Thin, pink negatives

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by unhinged, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. unhinged

    unhinged Member

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    I developed my first MF film yesterday and noticed that they're a bit thin and have a pinkish tinge to them. I've not been developing long and my 35mm films have all come out a bit thin too and the pinkish/brownish tinge is still there. I've looked at some films I've had processed previously using a process mailer to Ilford and the negatives are black (or near as damn it) and white, not the browny colour I'm getting. The film in all cases is Ilford HP5 Plus and when I've been doing it it's been with Ilfosol S, Ilfostop and Ilford Rapid fixer. I've been careful with the temperature and the time for each development and yesterday all my chemicals were fresh batches. So, what am I likely to be doing wrong? I have developed one of the films with Rodinal and that came out similarly so is it the fixer that's causing the problem or just my inexperience that's at the root of it?

    Thanks in advance,

    Mark
     
  2. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    What is fix time?

    Thin sounds like an exposure problem.
     
  3. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Thin negs sounds like an exposure problem. The pink is most likely not fixing enough. If not, then it's not washing enough after fixing. Most likely you're not fixing enough, though.
     
  4. Lowell Huff

    Lowell Huff Inactive

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    The pink is because not enough sulfite in the fix bath. Add some more sulfite to the fix bath and the problem will disappear. or in the Wash bath also.
     
  5. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    Even in fresh fixer you need to fix for at least 4 to 5 minutes with continuous agitation. The pink stain will go away with another fixing. Wet the film first, immerse it with agitation, and then wash as before.

    If your exposures are the same as those that were successfully developed by Ilford, then you need to increase your development time. Start with the times recommended by Ilford, and then adjust as the results dictate.
     
  6. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    First, you've got two issues with causes that are almost certainly unrelated: thin negatives and pink base color. Fixing one of these problems will probably not fix the other.

    Concerning the thin negatives, it's impossible to say from your description whether your negatives really are thin; it's also possible that your commercially-processed negatives were overdeveloped and therefore too dense. This Web page (and its second part) describe how to determine the optimum film speed and development settings for you, your camera, your film, and your enlarger. (Note that film speed and development are interrelated.) Running tests like this is really the only way to be sure you're developing your film correctly. The development time charts you've probably consulted just contain suggested starting times; you might need to adjust your time up or down depending on your agitation style, thermometer calibration, and other factors.

    Concerning your pink negatives, this is caused by dyes remaining in the film after processing. As others have suggested, this is often the result of inadequate fixing time; however, proper fixing time varies from one fixer to another. Rapid fixers usually don't require the 4-5 minutes that jovo suggests; they're usually in the 2-4 minute range. Consult the instructions on the fixer's bottle for details, or use the 2x clearing time rule (time how long it takes the fixer to clear a small strip of film and use double that time). Are you using a hypo clearing agent? If not, doing so may help speed up dye removal. So can extending the wash time. The dye itself is unlikely to be very harmful, as far as I know; however, conventional wisdom holds that leftover dye is often an indicator of inadequate fixing and/or washing.
     
  7. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    What temperature?
     
  8. mikeb380

    mikeb380 Member

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    Gainer, it is best to standardize the chemical temp. I have always done so at 68° F. That way you remove a variable. Then you have to play with test film to discover best exposure time and developer time for you, your film, and your camera. As was stated above, the times given in the data sheets are not immutable, just a starting point. Stick with one film, and one set of chemicals til you have it perfected. The more variables, the harder to control and figure out what went wrong. The thinness of the film indicates that either your developer is too cold or development time is too short. Try to lengthen it, but not much at a time. A thin neg is better to print than a dense one.

    Just remember that washing should be conducted in moving water, not a still bath. Still soaks won't remove all the chemicals from the film and can cause problems later. A good method is to use the tank; if you use the Jobo or Nikor type of steel tanks: push a rubber hose to the bottom of the tank and run water through. You don't want a hard flow which will remove the film from the reel, just an exchange of water at about 2X per minute of so. Rinse water should be at same temp as your chemicals.

    Hope this helps somewhat
    Michael
     
  9. hka

    hka Member

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    Maybe the Ilfosol is the problem. I had before also thin negatives with this developer the reason was the self-life. You can't see it when you mixed up the working solution. Even if you buy a new bottle you don't have any guarantee that it will be a fresh one.
    That's why we need real and understandable production date's on it... and also on the papers.
     
  10. unhinged

    unhinged Member

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    Magic, thanks everyone. First off, I had thought at first that maybe it was my exposures but the cameras are the same and the film's the same (though I never bother checking dates).

    I'll fix and wash the film again as Jovo suggests. It is the end of my bottle of fixer so maybe it's "gone off". Either way sounds like a problem solved, thanks.

    For development I'm doing it at 20 degrees celcius which is what the heating's set to so that makes life simpler. I'm using a little digital thermometer which I've no idea is right or not to make sure I'm bang on.

    I shall have a read through the links from srs5694 and see how I get on.

    Thanks everybody.
     
  11. Jean Noire

    Jean Noire Member

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    Have you tried printing these negs?
    If the film is clear in the rebates then I do not see cause for concern about the pink tinge, this disappears in time. Inadequately fixed negs are cloudy.
    Regards,
    John.
     
  12. unhinged

    unhinged Member

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    Yes, the prints look fine for the most part. My concern has come about really by comparing my lab/high street processed negatives with the ones I'm coming out with. I've not got them in front of me but I don't think that the negatives that I'm developing have any real blacks, they're all a bit transparent if you see what I mean. That said I don't think I've looked at my other negatives in any great detail, I'll do that this evening.