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Thread: Use of X-ray film: technical discussion with example images

  1. #1971
    Lee Smathers
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    Re: Images shot on X-ray film

    How would one process 7x17 in trays? The school has these old flat metal 16x20 trays. And I mean old. There was a bunch on corrosion on them because no one cleaned them. I got a lot of it off, bit they aint perfect. Unfortunately this is my only option for now. I can't find any other alternative except ordering from Freestyle and having them ship it to me. That will most likely fix the scratches, but I need to resolve the unevenness in my processing.

    I am:
    Lifting the four corners one at a time. 40 times in the first minute, rest then lift the four corners one at a time at each minute interval, except for PMK I was doing it for every 30 seconds.

  2. #1972

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    Re: Images shot on X-ray film

    btw there are xray processors for 17 inch wide film apparently .. about 1K used, they can do automatic (?) processing.. Just saying...

  3. #1973
    LF/ULF Carbon Printer Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Re: Images shot on X-ray film

    Quote Originally Posted by photoevangelist View Post
    How would one process 7x17 in trays? The school has these old flat metal 16x20 trays. And I mean old. There was a bunch on corrosion on them because no one cleaned them. I got a lot of it off, bit they aint perfect. Unfortunately this is my only option for now. I can't find any other alternative except ordering from Freestyle and having them ship it to me. That will most likely fix the scratches, but I need to resolve the unevenness in my processing.

    I am:
    Lifting the four corners one at a time. 40 times in the first minute, rest then lift the four corners one at a time at each minute interval, except for PMK I was doing it for every 30 seconds.
    Lee, you only need the flat bottom tray for the developer. Everything else can be the standard trays. Problem could be in the loading and unloading so check that. Some people put glass down. By all means do one time when you go big. This is the way I do it when I develop my 11x14 and 14x17 x-ray film.

  4. #1974
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Re: Images shot on X-ray film

    I am:
    Lifting the four corners one at a time. 40 times in the first minute, rest then lift the four corners one at a time at each minute interval, except for PMK I was doing it for every 30 seconds.
    How much developer do you have in the tray? I try to have at least enough to go up to the first joint on my index finger. By lifting each corner may not allow ample agitation. The deeper the developer, the more vigorous agitation must be. I rock the tray west/east, north/south. If I don't hear the film make a clacking sound against the tray wall, I'm not agitating strong enough. Flat-bottomed trays no worries about scratches. No flat-bottomed trays? A sheet of glass or even 1/4inch plexi (which I use) will do.

  5. #1975
    Lee Smathers
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    Re: Images shot on X-ray film

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Fitzgerald View Post
    Lee, you only need the flat bottom tray for the developer. Everything else can be the standard trays. Problem could be in the loading and unloading so check that. Some people put glass down. By all means do one time when you go big. This is the way I do it when I develop my 11x14 and 14x17 x-ray film.
    Really? Only one flat tray? Can't the negative get scratched in any of the wet phases? I thought all trays must be flat.

    I am doing only processing 1 negative at a time.

    I thought maybe the scratches could be from loading or unloading, but the scratches are not parallel with the film, they are like 45 degree angles. So it makes me think its the problems lies within the processing.

  6. #1976
    Lee Smathers
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    Re: Images shot on X-ray film

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew O'Neill View Post
    How much developer do you have in the tray? I try to have at least enough to go up to the first joint on my index finger. By lifting each corner may not allow ample agitation. The deeper the developer, the more vigorous agitation must be. I rock the tray west/east, north/south. If I don't hear the film make a clacking sound against the tray wall, I'm not agitating strong enough. Flat-bottomed trays no worries about scratches. No flat-bottomed trays? A sheet of glass or even 1/4inch plexi (which I use) will do.
    I went up to 4000ml. Tri suggested I use at least a gallon of chemistry. 4000ml is a more simple number for dilutions than 3.8 liters. I thought I wanted to keep the agitation at a minimum. Vigorous - okay, I'll try that.

