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08-26-2012, 09:33 PM   #1
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B/W Developing Help - Spots

I have a few rolls of black and white film development under my belt now, and have been reasonably happy with the results so far. To date, no severe disasters, although I will admit that my attempt to pre-expose an entire roll, rewind it and then shoot it was more than a little misguided. Lesson learned: frame lines don't necessarily coincide with every film load, so don't do this unless you are amazingly consistent at loading your film, or you really want dark lines down the middle of each frame.

However, my last roll has left me with a dust/spot removal nightmare. The attached image is a crop from a scanned negative frame that shows a line of spots that appeared at the top and bottom of each frame in the entire roll. Keep in mind that you're seeing the negative, so the dark spots in the attachment appear as bright white spots in the print. Anyone have any idea as to what may have caused these?

Here's my development procedure:
1) Prepare all chemicals, taking care to keep the developer away from any other chemicals (different container, oral syringe to measure developer, labelled container top)
2) Stand develop in Rodinal (3.6mL: 400mL of water) in a spiral tank for 1 hour
3) Ilfostop stopbath for approx 20-25 seconds
4) Ilford Rapid Fixer for 6-7 minutes (reused on subsequent rolls)
5) Photoflo as a rince agent.

My best guess is some sort of cross-contamination between the Photoflo and the stop bath. I use the same oral syringe to measure both out, and this time around, I prepared the Photoflo first. I noticed some bubbles at the top of the stop bath just after I prepared it. Could these have interfered with the action of the stop bath and/or fixer? I would have thought that with such a low concentration of developer, that the developer would be completely exhausted anyway, rendering the stop bath somewhat superfluous.

FWIW, the film I used was Fuji Acros 100. I highly doubt that this would impact the above result, however.

Thanks in advance for any insights!

Attached Images
 
08-27-2012, 02:16 AM   #2
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Hello Hello_Photo,

Out of the five big-ish splotches, left to right the first four look like splashes.
Do you use a pre-soak and are you regularly tapping tank to release bubbles trapped in the reels and film?

If a chemical contamination, you would see spots all over... in my opinion.
08-27-2012, 06:16 AM   #3
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i notice in the write up you leave out agitation in the description of the process. As MysteryOnion eludes to that is important.

I don';t think contamination would really be an issue, as the solution would have had an hour (based on your processing time) to equalize, and become at least consistent if nothing else. Also stop bath generally is much stronger than the developer, so some loss of effectiveness due to cross contamination would not be an issue.
08-27-2012, 07:06 AM   #4
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Thanks for your replies!

I think you may be on to something with the agitation - I swirled the tank for about 15 seconds, and tapped the tank on it's edge 3 times with this roll. On previous rolls, I've spun the agitation stick that's built-in to my developing tank. So, this roll was different than the previous ones in this regard. However, I would have expected bubbles to form at one edge of the film (i.e. the top), or be randomly distributed throughout the frame. In this case, there are two distinct bands of these spots - one at the bottom of the frame and one at the top, with the middle pretty-much clear of any spotting. I noticed when I hung this roll to dry that there were bubbles from the Photoflo running down the length of the film (they seemed to cling to the film advance holes), which is why I was heading down that path with my analysis.

08-27-2012, 07:36 AM   #5
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the bands might be the result of the presence of the most reactive portion, i.e, the least exposed you may not notice spots elsewhere,

