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Adox Scala 160 ISO BW Reversal Film

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For years, Scala for me was like the pretty girl next door... never taken on a date, but pretty and exciting nonetheless.  You always somehow knew, given half a chance, she'd make your world a better place.

 

And one of my few photographic regrets is that we never got together.

 

So, yes, I'm happy!

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I tried the Scala in the Good Old Days for projection purpose - amazing tones and sharpness.

Now I think about special projects (and easy scan for prints and internet) it would be worth a try.

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Back when I mostly shot either B&W negs or colour slides I used to shoot the odd roll of Scala, made a nice change to look at B&W photos on the projector.

 

Nice to see it back, I might give it a try.

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Is this film what used to be called Agfa Scala?

 

I'd like to give it a try if it can be processed by the lab I usually use.

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Is this film what used to be called Agfa Scala?

 

I'd like to give it a try if it can be processed by the lab I usually use.

No, apparently it's not exactly the same.  This new film is supposedly a repackaged version of their Silvermax 100 negative film.

 

As for the exact differences between the old and the new Scala, I'd love to know as well.  I suspect those differences are slight and the two films have a great deal in common. 

 

BTW, the Adox web page shows a handful of European labs that can process Scala (both new and old).  I've just heard from Dr5 (dr5.com) in the States that they can process it, as well.

 

I've ordered a few sample rolls.

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How difficult is it to process B&W reversal film?

 

Ilford has a lot on its webpage about processing negative film as reversal film, and Kodak has a B&W reversal kit, if you wish to mix 20 gallons of chemical ...

 

I haven't asked here, and to be honest posting exposed film to dr5 in the US is probably the easiest bet; I was just wondering if there is an easier solution.

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Not especially difficult - three extra steps.

 

1. Develop the negative metallic-silver image.

2. Bleach away that silver with a bleach that will not affect underexposed/undeveloped silver halides. (thus different from color process bleaches, which remove BOTH halides and metallic silver)

3. Fog the undeveloped silver halides, either by taking the film out of the tank and off the reel, and holding it up to the room lights, or using a chemical step that will "expose" them.

4. Redevelop the film - only the positive image "fogged" into existence in step 3 will turn dark.

5, etc. Stop bath, fix, wash, dry as with any other B&W film.

 

The specialized bleach that removes developed silver without damaging the undeveloped silver halides is now a mixture of sodium tetraphosphate, sulfuric acid, and potassium permanganate, heavily diluted with water. The permanganate gives it a lovely purple color, like Welch's grape juice.

 

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/8/8657662_39dec1ebc9.jpg

 

Used to include Potassium Dichromate instead of Permanganate, but that is now an ecological no-no.

 

Technically, you can do the process with standard photo chemicals, plus the bleach step. But the kits usually come with specialized developers to boost contrast and Dmax  - because who wants grayed-out slides? You don't want simply a reversed gray-on-gray negative, you want it "punched up" to match a Kodachrome or Ektachrome color slide.

 

Technically, you can run the process on most any regular B&W negative film**, but since many films have a grayish base density, you get the brightest tonal range with films that have a very transparent, untinted base. E.G. T-Max 100 or Silvermax - or films designed primarily*** for reverse processing (New and Old Scala - or once upon a time, Kodak's "Direct Positive" film.) The DR5 Chrome lab uses the same basic process - with their own little chemical twists to get sepia and other effects.

 

And - BTW - are already running Silvermax film through their own process for B&W slides: http://www.dr5.com/blackandwhiteslide/silvermax.html

 

One of my college jobs was creating lecture slides for the faculty from prints or images in books: copy stand, Direct Positive film, reversal processing. A dozen rolls a day sometimes.

 

Played around with Scala, and T-Max 100 in Kodak's kit, in the 1990s. If you absolutely, positively (

) have to have projection positives, they work. I found regular negatives more functional overall.

________

**per DR5 labs, Fuji ACROS and Adox 20 will not reverse process correctly.

 

*** a dirty little secret. If you run Scala or Kodak Direct Positive films through regular B&W processing - you will get a regular negative, just like Tri-X or HP5. They are not magical slide-only films, but they are optimized for reversal processing (transparent base, strong contrast, deep Dmax)

Edited by adan

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Not especially difficult - three extra steps.

 

1. Develop the negative metallic-silver image.

2. Bleach away that silver with a bleach that will not affect underexposed/undeveloped silver halides. (thus different from color process bleaches, which remove BOTH halides and metallic silver)

3. Fog the undeveloped silver halides, either by taking the film out of the tank and off the reel, and holding it up to the room lights, or using a chemical step that will "expose" them.

4. Redevelop the film - only the positive image "fogged" into existence in step 3 will turn dark.

5, etc. Stop bath, fix, wash, dry as with any other B&W film.