    Yes, they are flat metal trays but are old and some of the corrosion is present. There are three trays I can choose from if I take Jim's advice and only use 1 flat tray. Unfortunately all are iffy but I didn't get any scratches on the first 4 negatives I processed, so I did something right the first time. I'm considering taking an old frame apart to use in a tray. I just don't like the idea of a large glass hanging around a communal darkroom, or constantly transporting one back and forth.

    Unfortunately, there are no private darkrooms at school and no plans for one either. Working with what I've got. Trying to keep it simple as possible.

  7. #1977
    Lee Smathers
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    Re: Images shot on X-ray film

    Quote Originally Posted by SergeiR View Post
    btw there are xray processors for 17 inch wide film apparently .. about 1K used, they can do automatic (?) processing.. Just saying...
    How do they work? I wonder if I could get one for cheaper here.

  8. #1978
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Images shot on X-ray film

    I have been looking at them, but can find little out, except they are designed to process in 45 or 90 seconds, which will make them too fast for us. X-Ray chems are not cheap and I have no idea how long, or how many sheets they do, perhaps many.

    Then there are RA4 machines, but I know they are worthless, as no one will pay for one! They were made for fast processing RA4 color prints and also travel quickly, 45 8X10' an hour! Mine is a geared nightmare, I have never even thought of trying to use it. The chem baths are tiny, I see no way it would work well for any negative.

    I thought somebody made DIY acrylic dip tanks with hangers, I plan to get there some day.

    Quote Originally Posted by photoevangelist View Post
    How do they work? I wonder if I could get one for cheaper here.
    Tin Can

  9. #1979

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    Re: Images shot on X-ray film

    Lee:

    Having made all of about seven exposures on x-ray film (Kodak CGS) I can offer two suggestions:

    1) Rodinal 1:100 is much too "hot" for me to get acceptable contrast, and this is with a 1951 Ektar in a Speed Graphic; lumenized, but not in the contrast class of a modern lens. I tried 1:200 in order to have a manageable developing time in the 6--10 minute range, and got a pale ghost of a negative. Doubling the volume at 1:200 showed that it was not a problem of developer exhaustion, so I tried 1:150 (300 ml for a 4x5 in a 5x7 tray) and got a lovely negative. Reading your earlier post regarding the useful capacity when developing 8x10x versus comparable area at 7x17 made me think that there might be oxidation or oH change (via CO2 absorption) that is more severe in the higher dilution. (A possible complicating factor is that my well water is pH 8.4, so your mileage may vary a lot.)

    2) As a kid, I couldn't afford 11x14 trays, so I used a cardboard box (later, a wooden frame) lined with polyethylene film. A bit messy and clumsy, but it works just fine and you can't beat the price. If the poly is new, it should also be essentially scratch-free.

    Playing with this stuff reminds me of being a kid, playing with Army surplus film and paper of improbable character and unknown history

  10. #1980
    LF/ULF Carbon Printer Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Re: Images shot on X-ray film

    Quote Originally Posted by photoevangelist View Post
    I went up to 4000ml. Tri suggested I use at least a gallon of chemistry. 4000ml is a more simple number for dilutions than 3.8 liters. I thought I wanted to keep the agitation at a minimum. Vigorous - okay, I'll try that.

    Yes, they are flat metal trays but are old and some of the corrosion is present. There are three trays I can choose from if I take Jim's advice and only use 1 flat tray. Unfortunately all are iffy but I didn't get any scratches on the first 4 negatives I processed, so I did something right the first time. I'm considering taking an old frame apart to use in a tray. I just don't like the idea of a large glass hanging around a communal darkroom, or constantly transporting one back and forth.

    Unfortunately, there are no private darkrooms at school and no plans for one either. Working with what I've got. Trying to keep it simple as possible.
    Lee, use what you have. I use 16x20 trays for my big sheets. I use plenty of pre soak water and stop water and fix. About a gallon of developer as well. I find that if I turn the negative a 180 a few times during development helps to keep it even. Of course YRMV.

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