Jobo edge density film problem

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by jp80874, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    I am getting overdevelopment or high edge density on the film edge opposite the notch. This is the 7 inch side of 7x17 film. The other three edges are fine. Can you offer suggestions how to eliminate this problem?

    I am using 7x17 HP5+ film, Rollo Pyro developer from Bostick & Sullivan. I develop two sheets at a time of the same image bracketed 2 stops. The notched edge is always loaded at the top or lid end of either of two 2800 series drums. Emulsion faces to the center of the tank. The problem happens in either drum. I have ten film holders and the problem exists which ever film holder I use so I doubt it is a light leak. The higher density is roughly ¼ inch to 3/16ths”. Some times I can burn it out in printing with approximately 100% burning time or twice what it takes for the rest of the print.

    I have been using Rollo Pyro for at least five years, but this seems to be a recent problem.

    I am using a Jobo CPP-2 serial # 13391. I use a five minute prewash with the sodium metabolite that comes in the Rollo Pyro kit. This is ¼ teaspoon in 500 ml water. The water is 70 degrees F or 21.1 C. Development time is 6 minutes. In an experiment to reduce agitation I have been decreasing the rotation speed from 4, to 3, to F to the first notch beyond F. This seems to have made the problem worse.

    Any help appreciated. Ask if you have questions.

    Thanks,

    John Powers
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Jobo's newletter says to use the high speed setting on agitation. I also use a prewet and a stop bath.

    PE
     
  3. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Thank you PE.

    How high a speed number setting) does it suggest? I gather the speeds are different in different serial number ranges.

    Isn't this a prewash? "I use a five minute prewash with the sodium metabolite that comes in the Rollo Pyro kit. This is ¼ teaspoon in 500 ml water."

    As a stop bath the Rollo Pyro directions suggest two quick dumps of the 750ml each of water before the fixer. I do this. Are you suggesting something else?

    Thank you for your help.

    John
     
  4. Photo Engineer

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    Well, a prewet in most cases is just water, but with this version of Pyro you have to go with what they say as a prewet. As for agitation, it does vary from machine to machine. I have 2 and use 2 different settings.

    A stop is a stop. This is generally 1% - 2% Acetic Acid and nothing more. It promotes uniformity, especially with LF films and drum processors.

    And the shorter the development times, the worse the uniformity anyhow.

    PE
     
  5. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    If I lowered the temperature to 68F and increased the time would this accomplish what you are suggesting, or do I need a greater change?

    The rest of the image looks great at 70F and 6 minutes. I don't want to mess that up.

    Thank you.


    John
     
  6. Photo Engineer

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    Using 68F is more normal IMHO. You can't go too wrong. But, I am unfamiliar with Rollo Pyro.

    PE
     
  7. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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    This post


    provides all you need to know about Jobo rotation speeds.

    You have two potential issues. First, 2800 series are paper drums, not intended for use with film. The old Jobo distributor in Michigan used to make and sell special inserts that were intended to overcome the problems inherent in that misapplication. Many have reported successfully processing sheet film in these drums, but almost always when not using a staining developer.

    Since you appear to have been doing this trouble-free in the past, it's possible something about the film or developer has changed. I recall Sandy King posting that, despite Jobo's above-linked recommendation for a setting that results in 45-50 rpm when processing film, he always uses the slowest rotation speed possible. Hopefully Sandy will chime in with further insight.
     
  8. garysamson

    garysamson Subscriber

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    Have you tried processing one sheet of film in a tray to rule out possible camera / holder issues? Or load the film with the notch at the bottom of the tank?
     
  9. Photo Engineer

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    wow Sal, I completely missed the "paper drum" issue. That could be a significant factor here. As you note, the internal design is different for film drums.

    PE
     
  10. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Thank you all. As mentioned this did work well for several years and only recently, 3-6 months, has it gotten bad. Slowing rotation down has made the problem worse. I am planning to go back to setting 4 where I started and gradually try increasing speed. I will try to count rpm but it is two way rotation and counting my be hard. I do like the idea of centering the film away from the bottom. Certainly no reason not to try it notch down.

    I have very bad allergies and went to the Jobo to avoid fumes. I have powerful exhaust and filtered input fans in a 10x13x7 foot darkroom. I used nitril gloves and a 3m filtered mask from B&S. Metol and ammonia seem to be the worst for the allergies. I have switched to a non ammonia fix for paper in trays, but I use Ilford Hypan in the Jobo. Rollo Pyro starts with a metol wash and has more in the developer, so for me it has to stay in the Jobo.

    Thank you for your ideas. I will be off line until tomorrow afternoon Eastern US time, but will respond to any additional ideas then.

