Uh Oh... How did I screw this up....

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by BadRotation, Dec 25, 2005.

  1. BadRotation

    BadRotation TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Burton, MI
    I developed a couple rolls of film tonight, and while I have done about 30 rolls total since I got into film (I grew up with a digital SLR, and have only recently gotten into film), I have never had a problem like this.

    I have no clue where I went wrong.

    When the negatives are scanned, the long edges are lighter than the middle of the film. I dont know if it was because I screwed up somewhere in development, or if it has something to do with the film being in the camera for a month. Or possibly my chemicals are just old (I think they have a shelf life of 2 months in a sealed container, and I have had them mixed for three)

    The effect is worse on some photos, and not that bad/not noticeable on others.

    Here is a couple samples... The long edges are a bit lighter than the rest of the film.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  2. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    16,728
    Likes Received:
    45
    Location:
    Where am I now?
    From the scan it doesn't look like you've got a problem at all.
    With the snow and the steam I think you just have localised subject contrast changes and because of the way you have framed things it gives the impression that the centre is darker than the edges.
    Or perhaps I'm not seeing the full effect because it has got lost in scanning.
    Light and dark banding on a film only has two causes.
    If the developer isn't quite sufficient to cover the film you will get an underdeveloped band - but only along one edge.
    If you agitate incorrectly you can set up flow patterns in the dev that results in bands of light and dark - but they look like ripples and you get quite a few across the width.
    Neither of these are present.
    I know of no processing fault that would result in the effect you describe.
    To give you an exact answer I would really need to see the negs - or some more prints.
    It could be that the neg is fine and the problem lies with your scanner.
    But on the current evidence I come down in favour of it being an 'optical illusion'.
     
  3. Unimaxium

    Unimaxium TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    Messages:
    2,689
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Northeastern University, originally from Philly
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I kind of see what you mean, but it really doesn't look like much of a problem, at least in these scans (Hertz: you can best see it in the grass in the bottom-left of the 2nd image; the grass towards the left side is lighter than farther right). Since the strip of brightness appears to be a constant width across the whole frame, I think you can rule out the 'optical illusion' Hertz was talking about (although that was my first guess as well). My best guess as to what caused it is maybe bad agitation, weak developer, or too much fixing. I would recommend re-mixing your chemicals. Three months is a long time to go on the same chems, IMO.
    But like I said, this really doesn't look like a huge problem to me, at least not on these shots. I would hardly call it a "screw up." It's simply a little lighter on the periphery. Even Hertz couldn't notice it. Is it perhaps more visible in other shots? Can you notice it on the negs?
     
  4. BadRotation

    BadRotation TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Burton, MI
    Yes, some shots are really bad...

    [​IMG]



    It is not limited to just the train shots either... There are some christmas party photos on the roll that show the same bands. Only about 2 or 3 photos dont have noticable bands on them.


    I did fix for about a minute longer than normal, but I wouldnt think it would have that effect, since I have done it many times in the past.
     
  5. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    16,728
    Likes Received:
    45
    Location:
    Where am I now?
    I see it in that one.
    It's not a matter of too light at the edges, more too dark in the middle - which is not the same thing at all.
    I would really need to see the negs to tell you for certain. There are lots of subtle indicators to give clues to the cause that don't come through when you print or scan.
    The age of the chemicals should not cause that - aging just means oxidation of the developing agents and some decomposition. This causes the developer to slow down or stop working eventually. But the effect is even across the roll. And this isn't.
    It could be poor or incorrect agitation. As I have already said, you can set up flow patterns in the dev that cause 'banding' - but that results in thicker and thinner density of the exposed silver. This comes out looking like ripples, and you get 'comet' marks off one side of the sprocket holes.
    From the evidence of the last image it looks like you are getting either overdevelopment (unlikely) down just the middle or it has fogged slightly.
    It could even be incomplete fixing. Fixing, unlike developing, tends to work from the edges in to the centre (but not always). So one possibility is that the film hasn't quite cleared. It's not always easy to spot on the neg*.
    The most likely cause is a combination.
    There are so many variables in processing that you can get a huge number of permutational effects which work together or mask each other to produce the odd result now and then.
    It could be a combination of out of date developer with poor agitation when the wind is blowing from the East. And this may never happen again.
    Photography can be like that - wierd.
    The only solution to the problem is to have total control when processing by doing it exactly the same way every time. And I mean exactly.
    Even minute variations in one aspect can have noticeable results. So if you do your processing the same every time and you get a problem you can sort it by a process of elimination and then make a small adjustment to cancel it out.
    I have, over my years as a teacher, seen every processing fault known to man. Most I've managed to identify (static electric discharge on the film was the best and most interesting one - it was a plastic bodied camera in a loading bay that was cold and too dry causing the problem) but you do get ones where you can only shrug and mumble 'photography'.
    It could be a fogging issue. A small light leak somewhere in the system - even in the film cassette or camera.
    I remember one very peculiar fault that turned out to be a small pinhole in the camera shutter blades.
    I think you will just have to write this one down to experience and 'photography'. It may well never happen again.


