Bedeviled by TMax

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by joeyk49, May 26, 2005.

  1. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

    Messages:
    1,325
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've been printing PanF (35mm) for a few months now, with limited success.

    (I'm a newbie, so I'll take what I get. Just producing discernable images is half the battle for me.)

    But I recently attempted to print a frame from a roll of TMax and found that I wasn't developing anything on my test strips. My usual timing for test strip exposure is about 7 seconds per, until I get close to what I'm looking for. With my lens stopped to f11 or 16, I usually see print times in the 18-35 second range.

    So, I kept increasing times to a max of about 65 seconds! I finally got an image to develop...

    What gives?

    If I remember correctly, the Tmax is ISO400 and the PanF is 50. Is it differences in films, emulsions, layers, densities...or, (what I really think it is) am I messing something up???
     
  2. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,896
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Location:
    Saint Paul
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It has to be that your negatives are really dark. That or something is wrong with your enlarger just when you started on the TMax.

    Just to check, are you using the same paper, fresh developer, and printing the negative to the same amount of magnification as with the PanF?

    Also, take a look at both negs on a light table or at least hold them up to a light. If there is this much difference between the printing times, there would have to be a very large difference in apparent density of the negs. If not, than it is probably evil spirits or something. You may also want to try printing the PanF negs right after having the problem with the Tmax, just to make sure that you are not having a problem with the enlarger that just started happening.

    Assuming that the TMax is indeed much darker than the PanF (It pretty much has to be or we are all going really crazy here:smile:) then you need to look at your developing procedures for the TMax and make sure your times, temperatures, dilution and agitation are all correct.

    Good luck,

    Paul.
     
  3. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,562
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Wes
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Dear joeyk49,

    In addition to the above, I can only think of one more possiblility and that is are your negatives really pink? If so, re-fix and re-wash to remove the remaining anti-halation layer (this prevents "halos" due to reflection off the back of the film and camera). I really don't know if this is possible, but if they are pink (magenta) enough they might be moving the paper to a high contrast where it is not as fast.

    Keep in mind that the above is really speculative. Much more likely that an enlarger setting, old paper developer or some other such thing is the problem.

    Neal Wydra
     
  4. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

    Messages:
    3,219
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2002
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    The magenta has nothing to do with the anti-halation layer, which is blue. It comes out in the pre-development soak.
     
  5. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,562
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Wes
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Dear c6ho3,

    On my TMX, it's pink, not blue. Maybe you have film from a different factory? I also find that you can actually watch it fade during the second half of fixing (something to do while tray processing<g>).

    Maybe I should have said extremely speculative.

    Neal Wydra
     
  6. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

    Messages:
    1,325
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I believe that it does have a magenta hue to it...

    So, I dumpt it back into the tank and refix for a few minutes and rewash?

    Thanks.

    Joe
     
  7. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

    Messages:
    1,325
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I was mistaken on the first post. The film is 400 TMY not TMX...does it make a difference?
     
  8. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,562
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Wes
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Dear Joe,

    TMY also has a magenta anti-halation layer. A slight magenta cast to the negatives is not a problem. It would have to look like a 60M filter before it could cause the problem I mentioned. This is extremely unlikely. If you are confident in your fixing and washing, I would leave it alone (unless, of course the negatives acutally look like a 60M filter<g>). I am 99.99% sure the problems you encountered are almost certainly caused by something else.

    All that said, in the future, a bit longer fix and a wash including hypo clearing agent will help eliminate the magenta cast.

    TMY is a great film. I think you will like it.

    Neal Wydra
     
  9. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

    Messages:
    1,325
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks, Neal...I'm going to give it a closer look in a bit.

    Should I be leavinf the film in fixer for longer than the three to four minutes or so that I usually do for PanF???
     
  10. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

    Messages:
    1,325
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Oh, for got to mention something which takes the paper out of the equation...on the same evening, I went back to printing some PanF negs, and the exposure times dropped right back to where I was used to...
     
  11. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

    Messages:
    1,168
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Location:
    Downers Grov
    You need the alkaline fix TF4 or Kodak Rapid Fix. These are stronger fixes as Tgrain films are harder to fix. Fix that will clear Pan F may not clear T Max no matter how long you soak the film.

    Film developed to the proper contrast for printing on #2 paper all print at almost the same time in my darkroom.

    You are either overexposing, overdeveloping or under fixing or all three.
     
  12. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

    Messages:
    3,219
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2002
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    The anti-halation layer is part of the film base. It comes out in the pre-development soak and it's blue.

    The magenta hue is due to the sensitization dye in the emulsion. Completely different component. Fix your TMY for 10-15 minutes in rapid fixer without hardener and it will come out.

    400TMax and TMY are one and the same film.
     
