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09-01-2015, 10:29 AM   #1
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First development attempt...interesting failure

Dear experten of the board,
I decided to start trying to develop B&W at home after having spent so much money with Ilfordlab.

I bought a online kit, a bottle of Tmax developer and Ilford fixer (I've been told the stopper is not necessary anymore), the first guinea pig has been a Delta 400 film I shot with my Z6.

So I checked online, 5 minutes to develop, 30 seconds stopping, 2 minutes for fixing, 5 minutes washing...everything sounded easy, and difficult at the same time, so I prepared about 300 ml of 4+1 mixture, used the Paterson tank and here there are the results:



It appears something has ruined the emulsion in a certain position of the film:



What was my error? Did I expose the film while loading it inside the tank? I still have another roll of Delta 3200 to develop and I would like to try tonight, but I don't want to repeat the same error.

09-01-2015, 10:40 AM - 1 Like   #2
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It looks like your film wasn't loaded onto the reels quite correctly, so it stuck together in those undeveloped spots where chemical couldn't reach.
09-01-2015, 11:09 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stevopedia Quote
It looks like your film wasn't loaded onto the reels quite correctly, so it stuck together in those undeveloped spots where chemical couldn't reach.
I agree, Use that strip of film to practice loading your real. And inspected carefully. Also make sure you dislodge any air bubbles that can be trapped between the film. And good agitation is critical. Not agitating it properly can cause similar problems.
09-01-2015, 11:17 AM - 1 Like   #4
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I certainly agree with the above posts but even with uneven development and fixing I would expect to see some sign of transparency to the film edges.
Your film looks as though it has been exposed to the light during loading or processing.

09-01-2015, 11:29 AM - 1 Like   #5
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It's a good idea to practice loading scratch film onto the reel with the lights on before doing it in total darkness. It can certainly be tricky. Also, remember- no safe lights when working with undeveloped film. It has to be pitch black.

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09-01-2015, 11:30 AM   #6
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where and how did you load the film? looks like it was exposed. that doesnt look like the film was stuck together. its been a while for sure, but mine tended to get pink looking where it was stuck together
09-01-2015, 11:48 AM - 1 Like   #7
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What kind of tank are you using - stainless you wind manually or plastic that draws the film in?
Are you filling the tank appropriately?
09-01-2015, 12:31 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cuthbert Quote
So I checked online, 5 minutes to develop, 30 seconds stopping, 2 minutes for fixing, 5 minutes washing...everything sounded easy, and difficult at the same time, so I prepared about 300 ml of 4+1 mixture, used the Paterson tank and here there are the results:
As noted it looks like the film was touching. And either way under developed or under exposed. I see no well-exposed frames on that strip at all. And Adam's advise is really good too. Practice with your eyes open and then do it with your eyes closed so when you are doing it for real, you have a good mental picture for what's going on in the dark.

For every film you shoot and chemical you use, look up its data sheet and read it. You might be surprised what you'll find out sometimes. For example, Delta 3200 Data Sheet tells you how to agitate the film for their development times and look at all the different ISO ratings Delta 3200 has and the development times for those exposure indexes with the various developers listed. That's really good info!! Kodak and Ilford usually have data sheets for their products. To use someone's development time you really need to follow their agitation profile pretty close to be sure.

30 seconds to stop the film is when you use an acidic stop-bath solution. If you are using plain water, fill and drain the tank 5 or 6 times as a stop-bath.


Last edited by tuco; 09-01-2015 at 12:55 PM. Reason: Add more info
09-01-2015, 01:13 PM - 1 Like   #9
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I think it is 2 minutes for water stop? I'd have to check my notes though
09-01-2015, 01:30 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Murfy Quote
I think it is 2 minutes for water stop? I'd have to check my notes though
There is no precise time. What is more important is that you thoroughly dilute the developer to the point it is not longer significant.

I use PMK Pyro a lot and it has some special requirements (eg use distilled water for the developer and fixer and the fixer is non-hardening). And one of those is not to use an acidic stop-bath but rather water. And they say fill and drain the tank for up to 2 minutes. And if you fill, shake it a little and drain about 5 or 6 time that can take up almost 2 minutes for a double tank.
09-01-2015, 01:35 PM - 1 Like   #11
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Those are marks when the film is touching during processing, to make sure, take a piece and dip it into fixer
If it becomes clear then it was that problem, if it stays black, then you exposed the film to light
09-01-2015, 02:27 PM   #12
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Thanks everybody for the answers, as a matter of fact I don't if the problem was a incorrect load inside the tank, if I touched it during the process, if it's a air bubble, if it's an incorrect shaking or all the things together!

I use a Peterson tank like this one:



I tried to load it in a dark room even if after one minute or two I was capable to see the film and the tank, I fought hard to insert the film into the spiral, so it's possible that I touched it, even right now in the light the film gets stuck several times...is there any special technique to fill it?
09-01-2015, 05:09 PM   #13
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When I was developing film, and it has been many years ago, I used a light safe changing bag, To ensure that I did not accidentally expose the film to light. I also kept one in my kit, just in case something happened, and I needed to open the back of the camera for some reason.

One thing to note, wash and dry your hands thoroughly first. This reduces the chance of getting fingerprints on your film. You can use rubber gloves, Just make sure they are the powder free kind. Make sure your chemicals are at the proper temperature. practice your procedures, run through each step, in order, using water instead of your chemicals. Don't skip steps. After a while each step will become automatic. Also make sure you document each roll of film that you develop, and when you mixed your chemicals. Some chemicals have a Usage/storage life, read the documentation for each chemical and its safety Instructions. And Remember, good ventilation is absolutely necessary.
09-01-2015, 05:43 PM - 1 Like   #14
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For testing a darkroom the old rule was to close yourself in and wait. If you could see any trace of light after 10-15 minutes it isn't light-tight enough.
09-01-2015, 05:47 PM   #15
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use a darkroom changing bag. I never liked them because I recall them making my hands sweaty but the darkroom needs to be totally dark, to the point your eyes dont ever adjust.if your eyes adjusted and you could see, it was enough light to expose the film. the changing bag will definitely prevent that. in school we had one light tight door, than a second light tight door right after it.
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