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Thread: Back to basics - newbie developing help

  1. #11

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    Re: Back to basics - newbie developing help

    A few more...Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #12
    Huub
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    Re: Back to basics - newbie developing help

    Thanks for posting the pictures. It looks to me that there are several issues, at least.

    The easiest is the light leak on the fourth picture on post #10. This could have very well been caused when pulling the darkslide not completely straight from the cassette, which got lifted just a little bit for a fraction of a second. I am very carefull when pulling the darkslide and often use my left hand to make sure that the cassette doesn't move in the camera, while pulling and inserting the darkslide with my right hand.

    Then: on some of the pictures you can see on the top and bottom lines where the film got overdeveloped a bit. These are flow paterns caused by the older jobo spools. There are lots of post on this issue. Some developer - film combinations seem more sensitive to it then others. The newer spools with the flaps certainly improved the issue, but the only way i could solve it was by switching to inversion development, using XTOL in a replenishment system.

    A third issue seems to be general uneven development. My guess is that this is caused by not using enough liquid and developer. Switch to 1 L when doing hand rotation in a sink and it will probably be solved.

    And then there are these bands and stripes and to be honest: i don't have a clue. Did you load the cassettes all at the same time and left a couple in a place where they got exposed with light? Then it could be that the darkslides are opaque. But perhaps others might recognize the paterns.

    You could do a test using just two negatives which you load and immediately shoot, while leaving another cassette after loading for a couple of days in the light en then shoot those. Develop the two sets seperately in 1 L of fluid the way you did before and see what happens.

  3. #13

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    Re: Back to basics - newbie developing help

    The processing per se does not appear to be the problem.

    Your first image is most definitely a multiple exposure, double or even triple. This could be happening in camera or, possible, when the negatives are developing but somehow being exposed to light. Second image: ditto. The third image looks alright to me, but I don't know the original scene. The fourth image has a definite light strike.

    So, instead of obsessing about the developing, start looking for the source of the double exposures and the light strike. Examine your tank, your camera, and check your darkslides for light-tightness. IIRC, there was an issue with Toyo holders some time back; the darkslides were made of material that was not completely opaque.

    Do you recognize the stripe pattern from anything you might have, or have seen? That might give you a clue as to what's really happening.

    To test a holder, load it with a piece of film or photo paper and set it in the sun for some time, then develop the film/paper in total darkness and see if there is fogging, banding.

    Check the camera by getting a light source inside it in a darkened room. Examine the camera from all angles with the bellows completely extended. Check the lensboard too.

    Check your developing tank as well as you can as well.

    Good luck,

    Doremus

  4. #14
    C. D. Keth's Avatar
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    Re: Back to basics - newbie developing help

    Have you checked your camera for light leaks? I had a similar conundrum with a 5x7 camera years ago. I kept getting what looked like multiple exposures but I was SURE I wasn't exposing film more than once. It turned out to be a pinhole in a very far forward fold of the bellows that would sometimes project a pinhole image into the film.
    -Chris

  5. #15

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    Re: Back to basics - newbie developing help

    CK, the camera was completely overhauled by Bob at Precision camera last fall, I would be shocked if there were any light leaks, it's like brand new. I'll try the test Doremus suggests just the same to see if there are any visible leaks.

    Doremus, interesting idea. I bought the Toyo's from a member here, used, but all new in box and unopened, he had bought them and never used them. I'll run a check on a few of them and see what happens. The stripe pattern doesn't look like any subject I would have shot, but reminds me of a row of windows. Maybe light somehow got in when I moved the film from the box to the holders, or the holders to the developing tank? I use a double layer black changing bag, but it's an eBay item from China. Maybe it's not completely dark inside? I haven't had any problems loading 120 film into tanks, but they take much less space than 4x5 film holders. I also had a semi-darkroom before and used the dark bag in it, now I only have a room with the blinds closed and the changing bag.

    So I guess I'll do a few additional things, like use only the smallest tank (for now) for 4 sheets at a time max, as well as mix a larger quantity of chemicals. I can try normal stand/inversion development and compare to the water bath/rolling method I've been using.

    I've developed thousands of rolls of 120 the last decade or two with rarely any problem, but this is completely different. Both because I don't actually have the Jobo ATL anymore, and I'm using a different film than what I'm used to (in 120 I've been shooting APX100, with an occasional foray to Tri-X and Plus-X at times, all developed in Rodinal).

    Thanks for the suggestions so far.

