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  1. #1

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    need advice on a high contrast film and developer combination

    I would like to make some zone plates on a high contrast 35mm film. I used Kodalith years ago to make word slides, but am having trouble finding a replacement for this. I purchased some Arista Litho A/B developer and Rollei Ortho 25 film to try that out. I shot a test roll bracketing widely and after development (the recommended 3 min.) the film was completely clear. I shot another roll and really went crazy with long exposures. This time I got some highlights of an outdoor scene, very high contrast as I wanted, but the image was still way off, even greatly overexposed.

    Has anyone had success with any combination of film and developer for this purpose - a high contrast slide like the graphic arts Kodalith film did so well? I've searched the APUG site (and the internet) for this, but almost everything I have found relates to trying to extend the range of a high contrast film. I need a dense film with truly high contrast.

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    polyglot's Avatar
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    Adox CMS-20 (NB NOT the 25) is a high-contrast document film. The supplied special developer allows people to get continuous tone from it but apparently if you use it in normal developer, you get insane contrast with pure whites and blacks. And no shortage of resolution.

    Your Rollei Ortho might have failed for lack of red sensitivity; the fact that it sees no red is like there being a red-25 filter on there. You might need to add 3 stops to get a correct exposure off a scene metered with a white-light meter but I'm not sure about that at all (I don't shoot ortho films in-camera). 3:00 of development is also extremely short; nearly all of the combinations on MDC for that film are about 2 or 3 times as long.

  3. #3

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    Lith developers are useful but tricky for high contrast results. They are probably the only way to get absolute blacks and whites. You might try something like D-8. It is a bit better controlled, and it works well with more emulsion types. A print developer is often used to get high contrast, but it will not get absolute black and white unless the subject is absolute, and the d-max may not be as great as you would like. Undiluted Dektol would be an example.

  4. #4
    pstake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by polyglot View Post
    Adox CMS-20 (NB NOT the 25) is a high-contrast document film. The supplied special developer allows people to get continuous tone from it but apparently if you use it in normal developer, you get insane contrast with pure whites and blacks. And no shortage of resolution.

    Your Rollei Ortho might have failed for lack of red sensitivity; the fact that it sees no red is like there being a red-25 filter on there. You might need to add 3 stops to get a correct exposure off a scene metered with a white-light meter but I'm not sure about that at all (I don't shoot ortho films in-camera). 3:00 of development is also extremely short; nearly all of the combinations on MDC for that film are about 2 or 3 times as long.
    I have experimented with CMS 20 souped in Rodinal 1:200 with good results, by which I mean it did not result in contrasty noir but rather nice continuous tones. I'd have to look back at my notes but I think I developed for around 20-25 minutes. That said, I would not recommend that you meter at iso 20. I would recommend at least two more stops. Also, I was shooting 135 and not large format.

    Looked back at my notes: 35 minutes development.
    Last edited by pstake; 05-10-2012 at 01:41 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by pstake View Post
    I have experimented with CMS 20 souped in Rodinal 1:200 with good results, by which I mean it did not result in contrasty noir but rather nice continuous tones. I'd have to look back at my notes but I think I developed for around 20-25 minutes. That said, I would not recommend that you meter at iso 20. I would recommend at least two more stops. Also, I was shooting 135 and not large format.

    Looked back at my notes: 35 minutes development.
    And I realize now that I misunderstood this post entirely. You WANT high contrast.

    My bad...

  6. #6
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    Try microfilm if you want 35mm. The stuff is respooled and sold as ultra-fine grain film - 'Bluefire Police' etc.. It used to be Agfa microfilm, now it seems its Adox [which is probably Foma or Efke?]. Can't beat the price at $0.88/24exp cartridge (assuming that's not a misprint on Frugal's web site). It's no TechPan replacement, though. http://www.frugalphotographer.com/catBluefire.htm Process in D-8 or the A-B of your choice.

    You can still get Kodalith type film from Ultrafine http://www.ultrafineonline.com/ulhicoorlifi.html I've used the stuff in a 35mm camera by cutting down a strip and loading it into the camera in the darkroom - it's a 1-shot deal before it's back to the darkroom. You can sometimes find lith/line film on ebay at reasonable prices.

    To get high contrast results you need a lith developer that develops by 'infectious development' - watching the stuff develop in a tray certainly brings to mind a fast-spreading infection. Most lith developers use formaldehyde - D-8 is nice in that it doesn't, but it isn't as infectious as the real thing.
    Last edited by Nicholas Lindan; 05-10-2012 at 01:41 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    DARKROOM AUTOMATION
    f-Stop Timers - Enlarging Meters
    http://www.darkroomautomation.com/da-main.htm

  7. #7

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    Kodak makes a 35mm cinema lab film called High Contrast Pan Intermediate 5369 (acetate) or 2369 (estar base), also formerly known as SO-331. You can see a quick example of it on the 4th page of this thread here:

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/1...till-film.html

    There's a guy selling bulk-loaded 35mm carts of it on ebay right now. Or you can buy a 1000 ft spool direct from Kodak for $231.77 plus shipping. Or I'll sell you a 100 foot-ish roll I spooled down from a 1000 foot roll for $50 including shipping (the cores, bags, and cans cost me money, plus having all the equipment to do it, etc. If you plan to do a lot of this I heartily recommend just getting it straight from Kodak.)

    You can also find the old Kodalith Ortho film around still now and again. If you're interested, I'll dig around in my freezer. I'm positive I have some 100' rolls, but I may also have some 36 exposure factory rolls too.

    Duncan

  8. #8

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    Thanks to everyone for the replies and information. I appreciate it.

    Gregg

  9. #9

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    I posted some SO-331 and some Kodalith Ortho Film in the For Sale classifieds, if you're interested.

    Duncan



 

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