TRI-PROCESS E6 FILM/BW DEV/C41 BLIX

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by mikez, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. mikez

    mikez Member

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    Hello friends at APUG, it's been a while since I posted, but after spending literally hours searching online for information without much success I decided this was the place to come.

    I am working on a project right now that is very reminiscent of David Levinthal's work. I first started digitally so I could see the results. If you are interested, here is the link to the photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikezphoto/sets/72157622450690919/

    Some people loved the color in the images, but I didn't think it was quite right, I even thought about switching to B/W. However when I brought down the saturation slider in Lightroom almost all of the way I was very pleased. Some of the images in the flickr gallery have been altered this way as well.

    I typically shoot 4x5 PRO160S and print on Kodak or Fuji Matte paper (RA-4). After doing a lot of online research and calling old gurus, I was disappointed to find out that there is NO way to achieve the extremely desaturated look that I desired in the images.

    After a lot of digging around I came across an old obscure thread on largeformat.info

    http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=33452

    The rest of the research I did resulted in people using B/W processing for old E6 film to achieve B/W results.

    From being into C-41 and RA-4 for a little while I have come to realize most people are really into VIVID colors and that not so many people are interested in dull almost monochrome color pallets from their C-41 film and RA-4 prints.

    So after visiting my local photo super store (www.uniquephoto.com) and having them give me a hard time about not knowing exactly what C-41 chemicals I needed, I was on my way with the following:

    1 bottle of KODAK Flexicolor Tank Bleach SM
    1 bottle of KODAK Flexicolor Fixer and Replenisher

    Back at my University's lab I only had a little bit of Rodinal left so I figured I would try HC110 until I "perfected" the result. At first I was using way too much bleach, way too high development temperatures (causing HC110 to decompose I believe) and nothing was coming out, I was frustrated to say the least.

    I know that sometimes people use a BLIX instead of separate bleach and fixer so I started mixing a varying amounts of bleach with fixer and started to get results! At first they were just monochrome negs with a base tint, but after finding the "right" formula I was stunned when I examined the negs with a loupe and began to see traces of color!

    Here are the results from some rough scans:

    [​IMG]
    Velvia 50 exposed at ISO 50
    Developed in Rodinal 1:25 for 9 minutes with constant agitation
    cleared with a mixture of:
    .5 oz Flexicolor Tank Bleach
    9.5oz Flexicolor Fixer + Replenisher solution

    [​IMG]
    Velvia 50 exposed at ISO 50
    developed in HC110 dilution B for 8 minutes with constant agitation
    cleared with a mixture of:
    .5 oz Flexicolor Tank Bleach
    9.5oz Flexicolor Fixer + Replenisher solution

    I am very excited with the results so far even though they are just simple test shots.

    If anyone has any helpful hints or advice on why this is happening or what I can do to alter/improve the process, please let me know.
     
  2. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    You could try bleach bypass too. I don't know the details of it, but you develop your color neg normally, and skip the bleach step. Leaves all the silver in the image, which makes it grainier and lowers saturation. I'm sure if you tweaked the color development step, you could further reduce the saturation.
     
  3. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The para Amino Phenol developer used in Rodinal is possibly a weak color developer and the E6 film has a coupler excess. You may be getting a tiny amount of dye formed. That, combined with retained silver, may give you enough density to image with.

    Just a guess.

    * I am editing this with afterthoughs about how powerful pAP may be in coupling at the pH of Rodinal. I just don't know, but it does have a free amino group that could couple at the high pH and given enough coupler.

    PE
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 15, 2009
  4. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    That's really cool
     
  5. Aurum

    Aurum Member

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    Nice sort of hand tinted look
     
  6. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    how is your density? how adjusted are these 'rough' scans? is the density in the images close to what is present in the negatives?

    also, did you stabilize like normal with c-41 chemistry? Photo Engineer: does bleach bypass affect the stability(dye or general overall) in any way?

    I really like the effect though, and I'm going to try it! Albeit with Provia 400x (got a few free rolls from a 'digital now' friend :smile:)

    anyone (PE) know if this could work with D76? i know, try it an see, but I wasn't sure, so I'm asking. (i'm not a chemist, but a humble photographer after all :smile:)

    -Dan
     
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Bleach bypass does not affect image stability AFAIK. It can affect grain and sharpness, and in some cases it can mute the color by adding neutral density.

    Metol (in D76) will not couple and form dyes.

    PE
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2009
  8. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    The Harveys 777 article and recipe over at unblinking eye may interest you as well.
    I know there is controversy if this is the same as the old commercially marketted 777, but I use it, and it works for my purposes with b&w films.

