Friday, June 18, 2010

Everything went wrong, but...

Admittedly a horrible shot of the building across the street, apparently I metered it wrong and overexposed it by a couple of stops, then the Reagant #3 is obviously uneven, and careless handling of the fragile Efke 25 (and it has been sitting in the Riteway since April) resulted in numerous scratches. The photographer failed to focus or compose his Speed Graphic, and used the Xenotar 150 f 2.8, which was fun but not terribly sharp.  Other artifacts include dirt, mud and clods of who-knows-what.  A larger file (200 MB) was scanned in and there isn't much grain, and there is little to no clumping.

Anyway Efke 25 4X5 sheet film, here shown processed in a couple of minutes.  By that I mean processed with a monobath/reagent that works fast, and no presoak, nothing much except a final wash in sodium sulfite to get the hypo out, just like we do with 55, and a splash of Poland Springs bottled water.  I used the Paterson Orbital tank and a very small amount of #3, but this can all be incorporated into a sleeve or holder that could be taken to a location, shot, and processed on the spot.  Click to enlarge it. Click it again if you have to. Look under the tree.

19 comments:

Rafał Stęgierski said...

Great! I think result is very good. Good hilights, details in shadows. Some scratches or uneven development Imho could be eliminated quite easy.

Bob Crowley said...

Not too bad. More to follow.

Salihonba said...

please put some more pictures.....

Bob Crowley said...

OK next week there will be some more, this time better I hope! I have been procrastinating over how I am going to sandwich it all together. Then I may ask you to design the holder!

John Chervinsky said...

I am assuming that the negative is light sensitive throughout the monobath processing. Is this correct? In other words, it would have to be kept dark until after it sees the sodium sulfite?

Bob Crowley said...

Hi John

No, it becomes insensitive to light somewhere before the 1.5 minute mark. That's one thing I will have to try to determine with the DTR experiments. You can open the lid anytime after about a minute and a half, and I do. The whole process seems complete at about 2 minutes as I give it a little spare time. So, even at its present state, this is a decent, rapid reagent for the Efke 25 that could be used in the field, if you had a way to get the film into a little tank easily. I think that can be done, or, we can process it right in a modified film holder.

It is a shame that nobody makes Readyloads, Quickloads, or EfkeLoads. Maybe we need to make some.

It will come out gooey, but 55 is a bit damp too, and also needs sodium sulfite wash. This is exactly the same.

John Chervinsky said...

It sounds really great, then! It would be interesting to disassemble some 4x5 Polaroid film and re-glue it with some Efke and your reagent. I'm curious how it would behave in a standard 545 holder?!!

Bob Crowley said...

John - that would be nice, and it certainly is possible, but how do you do it? I have no pod machine, at least not yet. Also we still need a receiver sheet. But you are right - we are pretty close now at the 5 month mark. The rest seems to be just money.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious about how the reagent will be spread onto the film in the field. Is it thick like HC-110 concentrate?

John Chervinsky said...

Can you push your reagent through a syringe? If yes, then maybe you can use the pod that comes with the Polaroid film. I was not thinking about trying it with a receiver sheet quite yet. This would merely serve as a little experiment that might guide the direction of the design of a field processor/film holder.

Bob Crowley said...

It might be injectable. The viscosity can be anything from like water to almost a solid, like a gel, depending on how much methyl cellulose is added. All the methyl cellulose does is thicken and aid the application and spreading with rollers from a burst pod.

A handmade pod is a possibility. Even an old pod might be recycled and sealed with something.

First though I want to do contact DTR using the Efke, because that would be an important step for a "dry" process. A wet process seems almost certain to me - it's all in the packaging and how to move light sensitive materials in and out of the camera and into the reagent.

HC-110 is thick like honey, and this could be even thicker, but probably less sticky than stock HC-110. The pH of 11 of is caustic like 55 reagent, and can be brought to that pH using one of at least three caustic chemicals that have to be mixed in. In a gel or thick reagent this also seems perfectly feasible to me, all it is going to take are a lot of iterative trials to determine best ratios. Once again, time and money are all we need.

awldune said...

Are you still considering producing a product for sale, then? The blog has been a little vague on what exactly your current plan is.

I was under the impression that after the cost analysis you were only going to iron out a formula and developing process that you would share.

Bob Crowley said...

I don't know what will come next. There might be a product opportunity, and an investment of about $100-$200k is what would probably be needed. A significant investment in money and time has already been made, and at least three processes have been shared here, so far.

But I think I've been as specific as I could.

From the masthead: "The goal is to enable the supply of a very high quality 4x5 (and possibly 8X10) negative material, for artistic purposes, that can be easily field processed, such as so-called "instant film" of discontinued Polaroid type 55, and get this to happen any way we can! We will need your help to make it happen."

awldune said...

I had thought that your goal would be met by:

* Devising a recipe for reagent that could be mixed from formulary sources

* Refining a process whereby the Efke 25 could be developed in the reagent in the field.

* Sharing this information.

The feasability of this would depend a lot on whether "easily field processed" can include a changing bag, I suppose.

Bob Crowley said...

What you outline is all here in several previous posts and available from numerous other sources as well. If you want to carry around a Paterson Orbital processor or some other tank, and a changing bag, and a monobath like has been posted, then I think you already have everything you need.

I don't want to do all that - I'd like something far more convenient so that the average person will be able to have a quick and convenient daylight type process, like I enjoyed with 55. There are a lot of parts to making something like that happen, and there has to be a market to support it, or a cheap way to pull it off with existing equipment. There might well be.

awldune said...

Thanks Bob, I misunderstood your posts about the cost analysis. I would be very excited if you find a way to produce something like type 55 economically.

I can't seem to find formulae for the monobath C / monobath A you are using. Are they from the Monobath Manual book?

Bob Crowley said...

Monobath/Reagent 3 is what I think you want. Polaroid never gives exact ratios on their MSDS for 55.

If you search "monobath" in the blog search box, and scroll down, you will see the list of chemicals used in 55 that consist of a developer, a pH buffer, a solvent, and hypo fixer.

They don't even mention the methyl cellulose thickener, which you do not need for liquid processing, but we would need to fill a pod. If you do not have access to Haist, scroll down even lower the page and start with Donald Quaill's monobath recipe if you don't mind a ammonia. If you do, then use one of the pH buffers (I think either will do, lithium or sodium hydroxide).

Notice that Polaroid added some sodium sulfite to its reagent. That solvent may or may not contribute to faster action in a DTR situation, which I will be experimenting with next. As you know if you use 55, sodium sulfite is a hypo clearing agent, and in the spirit of "instant" saves a lot of wash time, even though washing would do. It is possible the inclusion of sodium sulfite in the reagent in a DTR process affects contrast, reduces plating, improves or balances both print and negative, or some of all of the above! Don't know yet.

If you want to use a small daylight tank and a bag when out and about, I think it would be worth a try, since you would not have to lug around separate developer and fixer. Qualls successful images are online somewhere, and look like some of my earlier attempts, which were promising though not like what we are trying to achieve on very fine grain Efke.

John Chervinsky said...

How critical is the timing of monobath Reagent 3? In other words, what is the maximum time that the film could be left in?

I'm thinking about building a black acrylic daylight tank that accepts standard film holders - insert it in a slot and open the dark slide. Do you think I need to worry about reactions with the plastic?

Bob Crowley said...

You can do that. The aluminum rails will corrode, but the plastic will be fine. I think you can get by with up to about 10 minutes.