Rotary processing and surge marks/bromide drag?

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Sirius Glass

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I'm one of them.

The Jobo worked great for sheet film. But under certain conditions rotation isn't ideal. I could never figure out exactly why it didn't work for 35mm and 120.

Do you prewash/presoak? How quickly do you fill chemicals?
 

FotoD

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Do you prewash/presoak? How quickly do you fill chemicals?

Yes and no. I tried all combinations I could think of. In the end it came down to that the flow inside the rotating tank was not random enough to give even development.

If the Jobo works for you, great. But for those where no adjustments seem to help, inversion is an easy fix.
 

pentaxuser

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logan have a look at what fragomeini believes to be the solution for his streaks in his thread on bromide drag. It may have no relevance but I thought I might as well throw it in. It may have slightly more relevance than "sacrificing a virgin on Walpurgis Nacht" which I fear we may be getting close to in terms of solution suggestions 😧

pentaxuser
 

aparat

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I use a Beseler Rotary agitator with Paterson tanks.
Here is a photo with another alternative - it shows a way to use steel reel tanks, as long as you don't mind the clatter.


Here is an internet pic of the agitator:

It is slightly smaller than the light source on logan2z's enlarger :smile:

Great ideas, @MattKing ! When I feel lazy, I use this solution. For black and white, it works as consistently as the CPE-2. In my experience, rotary processing gives repeatedly even development compared to inversion agitation. Granted, my inversion technique is bad, and my disability prevents me from standing for long minutes over the sink. I am sure inversion could be just as good as rotary, if one uses the right technique and has the patience and stamina for it.

A note to the OP, @logan2z , perhaps investing in a cheap rotary base might help avoid unevenness?

 

Sirius Glass

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Funny, my experience is the opposite. Jobo works fine for 135, 120 is a mixed bag, but 4x5 in a 2500 tank never worked for me.
I guess we all just have to figure out what works best on an individual basis!

The Expert Drums are much better for sheet film when using the Jobo processor.
 
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logan2z

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A note to the OP, @logan2z , perhaps investing in a cheap rotary base might help avoid unevenness?



I'll keep my eye out for one. It looks like I want an 8922 since it has the bi-directional feature.

In the meantime, I'm going to switch back to inversion for the next roll and see how things turn out. I switched to rotary processing because I was trying to track down a streaking problem, but I now believe that's related to drying/Photoflo and not a function of the way I was performing inversion agitation at all. We'll see...
 

MattKing

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Use your roller for the first 30 seconds of continuous agitation, then switch to inversion. That is what I've ended up with, and I'm happy with the results. Then you can use the roller for all the other stages.
 

aparat

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I'll keep my eye out for one. It looks like I want an 8922 since it has the bi-directional feature.

In the meantime, I'm going to switch back to inversion for the next roll and see how things turn out. I switched to rotary processing because I was trying to track down a streaking problem, but I now believe that's related to drying/Photoflo and not a function of the way I was performing inversion agitation at all. We'll see...

In my experience, the non-reversing rotary base works just as well as the reversing one. I tested both pretty thoroughly a long time ago. I was using Paterson tanks and reels back then. They work okay with a rotary base.

By the way, your investigation of the unevenness you came across has lead to some interesting conclusions. I learned something new in the process, which I always appreciate.
 
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logan2z

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Use your roller for the first 30 seconds of continuous agitation, then switch to inversion. That is what I've ended up with, and I'm happy with the results. Then you can use the roller for all the other stages.

I think you mentioned that in another thread of mine before but I can't recall why you use continuous rotary agitation for the first 30 seconds rather than continuous inversion agitation for the first 30 seconds - and then just inversion for the stop/fix stages. In other words, what's the point of rotary at the beginning and what sort of different results were you getting when doing inversion at the start of development instead?
 
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logan2z

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In my experience, the non-reversing rotary base works just as well as the reversing one. I tested both pretty thoroughly a long time ago..

I assumed bi-directional agitation would be preferable since that's what the Jobo processors do.

