PDA

View Full Version : Uneven tray development with X-Ray film



jonbrisbincreative
4-Apr-2016, 18:48
I bought a box of x-ray film which turned out to not be what I wanted. It's double-sided and green-sensitive where I wanted the blue-sensitive, single-sided. I'll be listing it--and the extra box they sent me that I didn't order but got for free a week later--here shortly. At any rate, I'm trying to get my hands around x-ray film and so far I've met with really meh results. I like my paper negatives better so far.

The problem, besides scratches (I'm even using a piece of lexan in the bottom of my developer trays), is some weird uneven development. Paper negatives come out just fine, but using the same diluted Aristadol on the x-ray film results in splotchy development that is mostly unusable. Here's an example of what I'm seeing:

149222 *

The development is pretty uneven all around the frame.

Is it the dilute developer I'm using? Should I increase the concentration and not cut my stock solution down so much? I'm trying not to agitate more than necessary because the scratches are hard to control but if I'm going to get uneven development, then I need to do something else to get better results. I've got some PMK Pyro mixed up in stock and ready to use but wanted to try this out first. Maybe the Aristadol is not good for x-ray film?

* Rittreck View 5x7 Fuji 180/5.6 4s @ f32

jp
4-Apr-2016, 19:09
Don't develop till it looks good under safelight. I have gotten past this by developing a couple minutes longer that that. I use weak dektol with the ektascan and it's good as long as it stays in the developer long enough. Is aristadol a dektol substitute? It takes longer for even-ness than paper developing.

Fr. Mark
4-Apr-2016, 20:20
I had a similar problem with my Ektascan 5x7's in 8x10 trays recently. 8 minutes Pyrocat HD, 500ml 2:2:100, 1 min continuous agitation then 5 sec every thirty sec. Cyanotypes look good (ignoring uneven development). I maybe had the safelights too close for a final inspection...

koraks
4-Apr-2016, 22:17
I have struggled with uneven density on my xray film. It turned out to have two causes:
Safelight not being entirely safe; make sure you test this. I now use a single red led bulb filtered with a sheet of ruby lith.
I only get even development with continuous agitation. The latter solved the issues of higher densities along the edges. Ironically, I used continuous agitation in the beginning, but I moved to intermittent agitation because others got good results this way. But it wouldn't work for me. I expose double sided xray film at about ei 50-80 and develop for 4 to 7 minutes in parodinal 1:80 to 1:150 with continuous agitation, tilting the tray alternatingly on the long and the short axis and flipping the film over every 15 seconds or so.
I did away with scratches by using a cheap non-stick oven tray with a flat bottom that is a little larger than the film. Using a plastic tray with a sheet of glass on the bottom didn't entirely prevent scratches.

John Layton
4-Apr-2016, 23:03
More of a question than a suggestion - as I've never tried using X-ray film: but do you folks use a pre-soak prior to development? (and, if not - would a pre-soak help mitigate the unevenness?)

John Layton
4-Apr-2016, 23:10
Another question to add to the above: what about adding a bit of Photo-Flo...either to a pre-soak, or to the developer? Might help with unevenness...and also with the aforementioned scratches? I've recently begun adding a few drops of Photo-Flo to my pre-soak when processing more "conventional" films in Pyrocat - and this definitely helps.

Willie
5-Apr-2016, 06:44
Have you tried Brush Development? Use it with 8x10 film and no more uneven skies or overdeveloped edges - even in small trays.

jonbrisbincreative
5-Apr-2016, 06:46
Using a flat-bottom tray and continuous agitation seems like easy things to implement into my workflow. I'll give that a try.

I've noticed it does take considerably longer to develop than the paper negatives so it could be I'm just not waiting long enough. It's hard for me to gauge the density of the image so I could be just taking it out too early. I'm using a single red LED bulb which I haven't had any issues with so far.

I might try exposing the next couple sheets at EI 80 rather than 50 and giving them a little longer soak in a flat-bottomed tray and see if that makes a difference. Thanks for the suggestions so far...

Randy
5-Apr-2016, 06:47
Processing in trays, I do not think uneven development would be the result of a particular developer unless that developer resulted in very short development times...I think.

And don't write off the Green Xray so fast. Personally, I have found the tonal range of the green to be superior to the blue. All I shoot is the double sided (as I am to cheap to spend for single sided).

I believe there is a particular (long) thread in the dark room film processing section that will probably answer most questions on Xray film processing.

jonbrisbincreative
5-Apr-2016, 06:47
Have you tried Brush Development? Use it with 8x10 film and no more uneven skies or overdeveloped edges - even in small trays.

I have not tried brush development. I think I'll order a box of Ektascan and give it a try.

SergeiR
5-Apr-2016, 07:32
Why not try actual X-ray thread ? Seeing as it's getting so tech you?

jonbrisbincreative
5-Apr-2016, 08:25
Why not try actual X-ray thread ? Seeing as it's getting so tech you?

You mean the one that's 417 pages long? :)

SergeiR
5-Apr-2016, 09:18
so techy.. bloody autocorrection.

But yes. One that actually has piles of tech information

koraks
5-Apr-2016, 09:45
Trying to actually find something in that pile, however, is kind of problematic. But I understand that people are working on that.

Jac@stafford.net
5-Apr-2016, 11:33
Funny but any picture of my '58 VW Bug turns out like that.

