I bought a Fuji GA645 a few months ago, based on advice here, and I must admit the camera is fun to use and gives good results. I recently purchased a scanner, an Epson V500, and can finally begin to play. I've noticed some developer problems though, and wonder if any of you might offer a suggestion for minimizing this particular difficulty. Attachment 48509
One can see the differences in density along the top rail of the bridge. A friend has indicated this is probably an agitation issue, and commonly occurs with a plain-sky background. This is Tmax 400 and I developed it in Diafine using a tank with a plastic spool. This was one of the last frames on the roll and consequently quite close in to the center of the spool. I agitated using one turn backwards every one minute. I'm wondering if using a tank with metal spools and agitating by slowly raising and lowering the film with a spool lifter-outer would correct the situation.
Thanks in advance,
Here's a nice long discussion of agitation and uneven density in the film forum here-
I don't know much about the Paterson plastic tanks. I do know that it took me a bit to get even development in sky areas with 120 film with stainless tanks and reels. There were two parts to the solution. One is to not overfill the tank. I measured out how much liquid I need to cover the reel, add about 1/4 inch, and then to get a round number for measurement. Leaving a large air space in the tank is critical to allow the solution room to actually move and flow.
The second element of the solution is to do fast movements. I turn the tank quickly,pause for a couple of seconds, and turn it back quickly. Again, the goal is to get good movement and flow across the face of the film.
The photographer Robert Adams ended up developing 120 in a darkroom by holding each end in one hand and sliding it through a large tray or tank. Like tray developing 4x5, but the long roll instead. I'm sure there is more to it than this, but he wanted completely even Colorado skies and tanks were simply not doing it.
I'm sure that Paterson tanks can work but others will have to tell you their methods.
Thanks, Dan. Lack of rapid movement was part of the problem. I slowed down the movement of the reel after a roll of 35mm film had an agitation problem around the sprocket holes. Maybe I just won't shoot the last frame. :)
The volume is that which is sufficient to cover a single reel of 120 film in a single-roll plastic tank. I would guess 500ml at most. The dilution is always the same with Diafine, as it's a compensating developer with two solutions. The first solution is the developer, the second the activator.
Diafine is used at stock strength, then returned to the storage bottle for subsequent use.
Replenishment amounts to simply replacing the lost volume of Part A, and adding the same amount of fresh Part B to its bottle.
It's highly insensitive to temperature and time,
but it IS sensitive to agitation, which should be minimal and gentle.
The OP's description of his agitation procedure sounds reasonable as long as the rotation was not rapid.
I've heard that elsewhere about gentle agitation when using Diafine. Which is what I used with this particular roll -- the first I put through the GA645. But does the result on the image indicate insufficient agitation or too much agitation? My first consideration was that the agitation was insufficient, this frame being at or near the center of the reel. Other photos of the same bridge made on a different day didn't show the same pattern.
So does it make sense to develope 120 rolls in Diafine by gently raising the reel say an inch then gently lowering it? This would require developing in the dark, with the attendant dribble here and there, but I could load the three solutions into 600 ml containers to avoid a lot of spillage and develop over an old print tray. Suggestions?
Originally Posted by Leigh B
I normally use inversion rather than rotation. Your lift and drop method would be similar to inversion.
I'll give both a try. Inversion has the advantage of being done in the kitchen rather than the dark room.
It could also be your scanner. I have similar results from my Canon scanner, however when wet printing they are fine. I discovered that my scanner was not even by me rotating the negative 90 degrees and rescanning it. The banded areas moved from top to bottom to side to side. I also use inversion for my negatives, once every 20 to 30 seconds.