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Author Topic: Ilford XP1 and Digital ICE  (Read 11993 times)
tiresias
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« on: February 09, 2007, 04:49:00 PM »
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I hope I'm posting this query to the right board. I noticed another thread here which mentioned Ilford XP1 film, so hopefully someone here might know the answer to my question.

I have an Epson 4990 scanner which has Digital ICE. I have quite a lot of B/W negatives which I had assumed would not be possibe to use with Digital ICE because it apparently identifies the silver halide crystals as imprefections.

I was therefore very pleased when I found that they were all Ilford XP1 400ASA - I can remember buying the films back in 1980 when I believe it was a new product. I found some postings on the net which said that XP1 used a new film chemistry and should work OK with Digital ICE.

Well, I've just tried to scan my first neg using Epson's included "Epson Scan" software at 48 bit, specifying "B/W negative", and Digital ICE enabled. However, the final result is very blotchy over the complete area of the photo. Some blotches seem to follow the edges of features in the photograph, and any featureless areas are covered in small blotches.

When I disable Digital ICE the scan does not have any of this blotchiness, but of course I'd have to spend hours manually cleaning up each scan!

Has anyone any idea of whats going wrong?

I'm not sure if this board can accept images being attached to posts, but if so then I'd be happy to upload a small area demonstrating the blotches.
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2007, 08:19:55 PM »
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You can add images using the 'IMG' icon.  Just remember that some people have dialup connections...

Mike.
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DavidRees
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2007, 03:36:54 AM »
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XP1 was, if I recall correctly, the first photochromic (I think that's the right word) B&W film, using the C41 chemicals normally used to develop colour negative film. The consequence of this is that the developed image on the film should not be metallic silver, but based on dyes instead. As a result, it should be posible to use Digital ICE on such films - in fact, it is why I sometimes use XP2 today, simply to avoid all the retouching.

As an experiment, it might be worth not specifying B&W in the scanner software; scan them as colour negs, then convert to greyscale later on.

With my scanner, a Nikon 8000ED, this isn't necessary, but perhaps the Epson software is doing things differently.

Good luck!
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Just one more frame, dear...
tiresias
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2007, 09:13:38 AM »
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Thanks.

I've made some scans with Digital ICE enabled and disabled, and I've put the resulting scans at

http://www.dvmp.co.uk/digital-ice/

I thought it would be better than attaching the pics here in the forum.

You can clearly see the blotches.

Have you seen anything like this before?

I remember developing these negatives myself, and getting them printed at Boots. It was the first few times I had done ANY developing of negatives, but the prints that came back seemed OK.
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tiresias
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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2007, 09:14:26 AM »
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Sorry, this duplicate post removed.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2007, 09:16:13 AM by tiresias » Logged
DavidRees
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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2007, 10:20:56 AM »
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Do you recall the chemistry you used to develop the film? Any details at all might give a clue.
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tiresias
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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2007, 11:25:47 AM »
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Quote
Do you recall the chemistry you used to develop the film? Any details at all might give a clue.
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Not really. I have a vague memory of the bottles with XP1 branding on them - I definately would have used the "correct" stuff.

This was definately in 1980 or 81 if that helps at all. I assumed there would be only one set of chemicals that could be used to develop it, especially when (as I believe) XP1 was a new product with new technology.
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Colourcurve
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« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2007, 04:35:28 PM »
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Hi

David is quite correct.

XP1 / XP2 was essentially a monochrome film which used colour neg technology.

Thus you used C41 chemicals and had a neg with dye instead of grain.

The kits consisted of a mini C41 process.

As you can imagine sending a B&W film through a colour system in a lab soon showed up a poorly maintained set-up.

Theoretically it should produce neutral prints - often the lab sold the prints as "sepia" as it was easier to dial in some colour to hide the fact the processor was poorly set-up.

From memory colour neg shooters would send an XP film in first & asked for neutral prints.

If they came back with a cast then they sent their colour negs elsewhere!
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