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B&W Reversal Processing.


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#1 Stephen Smith

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 10:41 AM

Hi.
I've been trying to process Plus X 7231 and Tri x 7266 in a lomo tank. At the end i always seem to have an under exposed image. I'm wondering if i'm underexposing on the re exposure or not developing for long enough? I've been following ilford instructions. Should the edges of the films (where the sprocket holes are) be totally black? With the re-exposure the ilford sheet recommends 18" away fro ma 100w bulb for 2 minutes. This was about EV 6 with the light meter set on 400iso, i have been re exposing in sunlight with the film in a tray of water, The EV seems to be 12, yet i've tried re exposure for up to 8 minutes and the film still doesn't come out with black edges. A technician at my uni reckons it's almost impossible to over expose the film on re exposure, so im a bit confused about whats going wrong. If anyone has any experiencs of this and could help if be very greatful.
cheers

I did scan in a few frames to show what i'm getting but i dont seem to be able to attach pictures at the moment.

Edited by Stephen Smith, 24 March 2007 - 10:40 AM.

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#2 Bernhard Zitz

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 11:47 AM

I'm wondering if i'm underexposing on the re exposure or not developing for long enough?


If you're not sure about the re-exposure give twice or more, anyway you can't overexpose it...

I guess the first developing might be to short, temperatur too low, or old or too diluted developer...

On my first DIY processing I had very dark results...it was the first developing that was to short...
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#3 Nick Mulder

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 05:57 PM

reversal developing adds another factor to the possible reasons for under/over film - which is a hassle, but not too hard to overcome ...

under 'exposed' film could be the following:

- underexposed in camera (myriad possible reasons there)

- 1st Dev not long enough/ not warm enough / not concentrated enough (dodgy chems etc...)

- bleach not effective (although this would also result in a very low-con +ve)


I cant see the second dev or reexposure being an issue as if anything that could only result in a thin (clear) +ve - If its too dark that would indicate that this step has been done correctly and there has been an issue earlier in the process (and yes the side should be fully black, as if you look at a neg you'll see the side is fully clear)...

I'd shoot small segments of the same scene and try pushing the 1st dev an extra two minutes for each to see if this helps - if yes, then its a camera underexposure or 1st dev problem - if not then its a bleach issue...
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#4 Brian Pritchard

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 02:43 PM

reversal developing adds another factor to the possible reasons for under/over film - which is a hassle, but not too hard to overcome ...

under 'exposed' film could be the following:

- underexposed in camera (myriad possible reasons there)

- 1st Dev not long enough/ not warm enough / not concentrated enough (dodgy chems etc...)

- bleach not effective (although this would also result in a very low-con +ve)
I cant see the second dev or reexposure being an issue as if anything that could only result in a thin (clear) +ve - If its too dark that would indicate that this step has been done correctly and there has been an issue earlier in the process (and yes the side should be fully black, as if you look at a neg you'll see the side is fully clear)...

I'd shoot small segments of the same scene and try pushing the 1st dev an extra two minutes for each to see if this helps - if yes, then its a camera underexposure or 1st dev problem - if not then its a bleach issue...

The edges of the film should be black; if they are not then your film could be fogged or it has had insufficient 2nd developing. I think that it is unlikely that you are giving insufficient re-exposure. It is possible to give too much re-exposure and I certainly would not re-expose in sunlight.

Usually the 2nd developer is a fast working developer and unless there is a chemical problem I would suggest you might have a problem with your film being fogged before or during first development.
Brian

Edited by Brian Pritchard, 26 March 2007 - 02:44 PM.

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#5 Nick Mulder

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 03:01 PM

I certainly would not re-expose in sunlight.

Usually the 2nd developer is a fast working developer and unless there is a chemical problem I would suggest you might have a problem with your film being fogged before or during first development.
Brian


Fogged ? as in partially exposed ? that would yield a thin (tending towards clear) and low-con +ve - he is having trouble with an underexposed +ve - ie. black +ve - So i'm not quite sure what you mean here ...

I should also mention that I've left snippets of film outdoors for days for various lazy reasons at the re-exposure step and then out of interest developed them - they came out fine and could be intercut with the original footage from which they were snipped with no problems - Indicating to me that if you've bleached your neg properly the re-exposure step can be for as long or as bright as you like. After realizing this I also realized the final stop and fixer steps were % 100 redundant (I was following online instructions that included them).

Everyone has different experiences with different set ups though, so ...
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#6 Stephen Smith

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 03:41 PM

thanks for the replies.
I have tried with two more bits of films, two different stocks two different cameras and managed to get a totally clear film, I'm guerssing from this there is something wrong with the developer. It's the general developer from my uni's dark room so could have been contaminated with old developer someone could have poured fix in or something i dont know, i'm going to try with some new developer tomorrow and see how it goes.
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#7 Nick Mulder

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 04:04 PM

thanks for the replies.
I have tried with two more bits of films, two different stocks two different cameras and managed to get a totally clear film, I'm guerssing from this there is something wrong with the developer.

Well, hang on - this is a complete turnaround from the original problem of under-exposure (or at least the appearance of under-exposure) ...

Cant really help without much info to go on - but keep us posted with the results, good luck with trying a new 1st developer ;)
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#8 Dominic Case

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 07:28 PM

When you say "underexposed" can you be more specific? Strictly, the image exposure doesn't have any effect at all on the perf area which you say is not black. Do you mean the image appears too light? or too dark? or is it simply that there are no blacks anywhere, either in the image or in the perf area.

If the perf area is not very black, then you only have a few possible causes:
  • light fogging before or during first developer
  • chemical fogging in first developer (contaminated developer solution)
  • insufficient re-exposure
  • incomplete second development
Depending on what the problem actually looks like, you might also have a problem at the bleach stage.
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#9 Nick Mulder

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 07:37 PM

Reversal has 3 factors that affect the outcome (assuming there aint simple errors, like leaving lenscaps on etc...) - so get out your favorite 3D graphing package to find the happy zone...

