blank negatives after souping! help me narrow down the possibilities

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by kmallick, May 15, 2012.

  1. kmallick

    kmallick Subscriber

    Messages:
    140
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Location:
    Denver, Colo
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I have googled and read several posts on this, but I am still having a hard time coming to grips with this loss. I need some advice and suggestions on how to track down what could have gone wrong.

    I shot a roll of 120, Agfa APX 100 (fairly old, like 10 years) in my Mamiya 645 Pro TL. Souped it in Rodinal 1:50 for 13 minutes. The negatives came out bleach blank, absolutely no trace of black. except of course the edge markings which are clearly visible.

    I was extra careful as always in checking the order of developer, stop and fix going into the can, therefore the fix before developer is ruled out. When I poured out the can after developer, the liquid was dark purple!

    I checked the camera and shutter and nothing seems to be wrong that can cause major light leaks. The film was loaded correctly and I checked it when I took the exposed roll out of the film back. I loaded the film into reels inside a bag with lot of care as always.

    Could it be a fogged film? It took it out of a wrapper when I loaded it. I am tempted to go try out the same film, camera and souping combo once again and see what happens. But I thought I would post this question to seek some help to narrow down some scenarios that could have caused this.

    Good thing that there was nothing valuable in the shots. However, I must admit that it is really heartbreaking to pull out blank negatives after all the effort in shooting and then going through all the inversions and swirling with high expectations at the end. :cry:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2012
  2. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

    Messages:
    4,252
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    Location:
    Central Flor
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you see edge markings, film and developers, and the sequence of processing are fine. If they were wrong, edge marking itself won't be there.

    If there was absolutely no image of any kind, then film wasn't exposed. Did you remove the dark slide? Pro and super backs are interlocked and won't let you trip the shutter with the dark slide in - except when the darkslide is pulled part way, or when this interlock is broken. It's just a small electrical switch in the back itself and the cam that control this. I had an occasion where this switch became lose and will let me release shutter with the dark slide in.
     
  3. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

    Messages:
    1,480
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Location:
    Penfield, NY
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Since you say "The negatives came out bleach blank, absolutely no trace of black. except of course the edge markings which are clearly visible." it appears the developer worked (edge markings). It can't be a light leak or fogged film because you said it was clear (if I interpret what you said correctly). It sounds like a shutter problem (or failure to remove a dark slide).
     
  4. darkprints

    darkprints Member

    Messages:
    43
    Joined:
    May 5, 2006
    Location:
    Monterey Bay
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Remove lens cap before taking picture.
     
  5. kmallick

    kmallick Subscriber

    Messages:
    140
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Location:
    Denver, Colo
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Thanks for the suggestions. All are in line of what I was thinking.
    Everything points to the film not exposed at all. But thats what I am thoroughly confused about.
    The dark slide was out of the film holder. I remember taking it off before shooting. I was using the main shutter button the front of the 645 Pro TL (and not the auto winder). I also remember putting the dark slide back after the shoot was complete and before I took the film holder off of the camera back.
     
  6. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

    Messages:
    4,252
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    Location:
    Central Flor
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    Or.... make sure the sun is shining that day.... (seriously though, Pro TL is an SLR. It would be obvious if the lens cap was on)
     
  7. kmallick

    kmallick Subscriber

    Messages:
    140
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Location:
    Denver, Colo
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    :blink: Its a SLR and I saw the image when shooting (albeit some were with mirror locked up). It was off, I promise!
     
  8. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

    Messages:
    4,252
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    Location:
    Central Flor
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    What lens? Are you using lens with leaf shutter?
     
  9. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,986
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    sounds like not enough exposure.
    old film looses speed ..
    if you exposed at asa 100
    and processed as normal,
    you might have under exposed
    by a handful of stops, even though
    your edge markings looked OK

    good luck !
    john
     
  10. kmallick

    kmallick Subscriber

    Messages:
    140
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Location:
    Denver, Colo
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I was using the Mamiya 120mm macro. Its not a leaf shutter lens. I have used it before and it performs flawlessly.
     
  11. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

    Messages:
    616
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Rogers, AR
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I know that one time on my RB67 I had mirror lock-up on but I had no second cable release or double release. So, the shutter never fired even though the mirror went up an the darkslide was out. I finally caught it when I couldn't hear the shutter closing during long exposures. Could it be something like that?
     
