help me troubleshoot my first attempts and B&W reversal

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by destroya, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. destroya

    destroya Subscriber

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    got the itch to try and do some reversal processing. went to keeble and shuchat to buy the chems and was happy they had all of them but the acid. I did a lot of research and thought i would use iron off for the sec develop, re-exposure and fix steps as it simplifies things. but I'm thinking that could be where my problem lies. in my research many people suggested using traditional grain films and slow speed films. so i loaded up a short roll of PanF+ and shot two things with 8 exposures each starting at EI 16 and going to EI 100. followed my directions of choice and they negs all came out really really dark. you could see an image but only on a light box and still it was very dark. so i went out with another roll of PanF and a roll of Ultrafine Extreme 100 aka kentmere 100 to try another film. i stuck to the same directions to make sure i didnt mess something up the first time. with the Panf the results were the same. very dark and i assume would not project well at all. the extreme 100 on the other hand came out pretty well. since its my first time i have no idea what a proper neg would look like, but when i compare it to my control picture, one shot with provia, it seems a little darker (but could just be my perception as its black and white and not color).

    I've scanned in 4 shots to post so you can get an idea. with the Panf EI of 16, i did one with no adjustments so you can see whats there. I also re-scanned the raw scan and used a white balance color balance and it does a good job showing whats on the slide. so i would guess I could save images with some work in the scanning and PP department. But i would prefer to get it right when developing. with the extreme just the one with no color adjustments, shot at EI 40. the other is the provia shot

    my process done in a patterson hand tank

    1) first developer 12 minutes with continuous agitation in Dektol 1+1 and 7ml hypo mixture which is made up from 7 grams of sodium thiosulfate in 250 ml of distilled water. then a 2 min wash replacing water every 30 seconds

    2) bleach 9 minutes continuous agitation in a 2 part mixed 50/50 part A is 6 grams of potassium dichromate per liter and part B is 30 grams per liter of sodium bisulfate. I could't find locally any place to get sulfuric acid. then a 2 min wash replacing water every 30 seconds

    3) clear for 3 min continuous agitation in 30 grams per liter of sodium sulfite. then a 2 min wash replacing water every 30 seconds

    4) 2nd developer, flash and fix 4 min agitate first 30 seconds then 2 inversions every min in 2 tsps per liter of iron off which is mostly sodium metabisulfate and sodium hydrosulfate. then a 2 min wash replacing water every 30 seconds

    5) 1 min in photo flo solution

    so any recommendations or help would be greatly appreciated. you gotta start somewhere. I knew i wouldn't get it right the first few times but would like to get it better sooner rather than later. thanks.

    john

    panf at 16.jpg panflevalsScan.jpg


    xtreeme 100 at 40.jpg proviaScan-130630-0001.jpg
     
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  2. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    for clarification: for your clearing bath, did you use Sodium sulfate or Sodium sulfite?
    (they are not the same chemical; and it is Sodium sulfite which is used in a clearing bath after dichromate bleach, I think?)
     
  3. destroya

    destroya Subscriber

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    ooops. spelling error. should be sulfite. I'll change the post
     
  4. Tofek

    Tofek Member

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    You should dilute less your 1st dev to get lighter positives. Surprising to see that even without acid, the bleaching is not bad !
     
  5. johnielvis

    johnielvis Member

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    developer is too weak and the bleaching is too long. Take a piece of developeed film that's dark and dunk it in bleach solution to see just how long it takes to clear and then double that time "to be sure"....3 minutes should be like more than double the time to clear.

    for sure not enough contrast and not enough first development too-that's the main problem with the muddiness. try a stronger dillution (less dilution) or a stronger developer.
     
  6. destroya

    destroya Subscriber

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    tokef, i am using an acid, sodium bisulfate. its an acid thats used in pools to change the PH level. its a substitute as i couldn't get sulfuric acid locally. i read several people using it with good results.

    john, the bleach is 1/2 strength with a longer time of what was recommended in other notes as I'm trying NOT to wash my image down the drain.

    as for the first dev, i thought dektol was a very strong developer and that 1+1 is a very strong dilution. what do you recommend as a dilution if any at all?

    thanks
     
  7. johnielvis

    johnielvis Member

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    read the post more carefully--you're bleaching TOO MUCH. Do a test to find the minimum bleach time which should be like 3 minutes or so--you're doing 8--it may not be doing any harm, but why leave it in chemicals way longer than necessary? Also clearing--2 minutes max---sulfite is a silver solvant, so you're losing meat there too.

