BW reversal woes, dark spots

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Anon Ymous, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    Hello all...

    Some of you might remember another thread of mine, where I had problems with the reversal solution. That's sorted, but the dark spot problem persists, so I think a different, aptly named thread would be a good idea. So, let me show you a sample of my latest (3rd) attempt:

    [​IMG]

    As you may have noticed, there are 4 dark spots at the sky above the clouds and about 4 more on the water above the boat. I just can't figure out how they form and they're getting hugely annoying, since I generally haven't noticed anything similar when doing normal bw processing.

    My process is as follows and all steps are at 20°C:
    1) 1-2' presoak.
    2) 9' development in D19 + 3g/l potassium thiocyanate, agitating 10'' every 30''. Yes, I hit the tank on a firm surface to dislodge any bubbles.
    3) 4 water changes with generous, vigorous agitation.
    4) Bleach for 7:30. 1g/l permanganate + 50g/l sodium bisulfate. Continuous agitation.
    5) Rinse as in step 3.
    6) Clearing bath (25g/l sodium metabisulfite) for 3'. Continuous agitation.
    7) Rinse as in step 3.
    8) Reexposure for 90'' from both sides, 20 to 30cm away from a 75W tungsten lamp.
    9) 10' development in D19, agitating 5' every 30''.
    10) Rinse as in step 3.
    11) Fix in F24 for 10'.
    12) Wash.

    If any of you has any clue, I'm all ears. :pouty:
     

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  2. Pat Erson

    Pat Erson Member

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    Air bubbles? (As you most certainly know) darker areas mean lack of dev action in these specific spots... I had similar-looking negs even though I bumped my tank : the culprit was the water that was too hard and it made the dev foam in the tank. Ugh...
    Have you tried processing your films in distilled water?
     
  3. OP
    Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    Distilled water? Not really, I haven't. I've been mixing my bw processing solutions from raw chemicals for a while. The first step when I'm mixing any solution is to typically add 2g/l sodium hexametaphosphate. While doing so, I haven't noticed any calcium sulfite, or calcium carbonate precipitate, so my regime must be working ok. I haven't experienced any excessive foaming, and I also haven't noticed such spots when developing negatives; the problem manifests itself only when making bw slides. Oh and this time I only opened the tank after bleaching and after the clearing bath rinse. This should rule out any uneven 2nd developer activity.
     
  4. vdonovan

    vdonovan Member

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    I really like that photo!

    I don't know for sure, but I wonder if it's uneven re-exposure? Maybe water droplets or something on the film. 90 seconds should be plenty of time, but maybe try longer to make sure it's completely exposed?

    I also second the suggestion for mixing your developer using distilled water. Don't know if it will help, but couldn't hurt.
     
  5. OP
    Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    Thanks Vince!

    90'' from each side for a total of 3', while constantly rotating the reel. I think it's massive overexposure and few droplets here and there wouldn't make a difference. Anyway, I can try mixing a batch of D19 with distilled water, it can't hurt...
     
  6. LAG

    LAG Subscriber

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    Excuse me

    I think I told you in that previous thread what I think the problem is, and I think almost the same here but the Clearing Bath, so we now have that the problem is (Water, Washings steps or First Developer)

    BW reversal makes a big difference with Normal BW due to fact that there're much more stages to deal with, so if you have a problem (marks, or whatever) this will have to go through all the rest ...

    Being said that all if I were you (apart from mixing the chemicals with the best water you can) I'd reconsider:

    . Using another FD for a start
    . Do not pre-soak
    . Rinse: you do not have to do them vigorous, at least with the first or the second changes, It's much better to treat that step gently (specially when being closer to the chemicals), doing more soft changes is better than doing less and vigorous.

    Best of luck!

    P.S. If you have the chance, try to take a empty photo (wall or paper) to discard some other problems ...
     
  7. OP
    Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    Well, why not say what the "other problems" are? What else do you see? And while we are at it, what's wrong with D19/D67 as a reversal developer?
     
  8. LAG

    LAG Subscriber

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    Excuse me Anon Ymous

    I do not see anything else but a scanned image (not even a negative), I was (only) suggesting you to "take" and analyze an empty photo/negative some other time ("if you have the opportunity" see above) in order to get to a better diagnosis for yourself ???

    I didn't say that those D's developers were wrong as a reversal either (...), that is your conclusion (or I explain myself very bad), again I was suggesting you ("if I were you" - see above) to change that step in order to be able to reduce causes ... because like I told you about the relation dev/marks as a possibility (in the other thread) and as someone mentioned above, the dev. action can be one possible cause for those marks ... as well as the water-quality itself or the combination water/rinses & water/chemical mixing, blah, blah, blah

    And while we are at it, let me add that I have never had a problem with pre-soak when doing Reversal, so my "suggestion" for you not to do it, again has to do with reducing your possibilities ... Thirdly, I do not know if I have to give you an explanation for my "rinses" suggestion, please let me know!

    What about now?

    Anyway, all in all I was trying to help, (you do not have to say thank you, of course)

    Best!
     
