developing difficulties

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by blackdoglab, Apr 29, 2007.

  1. blackdoglab

    blackdoglab yeah I'm easy.... but I'm not cheap

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    I am having some major frustration with processing b&w. I recently put a safelight in my darkroom and my negatives have been faint if non-exsistent. I have changed nothing in how i develop my film, and I have been using three different cameras just torule out camera failure. Has this happened to anyone else? I'm really getting p!$$ed off about it and need help. Thanks.
     
  2. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    I'm assuming you are shooting some sort of roll film here.

    A safelight should only be used when making enlargements. When you develop film, the film should be removed from the canister and loaded into a tank in COMPLETE DARKNESS. Either in a dark room, or a changing bag, but absolutely no light can hit the film, from a safelight or not. The film is still extremely sensitive to light, until fixed. Printing paper is not as sensitive, and a dim safelight is usually ok, but this stage is long after fixing of the negatives.
     
  3. Weaving Wax

    Weaving Wax TPF Noob!

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    So...after I load the film in darkess can I just turn on the lights or do I need a safelight for the rest of the process where I don't need total darkness?
     
  4. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Well, if you're going to be moving the film from canister to canister, that would need to be done in complete darkness, but once it is sealed inside, it should be light tight. At my school, the photo department uses a single large darkroom, so the safelight is always on for people developing prints, and everyone doing negatives does it in large changing bags in the same room. So that could be another option.
     
  5. blackdoglab

    blackdoglab yeah I'm easy.... but I'm not cheap

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  6. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    The tanks that you load roll film into on reels are sometimes called "daylight" tanks. They are light tight, and allow you to do the developing process with the lights on. This is only after you have loaded the film in them and secured the lid in complete darkness. Then, assuming you are in your own room and not in a large shared space like Max's example, you can turn the lights on and process in "daylight".
     
  7. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Poor Blackdoglab! :hug:: Welcome to the wonderful world of "the learning curve". ;) You'll never make that mistake again, so you've learned a valuable lesson.

    It seems to be a recurring theme that people think they need a "darkroom" to process film, so it's no wonder the safelight issue confused you. But as you now know, all you need to load the film is a (completely) "dark room", and after it's in the tank with the top secured, you can process it wherever you want. Before I built my darkroom, I used to sit on a closet floor and use a changing bag to load film. I can now sit at the enlarging table and load my film - but since my darkroom is a converted bedroom, I have no running water, so I still go process at the kitchen sink (when everyone's out of the house).
     
  8. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Great point Terri. Once you've made a mistake that costs you money, precious negatives, and time, you won't soon forget :)
     
  9. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Did I ever tell you about the first roll I ever developed? And that part about forgetting to put the actual LID back on top of the tank once I'd carefully poured in the developer? First inversion of the tank, and half of it sloshed down the drain.

    I bet a shot of my facial expression, :pale: followed by me scurrying to mix up some more and dump it in there (including a mad dash down the hall to the water cooler to get colder water, since we knew it came out of the faucet at about 75 degrees) would be great on a "First time for everyone" video. :lol:

    To this day, I'm pretty slick about snapping that lid on TIGHT. :biglaugh:
     
  10. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Hehe, that sucks, but you live and learn. When I developed my first roll of 120, I didn't get it spooled correctly, and I kinda thought so (in the dark fumbling) but I went for it anyway, and of course, the film was touching so I had uneven development throughout the roll. I had to toss the whole thing :( I went home and practiced spooling 120 for like 4 hours.
     
  11. blackdoglab

    blackdoglab yeah I'm easy.... but I'm not cheap

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    I started with one of those stainless steele tank and reel setups, but I hated it. It took forever to load and I was always nervous that I had done it wrong. Then I got a nice plastic setup. Up until a few weeks ago, i had no safelight and my negatives were great. Then i felt as if I needed to have one and convinced myself that I could use it while loading. Well, bein' dense will do that to ya.
     

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