Developing in the darkroom. What am I doing wrong?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by eharriett, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. eharriett

    eharriett Member

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    I just developed my first roll of Ferrania's P30. Since they say it has a high silver content, very much like Adox's Silvermax, I decided to try and develop this first roll with that developer. It is a new chemistry for me and even still I know I am still very much an amateur, having only developed less than a dozen rolls in my life. Nonetheless, I am getting results poorer than expected and I am reasonably certain it has to do with my own skill as a learning developer. Can someone give me suggestions on what mistakes I made? There's some over developed spots, and some strange spotting throughout the film I'm not used to seeing in my other efforts.

    My setup: a Jobo hand developing tank
    Developer: Adox Silvermax 1:29 mix for 600 ml at 68 deg. F for 11 mins, agitating every minute for 10 secs.
    Stop bath: Kodak stopbath 1:90 mix for 1000ml at 68 deg F for 2 mins
    Ilford Rapidfix 1000 ml for 5 mins. img339 copy.jpg (I know this first image is blurred. Arm was bumped when I took the pic, but it shows the damage to the film much better than the clean one).

    img344 copy.jpg img345 copy.jpg img357 copy.jpg
     
  2. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Subscriber

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    Were these shot using flash?
     
  3. WilmarcoImaging

    WilmarcoImaging Member

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    I don't think I'm seeing film issues. I'm seeing spots and dust. Dust comes mainly from where the film was dried, and from the scanning process. Spots come from drying, and during the processing steps if pouring is not smooth and rapid.
     
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    eharriett

    eharriett Member

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    Yes on the flash.

    For drying, I hung them up. Usually last rinse includes some Photoflo, so the water dries right off. Haven't had spots before. I'm hesitant about rubbing, even with a microfiber cloth, for fear of scratching emulsion. I have 3 cats, so I am conscious of the cat hair flying around, but these went to the scanner pretty quickly after drying.
     
  5. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Silver rich ie said to have a high silver of is one of those myths propagated by the marketing weasels of some B&W films. It just isn't true. Films sold today actually have less silver content than previously.
     
  6. Europan

    Europan Member

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    Agitate continuously and cut all times by a quarter.
     
  7. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    The last one looks like it could be a problem with a too high shutter speed with a flash. On the others, are the spots white-ish and opaque? That would likely be insufficient fixing (seems unlikely at 5 minutes), or spent fix. If that's the case, re-fixing in fresh fix might resolve it.
     
  8. grommi

    grommi Member

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    First of all, the P30 is probably one of the most unsuitable film for an unexperianced darkroom rat. It`s a delicate film in alpha status, can have severe issues and is known to be extremely picky regarding the developer. Fix times shouild be determined with a clearing test, they are very short in regual strenght film fixer, maybe only a few seconds. Think about this in the context of "silver rich". Also the fixer should be very clean and shouldn't show any precipitate which will further spoil the emulsion.The emulsion is probably very thin and these kind of emulsions also tend to show dirt much more obvious than "regular" emulsions. This film reminds me in many aspects at technical micro films. This film is prickly like a diva.

    Besides these remarks your sample images are much too small imo to get a proper estimation of what the problems really could be. Overdeveloped spots? This film often works extremely contrasty with burned highlights if not developed properly.

    My suggestion: don't waste lifetime with this film, develop at least 100 others which have proven to be reliable and easy to process. Then you might come back to the P30 and maybe then there are also more reliable instructions from the producer about how to handle this film properly.
     
  9. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear eharriett,

    It looks to me as though you have a light leak. I think it is in your camera as both top and bottom of your images show some issue. As noted above, the last image was shot using using too high a shutter speed as well as the light leak.

    The good news is that you are almost there. One last note, start with Ilford or Kodak. These brands will not let you down and come with detailed processing instructions.

    Good luck,

    Neal Wydra
     
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    eharriett

    eharriett Member

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    Thanks. I'll try that next time. I'd heard others say I should do continuous agitation rather than the 10 seconds per minute that I'd been doing.
    I'm still an ametuer when it comes to using a flash. I didn't think it was a flash issue because it is such an even line. I thought that I did something wrong in developing it. The spots are white-ish. I thought they were residue from water. I VERY carefully rewashed and Photo-flo'ed them and rubbed carefully with soft microfiber cloth but they remained.
    After I read your post, I took a quick look and noticed my reusable fixer is no longer water clear like it had been. It has a very slight amber tint to it. I didn't notice it before. It may have been a result of fixing this film or it may have been there earlier and I had not noticed. Either way I will toss the rest.

    Thanks. Every other B&W film I'd been developing has been Ilford. I figured I could handle this one, plus I really wanted to try this developer with this film. If it was a more pro film, it is my mistake, but this is how I am learning.
     
  11. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Getting 3 cats dried and then to the scanner quickly is a difficult operation even for an experienced person and if you are a darkroom rat, as Grommi speculated and they are already annoyed by drying and scanning it can be positively dangerous :D Not pertinent advice perhaps but a little humour can lighten the load so to speak.

    As there were dark night scenes I found it difficult examine the negatives properly. It doesn't look like your process was wrong although spots due to stray foreign bodies can be problem at any time with any film, developer or process.

    I am unsure that changing film to Ilford or Kodak is going to be the answer. What were the other negatives like on the same film?

    pentaxuser
     
  12. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    If the spots are white on processed and washed film and remained through the wash (as opposed to showing up after drying), the negatives are likely incompletely fixed, due to insufficient time, or spent fixer, or perhaps contamination. The spots in this case are unfixed emulsion.

    One way of monitoring your fixer use is to time how long it takes to clear the film, you can either do this with the roll you are processing, or use a piece of leader or other unprocessed scrap piece to check before you start processing.
    Either way, your total fix time for conventional grain films is twice the clearing time. Once the clearing time becomes twice what it was with fresh, unused fixer, that batch of fix is done and you need to mix fresh. T grain films like Kodak TMax or Ilford Delta need additional fixing time.
     
  13. Don Harpold

    Don Harpold Subscriber

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    Hello eharriett
    Did you review the "Best Practices" pdf on Ferrania website?
    You will have better luck using the developers they suggest to start, I used HC110 for the first roll shot at 25, 50, 80, and 100iso and some came out very nice and some under.
    So the second roll I shot at 40iso and developed with Pyrocat HD and I like it better.
    Here are a couple from the first two rolls

    one at 25 HC110
    Leica IIIf Film Ferrania at 25 HC110 bridge.jpg

    one at 50 HC110
    Leica IIIf Film Ferrania at 50 HC110 trash can.jpg

    one at 80HC110
    Leica IIIf Film Ferrania at 80 HC110 Halloween in July.jpg

    and one at 40 with PyrocatHD
    Canon P Film Ferrania at 40iso Pyrocat HD unk.jpg
     
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