  9. OP
    Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    LAG, sometimes communication via text can be less than ideal, especially if someone can't express himself as clearly as desired. I honestly thought you saw something I hadn't seen etc. I also hope I didn't seem rude, because that certainly wasn't my intention. Anyway, it is now clear what you meant and thanks for the response.
     
  10. M Carter

    M Carter Member

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    Distilled water is a very good idea, since getting consistent results requires a consistent process - and god only knows what's in municipal water! I live in a major metro area, and we have to scrub the rust stains from our shower regularly. I have no idea if the makeup of municipal (or even well) water changes over time, too. Chlorine, flouride, and whatever gets through the purification plant (I understand many cities have water with trace amounts of antidepressants for instance - from people's urine). Then look at Flint Michigan's poison water, or the solvent-water in fracking areas... I think it's a crap shoot, esp. considering how poorly some infrastructure is maintained.

    We have a big cartridge water filter with a drinking faucet in our kitchen - I use that water to mix fixer and some other chems, it definitely prolongs ammonium fixer life vs. unfiltered (the "old socks in ammonia" smell takes much longer to appear). And distilled water for film developers and final rinse.
     
  11. LAG

    LAG Subscriber

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    I agree with you. Sorry about the confusion. No problem. I hope that you can solve those marks problems soon.

    By the way, I can also appreciate two marks on the right side (in the clouds over the mountains) ... and black dots on the lower left.

    Best regards!
     
  12. Platelayer

    Platelayer Member

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    Hi Anon Ymous,

    The same problem affected a few frames on my last reverse processed roll. It's most noticeable in highlight areas with little detail. I just assumed they were drying marks at first, as the water here is very hard. The problem only affected the last roll, not the other two that were processed in the same working solution, so there's possibly some contamination in the developer in my case.

    Going through some recent negative films, I haven't seen the problem in them, but would expect to have seen dark spots show up in lighter areas of the image, if it turns out that those spots are under-developed.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
  13. OP
    Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    Hello Platelayer

    Going through all of my home processed negative films, I haven't seen this problem in any of them, and that's what makes it even more irksome! :mad: It's not that I've always been trouble free, or been doing things right, but the reason(s) for any problems were quite obvious. And it doesn't matter what home brew developer I've used; Perceptol, D76, ID68, Pyrocat HD, all have worked at least reasonably well, without producing anything like that. Finally, I don't know if the film could be the reason. It is expired (~5 years) 400TX, but has kept very well and has caused me no problems when used as a negative. I'll make another batch of developer with deionised water, but I'll shoot some other film too to rule this out.
     
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  15. georgegrosu

    georgegrosu Member

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    Anon Ymous, defects that you report refers to areas of film where the developer not act uniformly.
    Generally, defects seen better across the neutral funds than a normal image.
    Depending on the density of neutral funds these defects are more visible or less visible.
    Shooting a portion of a lighter gray scale would help more.
    I encountered such defects at films that had condensation.
    Film removed from the refrigerator at big temperatures.
    On undeveloped film, spots appear glossy (emulsion) by an similar defects as you presented.
    Another met me was the processing machine ArriBloc 400 was damaged a ventilator in the developer zone and I even negative fall condensate that go into developer.
    http://www.filmsoundsweden.se/backspegel/fritz-weist/pages/fw-0023.htm
    Negative condensate generate a more open spot in the area.
    Machine processing walked about 100 m / h.
    Stains appeared at about 1-2 meters away from each other.
    In connection with the theory of bubbles of air.
    If the way you work (agitation developer) is no different from how you did with other films you've developed so far no problems, I would eliminate this hypothesis.
    Another option is to develop the film (?) In the process negative b&w.
    If the defects are in the film, when they occur regardless of the process used (negative or reversible).
    The negative b&w process is faster than a reversible b&w process.

    George
     
  16. OP
    Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    Hello George

    Nope, it has never been refrigerated, always stored at room temperature.

    It's no different from the way I agitate and hit the tank when developing negatives. That said, today I "agitated" two identical bottles of developer with about the same amount of developer in them. One had D76d and the other D19, both homebrewed. D19 seemed to produce a fair bit more bubbles, that took a bit more time to surface and disappear. I honestly don't know if the carbonate makes content makes that much of a difference, or if my carbonate "foams". :pouty: That is the only different ingredient used in large enough quantity between these two developers.

    This film has always been trouble free when developed as a negative, regardless of developer used (Xtol and D76 by Kodak, homebrewed D76, Perceptol, ID68 and Pyrocat HD). This makes it even more annoying. :mad:
     
  17. georgegrosu

    georgegrosu Member

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    Can you vouch for the other places he went through the film was not removed from the refrigerator at heat?

    Using a presoak before developer is almost exclusively the problems with air bubbles.
    Yes, the developer with sodium carbonate foaming more to the surface.
    The problem of air bubbles is critical to the dry film when entering into developer.
    Take a transparent vessel, enter some film on spiral (emulsion outside) and then immerse the film in the developer vessel.
    Track what happens on film when shaken gently or vigorously.
    Bubbles that appear at the surface of the developer does not affect the film.
    Just Track the bubbles adhering to the film (emulsion).

