Blue cast to negatives?
After a loooong hiatus from doing my own B&W processing, I've started it up again. My first two attempts have resulted in recognizable images (YAY!), but both strips of film have a blue color cast to them. I think it's the anti-halation layer, and I'm sure I'm not doing something that I need to do in order to eliminate it. I'm using a Patterson tank and D-76 with Kodak Tri-X. What other step(s) should I take?
With best regards,
The blue cast should not hurt anything. If it is dye, an alkaline bath (sodium sulfite or sodium carbonate) followed by washing will probably remove it.
Originally Posted by Steve Mack
Try about 2 tablespoons of alkali dissolved in a liter of water.
Everything is analog - even digital :D
Actually, a blue cast will play havoc with contrast.
Its not unusual to see a purplish cast to negatives - that usually indicates that they haven't been fixed or washed sufficiently.
I did encounter a true blue cast on some T-Max - it would not fix or wash out, and was either a flaw in the film or (more likely) an indication that the film had been fogged by exposure to excess heat when it was shipped. The UPS guy left the box of film on a blacktop driveway next to the back door in direct sunlight in the summer.
I encountered a blue cast using Foma 120 films before. Kind of annoying actually. I blamed it on not using the freshest fixer, but eventually just quit using that film.
Steve, I would say try a 2 minute pre-soak before development, then make sure that you're fixing long enough (4-5 minutes) with fresh fixer, and you're washing long enough (atleast 5 minutes with lots of water changes).
Foma 100 film in 120 is on a blue colored base. I encountered it when I tested that film in 120, tried fixing and washing _a long_ time, and it didn't go away. I finally checked the films spec sheet (I downloaded the pdf from Freestyle), it lists the 35mm as having a "gray or gray-blue cellulose triacetate base", sheet versions as having a clear base, and the 120 version is listed as having a "bluish polyester base." Generally though, as stated before, a tint to the film does indicate an under fixed or under washed negative.
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I can't say I've ever encountered a blue cast to Tri-X negatives. I usually get an ever so slight pink cast. Now I use Tri-X and Foma 400 side by side, and the annoying thing about the Foma is the insane curl it has. It's almost impossible to load it in any negative carrier and it's even a problem to get it into negative sleeves without wrecking it.
I have printed these negs side by side in the darkroom, and I have to say that if there is an adverse effect from the blue cast, then I am yet to find it. They print perfectly every time.
I second the washing suggested by Tom if you find that it is a problem while printing it.
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I ordered Freestyle's film, Arista, and shot an image that I love. I was looking at it the other day and noticed how very blue it was. I refixed it and washed, but it didn't change the blue. I'm sorry I shot that image on the Arista. Some of the other frames were too easily scratched or had holes in the emulsion. Seems a really delicate film. Or maybe I'm just rough? Anyway, I'm through with that film.
". It's almost impossible to load it in any negative carrier and it's even a problem to get it into negative sleeves without wrecking it."
Thomas--I have to agree that Foma has a curling problem. I've used Foma 200 only in 120, and have found it a little annoying to deal with, but I do rather like the results I get with it. My solution to the curling problem is simple. After the film is dry, I put it back onto a SS reel, but "backward" so that the emulsion faces out. Since I'm not usually in any particular hurry to print, the film may stay in this "reverse curl" status for several days or even longer. That alleviates to a great extent any curl, and the negatives are then easy to work with, both in contacting and enlarging. As with all film, I round the corners of negative strips before putting them into negative sleeves and have no more problem with Foma than with any other 120 film. I completely agree that the rather strange blue cast of the negatives causes no problem in printing.
Hypo Clearing Agent seems to help remove sensitizing dyes and anti-halation layers.