Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Vision3 Remjet Removal


I want to discuss my current process to remove remjet on Vision3 film during home development.

Kodak Vision3 is a good 35mm color film option. Vision3 is a motion picture film sold in bulk rolls and cartridges by Kodak, online sellers, repackagers & distributors. The KEY with Vision3 film is REMJET.

Remjet is a black, carbon-based anti-halation, anti-static lubricant layer on the non-emulsion side (back) of the film. It DOES NOT affect exposing film in your camera. However, the remjet layer MUST be removed before the negatives are scanned as remjet is completely opaque. Remjet is removed when the film is developed using C-41 or ECN-2 chemistry.

Removing remjet is EASY, BUT must be done completely. Any remaining remjet on a negative will show up on scans as subtle or significant spots or area difficult to edit out.

There are 2 ways to remove remjet during home C-41 or ECN-2 development. They are:

  • Rubbing the remjet off after the negative is developed but before dried.
  • During developing using a remjet removal prebath solution.

The easiest way to remove the remjet layer is to “rub” it off AFTER the film is developed before the final wash. This can be done with a microfiber cloth or your hand. Note, if you remove remjet manually then latex gloves are important as remjet is sticky and a mess to clean up. Personally, I’ve found this process a mess and I never seem to get all the remjet off.

The process I have tested and is now my preferred method is to use a remjet removal prebath I mix with “off the shelf” chemicals. Note, there are several DIY prebaths formulas online available but this method / formula has worked well for me.

First the workflow and then the formula.

My remjet removal and film developing workflow is:

  1. Measure and mix the remjet prebath chemicals & tap water sufficient to make 1 liter (leftovers can be stored).
  2. Bring the prebath solution and additional rinse water sufficient to fill the tank twice to 102 F.
  3. Add the 102F remjet prebath to the daylight developing tank. Agitate gently for about 15 seconds and let sit for 1 minute.
  4. Pour prebath mixture out.
  5. Immediately fill the developing tank with 102F water. Agitate continuously for 1 minute.
  6. Pour water out. The remjet will come out during this step. 
  7. Add 102F water in tank again agitating gently for about 15 seconds, pour out.
  8. Develop as desired with C-41 or ECN-2.
  9. Rinse film as recommended with developing chemicals.
  10. Prior to hanging the negatives to dry wipe gently with a microfiber cloth. I’ve found once is sufficient. This is simply an extra step to remove any remaining remjet.
  11. Hang film to dry.

What it looks like pouring out the prebath solution:

The wash after prebath. This step is when the remjet comes off:

Formula for the remjet removal prebath is based on the Kodak’s 1999 document “Processing Kodak Motion Picture Films, Module 2 Equipment & Procedures” page 27. The formula is:

  • Water at 80-100F: 800ml
  • Borax: 20.0g
  • Sodium Sulfate (Anhydrous): 100g 
  • Sodium Hydroxide: 1g
  • Water to make: 1L

I simply weigh each chemical with a digital kitchen scale, mix it into 800ml water in a measuring cup one chemical at a time and then add water to bring the solution up to 1L. I bring the prebath up to temperature in a sous vide. 

I purchase Borax at a grocery store and the other 2 chemicals on Amazon. 

Bottomline, I’ve shot Vision3 film with a remjet layer regularly over the past few years and have found this workflow has produced the best results for me.

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