Identify Film?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Pioneer, Nov 10, 2018 at 2:50 PM.

  1. Pioneer

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    Not sure it can be done but any suggestions may help.

    I have found a few rolls of film in a box that were loaded from a bulk roll sometime in the past. They were not identified in any way. The color of the emulsion is a light grey, similar in color to Tri-X, Arista EDU Ultra or Fomapan.

    Thinking I could identify the film by markings on the film edge I shot a roll at EI200. Not knowing what film it was I stand developed using Rodinal 1+100 for 1 hour. The film did turn out with some very nice negatives but the film rebates are clear and no markings are evident anywhere that would identify the film.

    The film dried extremely flat with no lengthwise curl at all and only a very, very little inward curl across the film.

    The negatives seem to indicate that EI200 is a reasonable exposure index but I have no densitometer to measure the negatives. Scanning indicates the exposure may have been a little too much as some negatives did exhibit some pretty high contrast, but I have seen this higher contrast with Rodinal stand development before so am not sure whether it is a result of the exposure time or of the development.

    I shoot a lot of different film types and many have been purchased in bulk rolls in the past. This would include TriX, TMax 100 and 400, Eastman Kodak 5222 Double XX, Arista EDU Ultra 100 and 400, Ilford FP4+ and HP5+ and Delta 400. I also have some Kentmere 100 and 400 but have not yet shot any of this in bulk rolls. I believe I have also tried Ultrafine Extreme 400 in bulk rolls as well. However, I buy and use a LOT of different film so there is a chance that it could be something else.

    Being unable to identify the film is not the end of the world. I only have about 8 rolls and since it seems to respond well to stand development I can certainly use it. However, it would be nice to know what it is.

    If it helps I have attached two examples, one from indoors and one shot outdoors. I hope this does not offend but I did scan the negatives. They were scanned pretty much as is with no manipulation other than to reduce the sizes to make them easier to post.

    Thanks for any ideas that you may have. Additionally, if there are other tests I can try I am willing to give them a shot.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. trendland

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    Hi Pioneer,

    each film has a different structure from grain. It is like a fingerprint of an emulsion. Ok - it can't be your task now to find out what emulsion you found via microscopic analysis....:unsure:.

    But if your darkroom is big enough you may proceed with extreme cropped prints. It cost you not so much because the prints don't need to be big. So 4x5 or 5x7 is quite enough.
    What you indeed need is an enlarger wich serve "wall - projection".

    From a darkroom diagonal of just 3 - 4 meter you may simple reach a format of 2,90 x 4,50 (in meter).
    With a standard enlarger lens to 35mm film. The exposure time is of course long (2 - 4 minutes) - but that's no problem I guess.

    Then you have captured the " grain structure " of your film (without microscope) - of course you may identify difference in grain caused from different developer too. But the basis of emulsion is unique.

    Next step : How to identifie ? I am sure FBI would fullfill that task in several weeks (with enough budget for lab reserche and a full compendium of all the produced bw films).
    The markings your film don't have will shorter this procedure - but just to FBI - for you there is still a problem.

    So seriously Pioneer - the chance I would imagine - is if you find several additional rolls in your cache wich are market on the box - then you may easyly find out if it is the same film or not.

    The same is if you get some New Films somewhere in the future were you know the Name of that film and notice "no markings at the negatives" may be it is the same I have ?

    There are lots of bw emulsion without Identifikation on the film from different reasons. But that is the only chance I see for you : To compare with New stuff you get in the future wich seams to be simular.

    with regards

    PS : From scanned print (same is from normal enlargements) it can be every film - there is no way!
    Sorry to state.
    I guess FBI have no datas of every film but in urgent cases they would definitive find out via lab reserch. Like some other stuff of unidentified origin - it should be possible to clear.
     
  3. OP
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    I wasn't sure the scans would help at all but figured it was worth a try.

    I don't think I can rotate my Beseler enlarger to focus on the wall and it is certainly too large for me to manhandle it onto its side. But I will explore that possibility further since it may be possible to remove the table top and enlarge to the floor. Can't remember how the table was assembled but I will look at it.

    I did try comparing film color against some other films I have handy. It is darker than Fomapan 400 and lighter than both Ilford HP5+ and Ultrafine Extreme 400. Very close in tone to Kodak Tri-X but I have never, never had a roll of Tri-X that wasn't identified in the film rebate, plus this film dries much flatter than TriX ever does.

    I have run into a black and white film in the past that had no markings in the rebate but I can't remember what it was. I'll page through some of my negative files and see if I can find those negatives since that may be my best option.
     
  4. trendland

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    A nice example of structures :
    556599703_b63dbe510a.jpg

    This is the grain structure of Foma T800 BTW ( an early Tgrain from Foma)
    It is from microscop. You will not reach this "cropping" in your darkroom unless your darkroom
    have more than 15meters - guess exposure time is more than 4houts then......:D.....

    but never mind to compare two films (same motif, same developer, same procedure) you don't
    need that big scale:wink:....

    with regards
     
  5. AgX

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    This not the grain structure.
    But an image of the crystals employed. In a processed film they are gone anyway.
     
  6. AgX

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    Concerning the absence of edge markings. This hints at some copy film.
     
  7. OP
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    Believe it or not, after having gone through a binder full of old negatives, the only negatives that have no rebate markings are identified as Arista EDU Ultra 400.

    Part of what baffles me is how flat these negatives dried. I have used quite a bit of Fomapan 400 and Arista EDU Ultra 400 and do not remember those negatives drying that straight and flat. I wouldn't think that stand development would influence how the negatives dry but perhaps it does.

