S8 tech info (inc. hand processing)

OH&S links for photochemicals – general; pregnant people; for arts and home handy people in general

Devised at the Otherfilm Film Re-film Workshop www.otherfilm.org, Brisbane March 22-26, 2006 by Louise Curham with Sally Golding

Hand processing Super 8
(can be adapted for all film gauges)
Instructions:

Developing is the relationship between:

  • The exposure of the film in the camera (you can expose your film planning to use hot chemistry or longer development time)
  • The processing chemicals (strength of solution, brand of chemistry)
  • Temperature (hotter the temperature, the faster acting the chemicals, greater contrast and grain)
  • Time (long development, finer grain, short development, high contrast, grain)
  • The amount of film in the tank (more film, more chemical reaction required to develop it)

Equipment [all available from standard photographic supplier]
– Kodak D-76 developer
– Ilford Stop bath (for B&W 35mm still film)
– Ilford Fix (for B&W 35mm still film)
– 3 X 2L plastic jugs OR 3 x 1L plastic jugs (depending on tank size)
– running water
– thermometer
– developing tank (optimum: 5 reel 35mm still film developing tank, capacity 2L; adequate: 3 reel 35mm still film – developing tank, capacity 1L)
– timer
– sticky tape (to hold down remaining film in cartridge if clip testing, developing in two parts)
– domestic bleach eg White King
– container for bleach
– Chux cloth or similar to remove anti-halation backing
– rubber gloves

Work areas
– dark space to unload film into tank
– area to pour chemicals in and out of tank/jugs
– area to wash film
– area to hang film up to dry

Technique
We recommend you clip test your film. Load a small strip in the tank. Compensate in your developing time (ie, less film in the tank, the chemicals will act quicker on the film, so you will need to reduce your development time for the clip test – recommend about 2/3 the time you think you need for the whole 50 feet).

1. Mix chemicals
– Store developer in airtight container or mix fresh
– Always add chemicals to water
– Read the instructions, be careful, label your bottles

Developer:
– Total quantity required will depend upon your tank size. Measure it with water first.
– Strength of developer will depend upon brand and supplied preparation instructions. Use it as per instructions on the packet. Powdered D-76 is mixed 1:1 with water to create the correct solution. D-76 in liquid form is correct strength straight from the bottle.
– The principle to the developer is shorter time, greater strength, greater heat mean faster development which results in higher contrast (ie less detail in highlights and shadows).

Standard development using Kodak D-76 or ID-11
Mix 1+2
eg 300 ml dev: 600 ml water
Generally development time for 20 degree water temp c. 7 mins

Development for out-of-date film stocks – development time 20-30 mins
Mix 2+1
eg 600 ml dev: 300 ml water

Set out your developer, stop, fix in correct order in your work area.

2. Remove film from cartridge. Place in developing tank
Detach end of film out of cartridge, pull down on film so that it does not scrape on plastic edge of cartridge.
Coil loosely (like coiling power cable). Bundle film into tank. Ensure tank is sealed. If using a 1L tank, put just 25 feet in tank (c. 10 pulls out of cartridge = 25 feet). Pull only this amount out of the cartridge. Tape down the end. Keep it out of direct light.

3. Pour on developer. Note time.
Tap tank on bench to dislodge air bubbles.
Agitate tank for first 60 seconds (hold tank at either end and turn upside down repeatedly for 60 sec)
Thereafter, agitate for 5 seconds, every 30 seconds.
For 200T Tri-X, estimated development time 7 min with developer mixed to standard instructions (1:2, developer:water) at temperature (20 degrees C)

Tip developer back into jug.

4. Pour on stop bath. Agitate constantly for 30 secs.

Tip stop bath back into jug

5. Pour on fix. Agitate constantly first 30 secs. Agitate for 5 sec every 30 sec thereafter for total 5 mins.
Tip fix back into jug.
DO NOT ALLOW ANY FIXER DOWN THE DRAIN. It is a major pollutant – it contains silver (heavy metals) and kills aquatic life.

6. Wash film. Put under tap or put hose into tank. Film is not light sensitive any more. Wash for minimum 7 min.
The longer you wash, the more stable your film.

Notes

Push 2 stops when cross-processing B&W reversal
Recent experience in Japan suggests that push processing 2 stops will give a better result when cross-processing B&W ie TRI-X. Increase your development time by 1-2 mins. Cross-processing means developing a reversal stock as negative.

Use a fine grain developer
Recent experience in Japan shows the benefit of using a very fine grain developer with the maximum development time possible. I have used with success Fuji Microfine (favourite, can’t get it in Australia), Tetradol, Ilford Perceptol, watered down D-76.