  6. #16

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    Re: Back to basics - newbie developing help

    I would recommend acquiring the Stearman Press 445 tank for this type of experimentation. Then you can practice frequent inversion techniques or minimal inversions/stand as your developer allows. Even the Patterson 4x5 side to side slosher tank gives good results for bulk processing.
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart
    http://www.searing.photography

  7. #17

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    Re: Back to basics - newbie developing help

    The vertical window-like stripes strongly suggest that the negs are being exposed to extraneous light whilst loaded onto the developing reel. If you are using the Jobo 2509 or similar, the spacing of the diagonal struts seem to conform to perfectly to the spacing of the vertical shadows. One side of the reel is black and one is clear. The black one would cast a much stronger shadow than the clear side.

    To test this, I would suggest cutting a piece of white 5x4" copy paper out and loading it onto the reel as though it was a sheet of film. Then get a smallish light source like an LED torch/flash light and see if you can cast shadows onto the sheet which conform to what you are getting in the film. If you can, then this confirms that the film is being exposed whilst on the reel. It also gives you the direction of the light which is causing it, which should give you some clues as to when it is happening.

  8. #18

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    Re: Back to basics - newbie developing help

    Ok, I've been trying some things out.

    Per recommendations here and elsewhere, I've been exposing the 100 ISO as 80, and the 200 as 160. They are now developed separately (100/200 in own batches) rather than together, and I've adjusted the times to suit according to the MDC - 7 minutes in Rodinal 1+50 20C for the 100 ISO and 10 minutes for 200. I also bought the "wings" to add to my Jobo reels and loaded 6 sheets per reel without any problems.

    Doing traditional inversion processing, pouring 1200ml of solution into the tank to completely cover the film, 1 minute of continual agitation followed by 10 seconds every minute. Stop bath. Fix. Rinse. Photo-flo wash and hang up to dry.

    A few on another thread said that the 200 develops fast, although MDC states 8-10 minutes, which doesn't seem too fast to me.

    The negatives look ok, not great, not horrible. I'm still seeing some unevenness on the developing, blotches here and there, but more surprising are what look like small spots of missing emulsion (?!?) on a few sheets. I've been very careful to handle by the edges only, as far as I'm aware. If I remember correctly, white spots indicate dust or debris on the emulsion, or missing emulsion, and black spots would be what? I'm using liquid, not powder developer.

    As I haven't experienced more of the issues I posted about, I'm assuming it must have been either loading the film holders, or more probably the reels, since my color sheets have all come out fine, no leaks or light marks. I unload them into a box and deliver it to the lab.

    Ideas?


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  9. #19
    Huub
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    Re: Back to basics - newbie developing help

    Well, these look way better already then your first shoots and it looks like you have resolved most of the issues of the first set of negatives.

    Both black and white spots could be dust, missing emulsion is very rare. The white spots being caused by dust on your film after exposure and development, the black spots by dust pre-exposure. Be very careful when loading your film: changing bags and such can be notorius sources of dirt on your film. And also when hanging your film to dry: try to make sure the environment is as dust free as possible. Some hang them to dry in a shower that they have sprayed around with water to take out the dust.

    The blotches on top of your second negative can be caused by not using enough developer in your tank. My tank states that it needs 1500 ml for inversion for 4x5 and when i fill it to the brim directly from the tap, that is what comes out of the tank, more or less.

    A last remark: it is always hard to judge on a positive, but it feels like your negatives could do with a bit more exposure. Did you compensate for the Schwarzschild-effect when using longer times? And also: Rodinal and it's clones are known for needing a bit more exposure for good shadow detail.

  10. #20

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    Re: Back to basics - newbie developing help

    Hi Huub,

    dank u wel, I really appreciate the comments. I'm going to vacuum out my changing bag and consider getting an anti-static brush for my film holders. Zip-lok baggies for each holder should be easy to arrange.

    I do hang the film in a damp-ish bathroom already, and dip them in a photo-flo bath beforehand, after the rinse.

    Before this last round I measured the amount of chemicals needed to cover the film and reel in the smallest tank, it's 1150ml, so I rounded up to 1200ml. I did try 1500ml and it overflowed.

    Thanks for the exposure info. The first two were mainly due to poor Photoshop skills, and my son had simply taken a picture of the negs on a light table with his DSLR. They were still in the sleeves. The last one was taken at night, and I did indeed increase exposure to account for reciprocity effects, using a table I found online here (https://www.largeformatphotography.i...r-Arista-Ultra), it was f11/20 seconds (measured eV5, which gives 6 seconds, rounded up to 20 based on the tables here) with a 150mm APO-Sironar-S.

    I wasn't aware that Rodinal required a touch more exposure, but will keep that in mind and add 1/3 to 1/2 a stop going forward.

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