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Film processing services and information
  [last update Friday, March 30, 2012


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Bluefire® high-resolution film and chemistry


Bluefire® Police™ is an ultra-high-resolution 35mm film and developer combination, originally formulated for surveillance photography, identification, and documentation. It can be enlarged beyond the resolution limits of your lenses without losing detail to grain. 
However, unlike traditional high-resolution films, it has a beautiful, long panchromatic gray scale and biting clarity.

Noted authority Geoffrey Crawley reviewed Bluefire Police in the July 11, 2005 issue of Amateur Photographer, Great Britain's weekly photo magazine, and called it " exciting new b&w material capable of outstanding image quality, especially in the definition of the finest detail."
Your "Police film" works well with Contax CZ lenses. The coating 
and sharpness seem to do the film well.
Kalispell, Montana
Quick links:

Bluefire Police film

Bluefire Police trial packs

Bluefire HR developer

Bluefire Micro developer

Bluefire Police developing and


  • Click here to see examples of the extreme enlargement possible with Bluefire Police materials.
  • Click here to see Bluefire Police, exposed in a conventional 35mm SLR, used as a photolithographic mask for microfabrication.
  • Have you ever seen gorilla whiskers? Click here to see an example of the high resolution and invisible grain that you will experience using this film.
  • Click here to go open a PDF file that gives detailed exposure and processing information.
    (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader — click here to go to the Adobe site and download the latest version)


Ordering information 

Bluefire Police 135-24 35mm film, EI 80
Process in Bluefire HR Developer for pictorial photography, or Bluefire Micro for high-contrast photography (developers sold separately, below). 

  per roll

Processing is available by mail: click here

135-24, 24-exposure for use in standard 35mm cameras. Set your camera manually to ISO 80 for pictorial use, or ISO 100 for high-contrast technical photography.

An excellent upgrade from Efke 25 or Agfa's discontinued AgfaPan APX25, with similar contrast but much finer microstructure and significantly more speed. Less grain than T-Max 100 and Delta 100, without the exaggerated edge effects associated with tabular grain films.

Can also be processed for pictorial use in POTA, Formulary TD-3, Kodak Technidol, Maco LP Supergrain, and similar ultra-low contrast developers (effective film speed is significantly lower with these developers). 

For high contrast and technical/scientific photography, process in Kodak D-19 or Bluefire Micro.

Rescue old, yellowed photographs by copying them onto Bluefire Police through a blue filter, which blocks yellow light.

Kodak Technical Pan has been unavailable for several years. 

Bluefire Police is an excellent replacement for Technical Pan. Note that, unlike Technical Pan,  Bluefire Police is panchromatic and does not have the near-infrared sensitivity that made Tech Pan so troublesome in ordinary daylight.

Bluefire Police has been extensively investigated for astrophotography. It does not respond to hydrogen gas hypering. It is suitable for visible-spectrum solar and lunar imaging because it resolves extremely fine detail.

Bluefire Police is an excellent technical film for laboratory, police, and forensic documentation. It is in regular use documenting DNA assays and making quick, inexpensive photolithographic masks for microfabrication.

Trial Packs are an excellent way to test this remarkable film.

2-roll Trial Pack: 2 rolls with pre-mixed liquid developer concentrate, 48 images total. Perfect for a quick test.

Product: BPP2  

Buy two trial packs (96 images) for $11.50 each, or three (144 images) for $9.90 each

Buy in bulk and save

135-24 (35mm, 24 exposure) 12 roll carton (buy developer separately):


16mm x 30.5m (100') for use in subminiature cameras:



Bluefire™ HR Developer Concentrate for pictorial photography

Use this developer to process Bluefire Police film exposed at EI 80, for pictorial photography. The resulting image has a full and rich gray scale and extremely high resolution. Images can be enlarged beyond the resolution limits of your lenses without loss of detail to grain.

Compatible with any stop bath and any ordinary photographic fixer. For complete instructions click here (requires Adobe Acrobat reader). 

Also gives excellent results with most microfilms, and high-contrast 35mm document films.

This developer produces extremely low contrast when used to develop ordinary black and white films that have been conventionally exposed.

The 30-ml sample size has been pre-mixed for your convenience and will process two rolls of film.

The 500-ml package is shipped as a pre-mixed liquid concentrate in a collapsible pouch bag. You can easily squeeze it to exclude air as you withdraw the concentrate, which prolongs its shelf life after opening. It will process 33 rolls of film.

The 1-litre (approximately 1 US quart) package is shipped as dry powder. Mix it with hot tap water to make concentrate sufficient for processing 66 rolls of film.

Add 15ml of concentrate to 235ml of water to make 250 ml (approx. 8-1/2 oz) of working solution, to process one roll of 35mm film. Use the working solution once and then discard.

Compatible with all ordinary stop baths and fixers.

