Use of Xray Rilm For Portraits

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by rhbphoto, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. A search yielded a older thread so I'm going to throw this out there. After a long hiatus I'm going to embark on a portrait project using my various LF cameras. Since I last did much LF the price of film has skyrocketed. In doing some research I've really become quite interested in using Xray film. Not only for its cost but its unusual characteristics. I just received some Carestream/Kodak Green 8x10 to test. On-line searching has given me some base lines. Anyone have any experiences they'd like to share? Thanks
  2. Haven't done it, but I've been watching the various uses of Xray film for several years (another forum) and I'm quite impressed....especially considering the price.
  3. Yes there is a large format site that has a couple of interesting threads running. Just looking for additional feedback. The price is very inviting. I'll post some tests as soon as I get the chemistry up and running. anixous to start.
  4. I'm using Fuji HRT, a double-side xray film. I develop it in hangers in D23, 1:6, by inspection, and have been using it almost exclusively for portraits, in the studio. I think the color blindness is great for photos, and portrait photographers often used ortho films long after they could have used panchromatic, for that reason. You can see what I'm doing here:
    I know that a lot of people do otherwise, but for me the solution to scratches was hangers. The stuff is unusually soft when wet, and not just because it's double-sided, either.
    I don't know if you intend to print normally, but it works best for scanning and alternative processes. The contrast is high, though full scale, and I don't think it would work well directly on modern papers without a lot of fuss.
    There are two xray threads running on the Large Format Forum, one in a darkroom or alternative group, and one in pictures. But the LFF is down today. :-(
  5. I am using the same film as your, developing in HC110 solution B.
    How long you think I should develope? 5 or 10 minutes at 20°C?
  6. I have never used HC110. But developing by inspection under a red LED is easy.
  7. Where do you find the developer D23?
    I have seen that it is no more produced by Kodak.
    Do you make it by yourself? And in this case, where do you buy the ingredients, sodium sulfite and metol?
    In Italy I found very cheap potassium metabisulfite, slightly different from sulfite.
    Any body used it in D23 formula?
  8. Salvatore, I know you're not in USA, but these guys in Montana sell about anything. You could contact them.
  9. Michael, I caught your work from links over at LFF, very nice stuff. I'll be using hangers as I have a deep tank set up. I have a lot of Rodinal I should use up and will probably start there and experiment with some papers. I have done kallitypes and cyanotypes from enlarged digital negatives recently. I hope to be up and running in the darkroom next week. Dusting off the equipment after 10 or so years and getting organized is taking longer than expected, you know, patching bellows pinholes, adapting lens boards and such.
  10. D23. It's only got two chemicals, both common if you have access to a photo supply place, and I mix it myself. It's pretty cheap, and lasts a long time in the tank. Once you figure out the weight equivalents, you can use kitchen spoons to mix it. Amounts aren't too critical.
  11. In the good old days (pre-2003) I used to get ultra-sound film, a few sheets at a time, from a medical clinic where I worked as a technician. I would shoot a few on the weekend and run them through the automatic roller transport processor in the X-Ray darkroom. The negs came out dry in 90 seconds.
    I had access to film in larger sizes used for CAT scanning and later MRI, but ULF wasn't "The Thing" that it is today and so this resource was never explored.
    Oh yes
  12. I just did a quick search for 4x5 Xray film and didn't come up with anything....and I'd very much like to give this film a shot after seeing Michael Darnton fantastic portraits.
    My question is, should I buy the 8x10 and cut it in half? It seems to be readily available.
  13. Try a search on the" large format photography DOT info" forums for threads on using X-Ray films.
  14. you can get the film at the filmphotographyproject - i got some for 4x5 but havent tried shooting any as of yet as Im getting confusing posts about developers and times.
    I only have access to HC-110 and Rodinal. But seeing different times and same dilutions. I will probably try it this spring though. Too cold out there this winter.
  15. I see this is an old thread, but I wanted to add some info that might help others later. If you are looking for economy, it is much cheaper to buy 8x10 sheets and cut them to size. I bought a 100 sheet box of the Agfa Green 8x10 on Amazon for $39. I don't know how or if that would differ from the Fuji green. You can handle the green under a red safelight (I bought $5 red LED sign bulbs, the small round kind that fits in a regular light socket) I set up my rotary paper cutter in the darkroom and trimmed the 8x10 sheets down to 4x5 (4 sheets per 8x10) giving me 400 sheets of 4x5 for about $40, or 10 cents per sheet! I also cut some to smaller sizes for cheap experimentation in any number of vintage and antique cameras.
  16. The only medical X-ray film I bought was not sized for camera film holders.

    I also bought some 8x10 x-ray film for industrial rather than medical/diagnostic use. I haven't used it yet, so I don't know if it's literally 8"x10" or whatever nominal size is for the film holder. The industrial type had single emulsion. I'm told double-emulsion reduces the required duration of exposure for living things being x-rayed.

    Someone told me he puts glass in the bottom of his developing tray, and uses a Japanese hake for the 'brush development technique'. He also never had any problem with the 2nd emulsion scratching. I also think he said he dumped the tray and changed the chemicals rather than moving the negative from tray to tray. Odd that English speakers call those Japanese hakes 'hake brushes'. 'Hake' is Japanese for 'brush'. They are very soft, wide brushes with a felt or other textile material instead of bristles, and thread stitching instead of a metallic 'clamp'. The non-metallic construction makes them good for alt-processes that might not like aluminum or iron.
  17. I have been working from a 100 sheet pack of Fuji HR-T for pinhole use. The nominal 8x10 film works fine in standard 8x10 holders. In general, the regular sheet films are about 0.05" or 0.06" smaller than the nominal size. That implies if you cut an 8x10 into 4x5 it will be necessary to cut a very narrow sliver off some of the pieces.

    The HR-T is double-sided. I develop 8x10 in Cesco smooth bottom trays -- no ribs -- using HC110 1+63 for developer. I've only used it for pinholery, so I've no experience with portraits, just landscape and architectural sorts of stuff. I typically shoot at about an effective index of 50 and develop about 3:30 in the Dilution H, which is essentially pulling to reduce contrast. It's fun and relatively inexpensive, but I don't claim to do anything really serious with it.

    A few of my better examples -- and the camera -- may be seen HERE.
  18. Thanks, Dave, on confirming the film fit.

    About glass plate in bottom of tray, the reason the other person did that was so it was smooth to avoid scratching bottom-placed emulsion. He drained the tray and added the next liquid, so the handling of the negative was minimal. I don't recall any wording about flipping the negative.

    I can only remember that he was an African photographer living in France. His still life macros were gorgeous, on all types of film he used.

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