    Thanks,

    John
     
  11. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    John, when I had more density at the edges when I first started using the 2800 drums it was from exhaustion of the developer leading to less density in the middle; this gives the effect of over-development at the edges. However, you state this extra density is only along the film edge with the notch. As an experiment you could try using more developer and see if the problem persists.

    Haven't you been processing with that same setup for many years. Has anything changed?
     
  12. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    As far as chemical sensitivity, I ALWAYS wear a chemical mask, it doesn't have eye protection or anything, just those two side filters that filter out chemicals, I would suggest wearing one of those. If you do and mentioned that, then sorry I'm repeating, but that's what I do, especially for the stop and fixer.
     
  13. Photo Engineer

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    Unless the mask has activated charcoal, it only filters out dust! Dust is NOT the problem with developers, stops and fixers, it is FUMES.

    Also, Anchell and Troop state that Pyro may be the most dangerous chemical in the darkroom. They got that from Grant Haist.

    PE
     
  14. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I forget what my mask filters but I know I made sure it filters airborne chemicals like clorox bleach and paint fumes etc it was the best thing I could buy from home depot, it certain SIGNIFICANTLY reduces the smell of fixer, but if I put my face right up to it and breathe in, I can still smell it a little, but certain MUCH less than without the mask, and standing away from it I can't smell it at all.
     
  15. Kawaiithulhu

    Kawaiithulhu Subscriber

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    I'm getting all misty-eyed here remembering the hazmat suit section of classes last year :ninja:
     
  16. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Thanks Dale.

    The extra density is only on the 7 inch side opposite the notch. I have been sliding that edge to the bottom of the drum. In my next developing attempt I will try centering the film in the drum. I will try one sheet notch down, one sheet notch up to learn what that shows.

    Yes I have been processing in the way described for several years. Only in the last 3-6 months have I had this problem consistently.

    Thanks,

    John
     
  17. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    A side issue but this is how I protect myself from chemicals in the darkroom and my allergy to ammonium.

    The fixer I replaced is: Ilford brand Hypam: Ammonium Thiosulfate, Boric Acid, Sodium-metobsulfite, Sodium Acetate, Acetic Acid, and water.

    The new fixer is: 240g Sodium Thiosulfate dekahydrate, 15g Sodium Sulfite Anhydrous, 3g Sodium Bisulfite, mix to 1 liter. I mix 6 liters at a time and use it in two trays until a product called Hypo Check shows it has too much silver. I take the spent chemicals in gallon jugs to The University of Akron’s silver recovery system.

    For protection I wear CLC brand Nitrile powder free gloves and a 3M dual cartridge 6006 face mask. 3M™ Multi Acid Gas/Organic Vapor Cartridge 6006, Respiratory Protection 60/Case. NIOSH approved against certain organic vapors, acid gases, ammonia, methylamine or formaldehyde. The mask was purchased with this protection in mind from Bostick & Sullivan.

    I built my darkroom with two powerful Panasonic inline exhaust fans installed on the opposite side of an eight foot sink. This draws the fumes from the trays away from me to the outside. To balance that there is a dust filtered intake fan behind my back blowing past me, across the trays and out the exhaust.

    Thank you for caring,

    John
     
  18. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

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    I am not familiar with the CPP-2, but I would suggest looking at the tank when mounted on the processor to make sure it is level and rotating on-axis. You may have some standing waves. These would be most apparent at the base of the tank because the lid offers some extra space. I don't think it is highly likely, but since the problem is recent, I would start with physical, testable checks before playing with the chemistry.
     
  19. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Thank you. I was thinking that I should try leveling the tank the next time I develop. We both had a good idea.

    John
     
  20. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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  21. jp80874

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    Thank you all for your suggestions. Some contradicted others so I did my best guess of what to try first. Ideally I would make one change at a time, but there were simply too many, so I took a chance. Since my last post I developed the film in four holders and got significantly better results. By that I mean the edge density is still there, but much less in size and tone. Following are the things I tried. Please give me your thoughts as to how I can improve the process.

    Level tank: grhamp ….”make sure it is level and rotating on-axis.” The 2800 series tanks are two cylinders with a rib joining them together at midpoint. I made sure the water level of the Jobo was lowered so the tank rested on the rollers. The rollers hold the tank on axis. The 9” level I use for setting up the camera is perfect for testing this because it fits either side of the central rib. Good idea, but the tank was level and aligned, so no improvement here.

    Fill water at 68 degrees F, 20C. PE suggested this instead of the 70 degrees F I was using. Arbitrarily I increased development time from 6 minutes to 6:30. This later proved too long and I reduced it to 6:15 minutes.

