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  1. #21
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Well,

    If the OP really wants to get to the bottom of this problem, only one variable should be changed every time a film is processed.

    If a different film developed as expected, then the developer is likely fine.

    If the negative is really faint, one or more of four things happened, and we eliminated the developer, so that really makes it three things:

    1. The camera does not expose the film correctly. Maybe the automatic settings in the camera doesn't work below ISO 100? I don't know. Just thinking out loud.

    2. The film was laying around too long and its latent image did not retain its strength in the developing process. I think we can not say for certain that this is true, because if there were months between the first and the last frame being exposed, then the problem should be worst on the first frame, and least bad on the last frame.

    3. Somehow the developer got contaminated prior to, or during the process, or something else happened that drastically decreased its activity.

    I don't know what else it could be. If it were me, I'd put another roll of Pan-F+ in the same camera, but shoot the roll quickly and develop immediately.

    The whole latent image thing is weird, considering I have developed film that was exposed in the 1960's that still came out OK. I can't believe that a couple of months will make that much difference!

    Quote Originally Posted by pentaxuser View Post
    It was a fresh film and was shot between April and July. It is now the beginning of Sept so some frames only had to retain their latent image for maybe 5-6 weeks. The OP seems to be saying that the film is so thin as to be almost blank. If the latent image problem of PanF is that bad and somehow I doubt this, then one wonders why it doesn't come with a very clear warning from Ilford that no more than say 3 weeks should elapse between the earliest exposed frame and development.

    His development time in the Ilford specs is covered by EI 50. Would a one stop underexposure result in what the OP describes to us? Again I doubt it

    It sounds as if the tank holds 500ml and he has filled it with 300ml but except during an inversion the film on the bottom reel should be covered with developer and even during inversion of a second or so will still have some developer on the film's surface.Besides which, if it was too little developer which failed to cover all of the bottom reel then wouldn't we have a portion of each frame properly or nearly properly developed and the rest blank?

    I still cannot make it add up to a problem of the magnitude described, given what he has done

    pentaxuser
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  2. #22

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    Pan-F does like to be developed as soon as possible after exposure and is more sensitive in this period than other films I have used, from Ilford or anywhere else. Their quote for latent-image quality in PanF is (as with all most of their films) 'up to several months' in ideal conditions, but who could precisely compare that statement with your circumstances?! In the section of the product information covering recommended developers, Ilford do not actually suggest using Perceptol except at stock strength - I hadn't noticed this before for some reason, though I tend to use diluted ID11.

    The positive image you see is, of course, by reflected light from the silver which is present. As a desperate-rescue attempt you could try selenium toning the negs, to beef up whatever image there is (but don't be too optimistic).

  3. #23
    bvy
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    Quote Originally Posted by hdeyong View Post
    Yup. I exposed a roll at 25, but it took about six months to finish it, and then it sat for a month before I developed it, and then it came out thin enough to be almost useless.
    Sounds eerily similar to my own story, except that I shot at box speed.

    Quote Originally Posted by pentaxuser View Post
    I still cannot make it add up to a problem of the magnitude described, given what he has done
    Indeed. I've read lots and lots about this combination, but you're right -- intricacies of inversion, a minute here or there, etc., aren't enough to satisfy me that that's what caused my problem.

    The film is evenly developed along the short edge, and I've used 300ml before to develop a single roll. I measured carefully and used distilled water for everything. I run a clean darkroom, and I'm systematic to a fault. As far as latent image retention, the last frames shot are some of the worst, but they were shot indoors with flash. I shot the film between March 30 and July 2. Some of the frames from June are the ones that look the best. The film was purchased in April 2012 and freezer kept while stored. Expiration was sometime in 2015.

    And, again, the exposed film leader developed to jet black. So I'm really wondering about the camera.

    As luck would have it, I'm half way through another roll in that camera. I might just quickly shoot the rest of it and clip test the last half.

    Thanks everyone. I appreciate the efforts to help me get to the bottom of this. Itching to get home now so I can start scanning.
    Last edited by bvy; 09-09-2013 at 02:04 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #24
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael W View Post
    Pan F edge markings are always faint. The rest I can't explain, however I have found Pan F to be an odd film, had more problems with it than any other film so I don't use it anymore. Presumably a lot of people have good results with it however.
    Surely if it is developed correctly, the edge markings should be a good black?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

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  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    Surely if it is developed correctly, the edge markings should be a good black?
    Unfortunately no, as in the case of Pan F, the edge markings are always faint (I assume because of the relative weakness in latent image retention discussed here). The existence of a dark black leader should at least rule out any gross developer failure.

  6. #26
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnemosyne View Post
    Unfortunately no, as in the case of Pan F, the edge markings are always faint (I assume because of the relative weakness in latent image retention discussed here). The existence of a dark black leader should at least rule out any gross developer failure.
    I develop 120 Pan F in D76 at 1:1 for 14.5 minutes and have not found them faint.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

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  7. #27
    whlogan's Avatar
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    Hit these negs with some pretty strong selenium toner for a good while. Can be done in room light. This will build up what ever silver is left there and not hurt anything. It may save your negs for you. Ansel loved this as a contrast builder for those negs that went flat on him. Give it a try it may save the day for you.
    Logan

  8. #28
    Colin Corneau's Avatar
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    I think it's Door Number 1 or 3, frankly. Contaminated developer would explain faint edge markings. And not having used a camera since March sends up alarm bells for me.

    FWIW, I use Pan F+ a fair amount, and it's consistently been a solid performer for me. I simply use Rodinal, or very occasionally DD-X. I usually expose at EI-40 and tack on 15% or so extra development time. Never had a bad roll yet.

    Don't give up on a terrific film. I'd shoot a test roll (maybe colour) through the camera, and thoroughly scrub your tanks and mixing utensils/cylinders. And, of course, best of luck!



    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    Well,

    If the OP really wants to get to the bottom of this problem, only one variable should be changed every time a film is processed.

    If a different film developed as expected, then the developer is likely fine.

    If the negative is really faint, one or more of four things happened, and we eliminated the developer, so that really makes it three things:

    1. The camera does not expose the film correctly. Maybe the automatic settings in the camera doesn't work below ISO 100? I don't know. Just thinking out loud.

    2. The film was laying around too long and its latent image did not retain its strength in the developing process. I think we can not say for certain that this is true, because if there were months between the first and the last frame being exposed, then the problem should be worst on the first frame, and least bad on the last frame.

    3. Somehow the developer got contaminated prior to, or during the process, or something else happened that drastically decreased its activity.

    I don't know what else it could be. If it were me, I'd put another roll of Pan-F+ in the same camera, but shoot the roll quickly and develop immediately.

    The whole latent image thing is weird, considering I have developed film that was exposed in the 1960's that still came out OK. I can't believe that a couple of months will make that much difference!
    "Never criticize someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, you're a mile away and you've got their shoes."

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  9. #29
    erikg's Avatar
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    I've shot a ton of Pan-F over the years. Edge markings don't tell you anything with this film. They are always faint, except when they are not. I do know that this film does not like under exposure. It's hard to know with an automatic camera like this exactly what the exposure was, that is what I would look at first. It's possible that the exposure was 2 or more stops under, that would be pretty much a disaster with Pan-F. I would try a new roll, cut it in two, shoot one half in the same camera and the other in a manual camera that you trust, and then process the two together as quickly as possible.
    On the bright side you figured out how ambrotypes work.

  10. #30
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erikg View Post
    I've shot a ton of Pan-F over the years. Edge markings don't tell you anything with this film. They are always faint, except when they are not.
    Why should edge markings tell you nothing about this film when they tell you so much with other films?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

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