Negative Negatives!

Light, film, exposure..
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Negative Negatives!

Postby gerronemo » 12 Jan 2020, 15:44

Being verrry new to 4x5 photography, and to this site, I'm hoipng for some guidance from those who've been doing it for much longer than I!
Have been through mannny negatives now, without much success, as can be seen from the attached images.
Camera Intrepid 4 with Schneider Angulon 90mm f5.6 lens.
Most of the negs so far have come out - messy like these.
Can anyone out there shed some
Thanks in anticipation!

Film Fomapan 100.
Ilford chemicals.
Development in SP445 Tank
Temps approx 20-22c.
Copy (2) of img042.jpg

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Re: Negative Negatives!

Postby Lachlan717 » 12 Jan 2020, 17:06

First one has a light leak (possibly when you’ve removed/replaced the dark slide).

The others have mottling; possibly from too little developer, too slow in the application of the developer (pour quicker!), over agitation, under agitation, stale fixer and/or developer being too strong.

If you’re happy with all of the above not being the case, try pre-soaking. This will “spread” the initial developer contact (i.e. the most “potent” part of the development cycle) more evenly across the emulsion.

Some people don’t subscribe to ore-soaking; however, I find it necessary as I shoot very long pieces of film, and end up with uneven development if I don’t do it.

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Re: Negative Negatives!

Postby gerronemo » 13 Jan 2020, 07:06

Mannny thanks for you prompt reply!
I will try your suggestion of 'presoak'...andf see how that goes!
Will also keep an eye on all the other aspects you mentioned, just to be sure!
Will let you know how I go!
Thanks again!

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Re: Negative Negatives!

Postby Oscar » 13 Jan 2020, 17:06

Hi Gerry,

Lachlan's suggestions are very good.

You mentioned you're using the SP445; I've never used that tank myself (I'm using a Jobo), but I see there's some hints and tips on the SP445 at including agitation.

As Lachlan has suggested, it could be an agitation issue, so maybe that video might be useful.


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Re: Negative Negatives!

Postby gerronemo » 14 Jan 2020, 08:06

Thanks Oscar!
Have looked at that manny times, and indeed; 'they' (Tim@Stearman)have been advising and following my 'progress' in trying to address these issues!
Will look again at my 'agitation' pracatice...and see NEXT TIME - how the results go!
Just need the weather to cool down here(Port Macquarie), for me to want to 'go out there' takin' pix!


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Re: Negative Negatives!

Postby gerronemo » 22 Jan 2020, 09:52

My further adventures in 4x5!
It's been a while since I could get out, because of 'the heat' - n take some more pix.
(Pix attached)
Here is the latest batch of 4(This is the 8th batch of 4!) - without success!
*The only change I made this time was to - "pre-wash" the per suggested.
As you can see, it is still 'a mess'!
Any suggestions most welcome!!

Conditions: light, overcast. (F22-F32...1-2 secs)
Tank is SP445(Stearman Press)
Film: Fomapan 100.
Ilford chemicals.
temp: 21c+
5minute development, agitating every 30 secs.(ilfosol3)
Stop bath: 60 sec
Fix: 4mins
Wash: 5 mins rinse, 5m 'washaid', 5m rinse

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Re: Negative Negatives!

Postby Maris » 22 Jan 2020, 11:34

It would be good to see the full area of the actual negatives including the rebate. Scanning, cropping, and flipping to positive can introduce defects or hide them. Assorted comments:

Exposure maybe a bit heavy. I would expose Fomapan 100 at 1/8 sec at f16 on a light overcast day.
Film may be fogged (age, heat, ?) in the box. Develop and fix an unexposed sheet. It will come out even all over if the film is good.
There may be a light leak in camera or film holder.
5 minute development (which dilution?) seems inadequate. Ilfosol3 loses activity quickly once the bottle is opened, at least in my experience.
I would never use stop bath for film, just a couple of water rinses between developer and fixer.
Fixing time seems short. 4 minutes is marginally ok for fresh Ilford fixer mixed 1+4 and well agitated 10 seconds every 30 seconds but old/tired/1+9 fix needs more time.
I would never use "washaid" for film, simply unnecessary, just a 15 minute wash in gently moving water.
The last step should be a wetting agent like ILFOTOL or PhotoFlo so the film dries evenly when hung up to drain. No squeegee or wipe.

Good luck with the above guesswork. I fear problems like these can take half an hour to solve in a darkroom or half a year on the internet.

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Re: Negative Negatives!

Postby gerronemo » 23 Jan 2020, 11:09

Mannny thanks for your detailed reply and lotsa suggestions!!
I have actually 'cut and pasted' your tips, so I can refer to them next time I use the '445.
As a beginner, I have tried to follw the manufacturers info to the letter;
Ilford(ilfosol3) suggest '4-5 mins' developement 9-1.
I will now increse per your tip -
Will also cut out the 'stop bath'.
The pre wash did nothing to 'improve' the no more of 'that'!
Chemicals are "NEW" far as I know.
"HEAT" is definately a factor i need to watch 'in the field' that we are in the midst of relentless heatwaves.
I will have to wait a while to get out there again!

Intrigued that you are against 'washaid' surely will have no 'important' impact on the whole process..other than more even drying.?
I do have some 'photoflo' may try that!
Thanks again! Much apreciated!

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Re: Negative Negatives!

Postby Lachlan717 » 24 Jan 2020, 07:43

Be careful what you believe and thus, do. You seem to be chasing shadows (pun possibly intended) too quickly.

Not using a Stop chemical can be fraught with danger. It’s been accepted practice for many, many people for many, many years. Just because one person says don’t use it doesn’t make that Gospel. Do your research on it. Read more. Consider more. Make an informed decision.

The same is true for pre-wash. Don’t be so quick to dismiss it. Again, research it. Consider what you find out. Make an informed, not a hasty, decision.

And, perhaps get your hands on Adams’ trilogy of books. These will help significantly, as they are written by a true master of both capture and process.

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Re: Negative Negatives!

Postby gerronemo » 26 Jan 2020, 11:10

The "negative negatives" are getting more POSITIVE!!
Thanks to all; for the tips suggestions!
The two pix(attached) are the most recent attempts in the last couple of days, and have come out THE BEST of all I have done in - MONTHS!!
They are still on 'the soft' side...but clean, and give me hope I am finally at: the beginnings of the right track!

Increased dev time: from 5 - to 6mins.(ilfosol3)...will increase this TIME to maybe '8' next time...just to see how it goes.(??)
Omitted: STOP Bath!
Paid much closer attention to my 'agitation' practices.
Kept my dev temps as close to 20c as per normal.
But, still a drama with 'rinse cycle', as 'cold tap' here is: 27C !!

Be interested in any further comments you may have!
Thanks again!

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