Help! Messed up Tech Pan

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by jrong, Oct 27, 2004.

  1. jrong

    jrong Member

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    After my post about developing Tech Pan... I decided that I'd experiment with developing my own Tech Pan after shooting a test roll and not potentially destroy the one that I took on holiday at the Isle of Skye while experimenting with Technidol for the first time. I finished a roll there within an hour, the sky was bright but the landscape was not particularly high-contrast, I shot with a yellow filter, +1 compensation, at ISO 25. I took the roll in to the local pro lab for processing. I guess I should have just gone ahead and tried my hand at processing it myself, because the results came back shockingly high-contrast. In fact, the whole roll was ruined. Since it was the first time I'd taken Tech Pan to the lab, I didn't know what questions they should've asked me or anything - they didn't ask me anything at the counter, and did not ring me for further instructions although I left them my phone number as standard procedure.

    I have attached two scans, and I managed to only make them look faintly presentable after a LOT of PS work, i.e reducing contrast, adjusting levels and tweaking curves. I do not claim to be a PS genius, so perhaps more could be done, but the skies were all completely blown out, any highlights were also blown out, etc. It looks like a fault with the lab processing??? At any rate, I'd like to know whether I can salvage these negatives, and whether or not I am justified in asking the lab for a refund for this botched job.

    Thanks for any thoughts,
    Jin
     

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  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    You mentioned you did your tests with Technidol, as you must be aware this is a specialist developer. Few professional labs would process Technical Pan and you should have discussed the processing requirements when you handed the film over.

    In normal use Tech pan is supposed to be a high contrast film and so if processed normally in a professional lab will give results like yours.

    Tech Pan used for more conventional tonal work requires the use of a specialised low contrast developer formula, like Technidol or POTA. Few labs would have these on their shelves as Tech pan sells in quite low quantities here in the UK.

    The answer is process your own. It's probable you would get more easily printable negs if you bleached your negs in a re-halogenating bleach (ie the bleach from IT-1 toner) washed well, re-exposed to light then re-developed in Technidol.

    IT-1 Bleach

    100gms Potassium Ferricyanide
    100gms Potassium Bromide
    Water to 1 litre

    Use 1 part Bleach to 9 parts water
     
  3. jrong

    jrong Member

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    I will definitely process my own Tech Pan in the future. What bothers me is that the lab did not inform me what developer or processes they were going to use before taking on the job... especially since they had my phone number. I guess it's something to bear in mind for the future. I just made an assumption that these pro labs would know how to deal with it (and not do it if unsure) and not need specific instructions from me. What a mistake! Mea culpa, I guess.

    Anyway I am not too used to playing around with chemistry, re: your instructions on how to make the ruined negs potentially printable... what do you mean by re-exposing the negs to light? Do you mean converting my negs to B+W positives?
     
  4. jrong

    jrong Member

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    I don't know much about this, but is it possible to use Kodak Farmer's Reducer to salvage the negs?
     
  5. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    why not try printing them using a 00 filter or using water bath development or some other technique first?
     
  6. jrong

    jrong Member

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    I'm afraid I don't know any other techniques..... that's why I am posting here to ask. :wink:
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Far more risky than bleaching and redeveloping in a soft working developer.

    You'll bleach out the shadow areas if you use Farmers reducer on such contrasty negs and barely touch the highlights, the process is irevesible. While Farmers reducer was recommended for overdeveloped and contrasty images in the case of Tech pan in normal film defelopers it's a case of extreme contrast.

    Bleaching and redeveloping can be by inspection and the development curtailled when the desired density is reached.
     
  8. jrong

    jrong Member

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    Hi Ian, thanks for this -- got any specific instructions on how to do this bleaching and re-developing (esp the exposure to light bit)? It's all new to me. I'm not used to messing about with so much chemistry. If you could point me to a website with info, that'd be good too!

    Thanks.
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    OK make up the bleach solution I posted earlier. Then bleach the negs in a print dish untill all the silver has been converted back to Silver Bromide, the image will go white. Wash well until all the yellow ferricyanide is washed out.

    Re-expose using a bright light, (reading lamp with a 100w bulb 18" away for 3-4mins will do fine) leave the negs in water in the print tray while you do this. Then re-develop slowly with plenty of gentle agitation in Technidol or a similar dev recommended for Tech pan.

    Dev by inspection as this can be done in normal room lighting. Stop & fix the negs when you've reached the desired density.

    Keep the temperature of all the chemicals & wash water as close to 20° C as you can. You can do one strip first to test the method, but it is very easy and it is a recognise technique although rarely used now.

    If you need the chemicals, message me.

    Hope that helps
     
  10. mobtown_4x5

    mobtown_4x5 Member

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    You can always get better results at home developing BW film-
    consumer film processing services (they still have those!) are geared toward color, and they don't care about your work. Chalk it up to experience and stay away from consumer photo labs!
     
  11. jrong

    jrong Member

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    Hey Ian, thanks a LOT for your advice... I'll get in touch if I can't source the chemicals somehow. Now I just have to wait for a rainy day to try this out.... :wink: