Removing (solubility of) Anti Halation Layers of various films

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Bohngy

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Hi all, I'm developing 5x4 in the home made equivalent of BTZS tubes. The developing is very even, but the major problem is the surface tension of the chemistry sticking the film to the inside of the tube. I've tried a mesh between the two, but then I have a mesh pattern of un-removed AH layer on the back of the film.

So I was hoping we might be able to pool knowledge on AH layer solubility for various films. I'm having big problems removing the layer on my 5x4 Fortepan 200 film - I can't work out if it's developer or fixer soluble...a post develop soak in either doesn't seem to work.

Ilford FP4 is nice and easy, the AH is water soluble, and can be removed in the final rinse stage... or so I've discovered.

The instructions for the BTZS system say that "All tube-developed Kodak films should be fixed for at least 4 times as long as it takes them to clear because their backing dye is unusually difficult to eradicate."

Just hoping people could share their most successful methods of AH layer removal. I'm really frustrated with it spoiling my pictures (it's happening with my colour negs too).

Thanks,
 

timk

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the jobo tubes I've seen have bumps in them to stop the film from being flush against the inside of the tube.

Since you mentioned your tubes are home-made, perhaps they aren't suitable? I'd consider looking at different ways to develop your 4x5. I've never had this happen with tray processing and I've never heard of it happening with people using jobo drums.
 

jim appleyard

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Have you tried a pre-soak? I do 4x5 in racks, not tubes, so my knowledge here is limited, but I sometimes pre-soak films in 1/2 tsp of sod. carb/liter of water. This removes all, or close to all, of the AH layer.

Perhaps this is your ticket.
 

georgegrosu

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It is a good recommendation for use sodium carbonate pre-soak.
After pre-soak I wash the film for 3 to 5 minutes in water. Developers that I use have a low pH. The few ml (10 to 20) of sodium carbonate solution may be transported in the developer can change the kinetics of reaction for developer.
George
 

Ponysoldier

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You don't say what type mesh you are using. I have used BTZS tubes for years with teflon mesh with no problems (I was ready to give up on the tubes until I stumbled on to the mesh). The mesh I use is extremely fine - almost like muslin - and I cannot recall the name of the vendor but it was a teflon mesh used in electro-polishing of surgical needles.
 

williamtheis

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cannot recall the name of the vendor but it was a teflon mesh used in electro-polishing of surgical needles.

if you do in the future, please post or PM me. I gave up on the BTZS tube and actually want to sell them... (6 4x5, 6 8x10).

to remove the deep blue cast, i just soak in some non-sudsy ammonia diluted before the final wash
 

PBrooks

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if you do do a pre soak remember that will effect your developing time.
 

RalphLambrecht

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The anti-halation dye is water soluble. A presoak will help but affects development (in more ways than just timing). A post treatment in hypo clear will do wonders. Every processing step removes a little more of the dye. Here is my sequence, and it has removed the anti-halation dye in every film completely so far.

1. no pre-soak
2. developer (>4 min)
3. stop bath (1 min)
4. 1st fix (3 min)
5. 2nd fix (3 min)
6. water rinse (1 min)
7. hypo clear (2 min)
8. wash (10 min)
9. foto-flow (1 min)

After this, there is no anti-halation dye left. Some have reported that an after treatment with UV radiation (face tanning station or sunlight) make the anti-halation dye transparent, but I have not tried that.
 

Vaughn

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Using Jobo 3005 drum, I found major problem with a partially dissolved anti-halation layer was cured by using a non-hardening fixer.

Vaughn
 

trexx

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Anti-halation layers are always removed when developer gets to them. In a BTZS tube that can't happen. Why does the developer dissolves it and post processing does not? Developers are alkaline. Anything neutral to acid does not remove the backing as well. So the hardened fix does not work as it is acidic.

So what to do? Use a alkaline fix. Or, just put the sheets in a try of the developer after the fix, with a rinse of course. I find it clears in seconds.
 

RalphLambrecht

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Anti-halation layers are always removed when developer gets to them. In a BTZS tube that can't happen. Why does the developer dissolves it and post processing does not? Developers are alkaline. Anything neutral to acid does not remove the backing as well. So the hardened fix does not work as it is acidic.

So what to do? Use a alkaline fix. Or, just put the sheets in a try of the developer after the fix, with a rinse of course. I find it clears in seconds.

Trexx

This cannot be so. I'm sure alkaline solutions work better than acid solutions, and I'm also sure a non-hardening fixer will remove more anti-halation dye than a hardening fixer, but you do not need alkaline fixer to remove the dye completely. Pouring the post development chemicals into beakers (and not down the drain) will prove it. You can clearly see the colored dye in every post processing bath until it's gone, acid, neutral or alkaline.

In my case, the 1st fixer shows a lot of dye, the 2nd fixer some, the hypo clearing bath shows a lot again, even the rinse in between shows it.

