The Story

There isn’t really a serious story to this post but some fun and frolics involving a dark bag. I can first tell you what Redscale is all about. Redscale is where color film is exposed to the light cheekily from the backside of the film instead of normally from the front. I hope that wasn’t too rude for you.

The last layer on the emulsion stack is where the red color lives. Above is the green and at the very top the blue layer is. Now to get this to work. I mean to have red more dominant in your image it involves some trickery and some tomfoolery inside a darkroom or dark bag in my case.

Treehouse in Ramsau am Dachstein #2- Redscale Fuji Superia

Making Homemade Redscale Film

Lists of item you’ll need to bring inside your darkroom or dark bag.

  • Color film of ISO 200 or higher,
  • Scotch Tape
  • Scissors
  • Tinfoil
  • Paper Tape

Instructions

  1. Pull the film all the way out in complete darkness.
  2. Unravel the reel to the end, cut the film leave about 3cm coming out of the film canister.
  3. Then turn the length of film over to the opposite side and tape it with some scotch tape back to the bit sticking out.
    Reversing the film to match Redscale film

    Reversing the film to match Redscale film

    Now that was the trickery, now comes the difficult bit.

  4.  Re-spooling the film it back into the 35mm roll. All very exciting and a little nerve racking. Hold the reel in your hand keeping tension, rewind the film back into the canister slowly while keeping up the tension.
  5. Once finished leave enough film to outside the film canister so that you can cut a new feeder as shown above in the image.
  6. If you have a camera which is electronic then read the next section too.

Schillerstasse,Graz -Redscale Fuji Superia

The Tomfoolery

Okay, one more thing before finishing up, because the camera I’m using for the Redscale is fully automatic you need to fool it. Such camera that don’t have an ISO setting they rely often on the DX marking on the film canister.

Each film canister has black and silver contacts on the side to indicate electronically to the camera what the ISO of the film is. So next is to make the camera’s tiny transistors believe it has a film which is two stops lower than it actually is. Dishonest it may be but truly worth the results!

The hack is to use some paper or black tape and tinfoil to match up the correct black and silver patterns on the side of the film. This pattern is known technically as DX encoding. The top line is actually what sets the ISO on a fully automatic camera.

What does this mean ?  All it means is; that our ISO 200 film reversed for Redscale to work should be set to ISO 50. This is important to get the right exposure. I copied the pattern from my Ilford PanF which is ISO 50 and marked it out the Fuji Superia 200 film canister – as shown below in the image.

Hacking the DX encoding for a 200 ISO film to make it believe it’s 50 ISO

The Redscale Results

If I’m permitted to say I’m a virgin Redscaler, sounds dubious at least. But it’s the first time for me trying out this new breed of film. What I can see is there’s a lot of fun and potential to be had with this type of film technique. Most enjoyable I’d have to say.

The film I cobbled together was self developed in the bathtub using a ColorTec kit (which I guess it’s starting to expire). I did have some issue with getting the film into the development tank so hence the scratches in blue. Which I kind of like actually. For the first attempt it’s a success for homebrewed redscale.

The images were taken at various locations mostly in Graz, Austria and two at a birthday party in Ramsau am Dachstein, Austria.

Resource – Video Tutorial

Below is a video if you are unclear how to make your own Redscale film

If you are interesting DX encoding – http://www.japancamerahunter.com/2014/04/hack-film-change-dx-coding/

and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DX_encoding

How do I rate this experience

Well awesome and well worth a go. If you not up for making your own you can buy it already pre-made.

Fun Factor:   10
Build Quality:  Not applicable
Ease of Use:  Tricky