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  1. #1

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    Dark smudges on skies in negatives and other marks

    This may seem like a silly question, so apologies in advance. I've been getting all sorts of different markings on my B&W since I've began home processing...considering switching back to lab processing for consistency. One marking I notice that occurs from time to time are dark blobs on the skies in photos. I can't tell if it is just a gradient of the normal sky, or if it is a marking of some sort. It appears on the negs and scans. The rest of the sky is usually a flat overcast, which is why the darker pigment throws me off.

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    Another thing (this one happening more often) are random lines and markings. I'm assuming these are scratches, but would like to confirm so I can pinpoint the issue and prevent it. Here's a somewhat obvious example of it.

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    The odd thing is, I always read how liberating home processing can be and how much better your photos end up after you've gotten the hang of things. It's been the exact opposite for me; my photos technically aren't worse, but they're more annoying to edit and there seem to be endless frustrations. The benefit of getting the processed negatives back is negated by the fact that I tend to put off processing as I hate getting into the groove and setting everything up. I want to enjoy home processing and be happy with my negatives, but nearly 6 months in and nay. I've got some important stuff coming up this summer and am wondering if it's worth the hassle anymore. But, if you've read my previous threads, you will probably already be familiar with this thought of mine (although I did take a bit of a hiatus from apug).
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    cities & citizens - edmonton street photography (mostly), 100% film

  2. #2

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    I never had film developing problems. Looks like insufficient agitation to me, possibly.

  3. #3

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    Maybe. I agitate 1x over 10 seconds every minute. When I started, the Ilford beginners PDF stated to that 4x (I think) over 10 seconds every minute. I found my negs too grainy, and read somewhere (can't remember where) that I could try agitating less. I think I tried 2x before settling on 1x. I was planning on processing some HP5 tonight, I could try agitating more if that might be the issue (how much?).
    cities & citizens - edmonton street photography (mostly), 100% film

  4. #4

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    I don't know what kind of developer you're using. Most of my stuff was always either in D-76, 1:1 or Microdol 1:3. And I did 2 or 3 inversions every 30 seconds. Overdevelopment makes for more grain--not agitation, at least with the standard packaged developers like these.

  5. #5

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    I use DD-X. Everything is 1:4 I believe.

    Maybe it wasn't grain, but contrast. One of those two. I had issues with both at first, so tried a variety of techniques to quell both and clearly which one was for what got messed up in a jumble. I never said anything as far as 10 seconds a minute not giving me dark splotches. On the contrary, that first image with the splotches was developed using that very technique. I don't photograph serene landscapes that you can go back to exactly and re-photograph. I do street photography, which is constantly changing. I don't really have the means to waste two rolls of film, either.
    cities & citizens - edmonton street photography (mostly), 100% film

  6. #6

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    We don't know the film you're using

  7. #7

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    HP5.
    cities & citizens - edmonton street photography (mostly), 100% film

  8. #8

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    HP5--fast grainy film in the first place. Maybe you'd like Perceptol 1:3 better, with a 30-sec agitation.

  9. #9

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    No, I'm fine with HP5. Grain with the film is normally fine. I don't mind a little grain, I just don't like excessive grain. Whenever I've had HP5 lab processed, it's been fine; most of the time when it's home processed, it's been fine. It was more an issue earlier on in my home development stage, although lately it has been creeping back in...
    cities & citizens - edmonton street photography (mostly), 100% film

  10. #10

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    Perceptol is a developer, like Microdol. Very fine grain with 400 film, lower contrast, tolerates 30 sec agitation well. Problem solved.

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