uneven development at the edges

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I'm hoping that all you clever people can help me. I've recently started developing 10x8 in a 12x16 tray with 3 litres of dev and the problem I'm having is more density at the edges particularly where the image is slightly shifted more to one side of the film(if you get my meaning)if anyone can help that would be great.

Chris Kargotis

-- Chris Kargotis (chris@kargotis.freeserve.co.uk), April 10, 2001


Chris, It's hard to believe your trouble is related to development, at least if you're processing one sheet at a time. Light uneveness on enlarging seems more probable. Check your light output without (negative on film stage), printing for a medium gray and develop normally as you've been doing. Good luck.

Cesar B.

-- Cesar Barreto (cesarb@infolink.com.br), April 10, 2001.

I have not done much tray development of sheet film, but I hear the extra edge density is due to developer sort of rolling up around the edge of the film and giving more agitation to that area. You might need to try agitating a different way, or changing the amount of solution so the whole negative sits deeper.

-- E.L. (elperdido65@hotmail.com), April 10, 2001.

Chris: I would suspect you are getting a swirling effect at the edges of of the film from the tray, especially if you are rocking the tray. Try agitating the film by lifting it out of the developer and turning it over. Do this gently. Also make sure there are no rough places on the bottom of the tray.


-- Doug Paramore (dougmary@alaweb.com), April 10, 2001.

I would guess it is from uneven agitation or too much agitation, possibly agravated by not enough developer in the tray or too many sheets in the tray at once. Add more developer, develop less film at one time, review your agitation technique -- it can't hurt (except it uses more chemicals) but with the money you spent on film and the trouble you went to to put the film into the camera and point it at something, well, you might as well try it.

-- gleep wurp (gleepw@hotmail.com), April 10, 2001.

I do this all the time with no apparent problem, and you are using a larger tray and a lot more developer than I use. But I agree with everyone, it has to be your agitation technique. My technique has always been to rock the tray back and forth and up and down very gently (though several people above seem to indicate I shouldn't be doing this). For the once-per-minute agitation I just lift a side of the tray 4 or 5 times, but I work my way around the tray and lift a different side each minute. I guess it's whatever works for you. Just try changing your pattern until you find what works. You didn't say what film and developer you are using, or if you are pre-soaking. I always pre-soak for a couple of minutes--supposedly this allows the developer to diffuse into the emulsion more evenly.

-- Ed Buffaloe (edb@unblinkingeye.com), April 11, 2001.

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