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  1. #1
    Scruff McGruff's Avatar
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    Film development woes: edge overdevelopment?

    I've been lurking for quite some time and though I've posted once before, I feel like I should say hello! Thank you all for making this forum such a great resource for newbies like myself.

    My problem:


    As you can see, the film edges are far more developed than the center. It is more obvious when there is something light enough to be blown out by the difference at the edge, but it is always there. I have fiddled with nearly every variable I can think of (ceteris paribus, of course) but my negs always display this result. The only time they do not is when a lab does my processing. I have tried replacing my camera's light seals (needed to be done anyway) with no improvement, and the bands show up in both prints and scans (even when completely flattened, as my film is often curled), so I am led to believe it is a development issue.

    I have tried different chemicals; first new dilutions, then completely different brands. I have tried different tanks (both SS), thinking my single-roll tank could have caused the problem, as well as different reels. I have tried filling the tank part-way (so the film leaves the chemicals when inverted) and to-the-brim with developer. I have used different methods of agitation; inversion (with all sorts of agitation schedules and movements save stand development), figure-8, and plain 'ol shaking. Changing film makes no difference, though I have been limited to 35mm. I have tried changing the temperature of my chemicals, if that is relevant. I have even developed film in different climates. None of these changes has yielded any improvement in my negatives.

    I am completely dumbfounded, so any solutions/ideas/musings would be greatly appreciated. I have some important rolls to be developed and I would like to avoid using the lab if possible.

    Thanks again,
    Brent

  2. #2

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    How/Where do you load the reels?

  3. #3
    Mark Antony's Avatar
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    can you take a picture of the negs with a digicam and upload them? I could only guess with the negs....

  4. #4

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    Is your film format 35mm? Looks like edge surge - over development as you suspect. Usually caused by inadequate, or too vigorous, agitation.

    I had this with 35mm years ago from too vigorous an agitation technique, which seems to cause a "drag" from the edges, but usually you can see the sprocket hole pattern in the overdeveloped areas. A more gentle inverted swirl motion solved it for me.

    With 120 film, I seem to need more vigorous agitation to make sure the middle portions of the frame receive the same chemical exchange as the edges, but only with some developers.

  5. #5

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    Dear Brent,

    First of all, if anything the negatives are far more developed at the edges (the edges of the negative must be darker to produce the lighter positive). It really looks like light leaks but that would be evident in the film beyond the image area.

    As suggested above, a post of the entire film width would be helpful.

    Neal Wydra

  6. #6

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    Brent,

    This really looks light a light leak to me. You would have to have a real strange turbulence situation to overdevelop small sections of the negative that much. Also, the upper left of the image you uploaded is just fine, with a bit of black rebate showing, while the bottom left is blown out. That is not edge overdevelopment. Check you equipment.

    If you are using 120 film, you are likely not spooling it tight enough when unloading; otherwise, it is a camera/camera back issue.

    Best,

    Doremus Scudder
    www.DoremusScudder.com

  7. #7
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cinefane View Post
    How/Where do you load the reels?
    And what sort of reels are they: SS, plastic? What brand: Patterson, Jobo, Hewes, generic?

    How tightly do the reels fit the tank, do they slide when the tank is inverted?

    At a guess it looks like over-agitation.
    DARKROOM AUTOMATION
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  8. #8
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doremus Scudder View Post
    If you are using 120 film, you are likely not spooling it tight enough when unloading
    Is there fogging at the edge of the film?
    DARKROOM AUTOMATION
    f-Stop Timers - Enlarging Meters
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  9. #9
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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    do you put your reels in photo Flo?
    photo Flo will build up on the reels and begin to act as a catalyst. If you've been doing this, wash in very hot water and scrub with a toothbrush. This solved our problem at the college several years ago.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

  10. #10

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    Brent, 20 years ago I handed a set of contact sheets of some black & white film I developed for my "Mentor." They looked exactly like your example.

    He very gently explained that my inversion technique (too much of it) had caused edge-surge. I explained naively that I had been developing film for years and had never seen this.

    He explained that when using short (1 &2 reel) tanks, this would not be an issue, but the long tanks will cause the chemistry to rush through the reels during inversions, over-developing the edges.

    I cut back on the frequency and rigor of my tank inversions and never had the problem again.

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