Film is transparent

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Commonman, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. Commonman

    Commonman TPF Noob!

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    I'm afraid I may have buffooned myself again.

    I just developed some film using D-76.

    The film came out with no images on it - it is just a clear strip of film.

    Could this have happened from light getting to the film when I was loading it in the canister? Or....

    I'm trying to think...a dark object causes a transparency in the negative and a lot of light causes the more opaque part of the negative. Using this logic, I am thinking that it is possible that no light at all reached this film.

    If I somehow got mixed up and tried to develop an unexposed roll of film,
    would/could this be the outcome? I'm using 120 roll film and I remember putting black tape on a roll because it had become "undone." Then, a few weeks passed and I guess I thought it was exposed but I was not 100% sure the night I put it in the canister because I was in an inpatient mood and there was a huge storm going on and I was tired.

    The other possibility is that I mixed the D-76 several weeks ago but stored it in a plastic bottle. Of course, there was air in the bottle and I have come to understand that plastic will "breath" to some extent. If the D-76 went bad, became exhausted, could this be the reason for my outcome?

    Also, after I loaded the film in the canister, I did not develop the film right away. I waited about a week.
     
  2. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Oxidised developer (it only becomes exhausted after use) goes brown. It will still work even when it is the colour of strong tea (or urine if you prefer :mrgreen:) but if it goes darker (like coffee) it's gone off so dispose of it.

    A blank film can happen for several reasons.
    Check the film to see if it has edge markings. These are frame numbers and film details printed alongside the sprocket holes.
    If these markings are there then the film has been developed. No images mean one of two things: grossly under-exposed or it hasn't been exposed at all.
    Gross under-exposure rarely results in absolutely no image unless you leave the lens cap on. You will almost always find a few smudges.
    The likeliest explanation is that the film hasn't gone through the camera. This happens an awful lot. You think you have loaded it but once the camera back is closed the film jumps off the take-up spool and though you wind on the film doesn't advance.
    Always check the rewind crank when you wind on. If this does not rotate then it's usually a sign that the film isn't going through the camera.

    If you have no rebate markings then the film hasn't been developed. If they are very faint then the film has been under-developed. If this is the case then the blank film could be the result of a combination of gross under-exposure and under-development.
    There are a number of reasons why a film hasn't been developed (and I've seen them all as a teacher).
    One of the commonest - believe it or not - is caused by people putting the fix in first by mistake. This dissolves off all of the silver and leaves a perfectly blank film.
    It could be caused by faulty developer. Getting fix or stop in the dev will kill it and stop it from working. Test it by putting a bit of film leader in some. If it's OK the film will start to go black after a minute or so.

    Review your routine for developing film. It's always best to have a set routine so you can track down faults if something goes wrong.
     
  3. Commonman

    Commonman TPF Noob!

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    Hertz, what is TPF? Thanks for the in-depth reply. I appreciate your analysis. My developer was pretty clear so it was probably good. I'm not sure what rebate is but this is Ilford 100 roll film (120),,, Come to think of it, there are no numbers or markings what so ever. It's just a strip of transparent film with a slight violet (I think) tint. I know I did not put the fixer in first - unless I had fixer marked D-76. One thing I noticed is that when I poured the developer out, it was clear as when it went in. Usually, I see some color, kind of purplish, when I pour the developer out.

    I think most likely, the film was never exposed.

    What happens if one leaves the developer in the canister for 5 minutes longer than the recommended time?
     
  4. cowboyfranko

    cowboyfranko TPF Noob!

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    If it is just completely clear it sounds like you used fixer instead of developer first.
     
  5. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    In the developer? You over-develop the film and it comes out too dark.
    In the fix? Not a lot.
    Leave it over night and the silver will dissolve out and the gelatine will start to lift, but 5 mins is nothing to worry about.

    120 has edge marking. All film does - for several reasons.
    If there are no edge markings at all then, as cowboyfranko says, the fix has probably gone in first.
    If you are sure that you put dev in first then I would test the dev. It's either water, far too diluted or it's got contaminated.
    Some films, notably T-max, stain the dev and/or the fix. It's just anti-halation dye and is harmless.


