Negatives came out horribly... Where did it all go wrong?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by a.spaceman, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. a.spaceman

    a.spaceman Member

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    Hey all,
    just came back from a weekend in Oslo and eagerly went on to develop 2 films (Legacy 400, which apparently is rebranded Neopan 400, in D76) last night.

    It was the first time i used D76, but had already succesfully used ID-11.

    The result is absolutely unusable. Looks like either there has been some sort of light leek or the developer (or fixer?) didn't spread evenly.

    To be fair, it was only the second time i developed two films at once (in a paterson tank and with paterson plastic reels), and it hasn't been first time lucky when i first did, either, as the same effect came out (even if at a much lesser degree) here and there on the border of the films.

    I was also disappointed to see that, apart from the obvious problem, the grain came out massive, as well, which never happened with ID11 (nowhere near as big with Rodinal either). I used the developer at full strenght, using 650ml for the two films together.

    Attached is a scan for you to see what I'm about, the first showing the obvious light leek effect, the second the horrible grain.

    So, has anyone a clue about what could have gone wrong?

    Thanks very much,
    Alex
     

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  2. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Hi Alex,

    Oslo is a great city isn't it? Tragic that your photos are unusable.

    Could you show us the whole negative including sprockets? Perhaps hold a strip up to the light and photograph it?
     
  3. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Seconding the request for a photo of the negs. You can see what look like sprocket marks from the left of the first frame, which means that you may have had agitation issues.

    I would look very closely at your fixed - a general milkiness of the film (milky or brown-stained appearance of negs, loss of blacks in the positive version) can be caused by incomplete fixing so try re-fixing in fresh fixer.
     
  4. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    The first looks like too much agitation in the developer, resulting in over-development around the sprocket holes. I'm not sure the excessive grain might just be from scanning and a result of over-agitation.
     
  5. a.spaceman

    a.spaceman Member

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    oslo is absolutely beautiful.
    will try to. my scanner is an epson v300 and has a film guide which covers the sproket holes. will see what i can do, but i think you might have a point as the "light leek" pattern seems to start from the sproket holes...
     
  6. a.spaceman

    a.spaceman Member

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    got some scans with sprocket holes, and i guess they prove your theories.

    guess next time i'll use d76 i'll stick with the times/agitation routine i did with id11, never had a problem with it.
     

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  7. Mark Antony

    Mark Antony Member

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    Have you checked the sprockets for deformation? Film fogs when bent or stressed in any way. For instance if you re-wind backwards (opposite the arrow direction, you will get similar marks.
    Uneven development can also be caused by too little or too vigorous agitation, even films touching in the spiral.

    Mark

    Edit: ah you posted while I was replying.


    I'd say probably agitation, keep your agitation consistent ID11 and D76 should be interchangeable to a large degree keep the same agitation with both those chems.
     
  8. a.spaceman

    a.spaceman Member

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    sprockets seem ok, though i had a few problems in loading the films. must admit i think it was more because of a bad cold rather than problems with the film, which looks fine. also, would be curious if both films didn't ease in the spiral properly and ended up touching (although still possible of course).

    but considering the films have been developed together and both came out badly i tend to second the agitations issue.

    agitating every 30 seconds as per the packet seemed a lot to me but went for it, probably doing a bit too much.

    i developed another film in the same developer and with 10% time compensation and came out fine. that time i (mistakenly) did less agitation.
     
  9. hrst

    hrst Member

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    Try to refix them first, then we know more.
     
  10. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    Are you really sure the negs are fixed properly? Looks like some sort of fog to me, which may indicate not fixing enough/bad fixer.
     
  11. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I agree about the fix. Looks like the film hasn't cleared yet.
     
  12. pdjr1991

    pdjr1991 Member

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    Hey ive used Legacy 400 before. I used Arista's "d76". I had great results with it. I developed for 7 1/2 min (Agitate for full first minute then 5 seconds every 30 seconds), Arista Stop bath 1 minute (Agitate for full minute), and fixed with Aristas Fixer also 5 min (Agitate for full first minute then 5 seconds every 30 seconds). What were your times? Agitation is very important along with consistency. Also what chemicals were you using and how old? Hope this helps.

    Oh and i also hypo clear and use photo flo but it is NOT REQUIRED.
     
  13. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    Was there some sort of aircraft involved in your trip? Did you pack your film in your luggage?

    If you answered yes to both questions that could be the problem. It looks a lot like X-ray poisoning to me.
     
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  15. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    It seems to me that if the OP had success with ID 11 then we can pretty well rule out processing/agitation problems as D76 is much the same developer.

    We are short of all the info we need for a full diagnosis but it looks as if using fresh fixer is worthwhile. It looks like the classic milkiness of exhausted fixer.

    OP How many times have you used the same fixer?

    pentaxuser
     
  16. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    I agree that re-fixing the film might help. It might also be due to uneven development/agitation.

    However, if I got a piece of film that looked like that I would also suspect that the film is fogged.
    I would take a short piece of film, UNEXPOSED, and develop it normally just to rule out that possibility.
     
  17. blockend

    blockend Member

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    It looks like insufficient developer for two reels, meaning one film is developing on the dregs from agitation. It could also be dev-fix contamination, leading to fogging.
     
