First Look at 16mm & 8mm B&W Reversal

10 months since I began, I’ve finally developed my first motion picture!

The 16mm was ORWO and the 8mm was Tri-X. I processed them both as reversal in the LOMO tank using home mixed Tri-X formula . I’m pretty happy for a first go.

Added some sound sync and cropping experiments too.

The telecine was just a rushed DIY off the wall. Will be nice to get these transferred properly one day…

This entry was posted in Processing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to First Look at 16mm & 8mm B&W Reversal

  1. Chris Gavin says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while, congratulations on your first cine film processing. I’ve been thinking about BW film too to get started and have just bought one cartridge of Argenti BW negative super 8. I’ve also gathered together lots of my dad’s old (stills) film processing stuff. I don’t have the Lomo tank, so thinking maybe I’ll just process some short test strips floating about in the Paterson tank to get started. I’m hoping to try cafenol C developing first… Best wishes, Chris

  2. Chris Gavin says:

    Thanks Peter. I ordered the Argenti BW neg film from a UK website here, it was nice to discover a new film supplier. The dealer does sell another BW negative film called ‘Wittner APX100’, but apparently this is the same film as the Argenti APX100. It doesn’t look like they do 16mm films, they only seem to sell super 8 cartridges.

  3. Hi Peter, an update!
    I’ve processed my first couple of short lengths of BW neg super 8 in Caffenol C-M developer now and thought I’d share my results with you here.

    This was just processing short lengths in the Paterson tank. I’m amazed that this home brew developer works, just instant coffee, washing soda, vitamin C and water. I also used water to Stop and some of my dad’s ancient hypo crystals to Fix.
    I’ve working on a homemade spiral for longer lengths now and am looking for a suitable container to try it out in…
    Best of luck to you,

  4. Peter Humble says:

    Chris, this is beautiful. A joy to behold! Thanks for sharing. And great sound.
    (no music is music to my ears!)
    And the transfer looks incredible. I’m interested in your scanning.
    What flatbed did you use?

    • Chris Gavin says:

      Thanks a lot Peter!

      The flatbed idea is a bit misleading maybe… I used a Canon Lide 500f for the parts of the film where long strips of small pictures travel across the screen. The Canon has a film adaptor that only scans 8 frames at a time (it’s designed for 35mm stills scanning) so I scanned these sections and digitally stitched them together into long thin images in Photoshop. But the stated resolution of the scanner is only 2400×4800 dpi, well below the 9600dpi needed to get HD from 8mm. Also flatbed scanners seem to ‘lie’ about their resolutions, they apparently resolve a lot less than they claim. In short, I don’t think my scanner, or most other ones probably are good tools for this.
      Then you get onto very slow scan times and the mechanics of sliding the film across the glass… In summary, I don’t think I got the best results from this route AND it takes ages!

      In the parts of the film where you see the 8mm images full frame, these have been taken with a Canon DSLR camera (600D) and macro optics, shooting the film on a lightbox using a Kaiser copystand to hold the camera shooting down. I don’t have any real macro lenses, but I’ve found that using an old 21mm lens and a reversing ring (i.e. the lens is fixed backwards onto the DSLR) I can almost fill the DSLR crop sensor with a frame of super8! So the optics are OK, and it just takes a few seconds per frame to shoot and store the images. (Much faster and better quality than the flatbed)
      The next issue then is to mechanise this process. I’ve gone a little way down this road and am now using a sprocket wheel and stepper motor to advance the frames. It’s about 90% reliable, but every so often a frame doesn’t pull through enough. The process is still tedious because I’m triggering the stepper motor and taking the every frame by hand (i.e. it’s partially-mechanized, but still requires a lot of user input).
      By rephotographing the film with my DSLR, I also realise I’m contributing to wearing out my camera. This wont ever be a method for industrial quantities of digitizing but it’s fine for my experiments with short lengths and there’s scope to improve it too.

      So I can’t say I have a solid digitizing method yet, this film is really an assemblage of various tests of various approaches. I decided put the tests together and ‘celebrate the imperfections’


  5. Peter Humble says:

    Well it’s very nice for a home made transfer.
    I’m quite frustrated by the transfer issues. I’ve tried some macro experiments but haven’t had much luck and despite my ventures into the photochemical I’m not the most technically minded. None of this makes any sense to me until I actually do it with my own hands! A friend has an optical printer that we’re looking to convert to a home made telecine with a 3K machine camera. Although I’m terrified that I’ll invest in it then Blackmagic will bring out a desktop telecine. I’m wondering whether that’s on the cards as they bought out CINTEL recently. It wouldn’t surprise me if they reteased a low cost telecine in the similar way they’ve approached there recent camera release.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s