Film edges came out lighter

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by jim_peterson|2, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. I shot a roll of Acros 100 with the GF670 at the Garden of the Gods today and in many of the shots the edges of the film are noticeably brighter. At first I wondered if forgetting to take my lens hood was the cause but the pattern is the same for portrait oriented shots so I ruled that out. I'm suspecting something happened in the development process. I used stock D-76 with a fairly standard agitation of 1 minute continuous and then 10 seconds every minute after that.
    You can see the full gallery here:
  2. 10% more developer in the tank than recommended is my secret to avoiding this.
  3. Could be an insufficient amount of developer in the tank, as Larry suggested. The light bands along each long side causes me to wonder whether it's uneven agitation. Were you using a plastic tank/reel system? The higher flanges/spiral guides on plastic reels can sometimes require a modified agitation method.
    Occasionally I've seen lighter bands along the edges with my plastic reels, but not usually as far into the exposed frames as your negatives show. It's usually confined to around 1/4" or so into the frames. I resolved that problem by combining inversion and twisting agitation, which seems to help get the developer in between the film emulsion side and reel flanges.
  4. Thanks for the responses.
    I was using a stainless steel tank and reel, and I filled it with developer until it was overflowing...
    Agitation was the same as always and I don't think I've seen this problem before so I'm rather puzzled.
  5. Interesting... you might have encountered one of those unusual situations where filling the stainless tank completely, leaving no airspace, may have hindered even development. I've heard of this problem before but have never personally experienced it. I usually fill my stainless tanks completely, in part to allow for slight leakage during inversions. Perhaps that slight bit of leakage is enough to allow the liquid to move around more effectively. So far, so good.
  6. Lex has taken the words out of my mouth. The amount of air in an inversion tank has a huge effect on the degree of effective agitation. Imagine a completely full tank: inversion will hardly move the liquid. The other extreme (not recommended by me): a two reel tank with one film on one reel and enough developer to just cover the reel: an inversion moves the liquid a lot and there is significant turbulence. I prefer to cover the film but leave enough air to enable gentle inversion to move around and mix up the liquid a fair bit.
  7. It's due to greater turbulence of the developer around the edges of the film causing increased development. I've experienced this in the past but with plastic reels. My agitation regime is: 6 inversions in the first 30 seconds then one inversion every 30 seconds after that. I give the tank a swift half-turn as it stands on the bench in order to impart some circular motion to the developer before each inversion. Also, I use 600ml of developer so that the reel is well covered and I pre-soak, but that latter may or may not be a factor. Using this agitation regime I get no problems with increased density at the edges of the film.
  8. Stainless steel tank for 120 film only needs 15 ounces of liquid. Although I'll sometimes use 16 ounces or 500 milliliters (16.9 ounces), and there's still enough air to get proper agitation. But by the time I get to the fixer, when there's still a little residual of developer and stop, I'll find I need to pour a little back out to get proper agitation "sound" and "feel." You should hear the developer swirling.
  9. OK. I guess my next step will be to measure out exactly how much fluid is needed in this tank to just cover the reel and then use only that much next time...
    It still seems odd though since there is room in the tank for the reel to move up and down at least a half inch or more so one would think the circulation would be fine. But I guess the best thing to do is experiment.
  10. As the film in the tank is horizontal, one would not expect the two edges to show the same effect if there isn't enough developer. I'm inclined to agree with Chris Waller.
  11. I always fill my tank(s), 2 - 35mm reel/1 -120 reel or Jobo 2500 completely full leaving no air space when doing inversion processing. I invert by snapping from upright to inverted in 1/4 second or less, pause 1/2 second, to upright in 1/4 second or less. You may have used too mild inversion technique for a full tank with no air space.
    If I have edges developed more than the central portion of the negative I increase the intensity of the inversion and that corrects it.
  12. Jim, I haven't shot Acros in roll format in years, but recently I shot some sheets, and my film came out very similar to yours. The FP4+ I developed earlier that day, and then the next day, had no problems.
    Your mileage may vary (roll film and all), but I found that the solution to my problem was to soak the Acros for a really long time, and to use two water baths. Normally I soak for about two minutes, with a little agitation. The Acros I soaked for 5 minutes, drained, and then soaked for another 2 minutes with fresh water. That evened the development right out.
    I stopped using Acros because it was too contrasty and 'polished' looking for my studio work, but it is a really sharp, clean film, and is worth trying a few more times until you can nail it. Good luck!
  13. Zack,
    In the past I've always developed Acros in Fuji SPD and it comes out really nice. I've never had any problems like this and SPD is clearly optimized for Fuji films because even though dev. times for SPD and D-76 are similar for most films, for Acros and Presto 400 they only require 4.25min but with D-76 its over 7 minutes.
    So with SPD the contrast is not too hard and Acros comes out looking just great. I'm wondering if D-76 is doesn't work as well with this film.
  14. Jim, I've never used SPD. In recent years I've only been using Rodinal, and that was the developer that required extra soaking. Like D-76, it also required longer developing time for Acros than my other films. Or any T-grain film, for that matter.
    But if I go back several years, I do recall doing some 35mm Acros with HC110, which is essentially D-76 in concentrate form. I got extremely contrasty negatives, although I did get good edge-to-edge developing. I didn't mention this earlier, as it was too long ago for me to remember specifics, and I'm really just guessing.
    Acros is a fairly high-contrast film. Since D-76 at a 1:1 dilution is also fairly high contrast, it's possible that the edge effects are just exacerbated due to higher activity from this developer. If that is the case, then using a weaker dilution and soaking for a regular time should yield similar results to using the same dilution, and soaking for a really long time.
    But this is part of why I usually shoot FP4+ ... lower contrast films are just so much more forgiving :)
  15. How long did you develop for? I had problems with Acros in the latest Ilfosol because the time was significantly shorter than the old version. I switched to DD-X and it's fine.
  16. Thanks for all the comments. I shot and developed another roll of film today but unfortunately all of my Acros 100 film was gone so I went with HP5+. But I did change my agitation significantly. Reading the Kodak literature it describes an agitation that is quite a bit more vigorous than what is recommended for SPD. In the case of SPD it calls for relatively slow agitation, with complete inversion and back taking 2-3 seconds; for one continuous minute and then 10 seconds every following minute. Kodak calls for agitation at a rate of one complete inversion (over and back) per second. The literature says to start with 5-7 of these and then 2-5 again every 30 seconds. I did a full 5 inversions every 30 seconds and didn't see much evidence of the lighter edges except perhaps in the one shot that was vertical orientation. So my initial conclusion is that D-76 simply requires a bit more vigorous agitation than SPD.
    I was pleased with the results but the big disappointment was that my GF670 seems to have a shutter problem. In the past I have sometimes gotten one frame in a roll (usually somewhere in the middle) that was completely blank. It seems the shutter simply failed to open. In today's roll I got four out of ten frames that were blank! grrr... I'll be contacting my camera shop soon.
    Anyway, the results from today are in this gallery.

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