Plus-X - What the...?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Thomas Bertilsson, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I decided to try some Plus-X 120 film and my first impression is horrible...

    I developed a roll for testing in the same tank as two rolls of Tri-X 400 120. The two rolls of Tri-X came out perfect, as they always do, and the Plus-X came out like the attachment shows. What the heck happened here?

    Film: Kodak 125PX, 120 roll
    Dev: Pyrocat-MC 1+1+100 (13 minutes, agitate full 1st min, then twice every 3 mins, 70*F)
    Stop: Water
    Fix: Ilford Hypam 1+4 (fresh)
    Wash and dry with PhotoFlo

    What's going on? Can we single out flm problem here?

    Thanks for your insight.

    - Thomas
     

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  2. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    Whew! I could imagine several things, but most likely seems to me to be pressure marks judging only from appearance. When or where that might have happened, who knows? I'm only guessing.
     
  3. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

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    I use the same film, developer combination and time, but mine don't look anything like that. Could it just be a defective roll? Of all the troubleshooting I've had to do in the past and books I've read, I haven't seen anything like that. It looks like streaks of something maybe on the left hand side. Try again maybe and see if it persists?
     
  4. pwitkop

    pwitkop Member

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    Is the roll uniform with all the frames showing the same issues? I'm not sure of the cause but I saw a streaking similar what's on the left side your image, though much less pronounced on a roll of acros I recently processed in pyrocat at the same dilution. I saw it running lengthwise, and only on one frame. My only theory (and I'm not sure it's a good one), is that some crystals that have formed around the mouth of the B solution got into the developer.

    Peter
     
  5. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I'm going to try a roll in Xtol today to see if the problem goes away.
    All three rolls developed were shot with the same camera, a Mamiya 645, so I have to disregard gainer's suggestion about pressure, at least from the camera back point of view.
    I'll post my results here, as I have a hard time imagining Kodak producing film with these issues. I want to like Plus-X so badly, especially since I printed a client's negatives that were shot on it. Great prints resulted.
    - Thomas
     
  6. edtbjon

    edtbjon Member

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    Yes, something wrong with that particular roll of film, or something went wrong with processing that particular roll. I don't think that Pyrocat is to blaim either. I remember seeing similar artifacts, but it was a long time ago and I don't remember neither the cause nor the cure.
    While Plus-X never have been a favourite of mine, it's only a matter of finding the receipe which will make that film sing for you. (Pyrocat is a good start. Kind of a magic bullet for most of the films I've tried it with.)

    //Björn
     
  7. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Yes, same camera, but different film backs? I once had a white scratch issue with a Bronica back. Turns out it was an ever-so-small rough spot on one of the rollers. A piece of ultra fine sandpaper fixed the problem.

    Plus-X is a great film and while it *COULD* happen, a defect in the film is not likely. I've been shooting Kodak film for 30 years and haven't seen one yet. The QC at EK is great.
     
  8. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    They almost look like pressure/contacts marks. Any chance the emulsion side came in contact with another part of the film during processing? There would likely be at least another with this if it did.
     
  9. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Bob,
    all the negs have some artifact on them, they're all different though.
    Thanks for your suggestion.
    - Thomas
     
  10. kodachrome64

    kodachrome64 Member

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    I hated the roll I tried of Plus-X. I had it done by a lab and I'm hoping it was their fault, because the negs were terrible. I like Tri-X and T-max so much better...but I guess I won't know for sure until I develop them myself.
     
  11. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Jim,
    Same camera, same insert, same everything. Even the same day!
    I really want to believe that Plus-X is great film, and I'll keep trying. It's just irritating as hell that every time I take a trip dedicated to photography I end up with some sort of problem with my film. Chaps my a$$.
    Thanks,
    - Thomas

     
  12. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    Is it possible the roll of Plus-X got sent through a CT scanner or something (e.g. on checked baggage)? Those are weird marks.
     
  13. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Thomas;

    Pressure marks are generally dark on the negative and therefore light on the positive image. These appear dark. It therefore was something that reduced development in the developer. Can't say otherwise.

    PE
     
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  15. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Should have mentioned that we drove to Michigan from Minnesota and back, so no airplanes. Otherwise good theory.
    - Thomas

     
  16. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Thanks, Ron. Process of elimination is telling me that I have a gremlin... :smile:
    - Thomas

     
  17. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Gremlins, no question!

    This makes me wonder: 1) How old is the PX/ exp date?

    2) Where did you buy it? Could it be gray mkt and sat on a dock in the heat of the equator for 7 years?

    Try a roll of a different 100 +- speed film (FP-4, TMax, Acros etc.) in the same dev and see what that does.
     
  18. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Thomas

    It is safe to assume, until proven otherwise, that Kodak makes film perfectly. Also, that Plus X is beyond reproach. I'll stick my neck out and say that say that PyroCat is friendly stuff, and that it is unlikely in the extreme that two rolls would be unaffected by any latent developer malevolence while the third was struck.

    I inverted the sample to look at the 'negative', and sharpened it.
    It seems the marks are generally in the direction of film travel through the camera, but are curving slightly.

    Is the film abraided ? Are there drying marks on the film ?

    What color socks were you wearing ?
     

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  19. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Curious. Well, before investing a lot of time in understanding what may have been spurious, why not do another test with fresh developer. Maybe just snip some film off another roll and see what results.

    Who knows, maybe there was a localized Gamma-Ray Burst while you were developing your film. I, like, totally hate it when that happens.

    Another thing you could do is print it fuzzy and call it art.
     
  20. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Fresh date, 09/2010. Bought at the local store, National Camera Exchange in Edina, Minnesota. I bought two pro-packs, and I'm going to run a roll through another camera today and develop it alongside a roll from the camera that had the problem roll through it. See what happens.
    I did develop a roll of FP4+, also fresh date, bought from the same place, and it came out brilliant!

    Gremlins! :smile:

    - Thomas

     
  21. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Don,

    this would represent the first time I've ever had such a problem with a Kodak roll of film, indeed, that's why I'm so curious about what might have gone wrong.

    Film is not abraided, upon closer inspection, it looks just like when a surface gets static electricity charges and collects dust irregularly. Then it's as if that dust was embedded in the emulsion. That's how I best can describe it.
    There are a few drying marks on the film, but they don't correspond to the patterns that show up. I could even see them when the film was wet.

    Socks - black, my friend. I always wear black socks when I photograph. Perhaps time for a change? :wink:

    - Thomas


     
  22. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Keith,

    your developer suggestions doesn't make sense, since the two other rolls in the same batch came out perfect - shot through the same camera, back, lens, system, everything on the same day even. There must be something either with that roll of film, or the combination of Plus-X and Pyrocat that just doesn't work.
    By developing a roll in Xtol later today I'll eliminate one of those problems.

     
  23. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Socks--gotta go with Argyles!
     
  24. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Socks - black, my friend. I always wear black socks when I photograph. Perhaps time for a change?

    That leaves Dark Matter.

    Whatever you do, don't use Gray Market Dark Matter.
     
  25. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    Looks a lot to me like the film was wiped with something not quite clean before it was fully dry.
     
  26. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Gary;

    Good thought, but how about this... It was wiped with something not quite clean before it was developed.

    That would retard development. I can't see how wiping it after development would decrease the film density, but, it would decrease film density if you wiped it before processing.

    PE