Development Marks

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Andrew Moxom, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    It seems that I am having more than my fair share of development problems of late. Here is another one. I have seen these marks before in the past, but thought they were banished after my recent trip to Cornwall where most of my negs were in good shape. What I am doing is not rocket science and my methodology was and does work fine for the most part. However, this stuff always happens on the really important negs!

    Here is an example of what I am experiencing. I get blotchy rebates, and banding, sometimes both. I have changed the light traps in ALL my film backs to factory hasselblad traps. Film is either Neopan-400 or TMY-II. It does not seem to matter. I am using Pyrocat 1:1:100 using semi stand, or as Sandy King says, Extreme Minimal Agitation. It has also happened when I develop ACROS in Rodinal 1:50 with agitation every minute.

    I've scrubbed my reels more times than I'd care to imagine with boiling hot water and strong bleach with a toothbrush, and or scotchbrite pads.. I've tried either presoak, and not presoaking. I've tried inversion figure of 8 agitation, and combination rolling the tank to minimize air bubbles. It happens in both Steel Hewes reels, or Patterson plastic reels and tanks. nothing appears to get rid of this issue. I do not use photo flo in the tanks. I manually dip the film AFTER the wash and hold both ends of film to form a loop, and run the loop through a bowl of distilled water/photo-flo and am diligent no cross contamination occurs. Photoflo never gets on my reels or in my tanks.

    I used fresh chemistry, and did not squeegee my film. What am I doing wrong?? I am at my wits end with this crap anymore. :-( Other folks can be far less diligent in their processing and not have these problems at all. It's just beyond me as to what to try next?

    I forgot to add that the neg scans I uploaded into the gallery... ALL of them had to be cropped ot get these issues out of the frame area. As you can imagine I am frustrated as hell.
     

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  2. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've had similar marks with semi stand developing along the edge... lately I've put a few drops of LFN into the developer, and that seems to have reduced the problem.
     
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    Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    Suzanne, LFN?? sorry not sure what that is?
     
  4. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Sorry... it's made by Edwal, basically, photo-flo.
     
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    Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    Okay thanks Suzanne, that's very interesting and completely opposite to what I've been led to believe regarding photo flo getting on the reels and tanks as it causes a build up that is supposed to cause development issues like this.
     
  6. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Member

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    Your negatives look exactly like mine with respect to the banding / edge markings. Air bells. Sanders had a long thread about this a while back, as far as I can recall. I don't remember what the remedy was.

    I have had this problem on and off for a couple of years now, and frame my images such that I leave a little wiggle room on each side, just in case. I don't know if it's because most of our water sources freeze up during the winter, causing a lot of fermentation under the surface, in turn perhaps affecting the water quality? You and I are in the same geographical location, so that's one common denominator.
    I'm going to go and buy a boat load of distilled water in the next few days before I process anything else and try that.

    I think LFN is a wetting agent much like PhotoFlo.
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It's air-bells, I did some tests and posted some images a fes months ago. I did a test with an old roll of 120 put it in a reel and agitated without a lid, they were there :D Agitation didn't shift them.

    2 or 3 drops of wetting agent cured the problem, too muche makes it worse as you get foaming, I had the same problem with Pyrocat HD as did a few others. Some commercial developers contain traces of wetting agents, there are plenty of patents about the problem goping back past WWII, and some films contain traces too.

    It may also be the local water supply, most commercial developers contain something like Sodium Tripolyphoshate, a water softner, but I found the drops of wetting agent cured the problem.

    Ian
     
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  8. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I wash the film while it's still on the reel, so if you use the wetting agent in the development, it should get a thorough washing with the film. I'll confess though... I've used the wetting agent at the the end with the film on the reels, and rewash and soak the reels in some Perma Wash from time to time to clear up any build-up.
     
  9. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Member

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    Is there some kind of measure of how much per film is appropriate? One drop per 500ml developer? Would that be a fair number to use?

    - Thomas
     
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    Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    Okay, thanks for the details here. Certainly something to try now.... Even though I've heard so many problems regarding photo flo and build up on the tanks/reels.... I guess you can teach an old dog like me new tricks :smile:
     
  11. ishutteratthethought

    ishutteratthethought Subscriber

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    Thomas, I think you hit it on the head as far as thinking the water is the issue. I live in Minneapolis proper and I am fortunate to have the Mississippi be my water source. The river hits the water treatment plant before entering through the nasty parts of the city. This water has been naturally filtered before heading into Mpls's new water treatment facility which is state of the art. I recently visited a near by city that uses well water and the water smelled like the YMCA swiming pool at the end of the day...... MAJOR chlorine and some other unwelcome smells. Sorry for the long rant however I do not filter my water before mixing chemicals and for my rinse and rarley do I have issues with what you are experiencing Andrew. I occasionally have a cat hair....I do know the source of that problem however. The cat breaks the "no cats in the darkroom" rule once in while. Not sure where you live Andrew but if you live in Mpls that shoots my theory down.
    I would certainly give distilled water a try.
    Steve
     
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  12. fotch

    fotch Member

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    You already have tried many things to eliminate the problem, why not run a test roll through D76 and if problems disappears, you down to your developer.
     
