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Thread: H2O2 Steaming

  1. #1

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    H2O2 Steaming

    In the Darkroom Cookbook and in the film developing cookbook Anchell writes about sensitizing film by hydrogen peroxide steaming. It should give more shadowdetail offcourse but should also give a unique quality to the lowlight images. He recommends stainless steel tanks for the steaming and I have tried to build up some pressure in my Paterson tank but naturally the lid popped of so that might be it. Before I try to make or get a steamer I would like to know if any one have tried this and if so could you recommend the method ?

    For those who don't know the method:
    Pushprocess film in D-76, XTOL or FX 37.
    After development, rinse in plain water.
    Place the film on top of two 135 reels or one 120 reel in a tank (airtight) containing 8 ounces of 3% hydrogen peroxide
    Bring it to 40-43 C/105-110 F (water bath) and let it steam for 10min.
    Svirl, don't invert 10sec every min. Dont splash the H2O2 on the film.
    transfer the film to a dry tank and let it stand for 5 min.
    Rinse with 5 tanks of water. Fix and wash as usual.
    offcourse all handling of the film is in the dark.

    For further explanation read the chapters in the books.
    Kind regards Søren

  2. #2

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    Been there, done that (the hydrogen peroxide steam thing). It was very, very tedious and messy. I was not impressed with the end results.

    In my experience the metallurgical forming gas film hypersensitization technique developed by astronomical photographers works much better and more consistently. With this technique you treat the film before exposing it.

    Try Googling film hypersensitization.
    Tom Hoskinson
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  3. #3

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    It was just that it seemed to be cheap and easy so if I could get something different perhaps another look it might have been worth a try. We have lots hydrogen peroxide at work I could use so it was just a "steamer" I should get. Well there is lots of other exiting things to do.
    Thanks Tom
    Kind regards Søren

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    Søren, a simple procedure that works quite well is to pre-expose the film at a greatly reduced level of exposure (make the pre-exposure defocused, of a gray card, of open sky, or through a diffusion filter).

    Previous APUG threads have described this procedure. If your 35mm will allow you to make double exposures, this procedure is easy to perform on a selective frame-by-frame basis.
    Tom Hoskinson
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  5. #5

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    Lee Alcorn in the March 1982 issue of Darkroom Techniques
    describes a H2O2 method which works in the 105 to 115 F
    range. My quick read saw no more than a double boiler
    approach to the fumeing. He goes into great detail.
    His claimed 3200 ASA HP5 photos look very nice.

    In the June issue he goes into H2O2 for color. Dan

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    Yep, that is the very article that induced me to try it.
    Tom Hoskinson
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  7. #7

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    So Tom which film did you use for the test ?
    My goal is not as much sensitivity as the look you are supposed to get.
    Is the article from darkroom techniques accessible on internet ?
    I saw some modelshots on The Golden made by (I think) a Belgian guy with some very nice looking grain I wonder how he did it but thats another matter.
    Cheers Søren

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soeren
    So Tom which film did you use for the test ?
    My goal is not as much sensitivity as the look you are supposed to get.
    Is the article from darkroom techniques accessible on internet ?
    I saw some modelshots on The Golden made by (I think) a Belgian guy with some very nice looking grain I wonder how he did it but thats another matter.
    Cheers Søren
    I used Kodak Tech Pan, Kodak Ektachrome 400 and Fuji 400 Color Neg. I was going for both enhanced sensitivity and contrast control. I compared Hydrogen Peroxide (post exposure) hypersensitization with these two pre-exposure techniques: Gas hypersensitization and Preflashing.

    As I stated previously, I found both pre-exposure techniques to be the most useful for what I was doing at the time (high SBR available light and low light intensity high SBR available light).

    You asked: "Is the article from darkroom techniques accessible on internet ?"
    Try www.phototechmag.com

    Also try Googling the various techinques.
    Tom Hoskinson
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