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Skies of blue, I hate you...

  1. slumry
    After having enough problems with my grafmatics, I am now finding that almost every single negative that has a sky in them has streaks in them. I used pretty much the exact same setup Per had. Same chemicals and a Jobo 3010. I have a unicolor roller that reverses. I pre-soaked with sodium metaborate. I periodically picked up the drum and rotated it. I am getting to the point where I have few acceptable negatives that I can print. I know you all got excellent, perfectly uniform skies, especially you JLP. Any ideas where I my problem might be?
  2. Curt
    With the film I used, Efke and Adox for some, I made multiple exposures, with the Acros and FP4 I used I had much better skies all around. I know how irritating it is to have pinholes in the skies or black spots that don't come off. Are the streaks from the Grafmatics or the Jobo? I use film hangers for the most part because I can develop many at one time but if it's critical I tray process. One problem with hangers is streaks if the agitation is too forceful. I've had sky problems and every negative isn't perfect so don't feel bad. The light was definitely harsh, direct and if there were any problems with light leaks it would show up on the film from there. All I can say is to crop if possible, I know it's not the ideal solution but in order to save anything it's one to consider. This was a tough location for a lot of us.

    Starting in 1930 Paul Strand made 52 negatives over three years of the back side of the St. Francis Church. With that in mind what can a person do on one short visit when a master spent years to get the images he wanted.

  3. outwest
    I had sky problems with PMK when I first got a 3005 Jobo drum and was using a Unicolor roller. A Bessler roller solved it with its higher RPMs. I used a friend's 3010 after Tonopah and didn't much care for it. All the 4x5 goes in 2509Ns on the Jobo at speed P with perfect results.
  4. slumry
    Thanks all for the comments. I am beginning to suspect RPM speed may have something to do with the problem. This is the first time I had used the 3010. I had horrible streaking from my Tonoapah dune pictures using hangers so I was looking for anything that might improve things. The Besslers are hard to find but I will hunt one done. I am also thinking about doing a water prewash and using more developer. When the grafmatics mess with a negative, they mangle things and I now have many wounded negatives. I think I will start printing distressed negatives as my new long term project.
  5. outwest
    I always use a prewash.
  6. mike c
    mike c
    I had a hard time with skys too on the 5x7 when using hangers,and some mottling with tray which always used.Then I tried the BTZS home made tubes I'd had around for a year and it really works well,and the use of a pre wash .Just roll the tube in the bottom of the sink, do not have a motor turner thing.
  7. slumry
    Mike, what did you use for a developer for the tubes. I have some BTZS tubes but didn't get any better results with them then using hangers. The tubes take so little developer, I have always worried about developer times that were too short or developer concentrations that did not have enough total developer to fully develop the negative. I used Pyro Rollo in the Jobo, another first for me.
  8. Curt
    I agree with outwest, I always prewash, it's not something I started to do years ago and it's the norm for me now. I had another thought that might be of interest to all. How many use LFN? I put a drop or two in the developer, that's right the developer, and I put a couple of drops in the post wash rinse before hanging them up to dry. First, with it in the developer the negatives don't streak, unless it's a light leak, rare, from somewhere; second, in the post wash the negatives are clean when dry and don't streak there either. This is the intended use for LFN and I started to use it decades and decades ago because I had uneven negatives. Skies are the ultimate to get clean without defects, for me snow is the other challenge requiring the strictest of technique. Try LFN if you aren't using it. By the way Per had the same big bottle that I currently have, by big it's about the size of an average pill bottle and not that expensive.


    Use it or lose it!!!
    Did I mention that it will last for years?
  9. mike c
    mike c
    Steve,I v'e used Xtol stock for 7 to 9 minutes,and I reuse the developer,put it back in the one gallon jug. Once developed take out neg and use stop and fix that are in the trays,that way don't have to mess with trying to pour chems back into the stupid BTZS in the dark after the developer.Use about 150ml,3 -4 oz. I prewash for at lest 3-4 minutes before deve. in try or tube.
  10. outwest
    With PMK in the Jobo I add EDTA per Gordon's recommendation and use 300ml per 8x10 equivalent. LFN in distilled is the only way to go in the final rinse before hanging using only 1or 2 drops per liter. Never tried it in the developer. Anybody have a use for Photoflo that doesn't involve film? Once I found LFN years ago I haven't touched Photoflo.
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