- May 9, 2013
- Reaction score
- Iowa City, IA
- Can others edit my Photos
- Photos OK to edit
Not an exciting image. This is just the first thing I see out my front door. BUT this is shot 4x5 large format, with 1/4 of a piece of Fuji 8x10 half speed blue X-ray medical film, which is 8 cents' worth (normal 4x5 sheet costs between about $0.80 to $1.20 or so).
Process that finally worked here:
1) A safelight is okayyyyish, but it ended up a lot better to cut the film down to size in total darkness. I did this with a guillotine style paper cutter with tiny finishing nails hammered into it at the 5" mark near the top, and the 4" mark near the bottom, then used a piece of well-sanded plywood scrap to hold down the film right near the blade to make a clean, straight cut, 3 sheets at a time. Yields 12 4x5 sheets cut and loaded in about 20 minutes all told.
2) Exposed at 400 ISO, f/16 with a Symmar 150mm lens
3) Developed for 2 EV longer than the amount recommended for my ilford 100 film. This looks like it represents a 4 stop push process overall, but that's not really true. The X-ray film has emulsions on both sides, so it eats up about twice as much developer. This emulsion also seems to eat more in general than the ilford, which would make it come out to more like, roughly, a 2 stop push process overall. No pushing at all kept giving me really poor contrast.
4) While still wet after final washing, I slapped it onto a sheet of glass in the sink, pushed it back and forth a bit to release air bubbles on the back side, until it sticks really solidly. Then wiped off the emulsion on what was originally the back side in the holder with bleach on a sponge. The surface tension of the water stops bleach from reaching the back, no tape needed or anything.
5) Rinse all the bleach away then remove from glass, quickly rinse the other side to make sure no bleach.
6) Dry, sandwich between two also dry sheets of glass suspended on boards above a softbox, and photograph in one or more shots, depending on desired resolution. This was just a single shot, but I have also successfully tested using a 50mm with extension tubes and an upside down tripod and stitching software to get up to 12,000 x 9600 or so pixel images that are as sharp as digital per pixel. Could probably go further than that with really good technique in shooting etc.