View Full Version : 16mm home-brew

11-08-2007, 06:33 PM
Hi all,

I finally had the chance to telecine some footage with hand made emulsion applied to clear acetate leader obtained by brushing old emulsion from old ektachrome commercial (what added a lot of scratch). Also, the film went through 4 x rays at airports and 35C inside the camera... so a lot of shredding etc. The darker part, with a dog, was made with AgNO3 from Ag from electrolysis of old fixer and analytical nitric acid. Not so good... I used amonia digest, eritrosine and sulfur for sensitisation. But funny that I rated it by testing with stills around iso 15, but it was over-rated... more like 10, but I even got a little indoor scene without additional illumination (the boxes on the floor). Anyway, I am using most of it in a new short I am making.

Hey PE, can I talk about your workshop at the smallformat magazine? Do you have a webpage for that?

Btw, here is the link for the video:


Photo Engineer
11-08-2007, 06:47 PM
Congratulations. I hope you can get the speed up. I hope that you can achieve a better coating method to decrease defects.

I have three questions:

1. Why does the same scene repeat exactly, twice once at the start and once at the end?

2. Why is there color in some of the scenes and not others? Is there some remaining color film left behind?

3. I'm not sure I understand what you are saying. Are you using 2 or 3 emulsons that you coated? You describe it in two parts and it is unclear to me.

I have no web page or web presence except the video on youtube in the sticky here and in this forum, as well as on PN. You are free to discuss it all you wish using any knowledge here as long as you apply proper credit.


Kirk Keyes
11-08-2007, 11:03 PM
Wow - that was cool. I think I saw the Monolith in there at about 1:40 or so.

Seriously - that was really neat. I'm impressed at the work it must have taken to put an emulsion on used film.

It sure has a unique look to it. I'm sure Adobe or Apple will copy the look and feel of that clip and make an action out of it for their video editing programs.

11-09-2007, 05:14 AM
Hi PE,

Off course I will give to Ceasar what is from Ceasar... I would be actually very honored to credit you and this community...

Sorry about repeating the scene, I was editing in Cinelerra and I left reapeted chunks at the end so, the priest scene got there twice. The blue bits are little pieces of old emulsion (but it's just stained gelatin s they ended up the same color as it was before applying my own emulsion).

To get the acetate base I did the following:

Fixer (hipan for 30 minutes @ 40C)

50% NaOCl (bleach) @ 50C for 30 min

Water @ 70C for +-10 min

Then brushed . There were some little blue pieces left in some of the base and they were there, unchanged after the development.

I did not wash well after emulsification because i want to keep some weird tones.

The worse thing was to see the film melting during shooting in brazil...

I am now establishing myself in sweden so I hope to be able now to build a decent coating machine and who knows, even an electron bombardment system to be able to consistently use clear base. Many thanks for all the help!!!

11-09-2007, 05:16 AM
Great work! I am very impressed that you made your own Silver Nitrate for one scene.

11-09-2007, 08:14 AM
Great work! I am very impressed that you made your own Silver Nitrate for one scene.

but that was crap. from a whole roll (15m) i've got only that part... i've bought a 35mm camera (movie) and i wanna now try 35mm... greater resolution... ; )

Photo Engineer
11-09-2007, 10:03 AM
Well, it was great work. What I have to put some thought to is how to coat on motion picture support like that, but with high quality. If I find a way, you will be the first to know.

BTW, what was the process?


11-09-2007, 05:30 PM
The coating?

I used an aluminum box with hot water and over the lid i mounted a support to hold a tube with foam in the bottom (like those dishwash sponges that have the detergent on the handle). Also, an aquarium pump to blow a thin column of air for clearing the holes.

This corona process, can I get the electron gun from a monitor or something? i really would like to be able to coat on clear leader...

the NaOH does help (a lot) but it still it's not the same as the gelatin coated base. I'll try to get in touch with orwo in germany to see it they sell clear base pre-coated.

to process I used d11 and hipam in a spiral tank.


11-09-2007, 11:35 PM
See the attached scan from Baker. A very simple system (fig 73) of two rollers is mentioned for film coating. This may produce a more even coat.

Photo Engineer
11-10-2007, 10:15 AM
Aluminum is bad for emulsions.

The schematics for a full modern version of the Baker machine with parts list is in a PDF by Jim Browning at his web site.

10-24-2015, 08:39 PM
I find your youtube video fascinating.
I just have a few questions..

1) What exactly will the electron bombardment system help you achieve? and what would happen if you did without it?
2) what kind of machine coats emulsion onto clear acetate.
3) how and where do you find clear acetate for 35mm or 16mm.



M Carter
10-25-2015, 11:40 AM

3) how and where do you find clear acetate for 35mm or 16mm.

First post of the thread:
"hand made emulsion applied to clear acetate leader obtained by brushing old emulsion from old ektachrome commercial"

"Leader" is film with sprocket holes used to add film to the beginning of a reel for threading through the projector. It usually has an opaque coating on it.

When we were kids we were able to remove emulsion form old 16mm TV spots with household bleach. Can't recall why we did this though….