Arista APHS Ortho litho film question

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Willie Jan, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. Willie Jan

    Willie Jan Member

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    Hi, I use

    Arista APHS Premium Halftone Supreme Ortho Litho Film

    Today i wanted to copy some negs and I found out that it had strange clouds. i did several tests with several different packages 4x5,8x10 and 10x12 with the same result.
    I tried to develop without light, same problem.
    I exposed it for 1 second at F8 (no neg in the carrier) to get a gray result, but also the same result.

    I develop with diluted paper developer.
    The film is about 2.5 years old. Always kept in fridge.

    Is there a limit in time for these films?
    Should I use rodinal in stead of paper developer?

    In the past I did not have this kind of problem. That's why i think it has to do with aging of the film...
     
  2. David William White

    David William White Member

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    Can you see the 'strange clouds' during development? If so, then some ambient source of light got to it after you pulled it out of the box. I've had this when the room lights got turned on while the APHS was in the developer tray.

    If you can't see the clouds in the develop tray or in the stop tray but only after the fixer tray, then maybe fixing should be extended or replenished.

    It's hard to imagine ortho film going bad or the whole box getting ruined. Probably one sheet at a time with stray light somewhere.
     
  3. PVia

    PVia Member

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    I know what you mean...I usually have to resort to .5 - .6 sec exposures. Then I don't get that cloudy look you're describing.
     
  4. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    First off, graphic arts film keeps extremely well, so age itself should not be an issue, though storage conditions could be. I have used boxes of this film stored in a dark cabinet in So. CA, U.S.A. (a fairly warm climate) since the '50s and '60s and it works as well as new (and even looks better than APHS, IMO: better blacks and fewer pinholes).

    I would get the clouds when trying to "dial in" a dilution/mixture to lower contrast. The clouds would appear when the developer solution was too diluted. Is this your first time trying the film? If so, I might try a solution with a bit more of your developer stock in it, at least on a few sheets, just to see what happens.

    If you don't want to mix David Soemarko's LC-1 formula (not to be confused with the Ilford LC-1 formula if you look up the recipe), I would consider trying a syrupy concentrate developer like Ilford HC or Kodak HC-110. I used to use this in dilutions from 1:63 to 1:127 before I found out about D.S.'s LC-1.

    Additionally, based on my own problems with G.A. film in the past, I would make sure that you are not printing onto a bare white or yellow easel. Put a piece of black construction paper or something similar onto your easel first. Printing onto a bare white or yellow easel will increase base+fog density, which will be visible by eye in the thinnest areas. This can actually be helpful to lower the contrast of the film, but it would be better to flash in a controlled manner to do this. However, with such a short exposure, you *might* get the cloudies from this, instead of an overall fog. When going for continuous tone, I usually have exposure times that are fairly similar to the times for regular prints.

    Also: what is the temperature of the developer when you use it?
     
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  5. tim_bessell

    tim_bessell Member

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    Are these 'strange clouds' from uneven development?
     
  6. Willie Jan

    Willie Jan Member

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    -The temp of the developer is around 19-20 C.
    -I agiate continiously, uneven development is not possible this way
    -I always use a black underground.
    -the film is developed for 60 seconds, after that a stop and a fix.

    I have been using this film for 2-3 year, and now this stock has the problem.
    Could there be a problem with customs scanning the packages which eventually results in a visible effect???

    I first create a positive from a 6x6 negative. This positive is a 4x5, next i put the 4x5 in the 4x5 durst and enlarge it back to a neg. at the disered format. Already the first 4x5 has this strange strokes/clouds.

    (Could 60 seconds be to short???) I can't remember having this problem before...
     
  7. tim_bessell

    tim_bessell Member

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    I think it could be... depending on the developer, dilution, and amount of chemistry, which you didn't mention.
     