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    Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    I can also understand the air bubble theory espcially for the blotches on my negs, but still have a hard time beliveing the banding is also airbells??? That looks too uniform. Any theories on that too? I also do not think it's developer related. I have the same problem when using Rodinal and ACROS where agitation is every minute. Even for the semi stand developing with pyrocat, I am agitating every 3 minutes. That's not enough to cause bromide drag problems.
     
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  14. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Member

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    I think the banding is many small air bells that move around when you agitate. Don't hold me to it, though, as I can't actually see into the tank... :smile:
     
  15. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    This looks like lack of agitation in the first stages of development, as well it could be the water.

    For this we use distilled water and with our Jobo 2300 we do manual twist first fifteen seconds.
    There was a while where we were getting road ruts well within the image that would show up as dark mottle like you show.
    It took a lot of head scratching before we stopped using the machine for critical process in the first stages.

    Your images have a lot of nuetral grey smooth surface which is the most difficult image to process clean, Sanders was using a grey background and had the same problem, he actually owes me a meal for the long thread he made me endure to help solve the problem.

    Switch to distilled and try in the first 15 seconds of development you use a good twisting method.

    hold the container like you are driving a car with your hands positioned in the 12oclock and 6 position and then invert. If you do it this way not only will you invert the chems but also create a twisting motion which should help get chems on all areas of the film quicker and start the action.


    nuetral skys, grey backdrops and 18% grey cards are the hardest to get nuetral across the film and I would practice on this first . If you can run a densitometer across the nuetral field and get even numbers you have aced it.

    Complicated texture images will never show this problem or at least you will not notice this problem as much.
     
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    Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    Will that try Bob thanks... for the record, I do agitate quite aggressively for the first minute and a half. Especially if I presoak, but usually only for a minute if no presoak.
     
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    Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    Okay, here is the latest update. At this point, I am not sure the banding is related to filme development. Take a look at the latest negs. These were souped last night after I re-cleaned my tanks and reels in Edwal SIngle soultion tray, dish and tank cleaner. I used distilled water and used fresh chemistry yet again. This time, the banding looks like it's the film back!!! I've changes the light traps twice as well. The last time was to factory Hasselblad traps. You can clearly see the two little dents that give hasselblad negs their signature look in the banding. It's repetitive which would indicate light is being reflected somehow. All of my backs are in good shape, no paint missing, new light traps. What else could be going on? I use a lens shade as much as I can except when I am using filters.... I was not using filters for this shot.
     

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  18. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Are the reels locked on the central column of the tank ?

    Paterson tanks often have a lock ring that fits the centre column and prevents the spirals riding up the column during inversion agaitation, sometimes when spirals are older they tend to do this. It is possible the spiral was shifting causing under development so in between agitation cycles.

    It is very odd and I've never seen anything like it with my own 120 negs.

    Ian
     
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    Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    Ian, I used stainless reels for these negs. Hewes reels, I had plenty of developer in there. When it happens in the paterson tanks, I develop 3 rolls at a time and fill up with 1500ml of developer. Even if the reels did ride up, they would still be covered. I am begining to think this is being caused during exposure. I have sent this scan up to David Odess to see if he knows about anything of this nature with the hasselblad system. MY gear is in great shape, all backs have new light traps, paintloss is negligible if any on the camera/back mating surfaces. Seems like an internal refelction to me as the two dents are visible on the banding.
     
  20. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Member

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    Yes, I really think the two Hasselblad typical 'dents' are key here.

    I wonder where the points of light entry might be:

    - Where the back mates to the body.
    - The darkslide.
    - Light seals along the edge where the cartridge inserts into the back.

    I think those are the only three places where it could occur.
     
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    Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    The interesting thing here is that the two 'dents' are on the side without the light traps and is the side more surrounded by metal and not really much can happen at that side. I will try scanning the same negs 180 degrees around also to make sure it'snot a scanning relfection from the neg!!
     
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    Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    Okay, after much deliberation, I think I have it nailed. It's not a scientific test but it works for me..... Here are 3 scans of the same neg. Stony Point 12.jpg was placed into my Epson 750m as I normally do and scanned. Stony Point 12a.jpg was rotated 180 degrees and placed into the other side of the neg holder. Stony Point 12c was a scan straight on the bed glass itself with a small piece of glass laid on top... Hence the newtons rings! That said, NO banding.... The mark on the RHS of 12c is actually the glass on top of the neg. Well I'll be a rat's A$$ Not development or camera related at this point..... I guess it just proves that prints are the only way to be sure and that the APUG gods seriously disprove of neg scans!!!

    That said, this problem only manifests itself when there is lots of continuous tone like grey sky etc, never for more detailed shot with wide ranging tones are present.
     

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  23. Jerry Basierbe

    Jerry Basierbe Member

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    Do you look at your negatives on a light atble Andrew?

    Jerry
     
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    Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    Jerry, I do not look at them on a light table. Maybe I should start as I do have a decent 5000k Light table that I do use for my transparencies when I do them.