spots, question

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by Don Harpold, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. Hello all
    I ran a test roll of bulk HP5 thru the Fed2 with a new Jupiter 8 lens and when they came out of the Pryocat HD I got a bunch of spots.

    The scratches are mine as I forgot to open the gate on the loader or I squeezed the sponge squeegee to tight.

    Any idea what could have caused the spots? I have another roll in a different camera to see if it might be the film, I have developed another roll of a different film in this Fed2 but with a different lens and no spots so it doesn't appear to be the camera and the Jupiter lens looks clear.

    Fed2 Jupiter 8 HP5 Pyrocat HD 2.jpg Fed2 Jupiter 8 HP5 Pyrocat HD.jpg
  2. Don I get those dot's on my UFX400 material if I do not have enough activator in my Obsidian Aqua. I call them "soda dots" as I use Arm & Hammer washing soda, which is Sodium Carbonate (anhydrous). The "normal" OA calls for 3.0 grams of carbonate, but I have upped this to 6.0 gram per 450ml of water. The "active" OA is added about 5 minutes before starting developing.
    My new supply of Pyrocat HD list Potassium Carbonate (anhydrous) for the B bottle, so like the OA, it functions as an activator of the Pyrocatechin in the A bottle. OA can be used with either the Sodium or Potassium salts, so if the HP-5 is the "dotter", try adding double the amount of "B" & see if the dots go away. Potassium Carbonate is readily available as a dry powder if you do not want to use A&H washing soda, and you could probably back engineer the gram weights needed to mix up a working solution if you start to run out of "B". My procedure is to add the 6g of A&H into the 450ml of water about 10 min before adding the OA chemistry. 3-5 minutes is plenty of time to activate the pyro. Having a large volume of "pre-mixed" solution is stupid & a clutter factor in my not so Martha S. lifestyle.
    When I first started using the OA, I try to "kill" the developing with up to 10 grams of the A&H soda, but nothing happened, so I "guess" you should get rid of the dots with the 2x of B in the next soup.
    Using DI water for the pre-soak, the active chemistry & the final soak with wetting agent also helps with the dots, so I think they have something to do with water chemistry.
    Why put something mechanical onto wet film? Ages ago I got rid of any squeegee or even running the film between my fingers. Get a small misting spray bottle at Wal-Mart, fill it with DI & spray down both sides of the film when you hang it up, after it's 3 minute photo-flo soak. That's it! I dry my film in the shower and even without "steaming" it up, have very minimal dust corruption on the negs. With your dry Calif. climate, the negs will probably dry within 4 hours. Here in the "normally" Pacific Wet West, 6 hrs works on a rain day.
    I know the dots are a real PITA, but learn to use your editing software ! Just like the days of brush & dye !!
    Keep on Truckin ! Bill
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
  3. I just did a quick check of my various neg's & find NO DOTTING on my UFX400 materials (120 or 35mm) with PyrocatHD usage. Weird for sure! . . . and now the system is trying to lock me out.!!!! Bill
  4. Are they fresh solutions. On another thread someone suggested that precipitates can form and not redissolve easily even with vigorous agitation. speaking in general since I do not know this particular solution but I took that advice to heart and it solved a lot of my problems. I had a Jupiter 8 lens for a long time and just started using it on my Zorki 6. What a nice lens.
  5. Hi Don. All my chemistry is "fresh" as I can keep it. Only long periods in the frig will cause the OA to come out of solution & drop to the bottom of the small 70ml bottles I use to store it. Warming & a good shaking put's the crystal's back into solution. My PyrocatHD is the glycol version, the "A" solution (active pyro & penidone solution) staying in solution for years (2015 bottle is still going good. . .I just got nervous about it's ""age"". . not a fine wine!).
    If someone can give us access to a CSI grade chem lab, we might be able to "solve" the dot's problem !
    Put that Jupiter-8 on the camera more often. It's the only one that I use now. Bill
  6. Hello Bill and Donald
    Thanks for the help, I noticed that when I put the A and B in to the water it looked a little different so I may of done something when I poured them into the distilled water
    I developed a roll of Film Ferrania with the same and they came out great.
    I have another roll of the HP5 that will get done next week and I will see what happens
  7. Looks like a water problem. Try deionized or distilled or filtered water.
  8. Julio this "dots" problem is maddening! I have developed rolls totally in DI water and still get the dots. I can not prove it, but a little grey cell is telling me that the Pyrocathecin is reacting with something in the film emulsion, and only in the Ultrafine Xtreme & the Kentmere products, which to me, are the same film products. The dots do not appear in any of these films if I use my 510-Pyro developer, or the PyrocatHD mixes.
    The first time the spots appeared (late 2015), I dumped my batch of Obsidian Aqua (OA) and mixed fresh with a "new" supply of the Pyrocathecin. This resolved the dots for a bit over 6 months & than I noticed them re-appearing. Dump & start anew, but this time I scaled my batch from 1 liter down to 100ml of developer. Since then, with the upping of soda to the 6g per 450ml batch, the dots only start to appear as the small bottle has more air in it. Oxidation of the Pyrocathecin ??? Like I said, a full scale CSI lab is needed now! Anyone with a chemistry knowledge of the Pyro developers want to chime in ? Bill
  9. Bill, I can understand your puzzliing! Water quality problems are quite random and they do produce the kind of spots that you are getting. I have got those very same spots from washing, FWIW. Developer mix might have nothing to do with the spots.
  10. I've had black specks on the positive images, caused by "pinholes" in the emulsion, the result of precipitation of ingredients in the developer or by impure water causing particles to adhere to the film, but not white specks. Surely, if occurring in the development, such speckling would be the result of very localized density increases caused by over-activity in the developer, pointing again to some sort of precipitation. I'd suspect poor washing procedures; even in my relatively good quality water it's essential to give the film a gentle wiping-down, both sides simultaneously between a sandwich of high-quality sponge cloth, following a good frothing-up on the spool with a few drops of wetting agent. And never use those ghastly squeegees...
  11. Do you stir the solution adequately after adding the Pyro chemicals? Next time you might want to first mix part A in water, stir thoroughly for a minute, add part B, stir thoroughly for a minute, wait for a couple of minutes, check the color and then pour the developer working solution into the tank. If you have already done this, please ignore my suggestion.
  12. Hello Raghu, and I hope you are not having DOT problems! The Obsidian Aqua developer is simple. Only one "stock" solution. Pyrocathecin and sodium bisulfite are mixed in water. This is the only Part A. About 10 min before developing, one (1) ml of Part A is put into 450ml of water that I put 6 gram of sodium carbonate (Arm & Hammer washing soda in my case, or a chemist supply of sodium carbonate (anhydrous).) into. This will desolve in 3-5 min. The mix is allow 5-10 min to activate.
    This is the maddening part of nailing these dots to a cause. Only my UFX or Kentmere products are dotting with the OA. Using my stock of PyrocatHD or the 510-Pyro does not incur the dots. With Don Harpold having dots with his Pyrocat developer, both the Pyrocathecin & penidone are now suspects.
    For ages I have been using the Ilford wash system with my Igloo coolers & do not believe any wash system is the culprit. Even using DI for EVERYTHING has produced dots. With my usage of 6g vrs 3g per roll the dots are not present until about 3 months when the OA starts to oxidize & turn a pale yellow.
    I will nail this sucker yet ! Bill
  13. Bill,

