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01-16-2010, 08:43 PM   #1
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Light/Dark Bands in Film

After a 25-year hiatus, I decided to get back into developing my own B&W film. So, this morning I shot a roll of Tri-X (in BAD conditions - heavy fog!), for the purpose of developing my first roll. I shot the film at ISO400, used D-76, 1:1 dilution for 9:45 with occasional agitations in a small tank, dilute acetic-acid stop, rinse, fix, rinse, hypo-clear, rinse. Basically, I followed the Kodak packages recommendations on mix and times. Most importantly, **I GOT IMAGES** - it was magic!

However, as you can see from the picture below, I have light/dark banding across the film along the whole roll. In some sections it is worse than others. I was careful to agitate during the process at recommended intervals. Twenty-five years ago when I was successful in the darkroom, I don't ever remember seeing this phenomenon. The light streaks are coincidental with the sprocket holes in the film.



The film was nicely wound on the reel, so no problem there.

Can one of you experts tell me how I did this, and how to NOT do this again! Ha!

Thanks.
-Joe-

P.S. Picture taken with Pentax K1000, Vivitar MC 28mm f2.8 lens, scanned with Epson V500.

01-16-2010, 10:07 PM   #2
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I was about to say it's a uneven horizontal travelling shutter slit movement, but after reading that it coincidences sprocket holes i got very confused.

Obviously that should not be the case in here, but in one movie about Chernobyl the same effect was because radiation leaked in camera around the plastic sprocket gear exposing film.

I found similar effect in google:
Google attēlu meklētāja rezultāti ar http://www.claytoncramer.com/pictures/MoonDamaged.jpg
But can't find the picture in original page.
01-17-2010, 12:20 AM   #3
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Light leak? How are your camera seals? Do the bands extend outside the image frame? If you are rolling your own (bulk loader), I would suspect bad canisters.

Steve
01-17-2010, 04:23 AM   #4
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Really, I've no good ideas, but I do have some questions -

what kind of tank / reel are you using, a metal or plastic one? Does the agitation happen with a rod twisting the reels (plastic tank) or inversion (metal tank)?

When you did the stop bath, you did agitate to make sure every bit of film got stopped....
Ditto the fix...

I'm assuming the camera is known light tight via shooting other films.... so the sprocket hole related banding must come from some chemical / agitation strangeness.

01-17-2010, 05:00 AM   #5
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Bromide drag.

It's cause by developed silver (bromide) building up from areas of high development (bright areas, the sky in the above photo,) and killing off the activity of the developer (I might be wrong on this explanation, but I'm right on the cure.) I think it builds up in the sprocket holes as they form little shelves against where they touch the reels (but it happens on non-perforated film as well.)

The solution? You know how they recommend to agitate more in the first minute of development than the subsequent minutes? Do that. Like crazy. For a bit longer if necessary (if you're worried that you might be agitating too much, you can agitate less in the final minute.) And don't just do it in one direction. Up, down, rotate the tank, figure-eight it on your bench. The goal is to get the crap away from your film and stop it building up in specific areas.

Here's a photo of mine with the Dreaded Drag, though not as bad as yours, I'm sorry to say:



Very faint, but, however, I was using Diafine for that, so I could shake it like a martini for the duration and nothing much would change. Except I wouldn't have that Drag.

Of course, if you had a lab dev these, go in there and give them a rather stern talking to. You're case o' drag is pretty bad.
01-17-2010, 08:45 AM   #6
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Well - I think you guys NAILED it - especially Lithos! I think it might be bromide drag.

To answer serveral questions:
-I've shot several rolls of film in the same camera and had them commercially processed with no indication of these streaks.
-It is a plastic tank in very good condition with a plastic reel and has the spindle which twists to agitate.
-Looking more closely, I see that the streaks are heavier/more pronounced at the edge of the film which was up, so they follow the gravitational field downward.
-The streaks extend beyond the frame of the negative and start at the upper sprocket holes.
-All I can say is OOPS! I FORGOT TO AGITATE LIKE CRAZY THE FIRST MINUTE!!! I agitated for about 15 seconds when I poured in the developer, but not enough.

As I said in my original post, it has been 25 years since I did this, and my memory enhancing vitamin supplements have not yet kicked in .

I'll do another roll in the next few days and AGITATE LIKE CRAZY the first minute to see if that does it.

Another question: Is there any value to doing a couple of minutes of pre-soak with water before applying the developer? I've seen references to doing this, but I don't remember doing it years ago.

Thanks all.
-Joe-
01-17-2010, 10:14 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
Bromide drag.

It's cause by developed silver (bromide) building up from areas of high development (bright areas, the sky in the above photo,) and killing off the activity of the developer (I might be wrong on this explanation, but I'm right on the cure.) I think it builds up in the sprocket holes as they form little shelves against where they touch the reels (but it happens on non-perforated film as well.)
You nailed it!

I have never used the plastic tanks and forgot that agitation was a potential issue.

Steve
01-17-2010, 10:49 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by k0og Quote
Well - I think you guys NAILED it - especially Lithos! I think it might be bromide drag.

To answer several questions:
-I've shot several rolls of film in the same camera and had them commercially processed with no indication of these streaks.
-It is a plastic tank in very good condition with a plastic reel and has the spindle which twists to agitate.
-Looking more closely, I see that the streaks are heavier/more pronounced at the edge of the film which was up, so they follow the gravitational field downward.
-The streaks extend beyond the frame of the negative and start at the upper sprocket holes.
-All I can say is OOPS! I FORGOT TO AGITATE LIKE CRAZY THE FIRST MINUTE!!! I agitated for about 15 seconds when I poured in the developer, but not enough.

