View Full Version : Semi-Stand Development w/ Mod 54 Help

1-Mar-2015, 17:10
Ok, so I'm loving the Mod 54 so far and am getting great results with E6 and standard BW development. I would like, however, to use stand development regularly. I'm liking the results I'm getting except for some uneven portions of the negative shown below.

There seems to be an abundance of developer running across the teeth of the Mod onto the proximal areas of the film. Not sure what's causing this. There also seems to be a gradation where more developer is staying at the bottom. Yes, there's snow on this image, but I've had others with sky do this same thing.


My process currently:

1:100 Rodinal

~60 sec pre soak
Add dev. and agitate 4-5 times and tap.
Invert Twice at 30min mark
Pour out Dev after 60 mins total.

On this particular negative the streams look like they're cause by the developer being poured out, but on other negatives the streams appear in the opposite direction flowing down.

Negatives are loaded correctly and stay in the slots until the wash. Notch code stays at top left.

I know people are using the Mod 54 with stand dev, but I can't quite get the hang of it. I've done research and have found others with uneven development, but none like the flowing streams from the teeth I'm getting. Any help or suggestions are greatly appreciated.


1-Mar-2015, 19:33
What is a Mod 54?

1-Mar-2015, 19:46
What is a Mod 54?

Sheet Film developing reel for Paterson tanks.

Light Guru
1-Mar-2015, 23:26
Personally for me the only time I will use the mod54 for developing is when I do stand developing. I've had it mess up too many sheets when using it for normal developing.

My guess is that your agitation is not evenly moving the chemicals around.

I have had great results when simply using the swivel stick for the tank to do the small amount of agitation needed. I do no inversions at all.

I do a 1 min pre wash with constant Swivil stick agitation.
A 1 hour stand development with about 5-10 swivels at the beginning and at the half way mark.
Constant swivel during a the one minute stop bath and then 5-10 swivels every 30 seconds during the fixer and hypo clear.
I then was by placing the opened tank into the sink and sticking a narrow hose into the center column and turn the water onto a slow flow and let them rinse for 10 min.

1-Mar-2015, 23:46
Never had that with stand and my negs, hmm, what I do is invert about 5 times initially after pre-soak, one slow inversion at 20, 40, and 58 minutes.

Maybe 30 is too long?

Really haven't seen that with stand and my Mod54.

The only other thing I can think of is if your ambient temperature is way off from the tanks and you're seeing issues with the edges of the tank changing temp and that slowing down or speeding up the development only toward the edges? That could also explain the "flow" near the teeth, as the different temps traveling around those teeth?

Just some thoughts. Good luck!

2-Mar-2015, 02:07
I used about the same procedure as the op on a couple of sessions these last weeks. It works well enough for 135, but on 4x5 I sometimes get similar results to those in the op. It depends on the scene and on if there are large contrasts between adjacent regions. I also use rodinal 1+100 with agitation in the first minute and at the half hour mark, and have seen the same happen with tmx and foma 100.

2-Mar-2015, 04:55
I've used the Mod54 half a dozen times now with Rodinal semi-stand. I've been using the swizzle stick for thirty seconds at the start, ten seconds at the midway point. No problems with marks from uneven development. To prevent the negatives coming loose, I also have a regime of swizzle-stick rotation for fixer/hypo clear and Ilford-style washing. Very happy with it.


2-Mar-2015, 05:43
I personally don't think dislodging or even developer streaming past the lugs of the film holder is the problem. It From my observation, it is more similar to the phenomenon of bromide drag. It seems as if in very thin areas of the negative, the developer doesn't deplete as readily as in more covered areas and during the time the tank stands still, the ions in the developer slowly sink to the bottom of the tank, passing along the film in the way shown in the picture in the OP. The film holder lugs will moderate this effect by locally preventing this downflow of ions. In my observations, the sort of winged pattern is not visible in areas that are further removed from the edge of the sheet in places where areas with lots of exposure and minimal exposure are very close to each other. More frequent agitation surely will alleviate this, so I might try and agitate every 20 minutes like Stone suggested. However, increasing agitation sort of defeats the purpose of stand development, so I'm hesitating a bit to try that approach instead of just reverting to regular agitation procedure with a shorter development time.

