Film developing issue

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Photo_Gaz, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. Photo_Gaz

    Photo_Gaz Member

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    Ok, so, I've developed two rolls so far.

    Issue 1)
    Both rolls are developed fine until I get to the last few frames where they have not been developed. I followed the instructions correctly, as far as I understand.

    Issue 2)
    Roughly two thirds of the way through the film there are completely blank frames, although, the numbers and film name do appear along the sides.

    I am using D76 for developer and the camera is a Minolta X-700. The first film was an Ilford FP4 125 and the second is an Fomapan 135 100.

    Any ideas would be HUGELY appreciated. Thank you in advance!
     
  2. Juri

    Juri Member

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    If there are edge markings, but no image, then the area on the film was never exposed. I would shoot another roll with the camera and get it developed in a dedeicated lab to make sure the camera is functional.
     
  3. Light Guru

    Light Guru Member

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    Sounds like an issue with the camera. Liquid chemicals are not just going to skip parts of film. I bet the shutter on the camera is not working right.
     
  4. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    I don't think your problem is with development. If it were then you would not be seeing frame numbers along side the blank frames. It sounds like a shutter problem where the film is not getting exposed.
     
  5. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    By "completely blank" do you mean that the film is clear or is it opaque, black?

    If the letters and numbers along the edges of the film appear normal then the film was developed correctly. It is probable that the frames in question were not exposed correctly or they were not exposed at all.

    Depending on the camera, it is possible that the last frame of film, or two, will not be exposed.
    Some cameras I have will expose all the way to the very end of the film. Some cameras will leave a frame.
    If you are rolling your own film from bulk, a frame at the beginning and a frame at the end are likely to be spoiled in the process of loading film into the cartridge.

    On one of my Pentax cameras, the first two frames are often not exposed correctly because there is an interlock on the meter mechanism that won't let it work until the frame counter gets to "1." The rationale is that you need to advance past the point where the film was exposed to daylight when you loaded the film but, if you are careful, those frames will be all right but you still can't shoot on them because of the interlock. (Unless you know how to shoot fully manual without the help of the meter.)

    Like I said, if the lettering on the film is coming out the way it's supposed to then it's something in the camera or the way it was used that caused those frames to not be exposed.

    There is a possibility that there is a faint image on the film that isn't apparent under full/correct development. In that case, it's something about the exposure those frames got.
     
  6. Photo_Gaz

    Photo_Gaz Member

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    Thanks. I'll get another couple of rolls and see if the same thing happens again. I've tested the shutter at each of the various speeds at it seems to work correctly each time for well over 50 movements of the shutter each.

    On the second issue: does anyone have any ideas as to how I am not managing to develop the final few frames of the film?
     
  7. Photo_Gaz

    Photo_Gaz Member

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    They appear completely clear save with the lettering along the sides of the film.
     
  8. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    Lettering all the way means they weren't exposed, if a developing problem you wouldn't see the frame numbers as they have to be developed as well.
     
  9. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Ditto. You have a hardware issue with the camera body or the lens or both. :sad:
     
  10. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    Is it possible that you thought the rolls had 24 exposures when they actually had 36 and you just rewound thinking you were at the end of the roll?

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  11. Photo_Gaz

    Photo_Gaz Member

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    No. They're all 36 exposures and I went right to the end of the film each time. The "missed" exposures are not at the end of the film, they're somewhere around 2/3rds of the way through. However, I do have a few un-developed (as in completely dark) frames right at the end-which I REALLY don't understand.
     
  12. Photo_Gaz

    Photo_Gaz Member

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    Also, I just thought, I was using a "clicker" to operate the shutter on these exposures...perhaps it did not fully open the shutter correctly as it wasn't one that is designed for the camera?
     
  13. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    What's a "clicker"? You mean a flexible cable? Minolta X-700 accepts both the dedicated electric remote shutter release and a standard flexible shutter release. Any mechanical standard flexible cable should work. I don't know about electric shutter release that are not compatible. Maybe they set the camera on B pose?

    If the frame is completely black, and the film is negative, that means the frame is actually overexposed.
     
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  15. Photo_Gaz

    Photo_Gaz Member

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    Sorry, yes, forgive the lack of technical terminology. I used a flexible cable. The frames in question when I used the cable are completely transparent save for the lettering.

    The last few frames on both rolls of film, however, are complately opaque with no lettering or anything. I can see where it has begun to be developed as it appears to have been "etched" slightly continuing from where the previous frames have been developed. But, for some reason, these last frames have not been developed.

    Could this be a case of overdilution of the D-76? Or some problem in my agitation technique, or...anything else?
     