  8. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    I agree with 2f/2e - I have never had a piece of this film go bad.
    I also agree concerning the developer. Instead of diluting paper developer, use dilute film developer which is far less active than paper developer by design. Sometimes longer development will do away with the clouds.
    Check for stray or reflected light when the enlarger is on.
     
  9. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Um, you say 'clouds' - are these white clouds? If so, the problem could be bad fixer.
     
  10. Willie Jan

    Willie Jan Member

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    No it's not white.
    they look like almost invisible clouds in the darker parts of the negative (but surely visible on a print...)

    I am going to test with the dilution of the developer and the time.
    I will use rodinal 1+100 in stead of amaloco 6006 paper developer (1+15)
     
  11. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    So is it:

    • Ill-defined areas of less development in the dark portions of the negative
      or
    • Ill-defined areas of more development

    I have had problems with this film and uneven development even with constant tray rocking, the solution was to once a minute lift the film from the tray by a corner, let the developer drain from the film, and then put the film back in the tray.
     
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  12. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    That's what happened to me as well, but they had a more severe, overall distribution of 'weird clouds'. The solution was to keep the same dilution, but start with more stock solution and increase the total volume of developer. I use sheet film and agitate by lifting the film from each corner, so the developer drains across the film in four directions...don't know if that kind of agitation is necessary, but my skies are now smooooth.

    Murray
     
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  13. Willie Jan

    Willie Jan Member

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    I got some agfa graphic film (15 years old..) and tested it also. This had no problem...
    So the develop should be ok. (i tried rodinal 1+100 and 1+50, same result.

    What i also saw is that the 4x5 sheet is darker around the edge of the film. Just like paper that has been in a hot area to long and after development you see the darker area from the outside going to normal towards the innerside. (looks like a centre filter is used).
     
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  15. Willie Jan

    Willie Jan Member

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    i attached an example of a scan of a arista aphs 4x5 film.
    contrast is adjusted so it is better visible.
     

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  16. tim_bessell

    tim_bessell Member

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    This is the answer to your problem, sort of. I did this by lifting corners and pulling the film out of the tray with my fingers; 30 seconds out, then 30 seconds in for the full time of development. This solved the edge problem, but made noticeable marks from the heat of my fingers. What I did next was to use a sheet of fiber glass screen to set the film on while in the developer and lifted the film out by the corners of the screen. The film will stick to the screen as you lift it. It worked very well, try it.

    Of course this was under safe light conditions in open trays.

    I should add that rocking in a tray with this film does not work well if you are going for continuous tone.
     
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  17. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I would say that your development is incomplete. I suspected it before, but the picture backs this up. One minute is a short development time for film. The development of a sheet of film starts at the edges, and works its way to the middle.
     
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  18. tim_bessell

    tim_bessell Member

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    Not to be argumentative, but...
    How could that be true if development is time and temperature dependent, among other things?

    While I agree that development is incomplete, the problem is that the edges have received more development than the middle. The same problem can occur by using a tray to small for a sheet of film such that the turbulence at the sides of the tray cause uneven development.

    Again, not wanting to start an argument, but please explain.
     
  19. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    I'd say that the problem is agitation. There is turbulent flow around the edges of the film but the center is stagnant, what one would expect with tray rocking.

    One doesn't see it so badly on prints because they are developed to completion and the paper isn't as flat as film so there is more turbulence when the tray is rocked.

    Continuous tone development of lithographic film is very sensitive to agitation because it is drastically underdeveloped and overexposed to tame the contrast - needless to say the film has great potential for further development.

    The standard agitation for sheet film is to develop several sheets at one time, pulling the bottom sheet from a stack, draining it, turning it 90 degrees and putting it on top of the stack.

    When doing only one sheet the same agitation pattern should be followed.

    It may be something else, but I would try the lift and drain technique and see if the problem goes away.
     
  20. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    That phenomenon is the definition of bad agitation.

    And of course the development is incomplete - drastically incomplete development is the whole point of the exercise. If it were complete it would be a black-or-white no mid-tones lithographic image.

