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  1. #21
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Thanks Bob.

    By using distilled water I thought I could omit wetting agent. Since distilled water is so pure I was under the impression no 'bad things' would be left behind. No mineral, no nothing. Just clear up and disappear.
    It proves then that distilled water isn't pure, and that it does leave stuff behind. Back to the wetting agent dilemma.

    Your theory of even development sounds perfectly sound. Since I started agitating more often, I got rid of the uneven development problems. Some suggest to me that plastic reels are mad to use. I'm going to try stainless next, just to see. But only on test rolls.

    Thanks,

    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  2. #22
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Nicholas,

    Thanks for chiming in. I process in Paterson tanks with plastic reels. I've heard the argument for isopropyl alcohol many times. I may try it.

    The air bells along the edge of the film don't bother me. I compensate for that usually when I shoot, as I am yet to find a way to get around that problem. I've even tried distilled water and brand spanking new reels, and I still get the air bell problem. I just crop it out.

    When I can afford to pick up stainless steel reels I will.

    Process: I lower the film reels into the tank, which is already full of chemistry. Then I seal the tank, start the timer, and agitate first minute by rolling the tank on the floor. Back and forth, gently.
    Then I either agitate every 30s, 1m, or 2m depending on what the contrast was in the scene.
    This roll was HC-110 at 1+50 dilution, 70*F, for 8min, agitate every 30s. Stop, fix, wash, soak, hang to dry.

    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  3. #23

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    ****but I really think its a matter of some form of deposit left on the film and it basically points only in one direction. Not using a wetting agent will incur the rath of the water spot gods , which are even worse to remove.***

    erm can't you re-wash the neg?...I did this recently with some of my very old negs with so much muck on them and had no problems, but would agree something like a chemical stain would be practically impossible.

  4. #24
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Well in my experience , rewashing film did not remove water spots, but It was almost 19 years ago when I started processing film for clients. Since then we have designed a system for film production that over the years has proven itself to be workable for us, which may be different for other locations .
    We have seen the dreaded, water marks, flow marks, plus density , minus density, Pyro exhaustion, and a few years ago the worst problem, road ruts in 120 film that almost forced us to stop processing.
    All of these problem have shown up at different times and with different operators . We have processed thousands of film runs in that period and occasionally ugly problems do occur but are generally solvable.* not sure how many rolls that equates to as we run 35mm up to 16x20 film , but it has been a lot of film.
    I had to move to Jobo in 1994 as I could not keep anyone , and I mean anyone in a small stinky room basket running film *who could blame them*.
    We were getting so much difference in film runs that boiled down to a pissed off employee agitating the crap out of film to a point that made the film un printable that I needed to move to a different system.
    Even then we have had to make adjustments to the roller system.

    One last note or observation.. We have seen a huge drop in film over the last 8 years, going from 100-200 rolls a day 7 days a week in the early 90's to now lucky if we run 200 rolls a month.
    One thing I have noticed is people giving us film that is bought cheap and probably way outdated and stored improperly.
    This new groupings of film are giving us all kinds of hassels to the point of the film being to curly to load on the reels.
    We have taken the position now not to run any of this film and we try to make sure people still working with us are buying fresh dated film so that problems are minimal to none.



    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur2 View Post
    ****but I really think its a matter of some form of deposit left on the film and it basically points only in one direction. Not using a wetting agent will incur the rath of the water spot gods , which are even worse to remove.***

    erm can't you re-wash the neg?...I did this recently with some of my very old negs with so much muck on them and had no problems, but would agree something like a chemical stain would be practically impossible.

  5. #25
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    If the deposits are on the base side, you can just wipe it off. If it's on the base side - you're screwed. I have no fact to back this up, but I believe the stains become embedded in the gelatin of the emulsion. It won't wash out. I've tried.

    Thank you for your suggestion!

