View Full Version : stain on 8x10 film emulsion

22-Aug-2014, 09:40
I've been processing for decades, and have not seen this staining before. Tri-X Pan Pro 320 8x10 in LegacyPro EcoPro Ascorbic Acid Powder BW Film Developer (an X-Tol variation with no Metol or hydroquinone, borates and phosphates), times and temps are the same as X-Tol.
Film pushed 2 stops, and has a pale, streaky, tan stain on the emulsion side. Rotary tube processed. some of the staining even has what look like fine scratches through it. One sheet that was pushed 1 stop cleared the stain by refixing. Have not seen this on any of the roll films (TriX-Pan, Tmax 400, Aristo EDU 400, Kentmere 400), also pushed, both 35 and 120.

Using a non-hardening sodium thio fix (260g penta, 100g sodium sulfite, water to make a liter).

I'm open for suggestions, and wonder if anyone else has had this problem under any conditions, what they tried, and what worked.

Rare recent portraits of my 3 kids on an occasion when they were all in the same state. Go figure.


25-Aug-2014, 15:15
I do not know the answer the your question. Jacobson & Jacobson ("Developing," 18th Edition, Focal Press 1972) attribute yellow stains on negatives to the decomposition of the fixing bath and release of sulfur. They say that it may also occur if the fixing bath contains too much acid, too little sulfite, or is too warm, and they add that yellowing may occur when a fixing bath is exhausted and contaminated with developer.) Carroll writes that the most usual cause of stains on negatives is the use of overworked solutions, and says specifically that yellow oxidation stains are caused by use of an old or discolored developer, whereas yellow silver stains are caused by use of an old or exhausted fixing bath ("Photographic Facts and Formulas," Amphoto, 1976). Below are links to complaints about yellow stains on negatives. In each case the problem was thought to be due to insufficient fixing (either because the bath was exhausted or near exhaustion, or because the time was too short). The fact that you managed to clear the stain in one case by additional fixing lends credibility to the idea that your stains may be related to insufficient fixing, but does not settle the issue. The possibility that contamination from carried over developer could be responsible for this yellow streaking (vs. a more general and evenly distributed yellow stain) seems unlikely with rotary processing but cross-contamination would obviously be something to consider if you are looking to pinpoint the cause as you will need to do should the problem be a recurrent one. The fine scratches may be unrelated to the stain in my view. Here are the links I mentioned:


N. Riley

26-Aug-2014, 11:40
N. Riley,
Many thanks for your very thorough reply and suggested links. The fixer I'm using still tests as being fine (no precipitate from testing solution), so I'm under the impression this particular film/fix combination may be a bad match.
I'm using a non-hardening sodium thio fix (260g penta, 100g sodium sulfite, water to make a liter), which may simply be inadequate for the Tri-X Pan Pro 8x10. The other films I processed during the same week were all fine, just this TXP-Pro.
The sheets were all pushed, and the one that cleared nicely was the 1st sheet which was about 1 stop under developed, and had much less staining.
About 25-30 years ago I had a similar problem with either T-Max 400 or Tri-X Pan 4x5's that were pushed in T-Max developer. Similar staining and a light yet visible metallic silver on the emulsion side. Refixing and some gentle wiping got it off (that would have been Kodak Rapid Fix film dilution with hardener).
After I refix in Rapid Fix, I'll report back on my findings.
As a side note, the LegacyPro EcoPro Ascorbic Acid Powder BW Film Developer I've been trying has yielded some excellent results! I'll be sure to post more on that after I search for any other posts about it here.

Again, many thanks for confirming I'm not crazy, just a little nuts.

"I only need one light, and people look their best the way I find them"
Charlie Stiffler