developer not working!?

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by Jennyluv07, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. Jennyluv07

    Jennyluv07 TPF Noob!

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    Hi there,
    I've had my darkroom set up for about a year now but haven't used it in a few months because I was away at school. Today I just went and mixed all new chemicals (developer, fixer, stop bath) and it doesn't seem to be working. I tried a few test strips and on the first few nothing showed up. So I tried uping the amount of light exposed and time exposed and still nothing. So then I tried a different paper and finally had a bit of an image appear but again, was exposing them for longer, etc than usual (these are pictures I have developed in the past...was just wanting to enlarge some of them).

    So I'm wondering if this is to do with the temperature that my chemicals are at? My darkroom is in a basement and we have A/C so it is pretty cold down there but when I used them in the winter time, it was still cold and I had no problem then. I am sure that the developer should still be good as I bought it shortly before christmas. If anyone has any idea why this has happened, please let me know! thanks!
     
  2. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    If you're sure you are using reasonable exposure times, then it sounds like something is wrong with the developer. Even at 65degrees, it should work fine. Several things could be the cause; the common "suspects" are:

    1. Developer was mixed incorrectly, either when mixing the stock solution or when diluting the stock solution to produce the working strength developer.
    2. Developer wasn't sealed properly and expired in the package before mixing.
    3. You've confused film developer with paper developer.
    4. You've confused the chemicals and accidentally swapped the developer and fixer.

    There are also other possible causes.

    Some papers contain there own developer; all they need is an alkaline environment to function. If the last paper you tried, the one that produced a weak image, was one of these and the others weren't, it could explain why only one paper produced any image. This one paper that produced some image tends to eliminate #4 as being the cause in this case.

    I'd suggest testing all of the chemicals by putting a small piece of undeveloped film in each one and turning on the white lights. The one in the developer should turn black in a minute and the one in the fixer should become clear withing 2-4 minutes. The one in the stop bath should change very little if at all.
     
  3. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Not necessarily. Which developer is it and how was it stored?
     
  4. Jennyluv07

    Jennyluv07 TPF Noob!

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    It's Ilford Multigrade paper developer...stored in a sealed container but not full as I used some previously. On the container, it says that it should be good for 6 months like this. I have fixer that I've had for longer and it still works.
     
  5. Jennyluv07

    Jennyluv07 TPF Noob!

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    Hi there,
    Thanks for all the suggestions. I have used this developer (from the same bottle...I just mixed up a new dilution today though) with the same paper in the past and it worked fine.
    I will definitely try and test the chemicals as you suggested when I get a chance.
     
  6. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Simple things first, because it can happen and no insult intended. Are you placing the paper on the easel/baseboard emulsion side facing up? Emulsion side down will produce a print that is very flat and requires an immense amount of time to produce compared to facing up properly. And yes, there is a reason I know this. ;p
     
  7. Jennyluv07

    Jennyluv07 TPF Noob!

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    Hi there. I did actually think of this when I was in the darkroom and made sure that I was doing it on the right side (I had this happen once or twice to me when I was younger and learning) and it was on the right side so it isn't that
     

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