Bluefire high res. Police film

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by patrick_mckay, Aug 23, 2003.

  1. I haven't seen any discussions of this product, so I thought that
    I'd put the information out there to the community. The link to the
    on-line retailer is listed below. Personally I've only tried tech-
    pan a few times, with so-so results. I'd be interested in hearing
    about anyone's experience with this product. Info states that the
    grain structure doesn't become noticable until enlarged more than
    50x. While this sounds impressive, as we all know, personal results
    may vary. Also, the data doesn't say any thing about the film's

    "Bluefire Police is a high-resolution panchromatic camera film and
    developer combination, originally formulated for surveillance
    photography and offender identification. It is now available
    packaged for 35mm photographers."

    Comments welcome,...

  2. At the risk of sounding unnecessarily skeptical of a product that I haven't even tried, those characteristics sounds an awful lot like Kodak TMX. I don't see anything in the examples provided on the website that I couldn't duplicate with TMX, an ordinary off-the-shelf developer and my own 180/2.8 Nikkor. Even the tonality resembles TMX.

    Now, if it was a true ISO 400 film with that grain and that resolution, then I might be impressed enough to spend $7 for a 24-exposure roll.

    Might be interesting to check the film edge data to see if they're simply repackaging bulk-loaded TMX for use with a high acutance developer. For example, 15ml of their Bluefire concentrate is just about exactly the amount of Neofin Blau needed to develop a single roll of 35mm film. Perhaps they're simply repackaging Neofin Blau (or Rot) as well, or mixing their own Beutler formula.

    Hate to sound so skeptical. Blame the Gigabit hype for my cynicism.
  3. Well, I found some earlier threads on Bluefire film. According to Martin Tai it's Tura Pan.

    According to the PDF for Bluefire HR developer it's a pretty standard P.Q. formula.

    I'd still bet that comparable results could be obtained with TMX in a Beutler developer like Neofin Blau or even in Rodinal.
  4. I got some to play with , tested it at my local cementary ( test all film there at the same time of the day, depending on the lighting conditions.) The prints have an interesting "bite" that I enjoy for that particular subject matter.
    I have used Tech pan in the past, but I never use TMX so I can not compare.
    Have ordered a few more rolls to experiment with, however; I do not plan on using it as my basic film. Not for a fault in the film rather than the projects on the drawing board have all been in the works for awhile and I never change film on a project. From project to project the film may vary but once I start I don't like to switch as I want them all to have the same grain pattern.
    The fellow who owns this company is wonderful to work with, and now adays that is not an easy task to find folks who care about their customers.
  5. I've exchanged e-mail with this vendor -- Bluefire is apparently a standard microfilm emulsion, which in standard developers would give "lith" type contrast -- no middle tones at all. Their continuous tone developer is the key to getting "normal" seeming tonal range; in this respect, it seems to resemble a lith film more than something like T-Max. I was also informed that they plan to make sheet film available in this emulsion in the next few months, cut down from 105 mm width microfilm stock (so nothing larger than 4" width).

    Nope, I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but I plan to get a package in sheet format, assuming he'll cut it to 9x12 cm.
  6. Bluefire Police film is Tura Pan microfilm, the Bluefire Police developer is a variation of H & W Control developer popular in the 70s.
  7. (Disclaimer: I'm the owner of the business that makes and sells Bluefire Police and Bluefire HR.) "Bluefire Police" is Tura Pan Line, a panchromatic EI 100 microfilm, packaged in 24-exposure 35mm cassettes. Tura does not sell it in retail quantities. The Bluefire HR developer is derived from the H&W Control formula but has been modified for longer shelf life. When processed in Bluefire HR, the film must be exposed at EI 80. The recommended development is a compensating procedure (15 minutes, little agitation) that is meant to give pictorial contrast at relatively high acutance with microfilms. Acutance is more usefully considered a property of developer and development technique, not of film. Since Bluefire Police is a microfilm (very thin, very hard, monodisperse non-tabular small grain emulsion), it gives a different image than tabular films (or any non-microfilm, for that matter), one the photographer may or may not prefer, depending on taste. Ann Clancy's description of it mirrors my experience. I tested it against Kodak TMax 100 during product development (same camera and lens, same scene, shot immediately after the Bluefire roll) and the Bluefire grain is finer. The super-enlarged bolt-head on the web site cannot be detected on the Kodak negative. The super-enlarged man's head image is not distinct and would be not be acceptable as identification in court (the Bluefire image would be). At the extreme of enlargement, when enlargeability is the goal, Bluefire is the more useful choice. This is an extreme test and the differences between the two films, in terms of grain's effect on enlargeability, is unlikely to be significant for many photographers. However, the difference in overall image appearance is definitely noticeable at any degree of enlargement, and it is my hope that at least some photographers will find the Bluefire film's tonality a useful addition to their palette. In my own personal photography, I treat it like a conventional EI25 film (AgfaPan 25 or Efke KB25) that I can expose reliably at IE80. The Bluefire HR developer also works beautifully (in my opinion) with Fuji Super HR microfilms. Unfortunately they're not available in perforated 35mm, but the 16mm size can be used for submini camera loads. It works well with Agfa Copex Pan Rapid AHU, which is available in 35mm perfed, 30.5m bulk length (minimum order, 50 rolls if you buy from Agfa or a microfilm house). That was the 35mm film packaged by Holden and Weichart in the '60s as H&W Control VTE Pan.
  8. Thanks for contributing to this thread, David. I've moved your disclaimer to the front of your comments and divided the paragraph breaks as best I could since the original formatting was lost.

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