More Fomapan Frustrations

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Darkroom317, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

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    When my Plus-X supply ran out I decided that Fomapan 100/ Asrista.EDU Ultra 100 would be my new film along with the 400 version. I bought around 30 rolls and set off to Michigan. I have used these films before without problem and loved the tones it gives with Rodinal.

    However, this time I have severely disappointed. Dark spots on some of my favorite frames from this last trip. Yes, they are on the negatives. I first noticed them when I hung the film to dry. At first I thought it was an issue with a lens until i saw it another roll of film from another camera. Also the edges of many of the frames are lighter. Though I am guessing this is from a lightleak.

    I know some others have had issues with Fomas' films. Now I am afraid to use it on an upcoming trip. What could have caused these problems? Also, does anyone have some recommendations as to what I can use with similar tonality but with better quality control?

    Camera: RB67 Pro-S
    Film: Arista.EDU Ultra
    Developer: Rodinal 1:50
     

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  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Foma films build up contrast far faster than any other make they need about 75% less development (time) to achieve similar tonality and about half the film speed. I've been using them for about 5-6 years with no issues like this, but Rodinal contains hydroxide so I'd use a good plain water rinse not a stop bath. Don't shake up developers, fixers etc before mixing as that can take particles settled on the bottom of a bottle into the working solution, Foma films are softer and they can lodge on the surface of the film. Ian
     
  3. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    I shot 8 rolls of Fomapan 100 when I was travelling to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Königssee with 35mm Zuiko. All came really well.

    Metering with K2(Yellow filter): 1/250 @f/8 and prints without filter on Adox MCP 310 when developed with Rodinal 1+50 for 15 mins with 3 agitations at every 5 minutes.
     
  4. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

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    Thank You Ian. I suspected the stop bath even though the website says you can use it. How do you do your water rinse? How long and how many water exchanges. I was surprised.I have used this film a few times without incident over the past two years.
     
  5. Bertil

    Bertil Subscriber

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    The dark spots on the first picture, couldn't that be underdeveloped spots due to air bubbles?
    Picture 2 looks to me not as light leak (necessarily), but rather over developed edges due to inproper agitation.

    I have for many years used Fomapan 100 as 4x5/5x7 and 8x10 (unfortunately not in 35 mm or 120, but should be the same emulsion); the only problem I have encountered was some years ago when it was suddenly necessary to prewet (2 minutes) the film sheets bevore developing.
    I have had no problem with ordninary stop bath, and my developers have been Rodinal (1+50), D-76 (konc or 1+1) and D-23 (konc or 1+1).

    I would recommend quite vigorious agitation the first minute, and then the same vigorious agitation some 10-15 seconds each second or third minute.
    (In my experience the most important thing with agitation is not that it is performed very often, but when it is performed it should be done vigoriously, in a random pattern, in order to get rid of the all the used chemicals, and for new fresh chemicals to enter the emulsion - it may work to agitate very cautiously but it's risky and my yield uneven development.)

    Your problems may not necessarily be due to the film, give it another try!

    Good luck!
    /Bertil
     
  6. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

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    Ok, I was slightly more cautious in my agitation. I was told that too much agitation would yield overly constrasty negatives.

    Tack så mycket, Bertil

    Kris
     
  7. piu58

    piu58 Member

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    I had once similar spots too. The reason were tiny paper particles form the backing paper. Please clean your camera before using an other film. The particles were everwhere in the camera.

    I stopped using foma film. If you shot 35mm you don't have this problem of course.
     
  8. R.Gould

    R.Gould Member

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    I have been using Fomapan now for a number of years without problems, developing in both Rodinal 1/50 and D76, the only time I have had problems is when using a acid stop bath, plain water stop seems to suit this film, I use 3 changes of water, invert 15 times with each change, then fixer, if you do use stop then only 10 seconds max, with Rodinal develop anywhere between 11 and 17 minutes depending on the subject, if it is a high contrast then 11 minutes if low contrast then 17, agitate for the first minute, then two inversions every 30 seconds, which give negatives with lovely tonality,
    Richard
     
  9. John Austin

    John Austin Member

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    My results half agree, or half disagree - I am using the Foma 100 in 10x8" size and find it works best at 40asa with ten minutes dev' in replenished D76d to achieve a similar curve

    Before anyone says my dev' is knackered, Ilford D100, D400 and TriXipan require about, or less than, recommended dev' times in the same big old bath - I pre-soak Foma to remove the blue dye that otherwise makes the dev' a funny colour - I shall not be replacing my Fomapan when I run out

    The D76d was mixed up in May 1985 and like me improves with age - Casting nasturtiums on my D76d is tantamount to kicking my dog, don't do it

    John
    Quinninup
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 5, 2012
  10. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Agitation should NOT be vigourous.
     
  11. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    Developer: Rodinal 1+50 (6ml + 300ml).

    I invert the Jobo(35mm) tank 3 times every 5 minutes during 15 minutes of development. I get negs that print straight on MCP 310 paper.

    Stop & Fix and vigorous rinse(10 times at-least) Finally Adoflo.
     
