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Fun with Medium Format FILM Images!

MartinN

Well-known member
I loaded the Santa on dry reels. It’s so thin it tends to bunch up and get stuck going into the wrong grooves of the reel. For 4x5 I ordered some Stearman SP-445 tanks. See how that goes. I will be attempting to do E6 and C41. Wish me luck.
Good luck !

During Covid I thought I would try E-6 but the Shelf life of opened bottles is ridiculously short, and also the reuse of mixed solutions (without machine replenishment) is limited. So I concluded I will not do E-6. However, I will attempt C-41 with Compard Digibase solutions, because their divided stock components are several, all with extremely good shelf life. Then I learned in my prevoius runs with C-41 that I should be able to use mixed solution for about two months. Great or better than E-6.
 

MartinN

Well-known member
BTW I have stocked up on Digibase C-41 when it was available and here is some tips for reuse of used solutions https://www.maco-photo.de/files/images/C41_InstructionManual.pdf

I plan to save all mixed solutions for 6 months (except color developer) and the stabilizer is probably good for a year. That way of using/mixing is possible because I bought 1 liter bottles of most stocks. I will mix the color developer fresh every two months.
 
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anyone

Well-known member
I decided for myself that while it's possible to develop E6 at home, the chemicals are too poisonous for home use. At least to my taste. Of course there are lots of people who develop color at home, but I won't be one of those. Also to follow the rigid timings and maintain temperature was not that relaxing :)
 

MartinN

Well-known member
I decided for myself that while it's possible to develop E6 at home, the chemicals are too poisonous for home use. At least to my taste. Of course there are lots of people who develop color at home, but I won't be one of those. Also to follow the rigid timings and maintain temperature was not that relaxing :)
Well, a good lab usually does everything adequately. I will bring my slide films to the shop, but if I get successful with C-41 that could be suited for me. The thingy is that I have to bring the films to the lab, workdays before 17 and wait and also fetch the films. With home dev I can work on weekends, and get results immediately. My lab has E-6 on tuesdays and thursdays only, and no 1 hour service on C-41, so a few days waiting minimum. The real deal-breaker or enabler is the shelf life of chemicals.
 
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dave.gt

Well-known member
I loaded the Santa on dry reels. It’s so thin it tends to bunch up and get stuck going into the wrong grooves of the reel. For 4x5 I ordered some Stearman SP-445 tanks. See how that goes. I will be attempting to do E6 and C41. Wish me luck.
Pro tip: A steel Hewes reel solves the wet plastic reel problem. :)
 

P. Chong

Well-known member
That's why I decided not to do Santa anymore. Plus the film is made in Russia, and with the ongoing war in Ukraine, I guess avoiding it is probably best. I understand the makers have stopped the film and clearing stock while making some donations to the Ukraine war cause.

But I am afraid that problems with flimsy thin film backing could be worse ?
Lab-Box ? I have not tried that, could be a disaster.
 

dave.gt

Well-known member
But I am afraid that problems with flimsy thin film backing could be worse ?
Lab-Box ? I have not tried that, could be a disaster.
Flimsy film…hmmm. I have many B/W films I enjoy and there has never been a problem with using steel Hewes reels. (Do avoid any other steel reel though. And, if buying a used one be sure it is in like new shape with no evidence of damage from being dropped)

The Santa film is new to me, and sounds like a rebrand of something else so I can’t speak to that… but I have never had a problem with any other thin films in the past. Scanning, though, is personal. I spent all of 2022 matching my favorite B/W films with developers while calibrating individual exposure indexes, and I am delighted with each pairing.

That is why I now stick with my favorite films and developers … and the price is inconsequential in a way because I now prefer B/W film images over any digital image and I shoot/develop an average of 25 rolls of film annually. Not a huge amount but it is all I have time for (considering my 24/7/365 full time responsibilities).

Film is of course much more expensive, but now I prefer it. My monthly budget for film snd chemicals average $50-$75USD/month. Not bad even for my limited resources. Personal preference for B/W film includes the experience of shooting film gear, processing, changing film types for different looks, the craft involved, scanning, and final processing, etc. It is a different world entirely that somehow is much more enjoyable these days than 20 years ago.:)

I will look into the Santa film just for my own education.:)
 

MartinN

Well-known member
Film IS magic ! And getting things done by yourself is really an achivement, other than popping a memorycard. I am lucky to have bought film in the early 2000 and also a photoclubs stock, when they decided to go all digital :cool:. But I always get the question 'have you gone digital yet' in my nature photography club .....
 

dave.gt

Well-known member
Film IS magic ! And getting things done by yourself is really an achivement, other than popping a memorycard. I am lucky to have bought film in the early 2000 and also a photoclubs stock, when they decided to go all digital :cool:. But I always get the question 'have you gone digital yet' in my nature photography club .....
It’s all personal… and applicable to whatever needs and circumstances are there. :)

The cool thing about photography (and any art actually) is the photographer and how one can shoot and choose to create a body of work with an individual style. Any painter in any medium is a great example.:)

