Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Key question - long answer

Comments and further explanations welcome. This is a reposted response to a question in the Fuji Reclamation thread:

Anon wrote: I sincerly do not understand the target of this project, maybe because i do not speak english, but what does it mean " The goal is to enable the supply of a very high quality negative" ?? is maybe you mean to say "The goal is develop high quality negative in a different way" Please do not consider me as a troll but I really find not clear the title best regards Mike Nardini

Bob replied: No problem. The goal is to provide a high quality negative that can be obtained without going back to the darkroom, or using a cumbersome changing bag. T55 spoiled us. It produced an exceptionally sharp and detailed negative and was pretty easy to process in the field, but not perfect. Now that is gone. Even Quickloads/Readyloads are gone!

That puts us back with double dark slides and grafmatic backs. These are OK and we know how to use them, but they are not light, they are hard for new users to get the hang of, and they take a lot of time. You can still buy boxes of sheet film and process them in the normal way with developer, fixer and wash. Great! But, that takes time.

We have tested a monobath/reagent that works with EFKE 25 to produce a high resolution, quality negative. It is a much sharper negative than the reclaimed Fuji instant negatives. Much sharper. Now we have to put it all together into a field usable system.

If it processes "instantly" like 55 did, that would be great! We might be able to do that. Even if we cannot, we can STILL use the monobath/reagent with a standard sheet film, if we make it easy to use. We definitely can do that.

The goal is to enable the supply of a high (very high) quality negative material, that can be field-processed. No darkroom. Fast, results in a couple of minutes. Most people (not all) are using a hybrid workflow for some of their work. Capturing the best possible image for that means, for some of us, getting a great negative. Not only that, but young people in art schools, and all over, still have access to one of the millions of 4x5 cameras that were designed to last 100 years.

I want to see them used, easily, by newcomers as well as pros, as tools for artistic expression. If that is too expensive or too difficult, it won't happen. If we make it easy, accessible, and fun, it can happen. It will be many years yet before digital cameras can compete with a sharp 4x5 negative.

Does this answer your question? We've already done the legwork. All the info is here in this blog and you can go out and start doing it yourself now by using monobaths with EFKE 4x5 or 120 Ilford Pan-F (great results we got still astound us). I will post more on a new thread, but that is the answer:

Make it easy, fast, accessible to young people, and very high quality for pros, without going back to the darkroom.

1 comment:

Clifford Kiracofe said...

Worthy goals and well stated.