What has happened to my negatives?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Oscar Carlsson, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. Oscar Carlsson

    Oscar Carlsson Subscriber

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    See the attached images. The film is Foma 100, developed in R09 in Paterson tanks (plastic reels), according to my standard procedure (2 minute pre-soak, 30 s initial agitation, then 2 flips, rotation, and 2 more flips each minute).

    Any ideas? I used a bit more chemistry than actually necessary (300 ml instead of 290 ml, iirc) but I think it was in the larger tank (that takes two 120 spools) so maybe the film wasn't all the way down on the bottom all the time? Or what is it that has happened here? :/

    I developed a roll of TMAX400 using the same chemistry a few minutes prior to this Foma 100 roll, I haven't had any issues with doing so earlier.
     

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  2. Tronds

    Tronds Member

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    Forget the pre-soak.
     
  3. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Is there any chance that your fix was exhausted?

    Are there any signs that the film hasn't totally cleared?
     
  4. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    Did you put an empty reel on top of the one with the film to keep it at the bottom of the tank? Using a larger volume of chemistry wouldn't hurt things at all.
     
  5. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Keep the prewet!

    Looks like uneven development due to low agitation. There is a hint of bromide drag in the left photo. Films react differently to the initial wetting and the continued re-wetting with each solution. The initial agitation must be strong enough to fully wet the film and the pouring process where the prewet or developer enters the tank must be rapid and even.

    PE
     
  6. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Looks like uneven development to me. Initial agitation is crucial, so make sure to agitate well for at least the first thirty seconds (after pouring the chemistry into the tank).
     
  7. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    unless you are doing some sort of nutty development method like semi stand, or stand &c
    or continuous agitation in tubes or rolling around your darkroom sink ...

    manufacturers usually recommend agitation for the first full minute, and either 5 sec's / 30 or 10 sec /60
    agitation should be solid and consistent ... i was always taught like a figure - 8 and at the same time turn
    the hand tank over ... again and again for the 5 or 10 seconds ...
    agitation for fix is the same routine as it is for developer ... and stop bath + fix remove are continuous agitation ...

    nice views ( less the streaks ) good luck getting the kinks out! ( and belated welcome to apug ! )

    john
     
  8. Tronds

    Tronds Member

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    Regardless of what other says, most of the world stopped using pre-wetting in the 1930-ies because of problems with uneven development.
    Besides that, modern film doesn't need pre-wetting in anyway.
    In addition to this you may have to little agitation. Rodinal and R09 contans a development agent that is very sensible to bromide, so insuficcient agitation will give you bromide drag.
    As mentioned earlier, agitation with inversion of the tank works best.
     
  9. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Maybe! :wink: You can see that it moved up. Probably a centimeter each time you agitated. Try putting an empty reel in there to hold the lower one down.

    Also, those that use Mac OSX, the "Universal Access" has a button "White on Black" to view posts like the above easier. I guess his scanner automatically inverts it.
     
  10. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I can't tell a difference between pre-soak and no pre-soak.

    Rodinal and bromide drag... With 120 film I can safely extend my agitation intervals to every three minutes, and with 35mm every five minutes. I do this to control the tone curve of my negatives. No problems there either. Longer than that, you're on your own, but many people make standing development work just fine without bromide drag (although problems do get reported).

    What I DO notice, however, is that if I don't agitate properly, insuring sufficient flow within the tank, I get uneven development. AND, that initial agitation is so utterly important. I always agitate continuously for the whole first minute, using full tank inversion while rotating the tank along its long axis. Getting agitation technique properly under control is, to me, the most important aspect of film developing.

    That's a really good point! If the film spool moved up the column, and gradually out of the developer, that would certainly be detrimental. Yup, always fill the tank up with as many reels as it will hold, whether there's film in them or not.
     
  11. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    I agitate like this, spinning while rotating. I vary the speed and intensity (and number of up-and-around agitations) to control contrast.
    Seems like a very good way to make sure the whole film is evenly developed:
    http://youtu.be/vKVKOnexIY0?t=1m44s (starting at 1 min 44 sec)
     
  12. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    A prewet allows film to imbibe developer more evenly and it helps reduce pinholes caused by air bubbles.

    In the OP, one of the pictures shows an indication of bromide drag along the edges. You can see streaks upward from the bottom in a regular pattern that is typical of bromide drag. The other frame shows a streak that looks like uneven wetting of the film with developer.

    PE
     
  13. Tronds

    Tronds Member

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    Wonder why the rest of the world of photographers stopped pre-wetting the film in the 1930-ies?
    As they describe, it was because of intermittent problems with uneven developement, but please go on to reccomend a long forgotten and not needed procedure that is known to introduce problems.

    Why the H... use pre-wetting when it isn't needed and is known to cause problems?

    It is like saying that bromide drag cannot occur with rodinal since there is no bromide ions in the developer. Guess what, when the developer starts working on the emulsion, bromide is released into the developer, and the acitivity of p-aminophenol IS reduced by bromide. A lot more than metol or phenidone. Because of that bromide drag is often seen on film developed in rodinal or R09 when there is insufficient agitation.

    But, please do as you wish. You may even use pre-wetting with two-bath developers if you wish, but the result will be unuseable.
     
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  15. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Kodak instruction manuals showed use of a prewet into the 50s. :D I posted the sequence and photos from the manual here about 2 years ago or so.

    Jobo recommends a prewet.

    There is a very excellent prewet experiment conducted and posted here on APUG.

    PE
     
  16. Tronds

    Tronds Member

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    As you wish.
    I still wonder why most photograpers warned against it from the 1930's and onwards.
     
