Failure to Develop

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Francesco, Oct 12, 2003.

  1. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    What is the most common mistake that results in the development of a completely blank piece of film? It has just happened to me for the first time and I cant figure out what went wrong. Holder light leakage? Would that not result in some but not all of the film being clear? Developer exhaustion or weak solution? My stock solution of PYROCAT HD was mixed 17 days ago and I keep it tightly capped and in an ideal location. Any ideas?
     
  2. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    The only thing that comes to my mind is you didn't remove the lens cap?
     
  3. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    Unfortunately, I do not replace the lens cap after I compose and focus.
     
  4. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    When you say "blank", do you mean that the negative is completely clear or absolutely black?

    The only thing that I know of that will result in a completely clear negative is placing the film in fixer first - before the developer. Not that *I've* ever done that before ....

    Complely black with no indication of a border of any kind - exposure to light before loading the film into the camera - with a "border", excessive overexposure - shutter stuck open or something like that.
     
  5. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    Nope not black. Not so much transparent as clear with some sort of a pinkish hue.
     
  6. Jorge Oliveira

    Jorge Oliveira Member

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    Or a dead developer.
    That has happened with Xtol (and with a crazy mix I made...) - sudden death.


    Jorge O
     
  7. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    You mean that what normally can last six months tightly capped in a bottle may some times just die after only 2 and a half weeks? The only way to find out is to mix up a new batch of the same developer from another source and try that on new negatives. Do you suggest I refrain from using the same stock solution on further negatives OR do I try once more just to see if indeed it is as you say SUDDEN DEATH? I must say that I cannot retrace my steps and find any reason other than what you propose to explain what happened. What about a stock solution not mixed into distilled water properly to make a working solution? How much stirring is needed to ensure adequate stock goes into the working solution?
     
  8. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    ooo
     
  9. sergio caetano

    sergio caetano Member

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    Francesco,

    This sheet was not exposed.
     
  10. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    The same stock solution has been effective until now. Prior to these last two negatives, this particular batch of PYROCAT HD has sucessfully developed 16 8x10 negatives. I can clearly remember mixing the right mixture of stock to working solution. As regards darkslide not being pulled, cannot remember either way. If so, it will be a HUGE first! I use BTZS tubes hence developer is always first as that goes into the cap (fixer is in a tray). Unexposed must be right as any extraneous light should make it black.
     
  11. sanking

    sanking Member

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    You might have mixed the working solution using only either Part A or Part B. If you did the result would be a piece of blank film.
     
  12. sergio caetano

    sergio caetano Member

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    It happened with me more than once. I got confused with the white/black labes of the slide. So during my development session (I normally develop 4 negatives at once) I thought the film holder had 2 exposed negatives. It had only one.
     
  13. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    Sandy,

    It is possible that I did as you say. It has been a tiring day. Hiked more than 5 km with my pack (20 kilos) and the exhaustion extended itself all the way to my brain. I will never know for sure. I can only try once more with a bit more care.

    At least I am comforted by the fact that because it is not black I can be confident that my equipment (holders, bellows, changing tent, tubes) is defective in some way that light leaks in.
     
  14. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    That is supposed to read: "I can be confident that my equipment is NOT defective in some way...."
     
  15. sanking

    sanking Member

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  16. Jorge Oliveira

    Jorge Oliveira Member

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    Francesco

    Just get a small piece of unexposed film or paper and develop it in a tray in roomlight.
    If it gets black in your normal dev time, the dev is OK and you made some mistake.

    Jorge O
     
  17. Jorge Oliveira

    Jorge Oliveira Member

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    Sandy

    I was trying to make a longer lasting Xtol equivalent (the standard formula works quite well).
    I split it in two solutions - dev and alkali, and added (a lot) of boric acid to the dev so it would become slightly acid.

    So far, so good.

    In the same week;
    - did a black leader test - OK
    - did a short strip test - OK
    - shot half a 35mm roll - Ok
    - shot the rest of the roll - almost clear...:evil:

    Recheked with a leader test - clear.

    My conclusion - there is somenting (impurities) in boric acid that kills ascorbic acid.

    Jorge O
     
  18. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I will be developing tonight and will try your suggestions. I will also pay extra attention to the A and B markings on the bottles (they still have a clear colour).