Acros strangeness (w/ Rodinal)

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by clayne, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Recently developed a 135 roll of Acros 100 in Rodinal 1+50, ~12min. The film was underdeveloped by about 2 minutes due to mistakingly using the wrong temperature ("aww shucks") however the strangeness part is not really the thin negatives it's the fact that the emulsion seems to be flaking much more commonly than any other film i've developed.

    135-36 Acros 100 + Rodinal 1+50, ~12 min @ 16C (should be 14 min).
    Stop was water, 5-10-20 inversions.
    Fixer was Arista Premium Odorless RF (Clayton), ~4-5min or so.
    Wash, 10-20-30 inversions.
    Photoflo, 1min then hang.

    Nothing new about the process really, but after cutting the negs and checking things later w/ lightbox and scanning I can see what looks to be flaking of some sort all over the place. I know I underdeveloped, but what would cause this? Overfixing (fixer has done about 10 rolls)? I developed a roll of NP1600 w/ XTOL right after this using the same tank, fixer, photoflo (although not Rodinal) and had absolutely no issues with breakdown/crud.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kediwah/3047854238/sizes/o/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kediwah/3047020341/sizes/o/

    You can see the general badness throughout the frame. Any thoughts?

    -cl
     
  2. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Were your tank, beaker for developer, reels, properly washed out? Acros should be under strict enough quality control that this shouldn't occur. Did you try another roll of Acros too? Chances are that when you developed your Neopan 1600 the contamination was washed away.
    I've had issues with contamination, and even though it didn't look precisely like this, it could happen.
     
  3. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Thomas: Totally washed out. I wash them after every developing session, let them dry, and put them away later. Same routine for quite a lot of rolls by now and while I've seen small micro-areas with such crud i've never once seen entire rolls of film affected by it. This was every frame of the Acros roll.

    I can say that this particular roll did spend about a month or so in the body before I finally decided to just burn the last 10 frames and develop it since I was already doing another roll. While I think room temp, etc. could contribute to emulsion issues I couldn't imagine it would affect every frame in a drastic fashion.
     
  4. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    This is a wild a$$ guess - perhaps the film got reticulated somehow? Did you have varying temperature between developer, stop, fixer, and wash?

    - Thomas
     
  5. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Not that I can think of. Maybe at most 10F.

    Maybe a better question would be to ask: what typically causes such consistent specks/flakes as seen in the above frames? It's not dust, and it's surely not anthrax. :smile:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2008
  6. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Dark specks on the negs, correct?
     
  7. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Yep. Although not the easiest to see under an 8x loupe, definitely visible when inverted from the scan. Emlusion layer or something else?
     
  8. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    By oblique light, can you tell if they are physical artifacts attached to the emulsion or the film base?
     
  9. Larry.Manuel

    Larry.Manuel Member

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    I've had problems with foaming Photo-Flo, and then the bubbles drying on 120 Acros, leaving white marks, but my marks were much bigger, at least 10x the size I see on your negatives. Now, I make sure my Photo-Flo is free of foam before removing the film. To rid the open tank of foam, with film off reel, I slowly pour in some plain water. The bubbles run off the side, leaving a clear, bubble-free surface - through which I pull the film - slowly. Then I hang the film so the water drains to one edge.

    I remedied one film by soaking it in very dilute fix for several minutes, rewashing and then using my improved Photo-Flo procedure. I'm not at all sure that your problem is the same as mine. Good luck anyway.
     
  10. clayne

    clayne Member

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    It doesn't seem like it. they're light grey flecks that seem to be part of the emulsion. The fact that they share a similar thinness to the rest of the emulsion is a bit disconcerting.
     
  11. clayne

    clayne Member

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    I'm basically filing this roll under the "write-off" category. There was nothing of huge value on it anyways. Second roll in a row of Acros I've screwed up too. :smile:
     
  12. aparat

    aparat Member

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    I realize that this may seem unlikely, but it looks like dust that attached itself to the film while it was drying. Did something change in the method and/or environment in which you dry your film?
     
  13. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Since they are on the emulsion side, and do not (probably) appear to be above the level of the emulsion, then two conclusions: they might be grey matter that became completely imbedded in the emulsion whilst it was wet; or they are areas of increased density caused by greater developer activity in those places.
    If the second and since you use a water rinse, then I would opt away from something post development like fixer not hitting those spots. I do not know if it is possible for bits of hydroxide from the Rodinal to be in solution; and then to stay in one place causing very local overdevelopment. If that were possible, then I can't imagine them staying in one spot long enough to over develop those little spots.
    Still, if you are certain it is the emulsion side only, then excess developer activity in those spots seems to be the only conclusion I can fathom.
    Is the Rodinal home-made or is it over the counter?
    That leaves something physical in the wet emulsion. I have seen fixer that has thrown a kind of grey-yellow precipitate which stayed on the film--but that would be on the film base side as well as the emulsion side, I would think.
    Ditto (probably) for some kind of crud (rust) in the water supply used for the final rise?
    Do you use distilled water for your final risne?