  17. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi tronds

    some people pre wet, some don't,
    some use water instead of stop bath, some don't

    there are as many ways to process film as there are people using a camera

    does it really matter?

    john
     
  18. Tronds

    Tronds Member

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    Yes, when they use methods that are known to cause problems, AND they do in fact have problems.
    Otherwise, no.
    The pre-wetting was abandoned nearly 100 years ago because they found it to cause uneven developing. It isn't neccessary in any way, so why introduce a moment that may cause problems? Forget it! It isn't neccessary, AND it is known to cause problems from time to time.

    It its like closing your eyes for a second or two when you are driving your car and you approach an intersection. It isn't neccessary and it may cause problems bigtime. Why do you want do something like that?
     
  19. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    With Ilford delta films (I don't know about Foma), I often see a fair amount of what looks like foam when I pour out the developer if I don't presoak. So, for that reason alone, I use a presoak every time with 120 film. (No chance of photoflo contamination, separate containers and off the reel by then). But your images have a bubble like quality to my eyes, is it possible you have photoflo from the last film on the reels or tank before developing the new rolls? Do you see any foam when pouring out the developer?
    If not, I would still keep the presoak, go for at least a minute after pouring in developer, then agitate for at least 15 seconds each time, to ensure complete exchange over all the film. I also have measured the amount of liquid necessary to cover both reels, and use just 20cc more than that, just to ensure room in the tank for the chems to move.
    Also, as Thomas indicates, you can go for 2 - 3 minutes between agitation cycles with 120 film, as long as the cycle itself is long enough to get good movement. It may take awhile to find the right cycle combination for the right contrast.
     
  20. Tronds

    Tronds Member

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    Any photoflo left in teh tank will help the developer wet the film more evenly when used without pre-wetting.
    I sometimes have a bit of photoflo or equvalent left in the tank when developng films and have observed a bit of foaming when emtying the tank.
    Never, NEVER had any problems with uneven developing because of this though.
    I have had uneven developing in two-bath developers because unsufficient agitation though, but that is about the same problem you can run into with pre-wetting.
    Continous agitation will solve the problem, but with standard one bath developers, loosing the pre-wetting will also solve most of these problems unless agitation is almost non existent.

    But as I have said earlier, do as you wish, but don't complain if you get shitty results.
     
  21. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Photo Flo can be removed by a hot water wash and scrubbing with a brush. I have never had carryover when using this method of cleaning equipment.

    That said, if Photo Flo is carried back to the developer it is due to poor cleaning of equipment and when PF dries down it forms a sticky gunk. This gunk when rewetted by developer or any water can form sluglike particles in the water which can be deposited on the film's surface and which can cause spots to appear.

    There are dozens of reports on this on APUG here. So, it is wise to remove all PF from your equipment by a hot water scrub after use.

    As for a prewet, again I direct you to the test here on APUG. I believe it was run by Greg Davis, but not sure now. As for a prewet being a no no, I have never heard this, and in fact have read the opposite for years and years!

    But, in the final analysis, use what works for you.

    PE
     
  22. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I am not aware of pre-wetting being a "known cause of problems". I didn't presoak for quite a long time, now I do, but I've had no problems with uneven development either with or without presoaking.
    Both methods work.
    Most uneveness problems I've seen are due to agitation or insufficient amounts of developer in the tank.
     
  23. Brian C. Miller

    Brian C. Miller Member

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    +1!!!

    Oscar:
    Your agitation doesn't seem vigorous enough to distribute the chemistry. Also, did you reuse the same developer, or are you using a one-shot developer? If you reused the same developer in that small amount, then it could have become exhausted by the third roll.

    I used to develop (dearly departed and hallowed) Techpan following the Kodak directions. Get the film on the reel, and then drop it into the developer and give it a vigorous up-and-down shake, like mixing a martini. Never had a problem.

    As for pre-rinse, use what works. The Ilford instructions say no, Kodak says yes for tray processing. Test it and find out for yourself.
     
  24. Tronds

    Tronds Member

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    Whatever you want.

    I have seen it, read about it and had it explained, but please keep doing it. It isn't neccessary in any way, and it MAY cause you problems, but if you want to have an extra step in your process and it may cause problems, please continue as you go, but don't complain when rou run into problems.
    There are reasons why most of the professionals in teh world stopped using pre-wetting in the 1930's.
    You may use pre-wetting for years without problems, but suddenly you change some minor thing in your workflow, film, developer, temperature, time etc. and you ruin your precious film with a pre-wetting procedure that ISN'T NECESSARY! Please go on and do that if you want, but WHY?
    Because you want to introduce another moment in your workflow that may destroy your precious negatives, or because you want to do as others that say that is ok?
    It's very OK WITHOUT pre-wetting. Why bother?
     
  25. Photo Engineer

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    Tronds;

    I would be very interested in your POV after you read the thread that contains the prewet testing and also the original thread that spawned it. After reading individual comments you will be in a better position to understand the entire continuum of thought on this matter. As it is, after about 60 years of experience in this field most of it as a professional, I have never heard of a professional comment against a prewet. I have heard a difference of opinion expressed and also have Kodak and Jobo documents that recommend a prewet.

    But, use what works for you.

    PE
     
  26. Oscar Carlsson

    Oscar Carlsson Subscriber

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    Whoa, my initial question seems to have spawned quite a discussion.

    Anyways, I started pre-soaking my films quite recently as I didn't like the magenta cast in TMAX negatives, and the pre-soak seems to take care of it. Also I like the thought of beginning with a perfect temperature, both for the film and the developer (and since Tetenal C41 recommends using pre-soak to get an even temperature I thought what the heck...). Maybe I'll stop using pre-soak once I've tried a more vigorous agitation scheme, but I'm trying to change only one variable at the time.

    However, it seems to be more important to use a bit more developer and also using additional spirals to make sure that the film is all the way down on the bottom. And perhaps use a more vigorous agitation scheme.