View Full Version : cat's out of the bag

5-Dec-2008, 19:58
For some years now I've had this idea of,are you ready, "ultra sonic film developing" WHAT??????? I used to work in a photo lab and we used to use ultra sonic cleaners to clean the rollers on our film machines. So I thought,why not try to develope film that way.I've never tried it. I would imagine it would be a somewhat vigorous developement so you would have to play with dilutions as well as developers. My thought was if ultra sonic machines can get filthy rollers to look brand new then imagine what it can do with film. Let me know what yuns think.

5-Dec-2008, 20:36
Would it clean the emulsion right off the film base? Vaughn

PS...probably not, but it was an interesting thought

Nathan Potter
5-Dec-2008, 21:52
Well I have several thoughts but no real evidence. I once worked on an ultrasonic system for the enhanced dyeing of cloth. The effectiveness of ultrasonic energy really depends on coupling that energy to the sample. If the film is free floating and its bulk can be set in motion due to the ultrasonic energy imparted to the developer then the coupling can be weak (the energy is dissipated as kinetic energy of motion of the film rather than dissipated in the bulk of the sample) - but maybe that's what you want. I can assure you that with enough energy imparted to the film the emulsion can be removed so one would need to optimize the energy level fairly carefully.

Another problem is likely to be the phenomena of standing waves where there are areas of high instantaneous fluid motion separated by areas of low fluid motion. This may cause localized uneven development yielding a mottled appearance to the film. I think film development is served best with a uniform and global flow of fluid over the surface of the film.

I'm basing my speculation on the litany of non-uniformity problems we found in using ultrasonic energy for the dyeing of fabric. It seemed like a good idea at the time but needed much more development work. You have an interesting thought but be prepared to do some considerable research and testing. You can probably find a ream of good info on google.

Nate Potter, Austin TX.

6-Dec-2008, 09:20
Dear Nathan, where do I find ultra sonic equipment? How much is a 5x7 size tank and how much "ultra sonic" do you need for a 5x7 size tank? I only need to develope the film in a ultra sonic tank the stop and fix will be done the usual way.Let me know give me some names if you can.

6-Dec-2008, 11:36
As I understand ultrasonic cleaning, the sound pressure waves cause bubbles to form via cavitation. These bubbles bounce around and when they hit an object, or travel into a deep recess of an object, they implode, bringing the cleaning solution close to the surface of the object.

Interesting to try it with roolfilm on a reel, but I suspect that a 'good' ultrasonic system would have a transducer that produces enough energy to knock the emulsion right off the film base. A 'weak' transducer may be not much better than 'stand' development.

Just my hypothesis, someone should try this and see what happens.

6-Dec-2008, 13:54
I would love to try it but I don't know where to get the equipment.Any suggestions?

6-Dec-2008, 14:28
A jewelery cleaner? Google ultrasound jewelery cleaner.

Nathan Potter
6-Dec-2008, 14:31
Industrial suppliers sell ultrasonic baths. Order from Fisher Scientific, Cole Palmer, etc. But the cheapest source is Ebay under industrial equipment and semiconductor equipment; but try to ensure the unit is functional prior to purchase. The ultrasonic machines I used were typically 100 to 400 watt units in 1 to 2 gallon tanks. I think that would be adequate for experiments. You'll have to rig up film holding apparatus although it seems that the standard old Kodak type 4A SS racks could be adapted. I'd work with 4X5 sizes first so you wont need such a large unit volume. Most ultrasonic units come with stainless steel basins and so would be compatible with most developers. You may want to do conventional agitation along with ultrasonic in order to mitigate the uneven development pattern - I'm not sure.

Sounds interesting! Keep us posted.

Nate Potter, Austin TX.