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Thread: New to 4x5. Please help me troubleshoot what I'm doing wrong.

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    3

    New to 4x5. Please help me troubleshoot what I'm doing wrong.

    Hi all, I am developing 4x5 negatives with a SP 445, and it appears that I am doing something wrong to make a highlighted area in some of the negatives. I have only developed 3 sets of 4 negatives so far, and I am about to try set number 4.

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	202090 Click image for larger version. 

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    Here are the specs:
    Ilford FP4+ shot at 125
    HC110 (1+31): 9 mins
    IlfoStop: 1 min
    KodaFix: 7 mins
    Kodak HCA: 2 mins
    Wash: ~ 8 mins

    As you can see, two of the photos have come back with a definite underexposed area. I don't think I am doing anything wrong during processing, but I can't think of anything else I've done wrong to cause this. I do everything in sets of 4. I load 2 holders with 2 sheets each, shoot those, then come back and process the same day. Each of the photos with the problem areas are from 2 separate "batches". As you can see, the other photos are free from problems (other than ones I obviously made elsewhere in the process).

    If you've run into this or could shed some light on what I might be doing wrong, I would really appreciate it! Thank you!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    890

    Re: New to 4x5. Please help me troubleshoot what I'm doing wrong.

    Wow, I've never seen anything like that, but do have a few thoughts:

    1. Have you checked to ensure that the path from the rear of the lens back to the film holder is unobstructed?

    2. Have you checked the camera for light leaks?

    3. Have you checked that the holder darkslides are totally opaque? Don't laugh...Toyo had an issue with this years ago.

    4. Is there any way the exposed film could be getting fogged by light when loading the SP-445 holders, including putting into the tank?

    Since this happens to some negs and not others, I'm thinking that #1 and #2 are probably not the issue. These kinds of oddities are sometimes tough to figure out and certainly a pain. Hope you figure it out before too much film is wasted.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    71

    Re: New to 4x5. Please help me troubleshoot what I'm doing wrong.

    Iím not an expert, but from what you describe of your setup, I would suspect one of your film holders, and probably only one side of it. Do you record which negative came from which holder? That would help you work out if the faulty negative always comes from the same holder. You could have a close look at them before next loading to see if there is any wear or damage in the slots, or any reason why one side perhaps doesnít seat properly in the camera.
    Alex



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    69

    Re: New to 4x5. Please help me troubleshoot what I'm doing wrong.

    I like your negatives. Looks like you went to some trouble.

    If I were new to 4x5, I'd start with some trays. I've never used the SP 445, but if you just test with some trays you've eliminated all of the variables except the 445.

    Just shoot the backyard and use some Tupperware.

    Otherwise, there is no end the ways you could have messed them up.

    I speak from experience.

  5. #5
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
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    Humboldt County, CA
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    Re: New to 4x5. Please help me troubleshoot what I'm doing wrong.

    The negatives that look "underexposed" in some areas have actually been fogged while in the film holders -- the thin areas are the areas that have not been fogged.

    1) Fogged in holder -- the rebate around the image has remained clear for the most part.
    2) Light has snuck under the bottom flap of the holder where it covers the film-- the light must come from the opposite end.
    3) Only part of the film is fogged and the edge created between fogged and not-fogged is soft. -- Light coming in at a low angle would not hit the first part of the film due to being blocked by the lip of the holder (the film is below the lip). The shadow line would be soft due to the short distance the shadow is thrown.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  6. #6
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: New to 4x5. Please help me troubleshoot what I'm doing wrong.

    The light looks to have entered from the insertion side of the camera back. Possibly the holder was not completely inserted. Besides the fogging, a sign of this problem will be loss of sharpness left-right (for hort images) as the holder will not be sitting flat. I could not tell from t he posted images if this was the case.

    I visually check that my holders are well-seated every time, 4x5 to 11x14, for the last 40 years. I also give the holder a little tug outwards to make sure the rail on the holder is fully seated in the groove of the camera back. But still do a light-leak test with a flashlight if you have not already to make sure it is not an equipment issue.

    Another possibility is that after you pulled backwards too much on the darkslide as you pulled it out and allowed light to sneak in...but the two problem negs are too consistent.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2019
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    Belgium
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    79

    Re: New to 4x5. Please help me troubleshoot what I'm doing wrong.

    I’m not sure but are the Middle baffle and the outer baffle correct placed ?

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
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    Oregon now (formerly Austria)
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    2,528

    Re: New to 4x5. Please help me troubleshoot what I'm doing wrong.

    Vaughn has the right answer.

    Your film is light struck. The first thing I'd check is how you pull the darkslide and reinsert it. A common cause of this type of fogging is accidentally pulling the camera back away from the body when pulling or inserting the darkslide. It appears to happen while the darkslide is partially covering part of the negative (the light band), so pay special attention to this stage, either pulling or inserting the slide. To prevent this, always pinch the spring back to the camera with your free hand and hold it tight while pulling/inserting the darkslide.

    However, in case this is not the cause, check to make sure your holders are seating properly in the grooves designed for them to rest in, and do the test for light leaks that Vaughn describes. You could also be accidentally pulling the slide out a bit when the holder is out of the camera (e.g., lying flat on the table or whatever). Use your slide locks to prevent this and/or put each holder in its own ZipLoc-type bag. Quart bags fit tight enough to keep the darkslide in place.

    Best,

    Doremus

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