x-ray film

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Troy, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. Troy

    Troy Subscriber

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    I see a lot of x-ray film for sale on fleabay. Is there any way to use it without an x-ray machine? Would it be anything like infared film I wonder?
     
  2. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    I was wondering the same thing myself..
     
  3. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

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    It depends. There are screen type x-ray films, which are green-sensitive. This type of film is optimized for long exposure time, like a couple of seconds.

    Non-screen type x-ray films are not sensitized for visual light, and so they are blue sensitive (color blind). Nonscreen x-ray films are very thickly coated on both sides with minimum of hardening and they are pretty coarse grained.

    I don't think either type is worth playing around with for artistic purposes. The image they make is not as strange as infrared, it's not as good as what you get with Fuji or Ilford ortho sheet films.
     
  4. tomwin

    tomwin Member

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    By strange coincidence, I was just shooting some X-ray film this weekend in a Speed Graphic. It's a loaner camera and I wasn't sure if I wanted to put out for a box of film for it. My company does non-destructive testing and we have film and a processer available so I thought why not. The pictures came out OK. I'll try to post some later. I used Konica PB7 which is a half speed blue sensitive film. It shot at about ISO 25. If you are looking at cheap film on EBay be careful. Even though "not used" the film may still be fogged by X-ray exposure depending on where it was stored. Even buying new film, this seems like a bargain - $100 for 100 sheets of 14x17. Shooting 4x5 thats $100 for 900 sheets. My concern at this point is whether it can be processed effectively at home with standard developers - I haven't been able to get much information on processing so far other than to buy a processer.
     
  5. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    Years ago I shot a little outdated X-ray film in a camera and processed it in print developer. The results may have been good enough for simple pinhole photography, but not for serious scenics.
     
  6. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    Not to argue, photography is all about experimentation, so there's no reason not to try it. There are those who've said that microfilm is unsuittable for pictoral work and, well ...

    From what I've seen, X-ray film is processed at a higher temperature than regular film. The one MSDS that I saw for the developer seems to indicate that they're mainly hydroquinone developers.

    I got a piece of small X-Ray film (about 25 x 40 mm) from the dentist, exposed it in my 35mm camera and developed in D-76 for a few minutes. The image was almost completely fogged (my red safelight apparently wasn't safe enough). I'm trying to get some sample film out of some various companies, so we'll see how that goes ...

    Another thing to remember, alot of X-Ray films are designed to be high contrast and have a double emulsion (one on the front and one on the back of the sheet)

    I don't know how this'll pan out in pictoral photo work.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2006
  7. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    If it's silver halide, you can process it in common developers, though given the extremely rapid processing common in radiography applications, I'd be tempted to start with Dektol, but dilute it the way we used to for film, back when it was sold as a universal developer -- say, 1+9. You'll have to experiment for process time, anyway, especially if you process in the dark to avoid the problem htmlguru describes with fogging.
     
  8. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    Don't think fogging'll be a problem; for the ortho stuff use deep red, not amber. I just had a crappy safelight. In other words, treat it as an ortho film rather than paper.
     
  9. tomwin

    tomwin Member

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    Hopefully, this file will load properly. Please don't critique the content - I took the photo from the company's back door so I could run back and forth developing as I shot to find the right speed. I think I overexposed the contact print a little, there is actually a lot more detail in the field than what shows up in the scan.
     

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  10. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    That's actually not too bad. What size was that engative, by the way?

    I'm surprised that it looks this good when developed ins tandard developer for X-Ray film; I'd expect the contrast to be unuseable, but this show's that its not.

    Probably with a different developer, this could be pretty good. Do you know what the cost of this film is new / where it may be obtained?
     
  11. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    On another note, would it be possible to use the infrared laser films out there for regular IR photo work?
     
  12. tomwin

    tomwin Member

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    The negative was a 4x5. I cut that from a 14x17 sheet. There are several sizes available and suppliers seem to be easy to find - here is one page-
    http://www.med1online.com/c-289-pb7.aspx
    We pay about $100 for 100 sheets of 14x17. The only thing I'm still worried about is development. Like I said in my first post, I used the company's processor for these first negatives and I think there will be a bit of experimentation to find a good home set of times and chemicals.
     
  13. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    As I said, i wouldn't worry about home processing. Most X-Ray developers are simply hydroquinone and an alkali in solution; very simple. They're also VERY cheap, so you could buy them from a supplier. I'd start with a hydroquinone or hydroquinone - metol developer (Dektol or D-76 or the like). Fixing and stopping would obviously be standard.
     
