Re: Hand-Processing Techniques

From: Robert Schaller (email suppressed)
Date: Thu May 22 2008 - 08:18:32 PDT

Not to be contrarian, but having processed with tanks and without, in many
gauges, I process everything in buckets. I find that if the solution volume
is great enough (~2 gal each for 100' of 16mm, ~1 gal for S8), and you
agitate carefully, you get a very clean result. There are several
advantages to this: the times are as short as they can be; there are fewer
spots where the film touches and doesn't develop; and there are fewer
scratches than using an 8-reel tank; you have immediate access to the film
for Sabattier or reexposure or anything else; there is no loading geometry
to figure out in the dark, neither threading nor cramming; you have direct
control of things like how clean or scratchy you want the result to be; and,
it's less expensive if you are in it for the long term. The Lomo-style
tanks that require winding produce a very clean result, but the times are
LONG, too long for me! On the downside, processing in buckets uses a larger
volume of chemistry than most kits make. For me, this is not a problem: if
you are doing multiple rolls or doing it over a period of time, you store
your chemistry and reuse it.

    I think it's really a matter of taste, and of how you want to work --
and how much work you have to do. I guess my thinking about it is summed up
on the handmadefilm website. But I would say that what Ken describes is ONE
way of working, that may be suitable to what you want to do and how you want
to do it, or not. To say that there is one best way is like saying there is
one best shoe size. I'm an advocate of mixing and storing your own, rather
than using kits, but that's probably not right for a situation in which you
only have three rolls to do ever, and only a bathroom to work in.

    I would say, evaluate your situation: how much film do you have, what do
you want to do with it (just straight processing, or something special), how
long will you be at it, and where are you going to work. Do you have a
place to store jugs? Can the space be made dark? Do you have a safelight?

    If you are in it for the long haul and have a place to work, I think
buckets are the way to go.

    Robert Schaller
    handmade film institute

On 5/22/08 12:31 AM, "charles chadwick" <email suppressed> wrote:

> So you just spaghetti process with buckets or
> whatever? I am looking for the hand processed look,
> and am not out to get flawless results with a
> processing tank. If I wanted that, I'd just send my
> film to a lab. I have used the lomo tank for super8
> before, and I've bucket processed 16mm print stock. I
> guess it would be best just to buy some buckets along
> with my own chemicals and process away.
> -charles
> --- "D. Mark Andrews" <email suppressed> wrote:
>> Charles,
>> When I started to process my own cine film a few
>> months ago, I was a taken
>> aback by how little is actually out there on
>> processing small gauge film. I
>> looked at all the sites mentioned thus far, but
>> found Ken Paul Rosenthal's
>> directions the most accurate, thorough, and witty to
>> boot. Ignore the other
>> sites and follow his directions. I've processed
>> about 30 rolls of film using
>> them with excellent results. For the record, I've
>> ONLY processed bw reversal
>> film according to his instructions.
>> Ken advocates the tangled-dunk method and this is a
>> wonderful "look" if it
>> fits your subject matter. Theoretically you can
>> achieve a more "lab quality"
>> product by using one the commercial tanks common 30+
>> years ago. The Lomo
>> tank is eastern European made and easy to find on
>> eBay and the Morse tanks
>> (American made, which you probably used at SFAI)
>> come up now and then on
>> eBay. As far as I know, no commercial tanks are
>> produced any longer. I
>> purchased a Lomo tank a few months ago, but haven't
>> tried it yet. I find
>> loading the spool with film, using practice rolls in
>> broad daylight to be
>> extremely complicated, so I can't quite figure out
>> how to do it in total
>> darkness!
>> Mark
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Ken Paul Rosenthal
>> [mailto:email suppressed]
>> Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2008 7:31 AM
>> To: email suppressed
>> Subject: Hand-Processing Techniques
>> hey charles,
>> i wrote this article specifically for those new to
>> hand-processing:
>> ken
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>> For
>> info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at
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> __________________________________________________________________
>> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at
>> <email suppressed>.
> Charles Chadwick
> humanity, ltd.
> ---
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.