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  #1  
Old 7th April 2020, 04:55 PM
John King John King is offline
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Default C41/Fuji 200

Since I have been developing and printing colour which is very close to 30 years I have never had a disastrous result like have had this afternoon. The film was in date by 18 months, the developer was not new, but pre-mixed just the same as I used 4 days ago, and was normal pale yellow/straw colour. The Bleach and fix were new(ish only used once last week

The actual developer was Tetenal from a 2.5L kit which was opened just over 4 months ago and I have processed many films in the 'use once and throw away' method.

The process went as normal and at the end of the development stage, I poured the developer away and saw that it was quite a deep brown colour I filled the tank with plain water at 38c and connected it onto the JOBO. I drained this water off and it was even deeper brown colour. I went through the beach and fix stage. Because of the odd colour, after the 1st rinse opened the tank to find an almost blank film. I didn't go any further. The edge and ends of the film rebates were quite dark.

What on earth has happened? This is new for me and in all my time have only miss developed colour perhaps 4-5 times - less than with B&W. I tried to call Tetenal to get their take on it but on the number I have used before but there was no answer.

Is it the film - I don't know because the film I developed late last week came from the same batch and that was fine. Is it the developer? I have doubts, because it came from a batch pre mixed a while ago and that was perfectly fine when I used it last week. (New developer today - not reused).

I am at a loss, any ideas? I can only think of some sort of contamination during the developing stage. What is with the dark brown residue, almost a sludge.
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Old 7th April 2020, 06:13 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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A real disaster John and my sympathies. Just for clarification what if anything was left on each frame i.e. was there any signs of some development such as part of the frame was OK or was it just a clear frame that was coloured brown as if a clear film had been stained/toned but with no hint of whatever the exposure had taken? You mention the edges and film rebates so was there any of the normal edge markings left?

It almost suggests that the emulsion was lifted off by the developer causing the deep brown and the wash and then bleach and fixer finished the job of clearing the film.

I have never seen any reference on the likes of Photrio to this and it would seem unlikely that the developer could have looked normal but have changed by some unknown to me process to a chemical that became capable of lifting the emulsion

This will sound as if I am questioning your state of mind if I say this and that is not my intention but if someone had asked me what happens if bleach was poured into a film tank first then while I don't actually know I'd assume that it destroys the emulsion turning the liquid brown which is then poured out and that further water clears some of the "melted" brown and adding fix then final washing clears almost all of the rest.

I have never used a separate bleach and fix kit nor has what happened to you happened to me so I cannot speak with the least conviction here but just out of curiosity how close to the dev colour is the bleach colour.

If it is close then is there any chance that in a moment's aberration you could have poured in the bleach?

Mind you you would then have had to use the developer thinking it to be bleach but had it been me I would have froze when the developer came out brown and in that state might well have poured in the developer next without noticing it was developer

All pure speculation on my part but could this possibly have happened?

Mike
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Old 7th April 2020, 08:01 PM
John King John King is offline
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I have answered the questions in bold against each point you have raised,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike O'Pray View Post
A real disaster John and my sympathies. Just for clarification what if anything was left on each frame i.e. was there any signs of some development such as part of the frame was OK or was it just a clear frame that was coloured brown as if a clear film had been stained/toned but with no hint of whatever the exposure had taken? You mention the edges and film rebates so was there any of the normal edge markings left? There was a very faint image in each frame space and I did not check the edge numbers if they were in fact there!

It almost suggests that the emulsion was lifted off by the developer causing the deep brown and the wash and then bleach and fixer finished the job of clearing the film. The only thing that could have caused to emulsion to lift was excess temperature and it was exactly 38c

I have never seen any reference on the likes of Photrio to this and it would seem unlikely that the developer could have looked normal but have changed by some unknown to me process to a chemical that became capable of lifting the emulsion. The lack of image depth suggests to me an under developed film but that would not explain the dark brown colour of the developer when it was poured out, and the even darker rinse water between developer and bleach. Usually with a Fuji film I exoect to see the developer when it is poured away is a pale to mid pink

This will sound as if I am questioning your state of mind if I say this and that is not my intention but if someone had asked me what happens if bleach was poured into a film tank first then while I don't actually know I'd assume that it destroys the emulsion turning the liquid brown which is then poured out and that further water clears some of the "melted" brown and adding fix then final washing clears almost all of the rest. The developer, rinse, bleach and fixer were all in order in the beaker holders in the Jobo. A sequence I have practised ever since I started colour developing. Although the developer was Tetenal, the bleach and fix were from a FUJI Hunt kit and up until now they have been fully compatible

I have never used a separate bleach and fix kit nor has what happened to you happened to me so I cannot speak with the least conviction here but just out of curiosity how close to the dev colour is the bleach colour. Think of the developer as a pale straw colour, to the colour of the bleach was which is close to a beetroot. Different as chalk and cheese.