    It uses ppd as one of the three developing agents, and that I beloeve may be worth investigating for creating colours. Salts fo paraphenoldiamine (not sure if I have spelled this one right; I think of it just as ppd) are usually what are the key developing agent to the different standard colur developmers lal CD2, CD-3, and CD-4.

    Wear gloves; ppd is not too nice. Plus I run 777 as a replenished tank, and the buildup of silver etc leads to terrible stains that only show up the next day after your hands get exposed to natural light.

    I sourced my ppd from Ciare at jdphotchem; she is winding down her business I understand. I don't know who else sells it. I suspect that the formualry would not be able to mail it to me across the border.

    On another tack, for interesting experinentation, I ran films in what Kodak would call an exhuasted unreplenished e-6 process. Kodak rates it per my calculations for 4.5 - 35mm 36exposure films in 500mL of solutions. I ran a third pair of 36 exposure films through the same chems, to see what happens. The density is very high ( as would be expected, since the first developer has pooped out and thus after the reversal there is an excess of material to convert to silver. The colour developer is also mostly exhausted, and this leads to almost a pointilist painted look to the image. It is for a hybrid work flow to be sure. I have not yet scanned to take he density back, but am keen to see what the end result it. I suppoe if I had stretched the time for the first develoiper from the normal 6 to 6:15 to say 7 or 8 minutes I might still get the good denisty, but perhaps still the waek colurs since most of the colour developing agent is exhausted.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2009
  9. mikez

    mikez Member

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    Thanks all for the responses, I knew you guys would have good input, especially PE. I ran some more tests with Sprint developer and the effect is very faint, but present. I also ran out of Flexicolor fixer so I used a standard B/W rapid fixer for my blix combination. These negatives have a slight purple tint to the base, not a orange/green like the previous tests. Do you think it was the developer or the lack of Flexicolor fixer in the blix that caused this?

    This week I am going to shoot "real things" on 4x5 PRO160S (processed C41 normally) and Velvia 50 RVP (processed with Rodinal as I did in 35mm) and compare them. I will post results ASAP.

    If I like the results on PRO160S compared to my digital shots (which were too saturated) I may "drop" this idea for now as it would save me a lot of time and testing, but it is something certainly worth messing with.
     
  10. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    I noticed when I made a concentrated "parodinal" formulation including hydroquinone and ascorbic acid to use as a fast 20c first developd I noticed I was getting dye formation after taking it out for reversal via light - the colours were quite strong - I didn't think before then putting it back into colour developer after reversing instead of just bleach and fixing.. so I ended up with black film.

    I made it in a hot solution intially so it was ready to use in minutes... overnight though.. still powerful developing properties, but no more dye formation, as I did a test on developing some C41 with it, then a bleach and fix, seems to be staining a monochrome image onto the base after the HQ broke down too much over night.

    That particular experiment was a failure, as I cant have dye formation or staining in a first developer, was getting great image development on C41 film a 1+100, 20-24c and 10-12min, as opposed to equivalent development (without staining or dye formation that I noticed) with Rodinal 1+50, 40c, 2 hours.

    Going to mix some more stuff up tonight and use it as a negative developer, see what I get.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2009
  11. mikez

    mikez Member

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    Update: I scanned the sprint processed velvia and it was essentially monochrome. i couldnt even tell if there was color on the macbeth card (looked very faint) or if it was my eye tricking me. time to order some rodinal from freestyle.
     
  12. mikez

    mikez Member

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    Glad to know someone else out there is working on something similar. Have you tried developing an E-6 film with it yet? That's what I'm doing. Shooting Velvia developer/wash/blix without a 2nd traditional E-6 developer.
     
  13. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    I've developed Astia 100f with Xtol as a first dev and C41 as a colour dev, and the colour accuracy was fairly decent (as opposed to C41 films being quite a bit far off, even when trying to colour correct digitally).

    I live in Australia, so I usually buy c41 film imported from hong kong or U.S, as $12/roll for C41 is a joke, as is the $22/roll for E6, or the $35/roll for Provia 400X :x

    You should try the parodinal formula, I refine my tablets by crushing into powder with a mortle and pestle, mixing with methylated spirits, then filtering through a coffee filter into another container.

    You can boil the metho off if you have proper lab borosilicate beaker (like $3) and a gas stove (dont use a glass jar, it will crack and shatter), or leave it the sun to slowly evaporate.

    A 50/50 mix with water with the metho works well, you need a decent amount of water for the sodium hydroxide to dissolve properly.


    p-phenylene diamine (it and its derivatives as the secret sauce in CD's) [​IMG]
    4-aminophenol (Rodinal, hydrolysis of paracetamol) [​IMG]


    I'll try a 1+25 on some Superia 800 and see how I go.


