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Thread: Advice On Uneven Development On Film Edges

  1. #1

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    Advice On Uneven Development On Film Edges

    I have noticed this before with some of 4x5 negatives and although I have just been cropping them out, I wanted to start and do some contact printing so I really could do with trying to get to bottom of it if at all possible.

    Film: FomaPan 200
    Stearman SP-445 Development Tank

    Looking down the left and right edge I am seeing what appears to be a shift in density running from top to bottom.

    I haven't confirmed this on a light box yet because I am waiting for one to be delivered so I cannot rule out it coming from the scanner (Epson V800)

    Has anyone else experienced this.

    **Update - Developer was 510 Pyro 1:100 dilution


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by IanBarber; 25-Jul-2022 at 01:37.

  2. #2

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    Re: Advice On Uneven Development On Film Edges

    AFAIK the combination of a stearman tank and pyro developer is kind of notorious. Give trays a try.

  3. #3

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    Re: Advice On Uneven Development On Film Edges

    Quote Originally Posted by koraks View Post
    AFAIK the combination of a stearman tank and pyro developer is kind of notorious. Give trays a try.
    Unless I missed it, the OP didnít specially mention pyro. However if he did use 510 pyro, this mirrors my experience with the Stearman tank with darker edges and uneven development noticeable in sky areas. I do not have this problem with Ilford DD-X in the same developing tank.

  4. #4

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    Re: Advice On Uneven Development On Film Edges

    I based my comment on the filename of the example posted; you're right he didn't mention it explicitly.

  5. #5

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    Re: Advice On Uneven Development On Film Edges

    Quote Originally Posted by koraks View Post
    AFAIK the combination of a stearman tank and pyro developer is kind of notorious. Give trays a try.
    Would this also apply to Pyrocat HD or is just 510 Pyro which causes this issue

  6. #6

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    Re: Advice On Uneven Development On Film Edges

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnF View Post
    Unless I missed it, the OP didn’t specially mention pyro. However if he did use 510 pyro, this mirrors my experience with the Stearman tank with darker edges and uneven development noticeable in sky areas. I do not have this problem with Ilford DD-X in the same developing tank.
    Yes I did use 510 Pyro at 1:100 dilution. Do you have any theory as to why this happens with 510 ?

  7. #7

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    Re: Advice On Uneven Development On Film Edges

    Quote Originally Posted by IanBarber View Post
    Yes I did use 510 Pyro at 1:100 dilution. Do you have any theory as to why this happens with 510 ?
    Hi Ian

    From your uploaded image, the density shifts from development look familiar (i.e. not exclusive to 510-Pyro).

    I use Pyrogallol development and the competitive equilibrium [set up by the rate of the rapidly oxidising/exhausting developer vs bromide byproduct inhibiting active reagent] requires a systematic randomised agitation cycle.

    Any submerged developing paper margin under agitating developer, usually observes more flow rate at the edges than the centre of the image. Particularly using a standard rock and tilt (left to right, top to bottom) agitation cycles.

    if you are not observing any of these kinds of development artifact with other non-pyro developers, then it most likely is the like lack of consistent randomised agitation cycles to prevent the uneven flow rate of active reagent. You can try increasing the volume of developer solution per sheet perhaps.

  8. #8

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    Re: Advice On Uneven Development On Film Edges

    I have experienced this uneven density with several different developers and various tanks. I doubt that this issue is confined specifically to 510-Pyro or any other staining developer. In my experience, it all comes down to arriving at a good agitation technique that eliminates or, at least, minimizes these artifacts. For example, with my B&W King tank (a stainless tank very similar to the old Nikkor 4x5 tank) I have to lift and invert it slowly all while turning it in a smooth orbital fashion. Standard agitation technique with this tank produces all kinds of issues. I don't use the Stearman tank anymore.

  9. #9

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    Re: Advice On Uneven Development On Film Edges

    With the SP-445 I usually just invert it slowly towards me and I use 360 degrees as 1 inversion.

    Interesting that both Allan9940 and RJ- both mention agitation. I could increase the amount of solution to 500ml max but I am not sure if that would leave enough head room to allow the developer to move freely.

    Many variables to try here to try an

  10. #10

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    Re: Advice On Uneven Development On Film Edges

    Quote Originally Posted by IanBarber View Post
    Would this also apply to Pyrocat HD or is just 510 Pyro which causes this issue
    In my experience (which does NOT involve the Stearman, but I'm familiar with uneven development issues), 510 pyro is more finicky than Pyrocat in this sense, and Pyrocat is more finicky than all non-staining developers I've used so far. So basically 510 pyro was the 'worst' of the bunch in terms of getting even development especially on sheet film. This of course does not guarantee even development with another developer in this tank; I'm sure others with first-hand experience with the Stearman will chime in, but I remember having read about more problems.

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