Large print - uneven development
Iím working on a 32Ēx14Ē print and developing in a trough made of vinyl rain gutter. Iím getting uneven development, visible in the dark sky as alternating light and dark stripes, very much like a washboard effect on a dirt road! Iím wondering if anyone else has dealt with this.
The trough is 18Ē long and I keep the print submerged by placing a 16Ē piece of plastic pipe (2Ē schedule 80 I think) on it and scroll it through the solution. I presoak the print in a water trough for about a minute, and use Dektol 1+7 for 5 minutes and have tried from 1 quart to 3 quarts of solution, which is plenty enough to be floating freely all around the roller. Have tried with emulsion up (in contact with roller) and with emulsion down, and from fairly quick to very slow (15 seconds pulling through in one direction!). I still canít shake this uneven banding that runs parallel to the roller. I took an 8x10 section and tray developed it and there was no banding so itís not the neg!
My darkroom is rather compact so I may have to stick with the trough method. I tried developing in a large tray by rolling it up in alternate directions as per Ansel Adamís book and so far I havenít worked out the kinks, so to speak, in that method. Yikes, any ideas?
Originally Posted by MarkL
I am not sure why the 1+5 dilution, 1+2 works for me when I do up to 30x40's in a trough. You may not have enough actulal developer at the 1+5 dilution. When we do a 20x30 we use a 1.5 gallon of developer at 1+2.
Hope this helps.
Try scrolling without the pipe. Use dektol 1 to 2 or 1 to 3. No need for the prewash. For proper scrolling the solution in the baths should not exceed one inch in depth. You should be able to scroll through the entire print in 15 seconds or less.
Make sure to have at least two troughs in your sink - one with developer, the other with stop. Move quickly between these two baths and use the stop as a one shot. Have your fix solution ready to pour into second trough once you are finished dumping the stop.
If you're having trouble with the initial immersion of your roll of paper try pulling the leading edge forward, quickly run your gloved hand across the entire width of the paper and then scroll. This will help saturate the leading edge and keep the chemistry moving across the emulsion as you move it through your scroll.
Get a piece of homosote and some thumb tacks to view and dry the print.
Best of Luck!
if you're getting some sort of 'washboard' effect... I doubt it's happening during the development. Try this. Just develop in the same trough (this is important) by just 'seesawing' through it by hand (alternate the height of each of your hands in turn... moving the print back and forth through the solution. If you get a different result - this tells you that it IS your processing method. If NOT - that means you might want to look elsewhere for the source of the problem. Another way to do it is to do a test strip ACROSS the width of your print and process it your usual way. If the banding is now 90 degrees to your original banding... then it's definitely at the processing stage. Good luck with that.
It is very important to get the Dev on the paper asap and the first 15 seconds are critical.
We are processing 30inch x9feet in a large trough *scrolling * as well.
our Mixture is Dectol 1- 1 1/2 , 3.5 min with very constant agitation.No need for the presoak as mentioned.
I am sure if you concentrate on the first part of dev things will sort themselves out.
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Originally Posted by msage
Yeah, for tray development I use 1+2 or 1+3. But for roll paper, if I recall correctly Ansel's book suggested diluting 1:6 to 1:8 and extend the time for even development.
As for solution quantity I decided to try the developer one shot, 4oz+28oz. I read that the conservative capacity of 1oz of Dektol is 2 8x10's (160 square inches). This print is about 450 sqare inches so actually 3oz should be enough.
When I noticed the uneven develpment I went to 3 quarts of solution, figuring deeper solution in the trough would be less turbulent and mean more contact with the emulsion.
Last edited by MarkL; 01-21-2008 at 12:04 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Originally Posted by Sparky
Yeah, that's how I do it too, raising it up alternately with each hand.
An 8x10 section of the sky area, exposed on the same emulsion, is fine if processed in a tray so it must be a development problem.
Interesting about the first 15 seconds. Do you know why that's so critical? I assumed that over the course of the longer development everything would even out. I'll have to really whip it through the first couple of agitations.
The reason I do the presoak is to soften the paper to take some of the curl out of it before running it through the trough so it's easier to handle, since the corners want to curl back onto the emulsion and I figured they could scratch it. In other words the 13x32" cut piece strongly wants to curl back into a 32" tube. In my miniature darkroom this is the easiest direction to cut the piece off the roll.
Last edited by MarkL; 01-21-2008 at 12:03 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I would check the negative out. Several people have reported LF and ULF negatives with uneven sky areas or areas of a constant density.
Secondly, I would suggest a prewet, and finally, I would suggest a good stop bath to quickly stop development.
How long are you developing the paper? If you have a short time, that will cause what you are experiencing. just my $0.02