  16. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    If you have regions of film completely black, including covering the lettering, that means that those bits of film have been exposed to daylight. Again, not a developing fault, your developer is working very nicely. It's normal to have about 7-10cm of black film leader on the end, which is the bit that is exposed when you load the camera, and there won't be frames on this. However, this black region should not cover any actual frames. Is the black region at the 00 end or the 36 end? You would expect to see it at the 00 end (due to camera loading) but never at the 36 end. What is the frame number of the last non-blackened frame?

    If you have blackening at the 36 end, you're exposing it to light between unloading the roll and getting it in the tank, which would be difficult to do without fogging the whole film somewhat. If that's the case, stop doing whatever you're doing that gets light on the film :wink:

    If you have blackening at the front and it covers frame 1, it means you're probably pulling out too much film while loading the camera. If you have blackening at the front but not covering frame 1, there's no problem at all and this is normal. If you were trying to shoot frames before 1, you're not winding the film on far enough when loading the camera, which means you're trying to shoot frames in the bit that was exposed to daylight during loading, so don't do that either.

    Rare cause: with some (polyester-base) films, light can pipe down the base of the film and partially expose a few frames. I don't think this is your problem.

    If you have blank/clear frames when you used the cable, either your cable or the camera's cable-receptacle-thing is broken.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2011
  17. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    The strange thing is that if the cable is not working, the shutter should not fire and your film should not advance to the next frame.

    If somebody loaded a canister of film from a bulk roll film for you, then with some bulk loaders, if you load the film in daylight, you get the last frame or so fogged.

    How do you load your film in the reel? Maybe there was some user mistake in reel loading.

    Finally, they say to load film in the camera in subdued light for a reason. The base of the film can carry light quite far inside the canister, especially if you use synthetic base film. Why you get anomalous exposure "in the middle" of the roll is still a mystery to me.
     
  18. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    I've seen older well used cameras where the shutter button will fire the shutter and not release the film advance mechanism and also the opposite, a very gently push releases the film advance but does not trip the shutter. With the second you will end up with blank frames in the roll.
     
  19. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    When doing bulb exposures make sure your cable is in locking mode, otherwise it will open and immediately close. If you have it locking then you'll click once to open the shutter and a second time to close it. Usually you unscrew something to lock and unlock the cable release.
     
  20. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    It's not the developer. Why is it that people first blame the developer and stop looking for other explanations.
     
  21. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    Cause developers are black magic. :smile:
     
  22. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    It is developer.



    Wait, why i blame developer? it could be something else, hhhmmmmm, maybe it is developer, hehehehe
     
  23. Photo_Gaz

    Photo_Gaz Member

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    The black region is right at the front. The first exposure is numbered 86 or 87. The clear frames are numbered 56 to 64 with correct exposures after the last clear part of the film.

    Now considering both the box and the cartiridge both show 36 exposures and I shot 36 frames, I am somewhat confused as to why the negatives finish at over 36. But, I'm assuming that that is some kind of brand-specific occurrence with Fomapan film.

    I am thinking that the black area is perhaps day light exposed film which, is odd considering I loaded the camera in low-light and the first film has actually been exposed correctly in the camera.

    Regarding the developer issue. I was referring to my method of developing and that perhaps I was doing something wrong in the development process; I was not-I say again-not blaming the lovely developer for it is truly wonderful.
     
  24. moose10101

    moose10101 Member

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    You had stated several times that the opaque frames were at the end. If they're at the beginning, that's perfectly normal. When you feed the film leader into the takeup spool, a couple frames worth of film are exposed to light for several seconds. Loading in "low light" doesn't matter; film is designed to be exposed, even in low light, for just a fraction of a second. Nothing unusual here.

    Enough film is loaded on the spool to give you 36 good exposures, plus some extra for loading the film. It's not brand-specific. Nothing unusual here either.

    This is NOT, I repeat, NOT an issue with either the developer or the development process. Your mid-roll blank frames are caused by the shutter not opening to expose the film. It's either a problem with the camera or with the cable release.
     
  25. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    "low" light is enough. If you can see the film at all, it's completely exposed in that area.

    Since the blackening doesn't occlude the first frame, it looks like you have everything except the cable release working correctly. Try a manual exposure of 1s duration on tripod; you should hear a big noise as the mirror goes up, then tiny noises as the shutter opens/closes and a big noise again for mirror return. Try again with the cable release to see if noises are the same. If it has MLU, try also with that to see if you can identify the shutter noise.

    As to the funny frame numbers, is it perhaps bulk-rolled film? I wouldn't worry about them anyway.
     
  26. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Different manufacturers have used different frame numbering systems over the years to deal with issues like bulk loading or 1/2 frame cameras (72 exposures per roll) so don't worry about the edge numbers unless they are really strange (like a Fibbonaci number sequence :smile:).

    Any chance you could scan or digitally photograph a contact sheet or negative preserver page so we could see what you are talking about?