We are fortunate to have so many choices these days. Now there is a sense of urgency to enjoy film and even new gear like the new Leica M6 which I can never afford. But I am delighted to use my Nikon film cameras as I have done for decades. In the end, it is, after all, the photographer, right?:):):)

Next week I shall resume shooting my old 1949 Ciroflex-Flex TLR…. Just because I have some nice fresh 120 film. LOL…
 

Pieter 12

Member
I loaded the Santa on dry reels. It’s so thin it tends to bunch up and get stuck going into the wrong grooves of the reel. For 4x5 I ordered some Stearman SP-445 tanks. See how that goes. I will be attempting to do E6 and C41. Wish me luck.
I don't know if this was your problem with Santa film (I have never heard of it, much less used it), but Patterson reels have ball bearings that are engaged when you first start loading the film on the reel, designed to help advance the film. Those bearings will often get stuck and make the reels very difficult to load. I always take a paper clip or other small, pointy tool and nudge the ball bearings to make sure they move in the groove before loading film.
 

P. Chong

Well-known member
same reels have no problems with HP5 and Acros.

I don't know if this was your problem with Santa film (I have never heard of it, much less used it), but Patterson reels have ball bearings that are engaged when you first start loading the film on the reel, designed to help advance the film. Those bearings will often get stuck and make the reels very difficult to load. I always take a paper clip or other small, pointy tool and nudge the ball bearings to make sure they move in the groove before loading film.
 

docholliday

Well-known member
I don't know if this was your problem with Santa film (I have never heard of it, much less used it), but Patterson reels have ball bearings that are engaged when you first start loading the film on the reel, designed to help advance the film. Those bearings will often get stuck and make the reels very difficult to load. I always take a paper clip or other small, pointy tool and nudge the ball bearings to make sure they move in the groove before loading film.
I've used Patterson reels forever and the only time I've ever seen an issue with the balls is if the reel was used in Photoflo, which leaves a film on them and makes them 'sticky', or if they were used for C-41 and the blix wasn't cleaned out thoroughly. The trick is to clean the reel in distilled water in an ultrasonic after usage. Never had one stick no matter how thin the base was, how curly the film was, or how nasty the emulsion is (like removing the anti-stat layer from motion picture film shorts). Actually, the same goes for any plastic reel, even the Jobo ones. If they aren't cleaned well, they get sticky and all kinds of weirdness happens when loading.

The other thing about plastic reels is that they need to be periodically replaced. The plastic can become porous and hard to clean. One way to tell is that "dirty" reels have more friction and seem to "scrape" when turning them back and forth. Stainless reels have their quirks too, but keeping them clean isn't one of the problems. Some people think that the reels are clean enough after washing the film in them (especially if you use the pressurized Patterson method), but I've found residue afterwards and once you've Photoflo'd in the tank, it's a whole new issue. I have a large Bransonic that would hold a half dozen reels at a time with 1/2 gal of distilled. Dried the reels afterwards inside a Durst print dryer or hanging on a labware drying rack. Don't use any soaps - especially not dishwashing liquid!
 
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P. Chong

Well-known member
The film does not get stuck at the ball bearings...it goes in, and crumples and is a mess around as it progresses into the grooves. I have also processed tons of rolls with the reels, and zero issues. Including a roll of HP5 after the Santa. I strike this one up as a Santa problem.


I've used Patterson reels forever and the only time I've ever seen an issue with the balls is if the reel was used in Photoflo, which leaves a film on them and makes them 'sticky', or if they were used for C-41 and the blix wasn't cleaned out thoroughly. The trick is to clean the reel in distilled water in an ultrasonic after usage. Never had one stick no matter how thin the base was, how curly the film was, or how nasty the emulsion is (like removing the anti-stat layer from motion picture film shorts). Actually, the same goes for any plastic reel, even the Jobo ones. If they aren't cleaned well, they get sticky and all kinds of weirdness happens when loading.

The other thing about plastic reels is that they need to be periodically replaced. The plastic can become porous and hard to clean. One way to tell is that "dirty" reels have more friction and seem to "scrape" when turning them back and forth. Stainless reels have their quirks too, but keeping them clean isn't one of the problems. Some people think that the reels are clean enough after washing the film in them (especially if you use the pressurized Patterson method), but I've found residue afterwards and once you've Photoflo'd in the tank, it's a whole new issue. I have a large Bransonic that would hold a half dozen reels at a time with 1/2 gal of distilled. Dried the reels afterwards inside a Durst print dryer or hanging on a labware drying rack. Don't use any soaps - especially not dishwashing liquid!
 
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gurtch

Well-known member
Nice to see you post again with a scanned film image. I recently got my Nikon Coolscan 8000 up and running after a CLA and repair, and new FireWire board in my PC. I also ordered the magnificent 3D printed modular film trays from a countryman of yours. Patiently waiting for the tray delivery to the USA. The scanner will be used to print my old negatives, as well as my father's.
Best regards
Dave
 
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