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  1. #1

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    Arista.EDU 100 5x7 in WD2D+, rotary. I'm losing my mind.

    I have tried everything.. EI 50, 100, 150. Doubling the amount of 'A', splitting the developer into two batches (the latter being mixed right before being poured in).Reducing development time by 20%. Increasing development time. I've tried developing in trays.. I've even gone back to D76.. No matter what I do, I can not get a 'thick' negative. I mean, they are all thin. Printable on silver gelatin but for carbon, it's just not cutting it.I know i'm an idiot for trying to use WD2D+ in a continuous agitation setup, (should have gone with Pyrocat-MC or Rollo Pyro or some other magic juice)Is this film just 'thin'? I need some density! Sorry for the elementary and confusing question. I've been out of this for a few years.

  2. #2
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    Aerial oxidation, probably. If you really want to use WD2D+ you might have to change to tray development.
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  3. #3

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    By "thin" do you mean low contrast, or just thin everywhere?

    If you're looking for higher contrast in a staining developer, you might want to try WD2H+ which Wimberley uses to get higher contrast. Also note some films simply stain more than others. I don't know this film, but Wimberley uses FP4.

  4. #4
    Rick A's Avatar
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    You dont say anything about the specifics as to how you develope and at what temperature. I have never had any problems getting good negatives from Arista edu Ultra 100 in D-76, PMK pyro or even Rodinal. Is it possible your thermometer may be off and your temps are colder than you think. If so, your times need to be longer in the developer. Your description sounds as though you arent exposing long enough though, so possibly a combination of under exposure and under development.
    Rick Allen
    Argentum aevum

  5. #5

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    Michael, thin everywhere. I agree with the aerial oxidation part, for sure. The funny thing is that when I developed in trays my 'problem' persisted. And even with D76, my negatives are still very much 'transparent'. My leaf shutter seems to be pretty spot on. I'm metering with a Minolta IVF. I need to just 'start over' and reevaluate my entire process.

  6. #6
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    Your own analysis of using a developer that doesn't oxidize quickly is probably good. I've used Foma 100 in sheets (5x7, 4x5) and rolls (120, 135), and my problem has been opposite of yours, that it builds contrast too quickly, rendering negs that were useless for silver printing due to excessive contrast.

    However, if you developed in trays and the problem persisted, then rotary processing is not likely the problem. Are you shooting in full daylight, normal contrast scenes? Or are you doing something else, like studio with artificial lighting? If studio lighting is used you may have to rate your film even lower EI.

    Just thinking out loud.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip P. Dimor View Post
    Michael, thin everywhere. I agree with the aerial oxidation part, for sure. The funny thing is that when I developed in trays my 'problem' persisted. And even with D76, my negatives are still very much 'transparent'. My leaf shutter seems to be pretty spot on. I'm metering with a Minolta IVF. I need to just 'start over' and reevaluate my entire process.
    If they are generally thin (as opposed to just flat in contrast), some sort of exposure index test may be in order, in addition to looking at the development issues.

    I agree it is somewhat odd you would have oxidation issues in trays with WD2D+ (and especially D-76). I'm assuming in trays you're using enough developer volume?

    I would have also said Pyro negatives often look thinner and lower in contrast than they print. But again, this wouldn't be an issue with D-76.

    Can you give some more details about the process when you tried D-76 in trays? How much developer? What temp? Time? Agitation method/frequency? Number of sheets at once? Etc.

  8. #8

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    Michael, D76 1:1, 6 to 10 minutes @ 20C. 1 sheet of film at a time, rocking the corners maybe four times a minute. ~400ml of developer in the tray. With an EI of 100, 6 minutes is probably closer to what i'm looking for but really I should know better. Perhaps an EI of 50? I'm trying to get a density range of 1.6 - 2.0 for carbon transfers. I remember reading somewhere to 'develop 1.5 times as long and increase film speed by 1/4 to 1/2 over manufacturers ISO. Dumb, really dumb question but should I be lowering my EI or raising it if I want to increase the density range?As things stand, by eyeball (and a calibrated step wedge) my DR is around 0.81 on a good day.As far as lighting conditions go, it's mostly indoors with available light and the help of a spotlight or two. Nothing fancy. I made the classic and fatal mistake of mucking around with way too many variables and now i'm just completely confused. I also wish I understood sensitometry.

  9. #9
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    You lower your EI to about 50. If you don't have enough density, develop longer until you do. 400ml of D76 should not exhaust that quickly, but that depends on whether you dilute the developer or not.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

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  10. #10

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    I've not used this particular film but I've heard these Arista films are rebranded. If that is true and somebody knows if this is something like FP4 or Delta or whatever it could help.

    Since I don't know this film, I can't say for sure, but what I will say is that generally at 1:1 (1+1) D-76 times with slow-medium speed films and intermittent agitation are significantly longer than 6 minutes. And if you're looking for a higher than normal net density range of 1.5-2.0 for a subject with a normal luminance range, you'd have to develop a lot longer than the development time that gives you normal contrast for silver printing. So I would start there.

    Regarding exposure index, I would not mess too much with it at first. Choose a speed, either box speed or EI 50 to start. Increase development time until you get the contrast you want. Then check the shadows. If they are ok, no need to change EI.

    You might want to also try continuous agitation and stock strength rather than 1:1 to generate maximum contrast.

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