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Thread: Uneven development with tanks+hangers

  1. #1
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    Uneven development with tanks+hangers

    I WANT to like developing with hangers. I have 3 4x5 tanks and about 8 hangers. It's fairly quick, doesn't take up too much space, and makes it easy for me to DBI with my IR goggles. But I keep getting intermittent mottling on images with smooth tones. This is enough to totally ruin the image if it happens to a sky or something.

    I haven't managed to isolate what is causing the unevenness. I agitate by picking the hangers up gently, tilting them 45 degrees, and letting them drip for 5-10s. I might shake them gently to help developer drip off. Then I gently return them to the bath. Next agitation I tilt them the other direction. I have tried doing 2 agitations every 30s, 2 agitations every 1 minute, and one agitation every 1 minute. I have tried presoaking. I still haven't 100% eliminated the problem to where I can be confident I will have perfect skies. Next, I might try very dilute developer for 15+ minute developing times. Using replenished developer is part of the appeal of tanks, but my dev times are only about 6-7min with Tmax.

    Does anyone develop in 4x5 tanks with hangers, and achieve very consistent, even results? Exactly how do you do it?
    Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer. Art is everything else we do.
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    Re: Uneven development with tanks+hangers

    I don't do it any longer but did for several years. Had the same issues. Agitate faster, less time dripping. I also presoaked. I should also try not pulling the hanger completely out of the tank. I don't think it's necessary to get proper agitation.
    Last edited by vinny; 19-Sep-2010 at 09:45. Reason: Added

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    Re: Uneven development with tanks+hangers

    The first minute of development is the most critical.

    Agitate continuously for that first minute, then slow down to one agitation a minute, or less.

    Note that the top rail of a stainless steel hanger (the movable spring loaded bar that locks the film in the hanger) has no holes. Whenever possible, load film into the hanger so that the sky area of the picture is held under that rail. Helps eliminate surge marks.

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    Re: Uneven development with tanks+hangers

    Gem
    i understand that you are saying the holes lead to surge marks. Am I correct?
    The reason I ask is cuz i keep fiddling/procrastinating with material to make some large hangers without holes no holes.
    regards
    Ed

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    Re: Uneven development with tanks+hangers

    I use them for extreme minimal agitation - presoak the film for a couple of minutes (while preparing the developer). I use Pyrocat (the P version, I've used HD the same way), agitate the first minute and a half by vigorously lifting the hangers mostly out of the developer - probably about 70 lifts over the minute and a half. Don't pause to drip. Really slosh them around. Then agitate for 10-seconds at 1/3 and 2/3 of the development time. The rest of my data probably wouldn't apply to you as I develop at 80F for albumen prints and use frozen TMX that expired in 1996.

    My uneven development always came when I agitated gently - really slosh the film around during the time that you are agitating.
    juan

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    Re: Uneven development with tanks+hangers

    I will try being more aggressive with my agitation. I have been trying to be gentle, assuming that it was overly enthusiastic agitation that causes the mottling, but maybe it's the other way around. I also haven't tried to agitate continuously for the first minute either.
    Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer. Art is everything else we do.
    --A=B by Petkovšek et. al.

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    Re: Uneven development with tanks+hangers

    Hi Ed,

    Yes, surge marks seem to occur where the holes are located. That leads me to believe that the holes have something to do with causing them.

    However, the holes function to drain the liquids off of film.

    I have the feeling that hangers with no drain holes will cause other types of problems.

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    Re: Uneven development with tanks+hangers

    Quote Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
    Next, I might try very dilute developer for 15+ minute developing times.
    Frequently unevenness is from not enough developer. I'd go the other way and use a more concentrated developer (if your times will tolerate it).

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    Re: Uneven development with tanks+hangers

    Well right now I used replenished D23, which I can't dilute at all. If I think that that my 6-8 minute development times are too short, I might try going to dilute Rodinal or HC-110, but it might be expensive.

    I just developed 8 sheets in D23, and this time I agitated enthusiastically for the first minute and for about 10 seconds every two minutes thereafter. When the negatives are dry I will see if they have the unevenness of this morning's batch.
    Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer. Art is everything else we do.
    --A=B by Petkovšek et. al.

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    Re: Uneven development with tanks+hangers

    Yes I spose that's how they got there- oh well.
    thanks

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