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  1. #1
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    soliciting opinion --- what went wrong?


    Would anyone like to have a look at this image? It's film, Efke KB-100 run in Xtol by a local pro lab. Notice the grain pattern. There is no grain, it's odd shaped sausages. I think it was run to fast, at the wrong temp or the wrong dilution. Does anyone else have an opinion?
    Thanks
    Chris
    PS here it is larger: http://gallery.photographyreview.com...&ppuser=288884
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  2. #2
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Re: soliciting opinion --- what went wrong?

    If you can see it at that scale, I think it's not grain but reticulation.
    Temperature variation between developer and wash is the issue there I think.
    It's harder to do with modern films, as emulsion stability has improved over the years.
    Also a hardening fixer would help to prevent it.
    PAul

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  3. #3
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    Re: soliciting opinion --- what went wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by SmartWombat
    If you can see it at that scale, I think it's not grain but reticulation.
    Temperature variation between developer and wash is the issue there I think.
    It's harder to do with modern films, as emulsion stability has improved over the years.
    Also a hardening fixer would help to prevent it.
    thanks for the clarification, I knew it wasn't the actual film grain, but lacked a better word for it. The lab is at a loss to explain it. The do use a hardening fixer. It is an old school emulsion from the Czech Republic. I'm assuming that the temp variation, causes the grains to clump together? I also presume it's not fixable at his point.... but at least we can try to avoid it.
    Thank you,
    Chris
    It's not about the camera....

  4. #4
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Re: soliciting opinion --- what went wrong?

    It's nothing to do with the grain.
    You know how your fingers wrinkle like prunes in the bath?
    Of you look at the film with a loupe you may see the same effect in the emulsion.
    As you say it's an "old school emulsion" that may explain how it's susceptible to thermal shock where modern emulsions aren't.

    If you can look at it in high magnification (microscope or big enlargement) you should see the grain is still fine, and it's actually a higher level of damage in the emulsion itself.

    People used to deliberately do this as a special effect
    PAul

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  5. #5
    light wait photophorous's Avatar
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    Re: soliciting opinion --- what went wrong?

    Hi Chris,

    I've never encountered reticulation personally, so I'm not sure what it looks like. Paul is probably right, but since no one has mentioned it I have to ask. Have you actually looked at the negatives with a loupe or have you only looked at scanned images? If the negatives really look this bad, I think your lab owes you a refund. It takes a lot of sloppiness to cause reticulation by accident. But make sure it isn't just some kind of weird scanning artifact.

    Paul

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    Re: soliciting opinion --- what went wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by photophorous
    Hi Chris,

    I've never encountered reticulation personally, so I'm not sure what it looks like. Paul is probably right, but since no one has mentioned it I have to ask. Have you actually looked at the negatives with a loupe or have you only looked at scanned images? If the negatives really look this bad, I think your lab owes you a refund. It takes a lot of sloppiness to cause reticulation by accident. But make sure it isn't just some kind of weird scanning artifact.

    Paul
    yep I should have said it's definitely on the emulsion and not a scan error, which is what I thought of first. We louped the negs on a light table, as It was clear to me that it wasn't the film grain itself. That stock is really fine grained which is why I'm trying it out. I have to agree, the lab has a sloppy B&W tech. Sadly as far as I know they are the best in town. I'll pm master John at some point to see if there is another option since we're in the same area. Home process isn't an option. We're even as they ran another roll for me that we though was cooked because I thought it was rewound.... and popped the back DOH! Turned out I only fried a couple of frames. They didn't charge me.
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  7. #7
    drg
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    Re: soliciting opinion --- what went wrong?

    Don't use Xtol developer. It is not compatible with Efke which is really delicate. In fact, don't do this stuff in a machine, unless it is a dip and dunk. Very careful hand processing until hardened.

    D76 is preferred chemistry and the plain old water for a stop bath. Then a separate water/fixer/hardener step is probably optimum.

    This is a sensitive enough type of chemistry that at most speeds (Efke has made slower rated versions) it should not be overexposed.

    Efke has made some wonderful 4x5 sheet film, but it is a pain to handle in the darkroom until dry. One of my previous darkroom wizards charged me extra to do the sheets of this as she didn't leave it until was done and all but completely dry!
    CDPrice 'drg'
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  8. #8
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    Re: soliciting opinion --- what went wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by drg
    Don't use Xtol developer. It is not compatible with Efke which is really delicate. In fact, don't do this stuff in a machine, unless it is a dip and dunk. Very careful hand processing until hardened.
    That sucks, since I don't have the time and space to do my own chemistry, I'll have to find another alternative... Rats. The lab I use does use a dip and dunk process.
    Thanks for the heads up on Xtol, I was unaware of any incompatibility. The folks I buy this stock from indicate on their site that they have used Xtol at stock dilution 8-9 minutes @ 20 C..... with no issues. I suspect the darkroom tech is not as learned as we would hope....