    Sal Santamaura gave this link to his posting on new and old Jobo speed settings. http://www.apug.org/forums/viewpost.php?p=1610856
    Prior to reading his post I had been experimenting with reducing the speed from “4” to the first notch to the right of “F”. In doing so the problem became larger and darker. I returned to “4” and with these other changes things got better. Sandy King suggested reducing speed as far as possible, so I still have experiments to do there.

    Sandy wrote, “What I have found to be the Number 1, Number 2, and Number 3 solutions to this problem are, 1) weaker dilution and longer development time, and 2) slower rotation, and 3) lift the drum very early in development and rotate it up and down, and repeat this every two or three minutes.” I started by trying #3 every 3 minutes. After the first two batches with the speed set at “4” I tried two batches set a “3” speed and noticed an improvement.

    PE suggested a stop bath after development. Bostick & Sullivan’s instructions for Rollo Pyro say “At the end of development dump the solution and do two quick water rinses in a period of one minute.” I used water.

    keith schreiber suggested, “If your drum is a 2850, there is about 21 inches inside from end to end. If you are not already doing so, try positioning the film so that it is centered rather than inserted all the way.” I did try this. Unfortunately after the rotations Sandy suggested the film worked its way back to the bottom of the tank. Perhaps because the film was at midpoint for some part of the development this helped, but my first rotation was at one minute.

    Larry Gebhardt suggested, “You might try flipping the film around (notches to the bottom). That would let you see if it's a light leak in your camera.” I did this on every other sheet and found that the increase density was always on the bottom of the tank edge regardless of where the notches were. This was very helpful because I had gotten several suggestions that the problem was either in the film holders or the camera.

    In the original post I said, “I have ten film holders and the problem exists which ever film holder I use so I doubt it is a light leak.” I have since realized that I was only using four holders from one bag. This test batch of development was done with the same holders reloaded with the same type film, HP5+. There has been a significant improvement. Thank you all for your help. Based on this newer data what next steps would you suggest?

    John
     
  22. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

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    Reading that list, the common element seems to be that the edge nearest the base of the tank is being over developed. Since the axis is level, it has to be turbulence - locally more agitation at the tank base. It looks like you have one other test - film in the middle of the tank, and do not invert it. If the development is even with the film staying away from the base of the tank, there's the answer.
     
  23. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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  24. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    To catch you all up, here are my last two posts on the LF Forum. I’m doing this just so there will be a record of the problems and solutions found for the next guy encountering similar difficulties.

    3/17/14
    Sandy,

    Thank you. I tried the flashlight in the bellows. After about seven minutes I found the slightest sliver of light. There is a rectangular wooden stop for the film holder that is fastened in place by a screw at top and bottom. Both screws were loose after several years of knocking about. That eliminated about half the light.

    For the time being I have used a strip of gaffer tape to seal the crack. I will talk to Dick Phillips about a more appropriate fix. I am guessing remove the rectangular piece and add some padding. All that will show then will be an edge rather than the tape.

    I tried the fix with one of your holders and one from Lotus, the two brands I had been using when I discovered the problem. After ten minutes in the dark, no sliver of light. Thanks for taking the time to share your expertise.

    Next I will talk to Dana at Bostick & Sullivan about diluting Rollo Pyro and how much to increase the development time. There is still the question of why I got edge density on the notch side when it was turned to the bottom of the tank.

    Thank you.

    John


    4/19/14
    Now that winter and Cleveland’s grey skies are behind us I have been out shooting, developing and printing 7x17.

    “One of the suggestions was to center the 17” side of the film in the 22” tank so the film rested above the bottom of the tank. In my recent tests the film slid to the bottom of the tank during development, probably because I tried Sandy’s suggestion of rotating the tank.”

    The Jobo clips and the mesh bags that Jobo in Ann Arbor made do not seem to exist for 7x17. There are some for sale for 11x14 on eBay from Israel, but nothing for 7x17. The idea of trying to insert in those and then the tank in the dark is not really attractive to me.

    Several ideas of ways to hold the film off the bottom of the tank involved restraints that might have made their own turbulence. I had an idea that is simple, free and involves no modification to the tank or difficult loading. I cut two inches off the end of a failed 7x17 sheet of film (I had quite a few of those) and inserted it in the drum before the undeveloped sheet. In 12 developments of 2 sheets at a time, 8 times the 2”stips have stayed in place even after the rotations. When the strips have popped out during development, the 7x17 sheets have stayed in place, two inches off the bottom.

    The true test was printing. Each negative developed with the two inch strip in place has printed evenly, ie: without a lighter edge on the side of the negative near the bottom of the tank.

    I am really happy with this result and wanted to offer it to anyone suffering with the same problem. Thank you all for your suggestions and especially Sandy King for the detailed instructions.

    John