Developement Problem?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by BAB, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. BAB

    BAB Member

    Messages:
    32
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I bought a Fuji GA645 a few months ago, based on advice here, and I must admit the camera is fun to use and gives good results. I recently purchased a scanner, an Epson V500, and can finally begin to play. I've noticed some developer problems though, and wonder if any of you might offer a suggestion for minimizing this particular difficulty. GA645028.mod.72.jpg

    One can see the differences in density along the top rail of the bridge. A friend has indicated this is probably an agitation issue, and commonly occurs with a plain-sky background. This is Tmax 400 and I developed it in Diafine using a tank with a plastic spool. This was one of the last frames on the roll and consequently quite close in to the center of the spool. I agitated using one turn backwards every one minute. I'm wondering if using a tank with metal spools and agitating by slowly raising and lowering the film with a spool lifter-outer would correct the situation.

    Thanks in advance,
    BAB
     
  2. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

    Messages:
    681
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Here's a nice long discussion of agitation and uneven density in the film forum here-
    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/89741-uneven-development-driving-me-crazy.html

    I don't know much about the Paterson plastic tanks. I do know that it took me a bit to get even development in sky areas with 120 film with stainless tanks and reels. There were two parts to the solution. One is to not overfill the tank. I measured out how much liquid I need to cover the reel, add about 1/4 inch, and then to get a round number for measurement. Leaving a large air space in the tank is critical to allow the solution room to actually move and flow.

    The second element of the solution is to do fast movements. I turn the tank quickly,pause for a couple of seconds, and turn it back quickly. Again, the goal is to get good movement and flow across the face of the film.

    The photographer Robert Adams ended up developing 120 in a darkroom by holding each end in one hand and sliding it through a large tray or tank. Like tray developing 4x5, but the long roll instead. I'm sure there is more to it than this, but he wanted completely even Colorado skies and tanks were simply not doing it.

    I'm sure that Paterson tanks can work but others will have to tell you their methods.
     
  3. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,194
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Volume? Dilution?
     
  4. BAB

    BAB Member

    Messages:
    32
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks, Dan. Lack of rapid movement was part of the problem. I slowed down the movement of the reel after a roll of 35mm film had an agitation problem around the sprocket holes. Maybe I just won't shoot the last frame. :smile:
     
  5. BAB

    BAB Member

    Messages:
    32
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    ic-racer:

    The volume is that which is sufficient to cover a single reel of 120 film in a single-roll plastic tank. I would guess 500ml at most. The dilution is always the same with Diafine, as it's a compensating developer with two solutions. The first solution is the developer, the second the activator.
     
  6. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

    Messages:
    1,035
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Location:
    Maryland, US
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Diafine is used at stock strength, then returned to the storage bottle for subsequent use.
    Replenishment amounts to simply replacing the lost volume of Part A, and adding the same amount of fresh Part B to its bottle.

    It's highly insensitive to temperature and time,
    but it IS sensitive to agitation, which should be minimal and gentle.

    The OP's description of his agitation procedure sounds reasonable as long as the rotation was not rapid.

    - Leigh
     
  7. BAB

    BAB Member

    Messages:
    32
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've heard that elsewhere about gentle agitation when using Diafine. Which is what I used with this particular roll -- the first I put through the GA645. But does the result on the image indicate insufficient agitation or too much agitation? My first consideration was that the agitation was insufficient, this frame being at or near the center of the reel. Other photos of the same bridge made on a different day didn't show the same pattern.

    So does it make sense to develope 120 rolls in Diafine by gently raising the reel say an inch then gently lowering it? This would require developing in the dark, with the attendant dribble here and there, but I could load the three solutions into 600 ml containers to avoid a lot of spillage and develop over an old print tray. Suggestions?

    And thanks,
    BAB

     
  8. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

    Messages:
    1,035
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Location:
    Maryland, US
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I normally use inversion rather than rotation. Your lift and drop method would be similar to inversion.

    - Leigh
     
  9. BAB

    BAB Member

    Messages:
    32
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'll give both a try. Inversion has the advantage of being done in the kitchen rather than the dark room.

    Thanks, BAB
     
  10. Too old to care

    Too old to care Subscriber

    Messages:
    172
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Location:
    DeLand Flori
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It could also be your scanner. I have similar results from my Canon scanner, however when wet printing they are fine. I discovered that my scanner was not even by me rotating the negative 90 degrees and rescanning it. The banded areas moved from top to bottom to side to side. I also use inversion for my negatives, once every 20 to 30 seconds.
     
  11. artonpaper

    artonpaper Subscriber

    Messages:
    326
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Staten Islan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The un-eveness looks like what is referred to as bromide drag. But I do not think a developer must contain bromide to exhibit this effect. It is typically an agitation problem. Stand development frequently exhibits this phenomenon. I do wonder why you are using Diafine. I've always considered that a mushy developer, used when speed is more important than gradation and edge sharpness (in this case, low acutance). If you want to increase shadow density without edge sharpness loss, you may want to consider D-23. Although you have to mix that yourself using a scale, or you can look up teaspoon equivalents. It's very inexpensive and a classic. I have used it with TMY often. A lot of people think of D-23 as a low contrast developer because it's excellent for compactions. But it has plenty of snap when normal developing times are used. Of course you may have perfectly good reasons for using Diafine that I'm unaware of. I guess I have never encountered anyone using it for large format. Agitate more frequently, and invert the tank if possible.
    Best of luck,
    Doug