    TPF stands for The Photo Forum ;)
     
  6. am_photoer

    am_photoer TPF Noob!

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    Don't be too confident about 'knowing' developer. I had been using my working solution in my darkroom for about a week and when i poured it it was clear, very strange because it should be getting very dark by then. It appears that when i didn't wash out my developer bottle an old residue tampered with the new solution.

    So it could easily be a faulty developer or using fixer. Just be sure to wash out all your bottles when making more. And i even use different colored caps to make sure i don't switch chemicals around.
     
  7. Commonman

    Commonman TPF Noob!

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    Since my last message, I shot another roll of the same Ilford 100 (120) film and developed it using the same batch of developer (d-76). The strip of film is hanging in the bathroom right now drying.

    This time, I got an image and the data on the edge. However, it looks like
    1/2 of the film is clear. If your looking at the strip of film hanging, one frame on top of another, it looks like the entire right side is clear! The left side of the film has the numbers. The right side has nothing. Usually, if properly developed, you can read "Ilford 100 Delta Pro" on the right edge (of course it depends on whether or not your looking through the emulsion side or not). I know I filled the canister up completely with each chemical.

    Ya, I think I'll just pour out this batch of developer and start over. I just got a bottle of HC-110 and, if I have any time left this weekend, I might try that. And I'll make sure to rinse out the bottle very well or use a new one.

    Thank you everyone for contributing to the analysis of my fiasco.
     
  8. Paul Ron

    Paul Ron TPF Noob!

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    If the negs are clear, they were never exposed.

    What camera are you using? Perhaps the camera isn't firing properly?
     
  9. Commonman

    Commonman TPF Noob!

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    It's not the camera - I think I can eliminate that variable for reasons too detailed to go into. The "clear on one side" had really got me thrown for a loop. It's not perfectly a 1/2 deal. Some of the shots are have large chunks of the frame washed out.

    I think I just have gotten sloppy with the whole thing. I did not bother to take the temperature of the developer and I had mixed it several weeks ago, maybe even a month. I think I need to just start all over with my chemicals.
     
  10. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    If you have edge markings down one side and none along the other then the explanation is that only the side of the film with edge markings has been developed.
    This has several causes.
    Not enough developer used to cover the whole film (a common mistake is to use the same amount for a 120 as you would for a 35mm). If you are using a daylight loading tank then check the quantity of solution required for the film and make sure you are putting that amount in.
    The other cause is when you are using a daylight loading tank designed for 2 or more films with just one spiral in the tank. You should check to make sure the spiral is right at the bottom. And then make sure it is secured in place (manufacturers like Paterson provide a clip - or you can put in spare empty spirals). If it isn't held in place and you use the inversion method to agitate the spiral usually creeps along the core so part of the film - sometimes all of it - is out of the developer.
    The inversion method can also cause developer loss if the lid does not fit properly - resulting in the dev level dropping.
    The same thing can happen if you have cracked or holed the tank.

    I would suggest going through the whole process of developing with one of your duff films and keep turning the lights on to see what is happening.
     
  11. Paul Ron

    Paul Ron TPF Noob!

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    "The film came out with no images on it - it is just a clear strip of film."

    You say one thing then change it to another but expect help?

    Lets see a pic of the problem negs?
     
  12. Commonman

    Commonman TPF Noob!

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    Paul Ron, there are 2 different situations I am asking about: 1st the film was completely clear - no markings, no nothing. After I asked the first question, I developed a SECOND roll of film. I eliminated one variable by making sure that roll was exposed by shooting the entire roll and then developing it. That was after I asked the first question.

    I think it is very possible that I did not push the reel all the way to the bottom on that second roll. In addition, I think the developer was contaminated.

    I developed a 3rd roll using a fresh batch of developer and they came out great. Only, I used a new type of developer: HC-110. I can't believe this stuff is made from Vit C! It worked fine. I'm just wondering if I am sacrificing quality, sharpness, contrast- on anything by changing from D-76 to HC-110.
     

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