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Thread: Ideas as to what happened???

  1. #1
    stradibarrius stradibarrius's Avatar
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    Ideas as to what happened???

    This is Tmax 400, Schneider Symmar-S 180mm, processed in Pyrocat HD 70deg, 14 min.
    I hardly ever have an issue with film development but obviously I did here.
    Any ideas as to what happened Click image for larger version. 

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    Generalizations are made because they are Generally true...

  2. #2
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Ideas as to what happened???

    Hard to tell from an internet scan, but it looks like it may not have cleared completely in the fixer? If so, you can still go back and re-fix it.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  3. #3

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    Re: Ideas as to what happened???

    Are you certain the negative is completely fixed?

  4. #4

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    Re: Ideas as to what happened???

    I like it. Very ethereal.

  5. #5

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    Re: Ideas as to what happened???

    Straddibarrius -

    Your example looks almost exactly like what happened to me. My first try with Pyrocat HD (the only film developer I use now) was purchased in a 1L kit from...one of the usual suspects. It also happened to be my first bunch of 8x10 negatives with the new big camera. I was interested in pt/pd printing, thus the bigger negs and the Pyro, but anyway....

    I always tray developed 4x5 and did my first 8x10 negs this way - and still do. The first bunch of 6 or 8 negatives came out completely ruined and unprintable, looking similar to yours. Re-fixing was the first thing that occurred to me and the first thing I did, to no avail. Figured I must have done something wrong with the agitation, or possibly light leaks, or I don't know what.

    The next go 'round, I very carefully exposed and very carefully processed two more negs and results were fine. No change to dilution or temp, increased time from probably 12 mins the first time to about 16 or so for this one. Negs were flawless, problem solved. Evidently 12 mins just wasn't long enough for complete development. (?)

    After that, about 60-70% of every negative I processed had some fatal flaw, also similar to what you seem to be showing in your example. The rest were perfect. DAMN!!!! I must not be cut out for 8x10 or something. Apparently there's some hidden variable in the process, or some elusive light leak that never revealed itself during all my looking for it. I emailed Sandy King, who agreed something definitely wasn't right, but there wasn't much more he could tell me beyond that without knowing more, or seeing what was going on.

    I must have ruined at least 20 or 30 negatives during this time, determined to find the absolutely correct combination of time, temp, dilution and agitation, all the time thinking this Pyrocat HD stuff is either VERY hard to use and why would anyone go through this unpredictable trouble, or else the larger format size was somehow MUCH more difficult to master than 4x5.

    I finally, after hundreds (probably) hours in the field shooting and two or more boxes of incredibly discouraging results, decided to try a different batch of developer, mixed myself per Sandy's formula. Everything has been fine since then. I am sometimes incredibly slow on the uptake and for some reason, couldn't see the obvious even though it was right in front of my eyes!

    Sorry to take the long way around to say "try a different batch of developer", but I've never really told this little story about my initial trials with Pyrocat HD and how long it took me to get it through my thick head that there might be something wrong with my developer.

  6. #6

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    Re: Ideas as to what happened???

    Is the negative really faint (thin)? I had some underdeveloped/underexposed negatives scan this way so my vote would be that. Pyrocat HD tends to go bad with little warning in my experience, so always note the developer color after mixing. It should be fairly clear, if it's on the dark side don't use it.

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