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  1. #1
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Stupid Film Developing Problems - Again!

    I'm getting really fricken sick of this. Every time, without failure, that I take a photo trip somewhere; every time that I get a chance to just be with myself and my camera and I can really create - I get film developing problems.

    Granted, in the past I have used expired film, etc, but this time I was armed to the teeth with fresh Tri-X and Plus-X film. Camera checked out days before with both film backs, no problems. None.

    So then I get back from a trip to Lake Superior, 19 rolls later, and i end up with uneven development issues, negatives dense like bulletproof kevlar vests...
    But this one wins the grand slam - some kind of line that has higher density than the surrounding areas that goes the entire length of the film, about 1/3" or so from the film edge. It's a tad irregular. It's on the last three rolls I have processed from a certain place where I had gone through and tested a different developer for the film, HC-110, before I processed the film. I exposed an entire roll and tested it, then I exposed one more and tested it too, just to be sure. Squeaky clean negatives.
    Then I develop the stuff from the trip exactly the same way - 8 minutes at 1+50 from syrup, agitate every 30 seconds for 5 seconds. 70*F water. The densities of the negs are great. Please look at the neg and see if you can identify what that line is.

    I am so effing sick of having these problems I'm thinking about just hanging up my hat and quitting this. I am so frustrated I am ready to take my equipment and just give it away and walk away. Fed up.

    I mix the chemicals with either distilled water or boiled tap water that's been cooled off, or a mixture thereof. Stop bath is fresh (indicator) and fix clears a film strip in 30 seconds.

    I have tried all kinds of chemistry, distilled or boiled water, different agitation. When I cured the uneven development problem, it's automatic that another one would show up. Like fucking clock work.

    I'm at my wits end. Don't know what to do.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Problems.jpg  
    "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. #2
    Kevin Caulfield's Avatar
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    Sorry, I can feel your pain but probably can't help much. It's odd as it's kind of a curved line, and is that other shorter line near it at the bottom part of the same problem?

  3. #3
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Yes, the little line is the same problem for sure.

    Thanks.
    "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

  4. #4
    david b's Avatar
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    Hey Thomas,
    I went through 2008 the same way. The whole f*cking year.

    I am using jobo tanks and had air bells/bubbles. Then I started filling the tank to the very top
    and the bubbles went away. The tank says to put in 975ml and I put in about 1200ml.

    Stay with it. I feel your pain.

  5. #5
    trexx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    I mix the chemicals with either distilled water or boiled tap water that's been cooled off,
    What does boiling do for you? I would think it just concentrates anything in the tap water. Now it you have a still, alright. Nor do I think it is your problem.

    I could be completely off base , but from your other post I have thought the marks to be a pinch roller or something very similar. Something in the camera. Maybe you take a set of pictures in a row and a roller binds causing the problem.

    It it is fairly repeatable I would suggest having someone else develop a roll, I'll volunteer. Try several sources. You need to isolate is it processing or elsewhere.

    TR
    Last edited by trexx; 03-09-2009 at 11:43 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo: for becoms from
    D-76 is a standard developer, although not one I use.
    Ansel Adams - The Negative

  6. #6
    Ian David's Avatar
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    Hi Thomas
    Could it be a problem with your wetting agent (if you are using one)? I occasionally got similar(ish) marks which seemed to have been caused by the way the water/PhotoFlo solution was running down and drying on the hanging negs. Adding Isopropyl alcohol to the mix, as Les McLean once suggested somewhere, seemed to sort out my issue. Just a thought, but of course your issue may be unrelated...
    Ian

  7. #7
    Curt's Avatar
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    I pre soak then develop but I put a couple of drops of Edwal LFN wetting agent in the developer. Like it says:

    Low foam, wetting agent. Just two drops of super-low-foaming, non-ionic LFN in a pint of developer, will prevent air bubbles and floating dust particles from causing pinholes; just two drops per pint of water for us as a film rinse, will prevent water spots, hanging film will drain evenly and completely.

    This works and has worked for me for a long time, I discovered it in the 1970's. If you haven't or don't use it give it a try.
    Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand

  8. #8
    Anscojohn's Avatar
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    FWIW, over the years, the greatest single source of uneven development and other development problems I have seen, or tried to figure out for people, has been with rotary tanks and roller systems.

    Also, fwiw, for my own (rarely) critical roll film work, I use reels, lifting rods and deep tanks. It means sitting in the dark listening to Mozart and Bach; but there are very few surprises.
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

  9. #9

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    If you hold the negs up to a light you can see if it's something that's dried on them.

    You do presoak, don't you...please tell me you do.

    Also, don't rule out camera problems here...

    Thomas, I'm so sorry you're having these problems...if you send me a roll I'll process it for you.

  10. #10
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Boiling water will de-gas it. Like David I've had problems with air bells in the developer. A problem that persists, but gets decimated by boiling the water and then cooling it off again.
    I processed three rolls of 35mm film just hours prior to the important stuff, and they came out perfect, without a hint of a problem.
    I do fill the tank to the rim. 1,700ml, which leaves a little bit of room on top to agitate.

    The thing that kills me is that this isn't exactly rocket science. Mix developer, stir well, pour into tank, agitate, time it, stop, fix, wash and hang to dry. This is simple. If I could even get just decent negatives without anomalies I'd be OK. Instead I have excellent negatives with a fundamental flaw that prevents me from using it all together. It's kind of like somebody that writes a book, and as they hit the printer button to print it out the file gets corrupt beyond repair.

    This has been an ongoing issue for me since 2006. I have very little money to get around, and have struggled for a long time to support my hobby. When I do get a little bit extra to stick in a photography trip, I get slapped in the face with this crap. Hence the 'giving it up' sentiments. I really am fed up. I have tried every trick in the book and then some. I am pretty sure that there isn't a single technique out there that I haven't tried. I've had trouble with both 120 rolls and sheet film in different ways. I invested a fortune (for me anyway) in a new 4x5 camera and a really nice Schneider lens. Until I got the Uniroller drum system figured out I couldn't manage a single negative to be evenly developed out of several hundred. Then when the negatives were finally evenly developed I got pinholes instead.
    I really am beginning to think that I'm cursed with this, that somebody in a position to mess with my film is doing everything they can to make me want to quit. I'm serious. I can't win.

    I'm going to head to bed, and sleep on it. Tomorrow I'll decide what I want to do.
    "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

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