I don't use alkaline fixer in my processing, because I prefer to use a stop bath, and my process completely removes the anti-halation dye with every film so far. Alkaline fixers may help, but they are not a necessity.
 

trexx

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I did not mean to imply alkaline was required only that it speeds the process. With BZTS i use an acid stop and natural two step fix, much as your process. The clearing bath may be alkaline. But for me 20 sec back in the developer the anti-halation is gone.
 

Anon Ymous

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I did not mean to imply alkaline was required only that it speeds the process. With BZTS i use an acid stop and natural two step fix, much as your process. The clearing bath may be alkaline. But for me 20 sec back in the developer the anti-halation is gone.

If an alkaline solution helps you clear the layer, then maybe a sodium sulfite solution will help. It makes mildly alkaline solutions and is the basic ingredient in hypo clearing agent. No harm done if you do so.
 

RalphLambrecht

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If an alkaline solution helps you clear the layer, then maybe a sodium sulfite solution will help. It makes mildly alkaline solutions and is the basic ingredient in hypo clearing agent. No harm done if you do so.

Exactly, so why not use a hypo clearing bath as a matter of course? It has the benefit of reducing the washing time required and removing the anti-halation dye at the same time.
 
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This is interesting.

For the last year or so I've used Tmax 400 almost exclusively. Some Tmax 100 has snuck into the mix, some Plus-X and some Foma 100 also made their name known.
Kodak's films have a pink dye that is hard to remove. So I fix longer. If I was working with tubes, I would do a two fix style process where the first fixing bath was in the tubes. I'd then remove the sheets and use trays for the second fixing bath.
If I fix the Kodak films long enough, all of the dye comes out of the film in the wash. If I fix it for only twice the clearing time, the dye is much more difficult to wash out. The Foma films have a LOT of anti-halation dye in them, and they make my replenished developer turquoise in color. They make my stop bath turquoise as well. The fixer usually just comes out in its normal honey golden hue. Then in the Ilford washing sequence, the rest of the dyes always come out. I let the film rest for five minutes in water as well before I give a final rinse in Photo-Flo.

I believe that doing the two bath fixing method, with fixer #1 in the tubes, and #2 in trays, would help you with your woes.

- Thomas
 

Anon Ymous

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Exactly, so why not use a hypo clearing bath as a matter of course? It has the benefit of reducing the washing time required and removing the anti-halation dye at the same time.

I only mentioned the sulfite bath in case HCA isn't available or you don't want to have even more bottles around. Sodium sulfite is usually easily obtainable and one shot solutions are easy to make as needed. You don't even need to be very pedantic about measuring. A 2% solution can be made by adding roughly a level tablespoon of sulfite to 1l of water.
 

RalphLambrecht

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I only mentioned the sulfite bath in case HCA isn't available or you don't want to have even more bottles around. Sodium sulfite is usually easily obtainable and one shot solutions are easy to make as needed. You don't even need to be very pedantic about measuring. A 2% solution can be made by adding roughly a level tablespoon of sulfite to 1l of water.

I agree, but we need to be careful with a simple 2% sodium sulfite bath in combination with hard water, because without photo calgon this can permit a nasty calcium fallout, which in turn can cause scratches on the film. A regular hypo clearing bath does a better job.
 

RalphLambrecht

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... If I was working with tubes, I would do a two fix style process where the first fixing bath was in the tubes. I'd then remove the sheets and use trays for the second fixing bath...

- Thomas

Brilliant idea! Follow it up with a hypo clearing bath and the pink should be gone.
 

tgale

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I have always found, with no exceptions that I can recall (I use 120 / 220-rollfilm) that a 1-minute pre-wash before the developer hastens the (later) removal of the anti-halation layer. In the case of Kodak prof films like VC160 / VC400 and so on, it's obvious - after a few rolls you have a definite green pre-wash water; but even in the T-Max series it helps. That said, I always fix T-Max for 3 times the box rating to lose the final AH colouring; so do both the pre-wash and the extended fix and I think you'll have solved 95% of the AH problems...
 
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Bohngy

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thanks

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to reply. There's a a lot of info here - on many different approaches, so I'm gonna copy them down. I'll probably try them all with time.

I think I'll start with a 2% Sodium Sulfite solution... the only problem is that I can't seem to find any UK stockists of it. I couldn't find any anhydrous or aqueous stock anywhere (ebay, Firstcall, Nova etc) anyone have any ideas?

Also, would this work with all AH layers including... ahem.... C41 (I just thought I'd ask... seeing as the thread is already running)

If anyone could point me in the direction of a UK supplier of Na2SO3 that would be great, thanks
 

RalphLambrecht

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Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to reply. There's a a lot of info here - on many different approaches, so I'm gonna copy them down. I'll probably try them all with time.

I think I'll start with a 2% Sodium Sulfite solution... the only problem is that I can't seem to find any UK stockists of it. I couldn't find any anhydrous or aqueous stock anywhere (ebay, Firstcall, Nova etc) anyone have any ideas?

Also, would this work with all AH layers including... ahem.... C41 (I just thought I'd ask... seeing as the thread is already running)

If anyone could point me in the direction of a UK supplier of Na2SO3 that would be great, thanks

Just get Ilford's Wash Aid. That's just what the doctor ordered.
 
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