what went wrong with this film? asking for advice how to prevent this...

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by seethroughdog, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. seethroughdog

    seethroughdog Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I am relatively new to this site. I have been reading various threads for some time now and I have to say that I have found it to be very helpful and informing.

    I came upon a problem which is a first for me (i haven't been developing my own films for a long time now).
    I have followed the below procedure which has caused this fogging problem shown at the attached image.
    This was the first time I tried to do a stand development process (if you can call this that):

    Film - Kodak TRI-X 400 at 800
    Developer - Agfa Rodinal 1:100
    Duration - 1 hour (Stand developed) at 20°C

    Process:
    1) Prewash: 3 minutes (at 20°C), development at 20°C.
    2) 30 seconds mild agitation at the beginning, then 5 seconds gentle agitation every 30 minutes.
    3) Wash film 2-3 times.. i.e. filling tank with water, agitating and then throwing away
    4) Adding fixer and mild agitation every 30 seconds for 4-5 minutes
    5) Finally following the Ilford environmentally friendly process of film washing procedure + one final wash with Ilfotol to prevent water stains.

    Negatives were great after coming out of the tank - they became all foggy the next day (I don't mind the way the attached image looks, it kind of works for me to be honest. However I would prefer that I knew what I was doing so that these things shouldn't happen unexpectedly).

    Now the thing is I know I am not doing this the proper way - have to say that I don't really worry about archival matters i.e. preserving my negatives for more than 5 years. Besides the first 2 steps of the above procedure the rest is what I allways do for developing my films and have to say that all past negatives still look great.

    If you have any tips on how to do this properly, either by using more chemicals (hopefully less water) I would appreciate it if you could help out.

    Thanks,
    Mario
     

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  2. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

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    Your fixer may be bad. Was it fresh?
     
  3. Tronds

    Tronds Member

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    Insufficient fixing!
    Put it back into the fixer and fix for at least 7 mnutes. Leaving it in the fixer for one hour or two will NOT damage your film.
    Fix for at least twice the time it takes for the film to be clear.

    If that is 10 or 15 minutes doesn't matter. It requires that time.
    When the time to clear the filme is 5-10 minutes or so, it's time to mix a new fixer.
    TMax requires longer time that conventiional films.
     
  4. seethroughdog

    seethroughdog Member

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    I guess so. I mixed it couple of days before and used it to develop 2 films the night before.
     
  5. seethroughdog

    seethroughdog Member

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    By "clear" you mean the washing step after using the developer?
    Leaving it in the fixer is sufficient? Or should I agitate?

    Thank you all for the quick replies btw.
     
  6. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    It is difficult to work out what went wrong but reading your process I can't see anything wrong there. If the fixer is exhausted then any milkiness would show on removal after washing.

    You show part of the film but does this kind of effect show up over all the frames? I can't even tell what the scene is. Whatever happened, development only seems to have affected a small part of these negatives

    Could the film have kinked badly in the reel so the developer never properly covered all the negs.

    Have you used this same procedure successfully with other film?

    pentaxuser
     
  7. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I have just read some posts that i couldn't see when replying but fixing two films only wouldn't have exhausted your fixer and as I said any milkiness from exhaisted fixer would shown on removal from the reel but you are saying that the film was fine but went like this the next day.

    So every neg was properly developed and showed detial in every section of the frames until the next day?

    pentaxuser
     
  8. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Yep more fix.
     
  9. Tronds

    Tronds Member

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    No.
    Clear means when the fixer has cleared the milkyness of the film. When the film base looks clear.


    Some agitation in the fixer helps the process, but it will be fxed anyway.

    A fixer mixed two days ago and used for two films is plenty good for at least 7 films more over a period of several months.
    Insufficient time in the fixer is the cause of this problem.

    Fix it again. Overfixing is only possible if you leave the film in the fixer for a day or more, so don't even take that into concideration.


