Weird mottled look on negatives - what went wrong?
Old 11-14-2018   #1
olliewtf
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Weird mottled look on negatives - what went wrong?

Hi all,

Check out this horror show.

This is Pan 400 in RO9. I did 2 rolls in that patterson tub and it has only affected one roll, along one edge running the length of it more or less. This has happened to me before a few months back. Would like to suss it before i develop any more rolls! (does seem to be in the negative fyi)

someone suggested air bubbles, but I was using 600ml solution (so not on the low side) and rasping the tank after agitation to prevent this. Also the effect extends across nearly half the negative - thats alot of bubbles!

My thoughts are that maybe i still had photo flo residue in the tank (though ti was bone dry) and maybe thats where the bubbling is coming from. How do I thorougly clean the tank and reels to prevent this if this is the case?

thanks!
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Old 11-14-2018   #2
Steve M.
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Could be a developer issue. I had some R09 that went bad after just a few months, and other people reported this on the old APUG site.

The thing is, it could be a lot of things. If it were me, in order to eliminate variables, I would go w/ fresh, new developer.

FWIW, I learned the hard way to always develop one roll of film at a time. Just in case. It's a little less convenient, but we're talking a small amount of time really, and when things do go wrong they don't get multiplied.

You can get the old photoflo out of the tank with hot soapy water and a toothbrush or dish scrubber. I had to give my plastic reels the toothbrush treatment now and then to prevent photoflo build up. It was causing my film to hang up when loading onto the reel.
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Old 11-14-2018   #3
Ted Striker
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Was the developer foamy when you opened the tank?
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Old 11-14-2018   #4
olliewtf
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It was a fresh batch of rodinal, just opened.

There was a little foam I think. But a very small amount. So surprising its covered half the neg.

Last time this happened I think it was the same, maybe more foamy - and the results were also more dramatic.

Is it fair to pin this on photoflo and me not cleaning the tank and reels properly after use? Thats my current theory anyhow! I shouldnt need to increase the amount of mixture should I, 600ml is more than adequate?


thanks all!
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Old 11-14-2018   #5
Filter Factor
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What is your agitation frequency and duration? I do agree that 600ml should be much more than minimally sufficient for just a single roll. What is the full capacity of your tank?

Cheers, Robert
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Old 11-14-2018   #6
olliewtf
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To clarify - 2 rolls. this affected only one, and Im assuming the one on top. 600ml for both rolls. Its a standard patterson tank and this should be adequate afaik.

agitation for first 30 secs then 10 secs every minute - this particular recipe was 1+25 for 5 minutes. I did have to re-fix the film as my fixer was clearly spent, so off it went back in the tank with fresh mix.
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Old 11-14-2018   #7
Ted Striker
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I get tremendous foam when I develop my film in Paterson tanks. Enough to spill out of the tank once I remove the lid, but have never seen anything like what you are seeing. I'm not sure what to make of it.
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Old 11-14-2018   #8
Larry H-L
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It could be foam, but like Ted, I've never seen it that bad.

Is it possible that the film was exposed to moisture / condensation before it was developed? If the film was cold, and then exposed to a warmer and humid environment, some of the emulsion could get sticky on the roll or in the camera, and leave weird markings.
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Old 11-14-2018   #9
znapper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Striker View Post
Was the developer foamy when you opened the tank?
I think he would have zero photos if he did that =)

The agitation-scheme and procedure is the important factor (as well as a fairly clean tank)

Do you shake the tank like a drink-shaker?
Do you use the stick and swirl very quickly?
Do you do the twist and rotate, method? (I use this and never had a single issue with bubbles or unevenness, 1 minute 45 second mark https://youtu.be/vKVKOnexIY0?t=105 )

How fast are you doing your agitation?

Stick should be avoided, because it keeps the film and developer at the same level at all times, developer can get separated, just like any drink, having more concentrate at the bottom and less at the top (and possibly froth)
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Old 11-14-2018   #10
olliewtf
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in response to znapper - option 3, the twist and rotate. I do it a bit quicker than that, but this time i actually did it a little softer than I usually would, as i noticed i was a bit over zealous! Ive developed at least 20 films using the same method so im surprised that my process would be that sensitive to agitation, considering im generally doing it exactly like how ive seen in a number of tutorials.

