Development problems with HC110

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by dvanlondon, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. dvanlondon

    dvanlondon Member

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    I've been using HC110 as my standard developer for several years, with Diafine, Tanol and Neofin Blau as occasional alternatives. HC110 has always been a dependable choice if sometimes a little unrefined for my tastes. However, the last few rolls I've put through, several different films, several different cameras, all suffer from the same issue - pale oblong clouds along the top edge of the film. At first I thought this might be as a result of air bubbles, so I developed a single film in a full tank so the bubbles should be far away from the film, and used very careful light agitation. Exactly the same problem. Does anyone have any ideas what might be causing this?

    I attach an image as an example - as direct from the scanner without any changes (there seems to be uneven development on the right edge too, but I think that's just the film not being flat in the carrier)
     

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  2. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    Strange, the spots are light in the negative scan , so they have density on the negative. What format, you said a "single film" so I assume sheet film.
     
  3. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That looks like a light leak happening somewhere, to me, particularly because of how they superimpose one another.
     
  4. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    What is the blemish on the right edge? Looks like 2 problems to me.

    The ones across the top are heavier development for some reason, or light fog as they are denser.

    PE
     
  5. wogster

    wogster Member

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    Okay, the clouds along the top look like 35mm sprocket holes, I would say either the camera has a light leak or your developing tank. where the holes allow light through but the film itself is thick enough to block it. If your using the same tank, it might be worth it to buy a roll of just expired film, and without putting it in the camera, run it through your processing, and see if the blank film has the same kind of marks, if so, then I suspect your developing tank may be leaking light.
     
  6. dvanlondon

    dvanlondon Member

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    Thanks everyone for your thoughts.

    It's 120 roll film in a Mamiya 6 - it's possible that there's a camera light-leak but I somehow think it unlikely, and in any case I suffered the same issue with a film run through a Zero2000. When I said 'single film' I meant that I'm using a Patterson plastic tank and only loaded 1 rather than 2 120 films, yet used chemistry to the top, so that I could definitely avoid uneven development.

    PE - the right edge blemish is a whole different issue - that's not on the film, it's where the film is curling in the damned scanner.

    So, if it's not the cameras, then maybe it's the tank. The odd thing is that I finished my session with a roll of PanF in Diafine using the same tank etc. And there are no problems.

    I guess it's conceivable that both the Mamiya and Zero have similar light leaks, newly acquired. My other thought is that for some reason the films did not wind tightly on the spool and that leakage might have a occurred after the film was exposed... The problem films are Ilford Delta 400, expired Tri-X and Fuji Acros, all of which I've used in 35mm but never before in MF. My standards are PanF, Adox 50, FP4 and HP5 and I've never had these troubles with those.

    I have some more expired Tri-X so I might run a roll through that and see if there are problems...
     
  7. CBG

    CBG Member

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    Shoot some E-6 and have it commercially processed. If you still get the "bubbles" you'll know it's in the camera, and if no "bubbles", it's in your processing. If it's your process, borrow someone else's tank and do more B+W. If the bubbles go away, it's likely your tank.

    C
     
  8. dvanlondon

    dvanlondon Member

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    Ah-ha. Solution found. I had overdiluted the fix - the 'bubbles' were caused by chemicals from the incompletely removed antihalation layer settling towards the bottom of the film. A second bath in fix and the problem has, it would seem, been entirely solved. Thank the lord as I thought that I'd buggered seven rolls from my trip to Paris.

    So, there you have it - if you ever see that effect, you'll know what to do.

    Thanks in any case to everyone for their replies.
     
  9. david b

    david b Member

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    dvan,
    are you sure about your solution to the problem?

    I had the same problem for a very long time. I never really solved it.
     
  10. dvanlondon

    dvanlondon Member

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    david b - worked for me, but then sometimes different problems can have the same symptoms... I was lucky in that it seems development was unaffected
     
  11. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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  12. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    The problem is air bubbles getting trapped under the reel. The root cause is not enough solution in the tank to float the bubbles higher than the tops of the reel. Lack of agitation compounds the problem. The problem is more common with developer as it has a slight tendency to foam and film is often stand developed with little if any agitation. This is the first time I have heard of problems with bubbles in the fix.

    If you go back through the archives you can find previous posts and examples of the problem.
     
  13. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    As I remarked to David in the other similar thread, if the spots on the print are darker, then that means that the negative has light spots due to underdevelopment. In the OP, the spots are lighter which means that the negatives have darker spots.

    In any event, these are two different problems. One is caused by overdevelopment and the other is caused by underdevelopment. It is difficult to diagnose either exactly without looking at the negatives. For example, overdevelopment could be caused by insufficient wash/stop and fix at the edge of the reel. Overdevelopment could be caused by a small amount of photo flo contaminant (with some films and developers). Underdevelopment could be caused by insufficient developer solution or by a huge buildup of gunk on the edges of the reels.

    PE