processors \ notes for rewind processor by martin w baumgarten

Notes and instructions regarding rewind cine film processing

using Doran or Morse G-3 tanks.


by Martin W Baumgarten, 2001


Have you ever processed any film before, such as 35mm still film? If so, you already have the rudiments of processing methodoligy. This is for using the REWIND TANK (Morse G-3, Doran G-3 or equivalent). Rewind processing would allow you to process up to two Super 8mm 50ft cartridges at the same time. The DRAWBACK with rewind processing is the much longer processing times required and the effort of having to continually wind the film from reel to reel. Two of the BENEFITS, are the reduced amount of space in the darkroom required, and the smaller amount of chemicals needed.


You WILL ALSO NEED a way to DRY your film, preferably a Film Drying Rack. You can make one yourself by using quarter-round, inch diameter wood dowels, four of them screwed into each end of two crossed wood slats. Secure the two slats for each end by drilling a small hole into the center of each slat to allow for a long bolt with two nuts to secure the slats in a crossed position. The bolts will protrude from each end of the drying rack so that you can rest it on some sort of stand that you can make. Once the rack is on a stand it can be turned/rotated so to ease loading and unloading of the film. There are some other ways to dry your film, but I prefer the drying rack method since it was used by professionals years ago, and is much safer and secure for the film. But, if not available, you can dry your film by looping it around a vinyl rope or two ropes hung in a dust-free environment (perhaps the bathtub/showerstall area). Loop the film around this by unraveling as you go from one of the reels from your rewind processor, making SURE that the base side is down and the emulsion side is facing upwards so it doesn't come in contact with anything.


The film is secured by folding an inch of the film end over a rubber band and then stapling it. The rubberband is inserted into a G-shaped large paper clip which will allow it to hang onto one of the Film Drying Rack dowels; and then again at the end of the film. If drying two rolls, connect them together by stapling them at their respective tail/head ends, if not done so already. Using the rewind tank, you've already done this to attach them together while loading into the tank when you were in the dark.


Each slat is made with wood about 1/4inch Thick, 1/&1/2 inches Wide, and about 16 inches in Length. The dowels are made either with circular 1 inch dowel wood or with quarter half sections (cost less and are lighter) that are about 2ft in length. This will hold up to 100ft of 16mm, 100ft of Double Super 8mm, 100-200ft of Super 8mm, 100ft of Double Regular 8mm, and about 100ft of 9.5mm films. One of the dowels can be secured to the slats with the hole drilled off center at an eccentric. This will allow that one dowel to swivel slightly thus tensioning or detensioning the film while hanging, and while drying, to adjust for film shrinkage as it dries. The rubber bands help compensate for film shrinkage also.


Some have stated that they didn't receive good results while using the rewind tank. If you followed the procedures for the tank and used the correct chemistry, you should've had excellent results. Chemistry that is designed for spiral reel processing is Not Recommended for rewind processing, although it might still work fine with some adjustments, such as increasing the bleaching time by 5 minutes or so. It isn't intended to be in contact with the film for the incredibly longer periods of processing time required...but I have received fine results and so have others. You'll have to conduct your own tests. I DO NOT recommend using rewind processing for any type of Color Processing, but it is possible to do so with fair results if you do it carefully). For Color Films, it is best to use either a Spiral Reel or Rack & Tray method; full immersion method.


Martin W. Baumgarten 2001

Plattsburgh Photographic Services