Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Kodak imagelink HQ in the Lomad developer.

Kodak imagelink HQ is a high contrast micro-film made for automatically photographing checks and other documents in dedicated photo machines.

It is available from sellers on e-bay from time to time at a reasonable or not so reasonable price.

It has some drawbacks. High contrast and low speed two of them.
In addition it isn't perforated and it is easily scratched in the camera or in handling.
It is also very stiff and difficult to handle. It has to be taped to the takeup spool to make it work.

To use this film you have to use a camera that can use unperforated film. Some 35mm cameras and some 35mm kits for TLRs have this possibillity.

Well, what is positive about this seemingly hopeless film?
Two things:
1: Extremely sharp.
2: Extremely fine grain.

I received 10 meters of this film to experiment with a couple days ago.
Since I have a Flexaret Va with a 35mm kit, I had to test it. This camera have no sprocket wheel for film perforation, so it can use unperforated film without any modifications.

I loaded up a cassette with film and loaded the camera with it. I had to tape the film to the takeup spool to stop it from slipping out of the spool when tightening the film.
This was just as expected.

I shot the film at ISO 25 as indicated by others that had tested this kind of film.

To develop the film I selected  my LOMAD developer.
Since this is a two-bath developer with some compensating qualities this will do the job.
I developed for 5+6 minutes@22c.

The results are good. A bit high contrast, but with a long grayscale. Adjusting the scanner software to this kind of image gave me quite nice images.

To be sure to make the job for the developer as difficult as possible I shot some test images in bright sunlight on snow with objects in the sun and in the shadows.

Sample images.
Ine of the neighboring houses. The house is in the shadows, but the clouds in the sky are in bright sunlight.

My snowblower. Yes, we have plenty of snow! Note the details in the shadows in the bucket and the details in the sun-lit snow.

A 100% crop from the previous image. The limiting factor for sharpness is the lens in the camera.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


I went ahead and developed a film in a "tea" made from boiling crushed corn-cobs.

But waitaminute! What is that?

Corn-cobs has many uses, for this purpose its sold by a company called Midway in USA and used for polishing fired gun cartridge cases, to get rid of powder dirt and grime.

This stuff is crushed and graded through industrial sieves and has a grainy structure.

I measured out 50 gram and boiled for 20 -30 minutes in one litre of water.

The resulting "tea" was hydrolysed with 50 gram washing soda, and 15 gram ascorbic acid powder was added as soon as all the soda had disolved.

A clip test indicated that the mixture was a little less than half as active as Liptonol, a developer based on tea from ordinary household tea....

Time in the bath was therefore 40 minutes, followed by ordinary fix and wash.

Negatives are hung to dry, looks a bit less contrasty than Liptonol, maybe on par with Caffenol, but less active than the coffee recipe.

Anxious to see if grain is better or worse than Liptonol.......

Looking forward to scan as soon as the film is dry.

Recipe :

1 litre "tea" from boiling crushed corncobs for 30 minutes.

Water 1 litre
Corncobs, crushed 50 gram
Washing Soda anhydrous 50 gram
ascorbic acid poder 15 gram

Boil the corn for 30 minutes, strain through inert sieve, set to cool.....
Add 50 gram of soda, the color changes and bobbles appear on surface, klet sit for a while...
Add 15 gram of ascorbic acid powder this will really produce bubbles but it subsides quickly, let sit.....

Developing :

Develop for 45 minutes at 20 degrees centigrade, expect low contrast negatives well suited to scanning.

Example :

First test negatives was a film with exposure triplets, 1 at box speed, 2 at -1 stop, 3rd at +1 stop
Developed for 40 minutes, indicated by a clip test that took quite a while longer than expected.

For a first test the result was less than spectacular the negatives show thin, flat negatives with every indication of a slight underdevelopment and underexposure the +1 negatives are best across the board.

This is a triplet :

This triplet is from left to right : 1 Box speed, 2 -1 stop, 3 +1 stop
This image is not altered from scanning.

Here the triplet has been altered by just take a chance, 1-click in Picasa

And this is the +1 ISO negative untouched

And further, this is the +1 negative with the contrast and saturation slightly altered/upped
by just one click on the same 1-click button in Picasa

AS far as I'm concerned this is not a success, but it indicates a roadmap to further tests & improvement

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Barkanol ™

I was thinking about alternate developing agents and remembered that tea, the kind you drink, is leaves from a bush. Well, it must be possible to extract some developing agents from other plants and trees.

The tree bark contains a lot of chemical compounds, so maybe some of them will work as a developer?

