Problems developing 4x5 in a Jobo Expert 3006

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by eriver, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. eriver

    eriver Member

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    Hey guys,

    I've recently acquired a Jobo CPP-2 (thanks Shadowtracker!) and a Jobo Expert 3006 tank. I have no previous experience with colour development, but after reading hundreds of threads on how 'easy' it is, I decided to do it at home. I was also advised that the Jobo Expert series is the best way to go with due to it's ease of use and constant even development. Well, after running a couple of sheets through, I find myself really frustrated. I am getting uneven development in the center of some sheets during each run. At first it happened in all 4 sheets I put through. I then did some reading and found out about the importance of leveling the drum before processing and it all made sense, how the part closest to the bottom of the tank didn't the same amount of chemicals. I ran 2 sheets making sure it was leveled and they came out perfect. After that, I ran two sets of 6 sheets each, getting mixed results in both batches. Some come out great, some with the center not properly developed. In some it's more apparent, some are more subtle and some are perfect. I am posting a few quick scans, all sheets are from the same tank, same run. Has this ever happened to anyone? Any clues on what I am doing wrong?

    Thank you all in advance!
     

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  2. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    Are you sure you put in enough liquid?
     
  3. rawhead

    rawhead Subscriber

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    Yeah, if "leveling the drum" made such a difference, then the first thing I'd doubt is lack of chemicals. I process on my kitchen counter and never bother to check level (and I know for a fact that my old kitchen counter ain't level), and I've never had this problem with a CPP2 and an expert drum.
     
  4. rawhead

    rawhead Subscriber

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    Wait, that's the CPP2 I wanted to get from Shadowtracker!! :LOL: Mine is problematic and I wanted a better one with better motors... enjoy it...
     
  5. eriver

    eriver Member

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    sorry for the snatch rawhead, i am afraid it might be the one! i'm trying to enjoy it, but ugh, me and the processor haven't made friends quiet yet. well, as far chemicals go, i've been putting a little more than the 'minimum' quantity listed on the tank label, which is 210ml. i just followed all the jobo guidelines and it said that that should be enough. i guess i'll try a run with more chemicals tomorrow. it is very strange because the edges of the film is always developed, and there's a weird patch in the center that is not. how much chemicals do you guys use on this tank (jobo expert 3006)?
     
  6. rawhead

    rawhead Subscriber

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  7. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    210 mL should be fine, especially if it's been leveled. Have you eliminated other possibilities such as fog or light leaks? You may want to run a black-and-white process to see if you get the same results. That would possibly eliminate the possibility that it is your color film or chemicals specifically. If you run a process with exposed photo paper and print chemicals, it would tell you if it is light leaks from your film holders.
     
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  8. rawhead

    rawhead Subscriber

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    Yeah, if it's not the tank/chemicals, I'd next doubt the camera/film holder/ etc.

    Last year, I was getting weird fogging on my 4x5 infrared shots and I was like "damn, it's that stupid developing tank (back then I didn't have the expert drum yet) again!". After a while, with help from ppl I figured out that there was a slight light leak from my lens board that wouldn't show up in film exposed under normal conditions, but did show up with IR shots which were, at the same time, long exposure shots (>1s).
     
  9. eriver

    eriver Member

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    i've been using the same holders for quite a while and never really had leak/fog problems. it's also strange the marks are towards the top of the holders (bottom of the neg), which is quite strange for a leak. i'll try to borrow some holders from friends just to rule it out anyhow.

    also, i've been using the rotation setting in between 4 and P, which is a little faster than recommended.
     
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  10. hrst

    hrst Member

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    That looks DEFINITELY like a light leak! Test4 is very clear, there is even that distinct, straight edge shadow on the left, which would also mean the light leak happens probably in the camera/holders, not in the Jobo tank.

    It would be a very peculiar chemical error. Look, you have no part of image underdeveloped, instead you have a HUGE density increase, and they are not higher in contrast. Overdevelopment would cause that, and further, you would need a huge overdevelopment at those parts. And, overdevelopment does not give even density to shadows and highlights, like you have in the snow vs. forest parts.

    Also the fact that the problem seems to happen outdoors points towards a light leak.

    The light is coming from the emulsion side of the film as you can see from the neutral color. I would suspect the dark slide etc.

    It's definitely a light leak - sorry. Your Jobo and process is fine.
     
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  11. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Could there be a light leak in the tank?
     
  12. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    The lid would have to be very off-kilter to create a light leak of that severity. It may be the film holder darkslide or the mating surface of the camera against the film holder. I suggest a simple test: load the holders with black-and-white paper and take them outside in the sun for 10 minutes on each side. Develop the paper and see if there is a light leak. If not, load them again, set up your camera, and place them in the camera as though you are going to make a photograph. Only pull the darkslide, don't expose the paper with the shutter. After letting the paper sit for a few minutes, replace the darkslide and develop the paper. See if there are any leaks. That will tell you where the problem is. If you use a post-it note on each side of the film holders to number them and process the paper one at a time you can find out which ones leak and which don't.
     
  13. hrst

    hrst Member

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    Of course it's possible too.

    Did you remember the center column of the tank :D? That would be a classic one.

    But still, I would vote the holders / dark slide because of the distinct straight line shadow in the light leak.
     
  14. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    Except the 3006 tank doesn't use a center core. The only point it could leak is how the lid is put on the tank itself.
     
  15. eriver

    eriver Member

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    hey guys,

    so a friend of mine just sent me a few shots he took with the same camera and sent it to a pro lab for developing. this is what he got.

    i guess this settles the case. i'll work on examining my bellows and testing my holders. it's great to know it's not the development nor the tank. i've been running 120 like a madman and it's all been peachy, the 4x5 was driving me nuts.

    thanks for all your help!
     

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