With film you will open a whole can of woopa.. without stopping the development . Maybe it is just me but I can see no reason for you not using a acid stop bath, you are just asking for trouble.
Some problems are not apparent at the contact stage and if you shoot, develop , contact for a period of time and then decide to make some enlargements you may be in for a terrible surprise.
I see this all the time with clients coming to me with film processed at other labs in the city and when I go to larger size all the problems become evident.
Sorry buddy but use a stop and save yourself some argro.
I've always used an acid stop bath, but Grimm (The Basic Darkroom Book, 3rd Edition, 1999) recommends "at least two complete changes of water in the tank within 30 to 60 seconds" for water stops.
Originally Posted by Loopy
How is this unevenness distributed? For instance, are early frames darker than late frames, late frames darker than early frames, or does the darkness vary from top to bottom (in landscape orientation) within all frames? In the last case, I'd agree with others who suggested you might not be using enough chemistry. (How much did you use and in what type of tank? Stainless steel tanks generally take 250ml for one 35mm roll, while plastic tanks usually take 300-400ml per 35mm roll.) If the density changes with the position in the roll, my first guess would be that it's a matter of film exposure rather than development. Check the darkness of the frame numbers and other markings on the film; if they look to be the same across the entire roll, then that supports the hypothesis that you're seeing exposure (or subject) differences.
Also it looks as if it was unevenly developed, for one half seemed darker than the other.
A critical quote appears out of order:
So I tested another roll. This one I developed at 7 minutes, stopped with water for about 3 and fixed for 10 minutes.
Also while processing , the first roll I would turn the tank upside down to agitate it, like instructed in the Ilford guide I found. I thought this might contribute to the uneven developement, so while processing the second roll I turned the little dohicky in the tank, like I remember doing in school.
I think the change to your agitation routine may be to blame here. Agitating by rotating the central rod is likely to set up currents that will cause uneven development and/or fixing. (Or so I hear; I've never actually tried this agitation method.) The advice I've seen is that if you must agitate in this way, you should combine it with horizontal movement -- sliding the tank back and forth a couple of feet on the tabletop. In theory, this should dampen the regular circular movement of fluids and improve the evenness of development.
This roll didn't turn out at all. White runs along the entire film, you can barely make out images, and half of it is just black.
This sounds like it might be fogging, is your darkroom completly dark when you are loading the film? Try turning out the lights and sit there for 15 min. If you can see anything it not dark enough.
Originally Posted by Loopy
When you say half is black, do you mean half the length of the roll or half of the height of the roll? If half the height then you did not have enough chemicals in the tank or, if the tank holds more than one reel, the single reel may have slipped up the centre column when you inverted.
The white translucency sounds like under fixing to me, but you have so many other things going on, it's difficult to tell, and given you fixed for 10 minutes it does not seem likely...
Any chance of a scan? It's easer to diagnose when you can see what's there.
It sounds like to me that there wasn't enough developer to start out with. Perhaps the spool inside the tank moved up the column during the process and the film didn't get sufficiently soaked in the chemistry? This has happened to me a couple of times, and then I decided to just fill the tank all the way up every time I develop film, and no more problem.
If you had half the film white, and half black, I assume the black/white divides the film in the long dimension, along the whole stretch of the roll.
So to sum up, it sounds like partial underdevelopment in your first attempt but proper fixing, and it sounds like partial underfixing in your second attempt but proper development.
You can use either an acid stop bath, or a plain water stop bath. Both are acceptable methods. If you use an acid fixer, you're likely better off with acid stop bath, so you don't neutralize the pH of the fixer since developers are alkaline. If you use an alkaline fixer, a water stop bath might be preferred, or the acid stop bath would neutralize the fixer pH as well. But as long as you're careful and test your fixer with a piece of scrap film every time you use it, none of the above should matter much.
Hope that helps,
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It sounds like your tank is for two rolls but you are developing one roll with just enough chemistry to cover that roll. If this is correct as you invert the tank you will produce bubbles in the tank leaving the top half of the roll under-developed. I learned this the hard way on some negs I can never shoot again. Always fill the tank with developer even if you only have one roll of film.
DIGITAL IS FOR THOSE AFRAID OF THE DARK.
Thanks to everyone for such great help.
Tonight I tried to process another film, and by using your advice I was able to make a idiot-proof list of instructions for myself.
And I'm happy to say it was a success!!!
I think I went wrong with a couple places. Mainly the amount of chemicals used, combined with the sliding of the roll on the spool. I did some testing with water and found that it slide up quite easily when I flipped it.
I also think my stop timing had something to do with it. I cut it down to just over 30 seconds.
Everything worked out great, and I can't thank all of you enough!
Well I have about 5 rolls of undeveloped film that need developing so I'm off.
It is my humble opinion that there in lies 99.99% of your problem. It something that does happen when inverting - especially if you are being frugal with the chemicals.
Originally Posted by Loopy
As to a couple of the other points brought up - just to reinforce the points:
a) I have learned processing with water as stop, and usually use two changes of water (as much as will fit in the tank - more volume is better in this case, and hey - its almost free!), time= 30-45 sec. Never had any issues with a multitude of developers and almost every film available in stores.
b) I have used several agitation techniques with a paterson tank. I gave up on inversions... well, because I develop in my kitchen and those "spill proof" lids really eran the parentheses... I have used the rod to rotate, and I have used a swirling motion (like swirling ice cubes in a drink) when I felt gentler agitation was called for. I have yet to have a unevenly developed negative - both 120 and 35mm.
Of course, as a relative beginner, I am just conveying to you my experiences and the only reason I don't try everything else suggested (re agitation and stop bath) is that I feel more confident in my limited abilities when not "fixing what aint broke" and maintaining as few variables as possible, so that I can concentrate on evaluating any ohter changes I make.
I am very glad you finally had success - I am sure you will have many a success!
MAYBE! Some see no reason for a stop of any sort
Originally Posted by Bob Carnie
given their way of processing. A few have and do mix
the fix with the developer.
There is though a reason to use an acid stop. If the
fix is an acid fix the quick rinse in an acid stop will
maintain the acidity of the fix.
I don't worry as much as some. As you know I use
chemistry once but very dilute so as not to waste.
The next roll or print has fresh clean solutions in
which to do it's processing. Dan
What was the recommended use by date on the film package?
Originally Posted by Loopy