rotary proccessor

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Gari, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. Gari

    Gari Member

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    Can anyone help me, I am just starting with developing B&W sheets and after advice bought a used Paterson rotary proccessor from a dealer. I have done about 20 sheets now and have had a real unrewarding experience so far.
    I have maybe 2 sheets I could use, the rest are, streaked, have blotches like maybe you would get if a "lump" of developer sat on the film, strange marks like contours on a map down one side.
    I am being very anal re timings,temp and handling and can't understand what is wrong, has anyone had probs with this bit of kit? maybe someone can offer some suggestions "cos I am on the verge of going back to color as I wanted the "whole" creative bag with the B&W, don't fancy only getting to do half the gig.
    Gari
     
  2. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Gari

    Patience is the key here, when I swithced to rotary , I had problems and it takes awhile to sort them out. Getting the developer into the drum quickly was a key for me as well with certain processes a pre soak was also needed.
    Remember that if the chemicals go in slow and splatter about it will show in your end result.
     
  3. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I haven't used that particular set up but from using the Jobo I can only think that you may possibly be using too small a quantity of chemistry. If that isn't it, I have found that using a pre-soak step has helped me get more even developing results with rollfilm.
     
  4. Gari

    Gari Member

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    Thanks guys, I did wonder if the speed of the filling was an issue, guess so eh.
    the manual says 100ml is the standard but I am currently using 300ml, just about as much as the thing can take without getting my feet wet!!
    I have also tried a presoak but found that the negs came out even more streaked and very thin to boot.
    I shall go shoot a couple more sheets and try again, the bath is warming as we speak?mail!
    thanks again
    Gari
     
  5. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Are you using enough stock developer to handle the amount of film area? 300ml of 1+100 Rodinal for example will not be sufficient to develop a single 4x5" sheet.

    Is this the Paterson orbital processor (one of these)? If so this was intended for paper and you need to put a few dabs of silicon sealer on the bottom to allow chemicals to get under the film. I suspect using more chemicals than intended will not help as it will then not flow cleanly over the surface.

    A few other thoughts: make sure the tank is level using a spirit level. If it is a manual rotation base try reversing direction every 15 seconds or so; if motorized, lift it off and switch it around every minute. Development time should be around 85% of the film manufacturer's time for that particular developer compared to their intermittent agitation times (i.e. continuous agitation requires less time than intermittent agitation). A presoak normally means you need to increase dev time to the same as that given for intermittent agitation (hence the even thinner negatives if you did not increase dev time).

    What film & developer (dilution + temperature + time) are you using? Have you had good results with intermittent agitation (or is this your first time developing anything yourself)?

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  6. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Sounds strange. Ive done thousands of films and prints in the JOBO, and streaking has NOT been a problem...

    But, WAIT!!! A thought ... A wet tank WILL leave streaks, randomly and more pronounced with color paper. Are you taking necessary precautions ... I regularly rotate two tanks. While one is air drying, I use the other.

    Drying a tank is not a major problem. I use a "high-tech" wad of paper towels ... Bounty, I believe, for all those perfectionists here. Wipe out the inside of the tank, and let it sit for a couple of minutes before loading it again.
     
  7. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    I'm not familiar with the Paterson, but I do a lot of B&W and color film processing in a Unidrum with no major difficulties. As Bob pointed out, you might not have enough "stock in the soup" if you're using a diluted developer.

    As for presoaks, some films respond better than others, as do some developers. I'm afraid that without knowing what film or developer/dilution you're using, there isn't much more to be said...
     
  8. Gari

    Gari Member

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    I am in fact new to proccessing film, but have done some reading and looked through the forums etc to get an idea of where to start.
    I have sorted the bottom of the tray with some silicon, the guy that sold me the unit suggested I do so. I don't have the moter so it is all intermittent agitation. I am using MacoUP100 film with LP Supergrain mixed as per sheet that came with the developer,1-7, 3.5 mins@20dg, agitate 30 secs.
    I have not tried extending dev time after pre-soak, 15% you think?
    Gari
     
  9. Shmoo

    Shmoo Subscriber

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    I don't know about the Patterson, but with the Jobo you normally presoak for about 5 minutes before processing (some Ilford films do not require this). Also, they suggest that you reduce processing time by 15% as a starting point. You may want to check out the FAQs for the Jobo if the Patterson has continuous agitation.
     