    *I seem to remember a similar problem I saw a long time ago. The best answer I could come up with was incomplete fixing followed by exposure to bright light. But it was just a guess.
     
  6. PlasticSpanner

    PlasticSpanner TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    Messages:
    4,125
    Likes Received:
    51
    Location:
    Cheshire, England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Could this be caused by a small light leak in the camera on the hinge side of the door? I recently replaced the foam seals in my Minolta and I can see how it might fog the film at the edges around the hinge.
     
  7. BadRotation

    BadRotation TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Burton, MI
    I thought about a light leak, but I dont think thats it. The back fits tightly and everything looks to be in good condition. (the camera only has 10-15 rolls through it)

    Now that you guys mention it, I think it may be the fix. The edges and edge markings look fine on the negs, but you can see it get darker in the middle.

    I said above that I fixed longer than usual, but now that I checked my notes, I actually fixed shorter than usual. (I normally fix for like 5-6 minutes in rapid fixer, this time I only fixed for 4 like the directions on the package said.) I havent developed a roll in about a month and a half, so I was kind of rusty.

    When I checked on the roll halfway through, I didn't really notice any milkyness at a quick glance, but there may have been a minute amount still on the film.


    Im just gonna chalk it up as a mistake somewhere, and see if it happens next time. :)
     
  8. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    16,728
    Likes Received:
    45
    Location:
    Where am I now?
    I would give it a try at re-fixing. You've got nothing to lose and it might just clear it.
    Try one of the worst strips first and see if it makes a difference. You never know.
    Don't forget the need to agitate. You should do it continuously for the first 30secs in fix and then the same as for dev. Although with fix it isn't critical and the more you agitate the faster it works.
     
  9. BadRotation

    BadRotation TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Burton, MI
    So you can re-fix it even after hypo-clear and photo-flo?

    I never knew this....


    I always fix by agitating the first 30 seconds, and then for 5 seconds every 30 seconds after that.
     
  10. Unimaxium

    Unimaxium TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    Messages:
    2,689
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Northeastern University, originally from Philly
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    You sure can. The hypo-clear and photo-flo don't do anything to the chemical structure of the film AFAIK. Pretty much their only purpose is to wash the chemcials off the film so they're nice and squeaky-clean when you're done. Photo-flo also helps to prevent water spots from forming on the negs as they dry. Fixer will still work just fine. You'll just want to put them through hypo clear and photo flo again when you're done fixing.
     
  11. BadRotation

    BadRotation TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Burton, MI

    Cool, I will give it a shot later, but at the same time I was thinking if it really was the fixer to blame...

    I would think that if there were silver halides left on the negative, the middle would be lighter when converted to a positive.

    As said, fixer tends to work from the sides inward, so I would think the middle would end up being lighter if the fixer was to blame.

    I am gonna give it another shot though.
     
  12. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    16,728
    Likes Received:
    45
    Location:
    Where am I now?
    That'll teach me to write stuff when I'm not properly awake.
    Lighter at the edges would indicate more density there and less in the middle. Quite right.
    It could still be a fix problem - but most likely not.
    Without seeing the negs I'll have to admit defeat on this one.
    Try refixing and let me know but I suspect you are just going to have to chalk this up as 'just one of those things'.
    If it happens again, then we worry.
     

Share This Page