Diagnose my negative please

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by Garbz, May 29, 2008.

  1. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well I find it hard to believe that my Nikon FE with it's centre weighted average light metre could get less accurate photos than my Holga. So my question to you is what did I do wrong? Below is an example of 2 negatives. One shot with the Holga and was part of my first development which I posted here. The second I developed last night.

    The first problem is that it is the same film, why then do the 35mm negatives look pink? Now 3/4 of the fixing solution has only been used once and stored in an airtight container since, I believe that this solution can be reused several times. The fixing time in this case was 5 minutes. But I did a test that Helen recommended by fixing part of a blank negative for a long time, and then fixing the entire negative and timing it the time it takes for them to reach the same colour. Well that was around 3min, so I doubled the time to 6 minutes as recommended in the thread.

    So what was done differently between the two:
    - Development was now done I believe for 15 seconds not enough, but it was done at the correct temperature and compensated for using the guide on the Kodak Website. 5.5min (probably 5.2 in reality) at 21 degrees. Instead of my last 5 minutes at 23 degrees
    - Fixed for 6 minutes instead of 5.

    The result: Look at the outside pictures I believe they were both correctly exposed on each camera.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Why are my negatives pink, and why is the density of my negatives low? Note that the dynamic range is there, just the contrast is very high. Can anyone aid me in my diagnostic so I can take it into account next time? Also if my negatives are under-fixed, how do I prevent possible fading.
     
  2. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    Remind us which fixer you are using. Fixer capacity is usually at least around 10 films per litre of working solution unless there has been an accident with contamination, or there was a high silver iodide content in the film.

    How pink are the negs? Underfixing is usually shown by a slight opaqueness to the film, the pink or purple tint (from the sensitizing and anti-halation dyes) is not in itself a sign of insufficient fixing. It might wash out, or you can leave the film in a sunny place for a day or two.

    Insufficient fixing usually leads to the film darkening slightly as the remaining silver halides reduce to metallic silver. Insufficient washing results in the image fading.

    I'd hazard a guess that the 35 mm is slightly underexposed (lack of shadow detail, but only judging by the scan) and slightly underdeveloped.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  3. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    i would agree with helen, but would also like to add something to the mix,

    first it is not the same film. 120 film has a anti-halation dye and it is not uncommon to use different development times with 120vs35mm films.

    secondly, each camera can vary both with metering system and the acutal mechanical workings which will lead to difference in the negatives.
    How are what do you use to meter for the holga negative?

    for example. i have a nikon 90s and an F100. i have done specific test for each type of film i use with regard to EI and development times. Quess what, they are not the same. with one i rate Hp5 (box speed 400) at 160 EI and the other at EI 250. Neither are developed at the same time.
    Equipment varies and can change over time as well.
     
  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I love this subforum, everyone is always helpful and to the point. Guess "those other people" all shoot digital. :)

    I'm using Ilford Rapid Fixer. My negatives aren't very opaque probably the same as the normal 120 roll next to it, it's just that it has a colour cast on it. I really think underfixing isn't an option here. It was fixed for longer than the 120 film and I did that little timing test you mentioned to figure out fixing times. And the spot I used initially didn't get any less pink than the rest of the film over time.

    I doubt the camera itself is under exposing I've never had a problem with it until now. I really would blame something in my technique since I'm new at this. Actually on the topic of washing this has just struck a chord. I didn't mention but I bought a few extra chemicals. A Kodak indicator stopbath, A Kodak Hypo Cleaning agent, and Kodak Photo-flo.

    The 120 roll of film was probably washed for about an hour in total given 20 min of washing after the developing, then 30 min after the fixing. But the 135 film was only washed for about 1 minute after the stopbath (not sure if this was needed, but I did see it recommended on the net), and it was washed 30seconds after fixing after which I switched to Hypo clearing agent, and then washed for 5 min after that.

    Is 10 min of washing enough given the aiding chemicals?

    Ann I did compensate the development times. Kodak was nice enough to write that on the datasheet. As for metering the holga... well lets just say the holga typically produces nicely lighted shots outdoor in the sun with ISO400 film on the only shutter speed it has. Which is why I posted a Holga frame with outdoor lighting.

    I'm just querying this since I never granted my local photolab with an over abundance of brains and I highly doubt they are customizing the development times of their film to suit an off camera (unless it is of course those machines actively look at the negatives during developing, but I always thought any adjustment the do they do when printing. It's not a pro lab.
     
  5. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    so your using the sunny 16 guide line for the holga

    if the 120 film was developed at a commerical lab then i would 'quess" they are over developed which is very common in that environment.

    you are washing the film far too long.
    60 years ago we washed film for that length of time, but film has changed .
    check out ilfords website for their recommendation for washing film.

    also there is no need to use a HCA for most modern films, waste of time, and money. fiber prints it is very handy.

    also after using stop bath, no need to wash before fixing and don't always believe the internet

    cameras are only machines. for instance i have a students who's shutter is giving a 3 stop over exposures on everything.

    your 35mm negatives look underexposed as there doens'gt appear to be any detail in the shadows. hard to see exactly on a computer monitor, but that won't create a color cast.

    most holgas use have a fixed shutter speed of about 125/16, maybe f11, they vary as they are only plastic and can drif qucikly and easily.
     
