4 rolls of negatives came out blank!
Old 05-05-2016   #1
jon2512chua
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4 rolls of negatives came out blank!

Need help to figure out what went wrong. Note that this is not my first time developing film (or even HP5) at home.

Ok so I just developed 6 rolls of HP5, first 2 rolls (pushed to 800) came out fine. The next 4 rolls at 400 came out completely blank, and I don't mean just thin negatives, but completely NOTHING! The developer and fixer used are freshly mixed right before developing the first 2 rolls of HP5 pushed to 800.

Here are the steps I took, so you guys can help me identify what went wrong:

1. Pre-soak for half a minute to 1 minute.
2. Developed with Ilfosol 3 (1+9) at 20 degrees celsius for 6.5 minutes. Agitated for the first minute, then for the subsequent minutes, agitated for the first 25 seconds..
3. Water stop bath for 1 minute.
4. Fixed with Ilford Rapid Fixer (1+4) for 5 minutes.
5. Rinse for 10-15 minutes.

Obviously I'm super bummed about the results, but I really want to know where I went wrong. Any help/ideas are greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-05-2016   #2
znapper
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Sounds like you fixed the films before you developed them.

It happens (that's why my fixer is in a completely different type of bottle than my dev)
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Old 05-05-2016   #3
marcr1230
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That'd be my guess too


Quote:
Originally Posted by znapper View Post
Sounds like you fixed the films before you developed them.

It happens (that's why my fixer is in a completely different type of bottle than my dev)
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Old 05-05-2016   #4
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Any chance of you using the same mixing jug, and/or stirrer for developer and fixer solution without washing both or either properly?
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Old 05-05-2016   #5
jon2512chua
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Quote:
Originally Posted by znapper View Post
Sounds like you fixed the films before you developed them.

It happens (that's why my fixer is in a completely different type of bottle than my dev)
That's a possibility I'm currently entertaining, but I'm 99% sure the brown liquid went in first, then the clear one, which came out pink/purple-ish.

Though, I just realised that when I poured out my developer, it's abnormally bubbly. Like, soapy bubbly. Might this indicate something?

Quote:
Any chance of you using the same mixing jug, and/or stirrer for developer and fixer solution without washing both or either properly?
I do use the same mixing cyclinder and stirrer, but I did wash them. Would trace amount of fixer really ruin the entire developer solution? Also, if this is really the case then my first 2 rolls would have been ruined as well, which didn't happen.
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Old 05-05-2016   #6
ecowarrior
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Just want to throw this in.
I had exactly the same thing happen to me recently. Turned out the shutter had bust on my Leica.
Check that your camera IS still working properly.
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Old 05-05-2016   #7
mike rosenlof
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With something like this, the first question is edge markings on the film or no? If yes, you got no exposure, shutter, lenscap, something. If no, the developing was messed up. Fixer first, bad dev, or the like.
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Old 05-05-2016   #8
jon2512chua
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@ecowarrior Don't think that's the case, just checked the shutter.

Note that there are no film branding or numbers on the edges, so it's definitely a development problem, or at least that's what the internet is telling me.
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Old 05-05-2016   #9
mfogiel
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There are only 2 things that could have happened, and you can exclude one or the other by looking if the fims are COMPLETELY blank, or can you see the film markings and frame numbers on them.
1) If you cannot see anything, even on the edges, then you have NOT developed the film before fixing.
2)If you CAN see ILFORD HP5, the frame numbers, etc, but NO images, then you have not exposed the film.
In the case nr 2 there are typically 2 main causes: you had the lens cap on, or your shutter is bust.

IC that the film was completely clear - so you did not develop.
Do yourself a favour - buy 3 jugs, mark one with red tape ( developer) the second with blue tape (fixer) the third with white tape (final rinse). This way you will keep everything separate and develop a routine. BTW, I use fresh fixer every time, so there is no need for a stop bath.
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Old 05-05-2016   #10
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I once failed to load the film correctly and it didn't advance. That is when I learned about back winding the take up reel so I could see it advancing.
I was really shocked when I got a blank strip of film back from the lab.
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Old 05-05-2016   #11
tmkr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jon2512chua View Post
That's a possibility I'm currently entertaining, but I'm 99% sure the brown liquid went in first, then the clear one, which came out pink/purple-ish.

Though, I just realised that when I poured out my developer, it's abnormally bubbly. Like, soapy bubbly. Might this indicate something?


I do use the same mixing cyclinder and stirrer, but I did wash them. Would trace amount of fixer really ruin the entire developer solution? Also, if this is really the case then my first 2 rolls would have been ruined as well, which didn't happen.
IIRC ilfosol 3 is a clear liquid, so perhaps it was not what went in first? Or does it turn into a brownish liquid over time?
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Old 05-05-2016   #12
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I agree with the general consensus, you fixed then developed.

How you didn't figure this out the first time I'm not sure. Fixer has a VERY distinct smell... Especially when it comes out of the tank after fixing.
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Old 05-05-2016   #13
JP Owens
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Don't feel bad, most folks put the fix in first eventually. Only takes once to make you really paranoid about making sure bottles are well labeled.
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Old 05-05-2016   #14
znapper
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I keep my fixer in a coke-bottle, makes it stand out.
Then again, I always mix my dev.