Anti-halation backing
No image visible? It may have the anti-halation on the base, making the film completely opaque (black). It cannot be removed once the film has dried. This will wipe or bleach off while the film is still wet. Try wiping it off with a Chux. You will need to wipe hard. Be as careful as you can not to scratch the emulsion. Alternatively, bleach it off. Pour out 1-2 cups of bleach into a container (eg ice cream carton). Immerse film in bleach. Small black flakes will appear very quickly. As soon as they do, pull film out of bleach and wash under running water. You will still need to wipe it. Timing is critical as the bleach will also be acting on your emulsion.

Re-using chemistry
You can re-use developer but you will need to extend your development time as it becomes less and less fresh. Developing old Agfa, you get a very purple discharge into the developer. You cans till re-use it.

Clip testing
If you have some very important film, bracket your clips, try 5,6,7 min or 5,7,9 min. For very old film, try 5,10,15 min. I develop 1985 Agfa in 1:0.5 (dev:water) for 25 mins.

For more info on developing, via www.kodak.com – go to ‘Kodak professional’. Kodak B&W still film developing time information: http://www.kodak.com/global/plugins/acrobat/en/professional/products/films/bw/processChartLo.pdf
Kodak information on B&W still films:
http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/products/films/bw/processing.jhtml?id=0.1.22.14.23.28.5&lc=en

The gauges
Standard 8mm film
Super 8mm film
16mm film

Googling Super 8
lavender.fortunecity.com/lavender/569/ – The 8mm Metadictionary – extensive list of links to information on all aspects of small gauge
www.filmforever.org – The Home Film Preservation Guide sponsored by the Association of Moving Image Archivists [USA]
www.homemovieday.com [USA]
www.littlefilm.org – technical assistance about amateur motion picture film [USA]
www.pro8mm.com – carry negative super 8 stocks, process and transfers also [USA]
www.filmshooting.com – website for small gauge cinematography community [Norway]
http://www.8mmfilmstock.com/ – suppliers of super 8 and standard 8mm film stock [USA]
www.onsuper8.org- they aim to provide up to date news, information and resources for amateurs and professionals alike focused on Super 8 and Single 8, and tailored specifically to using these formats in today’s digital age [UK]

Standard 8mm
www.upperfold.com/faq.shtml
Retro Enterprises, Tokyo
http://film.club.ne.jp/english/englishindex.html – all Fuji standard 8mm stocks etc.

Magazines
Super 8 Today [bi-monthly, launched 2005, USA, http://www.super8today.com/]
Smallformat [launched 2005, Germany] http://www.atollmedien.de/smallformat/

Super 8 Accessories
Reels, projectors, splicers.
Numerous on internet. Locally, reels manufactured by Tuscan in Sydney. Rodney Bourke in Albury collects and onsells numerous. Rodney Bourke P.O Box 1231, Albury, NSW 2640. Or email awmic@hotmail.com for more details. or call (02) 6059 2963. Richard Tuohy at Nanolab in Daylesford, Vic has equipment http://nanolab.com.au/.

Super 8 transfers
Numerous available in NSW.
Professional post house with telecine gate for standard 8 and super 8 – Video 8, 21 Dickson St, Artarmon, ph 9438 4144. Otherwise do it yourself with miniDV no disaster. Numerous methods on the internet – google ‘super 8 telecine diy’ eg http://homepage.mac.com/onsuper8/diytelecine/, http://www.makezine.com/blog/archive/2005/05/converting_supe.html. Nanolab can also transfer.

Super 8 film stocks
Colour Reversal
Ekta 64T, KODAK EKTACHROME 64T Color Reversal Film 7280 (64T, 40D with 85 daylight filter), E-6 process.

Kodachrome 40
Discontinued, can buy some on internet, can find processors on internet, Kodak will not assist.
Kodak will no longer process but Dwayne’s in the USA will process okay. Also Film Rescue in Canada are helpful.

Colour negative
Kodak 200 T Eastman colour negative
200 (7274 in super 8) Kodak USA, various internet sites ( Kodak Australia will not supply)
Inquire to Kodak USA Yale Film Lab, LA, see above

Kodak 500 T Eastman colour negative 500ASA. As above.
Inquire to Kodak USA or google.

Black & White
TriX, 200 ASA B&W reversal.Tri-X 200 (160T, 200D) Kodak

Plus X B&W 40 ASA
Not available through Kodak Australia, try internet, Film Plus, Melbourne

Suppliers:

Sound & Vision Stock Shop, 2 Whiting Street, Artarmon, NSW 2064 Sydney, 9906 2141, info@sound-vision.com.au,
www.sound-vision.com.au $23/roll (GST inc.)

Vanbar, Sydney & Melbourne www.vanbar.com.au, info@vanbar.com.au, 03 9347 7788 02 9550 5833 c. $23/roll

Kodak Australia minimum order, multiples of 5, $110, Kodak list price per roll $20 + GST

Nanolab – http://nanolab.com.au/ – stocks various film types inc. PlusX reversal.

