Anti-Halation Layer

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by jonpaul_hills, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. Hello. I shoot a lot of 35 mm infrared film, and I love the halo effect given by the lack of an anti-halation backing. I know that all
    standard black and white films have this feature, and I know that the backing is usually water soluble. This leads me to the question I
    have been dying to know the answer to. If I were to soak the film, prior to even loading it into my camera to shoot, would it remove
    the anti-halation backing? And would the film then be rendered useless from water damage, or could I dry it out, and have a roll of
    black and white film that would have the halo effect I so love with my IR film? If anybody has tried this or knows if it would work, let
    me know! Thanks everybody!
  2. Interesting question I've never considered before. I would say you could probably soak out the AHL, then dry it and re-roll it. I don't know why the silver layer would be affected. It seems to me though, that there are films without an AHL. Mako or Bergger or some Eastern block film. It would certainly be a simple test to do what you're looking to do.
  3. Water does not damage black and white film. If it did, a presoak would ruin the film. I would not soak the film in its cassette though, I would remove it and load it into a developing tank (my personal choice would be stainless steel) and soak it for about 5 minutes. Remove the water and put the reel someplace where it can dry. Someplace that is light proof as well as dust proof. When it has dried for about 3 hours it should be safe to load back into a cassette.
  4. As Lars suggests, Efke IR 820 Aura does not have an anti-halation backing. I used in on my trip to Yosemite last May and the results were pretty good if that's the sort of look you want. It's grainier than Rollei IR 400, though.
  5. John, pre-washing the film and then drying before use could be done but would be a lot of effort and would require a great deal of care to avoid abrasion/dust/ drying marks etc. The end result may simply not justify this. The difference in image halation between the 'AURA' and 'non-AURA' versions of Efke 820 are very subtle. This may be amenable to enhancement be covering the film pressure plate in silver foil - but I've not tried this. I believe pre-washing a film before exposure can be used to enhance it's sensitivity.
  6. Look around for some PolyPan F. It is said to be a movie print film and as such there is no AH layer and that is my experience with it.
    Some of my cameras show flare with it and those ones have a particularly polished appearance on the pressure plate. So much so I repeated some shots with paper backing stuck to the pressure plate and the difference was quite obvious. Now I am careful to chose those cameras with non-shiny plates or the ones I have modded with the black paper.
  7. "pre-washing the film and then drying before use could be done but would be a lot of effort and would require a great deal of care to avoid abrasion/dust/ drying marks etc. The end result may simply not justify this."​
    Sometimes it is the special care and technique that makes art. For other disciplines, minutia can make for extraordinary works. For example, one could sculpt from clay and call it good, after the firing. Or you could sculpt wax, as the preliminary step, among many, that creates a lost wax bronze. Perhaps the latter is even more archival. I wouldn't be quick to dismiss such a process. These are the processes that take photographers beyond "recording" and into "seeing" their art.
  8. The pre-wash before exposure could readily wash sensitizing dyes out as well. The film's speed and/or spectral sensitivity could be changed.
  9. I'm no expert but I think that 120 roll films tend to have antihalation coating but 35mm films have antihalation dye in the base itself, which would not wash out. I could be wrong, though.
  10. Interesting question. Some films I've used have dyes that are readily soluble in water (Efke R100 comes to mind) and the presoak water pours out brightly colored. But presoaking Kodak and Ilford films usually leave the water barely tinged. Either way, I had no idea whether the water soluble dyes were the anti-halation dyes, sensitizing dyes or something else.
  11. I regularly shoot Tri-x in 120 and Lf and Ilford Delta 3200 in 120. My experience is that the presoak water comes out very dark, either green or purple depending on the film. If no presoak is used, you go straight to the developer, then that comes out "barely tinged," a slight pinkish cast.
  12. My advice is to buy some Lucky film. It's one of the cheapest films availible, it has no anti halation layer and it almost looks like IR.
    Here's an example of Lucky SHD100.

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