Problem with developing technique?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by newcan1, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. newcan1

    newcan1 Subscriber

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    Often when I print or scan my negatives which I have developed myself, the edges of the picture nearest to the sprocket holes appear lighter in the print than the rest of the image. At first I thought this might be a problem with some out-of-date film stocks, but I am noticing it happen also with fresh stock. Also b&w as well as color. Any ideas what this could be attributable to? I was wondering if over-agitation while developing could do it. The sprocket holes themselves are clear so it seems to a darkening only of part of the image area. I use a plastic tank and wonder if stainless would be better. I agitate by rotating the spiral via the stick thingy that goes into the center. Typically for C-41 I have been agitating by turning the spiral slowly but more or less continuously.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    Not over agitation but uneven agitation and development. Rotational agitation went out with the arc (except in processors such as a JOBO. You don't say what make of tank you are using or what developer. If it is one that is completely watertight then inversion agitation is the way to go.

    This involves turning the tank upside down several times. For instance a normal fine grain developer needs 10 inversions at the start of the processing time and then left until the next minute is up then a further 5 inversions every minute after that until the end of the development time.

    If you are using something like Rodinal this requires 30 seconds inversion agitation at the start of the time, then one inversion every 30 seconds.

    Give us some more information and we may be able to help more.
     
  3. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Constnatly turning the reel causes developer to flow through the sprocket holes causing more development around them. Donate your tank to a museum and get a SS Nikor or similar tank and reel. Agitation is by inverting the tank with a swirling motion. Agitate continuously for the first minute. Wait 60 seconds and then agitate 4-5 times at the beginning of each minute thereafter. Each inversion should take about 2 seconds.
     
  4. Arkasha

    Arkasha Member

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    I recently got a plastic tank; it works fine, but the mfr. has included a stirrer and the claim that agitating by stirring is a really, really good way to get the job done.

    It's strange how some mfrs. continued to push that harmful myth. You'd think they wouldn't urge users to employ a method which almost always gives inferior results.
     
  5. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    I think sometimes when writing instructions, some non mainstream manufacturers revert to the dark ages and use a pin to pick out instructions they think are the best. Notice I said 'think' rather than 'know'!
     
  6. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    How do you know it gives inferior results? How many rolls have you developed using this method.

    Quoting other peoples' opinions as gospel is the road to hell.

    I used an Ansco tank (with the thermometer handle for rotating the reel) for perhaps 20 years with no issues.

    Also, rotation works just fine for Jobo, Beseler, Unicolor, Cibachrome, et al, with millions of rolls developed by users all over the world.

    - Leigh
     
  7. Arkasha

    Arkasha Member

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    Ummm - how do I know? How about: By the number of times people who who use the swirling technique come here to report problems?
     
  8. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    Your sample is heavily skewed to the negative side, and thus invalid.

    People who use the technique successfully don't come here to gripe. They take pictures.

    As I asked before (and you avoided): How many rolls have you developed using rotational agitation?

    - Leigh
     
  9. Arkasha

    Arkasha Member

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    Really? It seems it's you who expects others to give YOUR opinion a great deal of weight - based on what, exactly?

    And to answer you: NONE. Know why? Because before I started, I asked around, and got a whole lot of people telling me not to use it. I guess that's what counts for bias in your opinion.

    Fine, we're all biased - but I've had not one of those of problems.
     
  10. newcan1

    newcan1 Subscriber

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    Umm.....OK my plastic tank has a cap so I assume it can be inverted. However, it holds two reels. If I am developing only one film, can I leave the top reel empty, use only enough chemistry for the one reel, and still do inversion? would air in the tank cause any problems?
     
  11. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    If you enumerate every possible development technique, you can find those who who will counsel against using all of them.

    The only truly useful recommendations are those derived from your own personal experience, not that of others.

    Everybody is different. One of the greatest areas of divergence is in development, specifically equipment and technique.

    You need to learn to use a technique, assessing its strengths and weaknesses in your particular situation, before you badmouth it.

    - Leigh
     
  12. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    Yes, you can do a single roll in a two-roll tank. I would put the empty reel on top, just to keep things from bouncing around.

    The air space should pose no problem. You only need enough chemistry to cover the roll being developed.

    Agitate gently since the low volume of liquid will cause much more turbulence than normal.

    - Leigh
     
  13. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    For inversion agitation with one roll in a two roll tank it's preferable to include an empty reel to take up the extra space. Otherwise the reel with the film is sliding back and forth and possibly causing surge marks at the sprocket holes. Perhaps a bigger issue for stainless reels vs plastic. It's also a good idea to fill the tank to capacity even for one roll, also to limit excessive surging. The extra air if you don't should not cause any issue though, consider that for rotary processing, a tank that can hold as much as a liter upright might be used with only 3 or 4 ounces on its side rotating.

    Agitation is one of those things that is very sensitive to individual technique, and what works well for some people doesn't work at all for others. The real answer to problems caused by agitation is to change what you're doing, and see if that helps, if not, try something else. Once you find success, do that every time. What I outlined above works for me, ymmv.
    FWIW, the twirling sticks work, but the swirling should be gentle and slow and in alternating directions.
     
  14. Chris Douglas

    Chris Douglas Member

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    Do what you like.

    It is possible to get even development with plastic tanks. I had the same problem with uneven development at the edges of the film you describe. It was even worse with 120 film. It was clear I wasn't getting the same agitation at the center of the film. I went to sliding the tank back and forth on the table top for 10 seconds each minute. I slid it as hard as possible, just to the point where developer is almost shoshing out the pour holes. This worked, but I went to stainless tanks and inversion agitation anyway, and no more problems. Enjoy perfecting your own method.

    Best regards,
    Chris