Dev staining paper during rotary development

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by polyglot, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Using:
    - very old Multigrade developer (it's still fully active)
    - slightly old but clear Kentmere VC RC paper
    - glacial acetic at 5% for stop
    - fresh Ilford Hypam at 1+4 and
    - a Jobo

    I made the first couple of prints in my new darkroom last night (yay!). However, it went suddenly from working perfectly to staining the paper tea-brown near the edges, though the silver image was still perfectly formed. One print it's perfect, next was brown and they kept coming. Narrowed it down to the developer: fixed paper came out clear, using new dev made it work again. I ran about 5 sheets (in probably 12 processes... test strips) of 8x10 in 1L of dev before it went wrong.

    It has an orange tinge similar to what paper gets when exposed to light but not fixed... but the paper is not in any way fogged. The staining was identical on RC and FB (bad paper was my first assumption; I tried another pack) and it extends for about 30mm from the edges (8x10s). While the dev might have been contaminated (eg something in the lift funnel), it was still working perfectly.

    What gives?
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Are you using the developer single shot or are you re-using it? You should be using it single shot. Re-use will bring on stain with many developers when you use a Jobo for processing. Paper multiplies that stain by manyfold vs film and therefore it might not show up with film.

    If you are already using it single shot, then I have no clue.

    PE
     
  3. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    I'm reusing it, just like expected to be able to from when I was using it in trays. I guess I know now I'll need to make up very small batches and reuse them only a couple of times - it took a while before the stain began.

    Are there any paper developers that work well for reuse (or otherwise economically) in a Jobo? I guess single-shot is OK at this point since I have here 3L of quite-old concentrate and I should probably blow through it before it gets worse.


    thanks...
     
  4. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    You could replenish with 50:50 or try something like that. You might also check that the drums start out clean and dry. I was thinking after my post that some hypo carryover to the developer might cause this. IDK the formula of that developer, but you might try Dektol.

    Are you using a prewet?

    Anyhow, good luck.

    PE
     
  5. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    No prewet and my drums are dried - I made the mistake of getting a big pale streak down a print once and then got out the teatowel.

    Does wetting paper change the development time (my assumption, it would cause there to be water in the gelatin instead of developer) or the required exposure time? I'd test it in a couple trays except I have no room any more for trays bigger than 5x7 (not that I have trays), hence the Jobo for B&W prints.

    Carryover is a possibility given how sudden the change was, but I wouldn't expect fixer to have that effect. After all, you stick paper in fixer and it just goes white. Unless the fixer is reacting with the developer to produce something brown?
     
  6. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    FWIW .....

    I use (and re-use) Kodak PolyMax developer in tubes regularly. On a Beseler machine rather than a Jobo.

    Stop bath and fixer too.

    Usually with either old Kodak Polycontrast III RC (postcards) or various Ilford MGIV RC versions.

    Have yet to see a problem with stain.

    Isn't 5% rather high for stop bath?
     
  7. Photo Engineer

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    This is a problem due to drum processing and can cause a variety of problems. I run into it with re-used developer. Single use fixes the problem. Prewet improves uniformity. My workflow is Develop 2' or less stop in up to 2% stop, and then fix in KRLF or TF 4 or TF 5 or equivalnet then wash. This works for me up to 16x10 in Jobo.

    PE
     
  8. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    OK, I'll thin my stop a bit. Hasn't caused any problems I know of though :wink: Might even try a prewet.

    I guess I'll just keep using the developer for test-strips until it begins staining and then put in a fresh batch for each real print.
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The clue is in the "- very old Multigrade developer (it's still fully active)". Developers like Multigrade have a higher than normal pH to keep development times to a minimum, it contains Sodium Hydroxide.

    Old and oxidised developer will stain prints.

    Ian
     
  10. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Had another session last night, used a smaller qty of dev and reused it for 5-6 sheets worth. No staining at all.

    In related news: if you don't print for 2 years, you start to really suck at it.