    - Thomas

    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur2 View Post
    ****but I really think its a matter of some form of deposit left on the film and it basically points only in one direction. Not using a wetting agent will incur the rath of the water spot gods , which are even worse to remove.***

    erm can't you re-wash the neg?...I did this recently with some of my very old negs with so much muck on them and had no problems, but would agree something like a chemical stain would be practically impossible.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  6. #26

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    ****This new groupings of film are giving us all kinds of hassels to the point of the film being to curly to load on the reels.
    We have taken the position now not to run any of this film and we try to make sure people still working with us are buying fresh dated film so that problems are minimal to none.***

    Is your post only about personal B/W work done for clients and doesn't include the automatic 35mm colour neg machinery used in good stores? As I use colour for 35mm and anything I give to my favourite store (even in one case exposed colour film lying in a drawer for 8 years) they just provide the prints that are excellent most of the time, although the prints from the 8 year old negs had a colour cast.
    Last edited by Excalibur2; 03-10-2009 at 09:47 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #27

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    ****If the deposits are on the base side, you can just wipe it off. If it's on the base side - you're screwed. I have no fact to back this up, but I believe the stains become embedded in the gelatin of the emulsion. It won't wash out. I've tried.***

    Well I haven't developed B/W negs for about 15 years (went to colour) and just can't remember any problems with drying marks for 25 years before that, maybe I was lucky or the water treatment plants for hard London tap water was very good at removing chemicals that caused "stains".
    Interesting though that no one ever producing a bottle of a chemical that would be remove water stains on films...well maybe they did...:-)

  8. #28
    rmolson's Avatar
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    stupid film developing

    Film Developing problems


    I can sympathize with you frustration, probably many of us have been there.
    About the only thing you can do is a process of elimination until you find the one thing that may be causing it. I fought fogged 120 roll film for nearly a year .Changed everything in my darkroom made no difference. But at the same time the 35mm and 4x5 sheet film was unaffected. I finally ended up loading the120 film in reels and only the 120 film, in a changing bag in a different room .Makes no sense at all, but it works!

  9. #29
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    @ Excalibur2 -> I have only been doing this for eight years now, so I still consider myself a novice. I think much of what we do and the results that we have come from how thorough we are when we process.
    Uneven development? - Agitate more often.
    Drying marks? - You're not getting enough of the water or contaminants in the water off the film surface before it dries. It really is very simple like that, yet we don't cease to fail in avoiding these issues. Go figure! Some guys say they never had problems. Lucky them!

    @rmolson -> Changing bags can be good. But I was taught to lower the reels into the film developer, and not pouring the developer over the reels, because that's a HUGE source of air bubbles. You aerate the water as you pour it in. So I do the first step in the darkroom. And it's dark in there. Very dark.

    Conclusion: I think 120 film is extra tricky. I'm going to try a different drying technique with a different wetting agent. All other problems I've had seem to have vanished. When I have the drying technique down, I'll start looking into stainless steel tanks and reels.

    Thanks to all for your contributions. No further discussion will be necessary on my account.

    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  10. #30
    Mark Antony's Avatar
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    Thomas sorry to hear about your woes, don't give up you will sort it.
    I think I have the same Patteson super system 4? reels and tanks you have and have no problems. But a few things about your modus seem a little strange.
    Lowering the reels into developer seems strange, if they are the same as my tanks they have a built in funnel.
    My modus is to load up the reels prepare the developer (ordinary tap water works for me)
    Then I start my stop watch, pour slowly into the tank (tank is at a 45° angle) which takes about 10 seconds. I then snap on the lid and agitate GENTLTY for 1 min.
    This agitation is a side to side circular rotation not quite inverting–if that makes sense
    I then give three sharp taps on the table, followed by agitation every min for 5 or so seconds (agitation varies slightly depending on the contrast of the photographed scene-I have my own system)
    I wash in plain water then fix normally- rinse for 10 mins.
    Then I put 2 drops (not measured accurately) of photo flow, move the centre spiral up and down gently then hang the film to dry in the cabinet (not too warm)

    The biggest worries I have about your process is you mention you negs often look dense, that and you roll the tank on the floor- it could be you are over agitating and that might cause air bells.
    I understand you don't want un-even development, but the first min the chemicals are in the tank is very important.

    One thing you might like to look into is how you clip your films while drying and if your films are drying too fast.
    I remember way back when I had a drying cabinet that when combined with a steel clip would dry the film rapidly the film would then curl causing water trapped in the top clip to run down the dry film- the marks looked just like yours...
    Hope you sort it
    Kind Regards
    Mark Antony
    Last edited by Mark Antony; 03-10-2009 at 10:37 AM. Click to view previous post history.

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