Process ECN-2 for Pictorial Use
Title: Process ECN-2 for Pictorial Use
To demonstrate that color motion picture film can be used for pictorial use.
To present a variation of process ECN-2 for the creation of still negatives.
ECN-2 negative film can be gotten for very reasonable prices as short ends but there doesn't seem to be any information about using it for pictorial use, except that it probably a bad idea. Further the ones that want to do it seem intent on using C-41 chemicals instead of the ECN-2 chemicals. Thus producing negatives of less than archival quality even though the formulas for process ECN-2 are published.
The color developer was adapted from its original published form to reflect what I had available and what I could get a hold of for instance Kodak Anti-calcium was removed from the formula and antifoggant AF2000 was also removed as I couldn't source these two chemicals. This necessitated the use of distilled water. Also potassium bromide was substituted for sodium bromide as it was easier to obtain and is less expensive. The stop bath made use of acetic acid instead of sulfuric acid, the fixer was Arista Arifix. It also appears that Kodak has removed formaldehyde from all photographic processes including process ECN-2. After careful reading of the MSDS it was concluded that the chemicals in Final Rinse was the same as what was being offered for process ECN-2.
After warming the water to appropriate temperatures the chemicals were mixed as specified in the formulas section.
Temperature control was achieved by the drift by method were the temperature drop during the color developer step was determined then the change in temperature was divided in half and added to the recommended start temperature. In my case I experienced a drop of 7°F so 7°F/2=3.5. Starting temperature is 103.5°F. Developing time was standard C-41 time of 3.5 minuets. Similar C-41 times was used for the stop, bleach, fix and finial rinse with appropriate rinses between stop and bleach, fix and final rinse.
The rem-jet antihaliation backing was not removed until after the end of the process. After the final rinse step a cotton pad like those for the removal of makeup was used to remove the backing quite easily.
Distilled Water 21 to 38°C (70 to 100°F)
Sodium Sulfite (Anhydrous)
Potassium Bromide (Anhydrous)
Sodium Carbonate (Anhydrous)
Distilled Water to make
Acetic Acid 28%
Distilled Water 32 to 43°C (90 to 110°F)
Potassium Ferricyanide (Anhydrous)
Potassium Bromide (Anhydrous)
Distilled Water to make
The motion picture film used was Kodak 5205 a Vision-2 250 daylight balanced film shot at an EI of 225. The still film used was Fujifilm Super HQ 200. A amature film was used since the film being compared against is being used outside its intended use. The C-41 negatives were developed and printed on a Fuji Frontier at a local Wal-Mart on Crystal Archive paper the ECN-2 Negatives were developed myself and then printed at the local Wal-Mart using the same machine and paper.
These photographs were taken during overcast weather. The Fuji negatives appear to have been exposed on a bright sunny day with the over saturation and blown highlights associated with this film/paper combination. I shudder to think what this would look like on a bright sunny day. The prints from the ECN-2 negatives have less saturation than the Fuji negatives, but that is another way of saying that the ECN-2 negatives have a more accurate color reproduction compared to the Fuji negatives. Also highlights aren't blown as they are in the Fuji negatives.
ECN-2 films can be used for pictorial purposes and that the ECN-2 process can be adapted for normal darkroom use.
Pardon the intrusion.
My better half's grandmother died a short time ago, and going through her stuff we found two rolls of 35mm film - one we were able to get developed and the other no one will touch.
I did a search using "process ecn II" and ended up registering on this board hoping that someone could help me.
The roll of film is labeled "Signature" which I am assuming is Montgomery Wards brand name, and has "DX process ecn II" written on it .
My question is this: where in the world can I get this developed to see if there is anything of interest to the family on this film? I live within 100 miles of Denver, so I am assuming any there may be a lab that can process this film there.
I hope someone can point me in the right direction. I think I have my email enabled, so feel free to offer suggestions.
Some body will correct me but I think a US company used to load movie film up and then process it. I don't think they do it any more.
If they don't you might want to check for a shop that processes movie film. Hopefully they can do short bits of film.
With luck maybe one of the people with a movie background will see this.
Oh the Humanity
The "Signature" film is from a company called Seattle Film Works (now renamed Photoworks(?) for reasons that will become clear below), who used to sell the respooled movie film and require that the film be returned to them for processing. This was because running the ecn II film through a standard C-41 machine would gum up the machine when the backing dissolved and deposit black goo on all the other rolls running through the machine (!). I do not know whether this is true or not, but all photofinishers policed their incoming 35mm cassettes to see if they were the dreaded Seattle Film Works film. SFW later switched to C-41 film stock, but the die was cast, and photo finishers would not develop rolls of their film even when clearly labeled C-41.
