ilford says in their datasheet on reversal processing (here: http://www.ilfordphoto.com/download.asp?n=1179&f=20114271220441194.pdf) however since i'm still new to home development, I could do with some pointers.

    1 - The datasheet says that Ilford Bromophen, or Ilford PQ Universal should be used for developing. I only have Microphen, would it be OK to use this?

    2 - The bleach solution requires dilute sulphuric acid, I've managed to get some 97% stuff with a "metal inhibitor" in it. Will this be OK to use when diluted down with water (Acid into the water, not the other way around)?

    3 - Im using a Poly-Max daylight tank from the 50s, it's great because it supports pretty much every film I've come across, but it has a stainless steel spring to hold the spirals apart. Could this be damaged by the acid bleaching step?

    4 - When re-exposing the film to light to fog the film, the datasheet says that the film has to be removed from the spiral to do so. Once this has been carried out, should I re-develop it in a shallow tray, or am I OK leaving it in a dark cupboard to dry, then stick back onto my spiral (I only have 1). I should mention my spiral is made of a clear perspex, so do I need to remove it at all?

    Sorry for asking so many questions, but I'd rather be on the safe side and ask for help from much better photographers than me.

    Thanks for any help or advice

    Mike
     
  2. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    It's a while since I did any B&W reversal, but would suggest:

    1) I'd keep to the Ilford recommendation of Bromophen or PQ Universal. Accurate first development is vital for the correct results of density and contrast, the remaining stages of the process are less critical.

    2) The "metal inhibitor" in commercial sulphuric acid is to prevent corrosion when it is used in industrial cleaning of metals. It may be harmless for this purpose, but I really don't know. Again, being a believer in doing things according to the instructions, at least the first time, I'd be inclined to try to get some purer acid from a chemical supplier...maybe the dilute product may be easier to get and a little safer to handle, just have to do a bit of arithmetic to get the correct dilution for the formula.

    3) I always kept my film on the clear plastic spiral for the whole process, saves handling, possible damage and wet film dripping chemicals everywhere!
    I put the spiral under water in a white basin for the reversal exposure....needs plenty of exposure from a moving lamp to get to all of the film (but obviously not a stupidly excessive time.) The solutions didn't damage any stainless steel in my experience.
     
  3. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    I have re-exposed film while using a SS reel. Just "wobble" the reel around so the light reaches all areas of the film. Be sure to turn the reel around and expose the other side. Never had any problems.

    Some people seem to have a lot of trouble reversing film. My advice would be to follow Ilford's directions exactly and not make substitutions in the choice of developer.
     
  4. gsgary

    gsgary Member

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    Another thing when your shooting your roll of film shoot it like you would for slide as in shooting for highlights
     
  5. Llamarama

    Llamarama Member

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    Thanks for all the replies, with any luck I should be reversing my film this weekend :smile: I'm probably going to try either FP4 Plus of Pan F first, should I shoot the film at half it's rated speed ( ISO 50 and 25 respectively)? I vaugly remember someone mention this somwhere
     
  6. erikg

    erikg Member

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    Bracket. I found a 1/3 stop can make a big difference.
     
  7. gsgary

    gsgary Member

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    Ive just got 100 feet of Orwo UN54 that is said to be good for reversal but i dont think i have the patiance

    Sent from my GT-I9100P using Tapatalk 2
     
  8. Chris Douglas

    Chris Douglas Member

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    I have two suggestions that may help. I use battery acid, which is very pure. It is about 1/3 the strength of concentrated, so I use three times as much. You can buy it at your local battery store. Also, I found pushing plus-x pan two stops gives the best density in the slide, so I expose at asa 500. Good luck!
     
  9. richyd

    richyd Member

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    Search the forum for B&W reversal processing. I did this last year and got a lot of practical, useful information from people who have experimented with the process. PQ Universal is a good developer to try. You can use a solution of Sodium Bisulfate instead of sulphuric acid. I keep the film in the reel in the tank for the light exposure, turn the reel around half way through and constantly rotate the tank under the lamp during the process.
     
  10. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

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    Sodium dithionite will yield a much higher DMax than light re-exposure.
    If potassium permanganate is to be used, be sure to use a reduced amount, around 0,3 to 0,5g in 500ml.
    Sodium bisulfate is a good substitute for sulfuric acid and much more safer to handle.
    If the slides are somewhat on the light side in terms of density, a final selenium or gold toner bath is useful.
     
  11. Llamarama

    Llamarama Member

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    I'll try and get some Sodium Bisulphate, though It could be difficult in reasonable quantities where I live. I'm scared of the acid, a dropped a bit onto a wooden bench and the wood turned black from charring.

    Never thought to use a Selenium toning bath, will look into this as a way of possibly rescuing some thin negatives. Thanks :smile:
     
  12. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    This isn't very helpful since plus-x has been discontinued for a while now. :sad:


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