    Didnt do the 1+25... I quickly made up some parodinal from 24x500mg in 100ml of methylated spirits, once filtered it was 70ml, evaporated some spirits off, filled it up to 90ml with boiling water, then added the sodium hydroxide, was ready in about 20 minutes at more or less full strength.

    I used this entire solution mixed up to 300ml of water, developed @ 30c for 10 minutes, developer came out basically black, looking coca cola.

    The silver negatives were extremely dense, even my box speed shots (ISO800), went up to +16 EV in compensation in 1 EV steps, didnt do any negative shots from box speed.. unfortunately, could see images on a few of them.

    After a very mild bleach and fix they were too dense, so I did a complete bleach and fix.

    Now they are invisible (apart from the spaces between the frames which there is a difference) except 1 or too which are extremely thin which I can barely make out with my eyes, might have trouble scanning it, so might use my dSLR to macro it once its dry.

    Solution to that would be longer development to let it form more dye.. but once the silver is 'black' it has no contrast mask to apply through.. just flat, thus with bracketing of underexposure it would take longer for the silver images to turn completely dense, thus have more time for the developer to apply through those masks to form the dye... that's what I logically think, though I guess it comes at the sacrifice of shadow detail, perhaps.

    My guess is youre getting images because you're not doing a complete bleach, so a partial bleach bypass, and thus a luminance/multiply mask is applying from the silver, with some thin hue/saturation added from the barely formed dye layers.

    Which is also fine.

    My next step is try to some Reala (out of the 800) with bracketing on either side, with lots of negative bracketing, and develop the hell out of it to try the above hypothesis since the rate at which the dye forms is much slower than the rate which the silver develops.


    edit:
    scanned using colour neg profile, then level adjusted on each channel in photoshop.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2009
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  15. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    Okay update, did a roll of Reala 100, shot a colour chart @ ISO 100, and -1, -2, -3, -4, -5, etc stops.

    The negatives look pretty damn great to me, -1 and -2 seem the best, plus a few back yard scenes.

    I think there is colour there, but its hard to tell with C41 with its orange mask on top of everything.

    Development was 1+20 Rodinal, 24c for 31 minutes, plenty of agitation.

    Just waiting for them to dry.


    little bit of pushed saturation from one of the best exposures (4 stops underexposed from ISO100 - ie: ISO1600) -
    [​IMG]

    OKay now.... levelled the colour channels individually using levels in Photoshop... then used channel mixer to swap the green and blue channels... then I did a Hue and Saturation, -36 on Hue and +66 on Saturation (also previously did heavy noise reduction on the colour targets as they could be seen without random colour noise affecting them so much from the scanner from such heavy processing).

    Result: Red, Green, Blue on the left strip, Cyan, Magenta (kind of), Yellow on the right strip, while everything else is fracked up :D

    But hey, the colour definately has been developed and discerned, they also all seem a bit dense with a small range (to the scanner, but look great to me), as I did a small bleach mix with plenty of fixer like the OP, am going to fully bleach and fix them now to see how much of the image is contributed from the silver, and how much from the dye.
    [​IMG]


    edit: I'd say 90%+ of the image is from the silver layers, I bleached and fixed one of the really dense shots of the colour card and almost no image remains (but denser then the first tests on S800).


    mikez: if you want to experiment further finding the right partial bleach bypass amount, skip bleach altogether and fix, then you can scan, and take it back and do a small bleach-fix, dry scan again and repeat until you find the best amount etc.


    edit2:

    complete bleach and fix on one of the ISO100 shots which was too dense for the scanner (and now very thin).
    similar process but +13 on hue and not as much on saturation (+20's)
    [​IMG]



    Tomorrow I will try again with +6 to -6 shots on Rodinal 1+10 for an hour, though I might use parodinal equivalency to 1+10 (will make some up and compare developing times till it matches) as I dont feel like wasting 30 mls of Rodinal on a single roll of film for test purposes.


    to give you an idea of just how thin the colour layers are even at 1+20, 31min, 24c, this is how it appears to the scanner with a tiny histogram and this one is probably the denset (exposed at box speed) - [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2009
  16. mikez

    mikez Member

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    Athiril, that's great. I think the biggest difference is that I'm starting with an E-6 film and you are using a colour negative film to begin with right?
     
  17. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I would not give you much chance of having decent dye stability with these dyes. The reason is that all modern color developers have a methyl group adjacent to one NH2 group to push the rings out of exact resonance due to the bulk of the methyl group. This adjust dye hue and also stabilzes the dye to fading influences. Couplers are designed for this "twisting action".

