35mm Arista 400 + Rodinal 1:50 equals *severe* curling...

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by PKM-25, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    OK, so I have souped some 20+ rolls of Arista Premium ( Tri-X ) in Rodinal 1+50 at 20C and every time, ended up with horribly curly negs, to the point I can not even get them in the sleeves with out rounding the corners of the film off or it tears the plastic on the sleeves. I flatten them under some 20 pounds of weight for 3-4 days and while it does help, they are still quite curly and will I will always need to use a glass carrier when printing which I am NOT a fan of given the potential dust issues at this small of a format.

    It has been very dry here, no snow / moisture to speak of, around 6-15% humidity.

    After my stop bath, I do a quick temperature controlled rinse and then into the fix for 5-7 minutes depending on capacity left. I then use a Gravity Works film washer at the same temp for the recommended time and photo flo 1+400 for about a minute, one pass of a squeegee and hang them up in my darkroom which is virtually dust free.

    I can deal with what ever it takes to prevent curling, but I can not deal with this severe curling all the time after the fact.

    Any insights, tips or otherwise would be much appreciated!
     
  2. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Film curl has nothing to do with developer. Leave the film hanging with weights overnight and it should be nice and straight. At worst there may be some slight cupping, but that will flatten out as well.
     
  3. pstake

    pstake Member

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    +1 for Rick's comment.

    I use the same combination (Arista Premium 400 + Rodinal 1+50), same fix time, rinse and photo flow (actually my rinse is probably less thorough but so far so good). When I hang the negs to dry, I clip an extra clothes line from the bottom of the strip of film/negs, and they dry pretty flat. If they curl at all, it's not enough to stand out in my memory.
     
  4. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Wow, I have run into the EXACT problem... only diff is I'm souping in D76 1+1. (AP400)
    I haven't remembered ever having the cut corners tear my printfiles but it sure is doing it now.

    I was coming to the conclusion it was the dry conditions here around DC but not sure. (drying in shower stall/no heat)

    At least I have a use for the 1964 collection of Encyclopedia Britannia.
    2 volumes seem to be enough to flatten after 24 hours or so but dont know for sure if they will stay flat as this issue has only recently reared it's ugly head.

    edit: I should correct myself after reading more thoroughly
    I'm having cupping issue not curl like some 120 rolls can do.
    I hang clothepins with a penny or 2 tape on them for weight.

    CUPPING is probably the more appropriate term for my problem.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 28, 2012
  5. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    You want the humidity to be around 30-40% when you are drying the film. Try hanging them in a wet shower stall or have a large tray of hot water sitting on the floor to "catch the drips" from the film. Full width film clips with 3 oz lead weights help as well. Even then, I noticed some films like to cup a lot, Arista 400 being one of them. :sad:
    .
     
  6. Brian C. Miller

    Brian C. Miller Member

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    One fellow, years ago, told me about a solution which actually works rather well.

    Iron the negatives.

    Put the iron on its lowest heat setting, and put the negative strip between two pieces of paper. Quickly and lightly press the iron down in a smooth motion. You get instantly flat negatives.

    Test this out with something really curly, like Efke.
     
  7. aroth87

    aroth87 Member

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    I have the same "cupping" problem with Arista 400. Hanging it with weights overnight has no effect, I've got two large plates of glass I've sandwiched the film between for a couple of days that helps some, but its still not as flat as the film I get back from the lab. After a week or two of being smooshed between the glass (or on the bottom of my negative binder) they are pretty flat. I might try the ironing trick, I've got a bunch of shirts that need to be ironed anyway :smile:

    Adam
     
  8. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    You can also put the neg pages under some books for a few days. I used to have a problem, but my house is now not nearly as dry as it used to be (better windows, insulation, humidifier, etc). I found that putting a weight made the cupping worse, BTW.
     
  9. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Ugh cupping. Its terrible. Even after it's fully dry after a night or day of hanging. Can't get rid of it even under a stack of encyclopedias. Arista premium 400 as well.

    Other films I have dry relatively flat.
     
  10. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    You're gonna need some humidity when drying to slow down the process. Thats the only thing I know of that will alleviate the problem. I have a roll of Kodak Elite Chrome that cupped on me, it just happens at certain times of the year. The emulsion gets TOO dry and shrinks more than it should, resulting in a slight cup. My cure is to let it hang in the shower after steaming it up, bonus is reduced dust.
     
  11. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Well I did 4 rolls in the shower, steamed it up good, closed the door and let it dry for 2 hours. When I first opened the door, there was slight cupping, but after about 15 minutes, it was business as usual. So I did a test, I souped 4 different kinds of film in the same mix of R09 1+50, HP5, Neopan SS, TMX and Tri-X all in 35mm. These were older rolls, so dev time did not matter, only being in the same soup did.

    They ALL did the same damn thing! Tri-X was the worst, Neopan the flattest, but the differences were minor. Humidity was around 25%. Needless to say, I was ticked, ready to give up on 35mm. But then I followed some advice from earlier, before cutting the film, spooled it inside out and secured it for a day, it worked! All the negs are flat, good to go.

    So this is the way I will do it from now on. As for the other 25 rolls that cupped, they live under heavy books until printing...
     
  12. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Good that you found a "fix" for the problem. I noticed you live in the mountains, and were able to raise the RH to 25%, you need higher RH to keep film from cupping. I live in the east and normal RH here is around 70%+ . Winter the humidity drops below that and I get cupping when drying film, then it flattens out. Shooting expired film has more effect on your film than humidity and especially developer choice, it stays in the cassette rolled tightly for too long. I would also think that the age of the film, having been subjected to many years of humidity cycles, even when frozen, that prior to processing and hardening the emulsion, it will leave the gelatin layer shrunken ever so slightly, that curl is inevitable.
     
  13. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Hi Rick,

    I did not raise the humidity to 25%, that is where it was naturally, today it is around 22-23%, we are at 8,000 feet and have been in a warm/dry spell since January. Even though the test film was old-ish, it was still well kept so I still think it represents my issues well.

    In any case, there are two ways I am going to combat cupping since there is not a lot I can do with one bathroom in a 2 bedroom apt. One is to use my Seal 500TX mount press with no heat on the negs that are already sleeved that are curled. The other is to roll the film I soup from now on inside out. Luckily, I did not throw away some 30+ cores that Dwayne's Photo sent my Xpan Kodachrome rolls in, they and the paper will be perfect for this.

    Setting up a simple darkroom for hobby printing is easy-peasy......creating a consistent professional environment for fine art work is another matter, the details often being more expensive and numerous...