    I will have to go back a little further and try and find some negatives from some Arista EDU Ultra 100 to see if they are missing rebate markings as well. I haven't used AEU 100 in quite a while so that may be what this is.
     
  8. AgX

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    It seems no Arista EDU Ultra fillm of any speed in 100' rolls has an edge printing.

    To me this seems pennysaving on the wrong end...

    Why are there cost involved anyway, when signing and perforation are done in one process? Well, with old signing apparatus a film with signings must be made. This would be a one time expenditure, but when changing films on the perforator that film must be changed too.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018 at 5:24 PM
  9. MattKing

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    No edge printing probably means a film that is designed to be available for sale to multiple re-branders, so they in turn can package and sell the film under their own name.
     
  10. AgX

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    That would mean the film is stocked in 100' rolls already unsigned.
    Moreover signing, at least frame numbering, is important for the user. Also the hint at the brand is benefitial for the seller.
     
  11. MattKing

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    Correct, although the rolls could be much longer than 100 feet.
    No edge writing means low budget.
     
  12. OP
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    Well, Arista EDU Ultra films are certainly low budget, although prices have certainly increased a bit lately. Though I do enjoy the films it certainly would have been helpful in this case if even occasional edge markings had been made available. Of course if I had simply used some tape and a marker to identify the film it wouldn't have been a mystery.

    I wonder whether bulk 100' rolls of Fomapan have any edge markings? I don't have any handy to test right at this moment.

    On a similar thought, I have noted in the past that my sheets of 4x5 Arista EDU Ultra films have no identification either once the film is exposed. They only have a single notch to help determine orientation of the sheet but no series of notches, or even edge markings, to identify the film after exposure and/or development. Nothing is safe from cost cutting in the interests of economy.
     
  13. jnanian

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    hi dan
    looks like whatever it is, it is !
    looks fantastic at 1200, im sure it looks good at pretty much any speed
    maybe its arista ,, whatever it is it's working !
    have fun :smile:
    john
     
  14. MattKing

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    Arista is, by definition, a house brand. When I reference low budget I am not referencing anything about quality. Instead, I am referencing a means of distributing and marketing film that results in a product that can be sold to those who have a low budget.
    Not having customized edge printing saves some money, in that it permits selling exactly the same film to different vendors, who could then decide to either package that film in bulk or in individual rolls, for sale to the consumer.
     
  15. Pentode

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    Well, you can wonder no more; they don’t. And, for what it’s worth, Foma 100 dries very, very flat.
     
  16. OP
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    Thanks for that information Pentode. I suspect that this film is probably AEU 100 then as I have a lot of recent experience shooting AEU 400 and it doesn't dry this flat for me. Of course I am likely working with older stock from three or four years ago and the newer film may be different in that regards. The color of the unexposed film is also a bit darker then my current stock of 400, although that may not really mean anything.

    Matt, I agree that Arista EDU Ultra film is a pretty good film even if it is a house brand. If eliminating the rebate markings saves money then I can certainly live with that. I just need to be more careful to identify it once it has been loaded into individual film canisters.
     
  17. OP
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    Thanks for the compliment John. The film was shot at exposure index 200, not 1200, sorry for the confusion. Regardless I was happy with the exposures on most of the roll.

    This was another that came from that same roll and was part of the reason I was interested in trying to identify the film. Of course I suspect that old Zeiss Opton Sonnar lens can work magic with just about any film.

    The Cat
    [​IMG]
     
  18. Agulliver

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    I have used Fomapan 100 and 200 in 100 foot bulk rolls, and currently have the latter in one bulk loader and some Arista Edu 100 (= Fomapan 100) in another. I can confirm that neither has edge markings or other identifying marks on the film itself. So Fomapan of some flavour is a candidate...depending on the age of the film. In the past, several B&W film manufacturers offered un-marked film to various resellers/rebranders so we can't be sure. However Fomapan does tend to dry flat and be easy to handle these days after the formula and QC changes around 15 years ago.

    IT's worth noting that Fomapan 400 is somewhat different to 100 and 200 in how it handles. I'd tentatively suggest you have Fomapan or Arista Edu 200 there.
     
  19. pentaxuser

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    Wow the DoF in the cat picture is incredibly small, although just right for this kind of portrait. As a matter of interest can you say what the lens and its aperture was.

    Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  20. OP
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    It was a Zeiss Opton Sonnar 50mm f/1.5 on my Contax IIIa and the aperture was wide open. He was 4 feet away from me give or take an inch or two.

    My eyes are bad enough now that I rarely even try to focus at f/1.5 unless I am on a tripod, especially at that distance. I just looked at him, set the lens at 4 feet and took the picture. I would like to say it was skill but I was actually pretty lucky with that one.
     
  21. pentaxuser

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    Thanks for the reply, Pioneer. The online DoF calculator gives the DoF as about 2 inches which judging by the face is about right. Ears eyes, whiskers and mouth is what's needed and you have these. f1.5 gives a lot of leeway for shutter speeds in terms of low light but the DoF safety margin is minimal. If the cat's moving at all it's probably an 8 fps job. Makes 200mph Isle of Man TT photography easy by comparison :D

    pentaxuser
     
  22. OP
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    I feel a bit silly but I couldn't resist. It is the ultimate stereotype but I just came out of the darkroom with a pretty decent 8x10 print of the old cat. I think its a keeper.
     
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