Think 3D chess with Spock.

Hence its always going to be a hassle understanding how to move forward with problems - especially if we have slightly different understanding of terminology eg. using 'underexposed' to describe an issue that I'm still not sure exactly what ...
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#10 Stephen Smith

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 08:26 AM

Basically it looks like the last 3 frames of this, and i'm guessing it should sort of look like the first frame i've darkened in photoshop?img064_copy.jpg
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#11 Stephen Smith

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 11:17 AM

Basically it looks like the last 3 frames of this, and i'm guessing it should sort of look like the first frame i've darkened in photoshop?img064_copy.jpg


Ah, i now see what i actually have is an overexposed image? i developed a bit of film as a negative earlier that was shot with a different lens and that came out fine, so i'm guessing the lenses im using need to be put down two stops maybe? its a nikon to C mount adaptor and 35mm lens, although i thought if anything this would lose light and produce an under exposed image?? I processed some 120 film using the reversal process earlier as well and got a good result so im thinking its definitely down to the exposure in camera?

Edited by Stephen Smith, 27 March 2007 - 11:18 AM.

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#12 Nick Mulder

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 01:44 PM

Ah, i now see what i actually have is an overexposed image? i developed a bit of film as a negative earlier that was shot with a different lens and that came out fine, so i'm guessing the lenses im using need to be put down two stops maybe? its a nikon to C mount adaptor and 35mm lens, although i thought if anything this would lose light and produce an under exposed image?? I processed some 120 film using the reversal process earlier as well and got a good result so im thinking its definitely down to the exposure in camera?


yeh - pretty much all our advice so far is wrong as the image is actually overexposed (or something is going wrong in the process) and not under. A C-mount adapter and 35mm lens wont do anything to your exposure, so we can rule that out straight away ...

So - thinking cap on, its gotta be:

- Over exposed in camera some other way ...

- 1st Dev is too long

- Bleach is somehow too effective (its removing unexposed/undeveloped silver... unlikely though)

- 2nd Dev not long enough


When you are re-exposing can you see the latent image of clear sections (white) and undeveloped silver that will make the blacks/grey upon 2nd dev ?

If so, then 2nd dev needs to be longer - if not, try reducing the 1st dev (effectively a pull process) - or reduce exposure in camera ...
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#13 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 09:10 PM

Basically it looks like the last 3 frames of this, and i'm guessing it should sort of look like the first frame i've darkened in photoshop?img064_copy.jpg


YES, the area where the sproket holes live should be just about black, with the Numbers showing clearly.
The frame you corested in Photoshop actually does not look too far off, so you can prably cross a gross exposure problem off your list for now.

AS was posted you either have too much first development (using up too much silver on the first pass) something out of line in teh bleach/clear stage, or no second developer.

I miught be tempted to try a scrap of film (in the light) from the 2nd developer on, (should get totaly BLACK film.) then from the Bleach on, (should match first test perfectly.)

Next would be to do a bit of properly exposed film in just the first developer and jump right to the fixer, which should give you a negative.
Chances are good that one of these will give you a hint.
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#14 Nick Mulder

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 09:24 PM

I've had no problems doing the 2nd Dev step in the light - you can watch the latent/leftover silver form the dark areas and pull it out of the cooker more or less exactly when you want to ...

The 2nd dev step in the instructions I follow say 6mins - but blacks pretty much form within 10 secs ...
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#15 Dominic Case

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 09:39 PM

yeh - pretty much all our advice so far is wrong as the image is actually overexposed (or something is going wrong in the process)

Wait! Clear thinking will help.

The perf area or should be totally unexposed (so far as camera exposure is concerned). Doesn't matter how much you over or under expose, the frameline and perf area should still be black. So you can rule out an exposure error.

Similarly, unless you are seriously overdeveloping in the first dev, the perf area should be unaffected by that stage. Think of it as a neg - you would have to overdevelop dramatically for the perf area to go to the dark grey that corresponds to the light grey you have in the reversal.

So you need to consider the following:-
  • not enough re-exposure (unlikely according to what you've said so far)
  • stale or inadequate second developer (that's my bet)
  • very stale, old, or heat-affected stock
  • fogging before or during first development (including chemical fogging from a contaminated first dev)
If you try a test that you just develop like a negative it might give you a clue. GOod result would point to stale second developer: bad result would point to a stock or fogging problem.
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#16 Stephen Smith

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 06:20 AM

I processed some as a negative last night and it came out fine, so tried a bit more in the reversal chemicals and that also came out, the only thing i can think that i have done differently for the film that worked and film that didnt was the use a of a different light meter, I just assumed that belonging to the university it would be properly calibrated and work, so i will test it against another light meter later.
thanks for your replies
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#17 Nick Mulder

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 01:21 PM

doesn't this contradict the good point that others made that the edge should have been totally black ?
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#18 Dominic Case

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 06:28 PM

I agree with Nick (and with my previous posts). Your original problem has nothing to do with light meters or exposure.

Maybe using a different light meter is the only thing you can think of that was different. But clearly something else was different. For example all the chemicals you used were different - maybe from the same bottle or stock solution, but perhaps you accidentally diluted one of them differently for example.

Anyway, the main point is that (a) you have now processed your film successfully, and (B) we've all had the benefit of a learning experience on this forum.

One more time - non-black edges is Not. An. Exposure. Problem.
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#19 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 10:14 AM

If the unexposed film edges do not reach a good "D-Max" opaque, the problem may be stock that is too old or stored improperly, or a processing issue. Has nothing to do with exposure.
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