Unsolicited editorials on cameras, lenses, film, developer, and black and white photography in general.

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Location: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


In my previous entry, I bemoaned a debris problem on my film developed in Prescysol. After looking at the cost and grief associated with installing a filter in my home's water supply, I went back to the negatives for a close look. Enlarged greatly in Photoshop, the spots appeared less like dirt/debris and more like tiny areas of emulsion with no silver. This made no sense as TRI-X has always been consistently smooth and even for me. It occurred to me that the development of Prescysol involves long (3 min) periods of no agitation. Perhaps the white spots were areas of undeveloped emulsion adjacent to air bubbles.
I ran two more test rolls of film (Bergger 200 and TRI-X, simultaneously) through the same partial stand Prescysol development routine, but this time I really pounded the tank against the stainless steel sink to dislodge any air bubbles. While my zeal resulted in a piece of my Paterson tank breaking off, the resulting negatives were pristine...no areas that even suggested dirt or debris.
So, today I order some stainless steel developing tanks. I'll also get a piece of rubber so I don't damage my wife's sink. By the way, I'm really liking this Prescysol. Development looked fine on both rolls of film despite using the exact same 10.5 minute development time in the same tank. The acid test will be how APX 100 and APX 400 look using this developer.

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