  18. a.spaceman

    a.spaceman Member

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    first off, thanks a lot for the input. much appreciated.

    should insufficient fixing be the cause, would refixing sort it completely then?

    the fixer used was fotospeed fx30 (the one branded as odourless). used it many times with no problems whatsoever. it was fresh (i use it as a one shot) but from a nearly empty bottle i first opened in (i think) march, maybe april. have been wondering how long it could last but served me well until last week, when i developed films in ID11 and Rodinal.

    for the agitation routine, i did 7:30 with agitation on the first 10 seconds and then 5 secs every 30 secs, 3 sideways movements left-right within a range of about a foot.
    while fixing, i did 5 minutes at 1+9 dilution and agitated the first 10 seconds and after every 90 secs for a further 10 secs (hence agitating 3 times).

    also, could it be of any help, the film i developed straight afterwards, reusing half of the dev, came out nicely but pretty stained despite careful routine washing and use of wetting agent.will try to wash again but i fear it could have some unremovable marks due to a little too much handling while loading into the reel (had to do it again 3 times as the reel, which i hadnt used before, seemed faulty. the reel i used instead was still a little damp).

    the film did go through x rays twice, but i've done this many times and never had any problems whatsoever. unless oslo-torp airport's x ray machines are different than that of many other places, i can rule the option out, having already travelled with the same film in the hand luggage.

    i used 650ml of dev, which is in excess of the 600ml required. i always use a bit more to make sure the whole film is sufficiently dunked. also, the problem is common in both films, which were staked one on top of the other.

    i will try refixing a strip of 6 with new fixer either tonight or tomorrow. i loved visiting oslo but am hating having brought back such a bad cold/sore throat, might prefer a champions league game on the sofa, under a blanket than some more fixing...!

    once again, thanks a lot for your interest and help!
     
  19. pdjr1991

    pdjr1991 Member

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    I agitate a little differently and got good results. I also used different chemicals. Try some legacy the way i did it (main difference is agitation for the full initial minute), it might work. Also you never know about x-rays. Do you store the film in a protective bag? Some films may be more sensitve. You can always put your film on your carry on and ask for a hand inspection and explain why.
     
  20. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    If fixing is the problem, re-fixing will cure it as long as the film isn't exposed to too much light and allowed to print-out. Time is of the essence here and it's something you should definitely do in this case.

    I think your problem was insufficient fixing making the sprocket holes visible - note that there is not increased contrast (overdevelopment) coming from the sprocket holes, there is a lack of fog radiating from the sprocket holes. That means you didn't fix for long enough but (due to the fluid flow during fix agitation) the bits near the sprocket holes are not as poorly fixed.

    To determine your fixing time, put a bit of exposed, undeveloped film leader in fresh fixer and time how long it takes to completely clear. The required fixing time is double that time. If you perform this test, you might find that your fixer concentrat has gone off (e.g. oxidised) in its empty bottle, making it slower than you expected even though you mixed up a "fresh" working solution.

    You say the next film was stained. Staining (brown is what I've seen) can be visible when you have slightly- but not grossly-insufficient fixing. Refixing should cure it.

    What is your fixing agitation scheme? For small tanks, I use continuous for 1 minute then 5s every 30s for the remaining time. One inversion* should take about half a second and you should invert about once per second.

    *inversion = 180 deg rotation, not two rotations. You have an even number of inversions otherwise the tank will be upside down at the end.
     
  21. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    As you are already !downunder" and upside down then surely this doesn't apply there or are you referring to the N Hemisphere only:D:

    pentaxuser
     
  22. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Ah but it doesn't matter if *I* am upside-down, only the tank! You'll just have to imagine us antipodeans hanging off the south side of the globe like fruitbats, carefully holding our development tanks up the right way with respect to Greenwich before beginning the agitation...
     
  23. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    Either x ray fog or incomplete fix. That is the overall effect.

    The black around the sprocket holes is a light leak so there are two problems.
     
  24. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    Ronald,

    I think the "black" around the sprocket holes might be the film base, which may seem black and lightleaked in relation to the incomplete fixing.

    As an aside, I see the OP saying that he uses more developer than suggested (650 vs 600 ml) - this can also be a cause for problems, giving insufficient room for the liquid to move around which in turn may cause agitation issues.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 30, 2010
  25. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Aged fix at the bottom of the bottle is basically sulfuric crap. Refix it.
     
  26. hrst

    hrst Member

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    Always do a clearing time test with the particular film and particular fixer in question. It's so easy with 35mm film and you can do it simultaneously when fixing, that there's no reason to skip it:

    1) Pour out a bit of the same fixer -- I use the cap from the fixer bottle to pour it in
    2) Cut a piece of film you are developing. With 35mm this is easy, you have the leader piece left you cut away first before putting films to reels.
    3) Submerge it partially in the fixer. Agitate at the same times you agitate the tank.
    4) Look at it every now and then, you can try to look at some text etc through it to see if it's cleared.
    5) When it is cleared, nicely and fully transparent, look at the clock. Clearing time is usually around 1-3 minutes. Double or triple this time, and it will be the total fixing time for the film.
    6) When the clearing time has doubled since the very first fixing with that fixer, it is time to make a new fixer.

    When you do this test, you'll see straight away if there is any problems in clearing or if it takes too much time. If that happens, make a new fresh fixer and try again.