Reducing Problem : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Recently I returned from a shoot and processed my 4x5 film in Ilford Ilfotec DDX. As I never used this developer before I followed the data sheet supplied with the developer so I thought. As it turns out I read the wrong line and over developed my film so that is barely prints with a 00 filter.

Since I shot 2-3 negs of each scene I figured I would reduce the negative without worry since I subsequently processed the extra negs correctly.

I reduced the negative using a Darkroom Cookbook formula with Potassium ferrocyanide and Potassium Bromide. Under subdued light I re-developed with PMK Pyro. I figured the stain might help the highlights. The negatives looked great. The densities were wonderful and the image printed with a grade 2 filter.

The problem is, I printed on a 16x20 sheet and when I turned on the light I found numerous bright spots. Like small splotches of chemicals had been scattered across the negative and etched away the image. Not uniformly, but scattered randomly across the negative.

Has anyone else ever had this occur? I reduced the negative until no dark silver was visible. Perhaps I reduced too much.

Any thoughts.


-- Bill Smithe (, October 14, 2000


One problem may be that the chemical wasn't totally dissolved into the working solution. This happens with many chemicals and can be overcome by filtering before using. It happens with Xtol and has happened to me with ferricyanide in the past, mainly when I was in a hurry. IF, and I repeat that one, If you hurried to use the reducer this might be the problem. If you gave it plenty of time then is is probably something else.

-- Dan Smith (, October 14, 2000.


You hit the nail on the head. I mixed up the reducer and used it about 10 minutes later.

After reading your post, I just reduced and re-developed another negative. The reducer has been sitting since I mixed it a few days ago. I hot air dried the negative and examined it on a light box with a loupe. None of the chemical spots were evident.

I guess it is true "Haste makes Waste"

Thanks for your help.

-- Bill Smithe (, October 14, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