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  1. #1

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    Questionable Film Processing.

    Hi there!

    So, I just mixed up some fresh chemicals and wanted to process a test roll. I used Kodak T-Max 400 that I rolled myself.

    Chemicals Used:
    Developer: Tmax (Undiluted)
    Stop: Kodak Indicator Stop--yellow/clear, not orange
    Fix: Kodak Rapid Fixer (with hardener/part b, amount as recommended by Kodak)
    Hypoclear: Kodak
    Photoflo: Kodak

    So, here are my issues. Basically, I wanted to test out the chemicals to make sure I had done everything correctly. I used some Tmax concentrate that was yellow-green in color, and some newer that was more clear. When I realized that I kind of freaked out, but I saw on another forum that yellow is ok. I haven't used that type of stop before...I'm not sure why the concentrate wasn't orange, so it wasn't yellow colored after I added water. After I fixed, the fixer came out pink. I tested it with hypocheck, and it was fine, just a little...'greasy' looking, like when it's just a bit spent. I have no idea why the fixer was pink and kind of freaked out. The hypoclear was a similar purple color, so I dumped it. But I think it just hasn't been made in a while. My film looked pretty normal, but I'll wait overnight to make sure. One roll had purple line/streaks right above the sprockets. I've seen this before with another one I rolled, but it wasn't on the other...also a source of confusion. That roll also had some fogging around the sprockets, and the other didn't.

    That's a lot of confusion/a long post, but if you have any ideas or solutions, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!

  2. #2
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Lots of questions here.

    It is unclear from your post whether you were working with freshly mixed chemistry, or with chemistry that has been previously mixed and has been sitting a while.

    When you say "Tmax (Undiluted)" do you mean that you used the Tmax concentrate, mixed up the stock solution as per Kodak's instructions, and then developed the film in that (undiluted) stock solution?

    Did you use more than one Tmax concentrate?

    Did the Kodak Indicator Stop concentrate have a very strong odour? If not, and if it wasn't orange in colour, it almost sounds as if it had already been diluted to working strength.

    The pink colour in the fixer or hypo-clear is normal - T-Max 400 and many other films have dies in them that are used for a number of purposes. Those dies wash out at various stages of the process, but do not otherwise affect either the final state of your negatives or the health of your chemistry.

    I'm not sure though what you mean when you say that "it just hasn't been made in a while".

    Purple line/streaks above the sprockets sounds like what happens when the film sticks to the reels - it is just the result of the fixer not getting to the emulsion there. If you are concerned, you can just re-fix the film in the light (be sure to use the hypo-clear again and re-wash it well).
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  3. #3

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    I mixed everything fresh except the hypoclear, because the color still looked ok.

    As for the Tmax, I mixed it per the instructions to the working solution, so there was no dilution involved as there would have been if I were using D-76. And I did use two concentrates--one had been in the cabinet for a while, and the other was new.

    I wasn't sure about the stop, it was in the original container, and I used the original instructions. Maybe I should just make up a fresh batch with the orange concentrate to be sure.

    So as far as the fixer and hypo-clear, I went ahead and disposed of them. But in the future, they are ok to save? As for the hypo-clear not being made in a while, I work in a community darkroom that hasn't been used over the summer. The hypoclear was still an ok color, so I didn't make any of it yesterday like I did the other chemicals.

    Thanks for all your help! I've not had a lot of experience mixing chemicals on my own yet, so I'm still figuring some things out.

  4. #4
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Ah, a shared darkroom!

    Some chemistry is really robust - partially filled working strength solutions last well.

    Other chemistry doesn't last well at all.

    In some cases, undiluted concentrates are also quite robust, while others aren't so.

    Each of the chemicals you refer to have either a Kodak data sheet or are referred to on a Kodak chemical table. For example, Tmax developer's data sheet is J86. Here is a link to that datasheet on Kodak's website: http://www.kodak.com/global/en/profe...bs/j86/j86.pdf

    If you look at page 9 of that datasheet, it will tell you about storage conditions.

    Here is another Kodak link that you can use to find all sorts of other useful links: http://www.kodak.com/global/en/profe...ankIndex.jhtml

    For liquid developers, I would be reluctant to mix old concentrate with new, unless I had had full control of the old concentrate, and knew for certain that it was still fresh and fully active.

    In a shared darkroom scenario, it is really important to take some steps to ensure that all the chemistry is in proper condition. There are a number of ways to do this, including:

    1) each user uses only their own chemistry (probably not practical);
    2) all chemistry is controlled by one person, who mixes up everything and carefully controls when it is used and when it is discarded; or
    3) each chemical is clearly marked with the date that it is opened and the date which it must be used by.

    Each of these methods requires that the information about storage life be known and complied with.

    Here is another link that shows a variety of information about keeping properties: http://www.kodak.com/global/en/profe...3cp/e103cp.pdf.

    From the last link, you will see that your already mixed hypo-clear was probably near the end of its life.

    Oh and given how cheap stop bath is, I would never re-use it.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  5. #5
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    First, there is no sense in wasting a whole test roll just to test the chemicals. A film clip alone will sufficiently test the chemicals. An exposed test roll can be used to test the camera or to test exposure and development time/temp/agitation parameters but only with chemicals that you know are good, otherwise your test has waaaay too many variables to give useful results.

    Clip tests are easy. Just cut off a piece of exposed leader, mix all chemicals to the correct dilutions and temperatures and put the clip of film in the developer with the lights on for the correct amount of time, then dip it in the stop bath and then fix it for the recommended time. Check the density of it compared to previously developed film leaders -- if it is completely clear then either you fixed first or your developer is completely dead. If it is well developed but milky then your fixer is done. If it is thin (light gray rather than black) then either the developer is weak or the time was too short.

    You should also test your fixer without developing the film first, just put a clip of undeveloped leader into the fixer and time how long it takes to clear compared to the normal time of about a minute. If it takes over 2 minutes then you need new fixer most likely (or if you have no more fixer then fix for at least 5 minutes to be sure and check the film before you toss the fixer in case you need to fix for even longer in an emergency).

    You should really clip test developer every time and fixer too unless you have just mixed it and you know the concentrate/powder was fairly fresh.
    Harry Pulley - Visit the BLIND PRINT EXCHANGE FORUM

    Happiness is...

  6. #6

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    TMAX films will put a pink color into stop and fixer. It is completely harmless and will not reduce the effectiveness of the chemistry.



 

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