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Thread: X-Ray Film

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    htmlguru4242's Avatar
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    X-Ray Film

    Has anyone ever tried using X-Ray film for visible light photography? I know that it comes in either blue - sensitive or orthochromatic, so it might be fun to work with.

    Any ideas - will this work?

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    htmlguru4242's Avatar
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    hmmm - double coating would be interesting - i wonder if the base layer prevents light from passing through and exposing both emulsions simultaneously...

    From my research X-Ray film is pretty cheap (some companies will even ship free samples of four or five 11" x 14" sheets). It might be interesting to grab a bit and see what we can do with it.

    Since my first post, I took a look at some old dental X-Rays, and the only problem that I can see is that the film bas is quite foggy, but not complely white. This would be difficult to print, or maybe you could just reversal - process it and have a [huge] transparency??

    If anybody has any information about this, let us know!!

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    The emulsion is quite thick. In addition there is no antihalation coating or base.

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    I once had access to virtualy unlimited amounts of 35mm Vari-X film when I worked for a hospital back in the 80's. It had an interesting look, but not interesting in a positive way. I don't have anything on hand to show as an example, and all I can really remember about it was that I didn't care overly for it. I didn't spend much time playing around with it at the time and I never saved the results... The only thing I can remember is a vague feeling that it was REALLY flat. There's no telling what kind of film it was now, nor if current x-ray films are anything like it. Try it out and see what happens!

    - Randy

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    I was always under the impression that orthochromatic meant blue-sensitive.

    I also believe both sides of the film are exposed at once. But by x-rays instead of visible light. Yet the film holders used indicate sensitivity to white visible room light.

    Having worked wirh a fair number of x-rays, my impression is that they are rather coarse-grained. Not a problem for medical staff as the films are not enlarged.

    Since everyone is nutty about reducing exposure to radiation, I'll bet these films are coarse because they have the maximum speed possible with a silver emulsion.

    The two layers of emulsion together should produce a density range greater than that of normal camera films. This could be useful with alternative processes which require high-contrast/density negatives.

    Not sure why, but my impression is that these films have the conrast of Lith materials. If so, they will require a soft-working developer for pictorial subjects.

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    htmlguru4242's Avatar
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    Interesting info. guys, I'll see what I can do here.

    I'm not familiar with lith. films, so I don't exactly know what a "soft working developer" is, so could somebody please explain?

    And to John Cook, blue sensitive films are sensitive to UV and blue light, while orthochromatic fils are sensitive to UV, Blue and Green...

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Cook
    I was always under the impression that orthochromatic meant blue-sensitive.
    An emulsion which does not contain any sensitizing dyes is only blue sensitive. Orthochromatic films are sensitive to blue and green light.

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    I have not worked with X ray film, but I did some repair work to a X ray film processor when one broke down and needed a very quick repair and a medical equipment repair person was not available. The machine was very similar to a versamat, but the developer was held at 90 degrees and the developer was very strong. I ran a roll of Plux X and TriX though it just to see what would happen, the grain was visible on the negative, contrast like lith film. I don't know if X ray film will even develop in anything but X ray film developer. Good luck.

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    htmlguru4242's Avatar
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    You say that the grain was visible on the negatives, was it so pronnounced as to be unprintable?? The grain on X-Ray films certainly seems noticeable, but it would be fun to try anyway

    Any idea what the deveopler in the processor was?

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    [QUOTE=htmlguru4242]You say that the grain was visible on the negatives, was it so pronnounced as to be unprintable??

    It was 35MM, I didn't try to print it, the developer was for X ray film only, may have been related to dektol, just a guess. If you go to the Kodak web site you may be able to find information on X ray film and developer. In terms of 8X10 or larger, I have no clue.

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