Photos & Projects

Fomapan 200 for my first Black and White slides – By Fred Baboulaz

June 17, 2020

I have been shooting film exclusively for 2 years, but recently I decided to try some experiments. It was after watching a video on youtube that I wanted to get into the adventure of making black and white slides. I knew that it was possible with almost any film – I just needed to choose a good film for the job, and have a go at the process.

All I needed for the process was the little magic ingredient for bleaching. I placed my order on a famous online shop (whose name starts with A and ends with an N) and waited patiently for the delivery. This morning I started…

I opened my refrigerator and wondered which film would be best for this experience. I chose a Foma film that I thought was 100 iso. I know Foma sells film for making slides, so I figured I wasn’t taking any great risks here either. I quickly loaded the film into my Bronica ETRSi, adjusted the sensitivity and it was ready for the 15 frames. A few minutes and the complicity of my confinement-mates were enough to reach the 15 frames limit.

And that’s where the adventure really began. I put the film on a spiral and I poured the developer, Kodak HC-110 in the tank. According to the recipes I had looked at, the recommended time was between 10 and 20 min (the Rollei kit recommends 22 min), after the developer, I poured the bleach.

It is a solution of 12% hydrogen peroxide (500ml) and white vinegar (20/25 ml) that was left in the tank for 11 minutes. I advise you to wear gloves and goggles because the mixture is quite corrosive. The bleach was put back in the bottle, I proceeded to a wash to then open the tank and re-expose the film to daylight.

I simply went to my garden and put the film in a sun bath. The future slides were already visible. After this little sun bath, the film was returned to its original position – the film went back in the tank where the developer (the HC-110 from the beginning) came to join it for 6 minutes before the fixer was introduced to do its job.

I’m amazed by the result, I think it’s beautiful, a very fine grain and deep and detailed blacks.

Alas, I had trusted my instincts more than reading the box of film which turned out to be 200iso and not 100. As a result, a good part of the film is overexposed and the slides don’t like that too much. I’ll be doing this process again, and I’ll be sure to give you news of the results

You can see my pics on instagram     and on Lomography

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  • Reply
    June 17, 2020 at 12:08 pm

    What dilution did you used for HC-110? Those slides are staggering!

  • Reply
    June 17, 2020 at 12:10 pm

    Looks awesome! I have to try that. Actually, the prospect of slides is what got me to start medium format in the first place.

  • Reply
    Roger B
    June 17, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    Having just shot and processed some Adox Scala 160 – a dedicated transparency film – I gotta say your results are every bit its equal, in terms of grey scale and grain. Very, very nice!

    • Reply
      frederic BABOULAZ
      June 17, 2020 at 3:19 pm

      Thank you. I was really pleasantly surprised by the result. it’s a shame that I overexposed the film: /
      I tried again with other films and I had a failure with Agfa APX100. Everything went well at the start of the operation and during the second exposure, I saw the images well. Alas after fixing .. nothing left! everything had disappeared from the film. I wonder if it has to do with the duration of the second exposure

    • Reply
      June 19, 2020 at 9:32 am

      Adox Scala 160 is the same as Adox Silvermax, but rebranded to show its suitability for reversal process

  • Reply
    June 17, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    What did your “Sun Bath” consist of and for how long?

    • Reply
      frederic BABOULAZ
      June 17, 2020 at 3:59 pm

      1 step dev : At this step, the exposed negative, will be affected by the developing solution. Therefore silver halides in the film, be converted to black metallic silver.

      2 bleach : Bleach solution removes all silver halide from the negative, which previously had become by first developer solution to metallic silver.

      3 2nd exposure : After removing the metallic silver from negative, the next step, should be re-exposure to the rest of the silver halide in the surface film. In the previous steps, negative photographed, was influenced by the developing solution, and then in the process of bleach, removed the image. Now, the remaining silver halide by re-exposure, must create final positive image.

      4 2nd dev : At this step, all silver halide exposed in step 3 should be fully affected by the secondary developer solution, so we obtain final positive image.

      it was sunny so i’ve just exposed the film to sunlight but i think it’s not the best thing to do. with a bit of research, i’ve found this : 30 to 60 seconds, a distance of 45 cm with a 100 watt tungsten lamp.

  • Reply
    June 17, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    Awesome! I tried once to make b&w slides from 35mm film following a procedure I had seen in Langford’s darkroom handbook but I didn’t get usable results. I can hardly wait to try this other way. Keep up the great work!

  • Reply
    Patrick Abe
    June 17, 2020 at 5:35 pm

    An article in a Photo magazine in the late 1960’s mentioned black-and-white slides, and attracted my attention. A query to Eastman Kodak resulted in a technical publication on “how the lab boys do that.” My home bathroom and bedroom darkrooms couldn’t go into “total darkness,” so contact printing negatives onto High Contrast Copy film wasn’t going to happen.
    I considered a hardware solution, with a Nikon PB4+PS4 slide copier to optically copy negatives or slides (color or black-and-white), instead. Long story short, High Contrast Copy film, rated at E.I. 80, developed in 1:2 Dektol with “Panatomic-X in D-76 1:1 times yielded black-and-white slides. I could crop at will, and still use the negatives for enlarged paper prints. The Nikon PB4+PS4 setup allowed me to “see for miles” with H&W Control film (Agfa Copex pan Rapid) in the 1970’s.
    Eventually, I went back to the primary purpose of copying Kodachrome slides, as needed and set black-and-white slides aside after trying Technical pan as a HCC replacement. (That worked as well, though the never-flat Estar film base was a problem.) These days, electronic photographers scan film negatives, instead of playing Mad Scientist with chemical processes.;)

  • Reply
    July 15, 2020 at 1:15 pm

    So inspiring, thanks for sharing!

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