Funny phenomena with stuff

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by hdeyong, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. hdeyong

    hdeyong Member

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    This hobby, (art form), can have it's oddities at times. I was thinking about it this morning while souping some HP5+, and two things came to mind that have popped up in just the last 24 hours.
    First of all, I have a roll of TMax 100, which was given to me, that will not go on any of the four reels I have. I tried the two Pattersons, which have done faithful duty for decades, and two AP's, which I've had for about two years, three times on each, for a total of twelve tries. No go. I cut the end again, with a little angle on each corner, like I've done for years, no go.
    Ok, the AP's have been a bit catchy at times, so I took them apart and took a little emery board I stole from my wife to them. After half an hour, I had all the sharp edges and plastic molding flash sanded off, and after they were cleaned and had dried thoroughly, I tried it again, 3 more times on each. No go. It goes on about 6-8 inches, and then just starts binding up.
    Thinking I was losing it, I grabbed a roll of HP5+ that was ready to develop, and it went on the AP reel in about 30 seconds flat, first try, as smooth as silk. The TMax is back in it's can, emitting strange vibrations, even now.
    I have a Patterson Series 4 tank, two reel, which has been around for years. It leaked from day one, usually, but not always. In the last year or so, it's developed a new trick. It's as dry as a bone through the developer and the stop bath, then leaks through the fixer and the hypo clearing parts. Weird.
    Anybody else have any "oddities"?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2013
  2. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    You could try reeling the tmax from the other end. Cut off the center spool and reel from that side. If the roll has a severe curl to it, bending it back a bit (though not til it creases) helps.

    With the fixer leak, the chemical reaction during that step causes a build up of pressure that will force fixer out of gaps. I also like to keep the tank lids off the tanks when not in use, the pressure fit seals could be stretched if they were always on the tanks and become ever so slightly loose.
     
  3. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Also I would like to add on to some stuff I always thought was odd.

    Like the tape on 120 films, some spark when you take the tape off the paper, some only when you take the tape off the film, and others don't spark at all if peeling slowly, other spark like crazy going fast or slow.

    Also the little floaty things in xtol stock, they disappear when you shake it up but seem to precipitate out after a while when sitting.
     
  4. hdeyong

    hdeyong Member

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    I'll try your idea of loading it from "the inside", and, leaving the cap off of the tank when not in use. I didn't realize that fixing released gas, so that may explain that.
    Sad day when you don't learn something.
     
  5. dorff

    dorff Member

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    If it doesn't go on, it is because the friction on the tip is too high. That happens if the film is either not completely dry, or if it has an up- or severe down-curl. The best case is for the bend in the film tip to follow the curve of the reel. For that reason, it is sometimes better to retract the film into the cassette for a while rather than spool it straight after taking it out of the camera; the reason being that many cameras reverse the direction from that in which it is in the spool or on the reel. Some time in the cassette allows the natural curve to return.

    Don't cut the corners. Leave them perfectly flush. If you bevel them, the film is much more likely to climb out of the groove, and will cut into the layer above and scratch it. Film should load easily if it is flush at the tip.
     
  6. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    Freestyle has replacement caps for the Paterson, should yours get worn out. I don't have leakage problems with mine. Well, there was that one time when I packed my darkroom gear in a tote and the rim of the lid was compressed against something hard for an hour or so. Leaked like mad after that. Those lids are amazingly delicate.
     
  7. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    It sounds like your film has taken a set. (Has become curled to acclimate the diameter of the spool it was wound up on.)
    With cine film, there are things I would do to counter the set like winding it on a different sized reel or winding with the emulsion in the opposite orientation but I don't think that's possible with undeveloped still film.

    What about gently warming the film just before loading it onto the developing reel? Hoping that the base would be a little more flexible and easier to work with. Don't know... Just a guess.
     
  8. M Carter

    M Carter Member

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    I keep a plastic reel around for 35mm that just won't cooperate. I like knowing my film is on that stainless Hughes, but honestly, I never see a lick of difference in the final images between plastic and steel. Plastic's a little harder to dry if you're doing several rolls in a row, but either way I'm grabbing a hair dryer and it just takes a minute.

    Plastic's the only game in town if you do a lot of testing and run partial rolls. I find the clips on the steel reels waste too many frames, and it's so simple to get a few inches onto plastic - especially with 120 film testing.

    All of my reels are 15- 20 years old and none of them show any signs of aging, plastic or stainless. But keep in mind, if you try a plastic reel, they won't fit in your steel-reel tank, they're a little larger.
     
  9. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Firstly if the film is badly curled, try curling the tip the opposite direction with your fingers so that the first couple of centimetres are straight or only very slightly curvy.

    Secondly, take to your spirals with a hairdryer until too hot to touch and then load your film within the next two minutes.

    Some films (Acros, TMX) definitely have a glossier/stickier finish than others (most of the Ilford range) that feel more papery and therefore go into spirals much more easily. And then there are horrors like 2405 with gel coating on the back so it's actually gluey on both sides if you have sweaty fingerprints.

    The weird leakage pattern is because of the difference in chemistry. Developer sucks the oxygen out of the air and forms a partial vacuum in the tank, so no leaks. Fixer does not, and in fact it may release a little gas during operation and the tank can leak.