February 17, 2006 7:30pm
Under very dim lighting I opened thecardboard mailer to find a 4×5” stack of film packed in a tightly fitting black plastic bag. Very tightly fitting. Getting the film stack back in was a pain. The film was sandwiched between two small pieces of cardboard. I haven’t counted to make sure there are 10 pieces of film but that’s what’s listed on the label.
The film is very flat but does have a very slight, gentle curl which I’m going to presume is with the emulsion layer on the concave side. I have to presume because the film has no notches (as otherwise stated in the tech documents) to indicate which is the film side. For anyone that cuts smaller film from larger stock that is
notched (Dave) make sure you notch the film similarly to the Fuji docs so you can more easily find the emulsion side in the future. The lip test won’t work on this film since there’s gelatin on both sides.
For this test I cut a 4×5” piece in half twice and simply stuck the new 2×2.5” piece in my existing copy setup (using the penguin master) and exposed for the same time I would when using PFG-01 treated with TEA. Ideally I would have either treated the Fuji film with TEA or increased the exposure time slightly but as this was intended to be a quick “let’s see what we get without trying” kind of test I didn’t worry about any of that.
Twenty minutes and thirteen seconds later (the latter being the exposure time) I headed back into the lab to develop the hologram. I ran the film through a pre-soak bath, JD-2 developer (roughly equivalent to CWC2) that was heated slightly under regular agitation for 90 seconds, stop bath for 20 seconds, rinse bath, EDTA for two minutes (the film cleared quite slowly) and then through filtered running water for another minute.
During development the film went fairly dark by 30 seconds but I wanted to keep the film in slightly longer than I would if I’d been doing a PFG-01 copy of the penguin so 90 seconds it was. Fuji recommended four to five
minute development and said that the film would go dark fast (sounds a bit like PFG-03) but should remain in the developer for the full
time to get the best results. Since this was a quick and dirty test I increased my own time but just gave a nod toward their recommendation..
After processing, the film was a light gray color reminiscent of Kodak SO-somethingorother I used twenty years ago and looking at the hologram in transmission mode under a white light showed some decent penguin-shaped diffraction patterns.
So… After drying what sort of hologram did I get? Not a great one but not too bad either. The emulsion obviously shrank because it’s replaying in a pleasing golden color but is dimmer than the same hologram I made on PFG-01 a few days ago. That could be due to any number of factors
such as over/under exposure and/or over/under development that I’ll track down in my upcoming formal testing.
One further observation is that my drying methods will have to change for this
film. With PFG-01 I normally just squeegee it dry and leave it emulsion up in a clean area and let it air dry. With the extra gelatin layer I’m as likely to end up with the hologram stuck to something if I do that, so I’ll have to start hanging my film again.