    It looks like really nice film stock under the botched process work. Fortunately I found a Rollie Retro 80 that appears to replace the Agfa APX100 that I liked so much. That's the real goal here, to find a replacement for that APX that AGFA discontinued.
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  9. #9
    light wait photophorous's Avatar
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    Re: soliciting opinion --- what went wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris350
    That sucks, since I don't have the time and space to do my own chemistry, I'll have to find another alternative... Rats. The lab I use does use a dip and dunk process.
    Thanks for the heads up on Xtol, I was unaware of any incompatibility. The folks I buy this stock from indicate on their site that they have used Xtol at stock dilution 8-9 minutes @ 20 C..... with no issues. I suspect the darkroom tech is not as learned as we would hope....

    It looks like really nice film stock under the botched process work. Fortunately I found a Rollie Retro 80 that appears to replace the Agfa APX100 that I liked so much. That's the real goal here, to find a replacement for that APX that AGFA discontinued.
    Efke 100 and Xtol are not incompatible. Xtol may not be the best developer for this film (I really don't know), but there's no reason it shouldn't work, and there's certainly no reason it would give you this kind of result. There are a lot of varying opinions about which developers work best for which films but these are just opinions based on each individuals' preferences. There are practically no film / developer combinations that are incompatible (assuming we're talking about traditional black and white film). There are certain combinations that provide more sharpness or finer grain or greater film speed, etc., but worst case you will usually just get high contrast, coarse grain, or softness...nothing like what you got.

    If you want to get good results from traditional B&W film you should really consider developing at home. It really doesn't take any space at all to develop film and it will save you a little (not a lot) of money. No darkroom required. If you have room for a film scanner, you can develop your own film, scan, and print digitally.

    Finding the time is a whole different problem and one with which I can definitely sympathize. When I'm short on time I find Ilford XP-2 a good alternative to the real deal. If your lab is not reliable and you can't develop your own film, try XP-2.

  10. #10
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: soliciting opinion --- what went wrong?

    I am not sure what went wrong but as for not being able to DIY because of time and space. I develope my own because it is getting harder to get any b&w negs done in my hometown. Walgreens doesn't do B&W's in house and no longer will send out. For the last four rolls I developed I just got in a dark room and used a black garbage bag to get it into the tank. After that it is as quick and easy as making soup. About 20min developing, hang until dry.
    With a changing bag no need to even go into a dark room.
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  11. #11
    drg
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    Re: soliciting opinion --- what went wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by photophorous
    Efke 100 and Xtol are not incompatible. Xtol may not be the best developer for this film (I really don't know), but there's no reason it shouldn't work, and there's certainly no reason it would give you this kind of result. There are a lot of varying opinions about which developers work best for which films but these are just opinions based on each individuals' preferences. There are practically no film / developer combinations that are incompatible (assuming we're talking about traditional black and white film). There are certain combinations that provide more sharpness or finer grain or greater film speed, etc., but worst case you will usually just get high contrast, coarse grain, or softness...nothing like what you got.

    If you want to get good results from traditional B&W film you should really consider developing at home. It really doesn't take any space at all to develop film and it will save you a little (not a lot) of money. No darkroom required. If you have room for a film scanner, you can develop your own film, scan, and print digitally.

    Finding the time is a whole different problem and one with which I can definitely sympathize. When I'm short on time I find Ilford XP-2 a good alternative to the real deal. If your lab is not reliable and you can't develop your own film, try XP-2.
    It is not that the film and Xtol are incompatible, it is that the Xtol can easily develop the EFKE film too quickly. Xtol's property of creating better contrast/shadow detail and resolution come as a result of 'speed' which translates to temperature in the process.

    The EFKE emulsions (mostly 4x5 sheet film) I worked with are even prone to having the emulsion washed off during the development or smudged or damaged by overly rough handling with tongs.

    One other possible issue is that with commercial tank developing is that with replenished developer the concentration of chemical is less precise and we all know (and those of us who've worked in and or run a lab) that people get in a hurry. In other words, the more rolls out the door in less time, the more profit. Higher temps, stronger solutions, not as much rinse/stop bath time.

    EFKE recommends just water when possible to stop the film development. With a lower developer concentration, possible with XTOL certainly as it is quite stable, it means that the chance of over development or other chemical related damage is lessened.

    Long slow development (cut down the concentration) and lots of clean cool water to stop it. If the roll films is anything like the sheet film, it has to be hardened. Make sure it is totally dry and try not to wipe it!
    CDPrice 'drg'
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