 

< snip... >

 

 

 

I was going to give the Foma Reversal Developing kit a go until I saw that step three.  For those of us who do small tank development outside a proper darkroom (I develop in the kitchen), removing the film to fog it seems like a major hurdle.  After that step you've got a wet tank, a wet reel, and wet, half-developed film.  And a mess.

 

Would love to hear any thoughts on surmounting that little issue.

 

At the very least, with a handful of competent commercial labs who can develop it, I'm very excited to give the new Scala a run!

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I was going to give the Foma Reversal Developing kit a go until I saw that step three.  For those of us who do small tank development outside a proper darkroom (I develop in the kitchen), removing the film to fog it seems like a major hurdle.  After that step you've got a wet tank, a wet reel, and wet, half-developed film.  And a mess.

 

Would love to hear any thoughts on surmounting that little issue.

 

At the very least, with a handful of competent commercial labs who can develop it, I'm very excited to give the new Scala a run!

Step 3 exposes to the light all the sensitive material that's still in the emulsion. After step 3, more light will not disturb the process in any way.

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Played around with Scala, and T-Max 100 in Kodak's kit, in the 1990s. If you absolutely, positively (

) have to have projection positives, they work. I found regular negatives more functional overall.

 

 

Yes, agreed. Of course, back in the day (actually not that long ago) it was perfectly normal to supply libraries and editorial clients with transparencies and Scala had a purpose other than just projection but that ship has long sailed (and even then commissioned black and white work was typically shot on neg). The new Scala is I guess one for the committed slide enthusiast and/or curious.

Edited by wattsy

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Step 3 exposes to the light all the sensitive material that's still in the emulsion. After step 3, more light will not disturb the process in any way.

Aye, understood.  The challenge is that you're standing there with a long, unrolled, dripping wet length of film... with more processing yet to do.  If you're using trays, no problem.   But with reel and tank... how exactly are you supposed to proceed?

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You just put the wet film back on the reel. I did my T-Max kit developing in my power-room darkroom. Worked fine.

 

Of course, I use Nikor-type metal reels - not sure how well plastic-ratchet reels work with wet film. With metal reels, my film (color, B&W, negs, positives) comes off and back on the reels 2-3 times in the fix and wash stages (I just can't control my desire to look at the images

).

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You just put the wet film back on the reel. I did my T-Max kit developing in my power-room darkroom. Worked fine.

 

Of course, I use Nikor-type metal reels - not sure how well plastic-ratchet reels work with wet film. With metal reels, my film (color, B&W, negs, positives) comes off and back on the reels 2-3 times in the fix and wash stages (I just can't control my desire to look at the images

).

Thanks, Andy.  I must confess I've never tried to thread wet film back on a reel.  I have always assumed, based upon how touchy even dry film can sometimes be once your hands become slightly damp from the humidity inside a changing bag, that trying to thread full-on wet film would be the devil's work.  I suppose I should just give it a go!

 

I use Hewes metal reels, so no issues with plastic.  

 

I suppose the last issue that comes to mind in this scenario is that I use my bare hands when rolling undeveloped film onto my reels.  You kind of need the dexterity.  Once I begin developing, though, I habitually wear a pair of disposable nitrile gloves.  My bare hands are not exposed to any fluids until well into the rinse phase.  I'm pretty sure those gloves would have to come off.

 

I'm not particularly frightened by photo chemicals.  But I do respect that our skin is not the impermeable barrier that lots of people assume it is.  Are there any thoughts on how to get that film back on the reel without exposure?

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I probably would not want my hands to touch the bleach much, either (dilute sulphuric acid, if nothing else).

 

But there is no reason not to just add a 1-minute water wash or rinse after the bleach step, and before actually removing and handling the film for fogging. Fill the processing tank with water, and dump, as many times you can in 1 minute - probably dilutes any bleach still clinging to the tank and reel after emptying, by a factor of 20000:1 or more.

 

In fact, I expect the kit instructions probably include such a rinse step, if only because the intensely purple permanganate makes a mess if splashed around. Dries into purple crystals all over everything.

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For the second exposure or fogging of the film, there is no need to take it from the reel.

Both with stainless and plastic reels I use a strong lamp above the tank with the reel resting in water.

To be sure you can turn the reel a few times. Works brilliant.

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Funnily enough I've had this for quite a few weeks now having got it I think from Amazon or eBay, without actually realising the significance of the new project - I'm tempted to get the developing tank and waterbath out....

 

Edited by robert_parker

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Yes - it seems I bought on 30th May 2016 from Nic and Trick (NT Photoworks) of Brighton, UK - who are great for unusual films - they had it at GBP 4.75 a roll

 

http://ntphotoworks.com/shop/product-category/camera-film/adox-films/

 

​Correction - it's marked as out of stock - a place in Australia is selling it on e-bay though

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-ADOX-Scala-160-black-white-slide-35mm-films-/222428825662?hash=item33c9ca883e:g:HtsAAOSwXYtYulHq

Edited by robert_parker

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