x-ray film for enlarged negatives?

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by davido, May 10, 2009.

  1. davido

    davido Subscriber

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    Hello

    Has anyone tried using x-ray film for enlarged negatives for alt processes?
    I have used APS lith as well as fuji scanner film with success, however, I am always on the look out for a film which can produce a full tonal scale without getting 'blocked up' in the mid-tones.
    I'm wondering if X-ray film might be similar to lith or is it more similar to regular ortho film?

    thanks
    david
     
  2. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    X-ray film is very inexpensive. Why don't you just purchase a pack and try it out. It is not similar to regular ortho film, or lith.
     
  3. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    If you're looking for a copy film (negative to negative), X-ray ain't it. This is a negative film. Enlarging from a negative will give you a positive transparency. I just gave away my box of green sensitive 8x10 -- too little time, too much fiddling to get it to perform within the range of tones I needed. Others have had more success. The double emulsion built up density quite quickly and left me with harsh prints. Of course, if that's what your looking for...

    I've heard that "extremity film" for hand xrays and mammogram film are single emulsion, fine detail film. I haven't tried 'em.
     
  4. eworkman

    eworkman Member

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    Xrays are also duplicated, to get a neg from a neg and continuous tone [ as opposed to high contrast lith]
    So get some Xray duplicating film- available from the medical folks or as "Continuous tone direct duplicating film" from Photowarehouse. The thread directly under this one will give you some hints as to developers , contrast etc. Short form, it's cheap enough to try in D 76 HC 110, Dektol etc to get it to do what you want. I have used it to dupe negs by contact, and have tried some projection dupes at larger size. Dense negs will make you crazy, normal or thin negs will just take long exposure; get a LOT of light that contains a lot of blue, or a calendar. Dupe film has a tendency to increase contrast, which you may find beneficial to your needs.
     
  5. wclavey

    wclavey Member

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    Gene is absolutely right... and many of the X-ray film suppliers will send you several sheets to test with for free. You will learn a lot about it just from those few sheets.
     
  6. davido

    davido Subscriber

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    Yes, I probably will give it a try. I'm not concerned about the price, it's the amount of time it takes one to experiment with a film such as this which comes with no instructions. Isn't that why these forums exists? To share information about unconventional techniques and products which don't come with an instruction manual, so that we can pool information and come up with new and creative means of producing our work.

    -david
     
  7. davido

    davido Subscriber

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    Thanks eworkman. I had always wanted to try duplicating film but was put off by the price and now, I believe, it may not be available anymore? This x-ray duplicating film is quite exciting! On ebay it's very cheap! It's also coated only on one side.


    -david
     
  8. wclavey

    wclavey Member

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    I absolutely agree! My point was that it didn't need to cost to experiment and to encourage people to try it! The only cost is their time. And the people here can even short-cut that by giving you their experiences as a starting point. Gene was EXTREMELY helpful to me a year ago or so on it. I can certainly share my learning, if anyone wanted it...

    I did my original exploration & experimentation on blue sensitive high spped film, but based on what I have read here and over on LFPF, I have switched to medium speed green sensitive... bought a new box of that ...so I'm starting over.
     
  9. eworkman

    eworkman Member

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    Xray dupe film is offered on several medical xray webstore sites.
    Some of the info is not clearly stated on some sites, such as how many sheets in a box
    Most seem to be 100 sheet boxes
    I didn't go back to check Photowarehouse, but I'd bet 1.5 euros that they offer 25 and 100 sht packs- I buy 8x10 and recall that they have offered larger and smaller sizes- 11x14? 5x7?
    14x17 dupe film is listed at National Discount Xray Supply - 25 sheets for $69.50

    BUT Isn't lith film really slow also and doesn't it have an extremely narrow tolerance for exposure /development? If that's true and you have mastered lith, dupe should present you with a relatively easy learning curve, I'd opine. Hey if I can do it............
     
  10. davido

    davido Subscriber

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    Thanks to everyone for their replies.
    One other question:
    Is x-ray duplicating film orthochromatic ie. can I use it under a red or amber safelight?

    -david
     
  11. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    David, most X-ray products are...for ease of handling by the techs under red safe lights.

    vaughn
     
  12. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    I've asked about x ray materials when getting x-rayed, and a technician once gave me some which I never got around to using. I recall, though, that she said that x ray materials are coated with emulsion on both sides. I don't know whether this is generally true, or just true of the materials they were using. However, if they are coated both sides, forget about critical sharpness.
     
  13. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    There are some one-sided x-ray films...they have notches, whereas the two sided do not. And you seem to be correct about the sharpness of the two-sided, but it is not too bad. It will depend on the printing process. Simple contract prints onto silver gelatin paper were fine, as are platinum prints. A loss of sharpness seems to be there with carbon prints, but I need to try it again with a different negative to be sure.

    Vaughn
     
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  15. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Common, inexpensive X-ray film is coated on both sides with emulsion. Theoretically this would limit resolution, as the image from a camera would only be focused on the one side, but in practice, the X-ray images are plenty sharp. If you normally shoot your images with your lens stopped down a couple of stops, the depth-of-field of the lens would compensate and would render both sides "in-focus". Otherwise the very-very slight out-of-focus of the back side of the film can be used as a creative tool, just like the blue, and or blue-green sensitivity of the films is used as a creative tool.
     
