Kodalith Developer with 35mm film
Im shooting with 35mm film (Fuji Neopan 400) and want to develop it with Formulary Film developer (kodalith). Would this work, and if so does anyone have and times for developing?
I have never tried this, but as I am sure you are aware, Kodalith (or any other lith) developer is designed to exploit the phenomenon of infectious development (i.e. generation of density on film stimulates even more developer activity) to produce extreme contrast (pure black and clear film only) with high-contrast copy films. There is of course the creative use of this material in lith printing, where an attempt is made by diluting the developer and adding a proportion of old stale developer to stretch out this process and snatch the print out of the dev before infectious development fully takes place, but I have never heard of applying this technique to film development. What effect are you aiming for?
Black and White
I am looking to get a more solid black and white contrast with very little gray tone. If anyone has any other ideas to get this, that would help also.
The classic "gritty" photojournalistic look is Tri-X (quite similar to Neopan 400) rated at EI 800 and developed in D76 (probably for about 50% more than the dev time for the normal ISO speed 400). Same look was used in fashion shots (Richard Avedon, David Bailey, ...). Rodinal would also be a good choice here, I can't give you a precise dev time, but this would give a still grittier look but still with mid-tone separation. Same principle applies, use Rodinal 1+25 and increase devtime. Some other contributors to this forum are big Rodinal fans and know more than I do about semi-stand (reduced agitation) development to give pronounced grain while avoiding excess contrast.
Kodalith Developer with 35mm film
Here is a technique I have adopted when I'm not certain of exposure and processing and I don't want to waste film.
1. load film and mark film on the leading edge of the frame with felt pen. Close back and advance to zero.
2. shoot 2 stops over and under your meter reading
3. cover lens and shoot 2 blanks
4. repeat steps 2 & 3 shooting the same scene as many times as your film count will handle but with only one blank between sets of 5.
5. rewind film, but don't lose the leader (very important, see next sequence)
Now for the tricky part
5. in the dark cut the first 5 shots and load onto a reel! (Got your attention?) First, make yourself a template 14-15"" long (9 frames (4 leader+5 shots) x 1.5" each). Carefully pull out the leader to the mark you made in step 1 and cut the film at the line. Use your template to cut the first 5 frames (plus leader). With any luck you will cut somewhere between the first two blank frames.
6. process the film normally
Once processed you will be able to adjust your next cut.
7. make another template approx. 9" long (6 frames (1 blank+5) x 1.5"). Adjust the start of the film (above the template if the first cut was too short, or below if first cut was too long) and cut strips of 5. Again, with luck you will cut on a blank frame. Load each set of 5 in a different tank (If you only have 1 or 2 tanks, only cut 1 or 2 sets of 5).
8. process one at normal less 20% and one at normal less 33%
9. process one at normal plus 25% and one at normal plus 50%
Make a well structured contact sheet and you should have 25 different combinations of exposure and processing from one roll of film. Be sure to prepare a legend for each frame. Use the exposure/processing combination that produces the desired results with future rolls of that film under similar lighing conditions (modify for variation).
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You could try some microfilm or low speed ortho film if you don't mind low speed. You get small grain as a bonus.
Originally Posted by E_Spicer
Note that the higher contrast is the more pronounced is the effect of given change in exposure. It might be easier to control it while printing - shoot normal neg optionally overdevelop, that use high grade and contrasty developer, or use lith for prints.
I have tried the microfilms Copex Rapid and Adox CMS 20 in Rodinal and IMO Adox CMS 20 is the most contrasty 35mm film sold, though it gives normal pictorial contrast in its own Adotech developer.
Adox CMS 20 in a regular developer should get the high contrast you mention.