    Trond
     
  10. seethroughdog

    seethroughdog Member

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    Yep, every negative was fine until next day. Marks show on every frame.
     
  11. seethroughdog

    seethroughdog Member

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    Ok, got it. Will fix it again today.
    Thanks Trond and thank you all!
    Much appreciated :smile:
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I'll differ slightly with Tronds.

    It is possible that the problem with your negatives is due to insufficient agitation in the fixer.

    Films need agitation in the fixer too.

    FWIW, Kodak recommends frequent agitation in the fixer. Ilford recommends using the same agitation regime in the fixer as one uses in the developer (assuming presumably one doesn't use stand development)..
     
  13. Tronds

    Tronds Member

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    The fixer works faster with agitation, but the film will be fixed anyway if you fix it for twice the time to be clear.
     
  14. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    If you follow the manufacturer's recommendations regarding fixing, it will work. No other advice is needed.

    Test the fixer with a little piece of film before using it. Note how long the clearing time is when the fixer is absolutely freshly mixed and at the correct temperature. If the clearing time becomes much longer than it was initially, the fixer is getting exhausted and needs to be replaced. In my case when the clearing time becomes 2 times as long as when the fixer was fresh, I replace it. Just to be safe. Or I might regret it ten years down the road.

    It looks to me as though your film is underfixed as well. Was your fixer at the correct temperature (around 68*F / 20*C)?
     
  15. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    Yes, I vote "underfixed" too.

    I always treat every step of the process the same way from start to finish. Pre-rinse, develop, stop, wash and fix are all agitated the same way.
    I know that the steps, post-developer aren't AS CRITICAL as they are in the developer but I still try to do everything the same. That way, if I make a mistake, it will have less of a chance of messing up my film.

    When I go to the shooting range, I use the motto: "Aim small. Miss small."
    In other words, if I aim for the very center of the target, the "X" in the center of the 10-ring, even if I don't hit my mark, I'll still probably get a bull's eye. :wink:
    I do the same thing for film. Do everything very carefully and, if I mess up, I still have a chance to get good pictures.
     
  16. seethroughdog

    seethroughdog Member

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    Probably not, as it took one hour for the stand development etc.. probably the temperature changed afterwards.
    Is there a way to control this? I mean how do I keep the fixer at the same temp.
     
  17. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Set up a water bath in a tray, or dish pan, or whatever you have available. Put the chemical bottles and your developing tank in it. For long processing times like you are using, you will likely need to make adjustments to warm or cool the bath depending on your ambient conditions.
    Once you have the water bath at the right temperature, the adjustments shouldn't need more than a few ounces/ml of water. If it starts getting too full, just remove enough to maintain a convenient level.
     
  18. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    At this time of year in Nicosia I'd be surprised if the ambient temp is low enough to give you a fix temperature problem unless you are developing in the open air :D. It will work very successfully at a few degrees below the 20C that the film has to be developed at.

    So what was the temperature of the room where the fix was kept?

    pentaxuser
     
  19. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    I use a plastic cat box. (Never used by a cat, of course!)
    I take the hose from the faucet and run it into the cat box and let the water run slowly.

    This allows me to keep chems at the proper temp, I always have as much tempered wash water as I want and the water in the box acts as a buffer in case the faucet water changes.
     
  20. MKPatent

    MKPatent Member

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    During the fixing process after some time you can also look what is going on with your films ,Im doing this about 15 years and never going nothing wrong.


    If the fogging is not the result of using exhausted fixer then you must determine the source of the fogging which could be any of the following

    - camera light leak
    - film cannister light lea
    - loading the film into the developing tank in less than total darkness.
    - storage of the film before or after exposure in high temperatures.
    - film will gain base level fog if stored for many years without development


    I never use Kodak Films but I know that they have already basically more gray base than other materials.
     
  21. Tronds

    Tronds Member

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    What was the result?
    Did you try to fix the film again, and did it solve the problem?