Derek Kennedy
2-Mar-2015, 11:48
what version of the MOD54 do you have?? I saw on his website he has a new version (cant recall what number its up to), and he stated in a video that, this particular version gets rid of the problem of streaks.

I have an older version but have not really used it - only twice so far and had issues with one of those times from a sheet coming off. Luckily that particular sheet wasnt the important one.

2-Mar-2015, 13:00
Thanks to every for the responses. I'm intrigued by the idea that the ambient temp of the tank changes the temp of the water immediately surrounding it. I'm using very cold water while the tank is at room temp. That could be the culprit.

Though it seems Koraks response is just as likely if not a combination of the two.

As far as swivel sticks go I haven't had much luck with them during standard development. They seem to prevent dev from getting to their respective horizontal levels of the film.

I have the newer mod54 mk 27 (I think that's the right number). The one made out of polypropylene. I think there have only been two iterations.

Will do some testing tonight and post the results.

George E. Sheils
2-Mar-2015, 15:21
Couple of things.
1. Make sure you process at 20 degrees C or 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. I don't invert the tank at all. Just swirl very gently at the start, the Middle and again a few minutes near to the end.

Best of luck.

Light Guru
2-Mar-2015, 19:06
I'm intrigued by the idea that the ambient temp of the tank changes the temp of the water immediately surrounding it. I'm using very cold water while the tank is at room temp. That could be the culprit.

I like to use distiller water to mix my chemicals and I keep the water jug in the same place as the rest of my chemicals that way everything is at room temp.

Light Guru
2-Mar-2015, 19:12
Make sure you process at 20 degrees C or 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

With stand development you don't have to be super accurate with the temp

I don't invert the tank at all. Just swirl very gently at the start, the Middle and again a few minutes near to the end.

Yup no inversions foe me ether.

4-Mar-2015, 23:50
Test negs are still drying, but wanted to go ahead and report results anyway.

This go round I pre-soaked for 1 minute with constant agitation. From there I kept the 1:100 dilution and agitated with inversion twice every 20 minutes for 60 minutes total. I also kept the water temp much closer to the ambient tank temperature.

I changed too many variables to be able to tell exactly what caused the streaking, but this test came out perfectly clean without any gradient or streaking. I won't be able to positively say that everything's resolved until I develop some more negatives, but this is promising.

Thanks to everyone for their feedback. Hopefully this helps someone down the road.

5-Mar-2015, 01:29
I may try another test myself in the following days and I will likely only change the agitation scheme, as that's for now the main factor in my working hypothesis. If I get round to it, I'll post back. Anyway, good to hear that the problem seems to be absent in this particular instance.

Steve Sherman
25-Mar-2015, 03:16
IMO. the presoak is not long enough, film is not yet "swollen" to the same degree of uniformity and then developer is introduced which justs continues to magnify the problem. Do away with any type of film support at the edges of the film or extend presoak beyond 4 minutes but would still advise against supporting the film from its edges


25-Mar-2015, 03:29
I did some more development sessions with inversions at the 20 minute mark, in several formats. For TMX (which is my most frequently used film) this works like a charm; I haven't seen any weird bromide drag or anything of the kind. With Delta 100, which I have used only once so far, I ended up with bullet proof negatives (Rodinal 1+100, 3 inversions at 20 minutes, semi-stand 60 minute development at ca. 15C). Beautiful nonetheless, but my scanner couldn't handle the density. Pan-F 50 works like a charm in the same process.

BTW: in my specific case, pre-soak doesn't appear to be the problem. Firstly, I pre-soak for about 3-5 minutes, which should be enough. Secondly, with the same pre-soak regime, the problem went away when switching from inversions at 30 minute intervals to 20 minute intervals. YMMV.