    Also, the pAP dyes will very likely be very pH sensitive. This is due to the acid nature of the -OH group instead of a -NH2 group. Again, couplers were not designed to allow for this ionization.

    Good luck guys. And Athril, lose the dust and lint! :smile:

    PE
     
  18. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    I was too impatient and was drying the film with a hair dryer >.>

    I also a think there is a fair bit of it coming from the scanner glass now.. time for a clean.


    Yeah, as I have an abundance of C41 films in the fridge, and no C41 chems, but have an abundance of E6 chems and b&w chems and raw components, and only 3 rolls of E6 film in the fridge atm (2xAstia in 35 and 120, and 1xEIR in 35 sure as hell aint donating that precious roll to experiments! :smile:)

    from my experience when I was first developing with Xtol, the required developing power was about the same for Reala as Astia, maybe a little less for Astia.

    And as for Kodak EIR, the same development that was good for Astia was far far too much.



    Anyway next step is to try a stronger developer solution for longer on a large bracket range.

    I'm also thinking perhaps do a first development with Xtol, or a weaker rodinal at high temp so no dye formation (or virtually none), then reverse and process to completion in a stronger rodinal for a long time.

    The other would be to play with low temperatures on strong developing solution.
     
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  19. mikez

    mikez Member

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    PE thanks for your insight/advice. Always helpful.
     
  20. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Always glad to help, even if you don't like Kodak. :wink:

    :D

    PE
     
  21. mikez

    mikez Member

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    PE,

    I can't hate Kodak because they've provided wonderful materials for a very long time and many great photographers over the years have used their products. While I may be bitter right now I can't deny their place in the history of imaging. When I was new I cut my teeth on 35mm rolls of TRI-X and PLUS-X and when I first learned the "wonders" of LF I was again using Kodak T-MAX100.

    When my old professor/mentor handed me his last rolls and sheets of Technical Pan I was in awe of the sharpness and odd yet pleasing rendition of tone. When he gave me his last sheets of Type 55 4x5 Polaroid I was in love with that film as well. And when he gave me his last sheets of AGFA MCC 111 & PRK118 they were instantly some of my favorite enlarging papers of all time.

    I am only 22 years old and have only been into analog photography for a 2.5 years. I have used these "precious" materials donated to me knowing they aren't produced anymore so I didn't get too attached. I am thankful for the oppurtunity to even use some of this stuff the "dinosaurs" of photography have mourned over as each announcement of discontinuation has been made.

    I just recently got into RA-4 printing and after testing a few emulsions/finishes I really loved the look of Supra Endura. I never expected this, so I guess this is the first time something that I used (and expected to be around) was discontinued.

    KODAK has provided decades of good materials and research to the imaging community, so like I said I don't dislike or hate Kodak, I am merely disappointed with them. It's like when you're a kid and you realize for the first time that your parents don't know everything and can't fix everything. It's a let down, but it's a sign of the times and I can't really blame them if it is helping keep them in business.

    -Mike
     
  22. mikez

    mikez Member

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    On a side note/back on topic, I just found another small bottle of Rodinal that I hadn't opened yet (I thought I had gone through all of it) so I will be shooting some Velvia 4x5 tomorrow and processing/scanning. Will post results.
     
  23. Photo Engineer

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    Guys, I just had a thought that might help.

    Rodinal has a VERY high level of Sulfite compared to color developers and the Sulfite is a powerful competing agent for oxidized developer and thus prevents dye formation. A special mix one-shot of pAP with low Sulfite might give you much more intense dyes. IDK, just a thought. I am not sure of the final level in the working solution but I would try to reduce it by 50% - 80% just as a test, if possible.

    PE
     
  24. mikez

    mikez Member

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    PE. Thanks again. If Rodinal does not go well tomorrow I will look into that. Also I just wanted to make sure you saw my post about Kodak. It got stuck on the bottom of the 2nd page.

    Mike
     
  25. Photo Engineer

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    I saw it. Thanks.

    PE
     
  26. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    This is 4x500mg tablets of paracetamol with sodium hydroxide... for 1 hour and 15min, 20c as I calculated 3.6 tablets for 1+10 parodinal/rodinal based off given 'net data.

    I didnt want to lose any, so I didnt filter it... and its interesting you mentioned sulphite in that way, as I read a common filler for paracetamol tablets is sodium metabisulphite and I read on APUG somewhere sodium hydroxide converts it to sodium sulphite.


    So that gives me a good mind to go back and do my methylated spirits + coffee filter to take it out
    I didnt have to do any channel swapping on this one, still very thin.
    [​IMG]