Developing in Australia
Nanolab, Daylesford, Victoria, Australia, http://nanolab.com.au/
B&W and Ekta 64T (colour). Contact Richard Tuohy, richtuo@iprimus.com.au
$18 per cart plus postage, the film is returned lubricated, with leader head and tail and on a 50′ spool. It is necessary
to contact me by email first, however. Plus, he’ll also be offering 64T pulled to 40 ASA or pushed to 160 for the same price, especially useful for 40/160 cameras. He also has a range of stocks like PlusX and can get the Kodak negs.

Film Plus Melbourne
80 Punt Road, Windsor, Vic 3121, 03 9510 4640, 1- 4 weeks, $23/roll
Send Money Order or Cheque (do not send cash) Cost is $19.80, if you want your film on a spool then you will have to provide an empty 50 foot spool, when sending your film in. Also you must provide a postage paid return mail bag to your address.

Developing obsolete stock:
Kodachrome
Kodak recommends the following. More info at http://www.kodak.com/US/en/motion/s8mm/index.jhtml

Dwayne’s Photo, USA
Phone 620-421-3940
Fax 620-421-3174
website: www.k14movies.com

Yale Film and Video
10555 Victory Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91606
(818) 508-9253, http://www.yalefilmandvideo.com info@yalefilmandvideo.com

Film Rescue, US and Canada
Film Rescue International
http://www.filmrescue.com/ – USA and Saskatchewan, Canada
P.O. Box 428, Indian Head, SK S0G 2K0

4 Responses to “S8 tech info (inc. hand processing)”


  • You may like to add DVD Infinity to your lists of suppliers.

    DVD Infinity have the highest quality Standard 8mm, Super 8mm, Single 8mm, 9.5mm and 16mm film to DVD, miniDV and AVCHD (Hi definition) transfers on the planet. We service customers all around the world (with customers in over 40 countries) who desire the best quality from films that date back to the 1920s. Our revolutionary proprietary processing and individual frame by frame scanning provide unparalleled detail, clarity, contrast, sharpness and brightness. Our transfers are completely flicker free, have no hot spots, streaks, motion blur, ghosting, wobble or uneven distribution. We carefully remove any blank, black, white or burnt frames as well as anywhere there is so much camera shake or the film is so badly faded that you cannot make out what is going on. Also because we scan your film rather than use a projector (or projector based system such as direct film to dvd, telecine chain or aerial telecine, etc), your film is not subject to the damaging effects of tension or hot lamps. The quality of our transfers far exceeds anything else available and is much higher than most newsreels were transferred for television.

    In addition to scanning film, we offer film sales and processing for colour and black and white reversal films for Standard 8 and Super 8.

    We also offer a full range of accessories for Standard 8, Super 8, 9.5mm and 16mm film.
    * Leader Film
    * Film Splices
    * Film Cement
    * Film Reels

  • Hi

    I just finished attempting this method, a few things I have noticed:

    a) you really do need a lomo spiral tank, I tried as best as i could to coil the film but once I started agitating the film tangled itself up in the tank. This left many areas not even touched by the developer so I have spotty film.

    b) this makes your films negative and not transparent. Pretty useless to me as I don’t have the machines to telecine neg film only have a standard projector.

    c) i didn’t need the bleach method at all, which made my suspicions in the film being a neg correct.

    Maybe you could advise in your article that this method which seems like the traditional way of processing film that its for neg film only???

    Or maybe i did it wrong? but I followed your instructions to the tee, even using 20 mins for the developer as its expired film.

    Thanks.

  • Hello demsone

    you are right – film is neg using this method, I will add this prominently to the doc. And yes, stuffing film in the tank means undeveloped areas, something I strive for but again the notes should make this clear.
    Your feedback is very helpful. Sincerely, Louise TLC

  • You may like to add DVD Infinity to your lists of suppliers.

    DVD Infinity have the highest quality Standard 8mm, Super 8mm, Single 8mm, 9.5mm and 16mm film to DVD, miniDV and AVCHD (Hi definition) transfers on the planet. We service customers all around the world (with customers in over 40 countries) who desire the best quality from films that date back to the 1920s. Our revolutionary proprietary processing and individual frame by frame scanning provide unparalleled detail, clarity, contrast, sharpness and brightness. Our transfers are completely flicker free, have no hot spots, streaks, motion blur, ghosting, wobble or uneven distribution. We carefully remove any blank, black, white or burnt frames as well as anywhere there is so much camera shake or the film is so badly faded that you cannot make out what is going on. Also because we scan your film rather than use a projector (or projector based system such as direct film to dvd, telecine chain or aerial telecine, etc), your film is not subject to the damaging effects of tension or hot lamps. The quality of our transfers far exceeds anything else available and is much higher than most newsreels were transferred for television.

    In addition to scanning film, we offer film sales and processing for colour and black and white reversal films for Standard 8 and Super 8.

    We also offer a full range of accessories for Standard 8, Super 8, 9.5mm and 16mm film.
    * Leader Film
    * Film Splices
    * Film Cement
    * Film Reels

Leave a Reply