Improperly Mixed Developer?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Nikanon, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Nikanon

    Nikanon Member

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    Help! I am at my wits end. I have mixed and remixed this developer, and I get entirely random results ( as far as this defect is concerned). I will attach a sample to this post that contains the defect and another image of the blank end of the roll that shows the defect as well (its more accentuated where there is less silver density). My guess is that there are particles that were not mixed properly that cause extra development on parts of the negative. I am wondering if this is due to any other cause? This is Beutler, a fairly simple developer, with Tri-x 400 pushed to 800. I am making the developer dance a bit (my dilution is A3 + B1 + 20 water) for about 22 minutes. I have some developments where this spotting happens, and some where the film is perfectly normal. What is going on? How can i make sure my developer is properly mixed? I am mixing at the correct temperature, adding metol before sodium sulfite, and the sodium carbonate is entirely alone in the water. How am I messing this up? Thank you to all who respond.

    I have used this developer before a few years ago without any problems. That is why I am suspicious it may not be the mixing.

    Contrast has been heightened to accentuate problem easily visible when printing in the darkroom for any frame that contains it.

    - JH
     

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  2. Nikanon

    Nikanon Member

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    PE, if you're on APUG right now, im sure you could answer this. I would GREATLY appreciate it.
     
  3. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    I don't know hwat you mean by A3 and B1. Do you mean 3 parts A and 1 part B? The recommended dilution for the Beutler developer is 1 part A, 1 part B, and 8 parts water. If you deviate from this you will not get good results. There was a similar thread where the OP used this developer with added dilution as a stand developer with bad results. For optimal negatives this is a developer that is rather unforgiving as to exposure, diution, temperature, etc.
     
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  4. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    What on earth are you talking about? Have you tried a standard ready mixed developer?
     
  5. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    looks like over development with lots of air belles. You need to agitate, tap the sides of the tank to knock out bubbles, and develop for less time or at a lower temp.
     
  6. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I don't use this developer so I have no experience with it at all.

    I can say that this problem reminds me of severe foam during development, but that is a reach.

    Sorry. I have no real clue.

    PE
     
  7. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Years ago when I was a "starving student" :smile: the Beutler formula was my developer of choice since it was dirt cheap. The results with Kodak Pan-X were stunning in their detail. But as I said your exposure must be spot on. Willi Beutler in his book stressed that one should strive for the thinnest possible negative with good shadow detail. So meter carefully and bracket when in doubt. Most films show an increase in speed so your EI will be different from box speed. Some testing in in order. Over exposure and/or over development and improper agitation will negate the purpose of this developer. So use this developer as it was intended and don't try to "improve" on it with changes.

    Best results are with slow traditional films ISO 100 or less. It's rather pointless to use this developer with fast films like Tri-X since the developer was designed for slow films. Grain will be accentuated. With Tri-X might I suggest D-23 diluted 1+1 would be a better shoice unless you really like grain.

    Avoid camera vibration. Best detail will be with a range finder used with a tripod.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2013
  8. georgegrosu

    georgegrosu Member

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    I worked only a couple of times with the developer. I can not say I have experience with it.
    First, I think it is good to consider that recommendation developer use only film sensitivity below 200 ASA.
    By changing the ratio A / B / water, have changed (decreased) concentration of Sodium Carbonate in developer.
    Perhaps you have a reason for changing the ratio A / B / water.
    Before You can try using a bath of sodium carbonate 5 g / l for a few minutes.
    Then wash thoroughly and then films them make your developer.
    You may to get rid of the problem.

    George
     
  9. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    I wonder what stop bath the OP uses. Could these spots be the location where Sodium Carbonate rapidly released CO2? Are these spots Silver or actual damage to the emulsion?
     
  10. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    I haven't used this specific developer, but the effect reminded me of a film that had been used from the freezer too quickly and had a bit of condensation on it.

    If you think the problem is related to particles of something undissolved then filter the solutions before use, in fact that is a sensible precaution anyway and something I do every time with developers made from a powder.
     
  11. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I'm on my phone, and the image patterns look very different from each other, one looks like water droplets (the dark one) the other looks like how plus-x looks when I soup it in DD-X.. Like little hexagons next to each other...

