Our discussion of Efke prices on another thread herein brought this to mind.
I have a terrible problem with scratches, pinholes and other assorted gouges and pock marks on my efke negatives. This has got to be the softest emulsion ever. And of course, since I develop my film in ABC pyro, a hardening fixer is unthinkable.
William, do you have any solution (I mean to the problem, not a liquid) for this? I'm being really careful and am not allowing the corners to touch when I shuffle. Have you also had this problem? Any special handling that might help alleviate it?
The only time I experienced scratched negatives with Efke 8X10" was when I decided to try another method of shuffling the film in the developer (ABC as well). I remember it as if it were yesterday, when in fact, it was about a month ago...;-)
I tried taking the bottom sheet out and placing on top of the pile without flipping it over. I had read somewhere that very day, that the emulsion should always stay up (or down, I can't really remember) during the development in order to prevent scratches. I can still remeber the scratch happening. I pull the film from the bottom, and placed it on top and the bottom right corner of the sheet in my hand, came down on the (emulsion up) top sheet in the pile. I felt it happening and sure enough, there was indeed a scratch. Needless to say, now I use my old technique and pull the bottom sheet out from under the pile (while lifting the top sheets for clearence) and place it on top of the pile in a "flipping" motion.
I wear surgical gloves during the development and therefor have no qualms about leaving my hands in the soup for awhile, in order to insure safe passage from the bottom to the top of the pile.
I also don't develope more than 4 or 5 negs at a time, maybe 6 but that's the limit and doesn't happen all that often.
J.S., I had the same problems that you were having at first. I was able to mitigate these problems by
1) never using less than 2 liters of working solution
2) shuffling from the side, not the top.
3) I put the film on the top of the solution, than pat it down in the middle
How has your experience been with PL100 using straight abc? Do you get the contrast you would like? What do you rate it at?
I rate my PL100 at 100ASA and developed in ABC for 6.5-8 minutes (actually by inspection) @70° is beautiful. The contrast is very good and conbtrollable, allowing me to print quite comfortably on Azo grade 2 in Amidol.