4

I've had a similar problem before with tray development, but I've since moved an hour away and switched to tank development. Tank development seemed to fix the problem for the past >100 negatives using D-76, but I never solved the tray development issue.

Recently my skies have become uneven again. It seems to be strongly correlated with when I switched to Adonal developer. I'm mixing the developer for about 10 seconds before beginning, then my process has been:

  • developer → 1:50 ratio, 14min, 20C, 4 inversions once a minute
  • stop bath (water) → 1min
  • fixer (fresh) → 4min
  • wash → 4 cycles (starting fresh each cycle), rotating 5x, 10x, 20x, 40x
  • photoflo → 30sec

  • Film: Ilford Delta 100 4x5

  • Tank: SP-445

What could be causing this uneven development?

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  • How long does each inversion take you? Inversions should be somewhat abrupt. I invert five inversions in five seconds every thirty seconds. Ten every minute should work pretty much as well. I've never had uneven development of film, so I've not tinkered with my agitation cycle since it's working. – Jim MacKenzie Nov 4 '18 at 23:41
  • @JimMacKenzie I do slow inversions, so those 4 take about 10 seconds. – steel Nov 5 '18 at 0:23
  • That'd be my guess as to the source of your problem. Try a test roll with faster inversions (~1 sec/inversion) and see. I agitate fairly abruptly and it's always worked well for me. You want to get the exhausted developer away from the film surface. – Jim MacKenzie Nov 5 '18 at 2:46
  • I am not familiar with LF, but by my MF experience this seems like agitation / inversion issue. Do you do initial agitation? You know, the kind of first 30 seconds and then Y times every Z minutes? I would start with this... – Jindra Lacko Nov 5 '18 at 6:53
  • @JindraLacko I do initial agitation of 4 inversions, then 4 every minute. Have you seen uneven MF tank development? – steel Nov 5 '18 at 21:05
1

Make sure that you're agitating correctly. Inversions should be somewhat abrupt. I invert five times in five seconds every thirty seconds (i.e. five seconds of agitation, 25 seconds of sitting, then repeating). Ten seconds of agitation at the start of every minute should work pretty much as well; I know some home processors use this style instead. I've never had uneven development of film, so I've not tinkered with my agitation cycle since it's working.

Agitation is designed to get the exhausted developer off the film surface, so if it's done too passively, it won't do its job fully. Good luck!

  • 1
    Thanks, this solved my problem! It won't work for uneven tray development, so I'm wondering if there's another solution of just mixing better, but this gets me going again. – steel Mar 7 at 16:53
  • @steel It is possible to agitate vigourously with tray development (e.g. using tongs) but it runs the risk of scratching, so you have to do it carefully. I do all my sheet development in tanks now, because of the issues I've had with tray development. – Jim MacKenzie Mar 7 at 19:57

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