Bluefire HR's active ingredient (a form of phenidone) is sensitive to light and moisture. In the 2-part powder package, it is heat-sealed into a gas-barrier opaque pouch, which gives the dry, unopened product a shelf life of many years. The liquid concentrate is packed in a flexible plastic pouch. The unopened pouch has a multi-year shelf life. After opening, squeeze to exclude air and use within one year. Discard if the developer begins to darken or turn pink.

Photographed at the ruins of Diocletian's palace,
Split, Croatia. This window was built in Roman times.  Bluefire Police developed in Bluefire HR.

Sample size Bluefire HR liquid developer concentrate
30ml  (process 2 rolls)

Product: BHR30

Bluefire HR dry powder mixture
Mix with hot tap water to make 1 litre of concentrate (processes 66 rolls)

Product: BHR1L

Bluefire HR liquid concentrate
500 ml of pre-mixed liquid concentrate (processes 33 rolls) in long-shelf-life flexible pouch bag.

Product: 1022-500 

Note, please, that liquid developers are expensive to ship.

Prices are in $US. For currency conversion, click here.  

Should you choose dry powder or liquid?

Shelf life: dry powder in its sealed package has an almost indefinite shelf life. Once mixed with water, its shelf life can be as short as a few days unless the liquid is sealed away from contact with air. Properly sealed away from air and refrigerated, it can be stored for several months, perhaps as long as a year or two, depending on the quality of your tap water. Shelf life of the mixed liquid is considerably longer if you make it with water that has been boiled to de-aereate it, and have been careful to not introduce air during mixing and pouring.

Liquid concentrate should be used within one year of purchase, to be absolutely safe, but should have a shelf life of at least two years.

Convenience: dry powder must be mixed in hot water, and can require prolonged stirring. Liquid concentrate is used directly from the pouch bag, which can then be squeezed to exclude air and re-sealed.

Shipping restrictions: dry powder can be shipped safely by any means. Liquid concentrate is not hazardous, but since it is a liquid it may face shipping restrictions, depending on your destination. 

Shipping cost: Liquid is much heavier than dry powder and shipping costs are proportionately higher.


Bluefire Micro Developer for high-contrast document photography

Use this developer to process Bluefire Police film exposed at EI 80 to 100, for high-contrast images and personal microfilm applications. The resulting image has solid blacks and whites, with little or no gray tone. Grainless enlargement to as much a 4 feet by 6 feet is easily achieved. Use any ordinary photographic stop bath and fixer.

Bluefire Micro's active ingredient (phenidone) is sensitive to light and moisture. It is heat-sealed into a high-barrier opaque pouch, which gives this unopened product a shelf life of several years.

Bluefire Micro,
2-part powder developer. Mix with water to make 1 litre of working solution.

Product: BMI1L 
To order on-line, click the Add To Cart button. When you finish shopping, you can choose from several shipping methods. You can pay on-line with
VISA or MasterCard. Or you can print out your order and mail it to us with your personal check or money order.

Feature Benefit
Extremely fine grain Negatives can be enlarged to extreme sizes without image degradation due to grain. In general, you will be able to enlarge a 35mm negative to a degree beyond the power of your camera and enlarger lenses to resolve detail, and still not lose detail to grain. Grain is usually not apparent until 50x enlargement, and remains inconspicuous even on enlargements at 4' x 6' (1.2 x 2 m).
High resolution The film resolves extreme image detail. All images have an upper limit to resolution — with Bluefire Police, that upper limit is a function of the lenses used, and not of the film.
Thin emulsion The photosensitive emulsion is approximately half the thickness of ordinary films, yet contains the same amount of silver. The thin emulsion results in less internal light scatter, which improves sharpness. High silver density yields images rich in tonal values when correctly exposed and processed.
Clear base

Allows this film to be used for projection transparencies, photolithography masking, and technical imaging.

Anti-halation dye undercoat The pink anti-halation layer stops light from reflecting back into the emulsion from the film base during exposure, which contributes to this film's remarkable sharpness. It is washed out  in processing, leaving a harmless pink color in your fixer. When completely fixed, the film base is completely clear.
Dual purpose When exposed at EI 100 and processed in high-contrast chemistry, such as Kodak D-19 or Bluefire Micro, it yields grainless high-contrast images and is especially suited to use in libraries and in the field by researchers and genealogists for materials which cannot be photocopied.

When exposed at  80 and processed in Bluefire HR developer, it yields continuous-tone pictorial images with a rich gray scale, and is especially suited to surveillance, engineering and research documentation, and art photography.

Panchromatic Bluefire Police records approximately the same portion of the visible spectrum that is seen by the human eye. It has normal panchromatic sensitivity to all colors, including red, so that its effective speed is not changed by exposure in outdoor shade (which is deficient in red wavelengths) or in normal indoor room lighting (which can be either too red or not red enough). 
Available with an optimized developer Bluefire HR liquid developer concentrate gives pictorial graduation and full film speed when paired with Bluefire Police. You can also process Bluefire Police in POTA, Formulary TD-3, Maco LP Supergrain, Kodak Technidol, and similar low-contrast developers.

Bluefire Micro dry powder mix developer provides grainless high-contrast images at a highly useful speed of up to EI 100.



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