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Thread: Fuji HR-U X-ray Film, 510 Pyro & Albumen Printing

  1. #1

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    Fuji HR-U X-ray Film, 510 Pyro & Albumen Printing

    I am working towards ULF photos on X-Ray film for albumen prints. I've been experimenting with 4x5 before scaling up. I thought it might be helpful to someone in the future to report on the tests so far.

    I've chosen 510 Pyro because it is supposed to be good for albumen printing, it is simple to use, has good shelf life, and it is highly dilute so I can reasonably fill a 14x17 tank for one-shot development. I'm using the "updated" recipe with 0.375g Phenidone from here:
    http://www.pictorialplanet.com/advan.../510_pyro.html

    Mixing it was harder than I expected. I ended up heating it to 150F in a water bath for a few hours, stirring occasionally. I used the sous vide machine that I normally use for color film development and eventually everything went into solution.

    At ic-racer's suggestion, I ran an Ansel Adams style ISO test on the x-ray film to start. I shot 6 4x5's of my light box metered for Zone I at ISO 25, 50, 80, 100 and 125. I developed them in a 1+250 dilution for 7.5 min @ 68F. 7.5 min was a guess that came from some previous testing, and it turns out to not be long enough to develop the highlights for albumen prints but I think this is ok because I've read the shadows develop in the first third of the development time. The ISO 50 and 80 films both block 1/3 of a stop more than the base tint of the film when used as a filter for my modern SLR camera. The internet seems to agree that for the zone system, HR-U is about ISO 80, so this is good confirmation. The ISO 100 exposure is completely clear, indicating that the film is not ISO 100 (the other speed you often see for HR-U).

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    Next up I shot 6 photos of the light box exposed as Zone VIII and developed them for 6.5 min - 11.5 min in one minute increments. I developed them in freshly mixed 510 Pyro @ 1+250 in two batches of 3 negatives on hangers in small vertical tanks. I used 1 minute of agitation followed by 10s every subsequent minute. I sliced these up into a wedge and printed them onto a sheet of albumen paper. I was surprised to find that the "almost white" you would expect for Zone VIII was at or beyond 11:30 of development time (far right).

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    I also shot and developed a more complex scene at ISO 80 with black, white and gray cards, a sea shell and a decorative pot to see how the above process translated to a real scene. The gray card is on Zone V in this test while the shell and white card are about Zone VII. There are some specular reflections in the pot that are very bright. I developed with the same time range as above and scanned the results with no corrections for comparison. You can see the white card is quite gray at 6:30 (left), the center is at 8:30 and the right is at 11:30. No highlight detail seems lost at 11:30 and the specular area is larger.

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    Finally, I albumen printed the 8:30 (left) and 11:30 (right) negatives. The 11:30 has better whites but might be a tiny bit blown out in the lightest part of the shell. The gray card is similar in tone between them and I feel like it's too dark for Zone V / middle gray. I'll need to experiment with more real-world scenes but my plan is to use 11:30 as "N" in the zone system to start.

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  2. #2
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Fuji HR-U X-ray Film, 510 Pyro & Albumen Printing

    is this double-sided film, and if so, are you happy with the sharpness?
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

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    Re: Fuji HR-U X-ray Film, 510 Pyro & Albumen Printing

    Thank you for the detailed report. I have a stack of HR-U to start playing with, and this is very useful and informative.

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    Re: Fuji HR-U X-ray Film, 510 Pyro & Albumen Printing

    Vaughn, HR-U is double sided and it is not very sharp, especially if you are used to regular film and / or plan to enlarge from 4x5 or scan it and blow it up to screen size.

    It is also very delicate and difficult to develop due to the second emulsion. Nothing can touch either side of the film during development and it scratches easily while cutting it to size and loading it into film holders.

    I think it gets interesting at 8x10 and beyond, where it has the sharpness needed for contact printing, small scratches probably won't print, it's available in huge sizes, and costs about 10% of regular film.

  5. #5
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    Re: Fuji HR-U X-ray Film, 510 Pyro & Albumen Printing

    I've used some Fuji x-ray film (double sided also) in 8x10 and 7x17. Due to the thick emulsion of my carbon tissue (for making carbon prints) using double-sided x-ray film had even less sharpness. I got better sharpness with platinum prints -- a neighbor had some test negs developed for me at the hospital he worked at -- the techs loved it. Something else besides bones and peoples' insides!

