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Stephen Collector
10-Feb-2015, 09:42
Recently some of my 4x5 negatives have shown irregularity in sky areas. I process in trays. HC100 Dilution B. I do a water pre soak and then shuffle up to 5 sheets of film for desired time.
My question. For the pre soak is there an optimum time for Tri X? And for the agitation, I am guessing I'm shuffling ( agitating ) to fast?
Hoping for some clarification. I used to do this perfectly but took a 4 year break from processing and now find myself back to square one.
thanks!

Ken Lee
10-Feb-2015, 10:35
How long in the developer ? How often is agitation ? How much developer ? How deep is the tray ?

Michael R
10-Feb-2015, 10:44
More information is needed, including what type of irregularity (uneven density, streaking etc.).

Regarding the pre-soak, it is just to aid with even wetting, and in the case of shuffling, to prevent the sheets from sticking together. I would recommend at least two minutes, but there is no maximum or "optimum" time.

Stephen Collector
10-Feb-2015, 11:56
How long in the developer ? How often is agitation ? How much developer ? How deep is the tray ?


Development time anywhere from 4 minutes to 6 minutes. 5x7 trays. 32 oz. of developer. Tray plenty deep. continuous shuffling of film throughout. Half way through rotate film 180 degrees.

Stephen Collector
10-Feb-2015, 11:58
I'm seeing streaking in neutral areas, and at times some staining. Uneven density. Thanks for responding.

Taija71A
10-Feb-2015, 14:23
Development time anywhere from 4 minutes to 6 minutes. 5x7 trays. 32 oz. of developer. Tray plenty deep. continuous shuffling of film throughout. Half way through rotate film 180 degrees.

My *suggestion* to you... Would be to perhaps "Slow it Down".

Extend your Film Developing time... Beyond your usual 4-6 Minutes.
(*As, it is fairly hard to get clean, consistent results... With such a short Developing Time -- Of only approx. 5 Minutes).

Also, rotate your Sheets of Film in 90 Directions (Instead of 180) and change your 'frequency' of direction... At more than just the 'halfway' mark.
(*At present... For the very first few 'Critical' minutes of your Film Developing -- You are only pulling your Sheets in 'one' general direction).
This certainly... Cannot be working in your best 'Interest'.
--
Lastly, I would be 'tempted' to move up in size... To perhaps the use of an 8"x10" Developing Tray. Like they say... 'Just a Thought'.
(*Trying to work in too small of a tray... Can sometimes cause excessive 'turbulence').
--
Keep up the good work and have FUN! :)
--
Best regards,

-Tim.
_________

Stephen Collector
10-Feb-2015, 14:59
Thanks Tim, Like the idea of rotating the direction very much. This should make a significant difference.

Taija71A
10-Feb-2015, 15:09
__

No problem Stephen. You of course... Are more than welcome.

Cheers!
______

Doremus Scudder
11-Feb-2015, 04:36
Stephen,

You don't say whether you develop emulsion-side-up or emulsion-side-down. I had problems in the past with streaking when trying emulsion-side-down processing. There were areas of increased density that corresponded to the ridges/troughs in the tray bottom. I went back to emulsion-side-up after that and have had no problems since. Yes, I know many swear by emulsion-side-down (although AA developed face-up), but it just didn't work for me.

If that's not your problem, then look for other causes (you may not have any of these problems, but just in case):

Too short development times often result in mottling in even areas of the negative. HC-110 dil.B can have really short developing times. A good solution, since this developer reacts fairly linearly in time to increases in dilution is simply to double the dilution and the time. That is, use a 1+63 dilution instead of the 1+31 dilution (dil. B) and double your developing time. If this isn't exactly right, it will be really, really close and you can adjust from there.

Pushing the sheets down too quickly into the developer causes a kind of surging around the edges that results in increased edge density. If your edges are overly dense, this might be your problem, especially with 1 liter of solution in a 5x7 tray (I use 500ml).

