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Thread: Mottled skies

  1. #11
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Mottled skies

    Try skipping the pre-soak. Seriously.

  2. #12

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    Re: Mottled skies

    How long is your usual development time? Are you using single-sheet hangers or the 4-up type? It's worth finding the Kodak publication "Photography with Large Format Cameras"; it has an excellent description of the exact technique required for developing in deep tanks with hangers. I've run sink lines in several labs, including at Kodak, and never saw unevenness like you have, so won't comment further. It is frustrating- but I'm sure you'll find the answer.

  3. #13

    Re: Mottled skies

    To my eyes, the unevenness of density looks far too localized and random to be a processing issue. Are you absolutely certain you just didn't see the differentiation in the sky when you took the photos?

  4. #14
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Mottled skies

    Quote Originally Posted by consummate_fritterer View Post
    To my eyes, the unevenness of density looks far too localized and random to be a processing issue. Are you absolutely certain you just didn't see the differentiation in the sky when you took the photos?
    I am now inclined to think there is no processing problem, nor an unevenness that would appear in an optical enlargement. If your posted images are from negative scans, look to your settings.

  5. #15

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    Re: Mottled skies

    Looks like clouds to me.

  6. #16

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    Re: Mottled skies

    Do you see the mottling in the negatives?

    I experienced this problem with HP5, and I came to the conclusion that my agitation was insufficient. My bad, I cut down on agitation, thinking that I was still within a proper range, to have more consistent negatives.

    I'm doing dip-and-dunk using my own device (not the hangers), and I increased agitation to darn decent for the first minute (in-out ten times), and 10 seconds (or a little less; in-out 3 times) on each have minute (each 1 minute apart).

    That increased agitation solved the problem.

  7. #17

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    Re: Mottled skies

    The third photo looks like it has uneven skies, the first two are very hard to determine tbh. I have no experience with Ilford films so can't offer much on that but as suggested, try no presoak and see of there's any difference.
    notch codes ? I only use one film...

  8. #18
    bw-man's Avatar
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    Re: Mottled skies

    Quote Originally Posted by bgh View Post
    . ... ...then into the developer. Once in the soup, I agitate continuously for about 45 seconds (both up and down and forward and back), and then for 5 seconds every 30 ... ...
    According to your instructions, I think the reason for the uneven film sky is that the stirring is too strong.
    You can do it every minute, 5 seconds.Or stirring every two minutes for five seconds.
    Black and white developer is too strong, not only film development is uneven.
    The contrast of film, particle will have influence.
    I don't know English, computer translation, probably not accurate.
    This is my experience for your reference.
    Last edited by bw-man; 25-Apr-2018 at 21:50. Reason: Modify

  9. #19

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    Re: Mottled skies

    Why not try brush development? Pre soak for your time - 3 to 5 minutes. Then the negative emulsion side up in the flat bottom developing tray in the dark and a Hake or Richeson brush up and down, then back and forth. Then down and up and forth and back. Do it the whole time and be gentle. Should take care of uneven sky or large single tone areas.

    Had to ask my Uncle as he develops this way. Uses FP4+ and it works for him on negatives in many sizes.
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  10. #20

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    Re: Mottled skies

    There are limited possibilities here for a cause. Working through them should be fairly straightforward; no need to adopt an entirely new way of developing. Tanks and hangers have worked fine for generations. Nor do I think you can blame the developer.

    Possible causes and suggestions:
    1. Presoak is too short, or you don't need it at all. Try a significantly longer (min. 5-minute) presoak and try no presoak. FWIW, I presoak for 3+ minutes.
    2. Agitation is insufficient or too vigorous. Test with different agitation schemes (although your agitation sounds just fine to me).
    3. The film is defective. Try another batch or brand. Test develop a sheet in a tray after exposing under the enlarger, etc. to see if, indeed the film is the problem.
    4. Some scanning problem. I have no experience here, so can't help with settings, but do inspect the negative carefully to ensure the problem is there before undertaking other measures.
    5. There were clouds in the sky that you didn't notice at the time of exposure (look at the other areas of the negative and see if there is unevenness anywhere else but in the sky). If this is the "problem," then you need do nothing

    Best,

    Doremus

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