I can try a unidirectional motor base and see how that goes. I've pretty much tried every other combination of development techniques, so what's one more? 🙂
 

MattKing

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I think you mentioned that in another thread of mine before but I can't recall why you use continuous rotary agitation for the first 30 seconds rather than continuous inversion agitation for the first 30 seconds - and then just inversion for the stop/fix stages. In other words, what's the point of rotary at the beginning and what sort of different results were you getting when doing inversion at the start of development instead?

I often like to develop two 120 rolls on a single AP Paterson clone reel.
If I use rotary for the entire development stage the films, being quite slippery during development, tend to migrate within the reels and often end up overlapping, which screws up processing in that overlapped section.
So I ended up using continuous reversing rotary agitation only for the period that is most critical for even development - the first 30 seconds - and finishing off the development using inversion agitation.
For the rest of the process, I just use continuous reversing rotary agitation. Apparently, once you hit the film with some stop bath, it is a lot less slippery.
I like using the rotary agitator for the first 30 seconds of development and for the rest of the process because of the consistency it offers, and because during the later stages I can use smaller amounts of chemicals and because while the agitator is doing its job, I'm freed up to do the myriad of other things that need to be done sooner or later when developing film.
I could have decided to use one procedure for multiple rolls of 120, and another for single rolls of 120 or 135 film, but decided instead to standardize on a single approach for everything.
Some of this approach is no doubt influenced by the fact that I'm always working at a temporary setup at a kitchen counter - everything moves from storage tubs, to use, and then back to the tubs, for subsequent return to storage.
 

MattKing

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I assumed bi-directional agitation would be preferable since that's what the Jobo processors do.

I can try a unidirectional motor base and see how that goes. I've pretty much tried every other combination of development techniques, so what's one more? 🙂

Every 30 seconds or so pick up the tank and turn it 180 degrees and put it back down.
Voila, a reversing agitator.
 
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logan2z

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Every 30 seconds or so pick up the tank and turn it 180 degrees and put it back down.
Voila, a reversing agitator.

I've been rolling the tank manually for 20 minutes for each roll of film I've developed recently. I think I finally deserve something of the 'set it and forget it' variety 😋
 
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pentaxuser

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I assumed bi-directional agitation would be preferable since that's what the Jobo processors do.
Yes, on the surface that's a reasonable assumption but has anybody ever managed to find out what benefits Jobo found by reversing the direction, assuming there were benefits. Does the film benefit from this change of direction? Each frame is passing through the developer at a high rate and clearly turbulence of some kind is set up but when I think about it I cannot imagine that a change of direction changes anything if the film then passes through the same developer the opposite way. I suppose that a rapid change of direction may create more turbulence for a second or so and if the change is of a rapid enough frequency it churns the developer more. However is turbulence the key to rotary processing?

If the benefit of any agitation is to ensure that the film in the case of rotary or inversion is replenished at a rate that is frequent enough to ensure that the developer in contact with the film is always changing( half the roll in and half the roll out rapidly in rotary ) as opposed to how it is changed in inversion ( all the film immersed all the time but the developer periodically moved over the film so new developer comes in contact) then I do wonder what changes for the film

To develop my cardio-vascular system, let's say I need to run 5 miles at a heart rate of 140 beats per minute for 20 minutes. Does my heart and lungs improve more by say 40 mins on flat road or 40 mins at the same heart rate on a 8 foot treadmill?

I can't see how it would and either method should prevent equally the sand being kicked in my face and the lady going off with the kicker😁

pentaxuser
 

FotoD

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Something like this might do the trick 🙂



Yes, that will work. But don't count on a rotating motor base to give you different results from what you get by hand rolling. It may actuallty get worse when the flow of developer becomes even less random. Testing is of course the only way to know how it works in your setting.

I could develop sheet film in Expert tanks on a unidirectional motorbase without problems. No matter what i did with 35mm and 120 film, the negs were uneven. Manual or fully automatic bi-directional did not improve things.

If you use Jobo tanks you can pre-wet on a motor base, develop with inversion, stop and fix on the motor base. At least that worked for me.
 
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logan2z

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If you use Jobo tanks you can pre-wet on a motor base, develop with inversion, stop and fix on the motor base. At least that worked for me.
I could do that, I just don't understand the advantage of rotary processing for everything other than the development stage - other than, possibly, a bit of convenience. But the stop/fix stages aren't that long and don't require many manual inversions if doing inversion agitation, so I don't think I really see a big benefit.
 