  6. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Might be a stupid question, but are you sure you had the film speed setting right on the camera? (I forgot that once, and noticed a few frames in) My FE's meter seems to be spot on accurate almost all the time.

    :lmao: I'm guessing you've never used a Holga. It's pretty much a point and shoot as far as the exposure goes anyway..
     
  7. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    are you referring to me as not using a holga?

    i teach workshops using toy cameras.

    you take care of adjusting the standard shutter /fstop, with type of film used and type of developer/and or ratio of developer, etc.

    what i meant is that point and shoot cameras are based on the sunny 16 rule and the only way to adjust is to change the EI of the film and the developer combinations. which can be done and is done on a regular basis
     
  8. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ok.. I didn't know you teach workshops. :hugs: Many people aren't familiar with the Holga and think that you can actually adjust shutter speeds and f/stops on the camera. (does that sunny/cloudy switch even do anything? mine doesn't), so knowing nothing about you, I assumed that's what you meant. I agree about using film speed and developing to adjust exposure, I do it myself with my Holga since it always underexposes.
     
  9. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    So assuming the film was not washed long enough which caused the pink tinge (just for the record I have a few other B&W negatives and none of them are pink) this time given that it was only washed for 5 minutes, is this bad for the film like will it fade as with under fixing or will the negatives only stay pink, something I can live with?

    Thanks for the developing tips. I was working out of a book written in the 60s assuming that the film hasn't changed too much since all the chemicals still have the same name. As I said my 135 roll which came out a bit pink was only washed for 5-6 minutes. It was my first roll which was over washed (and that one looks good).

    Sunny 16 "rule" is a bit hard to gauge on the Holga. I know my previous lab developed negs come out reasonably correct when shooting with ISO400 film in the daylight, and those results were consistent with the roll of 120 on the left which came out just fine on daylight shots.

    This is also why I originally ruled out my FE meter being cooked, because the lab produced the same kind of good looking prints out of it only 2 weeks earlier when I shot my last roll of HIE. My bracketing and recording of exposures and the fact that the filter has about a 5 stop loss seems to indicate that the meter was exposing correctly. I gauged my exposure by checking it against the camera with the filter off set at ISO20, all the exposures that matched the sunny 16 rule came out beautifully.

    This seems to be pointing more to an underdeveloping problem. And now that I think about it I started pouring after I started the timer, and emptied such that I would be finished when the time gets to the right time. Given that it takes 10 or so seconds to empty / fill the tank without making a mess I probably ended up under developing by 20 seconds or so. :(

    Definitely. The film in it before the TriX-400 was a Kodak HIE. And I would have noticed pretty quickly if my ISO was still set at 20 ;)



    Incase anyone is interested more photos from the dodgy roll can be found here (the bottom 3 B&W photos) http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?p=1258012#post1258012 Heavily processed to make them look somewhat reasonable. They actually came out very well given the absolute shocking scans that came off the negatives. All had their brightness bumped up and their contrast reduced.
     
  10. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    Usually when my film comes out of the fix pink, and washing doesn't remove it, I refix and rewash and that takes care of it. I believe I saw it recommended in the Kodak datasheets, but I could be mistaken. In any case, I've never noticed any particular degradation in the images after refixing. However, I usually do it before the film dries. If you do refix, you might want to soak the film for a couple of minutes in plain water.

    As for the underexposure/underdevelopment... it looks to me like underdevelopment: the lettering along the edge should usually be pretty solidly black. Not much can be done about it, as far as I know. You might try an intensifying toner. I believe I've read selenium toning will enhance the maximum density. I've never done it, so I can't speak from experience.
     
  11. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    As I mentioned above, underfixing will lead to image darkening (not fading), underwashing can lead to the image fading, but a pink cast is in itself not a problem. Different films have different dyes in them for sensitization and for anti-halation, and leaving those behind is not a problem. They will usually fade quickly if left in the sun without harming the silver image. As ann mentioned, the 120 version of a film can be different from the 35 mm version, and one of the differences can be in the anti-halation dye. If you have fixed in Ilford Rapid Fixer for 6 minutes, underfixing is very unlikely to be a problem. However, I'm a bit surprised that your clearing time was 3 minutes. What dilution did you use? Kodak recommend refixing and rewashing if the remaining dye is patchy and there are signs of underfixing (ie remaining silver halide). Whether 5 minutes washing is sufficient depends a lot on how you are washing. The fill-and-dump technique, as mentioned by Ilford in their pdf on film developing, is a good method. There is no need for hypo clearing agent, as already mentioned by ann, especially if you are using a rapid fixer.
    HIE isn't a very good film for judging meter accuracy, not least because of the large difference in spectral response of your meter and the film. A slide film would be a better indicator, or even a comparison with another meter, including the one in a digital camera, using an evenly-lit, evenly-toned surface that isn't a strong colour.
    This is one of the reasons why published times for B&W developing should only be regarded as a starting point for your own refinement. Unless you time, pour, agitate and temper the process exactly like the person who found the times you won't get the same results - and you might not even want the same results.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  12. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As to under rinsing the film, I fix my TMax following HC110/'B' and Indicator Stop with Kodafix and I have found that the film clears after 2:30. I still tack on an extra 30 seconds, but given that, five minutes isn't totally without the realm of possibility.
     

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