film development issue

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by thebeginning, Sep 29, 2007.

  1. thebeginning

    thebeginning TPF Noob!

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    I recently developed a few rolls of hp5 for a personal project I was doing. I developed them like normal, and i'm pretty sure my exposures were fine (never had an issue with that before) but the negatives turned out VERY thin. I figured it was a chemical issue, so I replaced the developer and it was fine (a friend succesfully developed with it like normal). I tried it again with another roll and again, the negatives were quite thin. When I looked at the film leader that is usually pitch black from exposing it when loading the film, I saw that it wasn't black. It's almost as if the film was faded or somehow prevented from being exposed. or something. That clue told me that the issue wasn't the camera or my exposure settings most likely.

    what might be the issue? the film was kinda old, maybe 2 years at the most, but I'm not sure even if that would have done it. it might have been some film i kept in my photo backpack for a while, and even through a few x-rays.


    any suggestions? I just shot another roll with it (with brand new hp5) and i'm hesitant to develop it until I know what the problem is.
     
  2. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What were the developer, mix ratio and time used, number of rolls each development? IMO (ruling out x-ray) sound like too short of a developing time.

    Last week I made a silly mistake of only half filling a two-roll tank. The bottom roll came out Ok. But on the top roll half the frame where clear and the other very thin.
     
  3. thebeginning

    thebeginning TPF Noob!

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    I believe the developer we're using (i'm using a college's equipment :/) is just plain arista (off brand, basically), in a 1:1 ratio (actually I have no idea, after checking some things online. I'll have to check on monday to be certain). we have a big chart with developing times for this brand that I go by and have never had problems with...in fact I developed a roll of tmax 100 last week without a problem (at their suggested time, which i think was 7 minutes). The development time for the hp5 is (i think) 6 minutes. if that's off, i wouldn't know how much to increase it...

    i developed 2 rolls together in a two-roll tank, and one in a two roll tank but with two reels and filled to the brim with developer. so that shouldn't be the problem.
     
  4. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    If the exposed leader appears under-developed then it is a development issue, not an exposure issue.
    The factors that affect development are time, temperature, concentration and agitation.
    If you have checked to make sure that the developer is OK then it will probably be one of these causing the problem.
    Diluting a developer reduces it's concentration and so reduces it's activity - that is to say, it develops the film more slowly.
    Solution temperature can drop quite rapidly once it is in a tank - especially if the ambient temperature is low. Developer activity decreases with temperature and can actually stop and this can happen during development.
    Agitation method and the amount applied can radically affect development times. Continuous agitation can reduce development times by 25% or more. If little or no agitation is used then a very thin layer of exhausted developer can form on the film surface, blocking fresh developer and stalling development.
    Some agitation techniques don't actually disturb the developer enough to be effective. Getting too vigorous however can set up flow patterns and cause uneven development.
    The best technique is the Kodak figure of eight. The tank is placed on a flat surface and moved through a figure of eight pattern - one circuit approximately every second. The movement is vigorous enough to give adequate agitation but the reversal of direction on each cycle stops the formation of flow patterns.
    Agitation should also be regular and accurate - 5 secs every 30 secs for small tanks. I have seen students do the first agitation cycle then go off to get a drink and not agitate for 3 or 4 minutes. Then try to make up for it by giving a 30 second agitation. Because development stalled for 3 or so minutes the film was effectively developed for a shorter period of time and so the negs were thin.
    The secret to film processing is consistency. It doesn't matter too much how you do it (so long as it works) providing you do it the same way every time. That way you have control and can adjust your processing if you need to. And you can always figure out where you cocked up if something goes wrong.
     
  5. thebeginning

    thebeginning TPF Noob!

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    well that's the thing...i've developed dozens of these before and never had a problem. I always do the same developing method, and I've never had an issue with temperature (and even if it was temperature, it would have to be a pretty big difference to make them that thin all by itself). what i'll probably do is double check the concentration and temperature before I develop and work on the development time from there.
     
  6. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    perhaps you diluted a developer that was already diluted to it's normal ratio.
     
  7. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    How are you using the developer? Do you dilute it yourself from a stock solution then pour it away, or use it straight from a bottle then return it to the bottle, or dilute it then re-use it, or what? It sounds like you might be re-using developer, in which case that could be the source of your problem.

    Thanks,
    Helen
     
  8. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    If it's College developer then there is the very real possibility that someone either diluted it or watered it. Happens all the time.
    You can also get problems with people not washing the tanks and kit properly. Any fix or stop left on them can seriously affect the developer performance.
     
  9. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

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    i think the film must have gotten way hot and old ;) or you were standing in the wrong place when you developed it.

    . . .
     
  10. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    :lmao::lmao:
     
  11. thebeginning

    thebeginning TPF Noob!

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    hahah nice, mike. thanks for that.



    i think it was just screwed up film, I just developed a brand new roll (pushed two stops actually) and it worked just fine.
     
  12. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

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    yeah defly,

    jeff haha, the reason i say that is daniel got pushed out of his spot next to the sink last week by a polish woman. but you never know . . .

    daniel has had super bad luck lately, the other day the bottom broke of of his developing tank. WIERED
     

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