Kodak (& Fuji) Motion Picture Films ~ Next Important Stage!

It’s been two years or so since we set out to discover what could be done with films such as the highly acclaimed Vision3 series by Kodak and similar stocks from Fuji.

Initially playing with some out dated Vision2 stocks to cut our r&d costs but immediately getting some encouraging results. See our first blog and second blog on this subject if you haven’t already!

Throughout we have found improvements in all areas of dealing with these amazing films:
We’ve learned and tried various methods the cut down the small amounts of Remjet that is left after processing….we have learned that Fuji remjet is easiest….it just goes away with a prewash!

Washing a film under running water prior to stabilising can also be a bit of a masterstroke, and using a big (2.5lt plus) tank of stabiliser as a final rinse…all helps to minimise remjet remnants.  (Ask us for our guide on remjet removal or, see previous blogs on the matter!)

Without the industrial strength mohair buffers the massive specialist labs use to get rid of it means that we shall always have something left over but generally we get nice clean results…you can get worse in terms of dirty negatives just from poor drying to be honest.

All good stuff…

Our biggest breakthrough has been to drop C41 developer and replace it with RA4…What a difference!

RA4 dev mixes up pretty much like C41 dev but due to it having the same base CD chemical as ECN2 it means that we’re using a developer that is not so much different to the specified developer that the massive motion picture labs are using.

So, straight away we see that the blue caste C41 causes has gone!  This affects the Fuji films much more where that caste can make colour correction extremely difficult or impossible depending on the age of the film.

Contrast is also pulled back into natural looking bounds with improved acutance and much nicer detail.

All this means that finishing photographs is much easier and results are startlingly lovely!

The rest of the RA4 stuff: Since Bleach and Fix or Blix usually far outlives developer adding RA4 to your repertoire just means you carry on using your C41 kit as per normal and swap the dev as and when you need to. The C41 chemicals will absorb the extra rolls easily, we certainly find that to be the case anyway

Have a quick break at this point and enjoy this small gallery of results using RA4 developer on these films…

Since we wrote this we have, in conjunction with BellliniFoto, the best photochemistry manufacturer in the world….bought into stock a full on ECN2 home developing kit which also, of course, produces beautiful results from these lovely films…click HERE

A quick word about Fuji motion picture films…. Much of the Fuji stock out there now is old stock and thus outdated so we presume this is where the difference lies. Eterna 250D in particular…no sorry, all of them in particular respond so well to RA4 we do not advise processing these in C41 developer anymore! Most of us using the stocks we have left do find that compared to the Vision3 films, Eterna and Reala motion picture films process to what seem to be really thin negatives…but scanned results are gorgeous and these films seem to adjust to lower light levels much more readily for some obscure reason.

So there we have it…a pretty much finalised procedure that will give you great results. For the home developer, with care, there is certainly no more risk of unsatisfactory results than with any other colour films. Those that scan their films, of course, a scanner having Digital Ice also gains good advantage with these films as well as any other colour films. To help you make the most of our experiences with these films we now offer a small range of RA4 chemistry. We also offer Kodak Professional stabiliser as an extra too…it helps with all colour films in terms of reducing dust and particles. For us the end results is lovely. We see very happy customers for one thing but notice in our own behaviour that these films are now often used by us in favour of C41 film! The whole range of Kodak Vision3 films are available from us ready to us….Fuji stocks will be available while they last.

 

The above findings are all based on experience – testing, testing,trial and some error but loads and loads of testing.There are no presumptions, just the experience we have gained by actually doing….

10 thoughts on “Kodak (& Fuji) Motion Picture Films ~ Next Important Stage!

  1. Jonathan says:

    This is very encouraging, especially as I have a cupboard bursting at the seams with RA4 developer. Are you able to share the times and temps for the RA4 process? Do you vary them depending on the type of stock, or do they all respond the same?

    Have you tried wet printing any of your movie stock negatives? My darkroom is currently out of action, otherwise I’d test some of my old negatives. I’ve heard they can lack contrast in C41, so I’m wondering if the RA4 dev solves this problem?

    When do you expect to have rolls of 50D and 500T back in stock?

    Cheers,

    Jonathan

    • Nikki Coulson says:

      Hi Jonathan,

      Both films are back in stock! For the RA4 process we dev at 38 degrees for 3mins then continue as per normal C41. We have done a couple of blogs about it and if you have a loof at our facebook page there are loads of example pictures up there.
      We think these films work so much better in the RA4.
      We havent tried wet printing any, but we have customers who have and they are very pleased with their results!
      Nikki

  2. Chounchai Wangvisarn says:

    Hello, your blog is so useful, I did started the RA4 for 2 rolls do as your guide, but do you got an idea how many rolls of film 1 liter RA4 and yield, for example the C41 can develop up to 16 rolls per one 1 liter kit and add up every 4 rolls with 15 sec. e.g. roll number 1-4 3:15 min, 5-8 3.30 min, 9-12 3.45 min and then 13-16 4.00 min
    Thanks

    • Nikki Coulson says:

      Hello Chounchai, because we develop customer films we use the RA4 developer as a one shot so I dont know the answer to your question unfortunately. I can only suggest that you do a little strip test prior to reuse to check how it is looking.

  3. RonaldVom says:

    Wow this has been SO useful…you guy have done more to make these films workable to everyone than any one else ever!

    Thanks to you I am using these as regularly as other colour films and they’re fantastic.

    My advice to anyone looking at using these is DON’T go any further then Nik & Trick.

    Brilliant!

  4. JoshuaHam says:

    Now I’ve followed your blogs I am using these excellent films more and more. Very grateful to Nik & Trick for all the hard work they’ve put into this and film photography in general.

    I wish more would make the same effort

  5. Richardkam says:

    Fascinating. So much so I went over the previous posts and I have to say how impressed I am with that somebody took the time to do this for the benefit of the world of photography.

    There is so much misinformation out there regarding Remjet films these guys invested their own time and resources to work through that rubbish and do this for us

  6. EmmettPoulp says:

    I have to say, that I agree totally with RichardKam.

    Well done Nik & Trick, I am now following you on Facebook too and it’s brilliant to see what you do

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