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  1. #1

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    first try development problem

    hi i developed my first rolls of black and white film last night. surprisingly all 4 rolls came out are so dark.the sprocket area is as dark as the exposed area.all films are fresh and developed with fresh developer &fixer.any idea whats wrong?thanks

  2. #2
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Dark negatives means the film, even the sprocket area (rebate), got exposed to light and developed before getting fixed.

    I'd say you are looking for a light leak somewhere in your system.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  3. #3

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    +1 for a light leak. Here are a couple of ideas:

    * Darkroom or changing-bag wasn't completely dark.
    * You're using a Paterson tank and didn't put in the central tube.

    Mark Overton

  4. #4

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    thanks for the answers.i guess my room wasn't completely dark.is it still possible to scan this rolls?thanks

  5. #5
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    Just do it and see what happens. My guess, probably not worth the effort. Just one other thought, you weren't using a safelight while you handled the film were you? When loading the tanks it has to be DARK - only paper can be handled under safelight.

    Don't worry too much, just start again. There really isn't much to go wrong if you follow the "recipe" exactly - if you haven't already read all the ilford guides.

  6. #6
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  7. #7
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Using color materials, both film and paper, I learned to avoid safe lights completely; it's not that tough.

    Even for B&W now I skip the safe light, it keeps me from messing up.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  8. #8
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    I have, in dire circumstances of course, loaded my film into a tank in a dark room with light leaks---under and around the door, etc. Unless it takes you a half hour to get the roll onto the spool, it shouldn't be that much of an issue. It certainly wouldn't obliterate it like this.

    Dark bags are a fussy thing to use on a first try. You should probably avoid using one for now, as it's a frustrating enough process to get the knack for to begin with. It's not hard, it just takes some practice before you can do it smoothly and quickly.

    Make sure you keep in mind that while photographic paper, for the most part, is safe to have under a red light, film is sensitive to all wavelengths---you'll need it to be as dark as possible! Practice spooling the film and assembling the tank with your ruined rolls and keep trying! Good luck!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by albada View Post
    +1 for a light leak. Here are a couple of ideas:

    * Darkroom or changing-bag wasn't completely dark.
    * You're using a Paterson tank and didn't put in the central tube.

    Mark Overton
    Good guesses. In my experience if after 10 minutes in the darkened room you can't see your hand in front of your face, or any other objects, you're probably okay even if there are a few pinpricks of light. If you can't see the pinpricks from where the film will be loaded, fine. Or make sure your body is between the pinpricks and the film.

    Another suggestion. I've learned to put the cassette or roll of film, the reels, tank, lid, central tube for Paterson, cassette opener or church key, blunt tip scissors, etc, into a clean 11x14 print tray or similar container. It keeps everything together. There's nothing like trying to find the little lid for a stainless steel tank that somehow dropped on the floor...its amazing how large a small room becomes in the dark!

    Also, learned from experience: Label your developer, fixer, etc, with masking tape so you can record their usage. If you're loading the tank for later processing, seal it with masking tape and label it. Don't trust your memory.

  10. #10

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    Start over with just one roll this time and see how things go.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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