  10. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Gari

    maybe a small point but I never process film less than 5 min for black and white. colour is another thing but it is at a much higher temp.
    Slow pour technique, with a short time as you are suggesting could be a disastor.
     
  11. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    If I may be so kind to help out a little: Gari why don't you start off with some traditional film like Tri-x or Apx-100 or HP-5. These films are Uber-easy to develop and you have to go out of your way to screw up. All the above suggestions above are to be taken seriously. Enough developer in the tank, a pre-wash regardless of what the mfg. says, more than 5 minutes dev. time. I've only used Xtol previous to today(with excellant results) but this morning I developed some Apx-100 in a patterson tank on a beseler motor with pyrocat-hd@2:2:100 and even though I made up the dev. time by just guessing; the negs. look darn good to me. I've never seen streaking in traditional developers. Give something like XTOL a try as it is a very forgiving developer at 1:2 or 1:3. You just might like it. If you want to use a higher temp. than just reduce the initial time by about 20%.
    Regards, Peter
     
  12. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

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    I've had the marks of which you write with some of my tank processing. I use HP5+, Jobo 3000 series tank, 12 rpm, and PMK. PMK is twitchy: very sensitive to presoak. I think it demonstrates the worst streaking to initial wetting that I've seen. Presoak is a must and it was best to put the film into a full tank of water or to presoak the film in a tray. Adding liquid to dry film in a moving tank was impossible. YMMV. Good luck.
     
  13. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    How do you do intermittent with rotary? If it's a drum the fluid needs to be spinning. No?
     
  14. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Using the film maker's intermittent time with a 5 min pre-soak is a Jobo recommendation for use with their rotary processors (continuous agitation).

    In your case, as the film is sitting horizontally in the processor (it's not a rotary processor folks - it sounds like the Paterson ORBITAL print processor) so I would strongly suggest you do not try intermittent agitation - exhausted developer will not move away from the surface of the film while it is stationary as it would if the film was vertical, causing streaking, blotches and underdevelopment... Use continuous agitation - IIRC, you rock the thing on its base if you do not have the motor drive. Gently does it - no need to slosh it around at speed.... much the same as a tray of paper but rock it in all directions.

    3.5 mins seems quite short so I looked it up: according to this (http://www.retrophotographic.com/PDFs/MACO Films Developing Times Tech Notes.pdf) PDF file, dev time is 5 mins for UP100 in 1+7 LP-Supergrain (intermittent agitation) which sounds more reasonable (although I note that Supergrain seems to be a compensating formulae so times should not be too critical).

    I would agree that by using a slightly obscure combination of developer and film for your 1st try you are not making life easy for yourself... but I am fairly sure that with a 5 min pre-soak, 5 min continuous agitation development, 1 minute stop & 4 minute film strength fix, things will improve ("Famous Last Words", Vol. 18, page 2143).... I suspect your biggest problem is that you are not keeping the developer moving.

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  15. Gari

    Gari Member

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    Thanks everyone, I shall try a constant agitation, as for the dev timing I was going by the chart that came with the dev itself! not an unreasonable assumption I would think. I live in the back of beyond so online is the only way to get this stuff, retrophotographic being the website I fetched up on as it were. I bought the Maco stuff as I figured a film/dev from the same company would work as per instructions without too much hassle, guess not eh.
    just need to find a use for these sheets of dodgy film!!!
    Gari
     
  16. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Not an unreasonable assumption at all if it was Ilford or Kodak film & developer, but Maco? hmmmmm - already between us we have found two different times, both from Maco... (plus the Massive Dev Chart says 5 mins) :wink:

    But as I say, I think your main problem is the agitation. We shall see... Good luck!

    Bob.
     
  17. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Well now, A good question! I was for a while intrigued
    with rotary processing and entertained thoughts of purchasing
    one of the Jobos. As time went by my reading of the work and
    problems attendent upon the use of such a device cooled
    my interest. The Jobo's final death blow was it's
    limited solution capacity. Dan
     
  18. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    That part is easy. Use the tanks on a motorbase. Works just fine and you avoid any issues with weak motors. I bet worst case some one could even cobble together a home grown motorbase. The only downside is the things can't handle the really small tanks.