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  1. #1

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    Did the fixer fog my film or did I make a mess with my first colour reversal attempt?

    Hi, Guys,

    I've been souping my slide film in diluted C-41 chemistry at home, getting good results with fresh film and developer, but got a few nasty surprises with old developer and/or old transparencies.

    My question is about some old ORWO transparencies I got cheap locally. UT-18, UT-21, UK-17 are supposed to be developed with a special process, whose components don't seem to be available nowadays. I've already tried to soup quite a few, but never got a scannable image. My last roll (UK-17, ASA40, expired decades ago) was exposed as ASA6(!), then souped in 1+100 Rodinal (yeah, that's the B&W developer I trust so far) and had decent B&W negative exposures after stopping and washing.

    I put out the film, exposed it properly against the lamp and left it drying for a while in order to be spooled and colour-developed next.

    After a good wash, the film was souped in diluted RA-4 chemistry. The exact dilution is unknown, but the stuff is still stinking and was able to darken the spooled film for maybe two minutes. I left it there until the frame spaces became almost invisible, but not more since I didn't want to have too dense transparencies (LOL).

    After stopping in very weak citric acid, and washing for a few minutes, I bleached with C-41 bleach and the film from almost black turned orange (I had it spooled with the emulsion out to visually monitor the process).

    Now comes the fun part - after pouring the fixer in (not fresh A-300 by ORWO), the film from orange turned almost black! Since the anti-haliation layer was still there after bleaching, I don't know if the bleach or the fix ruined it. Now there is almost no recognizable frame on the film, only the most over-exposed areas of the photos having a distinctive reversal image.

    I did a cross-process and used the same bleach and fix a few days ago on two fresh rolls of Elitechrome 100, and got no fog at all, just great x-pro negatives, of the crazy saturation and contrast that I adore, so should I conclude that my initial B&W development was highly insufficient and that is why I got unrecognizable images at the end?

    The density after the first dev was in my opinion "acceptable" as a B&W negative, but does it have to be much denser in order to be able to remove the silver slat that the second developer will "see"?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by adash View Post
    The density after the first dev was in my opinion "acceptable" as a B&W negative, but does it have to be much denser in order to be able to remove the silver slat that the second developer will "see"?
    Yes. A negative is of low contrast (typically 0.7ish) while a positive wants a contrast of at least 1.0. Remember also that a neg has bucketloads of highlight latitude, which means that there is a significant quantity of silver remaining in the emulsion that was not developed.

    To get a slide with clear highlights, you need to reach the absolute shoulder of the film curve where additional exposure or development will produce no additional density - at that point, you've developed all the silver into metal in the first developer so that there is nothing left for the second-developer to act on. And if you want black shadows, there will need to be clear parts on the negative.

    My guess is you need lots more first-development, perhaps more exposure.

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    Hello, Polyglot, and thanks for your quick response. I had to ask, since I wasn't sure where the fog came from.

    From what I see so far, the original negative silver image is visible through the antihaliation layers, as is the silver that is a by-product from the colour development. I was very surprised to see the almost completely black film turn bright orange after souping into the bleach, so I decided I would end up with very faint image...
    I got even more surprised when the bright orange disappeared and the uniform dark brownish-black cast appeared when souped into the fixer.

    I assume my washing was enough to wash the colour developer completely before souping to the bleach, and enough to wash most of the bleach before pouring the fixer in.

    Back to the B&W developer: How much should I develop? I assume Rodinal 1+100 will never reach the knee of the curve, since that is what it does - it never overdevelops anything. Should I double the developer (pour 10ml concentrate instead of 5ml) and keep the time and temp, or should I go a completely different route?

    And since I never got training in photography, densitometry, etc, can I assume that what you mean as contrast 1 is a very, very dense B&W negative? A negative that one would consider very overdeveloped as a B&W negative?

