Noobie reporting in! need help

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by RitterPhoto, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. RitterPhoto

    RitterPhoto TPF Noob!

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    Hello guys, first post.

    i need help so ill cut to the chase

    I built a pinhole camera several years ago, and took some rather wonderful images with it. I dont recall what type of photo paper i was using, it was glossy on one side and was Kodak paper on the other side. (this made dark room work easier because there was no question which side should be facing where!)

    at any rate... I recall in the class, and the few times i used the camera, I loaded the film in the pinhole camera, and the shutter time for my camera was about 5 seconds of exposure max. the images were great.

    recently, i found my old pinhole camera in perfect condition, and it peaked my wifes curiosity and as i told her about it she thought it would be nice to try it out again.

    So... i went to a photo shop and purchased some Developer mix, and some Fixer and some kodak Tmax 100 4x5 film.

    The first box of Tmax100 was wasted... as i didnt remember that it shouldnt be used with a safety light.

    on to box 2.

    box two was treated with much more care in handling. However... i have tried several exposure times for the film ranging from 1 second to 60 seconds and my film always develops a clear image as if i was holding a sheet of glass.

    in your collective expert opinions... what am i doing wrong???

    Im placing the film in the developer tray for about 5 minutes (based on other places i have read), drip dry... and then rinsing in a stop bath for about 1 minute. then into the fixer for a few minutes and presto... i go to check the negative and the film is completely clear... the only image i had remotely close to showing anything was clear with a purple hue.

    i cant wrap my head around this problem.

    is Tmax100 more of an experts film? should i be using a different type of film?

    what do you guys think of the above situation?

    thanks a million!
     
  2. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    What sort of developer are you using, at what strength? Is there any chance that it has been contaminated with fixer?

    Are you sure that you have the film in the right way round?

    The exposure should be around 1 second or less, depending very much on the size of the pinhole. If 5 seconds was about right for B&W paper, less than 1 second should be OK for TMax 100, in the same lighting conditions.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  3. RitterPhoto

    RitterPhoto TPF Noob!

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    Im using Kodak professional Dektol. tap water for a stop bath and Kodak Professional Rapid Fixer

    I was careful to avoid contamination, but anything is possible.
     
  4. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Clear neg after fix means no exposure. Or at the very least, not nearly enough. Might check your reciprocity numbers for TMax, I gott'em here somewhere. Hold on. (knock, rumble, rumble, SLAM! knock, scratch (Oh, there it is!) thump, thump, thump) OK.

    1 second metered - 1 sec
    2 sec - 2.5 sec
    4 sec - 6 sec
    8 sec - 12 sec
    15 sec - 26 sec
    30 sec - 55 sec
    60 sec - 120 sec
    120 sec - 250 sec

    Hope it helps a little. And these numbers are based on experiments with 100TMX film.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2008
  5. RitterPhoto

    RitterPhoto TPF Noob!

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    i dont know what im doing wrong... going to remix my chemicals tomorrow.

    I tried a few seconds of exposure, then i tried like 30 seconds, 60 seconds 100 seconds and 4 minutes.

    All film developed crystal clear. I dont get it.

    this is not the film i used to work with, the film i used to work with was very easy, paper back glossy black and white film by kodak. my best images were between 2 and 5 seconds exposure depending on light levels.
     
  6. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    Dektol and t-max....It can work, but Dektol is more for paper. I wonder if your mixtures are for paper and not film.
     
  7. RitterPhoto

    RitterPhoto TPF Noob!

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    what sort of paper should i use?
     
  8. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    If you've used Kodak before, I'd just go down to the place where you bought your film and get some Kodak paper. Tell 'em what you're doing. They should have the right paper for you.
     
  9. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    Dektol is a very active developer, and it should produce an image within a minute or two with TMax if it is at paper strength. It's far from ideal as a film developer, however, but should be OK for pinhole negatives if you can control the developing times to be short enough - it would be better to use a less active developer such as any intended for film. D-76 or ID-11 are good general-purpose film developers.

    As I mentioned before, if 5 seconds was enough for exposing paper, 1 second should give you more than enough exposure for TMax 100 without having to bother with reciprocity corrections. It's in the right ball park for the average pinhole in daylight.

    There is something very strange about a 4 minute exposure in even dull daylight that gives no image whatsoever after five minutes in Dektol, even if the film had been put in the wrong way round. If it really has been exposed the problem is developer failure (as I mentioned earlier) - either contaminated developer or fixing before development.

    Are these images being made in sunlight? TMax 100 is about four or five stops faster than most enlarging paper when the TMax is at its rated speed. Dektol, if anything, gives film quite a strong push because it is so active. Could you waste a sheet, or part of a sheet, of film by putting it into Dektol in the light and watching what happens? Can you check that the pinhole is letting light through?

    Almost any B&W paper intended for enlarging will do. Resin coated (RC) paper works as well as anything, and it is easy to use.

    Were you using the paper as a paper negative or was the negative image the final thing?

    Good luck,
    Helen
     
  10. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My guess:

    sheet film turned wrong way around so you're not exposing the emulsion side
     
  11. RitterPhoto

    RitterPhoto TPF Noob!

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    I got the paper at the school about 7 years ago which does not offer the class anymore. :(

    I'll search around for it though

    @ Helen... im leaning toward contaminated Developer, and im going to remix it. The images were being made in mid afternoon sunlight between 2pm and 6pm. the pinhole is letting light through at least i looked through the loading port in the camera and held it up to the sky and saw light through the pinhole.

    think ill remix and find an easier paper to work with.
     
  12. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I just wanna make sure. It almost sounds like you are referring to paper being in your camera. Don't take this wrong. Are you using paper or film in the camera? I'm sure you already know, and I always forget the simple stuff myself, but you need film in the camera not paper.
     

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