as for agitation, the amount you indicate even for normal processing seems a little light for such a long development, I did a lot more than this when pushing Tri-X in D76 and processing for 30 minutes.
08-27-2012, 09:39 AM   #6
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Make sure that if it is an old tank like a Bakelite type tank that it is not worn down to the point that the surface is porous looking. It could absorb chemicals and may give off tiny amount during a long soaking such as a 'stand-processing' session. Yankee adjustable tanks should mostly be standard chemical resistant plastic, but pitted and pocked surfaces could still harbor a few traces of chemicals. Also, consider a raise cycle instead of a stop bath or a rinse prior to fix. That's my thought at least.
12-10-2012, 10:50 AM   #7
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Whenever I have to mix up a powdered chemical I mix it a day ahead and after its mixed I place a funnel on the storage bottle and put a coffee filter in the funnel to strain out any solid particulates that may not have dissolved.
12-10-2012, 03:14 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hello_Photo Quote
I have a few rolls of black and white film development under my belt now, and have been reasonably happy with the results so far. To date, no severe disasters, although I will admit that my attempt to pre-expose an entire roll, rewind it and then shoot it was more than a little misguided. Lesson learned: frame lines don't necessarily coincide with every film load, so don't do this unless you are amazingly consistent at loading your film, or you really want dark lines down the middle of each frame.

However, my last roll has left me with a dust/spot removal nightmare. The attached image is a crop from a scanned negative frame that shows a line of spots that appeared at the top and bottom of each frame in the entire roll. Keep in mind that you're seeing the negative, so the dark spots in the attachment appear as bright white spots in the print. Anyone have any idea as to what may have caused these?

Here's my development procedure:
1) Prepare all chemicals, taking care to keep the developer away from any other chemicals (different container, oral syringe to measure developer, labelled container top)
2) Stand develop in Rodinal (3.6mL: 400mL of water) in a spiral tank for 1 hour
3) Ilfostop stopbath for approx 20-25 seconds
4) Ilford Rapid Fixer for 6-7 minutes (reused on subsequent rolls)
5) Photoflo as a rince agent.

My best guess is some sort of cross-contamination between the Photoflo and the stop bath. I use the same oral syringe to measure both out, and this time around, I prepared the Photoflo first. I noticed some bubbles at the top of the stop bath just after I prepared it. Could these have interfered with the action of the stop bath and/or fixer? I would have thought that with such a low concentration of developer, that the developer would be completely exhausted anyway, rendering the stop bath somewhat superfluous.

FWIW, the film I used was Fuji Acros 100. I highly doubt that this would impact the above result, however.

Thanks in advance for any insights!
The spots on your image are dark, which means that on the negative they would be light. Something has stopped the action of the developer quite drastically. The most likely cause is contamination by fixer or, less likely, stop bath. This would have happened not after the development step, but as you loaded the tank. Is it possible that you used a reel or a tank that had not been completely washed? Could you have handled the reel, tank, or film while your hands were wet with fixer or stop bath?

If stop bath or particularly fixer contact the film while it is dry (like while it is being loaded in the tank), developer will not work on the area of contact. If the film is wet, the contaminant will be dissolved almost instantly and will not show the sort of sharp localization found in your spots.

In general, it's quite important to be cautious about splashing fixer around, and to carefully clean up any spills of fixer, because when dry it is powdery and easily becomes airborne. This causes major problems with spots on negatives. In your case, though, I think the problem was more likely liquid fixer on a reel or tank. This is because the contaminant appears to be in droplet rather than dust form.

One odd thing about your procedures is that you don't mention a wash step. You describe going straight from fixer to Photoflo. Photoflo serves only to reduce drying marks on film that has already been washed. It has no value as a washing agent. If you are not washing properly, you would have an ongoing problem with tanks and reels contaminated with fixer.

Cross contamination between stop bath or fixer and Photoflo should never occur because fixer should have been thoroughly washed from the film and tank before Photoflo was introduced. In any case, Photoflo, stop bath and fixer do not cause light spots on film once it has gone through the developer.

One more thought- Using the same syringe for both stop bath and Photoflo without rinsing is a bad idea, but would not have caused your particular problem.


Last edited by John Poirier; 12-10-2012 at 03:31 PM. Reason: Clarity
01-18-2013, 11:08 AM   #9
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Where is the wash step after fix and before photo-flo? And why are you trying stand development?

Todd

Last edited by Tom S.; 01-18-2013 at 12:57 PM. Reason: Advertising & personal links not allowed.
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