  4. #4
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    Assuming that the "fog" is silver then yes, more first-development. But if the fog is some other layer like anti-halation dyes, then more development obviously won't work; you'll need some way of stripping those dyes. Maybe try hypo-clearing agent, but I know nothing* about these specific films and what chemistry they are expecting! Maybe your colour-development stage is going foggy - you are after all using probably very different chemistry. I would try some E6 reversal bath, CD and bleach instead of the light/RA4/C41 mongrel process you're doing. When you say it went orange, was it transparent-orange (like C41 mask) or opaque-orange?

    Contrast of 1.0 just means that the medium has the same brightness range as the scene. Normal negatives are about 0.7 and chromes are usually about 1.2 I think. The contrast-index number is the slope of the density/exposure plot in log-log axes.

    Indeed, I would not use Rodinal 1+100. I would suggest a continuous-agitation scheme with a more-concentrated developer, e.g. Rodinal 1+50 (with at least 10mL concentrate per roll). Or any other developer you like as long as you're agitating it enough to avoid heavy compensation effects. Since these are slides you're making you NEED to get the exposure right and you don't want to just flatten out the highlights with compensation. Yes, you will blow extreme highlights unless you accept poor contrast. That's the nature of a reversal system; they clip your dynamic range in both shadows and highlights.


    * doing the develop/bleach/colour-redevelop thing implies that we're assuming it's chromogenic reversal film. It may not be that; it could be more like kodachrome (dyes are in the developers) or cibachrome (developer destroys dyes I think). It might not be possible to get anything like an acceptable result using reversal and chromogenic developers (CD-3, CD-4, etc) because of a fundamental incompatibility in how the chemistry of the film is designed.

  5. #5
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    Some interesting reading. Short version: don't expect usable reversal results from modern developers. Cross-processing in cold C41 might be acceptable, though very funky.

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    Maybe your colour-development stage is going foggy - you are after all using probably very different chemistry.
    Well, isn't that what the colour development bath is all about? It should develop <all> silver halide to silver and catch the dye couplers in the emulsion in the process, shouldn't it? Or you mean it is catching the dye couplers in areas where it shouldn't?
    When you say it went orange, was it transparent-orange (like C41 mask) or opaque-orange?
    It was opaque orange after the bleach and before the fixer.
    * doing the develop/bleach/colour-redevelop thing implies that we're assuming it's chromogenic reversal film. It may not be that; it could be more like kodachrome (dyes are in the developers) or cibachrome (developer destroys dyes I think).
    It has the dye couplers in the emulsion. The process is similar to light-exposed E-6, only at low temp and different chemistry, but the basics are the same. The colour developer uses Парааминодиэтиланилинсульфат (4-Amino-N,N-dimethylaniline sulfate CAS No. 6219-73-4, CD-1, I saw that in PE's response here: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum40/5...chrome-e6.html but I also double checked the structural formula from the Russian source here: http://www.photoline.ru/texp12.htm). I am OK with colour shifts and insane contrast etc, as long as the minilab scanners can read the frame spacers. I am not aiming at usable transparencies for projection.
    Cross-processing in cold C41 might be acceptable, though very funky.
    It didn't work. Maybe my developer was old, but it fogged completely both the ORWOCHROM and some old EPT 160T that I souped in the same tank. It fogged both with different hue, but nothing scannable from them, which is pretty strange, since it usually works OK (yeah, it is funky) with the EPT-160T.

    Today if I have the time, I'm gonna soup it with some more aggressive B&W dev and try the rest of the steps unchanged. I am thinking about lith developer in the B&W step too, since this will certainly develop the highlights to saturation.....

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    If your process normally works with the EPT 160T and didn't on this occasion, maybe that's an indication that your current batch of chemistry is broken/exhausted/contaminated somehow?

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    Quote Originally Posted by polyglot View Post
    If your process normally works with the EPT 160T and didn't on this occasion, maybe that's an indication that your current batch of chemistry is broken/exhausted/contaminated somehow?
    Probably. Due to the lack of much experience, I was in doubt what actually happened to that old mix of C-41 chemistry. I was going to start a separate thread, asking if old C-41 dev can fog the film beyond recognition, but you sort of answered my question. I suppose that air-oxidated developer can get into the emulsion and attach to the dye couplers there, causing dense fogging.

