Dark yellow staining on RA4 prints?? Help.

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by inthedark, Aug 15, 2003.

  1. inthedark

    inthedark Member

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    I seem to be having an unusual problem here. Or at least I haven't had it before. My prints are coming out of processing with a dark golden yellow stains randomly placed. There are no obvious chemistry issues and when I test to make it happen intentionally, I cannot get it to happen. Then off I go to process prints and there it is again.

    The only thing I can think is different than usual is that I usually expose a print and process it right then. This prints were processed last night and it was too hot to mess with them, so I set them overnight in an airconditioned room in their original black bag and box, then processed this morning. And, no, now that I think of it I didn't let the box have time to adjust to the warmer room this morning, but I thought that was relating to exposing papers and films, not processing.

    What have I done? Any ideas?
     
  2. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  3. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Absolutely off the top of my head, knee-jerk: Carryover of Color Developer into the Bleach-Fix. Are you using a Stop Bath between them?

    Another, but somewhat more remote possibiltiy would be a random temperature variation between the "raw" paper and the Color Developer - If you are using a drum, are you allowing an adequate dry "pre-heat"?

    Now, finer - a few questons:

    How are you processing, drum, tray (!!) or? Are you using some sort of processor, and what RA-4 Chemicals and paper?

    Another possibility is "fried" paper, out-of-date or improperly stored at a relatively high temperature. This usually shows up as yellow-browning at the edges, migrating toward the center of the sheet - but it is possible that it may be random. Do you refrigerate your color paper in storage?
     
  4. inthedark

    inthedark Member

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    Aggie, that was my first thought too but I dumped and started over with the blix and still it is happening.

    Ed, no, I do not typically store paper in especially chill places, BUT in this case I did set the box in the coolest room overnight and then went in straight to developing in a room about 20-25 warmer then they sat in a stack face down as I processed them through. I process in special trays which work somewhat like rotary tubes, however I participate in that they are not closed off. I checked to see if agitation could be it, but does not seem to be. Some highly agitated still get these puddly looking spots. This agitation was checked both in developer and blix, but not stop bath. So maybe your comment about stop bath is correct. What if in my hurry to rush to blix, I didn't adequately stop it. . . .Hmmm, I'll test that here after lunch. This is Agfa SignumII and Agfa color processing.

    Now it may be worth noting that on a roll of 60+ images/prints there is no consistency to the problem. 5 or 6 come off with out problem, then 3 or 4 have spots, then 15 don't, then another batch of 3-4 do......I'm going nuts.
    I've also checked to see if anything is wrong with the film or if it matches up somehow with the position of the image within the flight path (this is aerial film). So far nothing.

    My son was helping me that day and I quizzed him. The only thing he can think of that he might have done differently was that he placed a hand on the back of the paper while it was printing. This is not necessary as the copy board has a vacuum back, but he was just doing it to be prepared to remove it quickly and on to the next shot. Could the pressure of his hand pushing a bit too hard in places, in a very warm room, have caused a minor sort of a newton ring during printing on satin finish paper. Maybe not enough to cause the actual rainbow but enough the cause a puddle looking thing. They do sort of look like newton rings without the newton, very circular edges wherein it looks like it could be a series of overlapped circles and oblongs.?????

    Thank you for the responses.
     
  5. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    I don't thnk pressure itself would cause that effect. "Newton's Rings" are caused by light intereference from its passage through a very small and uneven space. It could be very noticeable when magnified from a negative, but I don't ever remeberr seeing it from, say, a piece of glas laid on top of a piece of printing paper.

    More and more I would suspect Color Developer holdover. The *only* place I use shortstop now is in RA-4 processing. I seem to remember random staining, without using shortstop, that closely resembled your description. Adding a stop bath fixed the problem.

    I would suggest cold storage of color paper. I place a few sheets - estimating the number I'll use immediately, and the rest goes back into the freezer. I think color paper is more sensitive to aging than film.

    Uh ... where are you located?
     
  6. inthedark

    inthedark Member

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    Ed,

    I will be sure to go through the stopstep more attentatively. That may well be the problem. I give it a solid 85% probability, but will still have to test tomorrow.