    For these I used open shade and two negs per boy...at ASA 400 and 800. 8x10 platinum prints using the ASA 800 negs.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Alex, 8x10P.jpg   Bryce, 8x10P.jpg   Calder, 8x10P.jpg  
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

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    Re: Fuji HR-U X-ray Film, 510 Pyro & Albumen Printing

    Vaughn - ASA 800? I hope a mistype.

    I’ve used double sided X-ray film for albumen contact prints. I use 100-year old Protar and Rapid Rectilinear lenses and attempt to create a look in my prints from when albumen was popular. For that, I find the X-ray film has acceptable sharpness.

  7. #7
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    Re: Fuji HR-U X-ray Film, 510 Pyro & Albumen Printing

    Agree

    and for the lazy, here is a link found on J,E. Simmons great website

    Reilly, James M. The Albumen & Salted Paper Book: The history and practice of photographic printing, 1840-1895. Light Impressions Corporation. Rochester, 1980.



    Quote Originally Posted by j.e.simmons View Post
    Vaughn - ASA 800? I hope a mistype.

    I’ve used double sided X-ray film for albumen contact prints. I use 100-year old Protar and Rapid Rectilinear lenses and attempt to create a look in my prints from when albumen was popular. For that, I find the X-ray film has acceptable sharpness.
    2022

  8. #8

    Re: Fuji HR-U X-ray Film, 510 Pyro & Albumen Printing

    Handheld HRU 200th F6 Med Yello MicX by Nokton48, on Flickr

    Made another couple tests yesterday, decreasing exposure by one and two stops.

    Handheld Fuji HRU Plaubel Makina II 1/200 f6.0 Plaubel Yellow filter Mic-X 12 minutes 5x7 Aristo #2 RC print Omega DII Omegalite Diffusion head Multigrade dev. Plaubel Makina sheet film holder was utilized.

    Key Day Full Sun 3:00 EST. Great I can shoot handheld with XRay film! The Makina II is getting to be my favorite Makina. Plaubel used to market it as "The World's Smallest View Camera". I will agree with those sentiments after using it for a while.
    “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
    ― Mark Twain

  9. #9

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    Re: Fuji HR-U X-ray Film, 510 Pyro & Albumen Printing

    Cute kids!

    I'm also surprised ASA 800 worked but there are lots of kinds of x-ray film. For example, the X-ray film sold by the Film Photography Project has an ISO of 10! Others are single sided, only blue sensitive, etc. I chose HR-U mostly because it's cheap and available and seems like the "normal" one that people use for photography.

    The machines are really interesting. A processed dry x-ray negative without scratches in 5 minutes sounds like a dream. This stuff is so hard to process well. Unfortunately, I've red that they run very (chemically) hot, processing the film in 90s and can't be easily adapted to standard developers and longer timing. I'm not sure how that would interact with ISO and contrast and also I have no idea what kinds of negatives work well with platinum.

  10. #10
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    Re: Fuji HR-U X-ray Film, 510 Pyro & Albumen Printing

    Yeah -- cuties...almost too bad they had to grow up.They are probably 5 yrs old here. But yes -- 800 in open shade that consists of a lot of blue light that the material is very sensitive to.

    It was also processed at the hospital, and I would not be surprised that that film was processed to completion very quickly. Definitely going for contrast! I just looked at the negatives. The ones at ASA 400 are also printable. Tried to track down my exposure info -- but I guess I was 'playing' and did not keep good notes. I could have printed the ASA400 images, but the body-language and expressions were best with the ASA800 exposures which I probably took second.

    I did find a couple of x-ray negs I processed at home, one at ASA 400 and the other ASA 800. One of my boys against a redwood, but at the edge of a meadow facing the open sky. The darkest shadows read 7 and skin tone was at 11. Exposed at 9 -- f22 at 1/8 sec (ASA800), and at f22 1/4 sec (ASA400). Both developed in Ilford Universal PQ Developer at 1:9, 75F, 7 minutes.

    I used the thinner (ASA 800) negative for a platinum print (see below), and the denser (ASA 400) negative for a carbon print. This was just a few days before Christmas of 2002.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Alex, Redwood_Platinum.jpg  
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

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