dye transfer: one film process

Under the useless information heading comes this secret from the past. Ektapan film could be used as the (almost) only film need to make dye transfer (imbibition) prints. It could be used to make masks, separations, and even the matrix itself. that last is the big secret.

Full disclosure: it couldn’t do all those things better than the specialized films used for masks, seps, and mats; it could serve well, well enough to be a simple solution for workshops and weekend workers to acquire the foundations of making dye transfer prints. In school, I would take students through in several circuits of the process, each pass around we would add more control, increasing the understanding of choices to make — how the image was made.

Ektapan could also be used as a collotype film. It was a nice emulsion; not just for studio photographers shooting color plus B&W negatives of the same thing.

Notice the DK-50, HC-110, & T-Max RS lines.

you can also see the similarity of DK50 & HC110. dilution makes them the same!

I used the Dilution B for Seps; Dilution F for masks.

Exposing and developing (tanning) Ektapan as a mat wasn’t the same as Kodak Matrix film. Two reasons, Ektapan is panchromatic, so required total darkness for working. Kodak Tanning Developer didn’t work well enough; contrast was too low, or else way to high. So we relied upon tanning bleach method.

Details won’t help you now. I offer this to you as a point of reference; as something you can consider as an alternative way of recovering a process. Try what is at hand. Don’t wait for the perfect something from someone else.

More, another time, about origin stories. Getting beyond the now state.

Anti-newton Rings

Newton rings are those colored irregular circles you may see when two smooth surfaces are in contact. Film touching glass is the situation most lab workers ask about. The common advice is to use anti-newton ring glass in the negative carrier. Alternate methods: control humidity (to around 40%) — use a spray such as odorless hairspray, use oil carrier, use talc powder.

So, disrupt the surface by making one of them less smooth. That’s the general idea; workable if you are using only one piece of film, however, in a mask stack you will have more than a single piece of film. These two sheets of film may have newton rings if placed back to back, or if one has a smooth emulsion layer. 40 years ago in labs we didn’t see this with Sep Neg type 1 (or 2) and Pan Masking film because Kodak had solved it with design of the emulsion. Now only Kodak Professional Tri-X 320 has the surface tooth; there for retouching — this film isn’t the best solution for masks or separations, alas.

Some possible products, or items to use to cut down on Newton rings. AN glass is available widely. It isn’t rare although reading the forums it seems to be lost and gone.

Some chemicals used in those anti-newton cans of the past: cerium oxide; STAYBELLITE ESTER.

Offset press powder consists of vegetable starch.

One supplier: https://stargraphicsupplies.com/categories/pressroom-supplies/spray-powder.html

Or, try SX 2001 Scannex Anti-Newton spray from: http://www.aztek.com/Products/Aztek%20Imaging%20-%20Scanning%20Supplies(main).htm

There is a patent on using spray to control newton rings which offers some advice along with a description of the problem. https://patents.google.com/patent/US4575398A/en