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  1. #1

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    Patterson Super System 6 too big?

    Hi all,

    So after my thread on the Nikon F3, I've found out it's more my developing and also user error that's been the issue than the actual camera.

    That being said, I've found that I like to develop 2 or 3 rolls in one shot (usually 2. Don't have the large measuring cups for 3 rolls = 1000ml in this tank). However I find that sometimes my images get streaks or some areas are more devloped than others. I try to be as cautious as I can when agitating the 2 rolls but find the water sloshes around inside the tank (which could fit 3 rolls).

    Here's how I develop:

    Ilford DD-X Developer on Ilford Delta 400 Film @ 1600 ASA

    I time for 12 minutes and 30 seconds of development.

    Pour developer in and wait 30 seconds until the 12 minute mark.
    Once the 12 minute mark hits, I invert slowly 4 times (About 1 inversion every 5 seconds)
    Every minute mark after that, I invert slowly 4 times.

    90% of the negs are usually okay but some seem a bit washed out.

    So I guess in summary I'm wondering: Should I be using a smaller tank for less negatives? Or using solution to fill the entire tank (and not just the amount needed for the roll, which is 290ml of developing solution per roll?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Terry Christian's Avatar
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    Yes, you need to use enough total solution to fill the tank, or buy yourself a smaller tank. Agitate continuously as soon as you start your timer for the first thirty seconds or so, to make sure your film is getting evenly coated with developer with no air bubbles, then the 4 inversions each minute as you've been doing will be fine. Also, when developing fewer rolls than the tank will hold, be sure that you are putting your loaded reel(s) into the bottom of the tank and empty reel(s) on top to hold them down.

    Also, the Massive Dev Chart lists the developing time for Delta 400 @ EI 1600 in DD-X to be 13.5 minutes at 20C, 1+4 dilution.

  3. #3

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    I use a three reel Paterson tank without any problem. But I do at least two things you're not and I believe might be creating your problem. But you don't give the dilution you're using.

    When developing only two reels I push a third reel onto the spindle on top of the other two to make sure they don't "slosh around".
    I make absolutely sure there is enough developer in the tank to cover the two reels I'm developing. I use 300 ml per roll.
    I use DDX at the recommended 1:4 ratio. I know it's a bit more expensive but how valuable are your negs? If you get "cheap" and dilute it further you run a real risk of exhausting the developer before the process is complete. It sounds to me like the streaks are coming from a too dilute solution or poor agitation.

    It took me a while to work out what agitation you were doing - I count forwards, you count backwards. Sounds pretty much the same except for the first 30 seconds.
    I slavishly follow Ilford's recommended agitation regime. I agitate continuously with the spindle for the first 30 seconds, giving a bump to the tank to dislodge any bubbles. I've never had a problem and never broken a tank. Then at the 1 minute mark and every minute after that I invert the tank four times within the first ten seconds of the following minute interval.

    Your total development time is about a minute short of Ilford's recommendation for this combination - no big deal - but if you're wanting a bit more punch in some of your negs I'd take it to the full time and see if that's better. Any underexposed ones, if also underdeveloped, are bound to look thin or washed out.
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  4. #4
    Blighty's Avatar
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    There's no reason to wait 30 seconds before agitation. Pour the dev in, agitate for 30 seconds continuously as the PP said and then 4 inversions every minute on the minute. You might also consider giving the film a soak in a water bath for 5 minutes immediately prior to development. This, so I'm told, stabilises the temperature in the tank, assists in even developer take-up and helps prevent air-bells forming. It's been my preferred method for aeons and, aside from occasional exposure/dev time error on my part, produces very good negs. Putting in an empty reel above the 2 active reels seems like a pretty good idea.
    Norman is an island.Time and tide wait for Norman.

  5. #5

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    Hmmm I might try the water idea and see if that helps.

    I use the 1:4 dilution. Hmm 4 rotations in 10 seconds? Sounds like maybe in agitating too slowly?

    The reason I'm doing 1 minute less is bc my negatives come out overexposed in the shadows (or so ive found).

  6. #6

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    Sorry I should add I develop at 20 C and actually shoot at 1250 ASA. 1:4 dilution of DDX.

  7. #7
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    You must begin agitation immediately all the developer is in the tank, I've been using Paterson tanks a year or two beginning with the System 2

    The initila filling must be fast, buy a 2 litre jug measure to fill the tanks, and then agitate continuously for 30 seconds once filled, and keep agitatong every minute.

    Ian

  8. #8
    MattKing's Avatar
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    I buy 1000 ml measuring cups at the Dollar stores - usually about $2 - $3 each. They work well with the Paterson tanks.

    By the way, I expect your tanks are Super System 4 tanks.

    As others have said, you must start your agitation immediately. Not everyone starts out with a full 30 seconds at the beginning, but significant agitation at the immediate beginning is important.

    And you need to keep the reels with film on them at the bottom of the tank - an empty reel at the top works well.

    I recommend at least some twisting motion with each inversion agitation. It is best to ensure that the twisting is randomized.

    And increased agitation will normally result in scene highlights being too dense, not scene shadows. Unless I misunderstand what you meant by "my negatives come out overexposed in the shadows".
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  9. #9

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    Wow, lots of good info. Really appreciate it!

    I do have the 1000ml measuring cups at the dollar store. Fantastically cheap and they work!

    Sorry, I realize I made a mistake... it's not a Super 6... it's a Multi-Reel 3 system. I don't know if this makes a difference.


    Anyways, based on what I've read throughout, this is what I should probably do when I develop my next two rolls. Once my film is loaded onto the roll and I put the reels onto the center column and cap it with first the funnel and then the rubber cap...

    1) Make sure I put all 3 reels onto the column to make sure there's no movement of the 2 loaded reels (which will be seated as the bottom two reels)
    2) (maybe?) pour tap water into the development tank that's at a similar temperature to what I will be developing at for about 5 minutes
    3) Start my clock (for me, it's 12 minutes and 30 seconds) and pour in my developer. Then quickly agitate using the tank's spindle 10 times in 10 seconds - once clock wise, once counter clockwise, once clockwise, etc.
    4) At the end of each minute, invert my tank 4 times within 10 seconds (so 2.25 seconds per inversion... approximately).

    I think that just about covers it? As far as I can tell, I don't really need to go to a smaller development tank that holds only 2 x 35mm reels.

  10. #10
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Close .

    Before you load up your reels, fill a few containers with water that is close to room temperature. Give it time to reach room temperature before use. The goal is to have all of your chemistry at room temperature when you use it - you want to use room temperature water for your pre-rinse and to dilute your DD-X for use.

    Before you start developing, measure the temperature of your pre-rinse and developer, and adjust your development time accordingly.

    As for the initial agitation, either use the spindle, or invert - either approach can work well.

    Do your tanks have a red rim and a black plastic cap? If so they are in the current, Super System 4 line, and their model is the "Multi-Reel 3 Tank".

    Like this: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Tank_ONLY.html
    Last edited by MattKing; 01-25-2012 at 11:15 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

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