Two rolls, one tank, different results

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by filmamigo, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. filmamigo

    filmamigo Member

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    I'm a bit puzzled by some film processing results from last night.

    I processed two rolls of Arista II (APX 400) in one tank (AP Compact) with Ilfosol 3 (fresh, one-shot, 1+9 dilution for 10 minutes at 18C.) They were stopped for 30 sec in Kodak indicator stop, and fixed for 3 minutes in Ilford Rapid Fix, then washed per Ilford's recommendations.

    I've examined the negs this morning after drying, and one roll has very good contrast, with black-blacks (including the edge lettering) and is nice and clear on the edge of the frame. The other roll, seems to have a grey cast to the clear parts, is lower contrast, and the edge lettering seems dark grey instead of black.

    I can't honestly say which roll was on top in the tank, but the they were both well covered. Agitation seems OK, because each roll is very evenly developed.

    I would have chalked it up to different exposure between the two rolls, except that the edge and edge lettering are different as well.

    Anyone have any suggestions as to what happened?
     
  2. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    Do you invert the tank when agitating? Twist agitation with a spindle like some of the cheaper tanks have will allow bromides to accumilate in the lower part of the tank and possibly cause problems.
    One other possiblity is the bad roll may have been expired film and the grey cast is age fogging and loss of speed caused it to be less dense.
     
  3. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    If Arista II is APX400, is there a flavor of Arista film that corresponds to APX100?
     
  4. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    So, were the two rolls from the same batch of film? Perhaps one was stored refrigerated and one not? Perhaps one roll was stored under extremely adverse conditions and the other not? Assuming, for the moment as you say, that both rolls are evenly developed, and don't exhibit any signs of uneven development; I'm not convinced that you have a case of insufficient agitation. Look carefully at the negatives with a loupe to check for signs of uneven development. These will usually present most prominently as vertical bands of uneven density in where there should be even density (think open skies) with 35 mm. stocks in this tank.
     
  5. David William White

    David William White Member

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    It seems to be really common that folks insufficiently fix their film, and a uniform grey fog after drying & sitting in daylight will show up. The reason I'd like you to consider refixing your film is that, unlike hypotheses about development & agitation, you can quickly confirm/deny a fixing problem and likely salvage your negatives, rather than trying better "next time".

    What dilution did you mix the Ilford fixer to? Some go 1+9 (for paper only!) instead of 1+4 (for film).

    Three minutes seems awfully short, even with fairly fresh fixer. It's supposed to be at least twice the time it takes to clear the film.

    Luckily, you can refix the film and get rid of the fog, bringing the contrast & tonality back. Check your fixer, replenish if necessary, and drop the film in a tray or bowl filled with fixer and let her go for another 5 to 10 minutes, then wash. It will only take you that long to fix your negatives, and refixing will not eat away at your developed image, so no worries.

    Anyways, common problem, easy solution, and if that's not it, then you can start to look elsewhere. But this is step #1.
     
  6. Silverhead

    Silverhead Member

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    There was indeed. Arista II (Agfa APX of course) came in both 100 & 400 ISO.
     
  7. filmamigo

    filmamigo Member

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    Thanks for the input. I will try fixing them again -- I didn't know you could do that.

    I mixed it to 1+4.

    The Ilford Rapid Fixer instructions say 2 to 5 minutes. I started off at 5 minutes for a few rolls, but read somewhere that you could "over-fix" so I thought I'd be conservative and drop it back to 3 minutes.

    How long is too long in fixer?
     
  8. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Sounds like two rolls have been stored differently. One sounds old and/or fogged, and the other sounds fine. Did one sit in your camera or on the shelf for a while, or is it possible that it sat some time in a hot car without you noticing?

    In my experience, 3 minutes is more than enough time in Ilford Rapid Fixer, if it is relatively fresh.
     
  9. B&Wpositive

    B&Wpositive Member

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    Just a warning: some of the recent Ilford Rapid Fixer bottles had incorrect labeling; the directions were given for Ilford paper fixer. Thankfully yours were correct and you mixed it properly 1+4. As for time, I usually fix for 5 minutes when the fixer is fresh and has just been mixed, and then increase the time as it gets used or sits for a few days, oxidizing (covered with plastic wrap of course). I also throw in a cutting of film leader to see how long it takes to clear. Then double that time plus a bit.

    Some swear by 2-step fixing. I have no idea about that; I just fix longer than the average recommended time (and rinse longer too).

    But I've had the same issues as you with one roll (or even part of a roll) being lighter. I think I am going to have to get better tanks and reels (stainless?) that I can invert (using plastic patterson ones currently).
     
  10. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    There was, but both are discontinued. A few months ago Freestyle was having a sale on their remaining stock of Arista II 400. I believe it was only 24-exposure 35mm rolls at that time. I don't see any left on their Web site.

    If you're desperate to get your hands on APX 100, I see that Photo Warehouse (aka Ultrafine) has some 100-foot rolls of it left. I can't vouch for its condition, though; it's been a while since Agfa went under, so it's probably expired.
     
  11. filmamigo

    filmamigo Member

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    Interesting. Yes, my Rapid Fixer had the wrong directions (or rather, only paper directions) but I downloaded the documents from Ilford's website when I was first mixing up all my chems.

    My Paterson tank is actually my best. It has a good rubber lid to do inversions. I haven't been inverting though, because all the instructions I've read don't say to. My agitation consists of spinning the reels twice, then crisply sliding the tank forward and aft a few times, then left and right a few times, then spinning the reels again twice. Usually about 15 seconds of agitation total.
     
  12. David William White

    David William White Member

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    I did some tests that I reported over on RFF to objections on overfixing. I went for three days with just a barely perceivable loss of density, which fell, I believe, within experimental bounds. I can explain more if you need, but everyone over there agreed that up to 10X the recommended time posed no issues whatsoever. I did that with sheet film and with a paper print.

    The point of fixer is to remove the unneeded and unexposed and undeveloped silver halides in the emulsion, leaving behind your glorious image in silver metal. Fixer desolves silver halides, not silver metal. Leaving light sensitive silver halides through insufficient fixing leaves material that will slowly reduce to silver or a layer of fog. The chemists around here can probably explain this better, but basically the upshot is that if you leave some trace of light-sensitive silver halide emulsion on your film, it will do what it is designed to do and darken.
     
  13. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    For what it's worth, I always use the twiddle stick when I use plastic tanks. I think it's just as good as inversion, and I don't have to put the lid on.
     
  14. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Just for kicks, check the film edges on the two rolls to see if they are the same emulsion batch.
     
  15. trexx

    trexx Member

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    Actually it is not, or at least it can be depending on how you twiddle. Depending on how the spiral is placed on the center post it is open when turning clockwise or open when turning counter clockwise. So one way the developer is being forced into the spiral and the other it is not. Most people won't know the way the spiral is on the center post.

    Now if you tend to turn in only one direction and that is not the direction to force the developer into the spiral uneven development can take place. If I need to use a twiddle the process is three in the direction to scoop with the spiral then one in the other, that counts for one inversion. Then repeat 5 times every 30.

    TR