Any bit of stray light during development can cause what looks like streaking, but is actually fogging. This occurs along lines where a sheet is only partially covered by another on top. Results can look like dark corners or edges, always with a very crisp line of demarcation.

Immersing the negatives into the developer on-at-a-time in intervals of several seconds will make sure that developer is reaching the all the emulsion at once. Just dropping the stack of negatives in the developer and then shuffling through it is asking for trouble. I try to shuffle through my stack once every 30 seconds. I use whatever interval I'm shuffling with as the time between immersion in the developer. For example, if I'm developing six sheets, that's five seconds between shuffles. When I immerse the negs the first time, I fan them out in my hand like a hand of cards, and immerse them one-at-a-time in five-second intervals, agitating a bit between immersions. With three sheets it's 10-second intervals, etc.

Which brings up the next point: shuffling too slowly can cause mottling as well, especially at the beginning of development and especially if you haven't really got all the neg in contact with developer before another sheet gets dropped on top of the stack. Try to get through the stack once every 30 seconds.

And, Tim is right, you need to increase the frequency of rotating your negs. I rotate my negatives 180 (not 90, which I find cumbersome) with each shuffle; lift-rotate-re-immerse. I can do this easily in five seconds.

As for pre-soaking: I like at least three minutes (two would likely do) to make sure the emulsion is completely saturated.

A scan of your negative might help determine the problem. It may not even have anything to do with your developing and agitation.

FWIW, I've been tray developing for years with consistently good results except for a few things I straightened out early on. I've had and solved most of the problems I described above. I use deep Paterson 5x7 trays (yes, I know many swear by 8x10 trays, but I've not found them necessary), and 500ml of solution per tray. I try to develop in batches of six or less, but have done up to eight negs at a time, no problems. I develop emulsion-side-up. My developer of choice is PMK most of the time, a developer noted for its finickyness regarding unevenness and streaking. I'm doing just fine with it and am more than happy with the evenness of my skies.

Best,

Doremus

Robert Oliver
11-Feb-2015, 08:59
I would suggest dilution 'H'... Gives you more reasonable processing times. Make sure there is enough developer concentrate per sheet. Perhaps step up to an 8x10 tray as Tim suggested.

Dilution H isn't printed on package, as I recall, but you will find plenty of info on it if you Google it.

Taija71A
11-Feb-2015, 09:17
... Too short development times often result in mottling in even areas of the negative. HC-110 dil.B can have really short developing times. A good solution, since this developer reacts fairly linearly in time to increases in dilution is simply to double the dilution and the time. That is, use a 1+63 dilution instead of the 1+31 dilution (dil. B) and double your developing time. If this isn't exactly right, it will be really, really close and you can adjust from there.


I would suggest dilution 'H'... Gives you more reasonable processing times. Make sure there is enough developer concentrate per sheet. Perhaps step up to an 8x10 tray as Tim suggested.

Dilution H isn't printed on package, as I recall, but you will find plenty of info on it if you Google it.

___

HC-110 Dilution 'H'...

Excellent suggestion Doremus and Robert! (*Why didn't I think of that). LOL.

Yes... The 1:63 Dilution should get Stephen right around where he needs to be -- 'Time Wise!' :)
--
Best regards,

-Tim.
_________

Stephen Collector
11-Feb-2015, 11:19
Many thanks Doremus!

Doremus Scudder
12-Feb-2015, 02:26
Many thanks Doremus!

Gladly,

Do post a scan or photo of your problem if you can't seem to get it solved. And do let us know what you did to solve it if you do.

Doremus

Alan Curtis
12-Feb-2015, 09:28
I had a similar problem years ago when I first started using a Zone VI compensating development timer. I stopped trying to keep the developer temperature at 68 and let the timer adjust. Worked great except with my normal development time around 7 min, with the warm temp here in FL my real development time was under 5 min. So with dilution B I was getting erratic results . I switched to a 1:63 dilution of HC-110 and increased the development time to around 9 1/2 min (real time about 7 min) problem solved.
My photographs weren't any better but my negatives were consistent.