Beginning The Testing Process With Kodak Ektascan B/RA X-Ray Film & D-23 Split Bath Dev

October 14, 2017  •  2 Comments

I have been testing Kodak Ektascan B/RA X-Ray film over the last couple of years with a variety of developers (Rodinal, Pyrocat HD, D-76) for the purpose of finding a developer and a method to consistently tame the naturally high contrast of the film, but still find a working balance for my platinum and platinum/palladium printmaking. 

I have written about my detailed development process with D-23 and Ilford FP4+ previously, and in these next series of tests, I will be focused on Ektascan B/RA X-Ray film. 

FIRST SET OF TESTS

In my initial tests, I will be cutting down some 8x10 X-Ray film for my whole plate camera (6.5 x 8.5).  I love this format, and I would much rather cut the less expensive X-Ray film vs. the more expensive black and white sheet film.  Plus, I think the X-Ray film is aesthetically a good choice for the classic whole plate format.  I have a 11x14 view camera that I would like to use X-Ray film in as well for my platinum printing. 

My goal is to be able to consistently produce negatives suitable for my style of platinum and platinum/palladium printing when I want the classic orthochromatic type look.  I have a good idea of how I am going to try and control the inherent contrast of the X-Ray film, but also get enough density for my platinum printing needs.  If you read my previous article on D-23, you can probably figure out which variables I am going to be manipulating to try and achieve my goal.  

I will keep you posted on my progress.  You can subscribe to my newsletter so you don't have to worry about missing a new article.  

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Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
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