Rotary processing and surge marks/bromide drag?

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logan2z

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I just developed a 35mm roll of Tri-X using a Jobo 1500 tank/reel and manual, contiuous rotary processing using the Jobo roller. I've been using the roller/rotary processing for a while and I have never seen this issue on my negatives - what appears to be either bromide drag or surge marks that appear to align with the sprocket holes on the film. I can't quite figure out how this could happen - in this direction - with continuous rotary processing.

I've attached a photo of the negatives, enhanced to illustrate the issue (see the top of the negatives). Only a small subset of negatives on the roll seem to be affected.

Does anyone have a theory how this could happen with continuous rotary processing?


tT1x7GUh.jpg
 

koraks

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If it's processing/development-related, it would suggest you may be taking too long pouring in the developer and putting the tank onto the roller - assuming you're using a machine without a lift. Could this be the case?
 
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logan2z

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If it's processing/development-related, it would suggest you may be taking too long pouring in the developer and putting the tank onto the roller - assuming you're using a machine without a lift. Could this be the case?

The pour takes probably about 6 seconds or so, a couple of seconds to secure the lid and then just a few more to put the tank on the roller and start rotating. I've used the same procedure with several rolls and have never seen this particular issue.
 

Don Heisz

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What developer and what dilution? I find that result happens when the developer is either too dilute or too used (in the case of reused developer). You also shouldn't fill the tank completely - it will barely agitate if you do that.
 
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logan2z

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What developer and what dilution? I find that result happens when the developer is either too dilute or too used (in the case of reused developer). You also shouldn't fill the tank completely - it will barely agitate if you do that.

I used HC-110 dilution H, which I've used many times before. One shot, not reused. This was rotary agitation, not inversion.
 

Don Heisz

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HC-110 dilution H

My guess is that's too dilute for the sky. Skies seem to be the reason to use stock developers or strongly mixed ones. I knew it was rotary. Thinking about it, I guess a completely full tank would agitate in a Jobo. It would stop agitating if the rotation only went one way (eventually the liquid would all rotate along with the tank). But regular reversing might make the liquid in the centre of the tank barely move.....
 

pentaxuser

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Only a small subset of negatives on the roll seem to be affected.

Does anyone's explanation cover this aspect?

Too dilute for the sky was mentioned by Don so logan is the affected subset confined to negatives with sky in them?

Thanks

pentaxuser
 
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logan2z

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Does anyone's explanation cover this aspect?

Too dilute for the sky was mentioned by Don so logan is the affected subset confined to negatives with sky in them?

Thanks

pentaxuser

I've got to admit, I don't understand what 'too dilute for the sky' means. Most rolls I develop have lots of sky in them and I've used both HC-110 dilution H and Rodinal 1:50 for all of them and have never seen this issue before, whether I've used rotary or inversion agitation.

When using HC-110, there is 8ml of developer in the mix and I've only been developing one roll at a time. My understanding is that should be more than enough to avoid developer exhaustion. That all said, I see this on the handful of landscape orientation images on this roll and all of them contain lots of empty sky. I also have many portrait orientation images with significant uniform grey areas to the left and right of the frame and I don't see any sign of this on any of them.

My dream is to, one day, develop an entire roll of film with no development defects 🙂
 

Don Heisz

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I don't understand what 'too dilute for the sky' means.

I mean a featureless blue sky is the easiest thing to get unevenly developed. People have it happen all the time. Sprocket holes will catch the developer as the tank rotates and disrupt the flow possibly just enough to cause what happened. But it was just a guess.
 

koraks

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Sprocket holes will catch the developer as the tank rotates

But that's the odd thing - this would result in a band of unevenness that runs along the same axis as the sprockets do, so along the edge of the film, and outside the image area. The classic 'bromide' drag pattern is only possible if the film sits in a reel in a tank that's standing upright.

Frankly, I don't know what causes this. I've had an occasional Jobo development problem, but this isn't similar in any way.
 
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logan2z

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But that's the odd thing - this would result in a band of unevenness that runs along the same axis as the sprockets do, so along the edge of the film, and outside the image area. The classic 'bromide' drag pattern is only possible if the film sits in a reel in a tank that's standing upright.

Frankly, I don't know what causes this. I've had an occasional Jobo development problem, but this isn't similar in any way.

Right, I would expect the defect to be parallel to the film edge in the case of rotary processing.

I guess it's possible that your first theory is correct, although I've never seen it before and processed many other rolls the same way and with approximately the same time from initial pour to placement on the roller/start of rotation.

I'll process another roll and see what happens.
 
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logan2z

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I mean a featureless blue sky is the easiest thing to get unevenly developed.

Right, agreed. I just wasn't sure what that had to do with the dilution of the developer, assuming there was enough developer concentrate in the tank.
 

Steven Lee

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@logan2z Are you periodically reversing the direction of rotation? I do not have any evidence for this, but based on years of apug/photo.net reading, I have concluded that the sprocket holes generate tiny vortices. The effect gets better/worse based on two variables: rotation speed and direction change frequency, it must be irregular. Again: no personal experience, my rotary results are fine, just me summarizing everything I've ever read.
 