  14. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Damn, $36 for 100 sheets of 8x10 -- that's cheaper than lith film, competitive with *paper*! And would I be correct in thinking the designation "half speed" suggests there's a faster version also, possibly equivalent to something like ISO 50? Ah, yes, I see it now, "full speed" blue sensitive. Any idea what the speed is on the orthochromatic version? And any suggestions why the 14x17 is so much more than the 30x35?

    It doesn't suprise me to see good tonality in the original radiologic process -- I've seen medical X-ray film with very nice, subtle gray shading; we just don't think of it as pictorial because we usually see it as a negative shadowgram with relatively unfamiliar subject matter.
     
  15. CRhymer

    CRhymer Subscriber

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    Hi Donald,

    I believe that the 30x35 is cm size (as are 18x24 and 24x30).

    Cheers,
    Clarence
     
  16. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

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    X-ray films come in multiple types. Ones that are used for non-screen x-ray imaging are minimally hardened and they are not very good at higher temperature, unless the developer contains a hardener. Screen-exposure type is probably made ok with higher temp.

    X-ray developers are usually MQ or PQ developer like D-19. Dektol 1+1 or 1+2 would be close enough.
     
  17. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    For over twenty years I used Kodak X-Ray film on everything from single phase machines to Linear Accelerators in cassettes with lead called beam films used in Radiation Therapy. X-Ray films have a double emulsion and are used in cassettes with two rare earth screens to cut down on the amount of radiation needed to make an X-Ray image. The film doesn't even make a good pinhole image. Common sizes are 8x10, 10x12, 11x14, 7x17, and 14x17. I used so much of all of these sizes that 4x5 seems like micro size. 90 seconds through a Kodak X-Omat processor and you have a dry X-Ray ready for the Doctor. The new filmless generation is an X-Ray, because it can go through the body, and Ionized plates which replaces the film, good bye film and dirty chemicals.

    General Photographic film is for US, that's you and me, and is the film of choice not X-Ray film, unless you get a license and buy an X-Ray machine and want to see inside of things. I have X-Rayed a lot of things, bodies not included, like my watch for example, all in the name of science and knowledge of course.

    Curt
     
  18. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    Well, I'm getting some sample film by hte end of hte week, so I'll play around with it and see. I'm also trying to get my hands on some IR laser film, which is designed for printing in IR laser printers.

    It's an orthochromatic film with deep red and IR sensitivity (the curves I've seen extend out to about 850 - 900nm), though its contrast is REALLY HIGH; some of the curves for contrast are pretty darned close to vertical - but maybe this can be tamed? The prices are a bit more than X-Ray film, but it's still not bad ...
     
  19. PhotoPete

    PhotoPete Member

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    Has anyone here used a zone plate or pinhole to focus ambient x-ray radiation and produce an image without using a device to emit x-rays? I know that a chest x-ray is the equivalent of several days of background, so I would expect the exposure time needed to be very lengthy.
     
  20. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

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    That's called screen exposure x-ray film. As you said, it requires smaller dose of x-ray than direct exposure (non-screen type) but the resolution is much poorer than direct exposure films.

    Screen type films are at least optimized for green light exposure lasting for a few seconds.

    One thing with direct exposure films is that, they are usually large grain bromide emulsions to increase x-ray sensitivity, and they are also doped with agents to enhance x-ray sensitivity. Many of these parameters are optimized for x-ray and of course not visual light, so light sensitivity may be quite disappointing for the grain size. And it's only blue sensitive.
     
  21. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    Well, Photo Pete, that's an interesting idea ...

    I'd imagine that you'd need a very small, very prescise pinhole for this, though it may be possible ... I'd imagine that with hte incredibly low background radiation, you'd have massive reciprocity failure and exposures would be unbelieveably long.
     
  22. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    I would think its a lithographic film doped with an IR sensitizer. I'll bet its supposed to be processed in a lith developer too. Best bet then would be to use the same techniques used to get pictoral contrast out of litho film and microfilm using a POTA developer or very dilute Rodinal or HC-110
     
  23. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    Wow

    Ok, my sample film arrived today, and I [of course Itook out a piece and shot it in my 120 camera] (no view camera on hand). Five free 8x10 sheets - that's 20 free 4x5s (yesss!)

    All in all, the film works pretty well. It's "high speed" blue sensitive stuff; and it seems to be about ISO 25, perhaps a tad higher. It does have a blue base, which I don't like so much.

    The shot camer out OK, though there was some safelight fog (put it farther away next time), but its not too bad.

    I did make a hasty contact print, but it's difficult because the the negative is rather dark. I'll see what I can do.

    But anyway, the resolution seems to be pretty good, and the double emulsion doesn't hurt it too badly.

    The emulsion is SOFT, though.