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Change heading to 070 degrees, altitude at pilot's discretion ...

Tim Gilbert

Change heading to 070 degrees, altitude at pilot's discretion ...

Nineteen years ago we tossed a piece of carpet in the corner of our hangar and setup my desk. While it's been rearranged several times, I doubt it's migrated more than three feet over that time. I shouldn't admit it, but the original carpet is still under it. But tomorrow it will move ten miles to the northeast (the desk, not the carpet). For today is the last work day at the Stearman Court location. We've already moved all the heavy equipment and tomorrow the movers will take the rest. Including the desk. (My PC will travel with me tonight.)...

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SP-Ultra 4LF: Shelf Life Update

Tim Gilbert

SP-Ultra 4LF: Shelf Life Update

We just ran another Density vs Exposure test on the SP-Ultra 4LF that's been sitting on the shelf since last October. Here's another breath-taking graph: Again, no significant change. Indeed, the results are well within the expected limits given the variables of our test equipment, shutter accuracy, opening a new box of film etc. We've got enough of this batch of SP-Ultra to run several more tests and update you again in a few months.

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Fixing the fixer problem.

Tim Gilbert chemistry

Fixing the fixer problem.

SP-FastFix Let’s start by acknowledging that Fixers are seriously underappreciated. If not for the ability to “fix” our negatives and prints, “photography” would have remained nothing more than a laboratory curiosity. The term “fix” is a bit odd. We’re not really fixing anything, we’re actually removing the unexposed, undeveloped silver ions from the emulsion. Which, if not removed, would eventually “develop” on their own into opaque solid silver and ruin the image. So what's the problem that needs "fixing"?  Typically, fix either came in a slow acting but dusty powder or an awkward to ship, but fast acting, liquid. We...

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SP-Ultra 4LF: Shelf Life Test

Tim Gilbert

SP-Ultra 4LF: Shelf Life Test

People have asked about the shelf life of our SP-Ultra 4LF.  It's a fair question.  Our accelerated testing indicated it should be good for at least six months. But frankly, we didn't really know. So we mixed up a batch and left on the shelf in our darkroom. It's just been sitting there waiting at room temperature for the last five months.  Here's a shot we processed with it today: (Kodak Tri-X 320; 5x7, shot at ISO 400; processed 1+9, 6:30, 68F, agitation: 30+10/60 in the SP-8x10 tray.) It may not be on par with Ansel but it proves that...

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Rocking the Boat: Agitation and the SP-8x10

Tim Gilbert

Rocking the Boat: Agitation and the SP-8x10

Agitation is often treated as a complicated and mysterious function that a photographer can only master after countless hours of trial and error. Frankly, agitating the SP-8x10 is so simple that it confuses people. Follow these three guidelines and you should get perfect negatives every time: First, be sure to presoak. This has nothing to do with preparing the emulsion for processing and everything to keeping the film flat. "Taco" the film (curl it emulsion side in like a taco) for ten seconds before placing it in the tray. This lets the water get under it faster. Once loaded and...

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