Friday, June 27, 2008

Processing Apparatuses

Before processing, the film must be removed from the camera and from its cassette, spool or holder in a light-proof room or container.

Small scale processing

In amateur processing, the film is removed from the camera and wound onto a reel in complete darkness (usually inside a darkroom (with the safelight turned off) or a lightproof bag with arm holes). The reel holds the film in a spiral shape, with space between each successive loop so the chemicals may flow freely across the film's surfaces. The reel is placed in a specially designed light-proof tank (called daylight processing tank) where it is retained until final washing is complete.

In case of sheet film, they can be processed in trays, in hangers (which are used in deep tanks), or rotary processing drums.

Commercial processing

In commercial processing, the film is removed automatically or by an operator handling the film in a light proof bag from which it is fed into the processing machine. The processing machinery is generally run on a continuous basis with films spliced together in a continuous line. All the processing steps are carried out within a single processing machine with automatically controlled time, temperature and solution replenishment rate. The film or prints emerge washed and dry and ready to be cut by hand. Some modern machines also cut films and prints automatically, sometimes resulting in negatives cut across the middle of the frame where the space between frames is very thin or the frame edge is indistinct, as in an image taken in low light.

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