Is there a problem pre-soaking Ilford Delta 400?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Pbridges, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. Pbridges

    Pbridges Member

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    I have shot two rolls of Ilford Delta 400 120 in my Hassy. I presoaked on both occasions for about 2 mins. (an old habit of mine). When I dumped out the water to put in the delveloper, a bunch of black crud came out with the water. Both rolls were almost completely clear, almost as if they had not been exposed at all. I have no experience with Ilford films, but I checked my camera out, and everything seems to be as it should. On the second roll I even pushed the development time a bit (Ilfotec DDX, 8.5 min. at 74%F) and still no images. This is making me crazy! Should I not be doing the pre-soak?
     
  2. bmac

    bmac Member

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    I always presoak my film with distilled water. I can't imagine why it wouldnt work in your case. I am assuming it was a water presoak, from a clean container (not used for fixer, etc) and the temp was normal.
     
  3. KenM

    KenM Member

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    Sounds like the emulsion is coming off in the presoak. Weird.

    Ilford should say in their film docs that a presoak is not required, especially for roll films. When you're doing tray development, a presoak is almost mandatory to ensure that the negatives don't stick to each other.

    However, a presoak will not cause the emulsion to come off!

    Try a roll without a presoak, and see what happens. If it happens again, then I would suggest that you have a bad batch of film.
     
  4. Joe Lipka

    Joe Lipka Member

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    It's not the pre-soak. The black stuff that comes off is the anti-halation backing. If I remember, Hassies have a dark slide. Did you remove it before exposing the film?

    I have made some of my best exposures on a dark slide.
     
  5. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    If all is working correctly, you can't fire the Hassy's shutter with the dark slide in - at least not on the one I used..
     
  6. jovo

    jovo Membership Council

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    i use ilford delta 100 film almost exclusively and always presoak. never a problem so far. i wonder, though, wouldn't the developer, being a liquid, take off the emulsion just as readily as plain water? sounds like a bad batch of film.
     
  7. dr bob

    dr bob Member

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    Can you describe the "crud" in more detail?

    dr bob.
     
  8. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Nor mine, either.

    I've read this ... and I wouldn't have a clue to why there wasn't ANY image at all.

    I know that Ilford recommends AGAINST a pre-soak; and the color film manufacturers recommend the same - more intensely - but they all suggest a degradation of the image - not that the image would be destroyed.

    The *only* explanation I can think of is ... FIXER at some time before developer. Does the affected film have ANY "edge markings"?
     
  9. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    According to the MSDA for Ifotec DDX, it is a Phenidone/Hydroquinone formulation. This means that it is susceptible to Phenidone oxidation (no color change with this!) and a consequent sudden and dramatic loss of developer activity.

    A Google search reveals that Ifotec DDX is described as "a lovely developer with a limited shelf life."

    Try a test piece of the film in a different developer.
     
  10. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    When you checked your Hassy out, did you remove the film back and fire the shutter while pointing the lens towards a light source? I once had a shutter failure that resulted in a couple blank rolls of film - shutter sounded ok but wasn't working.
     
  11. Pbridges

    Pbridges Member

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    Ok, not exactly in order,
    My Hassy won't work either, if the dark slide is in.
    The "black crud" looked like a lot of black silt in the pre-soak water. The pre-soak water was entirely black at one point, but never clear.
    The index numbers and the film type, maker, codes, ect are all on the two edges of the film as they should be. Nice and dark, too.
    I took the back off and fired with the camera pointed at a light; both shutters front and rear fired as they should.
    I just shot a roll of color film and put it in for commercial processing. I am awaiting the results with baited breath.
    I could have done that with Ilford except that I am out, and my source is 75 miles away. The only 120 available here is Fuji color.
     
  12. bmac

    bmac Member

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    If you have edge markings, then it wasn't your emultion lifting off, or your developer bad. I believe it has to be a camera problem.
     
  13. Leon

    Leon Member

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    i mainly use Ilford films and my pre-soak water is ALWAYS very black when I pour it out (the antihalation dye as mentioned earlier). Are you saying that you have never had dark coloured pre-soak water before?

    It is very odd that there is no image on the film - the emulsion must be intact as the numbers etc are developing ok - it sounds like the film isnt being exposed to any light.

    very odd!
     