What would lead a company to do such a thing?? Why would people buy into it?
The deal was that you would get 2 rolls of film in the mail FOR FREE, and you send them back in a little pouch and get prints AND slides from the same roll! I caught the Seattle Film Works Free Film Fever, got back a set of really washed-out looking prints AND slides, and was immediately cured.
However, my bout of Free Film Fever recurred after they switched to sending FREE C-41 (!!) This led to making requests for free film (which was C-41) and using a photo finisher who would process the C-41 film even though it had the dreaded SFW label that others would not touch. The photo finishers who managed to process E-6 (slide) film in their C-41 machines were good candidates for the SFW C-41 film. But that is another story...
It appears the whole scheme started to fall apart after they started distributing film (for free) that could be processed by anyone and trying to convince people that they HAD to use SFW processing services.
The whole sad story can be found in the archives of photo.net (ahh the pre digital days of photo.net (1996), with Mr. Greenspun spinning yarns and folks coming out of their caves to club each other over the head with their Canon v. Nikon debates).
Last edited by Dug; 06-07-2007 at 07:43 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: Comic timing
A small correction to Dug's post: The "Signature" film is actually from Signature Color, which was a lab that did much the same thing that SFW did. I don't know if they're still in business, but I know that they stopped processing ECN-II film a few years ago, so even if they're still around they won't be much good to O.O.O. I believe SFW/Photoworks also no longer processes ECN-II film. (When both existed, either would process the other's ECN-II film.)
To answer O.O.O.'s question, there are a few places that will still process this film. One is Rocky Mountain Film Lab in Aurora, but they're expensive and they only do runs of ECN-II film every once in a while, so you could wait weeks or even months on the order. The last I heard, Dale Laboratories in Florida would also do ECN-II film, and at lower cost than Rocky Mountain Film Lab, but I haven't checked lately; call or e-mail them to be sure. It's been a while since I used them, but when I did they were a pretty good commercial photofinisher.
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I just ran some rolls of kodak 5296 through dip and dunk C41 with the d&d the remjet backing stayed intact and no problems were noticed on the plots-the remjet backing is easily removed with a soak in warm water and a pec pad. The resulting RA4 prints were very low contrast although printing with increased ND on the filter pack yielded some pleasing muted prints-very retro looking-some loss of contrast could be due to the age of the film which is now discontinued-I'll try this again with some fresh short ends-and will make up the some of the above mentioned developer-I also heard mention of using E6 bleach as a substitute as well-which may increase the dmin-and increase contrast a bit.
Motion picture film is built to an average contrast of 0.5, while still film is built to an average contrast of 0.6. Motion picture film therefore has an inherent contrast mismatch when printed on normal color papers, as the print film intended for use is much higher in contrast than the current Endura or CA papers.
cd3 or cd2
but what is cd3 or cd2?
it's some kodak chemical?there's a formula for that?
thakn you best regards
Yes, CD-n (CD-2, CD-3, CD-4, etc.) are Kodak color developing agents. They've got very long chemical names that would probably be meaningful only to chemists. The photochemical suppliers that sell them (at least, to the general public) don't use the full chemical names; they sell them as CD-3, etc., so just look for that. The last I checked, Art Craft had both CD-3 (used in RA-4, E-6, and ECN-2) and CD-4 (used in C-41).
A quick comment. Phototherm's documentation says explains how to process ECN-2 in their machines using C-41 chemistry. They claim that the anti-halation layer is not a problem in a one-shot processor like a Phototherm because the developer solutions are discarded. This would no doubt work just as well in a Jobo processor.
The dye hues and dye stability would suffer by processing the film in C-41 as the developing agent is incorrect. In addition, REM Jet is removed from the back by a scrubber. If the carbon gets into the swollen gelatin on the front of the film during any processing step, it is locked in place and will leave microscopic black specs in the image.
REM Jet must be removed from the back only with a sponge scrub and then a wash before the film begins processing.
I have seen film ruined by the processing method described by Phototherm. At the time, it was others doing the job though. And, BTW, you may get by with an apparent good image from this, but the test is color quality, keeping of the image, and whether there are any microscopic white dots in the prints.