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)
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
– developing tank (optimum: 5 reel 35mm still film developing tank, capacity 2L; adequate: 3 reel 35mm still film – developing tank, capacity 1L)
– 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
– 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
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 â€“ 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
– 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
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 â€“ development time 20-30 mins
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 â€“ 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 â€“ go to â€˜Kodak professionalâ€™. 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:
Standard 8mm film
Super 8mm film
Googling Super 8
lavender.fortunecity.com/lavender/569/ – The 8mm Metadictionary â€“ extensive list of links to information on all aspects of small gauge
www.filmforever.org â€“ The Home Film Preservation Guide sponsored by the Association of Moving Image Archivists [USA]
www.littlefilm.org â€“ technical assistance about amateur motion picture film [USA]
www.pro8mm.com â€“ 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]
Retro Enterprises, Tokyo
http://film.club.ne.jp/english/englishindex.html – all Fuji standard 8mm stocks etc.
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 email@example.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 â€“ google â€˜super 8 telecine diyâ€™ 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
Ekta 64T, KODAK EKTACHROME 64T Color Reversal Film 7280 (64T, 40D with 85 daylight filter), E-6 process.
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.
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
Sound & Vision Stock Shop, 2 Whiting Street, Artarmon, NSW 2064 Sydney, 9906 2141, firstname.lastname@example.org,
www.sound-vision.com.au $23/roll (GST inc.)
Vanbar, Sydney & Melbourne www.vanbar.com.au, email@example.com, 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, firstname.lastname@example.org
$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:
Kodak recommends the following. More info at http://www.kodak.com/US/en/motion/s8mm/index.jhtml
Dwayne’s Photo, USA
Yale Film and Video
10555 Victory Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91606
(818) 508-9253, http://www.yalefilmandvideo.com email@example.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