Nothing on negs

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by glo, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. glo


    OK. I just pulled negs from the fixer and there is absolutely nothing on the
    negs...not even the frame numbers. Problem with the developer? I used 1:31
    ilfotec HC for 4.5 minutes like ilford suggested on acros 100. I've been
    working in the darkroom for years but have never seen this. I also own a pro
    studio for portraiture/weddings and such. I'm guessing that the developer must
    have been toast. Not a great loss as I was shooting digital too, just wanted
    to shoot some 1:1 macro with film. Thanks.
  2. You did one of the following:

    1. Got the order of your chemistry wrong. Don't laugh, **it happens. Maybe you used the fixer first, developer last.

    2. The developer is shot. How old is this stuff?

    3. You forgot to add the developer concentrate to the water. Again don't laugh. Stuff happens.
  3. Don't know what happened, but here are some tricks I use. I have my "ready to pour" chemistry in three glass beakers, often in a water bath. The beakers are labeled D, S, & F with a permanent marker. If I have any doubt about developer, I dip in a short piece of film from the bulk loader and see if it darkens at the expected rate. I pour my chemistry out of the tank and back to the beakers, so I still have it after the crime has been commited. If there was a problem, I can do another dip test. I check the temperature both before pouring into the tank, and after coming out. You learn some interesting things by doing that. I use my nose and fingers when necessary- developer will be slippery (wash hands), fixer will not be, and will usually have a distinctive odor that's different when it's heavily used and ready to dump.
  4. Was the film loaded properly in the camera?
  5. Improper loading would still leave frame numbers and such. This is definitely a non-development issue.
  6. I am going to second the reversed fixer / developer route. Happened to me, and since I use replenishment, I had to chuck the storage bottles too, ugh.
  7. glo


    developer was inlfotec HC concentrate and was not new as I haven't used it in about 6 months. Previous never presented a problem and this stuff seems to have great shelf life.

    Order: water-developer-mix 31:1
    add to film canister
    stop bath after 4.5 mins

    Order was right...for sure no doubt there. I have color coded clear containers and I was sure to give the works a smell before using to ensure all was well. I'm assuming that it was a developer issue but I would except something on there even if it was faint. Thanks for the responses!
  8. Gloria, do you store your Ilfotec HC undiluted? This is important to keep the long shelf life. Undiluted HC (or Kodak HC-110, BTW) is a syrup.
    What you could do to test if the developer is still working:
    • mix a small amount of HC+Water 1+31
    • in white light, put a small peace of film in the dilution
    • it should become black in a few minutes
  9. Peace is a good thing but it should of course have been "piece" what I meant here. Sorry.
  10. Bad developer would still show something.

    I'm thinking no developer touched the film at all.

    I once carefully developed a tank full of 120 rolls in selenium toner, which was stored in a bottle that looked ust like the Xtol bottle.

    I've since color coded everything and bought different shaped bottles.
  11. Since there are no frame numbers, the films has not been developed for any one of the reasons already mentioned. The slightest amount of development will bring out the frame numbers.
  12. <<< I\'ve been working in the darkroom for years but have never seen this. I also own a pro studio for portraiture/weddings and such>>>

    Not something I\'d say out loud.
  13. I have had the exact problem twice. The first time I threw out all my chemistry and the proble was fixed. The second time I traced the problem to the Ilfosol S developer. In both incidences the developer worked fine at first and later started eating my negs. My guess is that the developer got too warm or shelf life was exhausted. Since this problem I've switched to powdered developer. (Much longer shelf life)

    Ilford had no response when I emailed them with this problem. Someone on this forum pointed out that one of the cheif ingredients quickly degrades when stored improperly.
  14. Gloria, the only useful response was from Conrad Hoffman. You need to heed his advice. I have worked most of my professional life in a darkroom environment, there are no real accidents just people who never learn. The best thing to do is to understand your limitations and develop procedures that take care of your short falls. This is about knowing yourself, use techniques that are strategies that ensure no failures but allow for the serendipitous discoveries. Yes, it sounds harsh but people who don�t have darkroom failures are those who find solutions to problems before they happen. By the way there are a lot of good things written into Conrad/s words, things set between the lines. I think if you really asked him you would find he could write it all out like a recipe for a fine dish that would deliver a fine meal, yet there would be differences from meal to meal. In other words, don�t turn your darkroom fun into a drudgery, have fun!

Share This Page