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  1. #1

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    Need Help with 4x5 Film Processing Problems

    I'm getting what looks to me like uneven development on my 4x5 negatives. In case it wasn't visible in the scans, I drew roughly parallel lines on some of them. These are scanned contact prints. The other two looked okay. I use HP5 in HC-110B for 5 minutes. Am I agitating too much? not enough? Are the sheets hitting each other? Agitation was +/- 90 degrees from vertical, with rotation in the film plane, followed by tapping a tank corner on the counter. I was doing other things but roughly agitation every thirty seconds with fifteen continuous seconds at the end.

    Thanks,
    Dan
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  2. #2

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    What kind of tank?

    Duncan

  3. #3

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    Sorry - HP Combiplan.

    Dan

  4. #4
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Those tanks (and the Yankee) can be harder to get even agitation with and you are more likely to get issues with such a short development time. Some people process without the lid on using them like a mini deep tank lifting the neg holder for agitation.

    The trick is gentle but effective agitation, too much and you get surge marks, but a higher dilution would help enormously.

    Ian

  5. #5

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    Ian,

    I had been using an FR tank with even worse results and thought the HP was supposed to be better. I may try the dip/dunk method. Better than tray developing I suppose, but I was hoping to stick with daylight processing.

    I was thinking of trying dilution H (might have the designation wrong). I believe it's half the strength of B so around 63:1, and around 11 minutes development time.

    Are those surge marks? Would loading fewer than 6 sheets help?

    Dan

  6. #6
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    It's difficult to tell what caused the unevenness but it's probably happening at the filling and initial agitation stage. Because the time is short the development starts very quickly.

    Some people fill the tank with dev then add the loaded film holder agitate then put the lid on & work in the light. I use a Yankee for some films and the lids don't seal so agitation is even harder.

    It's years since I used HC110 and the UK version was a different concentration, so can't help on that

    Ian

  7. #7
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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    If you insist on using a Combiplan, or any other tank of its kind, a good 5 minute pre-soak will help eliminate these streaks from the chemistry flow. Filling the tank and then putting the carrier in the developer in the dark is a solution many have found helpful. Frankly, I hate the things.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

  8. #8

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    Ian/Jim,

    I think I'll try filling the tank and then adding the film. Maybe try the pre-soak too. You hate to change too many things at once but none is a major cost/time impact so not a big deal to just keep it all if it works.

    I did have a problem this time with the tank filling slowly - the air vent didn't want to crack open well. That and a longer dev time might help. I have the HC-110 datasheets down in the darkroom - just too lazy to check them right now.

    Dan

  9. #9
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    I have great results from my combiplan tank, but I use longer developments ; usually 12-15 minutes depending on the developer as I use weaker or slower developers.

    Do a prewash for a minute or two first. Then use a dilution or developer that is slower to develop. The inversions should be gentle. I figure at least 2 seconds to go from one position to the inverted position. I do 30 sec continuous agitation at the beginning when the developer is strong, and it's less important regarding the agitation at the very end when the developer is weaker.

    If the film was touching you'd see it when you were done.

  10. #10
    Rick A's Avatar
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    i'm a firm believer that developing times of 5minutes or less is the main reason for enevenness. The shorter times do not allow for the emulsion to catch up with different areas that get developer first or get odd agitation marks. this is hard for me to explain, but for me, longish development times means more even development. I don't develope any film for less than 10 minutes.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

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