Disaster - Completely clear negative

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by victor_hooi, Oct 13, 2006.

  1. heya,

    I shot two rolls of HP5 Plus (ISO 400) recently, using a Minolta 800si (thus,

    I then developed using Ilfosol (6:30 min/sec, 21.5 C), stop bath for 5 mins,
    then Agfa Rapid fixer for around 5 minutes.

    However, when I extracted the film...urgh...both rolls were basically entirely
    clear. I mean, there was a slight purplish tint, I guess, but yeah, otherwise
    perfectly clear, no marks whatsoever.

    I mean, I suppose they're both completely unsalvegeable..*sigh*...but I'd still
    like to know what could cause this? Is there a chance that it was a chemical
    stuff-up that could do that? Somebody mentioned it could be the camera, that it
    didn't expose them - but I checked the shutter/mirror, and it seems to be
    mechanically OK - the film advanced was also suggested, but the film seemed to
    advanced/rewind fine, no errors on the LCD.

    Or could it be something wrong with the film? Because I have 4 more rolls of
    the HP5 that I bought all together with the 2, and yeah..I'd hate to lose
    more...Argh...that's 72 bloody shots gone...

  2. Clear but with frame markers would indicate a camera/shutter problem.

    Clear but with no frame markers would indicate a developer failure.

    Just my .02,

  3. High Victor,

    is the beginning of the film black? Has the film being transported to his end? Some people trying to get from a 135-36 frame film, 40 frames, and wondering themselves, that the film has not being properly transported in the camera. *X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#* happens!

  4. I had this problem the first time I tried to develop film. After giving it some thought, I realized my mistake. The film was not being advanced because it wasn't properly placed on the take-up reel.

    This is only a thought, and it could be some other issue as the previous poster suggested.

  5. The film wasn't developed. Either your developer is dead, or you switched the fixer and the developer (fixed the film before developing). If it were a camera problem, you would still have the frame numbers and other edge markings on the film.

    Another possibility is that you got a very, very bad batch of film, but that's highly unlikely.
  6. Ilfosol and Xtol and similar developers will deteriorate without any visable signs. At least D76 will turn brownish.

    Keep developers in small bottles. This means decanting the stock to small one or two oz glass bottles when you first open it. Or add marbles to the stock container to keep the liquid levelup and air out .

    Never dilute until just before use.

    All developers have a shelf life even unopened and faster once you open it. Ilford refuses to put a consumer readable exp date on anything. If you inquire they will decipher the code for you. This is BS and does no good at point of purchase and I refuse to buy premixed liquids for this reason. Complain to Ilford.

    I just mix D76 from bulk chemicals and store in small one time use glass bottles. 1/4 the cost and have not had a problem since. Results are same as prepackaged powders.
  7. Usually I would say the fix and developer got switched, but Ilfosol has a notoriously short shelf life. If you shoot and develop just every once in a while, maybe get a different developer. Rodinal lasts about forever; either Xtol or D-76 in sealed bottles will last 6 months guaranteed; PMK also works good, lasts long time, and gives good stain with HP5.
  8. The bad news: your developer did not work.

    The good news: your fixer worked great!
  9. More bad news. You used some the fixer capacity.
  10. Sorry to here that, As mentioned above completly clear film means no development. Clear film with rebate marks on the top and bottom mean camera problem. One other point why 5 min in a stop bath? 15-30 seconds is more than enough.

    I quit using X-tol Kodaks cousin of ilfosol for same reasons stated above it fails without warning and sometimes didnt work straight out of the bag.
  11. Ilfosol has a bad track record for "sudden death" after opening the bottle. Ilfotec DD-X is far better behaved, and it's a wonderful developer.

    If you're really a low-volume B&W processor, HC-110 (or Ilfotec HC) is the way to go, mix from syrup using a medicine dosing syringe to measure. It has incredible shelf life as syrup.
  12. "I then developed using Ilfosol (6:30 min/sec, 21.5 C), stop bath for 5 mins, then Agfa Rapid fixer for around 5 minutes."

    I think you "developed" using Agfa Rapid fixer, then "fixed" with Ilfosol. I'm always scared of this, because they say there are two kinds of photographers, one who has done this screw up, and the other that WILL do it. I'm still the latter one:)

    Sorry for your films, hope it wasn't something very important.
  13. Been there.

    Done that.


    Second time round found developer (Ilfosol-s) to be culprit.

    Switched to D76. never had problem since.
  14. Yes, it is bad developer. That is why I stopped using Ilfosol some time ago too.
  15. heya,

    Thanks to everyone for their answers. The film is completely blank, so going on what people have said, I guess that means it's not the camera at fault, but either the developer is bad, or the developer/fixer got switched? I'm pretty certain I didn't mix them, I added in the developer first, then the fixer - unless some twit put fixer in the bottle of Ilfosol.

    Just a question - the film frame numbers, the funny little boxes/arrows, and the text that normally says what the film is, why does that not appear on the film? I thought that sort of thing was already printed on the film?

    I mixed up the Ilfosol-S from the bottle at 1:9 on the day, but could the concentrate itself be bad?

    And yeah...urgh..it does suck, the photos were actually kinda ones I can't get again. For those in Sydney, Australia, there was a protest rally by the Aboriginals in Redfern a month or so ago, and I spent a day talking with people in the rally and shooting film. (Redfern is basically a fairly low socio-economic area, with a predominantly Aboriginal population).

    Once again, thanks to everyone for the advice. I'm currently shooting another roll of HP5 from the same batch, I'll take it to a lab to get it developed ($8 or so), which should rule out the film.

    For my next roll I develop myself, I think I'll grab a bottle of Ilford HC - is it good stuff?


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