Daniel Pietzsch

Recent film development fuckups

This week I had two film rolls come out of the tank with really thin negatives. And I’m pretty bummed about that. I’m pretty sure, the film simply got underdeveloped because of bad developer. That’s what it looks like and makes sense to me.

At the very least, I hope that’s what it is. Because the alternatives would mean I either underexposed all shots on both rolls, or pretty much all shutter speeds on my Leica are too short. Both of which are highly unlikely. I suspect the reason was my pretty newly mixed XTOL developer. This time I stored around 600ml of it in a 1-litre bottle that I haven’t used for developer before. And this is an old bottle of fixer. And I guess this might have affected the solution negatively. I thought I washed this thoroughly, but apparently I didn’t – or I couldn’t. Anyhow, for the next batch I’m going to use the XTOL from the containers I know are fine.

[Update 02.11.2019]: The next two films using XTOL from the “safe” containers were perfectly fine!

And the week before, I noticed too late that my fixer was exhausted. Apparently, the Adox fixer I’m currently using doesn’t last as long as the one from Ilford, which I normally use. I’m used to getting at least 25 films fixed from a 1-litre solution, but the Adox solution did only manage 15 or so.

When I noticed, I made new solution and fixed the last two films again. Because they were still uncut and hanging in the shower. But there are still at least two films that are still under-fixed, and I’m not quite sure if I want to re-fix them, too. Because they are already cut into strips and in their sleeves. Which means a whole lot of effort to get them fixed again.

The “joys” of film photography I guess.

[Update 01.01.2020]: The underfixed negatives happened to me again. It’s often really hard to spot. But I think I found what it was: I diluted Adofix too much. I only looked at the bottle’s label, which states to “dilute 1+9”. But after researching this fixer a little bit, I found you should actually dilute it 1+4 for film fixing. Damn.