Sirius Glass

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If the photograph was taken with a wide angle or very wide angle lens then the sky density-color-tone could and should vary across the film.
 

pentaxuser

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I'll process another roll and see what happens.

Unless someone comes up with an explanation that reconciles the defect with a specific aspect of your process then processing another roll may be the best option

You do seem to be inordinately unlucky in terms of defects that we all end up scratching our heads about. I vaguely recall another defect on which we all pontificated and then commiserated for many posts. What was that one about and what was the solution, if there was one, in the end?

Thanks

pentaxuser
 
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logan2z

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@logan2z Are you periodically reversing the direction of rotation? I do not have any evidence for this, but based on years of apug/photo.net reading, I have concluded that the sprocket holes generate tiny vortices. The effect gets better/worse based on two variables: rotation speed and direction change frequency, it must be irregular. Again: no personal experience, my rotary results are fine, just me summarizing everything I've ever read.

I reverse the direction of rotation every two rotations. But my goal has been to keep the rate of rotation constant - well, as constant as I can manage while doing it manually.
When I first started to use the Jobo Roller I queried Jobo about rotation speed and their response was "The speed is not important as long as it is somewhat constant". Of course they also said "There is no advantage to bi-directional rotation" and I've been changing directions, so perhaps I need to ignore their advice about constant rotation speed as well 🙂 Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but the Jobo processors maintain a constant rate of rotation and do (at least optionally) alternate the direction of rotation.

As I mentioned, I've been using the Roller for a while and consistently following the same procedure and this is the first time I've seen this particular issue.
 
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logan2z

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You do seem to be inordinately unlucky in terms of defects that we all end up scratching our heads about.

Yes, apparently I'm, er, "special" 😋

I vaguely recall another defect on which we all pontificated and then commiserated for many posts. What was that one about and what was the solution, if there was one, in the end?

That was related to high-density streaks across the long axis of some frames. Many of us scratched our heads about that one for a long time and, even recently, I've seen it on some rolls.

It did recently occur to me that the very first roll I ever developed myself did not show these streaks. Beginner's luck! I thought about what I might have done differently on that roll and I rememberd that I had finger-squeegeed the film strip after the final rinse just after hanging it to dry. Of course everything I read after that cautioned against doing that and I never did it again. But since that was the only difference I could come up with, I decided to try it again - with a new nitrile glove on my hand to try and avoid scratching the negatives. I did that on a roll I developed last week and the roll showed none of those streaks. Feeling confident, I did it again on this last roll and the results were pretty good, but not perfect - the very first frame on the roll had a high density band down the middle, but none of the other frames did. I had hung the film up with the first frame of the roll at the bottom, so all of the Photoflo/distilled water mixture would have flowed down towards that frame. It's possible that I didn't quite squeegee the bottom few frames as well as the top ones and so the bottommost frame was affected. Hard to say if this is actually a Photoflo/drying issue with certainty without trying this on a few more rolls. But, in the meantime, this strange sprocket-related thing showed up so now I'm fixated on resolving that 🙂
 

pentaxuser

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logan, maybe I said this on that other thread as well but I have been using my fingers as a squeegee for a lot of films and have never had problems such as yours with streaks. Maybe I am just lucky with film processing but in very little else 🙂

For instance, I tried the West Coast hoping to get lucky in terms of the muscles, tan and girls in that order but I kept getting sunburn, the sand kicked in my face, mainly by the girls and even Charles A's dynamic tension did not solve the any of my problems😆


pentaxuser
 
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logan2z

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logan, maybe I said this on that other thread as well but I have been using my fingers as a squeegee for a lot of films and have never had problems such as yours with streaks. Maybe I am just lucky with film processing but in very little else 🙂

For instance, I tried the West Coast hoping to get lucky in terms of the muscles, tan and girls in that order but I kept getting sunburn, the sand kicked in my face, mainly by the girls and even Charles A's dynamic tension did not solve the any of my problems😆


pentaxuser

Maybe I wasn't clear. The first roll I developed I squeegeed with my fingers and had no streaks. For a recent roll I developed, I again squeegeed and had no streaks. This last roll I squeegeed again and had a streak on one frame, no others. So, the rolls I've squeegeed - except for one frame on one roll - had no streaks. For all of the other rolls I developed I did not squeegee and had streaks on multiple frames. So, at the moment, I'm pro squeegee.
 

Don Heisz

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Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but the Jobo processors maintain a constant rate of rotation and do (at least optionally) alternate the direction of rotation.

My CPE2 (no lift) does. It rotates fully then a mechanical switch gets tripped, then it rotates in the opposite direction. There's no option - it's fully built-in. Of course, there are other Jobo machines.

The impact of sprocket holes is mysterious. There is one other possibility. The HC110 is a syrup, right? And if your dilution was not mixed well enough, a concentrated amount may have surged through the sprocket holes when you filled the tank. Obviously not a significantly concentrated amount, but enough to have that impact. Any chance of that being the case? I've never used actual HC110.
 
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