  12. kmallick

    kmallick Subscriber

    Messages:
    140
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Location:
    Denver, Colo
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    thanks, this is definitely possible. what do you suggest I do for another roll I have of the exact same film. toss it or expose it as ASA 50 (and risk it again?). :cool:
     
  13. kmallick

    kmallick Subscriber

    Messages:
    140
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Location:
    Denver, Colo
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I had mixed shots on the roll. Some shots were with mirror locked up and some without (with long exposures). some were shot in broad sunlight with shutter speeds around 1/125 and 1/250 as well.

    when I had the mirror locked up, I could hear the shutter opening and closing during the long exposures for a few macro shots.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,986
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    i'd say shoot it at asa 20-25, and process it for 2x - 2.5 the time you originally processed it for.
    but before you put the film in the camera, look through it, back open and fire the shutter
    ( to make sure it is actually working ).

    i only shoot expired film, sometimes 20+ years old and unless you regularly shoot
    the expired film you are shooting, sometimes it is unexpected what might happen
    ( as you have already noticed ) ... i keep things simple, only use 1 developer,
    nothing rodinal, or boutique .. i process everything in coffee for about 30mins ...
    and never have a problem.

    good luck !
    john
     
  16. kmallick

    kmallick Subscriber

    Messages:
    140
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Location:
    Denver, Colo
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    very good advice from you and everybody else as well. Much appreciate everyone's input.
    I have already checked the workings of the camera with the back open, made sure that the shutter is opening and closing properly.

    yes old films can cause some unexpected surprises. After this incident, I am now intrigued and challenged to some extent to make some image come out of this 10 year old APX 100 (if thats the one to blame).:tongue:
     
  17. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,817
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Are you sure that the film you developed was the film that actually went through the camera?

    It is possible to switch an unexposed film for an exposed film (don't ask me how I know:whistling:)
     
  18. kmallick

    kmallick Subscriber

    Messages:
    140
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Location:
    Denver, Colo
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    good thinking. but I am 100% positive that the film I developed is the one I took off from the camera. It went straight to the film changing bag along with the patterson can.
     
  19. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,711
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Did you load the film correctly?
     
  20. kmallick

    kmallick Subscriber

    Messages:
    140
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Location:
    Denver, Colo
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Yes, I think I do typically. :whistling:

    I was wondering about this as well and doubting myself on the film loading error part. All I remember now is seeing the starting arrow to line up before closing the film back and that the exposed roll was wound properly when it came out.
     
  21. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,206
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Batteries?
     
  22. kmallick

    kmallick Subscriber

    Messages:
    140
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Location:
    Denver, Colo
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    its fresh. the 645 doesn't function if battery is dead.
     
  23. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,206
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well, let's see. Battery fresh, lens cap is not on. Film did not get exposed. Old film.

    You should have gotten something on that film. I've used old and expired APX 100 and ten years out of date it was still close to full speed.

    Either you test more of the same film in a different camera, or you test a different film in the same camera.
     
  24. kmallick

    kmallick Subscriber

    Messages:
    140
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Location:
    Denver, Colo
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Excellent! I will do that. I am already running a 400 speed fresh film through the same camera, a tried and tested film that I am very used to developing. I will run the suspect APX100 through another camera. Hope to nail something! :D
     
  25. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,202
    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Location:
    Daventry, No
    Shooter:
    35mm
    All of what you say is possible with the film incorrectly loaded. It is surprising easy to load it so the backing paper covers the film. When you load it the black part of the backing paper needs to be against the pressure plate so the film part is in front and thus exposed to the shutter opening.

    If the coloured( white in the case of Ilford) front of the backing paper iwas showing then the film part is underneath and cannot be exposed.

    You may not have done this but as we appear able to rule out everything else based on your replies then I have to suggest what may appear to be the impossible.

    I have had a P645N for many months now and still have to think hard about loading " the right way round"

    In a rush or being distracted or not concentrating on the loading and I can easily imagine getting it wrong

    pentaxuser
     
  26. kmallick

    kmallick Subscriber

    Messages:
    140
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Location:
    Denver, Colo
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    could very well be. i feel very dumb if that was indeed the case.

    thanks to everyone for the suggestions. i now know the most likely scenarios. but wish i could go back and check/fix them. live and learn.