Can we use X Ray/Sonography film for daylight photography?

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by dileep_prakash|2, Dec 18, 2001.

  1. HI:
    I've been wondering if we can expose sheets of film used for X Ray or Ultrasound with normal daylight and get a picture. Or can these films be used for making large format negatives under an enlarger. Has anyone tried this out. Does it work?
  2. I took a quick look at Kodak's data sheets. They have a
    blue-sensitive film, and a green-sensitive film, called X-ray B and
    X-ray G, respectively. I didn't look for an equivalent ISO speed. As
    far as spectral response, they'll record daylight images, but they are
    not panchromatic.
  3. You can use X-Ray film for daylight photography. However, it is only
    sensitive to blue light (and UV). This is not a really big problem
    (there were only blue sensitive materials 100+ years ago, and they
    made _really_ fine photos), but usually these films are coated on both
    sides (to increase sensitivity). So, you will have a _very_ thick
    emulsion, heavy problems with halos and no sharp pictures... it might
    be worth a try, but only as a experiment. I don't think you can use it
    for pictorial photography.
  4. The stuff we use in our lab has emulsion on both sides. However, I
    have seen some films in the trash that have a notch on the top,
    which, to me, may indicate that the emulsion is only on one side. I
    was going to try enlarging slides onto X-Ray films for alt process
    printing, but haven't really tried it yet.
  5. If these films can be exposed using an enlarger then they may be worth
    a try when doing cyanotypes. Any suggestions.
  6. Sure can. I did a fair amount a year ago. Most of what was said above agrees with my experience, except that you can indeed get sharp negatives with X-ray film cut to 4X5 at f32 or 64. It works both with the single or double emulsion films. X-ray film however, causes problems with metering, as one might expect due to its blue sensitivity. So it may be iso 1 or 2 in blue-containing sunlight, but much slower at sunset, for example.
    X-ray film is good for negatives (or positives!) under an enlarger.
  7. With luck you can get free overage X-ray film some Radiology Dept. is throwing away. It is usually as good as fresh. Large format negatives can yield X-ray-sized transparencies with a gray scale admittedly compressed - but far from Kodalith - using paper developer. Backlit, they can be quite impressive. After all, the doctors have to see shades of gray in their X-rays. Another advantage is the thick film base. I'd very much like to hear from anyone else trying this rather strange approach, especially for landscape work.
  8. Any time I mix up the chems for radiography film at work I always have some fun first enlarging 4X5's onto the 14X17 Type R films. They act more like paper than film. They work about as well developed in Dektol. In fact the other day we had to do some unplanned work with Radiographs and since I had thrown all of the developers away I had to come up with something quick. So I brought some Sodium Hydroxide from home to jazz up the Dektol with and we had our radiographs just fine. It's fun to make great big positives of your pics. They have a blue cast and when viewed on a translucent table with 3200k lamps they look neutral. Tonality just as nice as paper. I never tried as daylight taking film though. They should act just like a paper negative would. ASA about 1.5 - 3.
  9. Glad to meet you Jim. What pH do you bring the Dektol up to when you jazz it up? Alternatively, how much NaOH do you add to a gal.of Dektol? And how does that help the development of the film? Just increase the developer capacity?
  10. Hi Robert. Sorry, no particulars. Strictly seat of the pants. I added about 1 1/2 tablespoons of NaOH to a gallon of Dektol to raise the PH/ increase developer activity because I knew from my ES&H sheets that Kodak Industrex used NaOH as the main caustic instead of the usual Sodium Carbonate. I never measured PH. The Xray film will develop just as well in normal Dektol though. We tried that too. Takes a bit longer. Let me know how you make out. You can't do it wrong, the stuff is bulletproof. Jim
  11. Thanks, Jim. I also do a lot of the Julia Childs stuff myself - a pinch here, a couple of pellets of NaOH there. What you say makes a lot of sense.
    Can't get back to the darkroom right away. Have a cardiac catheterization on line for sometime in the next couple of weeks. Bad ticker. No big deal; I'll look into this further when it is over.
    Good luck to you till then.
  12. I think you can use it as camera film, and I know you can use it under an enlarger to make big negatives because i just did so. my father's doctor gave me a few sheets of green sensitive, coated on both sides x-ray film to play with. I tried enlarging a normal negative on it, works fine and gives amazing results. I also made black and white slides by contact printing a negative, it works, but it is a bit grainy. then, i took that slide and enlarged it on some more film and it gave a nice big negative, with the same grain than the slide. I am definitively going to buy me a 100 sheet 8x10 box of the same stuff.

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