    I see you add Part A to water first and then dissolve carbonate in this solution. I remember reading in some other forum that a) dissolving carbonate in 2/3 volume of water first b) adding Part A, stirring the solution adequately so that Part A is properly mixed c) adding 1/3 volume of water, stirring the solution is the recommended sequence of steps for preparing OA working solution. The resulting solution is ready for use immediately as can be ascertained visually by the change in colour but I wait for a couple of minutes nevertheless. Not sure if this makes any difference because for PMK Pyro, the formulary instructions sheet says the order of mixing Part A and Part B doesn't matter. But then PMK uses a different alkali.

    Using a little more Sodium carbonate than prescribed by Jay (5gm/1000ml) is not going to change the Ph (around 11) significantly. So carbonate might not be the cause of the white dots.

    I sourced Catechol locally in India and it came as small brown colored flakes not powder. I dissolved 100gm in 400ml water at 30C. The resulting stock solution was dark chocolate in color. I use 2ml per 36 frames roll in 600ml water with 4gm Sodium Carbonate anhydrous. I arrived at this ratio after a bit of experimentation.

    I've had happy experience with Kentmere 400 ( EI:250) and OA. 13-14 minutes at 20C in Patterson tank. No white dots so far.
  14. Hello All and thank you for the comments and suggestions
    I do use distilled water for the prewash and the developer

    The problem on this one may have been that i dumped both parts in at the same time??
    After I did this the color was off, at least from what I had seen on my previous sessions.

    The roll I developed after this roll came out perfect.

    The squeegee I use is a sponge one.
    I will stop using it just in case.
  15. Don what "color" are you seeing with the PyrocatHD ? I do not notice any color change from clear until about 10-15 minutes, when it starts to turn a darker color. Bill
  16. Bill
    It went kind of an orange color if I remember correctly, it normally stays clear
    I have another roll in a camera that I will develop to see if it happens again with the HP5 I have

Share This Page