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  1. #1
    Ektagraphic's Avatar
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    I am having a major print developing problem.

    Hi Guys-
    I was wondering if you may be able to help me out. I have been getting these spots on my prints that are a pretty good size and are never in the same place. They are these blobs...some are light, some are dark. I'll try to see if I can scan. I cannot seem to figure out the probelm. I get this with no matter what paper I use. I am using Alta's Zonal Pro developer. There is nothing wrong with the enlarger that I can possibly. The developer has been freshly mixed and I have bought a couple of brand new bottles and they have all given the same result. I am going to try a diffrent developer. What would you reccomend? Patrick

    PS: I have tested that it is not the safelight by going through the whole process in the dark. I am mixing with tap water but have also tried distilled.
    Helping to save analog photography one exposure at a time

  2. #2
    polyglot's Avatar
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    Pale blobs can be caused by air bubbles, which is a matter of technique in how you get the print into the tray. Dark blobs, I don't know. I've had 'em a couple of times but not known why.

    I slide the print in face down, poke the back a few times with tongs so it's all submerged then flip it over with the tongs. Then start rocking and you should see that the whole face side is completely wetted. If you leave it face-down, you can get air-bubbles trapped. If you put it in face-up first, it gets wet unevenly at first though I suspect that's probably not a problem. Poking the emulsion side with tongs to submerge it could be bad though, hence the slide, poke, flip, rock sequence.

  3. #3
    ozphoto's Avatar
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    Without seeing the "blobs" you are talking about, it is a little more difficult to decipher the problem. I am inclined to agree with polyglot that the lighter ones may caused by airbubbles during development or the paper not being fully submerged during development for the entire processing time. With regard to the darker blobs - I'm at a loss right now. If you are able to post a quick scan, could help with sorting this problem for you.

  4. #4
    Ektagraphic's Avatar
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    Yup that's it. Thanks sooo much! I have been able to get better prints just now but how do you properly process a print?
    Helping to save analog photography one exposure at a time

  5. #5
    Ektagraphic's Avatar
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    It is probably not a good idea but I grabbed the print by almost the middle and where I grabbed it there is a black mark from the tong. The tongs I have don't work well with the trays I use....
    Helping to save analog photography one exposure at a time

  6. #6
    ozphoto's Avatar
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    Dev step - full time as per the developer you are using and the temp it is - higher temp less time needed, lower temp more time needed
    Stop - 30 secs
    Fix - full time as per the fixer you are using
    Wash - 5 mins RC paper

    I use Agfa Multicontrast Dev, Ilford Stop and Ilford Fix. The following times give me excellent results for my working situation:

    Dev 2mins @ 20c
    Stop 30secs @ 20c
    Fix 2mins @20c
    Wash 5 mins @ 20-24c (depends on outside temperature)

    I think the Massive Dev Chart will give you good starting points for developing films and papers in different developers. Best bet is to start out with the manufacturers' recommendations of mix and time and then adjust from there once you are getting acceptable results.

    It can be a trial and error process, but once you nail your working style, it will be simple to make adjustments to get the results you want.

    Enjoy!

  7. #7

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    1) Do you use separate tongs for the 3 different baths? If not, you should.
    2) Do you use a stop bath between developer and fixer?

    In any case, grab the prints by the edge and whenever you touch a sheet don't put your fingers on the emulsion. Needless to say, don't touch prints with wet and/or dirty hands.

  8. #8
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    There are a few ways to handle the print in the developer. I usually put the print face down on the developer and jiggle it to get the air bubbles out, and then flip it after about 30 sec. Some people slide the print face up into the developer.

    From there some people agitate by rocking the tray, others by stirring the developer with the tongs, others by flipping the prints. You can also rotate the print occasionally while rocking the tray for more even results. If you are developing a stack, you can shuffle, or if it's a stack of large prints, another approach is to have two trays of developer and flip the prints back and forth between one tray and the other.

    Experiment a bit and see what works for you.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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  9. #9
    Ektagraphic's Avatar
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    Well, I guess I have to adjust my exposure times because I would get black prints if I left them in for more than 20 seconds....I'll try that tonight. (I know that the developer is mixed according to instructions). I'll try a few things. Yes I use three seperate baths and three seperate tongs. Thanks again for your help. This has been driving me crazy to get answers.
    Helping to save analog photography one exposure at a time

  10. #10

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    You develop the paper for less than 20 seconds? That seems awfully short to me, some sort of special rapid developer you use?

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