If it is close then is there any chance that in a moment's aberration you could have poured in the bleach? No because the beakers are separated apart and there would not have been any image what so ever.

Mind you you would then have had to use the developer thinking it to be bleach but had it been me I would have froze when the developer came out brown and in that state might well have poured in the developer next without noticing it was developer

All pure speculation on my part but could this possibly have happened?

Mike
Update. I have just checked the film again and the edge number are there but very very faint, but also I have noticed that the orange mask is noticeably darker than I would have reasonably expected. I will expose about half a film when I am on my daily walk tomorrow afternoon and develop it again. I have mixed new Bleach and Fix but I will be using the same batch of developer.

Last edited by John King; 7th April 2020 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 7th April 2020, 08:34 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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John, so I'd say you have eliminated all of my conjecture comprehensively but I now know what C41 bleach looks like I am now out of ideas as to what the problem might be but I look forward to your next instalment tomorrow.

Mike
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Old 8th April 2020, 03:48 PM
John King John King is offline
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Default The plot thickens

I fired of 10 random shots this morning then developed the film. There was no repetition of the problems yesterday. The developer was from the same batch only the bleach and fixer were new. When I poured the developer out of the tank it was obvious by the slight pink tinge (normal) that it was OK. I am no further forward!

The film today was from the same 'brick' of 10 I bought a couple of months ago and kept in the fridge, so I am at a complete loss to explain what went wrong. I hope it is a one off!
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Old 8th April 2020, 04:28 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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Yes I hope so John. Always slightly worrying when something wrong goes away but you are not sure why

On the "what's changed " approach it is today's bleach, fixer and film but given the film is part of the same "brick" this would seem to be an unlikely cause unless you have one of those 1 in a million or maybe even higher odds that yesterdays film had an emulsion that just didn't stick to the substrata

I cannot think of any way that bleach or fixer could have caused the problem and especially if today's bleach and fixer came from the same stocks. It just isn't possible to extract a faulty number of mls that hasn't mixed with the rest of the batch of stock that was OK today, is it?

Mike
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Old 8th April 2020, 05:19 PM
John King John King is offline
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Default Mixing Brews

I am quite meticulous when it comes to mixing chemicals from concentrate. I have even gone down the route of certified glass measures and use 3 x 100cc and they can have a marked difference in quantity to those that come with the JOBO. You can line 5 250cc Jobo measures and fill each one with 100cc of water from these certified measures and it is almost certain that the water in at least two will be different levels. When I mix from a concentrate, I even go as far as filling the measures with chemical then topping that level up using a 10cc syringe. (I have so many syringes of different sizes it looks like a chemical laboratory)

Clear Patterson measures are more accurate, but they won't fit in a Jobo

Anyway the developer from yesterday was mixed at the same time as that I used today, so there is no logical answer. One of life's big mysteries
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Old 13th April 2020, 02:15 PM
John King John King is offline
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Default C41 developer - Again

I think I have mentioned that when I mix C41 I do so as a whole kit at once and split that into 4 x 500cc bottles. I then decant the remaining into 150cc bottles and each is enough I use to process one film and throw away. I always utilise the use once and discard method. There was however always a bit left over but not worth keeping

I had 1x1/2 litre bottle left from my last kit and decanted that into the 3 150cc bottles then topped them up to the bottom of the neck which equally split the remainder so there was minimal air gap at the top. There was no waste.

I heated the 3 bottles up in the microwave for 2.5 mins (800w M/wave) which meant the bottles were quite warm, but easy to handle. The developer had now expanded in the bottles so now it was almost full to the brim. The caps were screwed on and they have been left to cool, so what gap there is when they are cold is going to be very nearly a vacuum. Ideal storage conditions.

When you release the cap to use the developer the seal always remains in place on the bottle. Use a finger nail to lift one edge and you should hear a short sharp hiss as the air fills the vacuum. I only use the type of cap which has polythene seal inside.

I have a new 2.5L kit to use after I have finished the remaining 3 bottles I have just decanted. As only one of the 3 concentrates 'goes off' when exposed to air, I will mix 500cc of working solution and the remaining 400cc of concentrate will be split up into 4 x 100cc bottles and heat treated and sealed for later use. The other two bottles of concentrate will stay in the plastic bottles they came in, I will just use them as and when I need to

Last edited by John King; 13th April 2020 at 02:19 PM.
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