As I said in my original post, it has been 25 years since I did this, and my memory enhancing vitamin supplements have not yet kicked in .

I'll do another roll in the next few days and AGITATE LIKE CRAZY the first minute to see if that does it.

Another question: Is there any value to doing a couple of minutes of pre-soak with water before applying the developer? I've seen references to doing this, but I don't remember doing it years ago.

Thanks all.
-Joe-
It may be magic but sounds more like a PIA to me...
so it's not magic when a bunch of photons impact an optical array and penetrate into a silicon layer, converted to electrons, counted in an orderly fashion, re-assembled using some software hocus pocus (demosaic ect) and pow.. a recognizable image that you "saw"...... all within a matter of milliseconds.........
now THAT's magic....... sorry..... just having fun.

01-17-2010, 11:03 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by k0og Quote

I'll do another roll in the next few days and AGITATE LIKE CRAZY the first minute to see if that does it.

Another question: Is there any value to doing a couple of minutes of pre-soak with water before applying the developer? I've seen references to doing this, but I don't remember doing it years ago.

Thanks all.
-Joe-
Pre-soaking isn't recommended with all developers, so watch out for that. I'll sometimes use it when I'm not comfortable with a really short development time. You can generally do without. I always tend to 'agitate like crazy' in the first minute, anyway. That ought to do you.

One thing to watch out for is improper loading, or if your camera otherwise puts too much strain on the sprocket holes: that can exacerbate any problems with things getting hung up.
01-17-2010, 02:11 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffkrol Quote
It may be magic but sounds more like a PIA to me...
so it's not magic when a bunch of photons impact an optical array and penetrate into a silicon layer, converted to electrons, counted in an orderly fashion, re-assembled using some software hocus pocus (demosaic ect) and pow.. a recognizable image that you "saw"...... all within a matter of milliseconds.........
now THAT's magic....... sorry..... just having fun.
Jeff,

Of course, you are correct that the photons/array/conversion/firmware/etc. is magic too! To be able to capture an exact replica image in time is magical no matter how it's done. Think of all human history, and that photography has only been around for about 200 years of it.

I'm just enjoying getting back to something I loved to do when I was younger (and that applies to both digital and analog photography).

Again, thanks to all for helping me solve this problem.

-Joe-
01-17-2010, 02:58 PM   #11
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I wonder if there is a chance that direct matter/energy transfer occours from image capture to view.

Like a photon just being absorbed and emmited by the subject surface makes it to the film and is converted in a chemical structure of some sort (or adds an electron to the pixel). When the film is lit by white light the same mass produced from photons or the same emulsion interacts with the light passing to reveal the image.

Have you read anything about particle entanglement? If going very abstract, you could be receiving some real physical properties of the scene original in addition to the infromation presented in image.

I think in digital system it would be much harder to make it trought such a path, that one original electron is converted in viewed photon on screen... so many transistors where the original electron might flow to the power supply line, leaving bare information.
Actually almost impossible - because electrons do not flow that fast, they are shifted. Shift has a speed of light, electrons themselves move few centimeters per second i believe.

Sorry about the offtopic.
01-18-2010, 03:36 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by k0og Quote
Well - I think you guys NAILED it - especially Lithos! I think it might be bromide drag.
Thanks. Light leaks tend to totally blow out the film under them, and will be more unevenly spread out.

QuoteQuote:
To answer serveral questions:
-I've shot several rolls of film in the same camera and had them commercially processed with no indication of these streaks.
If there's one thing labs are good with, it's the agitation.

QuoteQuote:
-It is a plastic tank in very good condition with a plastic reel and has the spindle which twists to agitate.
Paterson? I've got one of those, a very nice tank. I never did trust the spindle (or the "twiddle stick" as some places cutely call it,) though - agitation, I feel, should be as random as possible, to replace the exhausted developer that's been in contact with the film with fresh stuff.

QuoteQuote:
-Looking more closely, I see that the streaks are heavier/more pronounced at the edge of the film which was up, so they follow the gravitational field downward.
-The streaks extend beyond the frame of the negative and start at the upper sprocket holes.
-All I can say is OOPS! I FORGOT TO AGITATE LIKE CRAZY THE FIRST MINUTE!!! I agitated for about 15 seconds when I poured in the developer, but not enough
Yeah, most films these days (I say these days because the last time you devved film was two years before I was born...) recommend 30 seconds for the first minutes, then 15 seconds there after. Depending on what people like, they might do more, or do less agitation...but only for the minutes following the first one. The first minute, after all, is where virgin film is coming into contact with virgin developer. The reaction is the most vigorous then. Agitation does, however, have other effects on film development - grain size (and therefore acutance as well,) as well the dev time - naturally, if you're moving fresher developer into contact with the film more often, development will be faster.

QuoteQuote:
As I said in my original post, it has been 25 years since I did this, and my memory enhancing vitamin supplements have not yet kicked in .
When you swallow those supplements, don't chase 'em down with water from an aluminium cup.

QuoteQuote:
I'll do another roll in the next few days and AGITATE LIKE CRAZY the first minute to see if that does it.
Excellent.

QuoteQuote:
Another question: Is there any value to doing a couple of minutes of pre-soak with water before applying the developer? I've seen references to doing this, but I don't remember doing it years ago.

Thanks all.
-Joe-
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. So devs, like the two-bath compensating developer Diafine I've used, work with only what chemical soaks into the film, which is a minute amount. So presoaking and having wet film would dilute it too much, and since the gelatine's already full of water, not much developer could soak in. Others are fine. If you're using something that's been diluted 100:1, maybe presoaking would dilute it way to far.
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