View Full Version : Uneven Pyro Stain - How to Correct?

Tim Povlick
4-Jun-2009, 21:13
This is a new one on me; I haven't had uneven staining using various pyro's but tonight it happened. This is a really good negative and I was hoping to use it for a Platinum print. Otherwise I could fix it via a drum scan.


Film - Kodak PanatomicX-II
Jobo 3005 (30 RPM)
Presoak 1 minute
Develop Max Pyro - 3 minutes
Water rinse - 1 minute
TF4 Fix - 2 minutes
water rinse - 15 minutes

This is a single piece of 8x10 in the drum, using 1 liter of chemicals for all steps. The TF4 had stain brought out with it, but I typically see this.

The neg came out good except the uneven staining. Some parts of unexposed film had a base fog whereas other parts do not. Max Pyro does not have a base fog. The bad part is the center portion (about 80% of the area of the negative) has a thinner stain then the remaining outer portion. If I could remove some of the stain from the outer portion to balance the inner portion it would result in a perfect negative. I am thinking refixing in TF4 again. Maybe Kodak Rapid Fixer? What do the you gals / Guys think?

_ .. --

N Dhananjay
4-Jun-2009, 22:37
Try the fixer. Might be also worth wading through the Darkroom cookbook to look at stain removers. I would say your safest option might be a mask, assuming other detail is there in the neg. Cheers, DJ

5-Jun-2009, 04:55
Try re-fixing in TF-4, if that has no effect you could try the Kodak fixer, I don't know it's pH. I use Hypam?Iford Rapid Fixer (pH 5.2-5.4) with Pyrocat and it has no effect on the stain at all.


Mark Sampson
5-Jun-2009, 06:47
Make a contact proof before doing anything else, in order to see what actually shows up in a print. Thaen have a look in Hutchings to see what he says about stain removal/regeneration.

5-Jun-2009, 07:06
I suspect that the uneven stain s on the back of the film that was in contact with the drum and is incomplete removal of the anti-halation backing or some other coating on the back. Try re-fixing the film in really fresh fixer, and/or soaking it in hypo clear or in a 1% sodium sulfite solution.

I have seen uneven staining on the back when developing TMY with staining developers in tubes, but it clear up quickly with a 10 minute soak in hypo clear or sodium sulfite.

Sandy King

Jan Pedersen
5-Jun-2009, 07:07
This sounds more like uneven fog to me than a real stain problem.
How did the sheet below and above (In the box) compare to this sheet of film?

Steve Wadlington
5-Jun-2009, 09:13
If fixing and washing doesn't correct it! If the stain is yellow or green, contact with a filter over the light source or scan RGB and select appropiate color to counteract the stain. Sort of like copying old yellow stained photos with a yellow filter.

Tim Povlick
5-Jun-2009, 12:27
Wow, thanks for the many suggestions!

I will try a contact print before doing anything, that is a great idea (thanks Mark). I think SandyK's thoughts on the back of the film in contact with the drum seem likely as I had wash film in tray to remove the last of the anti-halation layer. I like the JOBO 3010 better as it has a rib that causes the film to not rest against the drum surface. I may try putting a small dowel rod or two in the 3005 to keep the film off the drum.
I will try the sodium sulfite first then TF4 if it doesn't work.
Surprisingly I do not have Hutch book or the Darkroom cookbook as developing the pyro has been straightforward till this negative. I do have the Film Developer's Cookbook and will check there for info about stain removers.
Jan: You are correct I am using the incorrect term, it should be an uneven fog.

The film is on 9.5" spools so it's hard to know the sheet sequencing once I cut it. It seems to be very well behaved film, and it's been consistent once the process is dialed in. TFX2 seems the best non-pyro developer.

Steve - thanks for the great tip about scanning color and dump the stained color. This is what I will do if worse comes to worse.

Thanks very much for the help.

Best Regards.


5-Jun-2009, 13:18

I would try re-fixing first.

A few years ago I returned from a trip with a couple of hundred 5X7" negatives which I developed in Pyrocat-MC. My technique is to develop in tubes but then I remove the film from the tubes for fixing. Unfortunately with that many sheets of film to process I got a little sloppy with the fixing and did not give the film enough agitation. The result was uneven removal of the film backing that looked like stain. It came off pretty quickly with re-fixing.

Interestingly I dried some of these negatives and stored them with the uneven stain. Today I went back and pulled the negatives out and re-fixed them. They cleared up nicely after all this time.

Sandy King