  13. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,562
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Wes
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Dear c6h6o3,

    Thank you for that information. When you say that TMX and TMY are the same film, are you saying they are identical?

    Neal Wydra
     
  14. eatfrog

    eatfrog Member

    Messages:
    30
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    Location:
    Lulea, Swede
    Shooter:
    35mm
    TMX is Tmax 100
    TMY is Tmax 400
     
  15. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

    Messages:
    3,879
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You should test a small piece of undeveloped film in your fixer to determine the clearing time required for the film you are using.

    I define clearing time as the time required in the fixer, with agitation, to make the film transparent. A good rule of thumb is to fix the film for twice the clearing time.

    It is not a good idea to overfix film - you can remove image silver (and thus degrade the image) if you fix too long - especially when fixing in a Rapid fixer.

    Some films achieve transparency in the fixer, but retain a post fixing color cast from residual sensitizing dye. This dye can be removed (after fixing the film) by soaking the film for about 5 minutes in a sodium sufite solution (25 grams per liter of water) or in Hypo Clearing Agent followed by 2 more minutes in the fixer.

    Some workers prefer using a mixture of sodium sulfite and sodium carbonate and water to remove residual dye.

    Different films require different clearing times. Kodak TMAX400 (TMY) requires a much longer clearing time (thus fixing time) than Ilford Pan F.

    T grain films typically fix best in non hardening fixers that contain (or are based on) Ammonium Thiosulfate. Such fixers may or may not be alkaline and include the Rapid Fixers marketed by Kodak, Iford, Agfa, et al.

    Alkaline (and pH neutral) fixers like Photographer's Formulary TF-4, Fine Arts Tabular Grain Fixer, Ole's OF-1 and Suzuki's buffered fixer either contain (or are based on) Ammonium Thiosulfate. In my experience these fixers also work well with Kodak TMAX 400 (TMY) and non tabular grain films as well.
     
  16. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

    Messages:
    1,325
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks very much guys...

    First chance I get the film goes back into fixer. I estimating about 8-9 minutes on top of my original 4 should about do it...?? I've been using Kodak Rapid fixer, but going by Ilfords recommended times...ooops!(I had them committed to memory..)

    The only issue now is getting the cut negatives into a tank...
     
  17. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

    Messages:
    1,325
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Then waht is TMax3200?.......TMZzz?
     
  18. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

    Messages:
    3,042
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Joey, No need to get cut negs back into the tank. Just fill a tray with the fixer and drop your negs in. I little gentle agitation for the required time, then wash and leave to dry. I use paper clips bent into "S" shapes to hang cut negs from a line to drip dry.
     
  19. gareth harper

    gareth harper Inactive

    Messages:
    386
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2003
    Location:
    Ayrshire Sco
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I fix my films in Ilford Rapid fix at the usual 1+4 dillution.
    For traditional films I fix for 3 minutes.
    For T or flat grain films like Tmax, I fix them for 6 minutes. If you just fix for 3 minutes you will end up with big pink streaks everywhere. You won't degrade image with Tmax or Delta after 6 minutes in Ilford rapid fix.

    I don't know what typical times are for the Kodak rapid fixer.

    You should find with Delta and Tmax films that prints times are a bit shorter than with traditional films due to their flat grain technology.
     
  20. eatfrog

    eatfrog Member

    Messages:
    30
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    Location:
    Lulea, Swede
    Shooter:
    35mm
    TMZ, yes. ;-)
     
  21. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

    Messages:
    1,325
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks all!

    Last question, I think....

    Being that I'll be re-fixing in trays, in the light...can I just "eyeball it"? Fix till I see the magenta disappear? Or should I time it more carefully? Say, 3-5 minutes?
     
  22. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,562
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Wes
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Dear Joe,

    You should not fix for more than about 5 minutes. Hypo clearing agent will help remove the stain. It is not necessary that the stain disappear completely.

    Neal Wydra
     
  23. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

    Messages:
    3,879
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The answer is a qualified yes - but it might take a long time for the magenta to disappear.

    The best way to get the magenta (and Hypo residuals) out is to soak the film for 3-5 minutes in a solution made up of 20 to 30 grams of sodium sulfite per liter of water (or in Kodak HCA, Permawash, etc.). Then wash the film. That should get rid of the magenta. You can refix and wash after wards if you like for added insurance.

    You can do all of this with the room lights on.
     
  24. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

    Messages:
    3,219
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2002
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    You won't degrade image with TMY after 20 minutes in Ilford rapid fix.

    In my opinion it is necessary. It acts as fog and I need very clean negatives.
     
  25. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

    Messages:
    1,325
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks guys...

    We'll see how this goes. I appreciate all the help.

    Joe