dark swirls on prints out of developer

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by thedeuk, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. thedeuk

    thedeuk Member

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    help. i'm getting dark swirls on my prints out of the developer. i notice them as soon as i can turn the light on to see them in the fix. i'm using dektol with clayton odorless fix, no stop bath. i wasn't getting them at first but now am. could i be that i didn't scrub the bottom of the developer tray the last couple times? even though they're being processed image up? if so should i scrub the bottom of the fix tray too? the swirls are long and look as stripy. they look like water lines.
     
  2. Valerie

    Valerie Subscriber

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    Are you agitating the tray sufficiently? I notice something similar to your description with my students' prints when they do not rock the tray enough.
     
  3. thedeuk

    thedeuk Member

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    constant agitation and it's happening.
     
  4. trexx

    trexx Member

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    No stop is your issue I think. While I do not use a acid stop I do flush with running water. Developer carry over affecting the fix.
     
  5. thedeuk

    thedeuk Member

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    mr lowell from clayton assured me that was ok to do.
     
  6. trexx

    trexx Member

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    OK, But one test is worth a thousand opinions.
     
  7. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    How long is your print in the developer? Pulling it early means there is a lot of developer activity going on and water isn't going to stop it. Leave your print in the dev for 90 seconds.
     
  8. thedeuk

    thedeuk Member

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    at least 3 minutes. including drip definitely 4 minutes. so frustrating when the final prints get screwed up.
     
  9. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Just try an acid stop bath. You might be surprised.
     
  10. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I use Dektol and never seen such a thing.

    What kind of paper do you use? Brand and type? FB or RC? What dilution of Dektol? Are you making sure the entire surface of the paper is covered with Dektol at all times? Paper do float and especially RC paper has a tendency to repel liquid off the surface if you aren't careful. How fresh is your developer?
     
  11. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    A long drip time could be the problem, I've been using the following all evening with Ilford MGIV 8x10 glossy, 90 sec face down in Dektol 1:2 at 68-70F, inc a 5-10 sec drip time, 30 sec in a 1/2% stopbath and then into the fixer. Works perfectly.

    Edit: Forgot to add: Constant agitation in the dev.
     
  12. thedeuk

    thedeuk Member

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    I've never had long develop times in the past
    cause this but I'll
    give it a shot
     
  13. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I think an example for us would help a lot. Do you have a digital camera you can use to shoot one of the messed up prints?
     
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  15. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    You are letting the print drip for one minute before going into the stop bath?????

    Yikes

     
  16. Ian C

    Ian C Member

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    “Dark swirls” on prints is called mottling. It happens particularly on fiber based prints that are developed for too short a time or poorly agitated or in the wrong developer.

    It’s quite common with RC or FB paper when prints are mistakenly placed into film developer instead of the proper paper developer. It might also happen if the developer was accidently contaminated with something that doesn’t belong.

    RC paper needs 60 seconds or longer for proper development in standard print developers such as Kodak Dektol or Ilford Multigrade Developer.

    FB paper needs 2-3 minutes in standard developers. The makers claim it can be as short as 1.5 minutes but this can give problems.

    Papers developed in warmtone developers, such as Ilford’s Harman Warmtone Developer need about twice the developing time of standard developers, and of course, proper agitation is important to prevent mottling.

    See item #6 here

    http://www.subclub.org/darkroom/henry2.htm
     
  17. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    Saying it is ok, does not mean it is the best way.

    Yes , one can use water for a stop bath, but it should be running. And unless the ph of the fixer requires only water, experince and testing has shown a stop bath is a more successful way to stop development.
     
  18. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    You are getting swirles because you aren't stopping development prior to fixing. Even if you are dipping into a tray of water you can get swirles. The water must be running to carry away any developer remaining on the print. If you are just using a tray of water the developer builds up in it and the image is still developing. Fom your post, I get the impression you are going straight from developer to fix, big no no, the developer is still active even after one minute of draining. Stop bath is cheap, use it. Your fixer will last longer, and you will eliminate swirles.
     
  19. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    Prints should be slipped into developer emulsion up, narrow edge leading. Do not float and push down.

    Agitate enough. Continuous works well.

    If you float emulsion down, I could see how you get what you do.
     
  20. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    You really need an acid stop bath for FB papers because developer is absorbed into the base. A water rinse is fine for film and RC papers.
     
  21. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    If that was an experiment to see what happens, I think you have an answer.
     
  22. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear thedeuk,

    Years ago I had a problem that sounds similar. I was agitating with print tongs and not paying attention to what I was doing. The tongs were running across the surface of the paper causing the marks.

    Good luck with the resolution of your problem,

    Neal Wydra
     
  23. thedeuk

    thedeuk Member

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    thanks for all your replys. they're not tong marks. definitely something to
    do with chemicals because they look like water lines. I was using stop bath until lowell told me not too because the clayton odorless fix is a stop bath too. since I was using clayton stop bath I listened to him. plus he actually knows what's happening in the chemicals. I just follow directions. I'll try going back to a stop bath though.
     
  24. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I know that Clayton offers odorless stop and odorless fix, but am unaware that the fixer incorporates stop in it.
     
  25. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    What paper are you using?
     
  26. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    Hmmm, seems to be a typical ammonium thiosulfate, sodium bisulfite fixer with a ph of 5.2. Not very acidic compared to a fresh acetic acid stop bath.

    Is your fixer almost exhausted?