    Please note that this batch of C-41 has nothing to do with my latest attempts in reversal processing of ORWOCHROM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by adash View Post
    Hi, Guys,

    I've been souping my slide film in diluted C-41 chemistry at home, getting good results with fresh film and developer, but got a few nasty surprises with old developer and/or old transparencies.

    My question is about some old ORWO transparencies I got cheap locally. UT-18, UT-21, UK-17 are supposed to be developed with a special process, whose components don't seem to be available nowadays. I've already tried to soup quite a few, but never got a scannable image. My last roll (UK-17, ASA40, expired decades ago) was exposed as ASA6(!), then souped in 1+100 Rodinal (yeah, that's the B&W developer I trust so far) and had decent B&W negative exposures after stopping and washing.

    I put out the film, exposed it properly against the lamp and left it drying for a while in order to be spooled and colour-developed next.

    After a good wash, the film was souped in diluted RA-4 chemistry. The exact dilution is unknown, but the stuff is still stinking and was able to darken the spooled film for maybe two minutes. I left it there until the frame spaces became almost invisible, but not more since I didn't want to have too dense transparencies (LOL).

    After stopping in very weak citric acid, and washing for a few minutes, I bleached with C-41 bleach and the film from almost black turned orange (I had it spooled with the emulsion out to visually monitor the process).

    Now comes the fun part - after pouring the fixer in (not fresh A-300 by ORWO), the film from orange turned almost black! Since the anti-haliation layer was still there after bleaching, I don't know if the bleach or the fix ruined it. Now there is almost no recognizable frame on the film, only the most over-exposed areas of the photos having a distinctive reversal image.

    I did a cross-process and used the same bleach and fix a few days ago on two fresh rolls of Elitechrome 100, and got no fog at all, just great x-pro negatives, of the crazy saturation and contrast that I adore, so should I conclude that my initial B&W development was highly insufficient and that is why I got unrecognizable images at the end?

    The density after the first dev was in my opinion "acceptable" as a B&W negative, but does it have to be much denser in order to be able to remove the silver slat that the second developer will "see"?
    I think the key is that you have a bunch of problems all ganging up on you.

    1) Each process needs a slightly different mix of chemicals for colour processing, modern developers like E6/C41/RA4 have eliminated a lot of the very hazardous stuff that was used in earlier processes. However the modern films are designed to use these less hazardous processes, so using the modern chemical sets with an older film, may not give the proper result.

    2) Your film is very old, so there could be enough base fog in there that when you reverse process you get black.

    3) You are not sure you had the right dilution of RA4 chemicals, this is critical when your experimenting with a process, that you measure everything and keep precise notes, in order to make sure you can repeat the process.

    I would take your elderly film and use it for B&W negatives, buy modern film and chemistry for colour film and be done with it.
    Paul Schmidt
    See my Blog at http://clickandspin.blogspot.com

    The greatest advance in photography in the last 100 years is not digital, it's odourless stop bath....

  10. #10

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    2) Your film is very old, so there could be enough base fog in there that when you reverse process you get black.
    Thanks for your response, but basically I would expect that to lead to less dense negatives after reversal. That is in the original formula of course :-)
    3) You are not sure you had the right dilution of RA4 chemicals
    Indeed, but the colour developer should act to competition (well, I did not let it complete well, since I was afraid not to have too dense negatives).
    I would take your elderly film and use it for B&W negatives, buy modern film and chemistry for colour film and be done with it.
    I like the challenge and the process of searching and experimenting is more rewarding than the end result for me. I have enough fresh film, but I would like to make that one work too. Plus its base is too dense for a B&W negative (it seems to have an additional silver anti-haliation layer that only does away in the bleach).

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