    But I have to disagree with the newton ring part of your answer. . .newton rings appear worse when the pressure between two smooth surfaces is increased . .glass to glass, filter to filter, negative to glass (usually the non-emulsion side is affected worse) and so on. Often the easiest way for me to solve newton rings on the rolls of film is to "soften" the vacuum pressure on the negative. And I was to understand that with you folks' enlargers there can be a problem in the glass to glass negative sandwich with newton rings. I know that my contact printers also newton rings the most under the most vacuum pressure.

    Anway, I suppose there is a way to see if his hands did this, but it will be a couple of days till I can someone up here to push on one side of the copy board with paper in place while I evaluate the other side of the glass.

    Thanks again so much. Ed, you ROCK!
     
  7. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    That is consistent. These are a products of light ray interference and it is about very small spaces and "wedges" of air or other medium.
    I wish I had a nickel (US$ 0.05) for every surface I've measured for flatness and dimensional comparisons using a optical flats and monochrmatic lighhts.

    I might even be able to afford photography.

    Check out the color processing with short stop, and let me know what happens. I'm curious about how well my crystal ball is working.
     
  8. lee

    lee Member

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  9. inthedark

    inthedark Member

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    Well, it looks like my son will be able to come up for a brief time this afternoon so I will get a chance to investigate better. The more we were looking at the marks on the prints last evening and comparing it to his hand, the more it looks like something related to his hand. My ex-hubby last night was asking if any residue from his hand on the back of one sheet could have been pressed into the emulsion side of the next print as they sat overnight, then showed up during processing. I'm not sure how to check this though. I guess we will have him handle a couple pieces and put a phone book on top to add weight over night then process tomorrow.

    Yes, lee you are right, about the copy cameras. Though I have rarely had issues with newton rings on the copy board, usually it is with the original negative on the light deck vacuum back. Although when I was shooting dnmilikan's enlarged negatives, the film definitely newton ringed if I got too vigorous about squeegee'ing the air out. . . .hmmmm, now that I think of it, I was putting a hand on the back of those negatives during exposure also, because negatives being more slick tend to try to slip down. HMMMMM....

    Ed, I am going to try the stop issue this morning by exposing a print then developing, then I will tear that in half and stop one very well . . .15-30 secs; and I will then tear the other in half again and swish one through stop in a hurry and then not stop the last quarter at all, as I proceed to blix. This should give me good answers. Over the past year I have run both the developer and blix through lots of odd little tests like this, but I really never focused on the quality of the stop step.
     
  10. lee

    lee Member

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    Jill,
    Too be safe, do what printers do with their plates when they have to sit for a long period of time before they get used on the press. Slip a piece of paper between each piece of color photo paper. That should help stop any carry over.

    Just another friendly suggestion from your Uncle.

    lee\c
     
  11. Thilo Schmid

    Thilo Schmid Member

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    Jill,
    are you using a roller transport machine for processing?
     
  12. inthedark

    inthedark Member

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    Nope, I hand process in tanks of my own design. I thought that were I to have chemistry marks, they would most likely be streaks. In the past this has been true. However. . .Ed looks like you are right. I decided before I emptied and refilled the tanks today I would take a piece of already processed paper and run it through developer, stop, water, and blix with the overhead lights on and just see what my normal motions presented. I work under a safelight bounced in from another room so I can see the page just barely, certainly not enough to see the motion of the chemistry. ANYWAY, In the developer, no problem, even smooth coverage almost immediately,. . .then swish (remember I am not doing what I now know I am supposed to I am testing what I did last week) through the stop,. . .streaks right. . . . NO strangly enough it little round patches....hmmmm. then I have to remember that the stop is also the tank which likes to suction cup my prints down and it is not uncommon for me the use a flattened gloved hand to slide the print to a liftable position. . .now the glove only excludes my chemistry interacting, but based on Ed's thought, I notice that under my gloved push area, less of the developer has been removed in a hand print fashion. . . . . . . . I sure hope this is it. I am also going to have my son or whomever, wear gloves if they help again.