MattKing

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I could do that, I just don't understand the advantage of rotary processing for everything other than the development stage - other than, possibly, a bit of convenience. But the stop/fix stages aren't that long and don't require many manual inversions if doing inversion agitation, so I don't think I really see a big benefit.

Lower volume of chemicals.
And my developer and stop bath beakers get rinsed and start drying while the film is in the first rotating fixer bath - I use two, and do a clip test every time.
The HCA and Photoflo solutions get set up during the second rotating fixer bath.
The rinse between fixer and HCA gets agitated by the roller agitator while other things get dealt with - cleaning and drying thermometers as an example.
The fixer beaker gets rinsed and starts drying while the film is in the HCA.
The HCA beaker gets rinsed and starts drying while the film is washing.
And the tank and the reels and the rotary agitator get cleaned and/or rinsed while the film is in the Photoflo.
And everything up to the wash stage gets consistent, dependable agitation.
 

Sirius Glass

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Lower volume of chemicals.
And my developer and stop bath beakers get rinsed and start drying while the film is in the first rotating fixer bath - I use two, and do a clip test every time.
The HCA and Photoflo solutions get set up during the second rotating fixer bath.
The rinse between fixer and HCA gets agitated by the roller agitator while other things get dealt with - cleaning and drying thermometers as an example.
The fixer beaker gets rinsed and starts drying while the film is in the HCA.
The HCA beaker gets rinsed and starts drying while the film is washing.
And the tank and the reels and the rotary agitator get cleaned and/or rinsed while the film is in the Photoflo.
And everything up to the wash stage gets consistent, dependable agitation.

PhotoFlo should be done out of the tank/drum and off reel to avoid gumming up the reel with PhotoFlo.
 

MattKing

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PhotoFlo should be done out of the tank/drum and off reel to avoid gumming up the reel with PhotoFlo.

Guess you missed the fact that the film was in the Photoflo while I was cleaning and rinsing the tank and reels.
 

Sirius Glass

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Guess you missed the fact that the film was in the Photoflo while I was cleaning and rinsing the tank and reels.

I will go sit in the corner. :snif :redface:
 
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logan2z

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Since I last posted to this thread, I've developed two more rolls of 35mm film. I used inversion agitation for both, following Ilford's method of 4 inversions during the first 10 seconds of every minute. I did deviate a bit and performed gentle inversions continuously over the first 30 seconds of development. I also finger-squeegeed the film (the horror! 🙂 ) after the final rinse since that seems to have eliminated the frustrating streaking I have been experiencing for months.

The first roll of film looked great - no streaking and no signs of the issue that I spoke about at the start of this thread that sort of looked like surge marks or bromide drag on a couple of frames. The second roll of film also looked really good and again showed no signs of streaking. However, one frame did show the surge/bromide drag sort of marks I experienced a couple of rolls ago that prompted me to start this thread (see top edge of image below):
fidHAOXh.jpg

Since the decreased density corresponds to the space beneath the sprocket holes maybe Bromide drag is the culprit. Maybe I need to increase the frequency of agitation since I'm using a pretty dilute developer.

On the plus side, it seems that the streaking I was experiencing before has been resolved by finger-squeegeeing the film. Maybe I've been using too much Photoflo for my particular environment although I'm using the recommended 1:200 dilution and distilled water in the final rinse. I'm using a clean nitrile glove when squeegeeing the film so I'm not concerned about scratching the film. On the downside, I seem to have a new issue with possible Bromide drag. I'm going to tweak my agitation frequency and hopefully that'll eliminate this.
 
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FotoD

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Glad it got better. Sorry it didn't go away.

Most development hapens in the first 30-60s, so continous agitation can make a difference there. (And you already do that, but maybe a full minute would improve things a little bit?)

And I recently read about someone who avoided bromide drag by agitating vigorously, not carefully. Maybe that's something to try?

PhotoFlo never worked at 1:200 for me. It always gave drying marks of some kind. I have hard water here, about pH 8, maybe that is why. I settled on 3-4 drops of 10% PhotoFlo per 100ml of tap water which works well. That's 1:4000 to 1:5000. Not quite an homeopathic dilution, but still pretty weak.

Good luck!
 
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