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  15. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    If the edge markings are there, and apparently as they should be - the chemistry and time/temperature should have been somewhere near.
    That leaves one major avenue (at the moment) that I can think of - *massive* under exposure.

    You didn't change lenses and forget to reset the f/stop and shutter speed ...? I haven't done that myself .. not more than two or three hundred times or so...

    Anyway... what were the circumstances surrounding the exposure of the film? Lighting? - Studio flash? ... and how did you determine exposure?

    -Or ... maybe some sort of major shutter failure?
     
  16. happysnapper

    happysnapper Member

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    Black crud is actually very dark green crud more than likely. It is the antihalation coating that Ilford uses rinsing off after presoak, a very normal and desirable thing to have happen.
    If the frame numbers are dark and readable on the film, then somewhere:
    a. exposure was lacking on the film
    b. developer was exhausted, or overdiluted, or just plain not long enough
    If the frame numbers are light on the film:
    a. see "b" above
     
  17. bmac

    bmac Member

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    If the developer was exhausted, then there would be no frame numbers.

    Its gotta be shutter malfunction, or gross, no, make that GROSS underexposure.
     
  18. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    BTW - I just read on one of the sites that Ilford incorporates a wetting agent into their anti-halation backing layer - engineering it so that it is rather narrowly intended for processing without a pre-wash. I can't see where a pre-wash would hurt a whole lot - there must me some concern about the anti-halation stuff migrating to the emulsion ... (?? wild speculation).

    Anyway ... the "searcher" in me is waiting...
     
  19. Pbridges

    Pbridges Member

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    Ok, first of all, thank y'all very much for the replies.
    No, I have never seen the black stuff in the pre-soak because I have never used Ilford films before. I always used Kodak, mostly Tri-X and Vericolor type S and that was it. I never saw the black stuff with the Tri-X.
    Both rolls of film were shot in daylight and shade. Shudder speeds were roughly 125-250 and f stops were 8-22. I did not log them. With 400 speed film, feel I should have got SOMETHING.
    I used a new Kiev 88 TTL viewfinder on one roll and a Grossen Profisix on the other.
    I just took the back off of the camera and ran it through all shutter speeds and f stops. The shutter speeds looked and "sounded" right. The aperture looked about right.
    I will not be able to look at the comercialy processed Fuji until Friday, as there is no 1 hour process on Med. Format here.
    Does anyone have any idea of other quick and dirty tests that I can run until then?
     
  20. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Sure sounds like underexposure.

    Did you check the aperture control on your lens? Are the blades in the iris diaphragm moving freely and correctly?

    Set the aperture to f16, then use the depth of field preview lever on the lens to watch the iris function, fire the shutter and wind it - does the iris open back up as it should?

    How about the shutter speeds? Start out with the low speeds and move up.
     
  21. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    Off the wall, only other thing I can think of is to check the back and be sure it's working right. I had one once wind through the roll without stopping when it messed up.
    I hope you didn't load the roll in wrong side out like my fiance did when she was learning to load her Bronica! :blink:
     
  22. Pbridges

    Pbridges Member

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    Oh, I forgot. The developer (Ilfotec DD-X) called for 1+4 dilution. I took that to mean 4 oz. developer, 16 oz. water. That is correct?
    No, when I loaded the camera, I could see the arrow that I was supposed to see. :smile:
     
  23. bmac

    bmac Member

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    Crap, I forgot about that one, I did it several times with my RB setup.
     
  24. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Yeah, I forgot about that one too - and it just happened to me a month ago!

    It was a virtually new 6x4.5 Hassy back and the interlock mechanism in the back went haywire. Loaded a roll of Efke 25 and lined up the arrow the way you are supposed to, closed up the back and started cranking. Went all the way thru the roll without realizing something was wrong!

    After a $100 trip to the Hassy repairman all was well again!
     
  25. Leon

    Leon Member

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    strangely, I did it too, only a few weeks ago in my Rollei SL66 - I have loaded that back many, many times. What an idiot I am
     
  26. Pbridges

    Pbridges Member

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    Ok, the color film that I had processed came out blank too, so the camera is going to a Hassey doctor to see if there is a problem with it. I know of nothing else to do, so away it goes........