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  #1  
Old 4th March 2021, 02:17 PM
John King John King is offline
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Default Here's a good one for you.

I started off this afternoon in the darkroom with the intention of making a number of prints. I was going to use up some of what little Ilford MG4 and Kentmere VC I had left.

I checked the normal things, temp correct. dilution correct (MG Dev 1 to 9) and started to print. The test strip came out OK ,but it had brown staining around the sides. It was quite old paper and perhaps it was on the way out. I tried the same neg, but using some of the last of my Kentmere select - again the same result with a brown edge but the image was also slightly tinted blue as well.

The 3rd attempt was with relatively new MG5 and - yes it also had a brown edge and but lacked contrast!

The developer had also turned a yellow as if it had been left in the open tray overnight. The concentrate solution had been quite normal , only a faint very light straw colour.

I emptied the developer away and tried another session using the same MG4 and again with the Kentmere and everything was normal. The concentrate developer had come from the same bottle and after 2 12x16 prints made on the Kentmere VC the developer is still the same colour as when it was 100% fresh.

I have a suspicion that it is contamination from somewhere. Not the developer that I am certain because the 2nd lot came from the some bottle as the first. The tray is the only thing that is the common denominator but that was cleaned out and rinsed after my last session.

Any thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 4th March 2021, 02:42 PM
Terry S Terry S is offline
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I remember quite some time ago now John, that I had a similar problem, which I asked about on here.

My prints looked fine coming out of the developer, if I remember correctly, and it was only when I took them out of the Nova slot with the fix in and turned on the light, that I noticed that all around the margins were brown.

If I recall, it was something to do with the developer. I can't quite recall what the problem was and how it was sorted out though.

I'm going to have a browse through my post headings and see if I can spot the post and then hopefully offer some more help.

Terry S
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Old 4th March 2021, 03:26 PM
Terry S Terry S is offline
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OK John, I found the posts about my problem:

http://www.film-and-darkroom-user.or...ad.php?t=12435

Post number 1 of mine has three pictures attached, with pictures 2 and 3 showing the problem, with picture 3 showing the blue colouration that you also mention.

Then go to post 14 of mine, and it's all explained and turns out to be the fault of some Ilford MG developer that decided to go off very rapidly and had changed to a dark brown in colour very quickly and with it being in a Nova Slot Processor, it wasn't noticed until I drained some out.

Washing out the Nova slot and refilling with a unopened fresh solution solved my problem and got me back on the correct printing road.

I hope your problem is as easily solved.

Terry S

P.S. Just re-reading your post, it sounds very similar to my problem, although my diluted developer in my Nova changed colour, but I couldn't see it to notice - whilst it would be noticeable to you, as you use trays.

Other people have posted that Ilford MG can just die on you really quickly and still look OK, so I would have an educated guess and say that's what happened overnight (for no known reason) to the developer in your tray.

I don't know if you do it already, but I buy MG developer in 5 litre bottles (which makes a really good price reduction) and immediately decant it into 5 x 1 litre bottles, all of which are topped up with one of the protection tins of gas, and when any is taken out of them. I also decant the 1 litre bottles into even smaller 250ml bottles as soon as I open and use any out of the 1 litre bottles. It's only a little bit more work and makes the developer (in the bottles) last almost indefinitely.

Terry S

Last edited by Terry S; 4th March 2021 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 4th March 2021, 04:05 PM
John King John King is offline
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Default Not quite the same - unfortunately!

I do the same as yourself with 5 litre sizes of developer, decant into 1/2 litre bottles then further decant into 100cc bottles - enough for one session.

The problem has not returned after I mixed a new working solution, nor has the developer turned anything like as yellow as the first lot. Yes it has slightly discoloured but it has been standing for a couple or possibly even 3 hours and had a number of prints all 12 x 16 plus test strips through. (I used my spare dishes set.)

I can only think that there was some contamination in the dish that I had not seen before mixing the working solution the 1st time around. I did notice though, when I washed the dish out today after the 1st session it was badly stained as if it had been used regularly and not properly cleaned out for a while. Before today it was almost pristine white.

I think it is due a proper clean with a touch of bleach and then rinsed out properly.
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Old 4th March 2021, 04:25 PM
Terry S Terry S is offline
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Out of curiosity John, do you ALWAYS put the same chemicals into the same trays each time? If not, this may explain any contamination.

It may sound like a silly question, but I have known and seen in videos people changing their trays use each time, with say developer going into the tray previously used for stop or fixer and so on.

Everyone does it differently, but whenever I've used trays, the white one is for developer, as fresh paper is also white; the red tray is for stop (like a traffic light) and grey or green was for the fixer.

Terry S
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Old 4th March 2021, 04:40 PM
Richard Gould Richard Gould is offline
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In had the same problem a while ago now, turned out to be the tray, I was always mixing them up, and I don't know what I had last used in each tray, so I washed them well, and bleached them, then marked them with a sharpie, and now always have the same tray for processing and 2 trays that I keep for toning, again marked with bleach and toner, which cured the problem
Richard
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Old 4th March 2021, 06:16 PM
John King John King is offline
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Default Answers

Answers to both Terry and Richard,

Yes, always the same tray for developer marked with a permanent marker. The stop and fix trays, I am not so fussy about but they get thoroughly washed out after each session, anyway they are not the problem, the prints were stained before they were placed in the stop bath.

Since my last post I have made another 2 - 12x16's plus a number of test strips and the developer is still active. After tea, I'm going back to have another session.

Thanks lads, I think I must agree that dish was contaminated with something, even after all these years you can still be stuck when a new problem crops up.
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Old 4th March 2021, 08:22 PM
John King John King is offline
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Default A Eureka Moment

I think I have found the answer. Some were close to it but not from the same angle.

Yesterday I mixed up a 2 litre batch of stop bath for B&W in one of 2 plastic jugs I have for mixing. The one I used was possibly not washed out properly and this was the one I filled with fresh water for the developer. The Stop bath was that particularly concentrated Kodak version (Dilute 1- 63).

I still may be wrong but at present that is the only place cross contamination can have taken place that I can think of.
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  #9  
Old 5th March 2021, 12:40 PM
Terry S Terry S is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John King View Post
I think I have found the answer.
Glad to hear that you've sorted it all out John.

Like my designated trays in the darkroom, I also recently bought some new plastic jugs and each of these has been designated and marked up for one particular mix of chemical and no other. 2 others are used for mixing toner solutions, but with so many variations with that, I just have to rely on a really good wash asap after I have mixed any solutions in them.

The same with my thick plastic bottles used for storing stock solutions. As soon as one is used for anything, a label is sellotaped to it to signify what it has had in it previously and is then only refilled with similar liquids when it is empty. I haven't done this forever, but only since having a problem similar to yours a while ago now, when I put some home mixed stock developer in a bottle previously used for fixer, which in turn gave me very faint images and numbers on a roll of 120 film. Initially I thought my metol had deteriorated, until I clicked!

Lesson learnt!!!

Terry S
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