    Anon Ymous, malfunctions can occur anywhere on the film.
    The fact that the film developed in negative process, there were no problems not guarantee 100% that the film can not have problems.
    This damage (darker zone) at what distance appear on film?

    Problem of defects appearing on film is complicated by the fact that it can be seen only after processing the film.
    That's why appears probably a tendency to suspect first processing.

    George
     
  18. LAG

    LAG Subscriber

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    Wrong x2, air bubbles also occur with fixer.

    In any case, in addition to those bubbles (which also exist), the dark spots are due to water containing salts (washing steps and/or water used for mixing chemicals) and also the developer itself can cause those stains, if for any reason there are particles (by inappropriate developer mixing ...) of undissolved chemical onto the base/emulsion (in a Normal negative B&W process those stains can be fixed with fixing - with no other steps in the middle)

    It's not the speed of the process that counts, but the number of stages (as I've already said before) dealing with a problem

    Well, some of them can be detected by inspection (especially when doing a reversal process), in any case/process all of them can be detected and deleted

    Best!
     
  19. georgegrosu

    georgegrosu Member

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    I apologize for my English not amount to an academic level.
    I see that for mr. LAG everything I wrote is wrong?
    Anyone can make mistakes.
    And what is the practical conclusion of with darker spots on the film?
    Inspection of film to inactinic light?
    It is hardly see a damage to daylight.
    Can you do some link for statements and recommendations made from you?

    George
     
  20. LAG

    LAG Subscriber

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    My English is as bad as yours since I said that only two comments (quoted) were wrong and "not everything", and of course it was only my opinion - another opinion -, if you want to discuss both I'm fine with it! If you have felt offended I apologize for that.

    Best!

    I've already answered that, and again it was my opnion based on the OP d-g-t-l sample, and always with my intention of helping him, not to be conclusive, without offending anyone.

    Don't you know when/how is the right time/way - by observation - to take a look at a negative/positive depending on the process used? Anyway, what I was trying to say - with my bad English - is that there are ways to react "during" and after the process when we encounter different problems, such as the ones presented here (bubbles & spots/stains). No offense once again, but You need a link for that?

    Best!
     
  21. georgegrosu

    georgegrosu Member

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    Thank you for answer.
    In my opinion, these defects can no longer reconditioned on the film.
    Each trying to share with others the experience and the problems we met taking photos.
    Everyone's experience is different, the language used is different, understanding of things each differs.
    What is important is that the problems we met us to help others to avoid.

    George
     
  22. OP
    Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    I shot some Rollei Retro 80S and used the same batch of developer (D19). This time there's not a single spot on the processed film!
     
  23. OP
    Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    And by the way, this film (Rollei Retro 80S) seems less hardened than 400TX and using a hardening fixer might actually be a wise choice, when using a permanganate bleach. It's not that the emulsion slides off the base, but it becomes delicate and I got some scratches from the pointy end of the film when unloading it from the reel, to be immersed in the photo-flo solution. Using a squeegee would certainly ruin it. For the record, I used a 1g/l potassium permanganate plus 50g/l sodium bisulfate bleach. Bleaching time was 5' at 20°C.
     
  24. Platelayer

    Platelayer Member

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    It does look like a problem with the reversal process. Could it have something to do with an uneven second exposure? I'm wondering if the dark spots are where water droplets stuck to the film through the second exposure stage, resulting in a slightly different amount of exposure. I would expect less light to reach the film through the water droplets than the surrounding film - could the surrounding film have started to print out, leaving the area under the spot with just the right exposure to develop properly? I'm not convinced by that theory myself, as the development across the image apart from the spots looks even. I don't use fixer in my process, in theory all the silver should have been developed, so the fixer shouldn't have any effect.

    Whether or not to use a hardening fixer still depends on the type of film. The emulsion is extremely delicate when wet, but may improve enough when dry that a hardening fixer in unnecessary.
     
  25. OP
    Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    Highly unlikely, because the film is exposed for 90' from each side of the reel. 3' of total exposure should be more than enough. I also rotate the reel slowly so that no part of the film is shadowed constantly.

    It's the "in theory" part that worries me, so I spend few minutes more and fix my film. If anything, it can only be good and can't harm.

    Definitely depends on the type of film and IMHO only matters when the film is wet. Once dry, normal, careful handling shouldn't cause any problem.
     
  26. georgegrosu

    georgegrosu Member

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    Platelayer presented three possible theories.
    1. The water droplets present at the second exposure may make dark spots on the film.
    2. All the silver in the film is consumed in the first and second development.
    3. Emulsion tanning depends on the type of film.
    1. With regard to water drops at the second exposure that generates dark spots on the film.
    In principle it is possible, but the forms of the spots presented by Anon Ymous seem longer.
    2. In principle all the silver is consumed in the first and second development.
    In order not to have problems with the film's stability over time, I still use fixaj.
    3. Emulsion tanning depends on the type of film - it's true.
    All films can be scratched.
    I think the scratch hazard for the emulsion is higher when it is dry.
    The emulsion when it is wet tends to flatten the scratches.
    If you wipe the wet emulsion with a suede wet, the scratches will flatten.
    It's like when you're smooth a shirt.
    It goes better if you damp it before.

    George