What is causing these smudges?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by freecom2, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. freecom2

    freecom2 Member

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    I'm pretty sure this is a processing problem - it's happened on negatives from two different medium format cameras. My developing is:

    Kodak T-Max Developer, 6:45 at 20 degrees celsius - time adjusted according to Ilford compensation chart
    Ilford Rapid Fixer - for 3-5 minutes, depending on how fresh the fixer is
    FotoSpeed RA50 wetting agent

    Paterson Universal tank, Samigon Multi-Format reel, agitation by inverting 5 times every 30 seconds.

    These marks appear on both T-Max 400 and Acros 100. Any idea?

    Roll 29 - Frame 009.jpg
     
  2. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Which camera?
    It matters to determine which way the film runs through the camera.

    If that is on the edge of the film and not width wise, I'd GUESS you didn't have enough developer in the tanks and the top edge is underdeveloped.
     
  3. freecom2

    freecom2 Member

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    Bruce,
    That was on a Rolleicord Vb, although the same also occurs on a Rolleiflex 3.5F. Looking at the negatives, it seems to occur mostly on the photos towards the end of a roll, typically negative 8 onwards.

    It's on the edge indeed. Is 500mL inadequate for a Universal tank?
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    That's uneven development and air bubble as Bruce says. Could be not enough developer in the tank, or the reel has moved up the column during agitation. Ive seen reels move in Paterson tanks they usually have a collar that helps prevent this. 500ml is fine as long as the spiral isn;t loose.

    Ian
     
  5. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    500 ml = 16.9070114 US fluid ounces
    IDK that is close to what I use and the patterson takes a tad less than some no name tanks I have.

    If it's the same patterson I've used (System 4 possibly, I forget what mine is called) I never go less than about 18 oz for a 120. A 120 roll doesn't extent as high in the tank as 2/135 rolls but I still don't skimp.

    I think the bottom of the tank will list needed capacities.

    edit: per usual Ian makes an excellent point. I actually have one of those plastic collar and some of the reels are looser than others.
     
  6. freecom2

    freecom2 Member

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    That might just be the ticket actually - now that I think about it, I've opened the tank before and the reel wasn't completely at the bottom of the tank. The inversion agitation and and weight of the liquid must contribute to it moving.

    Both my Super System 4 tanks didn't come with any form of collar though, and I can't put an empty 35mm on top because there isn't enough space. Is there any well known improvisation for it? I was thinking rubber bands but I'm sure there must be a better way...
     
  7. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    I've heard of rubber bands I think but just add an extra ounce and be done with it.
    I don't like foreign matter in a tank, the tape on a 120 roll even bugs me :wink:
     
  8. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Another thing to consider, I always tap my tank bottom on a hard surface after inversion/agitation sequence. This dislodges any air bubbles and keeps the reel on the bottom of the tank if it's loose.

    I usually run 2 120 rolls on one reel so I want as much developer in the tank as possible and always fill it but overfilling can cause issues also.
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Paterson System 4 and Super System 4 need 500ml per 120 film, I've been using them since their introduction rather a long time ago :D

    Ian
     
  10. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Ian, like I said I run 2 rolls in one of those.
    I've read the contentious arguments about how much D76 is actually needed per surface area and I like it 1:1.

    Am I asking for trouble doing this if I'm careful to completely fill the tank @ 1:1 with 2/120's or 1/220?
    Have you done this?
     
  11. freecom2

    freecom2 Member

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    I tap the bottom after every inversion, so I'm pretty sure it's not that. I've just had a play around and a thick rubber band keeps the reels in place. I'm reasonably sure it'll do the trick, thanks.
     
  12. Hikari

    Hikari Member

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    You do not want to fill a tank completely or will get uneven development in an inversion tank. You need an air space to move the developer on the inversion.
     
  13. freecom2

    freecom2 Member

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    I'm definitely sticking to 500mL - I'm reasonably sure it's not the amount of developer, just the coverage that is the problem. Disappointed at just how many rolls have this problem - it's not that obvious on the negatives, it's only when scanned where it becomes very apparent.
     
  14. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    With the Paterson tanks: When the reel is set for 120 film, depending on which side of the reel you put the black light trap column in, it will change the reel height in the tank, it's not much, but could make a difference. I always use 525ml for 120 film, just in case. :smile:
     
  15. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    When I used to use replenished Xtol I filled my tanks to almost the top and never had a problem with Paterson or Jobo tanks and inversion agitation, I'd only leave a small space.


    At 1+1 with 2 films in 500ml you'll be on the borderline of exhaustion issues but in reality it depends on what works for you. If you shot a lot of high key shots so greater than normal negative densities you'd most likely have problems but average scenes may be OK.

    It's not really a contentious issue a certain amount of developing agent is used to develop each gram of silver so if the level of developing agent drops too low it has an effect on the highlight areas which will be under-developed.

    Personally I find that devs like D76/ID-11, Xtol etc at 1+3 give me lack lustre negative negatives so I preferred 1+2 as I got better highlight detail.

    If you're getting good negative then it's working for you.

    Ian
     
  16. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    You could cut off the bottom of a plastic 35mm cannister in order to create a collar that is the height you need.

    I have clips that came with some AP tanks I have that also work.

    Will 1/2 of a Samigon reel fit and do the job?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 15, 2012
  17. freecom2

    freecom2 Member

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    An interesting thought, just tried it and unfortunately it means I can't screw the top on properly unfortunately. A thick rubber band tied multiple times seems to keep it from moving, so the next time I'm developing I'm going to try it. Just disappointed in how long it took me to realise there was a problem, you really have to hunt for them on the negatives but they show up instantly on scans.