Rollei Retro 80S\ RLS - CLEAR negatives - Help !

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by fatso, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. fatso

    fatso Member

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    I just tested a roll of Rollei Retro 80S (120 roll film) developed in Rollei RLS developer and the negatives came out completely clear.

    iso 25
    RLS (1:4)
    9.5 minutes at 24C
    5 inversions every 30 seconds.

    The developer was brand new recently purchased from B&H.

    The film is totally clear (slightly baby blue), no numbers or arrows, clear around the leader tape, I doubt camera exposure was a problem.
    Unlikely the tank was contaminated - I rinse with permawash and very fussy about keeping everything clean, separate locations for developer/fixer, etc.
    The developer has a strong smell of ammonia - is this normal ? I opened another bottle (they came as a 4 pack of 250ml) - same smell.
    The developer has a slight yellow tinge (I mixed it 1:4), and came out VERY yellow AFTER development.

    Could the developer be dead on arrival ?

    Any ideas ?

    Paul
     
  2. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    I haven't used this film but I'm assuming it has edge markings. Assuming it does, those are "exposed" during manufacturing so it rules out exposure issues on your end and indicates a processing problem. Either the developer is completely dead, or you poured the fixer in instead of developer.
     
  3. fatso

    fatso Member

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    Hi Michael,

    No edge markings, completely clear.

    have you ever heard of developer smelling like ammonia ?

    Is it possible the film had no emulsion ?!

    In 20 years this is the first time I've ruined a roll of film - I'm a bit stumped.

    Paul
     
  4. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    I don't know what compounds are used in that developer so I can't say for sure, but I've never experienced strong odours with any general purpose developer and in particular I can't think of why one would smell strongly of ammonia.

    If normally this film has edge markings but you're not seeing any, I'd have to suspect dead developer or that you accidentally fixed the film instead of developing it. I can't think of anything else that would lead to these results.
     
  5. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Of the two and with the symptoms you describe I strongly favour fix first sequence in processing. A totally dead but new developer is possible but about as likely as discovering hens' teeth.

    Sorry but many of us, including me, have been there once.

    pentaxuser
     
  6. 250swb

    250swb Member

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    With no edge markings I would suspect you put the fix in first. Everybody eventually makes every mistake once.

    But if you still have a small bit of cut off undeveloped film leader in the bin just put a drop of the developer on it and it should turn black because it has been exposed to light. If on the other hand the film clears, well, they mislabelled something somewhere.

    Steve
     
  7. fatso

    fatso Member

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    Hi, I'm 100% certain I didn't fix first.

    I've discovered all sorts of emulsion flaws with Rollei Pan 25 film and my confidence with Rollei chemical products isn't very high. I'm wondering if the RLS developer was contaminated at the factory - I've never smelled anything like it.
     
  8. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    While a MSDS cannot be assumed to list all the compounds in the formula, RLS seems to be a MQ fine grain developer (pH 8-9) containing Ammonium Chloride (which on its own is odourless). The MSDS indicates RLS is colourless to yellowish, and indicates "not characteristic" for odour.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2013
  9. grommi

    grommi Member

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    Paul, can you make a quick test with a small piece of any 35 mm film if the developer is dead or not? Just see if he blackens the film or not. Everything else is soothsaying.
     
  10. fatso

    fatso Member

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    That was a good idea and I'm thinking the developer is the problem. I cut a few pieces of the same film in daylight. They're not clear blue like my roll but a very very light gray with hardly any density - this was with full strength developer (but lower room temp) for roughly 20 minutes in full daylight. Another strip from the same roll developed in Xtol was VERY dense.

    I also got a mail from Aurélien le Duc (the author of a pdf about that particular film developer combo) saying RLS has a very short shelf life and colorless and odorless. Apparently those 250 ml bottles haven't been produced in a long time and RLS now comes in 330 ml softpacks. Good to know, thanks Aurélien !


    Paul
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2013
  11. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    That smell occurs when developer and fixer are mixed in the same container. Ask me how I know.
     
  12. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    :laugh:

    Again, as per the MSDS Rollei RLS is not supposed to have an odour. So something is wrong with that developer.
     
  13. fatso

    fatso Member

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    [​IMG]

     
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  15. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    Someone over here had problem with Rollei developers also not developing their film, think it was also RLS.

    I used Xtol 1:1 on my 80S.
     
  16. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I am sure that B&H and then Rollei will want to know about this. It may not help you other than in terms of compensation but it should help others. If Rollei has produced totally defective developer then in the quantities it is made you can be sure that it wasn't just your container. Maybe 100's of others are experiencing the same issue or are about to ruin their films in the same way.

    By the way I keep hens and will never feed them by hand again. Next time it is the lion tamer's chair when I go into the henhouse :D

    Let us know what B&H has to say.

    pentaxuser
     
  17. Bundesphotograph

    Bundesphotograph Member

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    Did you shake the developer properly before using?
    Thats very important with Rollei RLS.
     
  18. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Do you want to know what I think happened?

    Developer will likely not smell like ammonia unless fixer was poured into it. Think about this for a minute. How did fixer get into the developer, or developer get into the fixer, and how did that affect film developing?
     
  19. piu58

    piu58 Member

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    RLS is a metol only developer. It has no regenerator/redox system. Therfore it is very prone to sudden death. Be careful with metol only devs.
     
  20. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Seriously?

    First, the MSDS indicates this is a Metol-Hydroquinone developer. Second, it does not makes sense to say Metol-only developers are prone to any kind of sudden death. The shelf life of a developer depends on the entire formula. Even packaging is an important variable.
     
  21. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I have no experience of this developer but it still seem incredible to me that a brand new developer is susceptible to a kind of sudden death that prevents even a trace of development.

    I'd hope that Rollei will ask for the remains, if there are any, of the suspect developer and thoroughly test

    If it is sudden death and the stuff is brand new this would put me off ever using it again.

    If this was an Ilford developer Simon Galley would have men demanding it back in the middle of the night for immediate testing:D.

    This kind of quality control can ruin a company

    pentaxuser
     
  22. piu58

    piu58 Member

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    Rollei RLS is identical to CG512 and similar to Perceptol and Microdol-X. All these developers give slightly finer grain by giving some speed.
     
  23. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Perceptol and Microdol-X are based on D-23, purportedly with slightly less Metol, and the addition of Sodium Chloride. Microdol-X included an anti-silvering/plating agent.

    RLS is a MQ developer, which is not the same thing. Further, there is nothing inherently abnormal about the keeping properties of D-23 type developers once mixed, not are they prone to any kind of inherent "sudden death".

    RLS is a different formula and is packaged as a liquid. A one-part liquid developer requires careful formulation and packaging if it is to have a long shelf life.
     
  24. fatso

    fatso Member

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    I'll be back in NYC in a few weeks and will return the developer. Can anyone recommend a better place for film in NYC or am I better off ordering online from freestyle etc. ?
     
  25. fatso

    fatso Member

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    yup...
     
  26. fatso

    fatso Member

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    But seriously, the four bottles were shrink wrapped and I didn't have any fix near them or on my hands. The smell comes from freshly opened bottles.