Again, I didnt notice loads of foam - though successful processes have zero foam. Still. with 600ml liquid the foam surely wouldnt rub against nearly half the negative, surely the liquid line would be higher than that - if you follow my convoluted thinking?
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Old 11-14-2018   #11
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I too have gotten bubbles from the previous residue of Photoflo, but that of course is why we rap or jar the tank to dissipate them. Hard to believe there could be that much foam, if any. I don't even get that much foam when I do my Photoflo rinse.

If the developer here wasn't Rodinal, I would call into question possibly inadequate mixing - some undissolved particles clinging to the film perhaps. But of course Rodinal is a liquid (and not a syrupy liquid like HC-110) so that is not an issue here.

Cheers, Robert
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Old 11-14-2018   #12
olliewtf
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Well this is a mystery.

To clarify, tank was rapped. after each agitation. I mean, it wasnt slammed down, more gently tapped. but that should do it surely!

all input greatly appreciated, keep it coming!
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Old 11-14-2018   #13
znapper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olliewtf View Post
in response to znapper - option 3, the twist and rotate. I do it a bit quicker than that, but this time i actually did it a little softer than I usually would, as i noticed i was a bit over zealous! Ive developed at least 20 films using the same method so im surprised that my process would be that sensitive to agitation, considering im generally doing it exactly like how ive seen in a number of tutorials.

Again, I didnt notice loads of foam - though successful processes have zero foam. Still. with 600ml liquid the foam surely wouldnt rub against nearly half the negative, surely the liquid line would be higher than that - if you follow my convoluted thinking?
Probably the film (if you do the same when you fix).
To influence the film that hard, you would have to see foam coming out when you poured out the dev. (in my opinion)
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Old 11-14-2018   #14
mbisc
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Looks to me like you maybe had too little developer in the tank
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Old 11-15-2018   #15
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600ml solution - i put 26ml of rodinal in, a little too much really. interesting theory but im not convinced it would affect just the one roll on the soup?

I think im just gonna have to go ahead and process the next batch, clean the tank first maybe also pre soak the film and pay more attention to everything.
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Old 11-15-2018   #16
newsgrunt
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bubbles. one reason why I never let photo flo touch my reels (not that this is the cause but it wouldn't help)
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Old 11-16-2018   #17
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Interesting. Only issue is I live in London and the water is hard as... erm... concrete? Nah but it really is a pain. Maybe I should do this in a separate container.
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Old 11-16-2018   #18
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I use the very cheap Sainsbury's spring water for developing as my water is hard beyond belief just west of London. It's from the Highlands and very soft.

Can't help with the problem I'm afraid, never had anything like it.
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Old 11-16-2018   #19
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I think the problem is in the film itself, perhaps hot storage or ??? Photoflo has nothing in it to cause a chemical contamination, and he says the tank was filled. My first reaction was stains from exhausted fixer, but then why only one film of two loaded?
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Old 11-16-2018   #20
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Hmm, it looks like what Trevor James Constable use to capture on IR film, and what he surmised was the ominous presence of enormous amoeba-like animals inhabiting the earth's atmosphere.

According to Trevor James Constable, these creatures could be the size of a coin or as enormous as half a mile across.
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Old 11-16-2018   #21
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As has been mentioned, this looks like not enough developer in the tank. Those are bubbles appearing on your film. You said it only happened on one roll, along the edge of the whole roll (right?); as you guessed, I think this roll as at the top with the affected side up. Check it by measuring out some water in exactly the same volume you used developer, and add it to your tank with reels in and the lid off, and take a look. If your reels aren't completely covered with at least a few millimeters of liquid to spare above the top, you don't have enough solution in the tank. Even if it looks like it will just cover, the agitation can form bubbles at the top of the solution, and voila.

