Paper problem?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by DAK, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. DAK

    DAK Subscriber

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    I am suddenly finding that I have light and dark zones on my contact sheets that run parallel with the long side of the paper. They are not sharply delineated. So I started running tests without the negatives. The striations appear on RC VC paper from three different packs from the same company and they are all oriented in the same way no matter how I orient the paper under the enlarger. A piece of fiber paper from another company did not show the striations. Any answers or questions? Dave
     
  2. DylanCraver

    DylanCraver Member

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    Curious to see an example... have you any scans? That might be helpful.

    Quite obviously it is something in your enlarger, but I'm not sure why it only affected RC and not FB.
     
  3. Mearns

    Mearns Member

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    sounds like poo paper!
     
  4. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    I've had that happen with some very outdated Kodak Polymax RC. How old is the paper and how was it stored? It might have gone bad.
     
  5. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    I vaguely recall hearing that exposure to X-rays can create banding similar to what you describe, but I'm not 100% positive of that and I don't have a reference handy. Might the paper have been taken through an airport X-ray machine?
     
  6. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    I had the same problem on some old positive to positve dupe film. It picked up density bands.
     
  7. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Speculation won't get you "a packet of ketchup at the cheapest restaurant in the universe".


    This sounds allot like a safelight problem, but IDK. Run a safelight check on your set up. It's a good idea to do this every so often, especially when you bring a new paper in to the darkroom. Safelight problems are the cause of more crappy printing than all other things combined. There are allot of threads in the archives that will tell you how to do this. Use the method that involves preflashing your paper. One paper may have a problem with your safelight, another may not, so just because one kind of paper has no problem, doesn't mean anything.

    No safelight problem? Take a sheet of the offending paper, and process it directly, in the dark, without exposing it, if the artifact is still there, it is the paper. If it isn't there, give another sheet a bit of a flash, just enough to get it started grey (no image) and process that (because some things need a baseline exposure to show up), and so on, until you eliminate enough variables that you know what is going on, otherwise, you are just milking the guppy.:smile:
     
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  8. DAK

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    Thanks for the thoughts. I had discounted an enlarger problem when I found that the bands of dark and light maintained the same orientation on the paper even though the paper's orientation to the enlarger changed. The paper, since I've had it, has not been exposed to x-ray. I have stored it in the dark room, but these are small packs of paper, one 25 sheets and two others at 40 sheets, and so they weren't in the dark room for very long. I do no toning in the darkroom. Two of the packs were promotional packs and I wonder if the paper might have been a little old. I contacted Ilford's tech support with an e-mail and have heard nothing yet.
     
  9. DAK

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    While doing my last post, Jason came on to make some suggestions. I have processed a sheet of unexposed paper and it came out pure white. If I flash the paper, how short should the flash be? I doubt if it's a safelight problem, but I will test. Dave
     
  10. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Just a super quick blip of room uniform room light should do. (you want to fog it, not white, and not black) When you process it, you want it to come out fogged, and see if the pattern shows up. Don't use your enlarger. If it comes out a nice even foggy shade of grey, your problem isn't the paper.
     
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  11. DAK

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    I have finally done the tests JBrunner suggested. The sheet processed without exposure came out pure as the driven snow. The sheets flashed under the room light with safelights off showed the same pattern as those exposed under the enlarger -- including a sheet from a newly arrived packet of paper. I got to thinking it might be a processing problem rather than an enlarger or paper problem. I had been using PF's TDA developer and was now using Liquidol. I hadn't cleaned the TDA residue from the tray and thought there might be some chemical reaction going on between it and the Liquidol. So I scrubbed the tray clean and, voila, the flashed paper came out just fine. Then I tested the safelights using Carson Graves' method and they are not a problem.
     
  12. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Sweet. Glad you figured it out. Darkroom gremlins are a hassle.
     
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  13. DAK

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    Correction. I said I had been using PF TDA. I don't know if that even exist. What I meant to say was PF TD-30.