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  1. #1

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    Black hairlines with semi-stand development - help needed.

    I am getting some strange streaks on the highlights of some of my pictures when using semi-stand development with R09 One Shot. They look like black hairlines on the edges of bright highlights (eg the sky or shiny metal. See detail of pictures below). It does not look like uneven development and is not damage to the emulsion, as I am getting the same effect across various frames and on different rolls, but only when using stand development. I wonder if anybody has had the same experience and if there is any way of reducing this. I am using 3.5ml of R09 in 350ml of water (1:100), with constant agitation during the first minute then 4 inversions every 20 minutes for 1 hour in total. Water is at around 24 Celsius. I am using a metal tank with two Hewes spirals (film in bottom spiral). Film is Ilford FP4+ (bulk). Thanks in advance for your help.

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  2. #2
    Shawn Dougherty's Avatar
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    Do a search on "bromide drag". That looks like what is happening to me anyway. Good luck working this out.

  3. #3
    Kevin Caulfield's Avatar
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    Could they just be drying marks from uneven drying? It looks like a possibility to me. You can see the edges against the highlights. Did you use Photoflo or equivalent?

  4. #4

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    I have never experienced anything similar, so I have no idea what you have here. To eliminate possibilities, have you tried normal agitated development with the same materials? If you get the same issue, then you know it is related to the rest of the workflow and not the stand development per se. If it is the stand development, then try different developers and see where that leads you. I am no expert on stand development, but I would not have suspected bromide drag at first instance. That should be somewhat directional, and more of a streak than a hairline. Drying marks from uneven drying, or creasing from temperature shock seem more like possible candidates here, but the fact the clear areas show nothing, and the dark zones neither, really stumps me.

  5. #5
    dances_w_clouds's Avatar
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    There is also the myth/legend of using a minimal amount of Rodinal when developing but I don't know if that applies to R09 or not but a suggestion anyway.

  6. #6
    Simon Howers's Avatar
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    The artefacts appearing on your negs are called "Mackie Lines" and are the result of silver 'flowing' from a very dark to a very light area. Rather than a smooth edge the developer causes a lip to appear. The solution is to use a developer mixture which avoids this. For example, for a litre of stand developer try the following:
    200ml Extol solution
    800ml water (Use distilled or RO in London!)
    3ml RO9
    Qtr teaspoon Borax
    This solution works well with FP4+ for 1 hour development. FP4+ is pretty bulletproof and generally gives good results if exposed at ISO180.

    Good luck!

    Simon

  7. #7
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    In all my reading re: Mackie lines, I had come to understand that these occurred at the molecular level in the emulsion where dark and light(er) areas were adjacent. The examples I have seen were clearly along the junction of the image areas, not random black snake-like lines that meander without regard to the adjacency factor. So I question that these are Mackie lines; neither do I think they are the result of bromide drag which I've had the pleasure of dealing with in the past. While I can imagine various explanations related to the emulsion, or chemical deposits, or water issues, that would only be imagining. I second Dorff's suggestion to use the same materials but not in sem-stand to see if these continue to appear. Simon, that's an interesting formula you've got there, I'll have to give it a try if/when I ever try Xtol again.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by dances_w_clouds View Post
    There is also the myth/legend of using a minimal amount of Rodinal when developing but I don't know if that applies to R09 or not but a suggestion anyway.
    It is not a "myth/legend" but a well established fact. This caveat applies to ALL developers.

    From the photo it appears to be something on the film and not an artifact caused by edge effects.

    For the umpteenth time may I say that semi-stand and stand development were never intended as a general purpose developing technique. They are intended for tonal compression of contrasty subjects. Any book on the zone system will make this point perfectly clear.
    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

  9. #9
    Shawn Dougherty's Avatar
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    soutomar,
    Can you let us know how large these are? Maybe post a scan of the entire frame for reference?
    Best.
    Shawn

  10. #10

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    Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. The lines are not large or particularly annoying and can be cloned in most cases. I do not have the negatives at hand, but will have a second look over the weekend to double check that it is not dirt or a problem with the scanner. Otherwise, I will run some test using the same materials but with normal agitation rather than semi-stand to see if it gets any better.

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