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  1. #1

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    TRI-PROCESS E6 FILM/BW DEV/C41 BLIX

    Hello friends at APUG, it's been a while since I posted, but after spending literally hours searching online for information without much success I decided this was the place to come.

    I am working on a project right now that is very reminiscent of David Levinthal's work. I first started digitally so I could see the results. If you are interested, here is the link to the photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikezph...7622450690919/

    Some people loved the color in the images, but I didn't think it was quite right, I even thought about switching to B/W. However when I brought down the saturation slider in Lightroom almost all of the way I was very pleased. Some of the images in the flickr gallery have been altered this way as well.

    I typically shoot 4x5 PRO160S and print on Kodak or Fuji Matte paper (RA-4). After doing a lot of online research and calling old gurus, I was disappointed to find out that there is NO way to achieve the extremely desaturated look that I desired in the images.

    After a lot of digging around I came across an old obscure thread on largeformat.info

    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...ad.php?t=33452

    The rest of the research I did resulted in people using B/W processing for old E6 film to achieve B/W results.

    From being into C-41 and RA-4 for a little while I have come to realize most people are really into VIVID colors and that not so many people are interested in dull almost monochrome color pallets from their C-41 film and RA-4 prints.

    So after visiting my local photo super store (www.uniquephoto.com) and having them give me a hard time about not knowing exactly what C-41 chemicals I needed, I was on my way with the following:

    1 bottle of KODAK Flexicolor Tank Bleach SM
    1 bottle of KODAK Flexicolor Fixer and Replenisher

    Back at my University's lab I only had a little bit of Rodinal left so I figured I would try HC110 until I "perfected" the result. At first I was using way too much bleach, way too high development temperatures (causing HC110 to decompose I believe) and nothing was coming out, I was frustrated to say the least.

    I know that sometimes people use a BLIX instead of separate bleach and fixer so I started mixing a varying amounts of bleach with fixer and started to get results! At first they were just monochrome negs with a base tint, but after finding the "right" formula I was stunned when I examined the negs with a loupe and began to see traces of color!

    Here are the results from some rough scans:


    Velvia 50 exposed at ISO 50
    Developed in Rodinal 1:25 for 9 minutes with constant agitation
    cleared with a mixture of:
    .5 oz Flexicolor Tank Bleach
    9.5oz Flexicolor Fixer + Replenisher solution


    Velvia 50 exposed at ISO 50
    developed in HC110 dilution B for 8 minutes with constant agitation
    cleared with a mixture of:
    .5 oz Flexicolor Tank Bleach
    9.5oz Flexicolor Fixer + Replenisher solution

    I am very excited with the results so far even though they are just simple test shots.

    If anyone has any helpful hints or advice on why this is happening or what I can do to alter/improve the process, please let me know.

  2. #2

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    You could try bleach bypass too. I don't know the details of it, but you develop your color neg normally, and skip the bleach step. Leaves all the silver in the image, which makes it grainier and lowers saturation. I'm sure if you tweaked the color development step, you could further reduce the saturation.

  3. #3
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    The para Amino Phenol developer used in Rodinal is possibly a weak color developer and the E6 film has a coupler excess. You may be getting a tiny amount of dye formed. That, combined with retained silver, may give you enough density to image with.

    Just a guess.

    * I am editing this with afterthoughs about how powerful pAP may be in coupling at the pH of Rodinal. I just don't know, but it does have a free amino group that could couple at the high pH and given enough coupler.

    PE
    Last edited by Photo Engineer; 10-15-2009 at 04:14 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Added - modified ---

  4. #4
    EASmithV's Avatar
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    That's really cool
    www.EASmithV.com

    "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."— Dorothea Lange
    http://www.flickr.com/easmithv/
    RIP Kodachrome

  5. #5
    Aurum's Avatar
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    Nice sort of hand tinted look
    "Flatter Me, and I May Not Believe You. Criticize Me, and I May Not like You. Ignore Me, and I May Not Forgive You. Encourage Me, and I Will Not Forget You."

  6. #6
    DanielStone's Avatar
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    how is your density? how adjusted are these 'rough' scans? is the density in the images close to what is present in the negatives?

    also, did you stabilize like normal with c-41 chemistry? Photo Engineer: does bleach bypass affect the stability(dye or general overall) in any way?

