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  1. #1
    winger's Avatar
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    developing film: ggrrrr, errgh, and $#@%^

    This is 120 Acros, shot in a Pentax 645N. I'm fairly sure the camera is not doing this. I had this problem using plastic reels and have switched to a Hewes reel in a stainless tank. I use Ilfosol 3 at the published times (I think it's 5 minutes for Acros). I pour the developer in, start the timer, agitate until about 20 seconds by tipping the tank back and forth at 90 degrees (no rolling or swirling), then tap at an angle and set it down with a thunk (stainless sink). I agitate at each minute by tipping the tank back and forth on an axis (no swirling, etc..) then tap on an angle on two sides and set it down with a thunk. So why on Earth are the edges getting more developed? It's way more obvious on frames that are lighter when printing (like this one). Some that are dark don't show anything.
    I know there's enough developer - maybe too much? Don't know if that would cause this.
    This is an enlargement on 8x10. The enlarger is also not the problem - I just didn't want to scan the contact print 'cause it'd be too small.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 720-pier.jpg  

  2. #2
    Ektagraphic's Avatar
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    The only things that come to mind (I am just learning this stuff) is not enough agitation or the film was incorrectly loaded.
    Helping to save analog photography one exposure at a time

  3. #3

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    I have had this problem as well with 120 and I switched to a bigger tank. If i'm doing one roll of 120 I put its reel in the bottom of the tank and an empty one on top and then use enough developer to cover only the reel with the film on it. When you invert the tank you're now getting better displacement of the developer across the film. When you fill a single reel tank to the very top you're getting less displacement of developer than you might think.

  4. #4
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    ..maybe too much?
    Do you have reason to suspect this? It is a possibility. Without 'some' small amount of air in the tank, there is less turbulent agitation.
    WYSIWYG - At least that's my goal.

    Portfolio-http://apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=25518

  5. #5
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Since its 6x4.5 it has the typical appearance of more development near the reel and less in the center of the film. I suspect, as Ektagraphic pointed out, that the center is underdeveloped from not enough agitation. The reason I think that is in the case of excess agitation caused by turbulance of the reel, the effects are confined to the area close to the reel and don't extend that far into the image area (in my experience).

    Are you using 1:14? Perhaps the 1:9 will work better.

    Also, you are sure it has been cleared OK by the fixer?
    Last edited by ic-racer; 09-19-2009 at 08:16 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #6
    Ektagraphic's Avatar
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    I had some fairly similar results when I did not fix enough.
    Helping to save analog photography one exposure at a time

  7. #7
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    5 minutes is a very short dev time for B&W and you will need very good agitation to prevent this sort of uneven processing, and by the sound of it your being rather to gentle.

    It needs good inversion agitation for at least the first 30 seconds and then a couple of times again every 30 seconds. You've got to be cruel to be kind to the film

    Rocking/tipping side to side will make things worse, it's not random enough, stop being gentle it needs that rolling & swirling and being topsy turvy.

    Ian

  8. #8
    winger's Avatar
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    I am using 1:9. I fix for about 4 minutes using rapid fix (it says use 2-4 minutes).
    I used to agitate every 30 seconds and also got this and was told that was too much agitation. I was also told that side to side was how to avoid it moving more by the reels and therefore overdeveloping on the edges.
    I only have the one tank for 120 - should I get a larger one or try to measure exactly so I leave some air in this one?

  9. #9
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    It's an agitation issue. When I agitate I use first minute agitation plus 10 seconds of every minute thereafter. The stainless steel tanks, particularly the double ones, will give lots of space for the reels to bounce up and down giving lots of displacement. What's happening there is you're only getting chemistry mixed around at the top and bottom of the tank. It's not forced through all the way. You can try more or more vigorous agitation or a different tank.

  10. #10
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Your tank should be fine, I fill mine very full - lack of air space isn't an issue.

    The technique with agitation is gentle inversions, not too vigorous ie shaking it almost, but enough to get the developer moving well.

    Ian

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