Well, I dived into the basement and found some burning wood that still had some bark. I selected a species with dark strong smelling bark and carved off about 50g of the bark.

I brought it back to the kitchen and put it into a blender and grinded it into a fine powder.
This was transfered into a pan and boiled with about 500ml of water for little more than an hour.

I filtered the "tea" through a coffe filter and had about 300ml of the dark brown liquid.

Into this I mixed

30g sodium sulfite
30g sodium carbonate
3.5g salicylic acid
7.5g sodium askorbate.

This was diluted to 700ml.

A clip-test was blackened in a little more than 2 minutes, but the temperature was a bit  on the high side.
Correcting for the temperature I estimated a developing time of about 8.5 minutes.

The only testfilm I had for the moment was a PolyPan F exposed at 100 ISO.
That is one step push. Starting a developer test with a one step push development isn't what I prefer, but lacking another exposed film, this was going to be dipped into the developer.

Well, lets run the test and calculate the time for one step push development.
8.5 minutes x 1.4 is about 12 minutes.

Developing for 12 minutes worked out quite well. maybe a tiny bit overdeveloped. The contrast came out a bit on the high side so slightly less development would be perfect.
Grain is fine. About the same as with other fine grain developers.
The developer is ment to be used and reused again. I suppose it is possible to develop at least 12 films per liter developer before it is exhausted. Keeping qualities is unknown, but in short time I will test some chemical to increase lifetime of the developer.

PolyPan F @ 100 ISO.

PolyPan F @ 100 ISO.

Addtional information  March 20. 2012
Testing the Barkanol developer today showed no activity.
I even tried to develop a film with some test exposures. 100ISO B&W film for 12 minutes @ 22c gave almost blank film. Just some faint images can be seen.
I measured the pH and it hadn't changed. Well, something must have changed.
I suspected the developing agent from the bark was dead. This may be closely related to pyrogallol and it may be easily destroyed by oxidation.
To test this I added the equivalent of 0.015g/L of Dimezone-S, a phenidone variant.
This brought the activity back up to about the same as D76. This indicates that the sodium ascorbate is still intact, but the component from the bark is dead as suspected.

With this in mind, this is a developer that may be reused within a day or two, but despite adding several chemicals including Dequest 2010 to prevent destruction of the developing agents, it wasn't successful.
The chenicals has indeed protected the ascobate, but to no avail since the other component is destroyed.

To simplify this developer, the salicylic acid and the sulfite may be left out and the developer may be used as one-shot just as caffenol.

I have done some tests on caffenol using the same chemicals to increase the lifetime of the developer, but the same happens to the caffenol. It dies in a couple of weeks. Adding too much sulfite drops the activity of the developer.

Adding fresh coffe brings it back to life, so the ascorbic acid/sodium ascorbate is still there, so the coffe component dies after some time. Seemingly, neither ascorbic acid or sulfite will protect it from destruction, so mixed caffenol can't be tweaked to allow a reasonable long lifetime.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

LOMAD. A Diafine clone.

After two months testing it's time to publish a Diafine clone dubbed LOMAD.
Lazy Old Man's Ascorbic Developer.

Well, you cannot be overly lazy since the second bath requires constant agitation to give good results, but when done properly you don't have to watch the clock with one eye all the time while developing. It doesn't matter if you leave the film in the first bath for 4,5 or 6 minutes. Event 9 or 10 minutes gives you the same result.
The time required in the second bath is 5 minutes, but 6,7,8 or 9 minutes will give the same result.
The temperature may be from 18c to 25c without any change in developing time.

The first bath which contains the developing agents is mixed like this:

700ml water.
15g sodium sulfite
5g sodium metabisulfite
15g sodium ascorbate
0.3g phenidone
0.1g Kbr
1g salicylic acid.
Water to 1000ml.

Sodium ascorbate is used instead of ascorbic acid to avoid the hydrolyzing step to convert ascorbic acid to ascorbate. This will make it more difficult to balance pH at 7.0.

The reason for using both sulfite and metabisulfite is to balance pH at or just below 7.0
My mix came out at pH 6.8

The second bath contains the alkali and the rest of the sulfite.

700ml water.
20g borax
100g sodium sulfite
1g KBr
Water to 1000ml.

Sample pictures:

Lucky 100 at ISO 100.

Lucky 100 at ISO 100.

Lucky 100 at ISO 100.

Shanghai GP3 at 100 ISO.

The contrast is a bit lower than normal, but for motives with high contrast that's just fine.