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Thread: Re: processing sheet film problems

  1. #1

    Re: processing sheet film problems

    I have been processing 4x5 tri-x sheet film in my jobo 2551 on a rotary base for over a year now. Things have worked perectly. All of the sudden, I am experiencing a problem: I am getting density and lack of density streaks along the long edges and more importantly, marking straight through the short length of the film. Does anyone know what this is caused by and how to troubleshoot it?

    I have attached a sample image with red marks around the affected areas: http://neilkatzphoto.com/serge/PROBLEM.jpg.

    Let me tell you what I have done already:

    I have cleaned my tank and reals and all components with alcohol.

    I presoak the film for 2 minutes.

    I am using xtol 1:1 at 70 degrees (don't want to change this)

    I use kodak liquid fixer for 5 minutes.

    I use permawash for 2 minutes.

    And I finally use lfn as a wetting agent.

    I simply can't figure it out and it annoys me since I have changed NOTHING about the process (except maybe from a powder to liquid fixer) and it has gone wrong.

    I appreciate your thoughts and please address the streaks coming across the short end over the issues of the edges that are in the reel. Again, I never had ANY problems, but the edges seem to be a more understandable issue.

    Finally, please try to keep your answers in relatively laymen terms.

    Best,
    Serge

  2. #2
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    Re: processing sheet film problems

    Hi Serge,

    I couldn't get that link to work, so I can't see what the streaks look like.

    Question: are you using the wetting agent in side the jobo drum while the film is on the reels?

  3. #3

    Re: processing sheet film problems

    Paul-

    Yes... that is a very interesting observation. Do you think that the build up on the reels is causing a problem with the chemicals? Because actually, a friend had suggested adding the lfn to my developer (which I didnít do.)

    Thanks,
    Serge

  4. #4

    Re: processing sheet film problems

    Also, I am putting a smaller file in that link and try this url:

    http://neilkatzphoto.com/serge/PROBLEM.jpg

  5. #5

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    Re: processing sheet film problems

    Dear Serge,

    For the sake of argument, let's assume that there has been zero changes to your development process. Could you have some light leaks? Try developing a few sheets in trays.

  6. #6
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    Re: processing sheet film problems

    Years ago a tech rep from jobo warned me about wetting agents. He told me to never, ever get them on the tank or especially the reels. He said they cling tenaciously to the plastic, and build up over time, and can eventually interact with the developer and cause strange flow patterns. Aparently ordinary cleaning isn't enough to get rid of it. I forget what he recommended ... either a commercial tray/systems cleaner or bleach. I followed his instructions, and have since then been doing the final soak with wetting agents in a tray. Have not had any jobo problems since.

    It might be worth getting in touch with someone at jobo-usa.com for their cleaning recommendations. bleach would probably do the trick, but it can damage some plastics.

  7. #7

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    Re: processing sheet film problems

    There are so many variables, you will need to remove some of them to converge on the solution.

    Same camera, same bellows, same film holders, same lens boards all this time ? Have you fiddled with the bellows lately ? Mounted a lens on a different board ? Remounted a lens on the same board ?

    Is this seen in vertical images only ? Do you have any old film holders ? Have you acquired any new holders (used or not) ?

    Have you changed the place, or the way you load film into the holders, or the JOBO ? Changing tent ?

    Does it happen to every sheet, or only to those placed in a particular chamber ? Does it happen every run, or only now and then ?

    Try developing in a tray - in other words, rule out the JOBO entirely, and see if the problem persists.

  8. #8
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    Re: processing sheet film problems

    I can see the image now. the density buildup along the long sides of the film looks exactly like flow problems i've seen. I often had issues like that with my 2551 until I switched to a developer that's less prone to streaking. It's also the type of problem that could theoretically be caused (or made worse) by a wetting agent.

    The streaks that go across the short dimension of the film aren't like anything i've seen before. it seems unlikely that they'd be a flow problem, becuase they go across the direction of the flow. But they could be artifacts from when you pour the developer into tank. How do you do this? The jobo technician recommended that I simulate a jobo processor by pouring into the tank while it's rotating, by using a funnel attached to a flexible piece of hose (ever seen a beer bong?)

    Neal's theory that it's a light leak is also worth looking at. Did these two kinds of streaks start appearing at the same time?

  9. #9

    Re: processing sheet film problems

    as for bellows, camera, holders, etc. I used the same things for all the times. In addition, when I ran a test, I shot with two different types of holders to rule that problem out.

    I'm wondering what anyone things about the idea that somehow my film gained moisture one day when I took the box out of the fridge... one of the VERY humid days here in nyC. Would it be possible that if the film picked up moisture that it would gather at the edges in particular while sitting in the box.

    Maybe this is a distraction from the main point. But, all suggestions and thoughts would still be welcome.

    Thanks,
    Serge

  10. #10
    grumpy & miserable Joseph O'Neil's Avatar
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    Re: processing sheet film problems

    Three thoughts:

    1) Wetting Agent. Ditto to the above comments. I have had weird problems myself so at this point, I only use a wetting agent just before I remoe my negatives fromt eh last minute of washing.

    2) Check your water supply.

    I find Xtol is *really* sensitive to chjanges in water used. You might not have changed a thing, but it si entirely possible something has changed in your municipal water supply. Even had this problem once on well water - something changed in the underground aquifer.

    How / what this does is affect how well yoru developer mixes with water. Especially with Xtol, I find my best results are using distilled water for the developer mix, but then I go back to tap water for my rinse, stop, fix, wash, etc. So try some distilled water from your local drug store to mix Xtol with.

    3) your thermometer

    I still have one of those old, mercury filled thermometers I value and gurad with my life. Why? Once, many moons ago, I had an all metal dial thermometer go funny on me - loosing it's calibration and giving wrong readings. I didn't drop it or do anything horrid to it, looked after it well, or so I thought.
    Other than the fact I am personally cursed by the gods of photography I dunno why it went haywire, but it did, by a couple degrees - and that can mess you up. So now, every once a while, I double check my temp with two thermometers.

    if all else fails, blame it on your cat. won't fix the problem, just makes you feel better.

    joe



    PS - just an after thought - doouble check your packaging on your Xtol. Once I opend a pack of D-19 to mix, and it was bad inside. Unpon close inspection, I found a small pinhole break in the seal of the foil bag, that let air/moisture in. Couldn't prove that it happend in the store or at my darkroom, so I just wrote it off and moved onto a new package. Just make sure all the seals on your packagin are intact.
    eta gosha maaba, aaniish gaa zhiwebiziyin ?

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