    I'll have to look on the computer to confirm.


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  12. Nikanon

    Nikanon Member

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    Hey guys,

    Sorry for the late reply. Thanks for all the posts on suggestions. I switched my developer to Kodak D-76 and it pushes great, has great tones, and still retains good detail in the shadows. The negatives are plenty sharp too for my printing size. However, I am getting small bubble like areas on this film now too. I am mixing the developer 1:1, developing for 11.5 minutes, Tri-x at 800. I bang my tank when I agitate, I have tried more and less banging and the bubbles still exist. In this most recent case they do not clearly ruin the image. They are most obvious (or maybe only occur?) in large areas of middle gray tones. Im assuming the problems from my last developer came from pushing it too far with the dilution. But now I am doing something EXTREMELY standard, and getting what looks like air bubbles no matter what I do! Any help on this one?

    (For anyone purely interested in this image as an example, its a 50mm f1.5 Nokton at 1.5)

    This image does have the curve manipulated to accentuate the issue, but it is slightly visible under normal viewing. The spots are mostly on the left in the gradient in this image.
    Spots examples.jpg
     
  13. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    I can see very subtle drying marks in this scan, but nothing that would resemble the effect of bubbles. Maybe I need an eye exam?
     
  14. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    There you go, now that wasn't difficult was it?
     
  15. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I agree I don't see anything, perhaps crop the image to an area at 1:1 that had the effect so we can see more clearly?


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  16. 250swb

    250swb Member

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    It looks to me like frothing, as if the developer is 'fizzing' almost, with small air bubbles on the surface.

    The first thing I would do is try another developer and don't risk another film. Then, if the new developer is succesful, take a step back and work out what may have gone wrong with your first option. Perhaps it is agitation that is too vigorous, perhaps check for grains forming around the bottle cap that aren't remixing into the solution, but to be honest it could be a number of things. You could try distilled water for mixing it just to factor out the water quality. And of course if the second developer exhibits the same traits as the first you know it is water quality or your technique.

    Steve
     
  17. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Do you use wetting agent and could it be you have a residual of this left in the tank when you next develop?
     
  18. Fred Aspen

    Fred Aspen Member

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    FWIW, I was mixing Pyrocat MC A5 +B5 +100 and it wasn't doing its job. I was actually mixing in that order and the developer went off. I reversed the sequence, e.g., 100 H2O + A5 +B5 and all was well. Mixing the concentrates first did some weird things. Don't know your mixing sequence but if you are doing it in the order you described, you might want to add the concentrates to the water.

    YMMV,
     
  19. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    If you are experiencing frothing in the developer, make sure the tank and reel are cleaned properly after using Photoflo. You can switch to Edwal LFN for final rinse, uses less product and rinses clean with warm water for clean up, it can also be used in the developer to de-foam. You also should mix developer with bottled water to insure no entrained air in the water, or allow time for air to settle out.
     
  20. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I simply have a small tupperwear container specifically dedicated to the PhotoFlo, it only needs 30 seconds of it, so I just make a loop of it holding the two ends, and run it back and forth through the tupperware, saves my poor tank from any harm.
     
  21. Nikanon

    Nikanon Member

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    I wish they were drying marks, that would be a simple fix. I examined the negative surface and even rewashed and there was no change. I also thought it might be something on the scanning bed and repositioned my film to no avail. The marks are those faint light on the print and dark on the negative ( although I cant see them looking at the negatives) circles every time.
     
  22. Nikanon

    Nikanon Member

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    Well in my previous working methods I used and abused developers because I was working with different films and subject matter. For now I have begun to standardize on Tri-x 800 so D76 was an option down the list, just simply a matter of switching eventually.
     
  23. Nikanon

    Nikanon Member

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    I agree and think this is what it is. Something tells me it has to do with the evenness of the tonality in the negative, or that may just be where it is able to be seen and also exists elsewhere.. In all the developers I have used (too many) I have never EVER had this issue.
     
  24. Nikanon

    Nikanon Member

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    Thought it might be that too and properly washed everything before development, so i've pretty much ruled that out. The distilled water method is next on the list.