Michael - I agree about the probability that this is bubble activity at the top of the reel. A couple of things for what they are worth:
I know exactly how much it takes to fill the tank to just over the reel (plus a little) and measure out that much for developer to ensure coverage, and allow room for agitation flow. Especially with 120 film, where it needs more space to travel across the whole film width.
I know that some films will foam with certain developers (Delta 400 and Rodinal for one). I know this sounds strange, but I saw it when dumping developer when I first started this combination, and solved it with a presoak.
I am consistent about which side of the film is up when loading the tank, just for the purpose of diagnosing these kinds of issues.
On my screen with the pictures enlarged it looks like the emulsion was scratched. I tend to agree with rmolson. If bubbles, they sure are tiny.
I think if you use an acid stop bath, they may disappear. You may not be stopping development. An acid stop bath acts fast--measured in micro seconds. Water simply dilutes the developer--developers are alkaline so changing the Ph with an acid stops development (water does not change Ph). In your work flow, you are placing active developer in the fix.
Thanks again. Actually, the film is new Plus X (or delta 100). I used to use Patterson reels but switched, especially for120,to the Samigon reels-as recommended by a previous poster. They seem identical to the patterson reels but they have a flat table like area where the film enters the reel, so I don't have the film being ground up in the reel as it loads. I use a patterson tank, agitate by inversion, and actually shave about 1 minute off of the temperature adjusted recommended processing time (from the Kodak website). They are all developed in X-tol 1:1, water stop bath, and ilford fixer.
I hadn't been getting them before -at least that I noticed- so I suspect it is not the reel itself. I really appreciate all of your insights...and I hope to be able to sort this out as I really love using the Rolleiflex.
I am curious about the acid stop bath. I used to use Kodak, but stopped based on recommendations in the film developing cookbook by Anschell. He seemed to suggest that it causes reticulation or clumping and I switched to water. My 35 mm negatives seem fine, as did the majority of the 120 until recently. Are most of you using water or acetic acid stop baths?
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There are a few recent threads here on stop baths (acetic acid and otherwise) vs. water stop for film. Some of the discussions in them are, shall we say, energetic . I'd suggest searching for them.
Originally Posted by MichaelR
You will find that there are people here in both camps. I'm in the camp that uses stop bath.
I don't think anyone here thinks that stop bath causes problems with most films. Some think its advantages are outweighed by the convenience and economy of using a water rinse.
“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
Stop bath will not cause reticulation (actually, with modern film emulsions, it is really hard to induce reticulation, even boiling does not seem to do it). It simply stops development because development does not take place in an acid. I always use an acid stop as water does nothing but dilute the developer.
Which is all you need.
Originally Posted by Hikari
(It does more, even: for instance, it replaces the supply of fresh developer with inactive water.)
But wasn't there a lengthy thread about this a short while ago.
Re acetic acid stop -
Most people who use it use a very dilute strength (1% - 2% is enough for film) which won't cause any problems with the emulsion.
Many people who use plain water do so because they use an alkaline fixer (like TF4 or TF5) and don't want to drag in any acid into the fix. You can find out more about this by searching in this forum for these terms.
I was not asking the question about the stop bath. MichealR was.
Originally Posted by Q.G.
And to be clear, a rinse is contaminated by the developer and so you are simply diluting the developer, not replacing it with fresh water. So you need to refresh your rinse often which, in my opinion, is a waste of water and more things to keep track of (and a real pain if you are running a processor). A stop bath also helps preserve an acid fix, which tends to be the most common type of fix.
If you wish to use a rinse, please do. Many folks do and are successful. That does not mean a stop is superfluous. My recommendation to MichaelR is to use a stop. He is happy to use a rinse if he wishes. However, since a stop will not cause reticulation, that is not a reason for avoiding a stop.