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I have Ilford Fiber Based Multigrade IV (same box) prints made from the same negative, developed to completion in the same chemistry (Sprint). They were made on different days. One of the prints looks neutral gray, while the other seems a touch warm.
The second day, I was rushed. Could this be due to insufficient washing, or insufficient fixing, or both? If so, can I repair them by fixing and rewashing the prints? They have been kept in the dark for the few days since making them.
Thanks for any clues.
That sounds like insufficient fixing.
Problemn with fiber is that it takes ages (compared to RC) for the chems to soak through.
Refixing will not help, as this is a silver reaction which cannot be reversed (I think, but I have not been in a darkroom for months).
Did you mix up a fresh batch of developer for the tray on day two? Or did you use the same tray of developer. Old used developer can give you a brown tone.
Refixing won't hurt anything, but then you're back to square one as far as washing goes. A wash aid such as Kodak Hypo Clearing Agent cuts your wash time down to just a few minutes.
Al's suggestion seems likeliest to me. Certainly, under-development (including weak/partially exhausted developer) warms up the image. Are you sure it was to completion? Or were you working on time only? If so, how long?
I wouldn't bother if the second print is slightly warmer. It's normal, developer could be more exhausted or anything else that made slightly finer grain with the second print. If it is not slight (black and gray) tone difference but highlights (whites) are yellowish, then it looks like insufficient fixing. Insufficient washing you will see in a few months as spots all over the picture (the lesser washing the faster you will see the spots)
The developer was not the same batch - this is a communal lab used by college classes, and I do not know how much it had been used previously. The blacks go very dark black, but the lower and middle grays are slightly warm. I would not have seen it except I had previously printed this print.
I typically develop until the edges look as dark as possible (I use a negative carrier that is filed out so a bit of the clear edge shows.) Then I stop for a few seconds and fix for at least 5 minutes. As I said I was rushed, so I was exposing and developing a second print during the fix step - it probably went over. Then I HCA for a minute or two, and wash in a drum type washer. In this case for about 17 minutes. I then squeegee and put the prints in a blotter book.
These are the steps I always do, so changes in the developer sound most reasonable. The color is not objectionable, plus it is in an outdoor scene, so I suppose I could even justify it! :eek: I don't want to re-fix and re-wash!
I'd agree the developer was older, or simply had a lot more prints run through it. Perfect repetition can be very difficult in a gang darkroom unless you mix the chemistry each time.
I'd agree the developer was older, or simply had a lot more prints run through it. Perfect repetition can be very difficult in a gang darkroom unless you mix the chemistry each time.Thanks Robert,
I believe that is the case then. Often I am allowed access to this lab on weekends, when I mix my own chemistry, but I used a set that had been standing ... I don't know how long, or how much it had been used. The fixer tested ok, but may have been re-made recently, and the stop was still yellow (Sprint stop has an indicator: yellow is good, dark is spent.) I did not compare notes with anyone else using the darkroom at the time, but then they were all printing on RC paper, which may be less susceptible to 'browning'.
Thanks to everyone for your analysis. I do believe that am just going to go with these prints as they are. The warmth is in this print, where it looks good to my eye:
(It's a funky print, I know. It's part of this series (http://radio.weblogs.com/0101365/2008/10/09.html#a1578) for anyone who cares.)
Thank you all for your help and advice!
Assuming that the developer and stop bath trays are the same size & brand you can use the stop tray as a "floating lid" on the developer until the next time it's used. Just float it in the developer. This will greatly cut down on oxidation since probably 95% of the surface will be covered. The developer should be fine overnight like that. Next, "replenish" the developer in the tray with stock Dektol to replace the amount carried off by the prints you've made already. Both floating lids and replenishment were really common practices in the 1 and 3.5 gallon tanks used for developing sheet film. Good enough for film, good enough for paper.
Thanks Al. If it was my own darkroom, I could do that. It's in a college, and gets used by about 150 students, so the developer rarely sits overnight, but when it does they have custom made lids for the trays that float on the surface. But the developer gets exhausted daily (it gets diluted to a 2L tray at a time), and so is rarely saved overnight. All of the tanks for film chemistry have floating lids on them, but most of the Sprint chemistry is used one shot (except the fixer.)
I'll suggest floating a tray on top of the developer on the rare occasion that it gets saved.
Chris- I printed with Sprint Quicksilver yesterday, out of my last box of Forte Polywarmtone- a similar emulsion to the Multigrade warm. I made about 40 prints over 3 hours, the first one was noticeably cooler than the last one when placed side by side. Not a big difference, but there to see. This color shift seems more apparent with the warmtone papers, as I use this developer with Ilford MGIV regularly and see no difference in print color. Granted this box of paper is getting old, which may make it more likely to shift.
You take me back to the good old days, Al.
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