I just started home developing B&W negatives a couple weeks ago. So far I've done 5 rolls of 135 and 5 rolls of 120, using various types of film and a different camera for each roll.
As the title says, I'm still quite clueless as to the actual cause and effect relationships between all the variables in the developing process and the end result. Hopefully more experience with help me figure a few things out.
Today I shot a roll of Ilford HP5 Plus400 in a Bronica SQ-A with the 150/3.5 lens. I shot portraits of friends, indoors and outdoors. I was pleased with the results. They had a somewhat soft feel to them and in several the perimeter sort of washes out... almost like reverse vignetting. I don't know if it was the lighting conditions, my exposure choices, the lens, the film, or something about the developing process that gave them this look so I'm asking for guidance.
You can see the photos here: http://www.pbase.com/revdocjim/sqbw
My developing process was as follows.
7.5 minutes in SPD stock (standard agitation)
30 seconds in Fuji A Acid (constant agitation)
6.5 minutes in Super Fuji-fix L (standard agitation)
30 seconds pre-wash in running water
1 minute bath in Fuji Quickwash
8 minutes wash in running water
30 seconds bath in Fuji Driwel
hung to dry for about an hour
Then I scanned them with the Epson V700 and did minimal processing in LR, but without any reduction or emphasis of the said effect.
For what it's worth, I was pleased with the results and would like to be able to replicate them for future portrait shooting. But of course any C&C on the shots themselves is also welcome!
Hello... Nice work. Over agitation is your problem with the development. Smooth and easy is the way to go... don't beat yourself up most of us have done it once or twice... Nice photos.
It could also be not agitating during the first 30 seconds. What exactly do you mean by "standard agitation?"
You are here on APUG. That means you are not clueless! The work looks good, and so does the workflow.
The washed out perimeters seem to occur on the outdoor photos. The last two I think are indoor and don't exhibit that problem. Perhaps there is a slight light leak in the camera or in loading the reel (if the last two are in the center of the reel), but it seems very even so it may not be a light leak.
You are sure the washout is on the negatives and is not a scanner artifact?
Are the washed out edges of frames at edge of the film or in the interior next to the blank divider between frames? If the former it may be a development issue. If the latter, it may be something like lens flare.
Does any density extend out beyond the edges of the frames? If so, then it is not a development problem.
Thanks for the comments. My agitation pattern is to slowly turn the tank upside down and back. I do this repeatedly for the first 60 seconds and once a minute after that for about 5-10 seconds. I do a similar pattern during fixing.
The perimeters on along the edges of the film. It's hard to tell whether they are like that on the negatives or not. I'll have to get the light table out later and take a closer look. No density extending beyond the edges of the frames.
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It looks like a small light leak. This can be in the camera or maybe your developer tank is not working 100%.
Your processing technique seems to be OK, so I do not expect here any problem.