    I really like the effect though, and I'm going to try it! Albeit with Provia 400x (got a few free rolls from a 'digital now' friend )

    anyone (PE) know if this could work with D76? i know, try it an see, but I wasn't sure, so I'm asking. (i'm not a chemist, but a humble photographer after all )

    -Dan


  7. #7
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Bleach bypass does not affect image stability AFAIK. It can affect grain and sharpness, and in some cases it can mute the color by adding neutral density.

    Metol (in D76) will not couple and form dyes.

    PE
    Last edited by Photo Engineer; 10-16-2009 at 08:51 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: spelling

  8. #8
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    The Harveys 777 article and recipe over at unblinking eye may interest you as well.
    I know there is controversy if this is the same as the old commercially marketted 777, but I use it, and it works for my purposes with b&w films.

    It uses ppd as one of the three developing agents, and that I beloeve may be worth investigating for creating colours. Salts fo paraphenoldiamine (not sure if I have spelled this one right; I think of it just as ppd) are usually what are the key developing agent to the different standard colur developmers lal CD2, CD-3, and CD-4.

    Wear gloves; ppd is not too nice. Plus I run 777 as a replenished tank, and the buildup of silver etc leads to terrible stains that only show up the next day after your hands get exposed to natural light.

    I sourced my ppd from Ciare at jdphotchem; she is winding down her business I understand. I don't know who else sells it. I suspect that the formualry would not be able to mail it to me across the border.

    On another tack, for interesting experinentation, I ran films in what Kodak would call an exhuasted unreplenished e-6 process. Kodak rates it per my calculations for 4.5 - 35mm 36exposure films in 500mL of solutions. I ran a third pair of 36 exposure films through the same chems, to see what happens. The density is very high ( as would be expected, since the first developer has pooped out and thus after the reversal there is an excess of material to convert to silver. The colour developer is also mostly exhausted, and this leads to almost a pointilist painted look to the image. It is for a hybrid work flow to be sure. I have not yet scanned to take he density back, but am keen to see what the end result it. I suppoe if I had stretched the time for the first develoiper from the normal 6 to 6:15 to say 7 or 8 minutes I might still get the good denisty, but perhaps still the waek colurs since most of the colour developing agent is exhausted.
    Last edited by Mike Wilde; 10-16-2009 at 08:53 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    my real name, imagine that.

  9. #9

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    Thanks all for the responses, I knew you guys would have good input, especially PE. I ran some more tests with Sprint developer and the effect is very faint, but present. I also ran out of Flexicolor fixer so I used a standard B/W rapid fixer for my blix combination. These negatives have a slight purple tint to the base, not a orange/green like the previous tests. Do you think it was the developer or the lack of Flexicolor fixer in the blix that caused this?

    This week I am going to shoot "real things" on 4x5 PRO160S (processed C41 normally) and Velvia 50 RVP (processed with Rodinal as I did in 35mm) and compare them. I will post results ASAP.

    If I like the results on PRO160S compared to my digital shots (which were too saturated) I may "drop" this idea for now as it would save me a lot of time and testing, but it is something certainly worth messing with.

  10. #10
    Athiril's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    The para Amino Phenol developer used in Rodinal is possibly a weak color developer and the E6 film has a coupler excess. You may be getting a tiny amount of dye formed. That, combined with retained silver, may give you enough density to image with.

    Just a guess.

    * I am editing this with afterthoughs about how powerful pAP may be in coupling at the pH of Rodinal. I just don't know, but it does have a free amino group that could couple at the high pH and given enough coupler.

    PE

    I noticed when I made a concentrated "parodinal" formulation including hydroquinone and ascorbic acid to use as a fast 20c first developd I noticed I was getting dye formation after taking it out for reversal via light - the colours were quite strong - I didn't think before then putting it back into colour developer after reversing instead of just bleach and fixing.. so I ended up with black film.

    I made it in a hot solution intially so it was ready to use in minutes... overnight though.. still powerful developing properties, but no more dye formation, as I did a test on developing some C41 with it, then a bleach and fix, seems to be staining a monochrome image onto the base after the HQ broke down too much over night.

    That particular experiment was a failure, as I cant have dye formation or staining in a first developer, was getting great image development on C41 film a 1+100, 20-24c and 10-12min, as opposed to equivalent development (without staining or dye formation that I noticed) with Rodinal 1+50, 40c, 2 hours.

    Going to mix some more stuff up tonight and use it as a negative developer, see what I get.
    Last edited by Athiril; 10-18-2009 at 06:41 AM. Click to view previous post history.

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