What about acrylic sheets? Can it be used? This is the easiest to obtain in my place, even easier than thin glass.
Originally Posted by Athiril
hrst's answer was very thorough. I can add an example and a couple of comments.
I've been working on standardizing my workflow. I love experimenting and playing, but ever since I finally, really got it that handmade emulsions are up to the task of serious photography, I only want to be out and about with my cameras. That means getting serious about darkroom quality and efficiency. I've made up six identical 5-inch emulsion coaters with 4+ inch /11 cm wells. On film, that makes an almost 5-inch path. I'm using them for film for my WP and every size down, including roll film. That size path is perfect for two rolls of 120 or three rolls of 127. In the attached Whole Plate photo, you can see the fall-off on the edges. The film is 6-3/8 inches wide with a good 5-inch path of emulsion, plus selvage edges. You could either cut off the selvages for smaller formats, or as I'm doing with my WP, incorporate the edges into the final print. By cutting the width to the final format, before coating, I only have to make one cut to length after the emulsion is dry. I do cut off the selvages for roll film. The thinner roll film is easier to cut than the thicker sheet film.
A good method for cutting roll film is to take a roll of commercial film, with a tiny bit of the width trimmed off, and attach it to two pieces of aluminum frame (Nielsen type) with foamcore board holding them apart to the right width. Clamp at the top, hold firmly at the bottom, use a sharp X-acto blade, and perfect film each time.
Acrylic is very hydrophobic. If you want to use it, I'd love to see you develop a good subbing formula/strategy. I hope you do and have great luck.
Last edited by dwross; 05-10-2012 at 11:24 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Yeah, I can confirm that trying to coat a pre-cut to size piece of substrate doesn't work well. You will have to get used to the idea of imprecision and some loss. On the other hand, I have cut leftover edges as small as 35mm single frame "sheets" for testing. Tape the small single frame sheet to a piece of black construction paper if you like to fit in your SLR. A nice thing about doing this is you dont have to try and make and run a roll of film if you are trying to decide on developing procedures, etc, and aren't using large format cameras. You could probably come up with some sort of paper film holder that would fit inthe back of an SLR. (Hmmm) Done this with 120 in my Yashica TLR as well.
I wouldn't bother trying to coat a pre-cut material because of the problems of emulsion leaking out or not filling the whole substrate.
I now coat by fastening the substrate to a sheet of 1/4" thick plate glass. I have a few of these as leftover glass shelves from a display case. You can find something cast-off or I believe even new plate (window) glass is not very expensive. It's flat and holds heat well so your emulsion doesn't start to set up on you while you try to coat. (warm the glass a bit before coating)
To help make certain I have covered the area I need to coat without overdoing it, I have made up some paper templates for 120 rolls that I tape to the underside of the glass. Now you can see the template through the substrate and glass and make certain you have covered the proper area and try to avoid creating waste. I have templates made for one roll, two rolls and three rolls.
Fantastic contributions from everyone, thank you all!
So, this is why I started this thread... I had no idea about these 3M products!
3M Hydrophilic Polyester Film 9962
3M Hydrophilic Polyester Film 9960
Game = changed!
Dave, I suspect that acrylic would be prone to the same issues as polyester, but IDK. You could try "roughing up" the surface with a fine sand paper if the gelatin comes off though.
I also like Umut's idea of etching the surface somehow. Ultimately, as hrst suggests, corona treatment, once properly sorted out, is a home-run as well.
Maybe the situation isn't as dire as I thought afterall. Though it would be nice to know if any of these aqueous ink-jet type PET films will take an emulsion well. It seems that if they will, then so should overhead transparency paper like Pictorico.
Any pointers or links to read about it?
Originally Posted by dwross
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Don't be afraid to read The Light Farm. All info, as I learn it, open source / free of charge. I talked about the 3M films months ago.
Originally Posted by holmburgers
If you mean the stuff made for digital negatives (??) , it doesn't work.
Last edited by dwross; 05-10-2012 at 12:11 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: can't seem to spell my way out of a paper bag, and blind to boot.
Sorry, no. As far as I know, it's virgin territory and any discoveries could belong to you . If I were feeling adventurous, I'd probably start with the same subbing as for acetate. But, that's purely a guess.
Originally Posted by daveandiputra
Yes, shame on me!
Originally Posted by dwross
We'd really need to set up a group purchase of the 3M film. $1200 is a little too much for my budget, although I agree it's the way to go.
We might try a purchase of film support just as we did the baryta recently made available via the Formulary.
We could get custom cuts of actual subbed supports currently in use for films. And, they would be in the appropriate thicknesses.