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.


  1. High quality, Lomad is a good thing that I will try someday in the color version! I succeeded to develop color at 27ºC and just for bath B, the rest was made at 16ºC, room temperature. Take a look at my blog where are more details.

  2. I've had a lot of trouble with specialty films over the years. The usual explanation was lens quality, which I'm sure is true in some cases.

    I've recently spent a lot of time testing my many slrs and found many didn't focus correctly. The split screen or cat's eye didn't agree with the film plane focus.

    The other issue I found was film position verses film thickness. Many cameras appear to have been built for a much thicker film base than is currently used, specialty films being still thinner.

    As you say, you maybe at the resolving limit of your lens. A slanted focusing target might be a worthy experiment.