I just did a search on recommendations for volume of solution to cover two rolls in a Paterson tank and found several references to problems with bubbles when using only the recommended 600ml of solution. Several folks suggested going with moderately to significantly more solution in the tank and that clearing up the problem. (Per threads on photo.net and APUG) Hope that helps.
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Old 11-16-2018   #22
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Photo flow not rinsed of reel or tank from previous use. Agitate for a full 30 sec on immersion with any developer.
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Old 11-20-2018   #23
olliewtf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewbarb View Post
As has been mentioned, this looks like not enough developer in the tank. Those are bubbles appearing on your film. You said it only happened on one roll, along the edge of the whole roll (right?); as you guessed, I think this roll as at the top with the affected side up. Check it by measuring out some water in exactly the same volume you used developer, and add it to your tank with reels in and the lid off, and take a look. If your reels aren't completely covered with at least a few millimeters of liquid to spare above the top, you don't have enough solution in the tank. Even if it looks like it will just cover, the agitation can form bubbles at the top of the solution, and voila.

I just did a search on recommendations for volume of solution to cover two rolls in a Paterson tank and found several references to problems with bubbles when using only the recommended 600ml of solution. Several folks suggested going with moderately to significantly more solution in the tank and that clearing up the problem. (Per threads on photo.net and APUG) Hope that helps.
Okay that sounds pretty darn helpful. I always assumed I was already over filling a touch with 600ml (290ml per reel is recommended after all) but maybe Ill increase. THAT SAID ive had many more successful attempts than unsuccessful with this volume, and for it to affect so much of the negative - it still doesnt ring true. Regardless I think Ill have to put it down to a fluke - until it happens again! But for sure im going to test how much volume i can get in the tank - it will help to visualise it.
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Old 11-20-2018   #24
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I have that sometimes, too, although not to the extent you observe it, and attribute it to foaming of the developer.

I think overfilling the tank as you do makes it worse because you don't leave space for the bubbles to burst and the air to rise to the top of the tank.
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Old 11-20-2018   #25
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I say foam.

Rodinal is a caustic and like soap does this thing with surface tension.

I use Diafine in a 2 liter tank and got the same looking bubbly effect after my developer got seasoned. Diafine gets reused and tends to thicken with use, this is when the problem started. The solution for me was to use an empty reel on the top of the tank.

Always happened on the top reel. In my case I only can develop 7 rolls of 135 in my 2 liter tank because I use one reel as a spacer on the top.

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Old 11-21-2018   #26
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It's obviously not a development problem since one film is correct, but not the other.

In my opinion the problem is aerial condensation due to temperature. If you wear your camera on a bag while the air is (very) cold, the sigle fact to take it suddenly in your (hot) hand create condensation.
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Old 11-21-2018   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olliewtf View Post
Okay that sounds pretty darn helpful. I always assumed I was already over filling a touch with 600ml (290ml per reel is recommended after all) but maybe Ill increase. THAT SAID ive had many more successful attempts than unsuccessful with this volume, and for it to affect so much of the negative - it still doesnt ring true. Regardless I think Ill have to put it down to a fluke - until it happens again! But for sure im going to test how much volume i can get in the tank - it will help to visualise it.
Also, you should check if the spirals can move on the central column when the tank is inverted (You can use a rubber band as stop). If they move upward during development, it will seem as if there is not enough liquid in the tank.
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Old 11-21-2018   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SyPat View Post
It's obviously not a development problem since one film is correct, but not the other.
Quite the contrary.

If you don't have enough solution in a multi reel tank to cover both reels, the upper one(s) are not completely immersed in solution and will show areas of underdevelopment just like the ones shown in the picture by the OP, while the lower one(s) will turn out perfectly fine.
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Old 11-21-2018   #29
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What are the recommendations per film for your tank?
Unless you fill a bit more than the recommended amount for your tank, it may be the case that you have too little liquid in there.

My tank, which can take 2 35mm reels or one 120 reel, says 500ml for two 35mm films, I then use 600ml.

I wrongly assumed you did the same.

Check the underside of your tank, it should have some metrics there, as a guide for the amount of liquid needed.
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