  12. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

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    15 minutes, that sounds like quite a long time. The published times I've seen range from 7-10 minutes for N development. What EI are you shooting at and what temperature is your developer? MCP 310 is the paper that I have just switched to.
     
  13. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    Temps: 20°C before pouring the developer. I never measured the temps after development.

    EI: Box Speed, but I had K2(Yellow filter) so I set my incident meter ISO=50 and measured EV 14(It was sunny on top of the mountain). I had everything on that negative to print.

    Yes, the meter was facing the camera. :smile:

    Unfortunate I do not own a scanner, I will try to give it to the lab to get it scanned during weekend.

    I am no expert in processing film but I follow this http://www.apug.org/forums/forum216/69617-shaping-tone-curve-rodinal-negative.html also I never tested with any other agitation methods so I cannot comment about other times.
     
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  15. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

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    Ok, I have been using around 8-9 minutes with good results. I expose my film at EI 80. I am surprised that 15 minutes doesn't block up your highlights or lead to too much constrast.
     
  16. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    I presume you may agitate on every minute. I personally do 3 gentle inversions once in five minutes and on 15th minute I pour it down.

    In that article author has explained the advantages of this method, further the comments that followed gives even more information.

    More over the developing scheme is just a part of the entire system since you may have to consider the enlarger type, paper and so on.
     
  17. Juri

    Juri Member

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    I think there's a big difference whether you agitate every 30 seconds or every 5 minutes.
     
  18. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

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    Yeah, I misread that. It makes sense now. I am doing 10 seconds, every minute. Usually with just one full inversion each minute.
     
  19. seadrive

    seadrive Member

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    I'm trying to picture taking 10 seconds to invert the tank. 5 seconds on the way down, then 5 seconds on the way up? Would be like slow-motion, yes? :tongue:
     
  20. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

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    No I agitate other directions for that 10 seconds, only inverting it fully once during that time. But I figure now that this was a mistake as far as to the uneven development. Like I said, I was afraid of too much contrast.
     
  21. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    If you you are unformfortable with the Foma film and the pictures you hope to take on your upcoming trip will be irreplacable may I suggest a first tier film such as Ilford FP4+. Regretably you get what you pay for.

    Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie!
    Class of 1968

    Jerry
     
  22. Bertil

    Bertil Subscriber

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    Yes, it should (though not unnecessary violent, off course).
    I will just give some hint of evidence:
    1) My own experience with many years problem with uneven development and a lot of experimentation,
    2) Scientific evidens about what happens at the film surface when the film is moving around in the developer, nicely explained by Gordon Hutchings in his "The Book of Pyro" (p. 20) where he explains the "laminar flow" which is part of the scientific explanation of why many "soft" agitain methods are inadequate,
    3) "Use vigorious agitation at 30 seconds interval" is Kodak's recommended agitation method on the filmpack for T-max 400.

    But as long as you get the negatives you want your method is the best!
    /Bertil
     
  23. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

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    Update.

    I started by cleaning the mouth of my bottle of Rodinal. Dried up Rodinal had coated this area. I also cleaned out the small beaker I measure it with. I often don't do this between films but I cleaning right after I mixed the developer with water. I also tapped the tank after the first 30 sec of development as well as before.

    I then used water as stop instead of stop bath. I continued with the agitation time of 10 sec every minute but with far more vigorous agitation. So far all of these problems have resolved.

    This has certainly made me more cautious when developing my film.
     
  24. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    If you have small tank: 300ml water + 6ml Rodinal will be sufficient for 1+50.

    I do not understand why you want to agitate vigorously. Agitate 10 sec(gently) and give a hard tap at the end to dislodge air-bubbles if any.

    I have developed an another roll on Yesterday and it came really well too. Soon, I will post some scans...
     
  25. R.Gould

    R.Gould Member

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    When I use rodinal for any film agitate continuaoly for the first minute then 2 inversions every 30 seconds, as suggested by Agfa, a long time ago, and I get great negatives, there is no need for vigorous agitation with Rodinal, but it is essential that whatever you use to mix the stuff is wel rinsed out after using as Rodinal reacts badly to stale developer'
     
  26. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Good you got it worked out! The pre-rinse, and avoiding the acid stop bath seems to be strong contenders for the problems you've seen.
    For what it's worth, most people saw problems with the Foma 200 film in 120 format, a few reports on the Foma 100, and I can't remember any complaints about the 400.

    About agitation: The purpose of agitation is to bring fresh developer in contact with ALL of the film area in the tank, at the same time. If your agitation is too slow, then you run the risk of uneven developing, and if it's too fast, you could see edges of your negatives more developed than the center of the film.
    A happy medium is best, where you need to make sure of the following:
    1. Do NOT completely fill the tank, because if it's completely full, the developer will not flow inside the tank to properly mix the developer up before you set it to rest again.
    2. Do full inversions, but do it fairly slowly, like one full inversion in about three seconds or so.
    3. Do not shake the tank.
    4. Tap the tank before you set it down to rid with air bubbles trapped on the film surface.

    I had lots of problems with uneven development in 2008, and my actions above solved all of them.

    Good luck!