    Even normal film is never developed to completion, that's why you can overdevelop it. Stand development, where development stops on its own accord, is controlled by developer exhaustion stopping the developing action. Try 1-hour stand development with full strength D-76.
     
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  21. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Regardless of time and temperature, the film has not been developed long enough. Perhaps "incomplete" development is a bad word to use, since, as Nicholas sez, all continuous tone results are "incomplete". What I meant was incomplete in terms of what was expected from the film in this scenario, not incomplete in terms of what density the film is capable of achieving. (If one wants to play that game, no piece of film has been completely developed until every bit of exposed silver on the whole sheet is maximum black.) Let me say "too short" a development time instead. A sheet of film in a tray starts developing like this with constant agitation this way and that way. You can see it on litho film in developer and the fixer. If you extend development time so that the period of time that it is uneven at the edges becomes a smaller percentage of the total developing time, and/or slow your agitation routine, and/or just let the film stand, and/or entirely lift and drain the sheet, it is not noticeable on the film. When I said development was not complete, what I meant was that the middle of the film had not yet developed, though the edges had. It is a given that the edges have received more development than the middle...that was the clue that led to the idea of developing time being too short.

    For what it is worth, my developing times for continuous tone on this film are in the three to five minute range (with HC or LC-1), and I use a long pre soak. For halftone results, one minute in AB developer finishes the film pretty well, though I usually do two anyhow.

    Another issue is that film exhausts your chemicals very quickly compared to paper. I always used my HC one shot (or two shot), and have to replace my fixer very frequently according to the hypo check drops. I'm supposed to get about 25 8x10s-worth of film from my Liter of fixer, which should be 50 5x7s plus test strips. I get about a quarter of that before the fixer loads up with silver using litho film, however. I imagine that it similarly kills developers quite quickly.

    Also for what it is worth, I develop all my in-camera sheet film in trays the same way I develop litho film, and the edges are not more dense than the middles, except with very short development times. (Attempting to test for N-2 with D-76 stock solution is one specific example that I remember, ad even then, it was only really noticeable with a densitometer.)
     
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  22. tim_bessell

    tim_bessell Member

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    Sorry, I'll try again.

    You said,

    ... and I ask "How could this be true..."

    We want development to be even across the whole sheet, yes? Then we don't want it to proceed as you described.
     
  23. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    What I said is: This is how a sheet of film develops in a tray. It all evens out if you develop longer.

    It happens. That is what I said. It happens, without my judgment or yours on the fact one way or the other. Not only does it happen, but it all works out fine in the end. In life, what we want or don't want are often far from what will really matter in the end, and even farther from that which simply happens. Can I not describe an occurrence without mentioning whether it is good or bad in an ideal sense? Ideals have little real world application, in photography or anywhere else.

    Also, looking back over thread thread, you said the same thing: The film develops unevenly in a tray. The difference is that you say this makes the film not do well for continuous tone results in a tray (and mentioned some of your own agitation solutions), while I said you just need to develop longer to make it unnoticeable. How are we at odds?
     
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  24. tim_bessell

    tim_bessell Member

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    2F/2F,

    We are not at odds. I also appreciate your explanation, which I was careful to politely ask for. I have much to learn about this art, in fact, I hope I never stop learning.

    thanX
     
  25. Willie Jan

    Willie Jan Member

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    This image was developed at 20 C for 2 minutes.
    I also developed one for 5 minutes, same result.
     
  26. Willie Jan

    Willie Jan Member

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    I can't suspect it has to do with my development.

    1) i never had this experience in the past
    2) a sheet of agfa graphic film probably 15 years old was perfect developed!

    The edge of the film is turned black prior to the middle because in some way it is darker than the middle eventually....
    This has nothing to do with tray rocking. I never had this problem with which kind of paper (baryta/rc/...).

    Lifting the film out of the tray at one corner can create a line where the developer runs of the film like a river.
    I also had this with lith development.