400TX and D-76: developing problems
This roll I just developed is the first time I've ever used Tri-X professional 400TX. Based on the looks of about half of the negs, I think I'm really gonna like this stuff. But the other negs showed symptoms of something I did wrong, and I'm hoping to get some feedback on that from you.
The camera is a Yashica Mat 124. So film advances vertically, and the sides of the frames are the edges of the roll.
This image was the second image on the roll. It and all the other images were exposed based on meter readings from a meter of known accuracy.
The first four or so images are all on the outside ring of the reel, and they all show similar streaks. The above image shows some slight bright spots along the right edge; the third image shows more pronounced bright patches along the right edge.
This next image was the last frame of the roll. Note the light patch over the engine area, and the streaks to the right of the frame. It's almost as if, after a more or less normal group of frames, the oddball stuff is returning. Which seems kinda odd to me, though, since this frame would have been the inner-most on the reel.
And finally, here's a shot from about the middle of the roll. Normal negative density. Rather nice and smooth gradations between light and shadow, good shadow detail. The only trace of a bit of abnormality is some lightness toward the right edge of the frame.
Okay, now that you've seem some images, I should state that, right off the bat, I blew it. I got ahead of myself, and started pouring the D-76 into the tank before I started my stopwatch. So, I was trying to keep an approximate running count in my head after finishing with pouring, then tapping the tank, then rinsing off my hands before switching my cell phone over to its stop watch mode. Dang handy things, these modern cell phones. I figured roughly 45 seconds went by.
At 70F and full strength, the Kodak data sheet shows that D-76 should be used for 6 minutes, 15 seconds. So when I started my stopwatch I figured that 5:30 were remaining. All I could hope was that I was close. But would being off by a few seconds cause the streaks? And what about the light(er) areas along the right side of the frames? I was careful to premeasure both the developer and the fixer before pouring them into the tank, so I'd be sure to have enough.
I use an old Yankee tank for developing B&W -- have used one for years. It's the type that has the plastic reel where each half of the reel is rocked back and forth to advance the film onto the spool. And it has the spinner that doubles as a thermometer used for agitation (although I have a better thermometer for temperature measurement chores).
So anyway, as I always do, I spin the reel for about 5 seconds out of every thirty seconds, back and forth, back and forth.
I also have never used a stop bath. I'll usually just run water through the tank for a few minutes, drain, then add the fixer. As for the fixer, it's just plain old Kodak Fixer, and I used it for about 7:30, which is about what I always do, and which is about what the 400TX data sheet recommends.
So, what I'm getting at is, apart from not timing my development time accurately, everything else about the process went the way it always does.
Got any suggestions?
Last edited by cooltouch; 12-29-2009 at 12:50 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Being off in your development time will cause either slight over-development or slight under-development...neither of which has the symptom of light streaks in a few frames.
I agree. I'm hoping that someone here, vastly more experienced than myself with developing B&W, may recognize the likely cause of the streaks that are shown in the first photo. I find it curious that these streaks are evident only in the first four images.
Also, for some reason, the first image is being displayed here somewhat darker than it looks when viewing it within my image processing software.
You may have more than one problem. I agree with Colin it is not under nor over development. The lighter patches on the edges might be from a roll of film not wound tightly enough. At first glance the streaks in number one seem to eminate from the pilings; which would indicate too little agitation. Could some kind of residue on the plastic reel be causing this?
John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
looks like a shutter issue
use either t-max or d-76 1:1
Kodak Duaflex II with kodet lens
N75 N8008s D60
Yashica - D
Only a photographer knows the true value of infinity
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I am inclined to think its a camera issue more than a development issue. The only dev issue I can possibly see is not getting all the film onto the reel. As far as timing goes, I never start my count down timer until all developer is in the tank, then I start agitation. One thought might be in loading and unloading the camera. Make sure you are in subdued light, and the film is tight on the spool. I've encountered a loose roll from time to time, hasn't happened in quite some time , and its rare, but happens. One other thought, hows the condition of your tank? Is it old and getting worn?Possibility of a light leak at the edge and even center of it. I have an extra Yankee tank you can have-its new, but dont have any reels for it.Pay for postage and its yours.
I can't tell you for sure but my guess is that the problem was with the way the film was loaded into the camera. Try another roll and expose several frames with the lens cap on. They should be clear when developed. If so your developing tank is okay. You could also develop a totally unexposed roll having not put it into the camera. That could rule out the tank and indicate the camera or loading technique. One other thought is how old was the film and under what conditions was it stored?
First off, this cannot be a shutter issue. The YashicaMat has a leaf shutter in the lens. There is no curtain that could be dragging. Being off with your development time won't cause this either. A bit of over or under development will alter the contrast, but won't cause streaks. I strongly suspect that agitation is the problem here, and that Yankee tank is exacerbating the problem. 120 film is more sensitive of insufficient agitation than 35 mm stocks. If you don't agitate enough, this is what happens. The Yankee tank isn't the tops when it comes to being well engineered either. I have couple of them from the old days and I wouldn't use them again for anything. You could spin that thing back and forth all day and still not get a good and even exchange of chemistry. My advice? Get one of these and don't be too gentle with your agitation.
I have been using the same stainless steel tanks with occasional new lids for over thirty years with no problems. Yesterday I wanted to test a new old Hasselblad back that I recently received and quickly shot a roll of tmax 100 in my yard. I didn't care about the images and just developed in Ilford ID-11 1:1 at whatever the room temperature was for 14 min with only one agitation after pouring the developer in, water stop and rapid fix. The negatives were much to my surprise perfect although my interest was the mechanical and light seal properties of the back. And all these years I have been meticulous with technique - makes one wonder.
The streaks in the first one look like insufficient agitation.