I almost did the same mistake with color-film once. I actually stabilized the film as a first step. Luckily that didn't ruin the develop process (although I was just about to pour blix in when I discovered the mistake, 3 seconds from disaster indeed).

That is the problem with the same looking bottles, some day you are going to use the wrong bottle no matter how it is labeled. Different looking bottles are harder to get wrong. (but even then it sometimes happens, as one simply forgets to develop the film, this is often related to the amount of beer drunken )
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Old 05-05-2016   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jon2512chua View Post
That's a possibility I'm currently entertaining, but I'm 99% sure the brown liquid went in first....BIG Snip.
If yer developer is brown, it's dead.
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Old 05-05-2016   #16
farlymac
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I got a roll of negs back from the lab once that were blank, and green. They had no idea what went wrong, and the camera was functioning properly. I didn't even have a lens cap for it, so that wasn't an issue.

Could be you didn't get the tank cleaned out good before putting the second batch of film in, but that's a long shot since I would assume you also rinsed the first rolls in the tank.

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Old 05-05-2016   #17
Bill Clark
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I notice the dilution to get working solution developer is 1 plus 9. Could of the dilution have been made with fixer instead of water?

Just a thought.
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Old 05-05-2016   #18
slm
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I'm guessing exhausted developer - I know Xtol can be fine one day, and do nothing the next, with no apparent change in colour (its clear). Perhaps Ilfosol does the same ?
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Old 05-05-2016   #19
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If your film has no marks on it, there was a development problem. Brown developer means bad news... I used Ilfosol 3 for a while, and it has a relatively short shelf life.

Let's hope you didn't have some very important shots in those rolls.

The last time I developed, I poured water in the tank assuming it was the developer. There I was, agitating and counting... and then I realized my mistake. Fortunately I noticed it on time.
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Old 05-05-2016   #20
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I have just developed a roll with Fomadon r09 and the negatives turned very very thin. It was due to exhausted developer...for sure. So yours might be completely exhausted?
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Old 05-05-2016   #21
jon2512chua
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tmkr and Zathros partially got it right, seems like Ilfosol 3 is supposed to be clear to light yellow, my unmixed developer started off brown, so it was pretty oxidised by then. This explains my fairly recent issue where my negatives are always thinner than expected, even after overexposing them by 1-2 stops every time. Have always thought that there's something wrong with my 2 cameras' lightmeter, handheld lightmeter, and my more recent readings of sunny 16.

But the real culprit is that Ilfosol 3 is a one shot developer, I used the same mix for all 6 rolls. Should have read the manual for it instead of assuming that it works like some others.
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Old 05-05-2016   #22
farlymac
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Solved! Yeah, the old one shot stuff can get you every time.

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Old 05-05-2016   #23
Ronald M
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Developer color should have been a clue to the most casual observer.

Some developers do not change color so you can not count on it. Extol & the similar Ilford product, DD-X
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Old 05-05-2016   #24
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Nothing really to add, but when this happens to me for any reason (bad loading, lens cap on, wrong dev) I know that they were all Pulitzer Prize winning photos.

So, congratulations on taking 4 rolls of Pulitzer winners! I've never had that many at once!
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Old 05-05-2016   #25
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Old 05-06-2016   #26
John Bragg
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Ilfosol S had a reputation for sudden death like Xtol and the Ilfosol 3 is supposed to be better in this respect, but again, as you realise by now, it should only ever be used one shot. Ilfotec HC has a much longer shelf life and may be a better bet for you. Kodak HC-110 is legendary for keeping well and it is all I use these days. A one litre bottle can last literally years !
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Old 05-06-2016   #27
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Film development is a reduction / oxidation process , REDOX. The development agent reduces silver halide on the film to metallic silver and the development agent is oxidized as part of the process. In this case the redox reaction has nothing to do with air.

Oxidation of your developer occurs both from the development process and exposure to air. One shot and very dilute developers oxidize quickly and deplete quickly. One shot means one shot not six shots.

If you want a developer you can reuse over and over use full strength D76, UFG, Acufine or similar and REPLENISH as per the instructions using the appropriate replenisher. It's critical you use full strength not dilute developer and keep precise track of square inches of fill processed and replenish exactly as the instructions say. Replenishment works very well and many of us old timers like developing in a seasoned solution. I refer to seasoned because bromide and other byproducts build up in the replenished solution. Many of us old timers like what these byproducts do to the final result.

If you replenish properly you can use the same volume of replenisher over time to extend the life of your developer.

If you see brown developer other than concentrated Rodinal, discard it because it's oxidized and no good. Many developers when fresh have a straw or yellow color which is ok but brown is bad.
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Old 05-06-2016   #28
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clip test that are done in daylight only confirm developer activity. I would;t trust that, as some people suggest elsewhere, to determine times. a proper clip test (as professional labs would do) involves sacrificing a few frames

but yeah, reiterate the fix first theory. unless the developer was absolutel toast, you would still have very faint edge marks.
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Old 05-08-2016   #29
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I just developed a roll using brown Ilfosol-3, stupid me.
The entire film is 100% blank, not even a hint of development.

I'm 100% certain the Ilfosol 3 was brown and that I used dev, stop, fix in that order.
Sorry for your (and my) loss OP.

Now we both have a new rule, 'if it's brown put it down'.

I thought I'd 'treat' that roll to the last of the Ilfosol 3.
Not much of a treat as it (didn't) turn out.
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