failed development?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by chaim, May 23, 2005.

  1. chaim

    chaim Member

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    Hey friends,
    as my darkroom developing skills are just starting to catch up to the others, I need to present a problem so I can avoid it in the future.
    I had a roll of 35mm Fuji Neoplan 400 that I shot in my Nikon F3. Just having the one roll to develop, I wound it onto a reel and put it in above an empty reel in a plastic tank. Then I went through the steps which I've used previously, with more or less success, to develop. But when I unwound the developed roll, it was entirely clear.
    What could have gone wrong--?
    --film loaded into camera incorrectly, nothing registered on film?
    --maybe darkroom has light leak, film exposed when loaded onto reel?
    --developer was near end of useful life, was planning replenishment after this roll. (could this be the cause?)
    --when I went to empty the tank after final rinsing, I noticed an unfamiliar pink color to the water leaving the tank, somewhat similar to the color of the film backing. (could this be related?)
    --there were no leaks from the tank body or lid.
    Any thoughts on this? Thanks--
    Chaim
     
  2. kaiyen

    kaiyen Member

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    What developer did you use?

    Did the lettering on the film edges come out? Or is the film completely clear?

    Are you sure you put in the right chemicals at the right time (ie - could you have poured fix in instead of developer?)

    allan
     
  3. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    From your description of the results,
    EITHER:
    1. The film did not develop (but it fixed ok).
    OR:
    2. The film was not exposed (since this was 35mm film was the leader portion black after development)?

    Questions:

    What developer did you use?

    How old was the developer?

    How many rolls of film had you processed with it?

    What was the temperature of the developer?

    Why did you place an empty reel BELOW the loaded reel (instead of on TOP)?

    Did you fill the tank completely with developer?

    What agitation method did you use?
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    As long as you did actually use developer first you'd get some sort of image, even a developer thats begun to collapse will still give a hint of image. Are their any edge no's etc.

    Sounds more like the film was unexposed, the pink in the rinse is not relevant its the anti halation dyewhich gives the colour to the film. A light leak causes fogging & so added density & ruined negs.

    Ian
     
  5. chaim

    chaim Member

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    I used SPRINT developer, as usual.
    Actually, the lettering on the edges did not come out, the film is completely clear. I hadn't noticed that.
    I am sure that I used the chemicals in the correct sequence.
    Thanks.
     
  6. kaiyen

    kaiyen Member

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    if it's completely clear then it either didn't get ANY development (and I mean absoultely zero), or you put in fix instead of developer (not trying to insult you, just saying). If it had been unexposed you'd still get the lettering on the edges.

    that's what comes to mind, anyway.

    allan
     
  7. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    All claer? no markings on the edges? no black leader?

    All those symptoms look like you fixed before developing.
     
  8. chaim

    chaim Member

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    what I was taught to use, nothing I haven't used before, invert and tap first 60 seconds, then 10 seconds per minute.
     
  9. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    1. If nothing registeres on film, at least the leader should be black
    2. darkroom had light leaks, the film would be all black
    3. developer dead, looks like. I'd advise you to start sing developer in one-shot dilution
    or if you are reusing developer you may have mixed fixer on your developer
    4. pink color is just dyes

     
  10. NikoSperi

    NikoSperi Member

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    Think again. What is now in your fixer bottle (after this little mix up) is now developer.
     
  11. chaim

    chaim Member

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    Unless you can fix with tap water, then I didn't fix before developing (no insult taken). I was very clear about sequence because I've been keeping an eye on the developer and saw it was quite brown. If the developer's exhausted, would that account for this occurrence? Why did the letters on the edge disappear? Did the black on the leader disappear too--I see nothing at the front of the film.
     
  12. chaim

    chaim Member

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    No, fixer is clear, developer is dark.
     
  13. chaim

    chaim Member

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    no, fixer is clear, developer is dark.
     
  14. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    Your developer maybe completely dead. Did you keep it?
    try developing a piece of film with the lights on, if that small piece becomes black in about a minute then your developer is fine...
    but the lack of a black leader is a clear indicator (to me) that you fixed before you developed or that your developer is contaminated with fixer

     
  15. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    On one of the first rolls of 35 mm I developed, I did pour the fixer in first, and IIRC, the pink is from the fix being poured in first.
     
  16. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    I'd say you poured the fix (removes undeveloped silver) in before the developer. I'ts happened to many a photographer. Join the human race.
     
  17. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    That is because - for whatever reason - your film saw the fixer first in your developing process.

    Whether the film was actually exposed (in your camera) is another question.

    If the film was unexposed AND saw developer FIRST you would see frame numbers, etc. on the edges of the film.

    If you still have the developer, pour a little into a beaker or measuring cup and drop in a 1 inch piece of fresh film (do this with the room lights on). If the developer is still active, the film will turn black.
     
  18. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    I'm unfamiliar with Sprint, and I'm still pretty new at developing my own film, but my understanding is that most developers start out clear or close to it and darken with use or with age. By the time something like D76 is brown, it shouldn't be used. I don't know if your Sprint would be completely useless when it's "quite brown," but that could be, at the very least, a contributing factor.

    If you're re-using your developer, I'd throw out that part that's gone brown, or use it only for the sorts of diagnostic tests others have suggested, like developing film leader to see if it'll blacken in the developer.

    If you're not re-using the developer but whatever you've got left from the original batch is brown, then it may have just gone bad from age or bad storage. In either case, dump it and buy some new developer, optionally after testing it on film leader or whatever. If you think it's gone bad prematurely, review your storage techniques. Ideally, most developers should be stored in full, dark, glass bottles. Some people prefer plastic bottles, but some types of plastic "breathe," so developer can go bad in them. If you're storing mixed developer in a single big bottle (like a gallon jug), consider splitting your next batch across several smaller bottles. Alternatively, use marbles to displace air until there's none left, and add more marbles when you use developer.

    Note that a few developers, such as Rodinal start out quite dark (or so I hear; I've never actually used it), so these rules of thumb about color don't apply to them. If your Sprint was dark from the moment you mixed it, it might fall into this category.
     
  19. kaiyen

    kaiyen Member

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    Rodinal starts out clear, but can go brown fairly quickly. It's just that it's still fine way, way after it has gone brown.