    What a condundrum.
     
  14. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Still, it's not possible to have a "learning experience" unless we can figger out what happened. Was the first roll of screwed up Acros screwed up with the same result, or was it different?. You have to remember: Murphy, he of the LAW, I am convinced, was not an engineer, he wahr a photo--grapher.
     
  15. jimmyp

    jimmyp Member

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    Are you using an acid stop bath after the rodinal? I've heard of "pinhole" issues with some emulsions when using acid stop. I would expect the pinhole problem to give you lighter spots on the neg, not dark spots though.
     
  16. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Actually the first roll was entirely screwed up outside of my control:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kediwah/3039333471/in/set-72157609304359144/

    Has the details that I'm sure you'll find funny. It was originally an experiment to push Acros to 1600 (for the heck of it) and see how XTOL handled it. Unfortunately other circumstances panned out.

    Anyways I can tell you that this Rodinal is over the counter Agfa stuff but it is the *first* time I have used it. I literally had just opened the stuff, visually checked it's consistency (looks red to me) and measured appropriately for 1:50 (10ml if I recall right, since I was using 500 ml of water).

    I don't normally ever use anything but tap water. In fact I normally hit my preferred, Neopan, with Kodak stop. Never had any issues. I just happened to use water stop w/ the Rodinal because I had taken the tank upstairs. Now I guess it's possible that the upstairs water has more crap in it but it would seem very unlikely. I only used it to stop anyways. After that, same fixing routine that I use every time.

    Prior to that, the rodinal had been sitting at room temp for maybe a month or so, unopened.
     
  17. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    That settles it. I finally figured it out!!! GREMLINS.
     
  18. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    That's what I thought too, John... :D

    I think the only way to get to the bottom with any problem like this is to analyze absolutely every variable conceivable. To reproduce every step exactly as you did it when things went wrong. I have never heard of Fuji emulsion problems, and I've used a fair bit of Neopan 400, 1600, and Acros 100 in both 120 and 35mm without ever having an issue.
    I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation for what happened somewhere, it's just a matter of how much time you wish to spend finding the solution.
    One thing you might want to try is to develop a clip test in the darkroom in complete darkness. Same chemistry, same everything, but in trays - without reels, without the tank. Just keep your timer humming along and find a way to agitate normally (I use a metronome).
    I had some problems with Plus-X developed in Pyrocat not so long ago. I had one roll of Plus-X and two rolls of Tri-X in the same tank. The Tri-X came out perfect, the Plus-X had all kinds of stains and emulsion inconsistencies in it. Then I developed the Plus-X in either HC-110 or Rodinal and the problem went away. So I tried Pyrocat again, same thing. I could not figure it out. So I gave up. Your problem sounds like one of those situations where we can only blame GREMLINS! :D

    - Thomas
     
  19. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    What tank are you using? Plastic or stainless.... Also what reels? The only think I have seen that remotely looks like this is when I souped sheet film in pyrocat HD and had a clothes pin as the seperator in a uniroller tank. The spring on the clothes pin reacted with the pyrocat and went black and crusty! The black crusty deposits flaked off and embedded themselves into the emulsion. No washing would remove them.

    Not sure if this can happen in Rodinal or not, or if you have anything in the tank that could react with it to cause the deposits? Rodinal is normally bullet proof hence the reason it's been around so long and is so widely used.

    As a control, I would soup the other roll in other chemistry... esepcially if they are from the same batch? It couldbe an emulsion defect that onlt manifests itself with amphenol based devs like Rodinal? I am no chemist but something strange appears to be reacting.
     
  20. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Andrew: Standard 2-reel stainless steel w/ Hewes reels.

    Guess I'm going to have to shoot an Acros test roll, clip in half and develop one in Rodinal and the other in D-76.
     
  21. P C Headland

    P C Headland Subscriber

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    16C is somewhat lower than I use with Rodinal - I try and stick to 20C (68F). I wonder if the low temperature is causing some weirdness?

    My Rodinal combo for Acros is 1+100 for 18 minutes. Five inversions (in 15s) at the start of each minute for the first three minutes, then one inversion every three minutes thereafter. I always get excellent results with this combination.

    Also, are you 100% sure this is not dust in your scanner? Have you checked with a scan of a different film immediately after?