  16. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    Use your regular bw film in what ever camera format you have. Then enlarge the negative on to x-ray duplicating film, ie Kodak dental x-ray duplicating film (8x10) with Kodak GBX chemistry. Other brands may be available in different sizes. The Kodak film is sharp as a tack, very slow and rather expensive but yields great results. remember that it is a reversal film so you do the opposite burning to lighten and dodging to darken the film - so when you print you get the reverse. You must use a red safelight. I use it for platinum/palladium contact printing.
    Jeff
     
  17. Jim_in_Kyiv

    Jim_in_Kyiv Member

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    Interesting idea about using X-ray film and just what I needed; there's got to be plenty of it running about over here. Thanks!

    It seems that "why don't you just try it", "what about 6x6cm instead" and "there was a good thread about this..." are important stock answers that need to be intoned frequently. "Just try it" has gotten me off my duff once or twice even though I wasn't the intended recipient.

    One thing that I'd like to see more in general is the "here's the results" follow-ups to interesting threads like this.
    What's new? Has it worked the way you wanted??
     
  18. davido

    davido Subscriber

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    Jim, I can relate to your comment about 'follow up'. I will do my best. As of the present moment: I have just purchase some Fujifilm MI-Dup 12x20 off of Ebay. I hope to use dilute HC-110 for developer, as this is what I have been using for my APHS lith negs. The GBX developer sounds interesting, does anyone know what it might be similar too?
    I will keep the thread informed of my developments.

    -david
     
  19. DannL

    DannL Member

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    fyi, Yesterday while experimenting with Kodak MXB and MXG films, both of which have emulsion on both sides, I noticed you can easily remove the emulsion from either side of the film using a soft brush and common laundry bleach (ie; Clorox bleach).The process is almost immediate and does not appear to harm the base material. It's an incredible transformation of the film's capability, I must admit.

    When using the film in a camera I would suggest noting which side of the film was facing the lens prior to reducing a specific side.
     
  20. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Did you remove the emulsion after the film was already expose, or developed?
     
  21. DannL

    DannL Member

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    I think I have perfected the process today.

    Expose, develope and wash your x-ray film as normal. Once the film has thoroughly dried, place the film on a clean sheet of glass with your favorite side facing the glass. I am using a sheet of glass that is 14x18 for a film that is 8x10. Tape the film to the glass along the edges with 3M Scotch Safe Release Painters' Tape. Seal all edges of the film completely to insure no liquids can pass to the emulsion beneath. Use plenty of thumb pressure on the tape to insure a good tight seal. I double tape the corners, also. Using a soft 2" paint brush apply Clorox bleach to the surface of the film. Apply the bleach to the entire surface of the film in a brisk circular fashion. Continue this operation for about 15-30 seconds for the entire surface of the film. Wash the bleach off with water to see the results. Remove the tape and rewash the film.

    If anyone would like to add their own experience here, please do.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2009
  22. Brian Bullen

    Brian Bullen Member

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    DannL I'm not sure why you are removing one side of the emulsion? Was there a defect or some other issue? So far I've had excellent results with a double sided film like konica ppg and kodak t/mat l-ra, also the density range of these negatives are perfect for pt/pd. I have printed on silver gelatin as well and sharpness has never been lacking, even on palladium which tends to look less sharp than silver.
    Why go to all the trouble and risk damaging the negative? Does this help in an enlarged neg in some fashion?

    Here is an example of an 8x10 x-ray neg printed with palladium.
     

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  23. DannL

    DannL Member

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    That's an excellent photo, Brian. I can see you have devised a method that odviously works great.

    As far as defects, yes. I've tried both tray and drum developing, and in either case one side of the emulsion ends up damaged. I prefer drum processing, but it is hard on the soft emulsion layer that is facing the inner drum wall. It can also leave bromide drag marks on that side of the film where the developer cannot circulate. But then it dawned on me . . . I have no need for emulsion on both sides of this film. Nor can I see the advantage to printing through a "double negative". So, I'm removing one negative layer, the layer that was originally facing away from the taking lens, and utilizing the remaining negative as a normal single-sided negative. So far it has worked like a champ. The day it causes me any grief, I'll make notice.
     
  24. Brian Bullen

    Brian Bullen Member

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    Thanks for the compliment and also for the insight on your process.
    Scratches can be a concern, I have only tray developed 11x14 (8x10 in hangers and tank)but I did find that if I used a larger piece of film to cover the bottom of the tray my scratches were pretty much eliminated. Of course anything smooth to cover the bottom would work just as well.

    I imagine drum processing would be near impossible with 2 sided film.Are you using straight bleach?
     
  25. DannL

    DannL Member

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    Clorox bleach, straight from the bottle. It doesn't take as much as one would imagine. Probably less than 1/8 oz.
     
  26. davido

    davido Subscriber

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    following up

    hello

    I ran across this thread accidently and realized that I had never followed up with my results with MI-DUP. I had promised! oops.
    I tried HC-110 dilution 1:14 stock and was getting nowhere fast. I ended up with dektol straight (which is what we used to use in school with lith film). This film needs a strong developer and agitation. It also needs long exposures. I am shooting almost wide open at around 6 or 7 minutes!! CRAZY! Of course, I was enlarging from a colour negative, which I'm sure added to the time.
    However the results are extremely inspiring! It makes sense that this film needs so much exposure and development as it is made for dentists/doctors to make dupes and therefore it shouldn't be finicky to process. I would be much easier to use as a straight dupe film in a contact frame in daylight; I need to boost up my enlarger head with a stronger light source! Any ideas?
    This film is such a refreshing change from lith film, which can be exacerbating to say the least!! I will definately be using this more in the future. I might even try it in camera (my new 8x10) though it might prove to be too low contrast.

    david