Fr. Mark
5-Apr-2016, 20:52
I know my red LED safelights aren't safe close up, definitely the super-bright LED bike light I used for a while is NOT safe either. But, I did not trust my development times I'd worked out previously since I was trying to shoot under tungsten light, so I had to get a close look at the thing before I stuck it in the fixer. That's probably were the problem is. I can live with the higher contrast continuous development would give---cyanotypes like it. I could also consider making open tubes of PVC pipe and rolling the film into the tube and rolling the tubes in a bath of Pyrocat HD---idea from david kachen---then I could develop more than one at a time. I don't trust myself to shuffle the film. Scratches too easily. Single side Ektascan is not that much more for 8x10 and definitely gets around the scratches on the side on the bottom of the tray thing. I set out to try to summarize the X-ray threads before they were merged. It's a long document with some contradictory information, way too long to just post here. I have the Word file somewhere on my hard drive, PM if you want my notes.

koraks
6-Apr-2016, 00:47
Could we share the document on eg Google docs and include some instructions on how to collaboratively edit it? So that additions are accompanied by a name and date, and some instructions to keep the document structured in such a way that it remains logical?

Fr. Mark
6-Apr-2016, 20:54
The google docs approach might work. I don't need ownership and it's far from comprehensive but it might help.

seezee
7-Apr-2016, 11:00
Could we share the document on eg Google docs and include some instructions on how to collaboratively edit it? So that additions are accompanied by a name and date, and some instructions to keep the document structured in such a way that it remains logical?

+1

Fr. Mark
7-Apr-2016, 20:45
How do you put something in google docs so the world can see it? I guess I need to do some digging unless there's a dead simple answer one of you can provide.

koraks
8-Apr-2016, 00:57
Just upload it and edit the properties so that it's open for everyone to see and edit. It's pretty simple, just click through the different screens a bit.

Sean Mac
8-Apr-2016, 17:29
The Xray film thread is well worth the time it takes to read.

Twenty well spent hours for me. :)

Fr. Mark
8-Apr-2016, 20:45
I should have some time tomorrow to try out the google docs for the notes on X ray film thread.

Also, I developed 3 5x7's to see if I could beat the mottled film thing. I turned off all the safelights except one far away and otherwise developed in the tray per normal periodic agitation. Also tried one with continuous agitation. Both look fine while wet. They are in rinse as I type.

Once again, it looks like my impatience got the better of me. I do like watching the image appear but even more I like even development! I know from hard experience that most Red LEDs will eventually fog green sensitive X-ray film or at least CXS Green and Ektascan B/RA but I thought I could get away with it and I wanted to see if my exposure compensation was right. In my defense these are new LED bulbs but even so.

Barry Kirsten
8-Apr-2016, 23:31
I made a safelight out of red waterclear LEDs having emission at 660nm. I have not been able to demonstrate any fogging on paper. I don't know about xray film, but I strongly expect it would be blind at this wavelength. I think waterclear LEDs of a given wavelength are probably safer than the coloring of plastic cased LEDs.

seezee
9-Apr-2016, 16:06
The Xray film thread is well worth the time it takes to read.

Twenty well spent hours for me. :)
It took me 3 weeks, in fits & starts.

koraks
10-Apr-2016, 00:59
Only 3 weeks? I have messed with xray film for nearly a year now and I'm o ly starting to get usable results.

scheinfluger_77
10-Apr-2016, 09:08
The Xray film thread is well worth the time it takes to read.

Twenty well spent hours for me. :)

I am 18 pages in so far and enjoying the discussion, and already answered at least one question. Too bad the image links are gone.

seezee
10-Apr-2016, 09:45
Only 3 weeks? I have messed with xray film for nearly a year now and I'm o ly starting to get usable results.
3 weeks to read the main x-ray thread. I had my development down in a couple of weeks.* Started with tray, but have moved to the (sadly, discontinued) HP Combi-Plan. Made the switch for 2 reasons:

1) As I'm doing stand development, tray processing takes too much time when processing a large batch of negatives.

2) I haven't been able to get good results on Kodak HSB (double-sided emulsion) in trays, but it works nicely in the HP tank. Since I plan to switch to the HSB when I run out of Ektascan B/RA, it behooved me to change methods.

*I did not order film, chemicals, or darkroom equipment until I had read the entire x-ray thread.

Sean Mac
10-Apr-2016, 10:39
The missing picture links are a disappointment but Sergei has lots of his beautiful images in that thread and some very interesting things to say about how they were exposed and developed.

Thanks Sergei :)

Carestream G/RA and Rodinal are available in Dublin thankfully.

SergeiR
14-Apr-2016, 06:38
The missing picture links are a disappointment but Sergei has lots of his beautiful images in that thread and some very interesting things to say about how they were exposed and developed.

Thanks Sergei :)

Carestream G/RA and Rodinal are available in Dublin thankfully.

Thank you for the kind words, Sean :)

I am drafting some bits on way how i work with Xray film on me site. As well as some other things - trying to get in habit of blogging again.

SergeiR
14-Apr-2016, 07:56
The missing picture links are a disappointment but Sergei has lots of his beautiful images in that thread and some very interesting things to say about how they were exposed and developed.

Thanks Sergei :)

Carestream G/RA and Rodinal are available in Dublin thankfully.

Thank you for the kind words, Sean :)

I have drafted some bits on way how i work with Xray film on me site.
http://sergeirodionov.com/x-ray-film-photography/


As well as some other things - trying to get in habit of blogging again.

russyoung
19-Apr-2016, 19:16
Thanks for your explication on your blog site. Makes good sense and I'll try it soon with Fuji X-ray film. Keep shooting, I enjoy your images.
Russ Young