    Try a strongerdilution--no dilution. Or move on to a stronger developer--or goose it a bit to make it stronger.
     
  8. autographic

    autographic Member

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    Dektol 1+1 is pretty strong, how much more can you develop?
    Why don't you just add more hypo to the 1st developer to make the pictures lighter?
    Thats the reason so many recipes call for hypo, the images turn out too dark if you don't use it.
     
  9. destroya

    destroya Subscriber

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    hmmm. one person says developer is to weak and another to strong.
     
  10. Tofek

    Tofek Member

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    This is nonsense. How can you tell that he's bleaching too much ? What's more his scans are too dark. He can't over-bleach anyway, since bleaching removes only solid Ag (if we ignore little complexations of Ag+ with SO4(2-) ions and others, negligeable), which has to be removed completely. And as for clearing etc., the problem here is dark film, not a matter of loss of density or else, that's really secondary here.

    First, he should achieve a lighter film. To do this : either use stronger dilution (dilute less), either increase dev time (might not be effective since you're already at 12 min), either add hypo or other silver halide solvent. You want to have less silver on your final result, so you have to remove it by one of those 3 ways.
    The last will probably work the best. I had the same problem in processing Fomapan R with Dokumol, I was already at 12 min, and increasing dilution didn't help : the silver solvent solved it for me :wink:
     
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  11. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    Try a local auto battery supplier - Some of them should have 30% sulfuric acid for filling lead-acid batteries. Failing that, have a look for Black Swan drain cleaner or similar.
     
  12. johnielvis

    johnielvis Member

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    blah blah blah

    one minute longer in chemicals it don't need to be in is one minute too much. I said it may not be doing any harm, but it certainly ain't doing any good.

    also--your weak developers are the problem...yes dokumol..dektol.it AINT strong enough to do a mans job. Get a manly developer and you don't need no wussy hypo in the bath...geeze. Strengthen that developer with some steroids, dude, taking a weak image from a weak developer and weakening it more with hypo gets you crap. PERIOD.

    by the way bisulfate is just fine for substitute for sulphuric...I use it myself with no problems, amigos.
     
  13. autographic

    autographic Member

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    Why don't you recommend a developer, johnielvis?
    I use Dektol because it was suggested as strong on forums and blogs and was easily available.
    If there is something better to buy I would love to try it.
     
  14. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I prefer XTOL replenished to develop film for better tonality and finer grain, but I have not tried it with B&W reversal. I would suspect that XTOL will provide finer grain than Dektol for slides. Dektol is a paper developer.
     
  15. Tofek

    Tofek Member

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    Indeed, paper developers are used in reversal processing because they are stronger than film developers which are too weak and give grey slides.

    The developer recommended for reversal processing is Kodak D-19.
     
  16. Relayer

    Relayer Member

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    I think that level of sodium tiosulfate in your 1st dev is very low. Typically value must be 3-8g/l. More preferred use potassium thiocyanate in concentration 2g/l. Without correct amount of halide solvent such as tiosulfate/thiocyanate you always have dark highlight.
    good starting point is here
     
  17. Tofek

    Tofek Member

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    This isn't true, one can get perfectly nice and bright bw slides without using silver halide solvent. It's my experience with Tri-X super 8. However, some films require some silver halide solvent, in my case it is the Fomapan R. It really depends on the film (how it is rich in silver, for example), and on the water you use (if tap water, then it is different everywhere ).
    I use around 5g/L of KSCN, but that means nothing : you have to find out your own amount to add to make it work. Don't add too much otherwise you will lose density. Experiment.
     
  18. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    Is it possible to judge from a first development only what the appropriate time and amount of hypo is for a particular film?

    It would shorten the experimental cycle somewhat if one could simply run short lengths of film through a first developer, using differing amounts of hypo, then inspect to see which combination has the best potential.

    What would one be looking for in a negative after first development that would indicate that it would make a good quality reversal?

    Or is this akin to suggesting one would have to be looking for something that isn't there yet ?
     
  19. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Ah-ha! Ok.
     
  20. destroya

    destroya Subscriber

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    did another try this time with the same films. again panf+ really dark. but the extreme 100 came out perfect. very fine grain and a nice looking slide. for $30 a 100 foot roll i might call it a day and stay with what has worked for a while. then tackle panf at a later time
     
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