Cloudy Ilford Film Base?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Anna Nimotti, Jul 29, 2003.

  1. Anna Nimotti

    Anna Nimotti Guest

    I've recently started my own B&W processing and printing again after a
    break of many years.

    I've been using Ilford HP5 and Delta 3200 developed in Ilfotec DD-X
    and fixed with Jessops Econofix2. Even with fresh fixer and double the
    recomended fixing time (6 minutes from 3 min), the base of both films
    has a visible cloudiness. It's not too bad - I've been able to get
    some decent prints from the negs, but I can't help thinking the
    cloudiness should be avoidable.

    Obviously I could just fix for longer. Anyone know if Ilford films
    benefit from that? I assumed there would be no advantage in using
    Ilford's own fixers (Rapid and Hypam recommended), but maybe someone
    here has experience that proves otherwise?

    Anna Nimotti, Jul 29, 2003
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  2. Anna Nimotti

    Mike King Guest

    I would definitely refix, if the film base clears you need to extend your
    fixing times, change brand of fixer or go to a two-bath fixing scheme.
    Mike King, Jul 29, 2003
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  3. I get a rather high base fog with these films, too. I don't used DD-X
    so I can't give direct reflections on that. Staining developers, D76,
    FG7 have all resulted in a higher base fog on HP5 than most other
    films for me. They seem to print just fine but I always feel I'm
    losing some separation because of it.
    Craig Schroeder, Jul 30, 2003
  4. Are you sure it's fog? Ilford films have a rather heavy base color,
    and it's not fog.
    Michael Scarpitti, Jul 30, 2003
  5. Anna Nimotti

    Paul Butzi Guest

    Is it cloudiness in the sense that it's uneven, or is it uniform
    density *everywhere*?

    I've never used HP-5 but I know that when I've used Delta 3200 it's
    had a startlingly high base density - much higher than the other films
    I've used.

    Paul Butzi, Jul 30, 2003
  6. Anna Nimotti

    Tom Decuyper Guest


    I use ilford delta series all the time in DDX (1+9) dilution, very economic
    an the results are very good. I fix with Agefix (1+5) dilution for about
    5min. One should pay attention to the rinsing of the film after processing;
    I rinse for about 15min. in running water and i refrech the tank at least 10
    times in the first 5min. of rinsing. Fix is heavier than water (as i was

    I also use this film in 120 format and there the carrier color is less
    heavy! strange, those films should be the same 135 or 120 format...

    But, never had problems with this carrier color for all my prints. Had more
    difficulties to print the information on the negs. hi hi.

    Kind regards;
    Tom Decuyper

    Visit my site:
    Tom Decuyper, Jul 30, 2003
  7. What exactly does this coudiness look like? I can think
    of four different possibilities.
    To me "cloudy" means that it is turbid, that is,
    diffusing, is that the case here?
    Is the cloudiness colored?
    What format film is this?
    Richard Knoppow, Jul 30, 2003
  8. Anna Nimotti

    Andrew Price Guest

    What times do you use at this dilution? The only data I've been able
    to find from Ilford is for 1+4 dilutions. Do you basically just
    double this?
    Andrew Price, Jul 30, 2003
  9. Ilford films have a higher base densitiy than Kodak's. It is to reduce light
    piping. Kodak film has a dye that washes out in processing. Too see if that
    is what the cloudiness is, soak a piece of leader in full strength Chlorine
    bleach for a few minutes. The emulsion will come off completely and you may
    compare the film base with that of a developed and fixed piecs.
    If that's it, you can't remove it. It does not effect grain or gradations,
    but it increases printing time somewhat.
    Pat Gainer
    Patrick Gainer, Jul 31, 2003
  10. Anna Nimotti

    Anna Nimotti Guest

    The 'cloudiness' I'm talking about is indeed slightly turbid. It is
    absolutely uniform over the entire film (judging from unexposed areas).
    There is a very slight purple color, but that wouldn't bother me if it
    was completely clear (non-turbid).

    I've just re-examined some films and I'd say it's most pronounced on the
    135 format D3200, slightly less on the 135 HP5 and least of all
    (practically negligible, in fact) on 120 format HP5. The individual
    films I'm comparing were all processed at different times, however, so
    the comparisons aren't exactly scientific. I've never used D3200 as 120

    I've noted what others have said here about the high density of Ilford
    filmbase and I seem to remember reading somewhere that Ilford use
    different bases for 120 and 135 formats. I wonder if this accouhts for
    my observations.

    I suppose my essential question is: are there special requirements for
    optimal fixing of Ilford films that anyone here knows of or is the
    slight residual turbidity a 'feature' of Ilford filmbase?

    I always assumed that Ilford's own fixers were made to fairly generic
    recipes, but maybe not?
    Anna Nimotti, Jul 31, 2003
  11. Anna Nimotti

    Tom Decuyper Guest


    No, I don't double the time.

    Delta 100 at 100 asa DDX (1+9) 12min.
    Delta 400 at 400 asa DDX (1+9) 12min.30sec.

    This works very good on a Durst M670 diffusion enlarger with companon-s 50mm
    lens. The negs can look a bit soft but they print very well!!! Look at my
    site, these are the results, i use only delta film 100, 400 and 3200.

    Try it, with a pice of exposed film...



    Msc. Tom Decuyper

    Visit my site:
    Tom Decuyper, Jul 31, 2003
  12. Anna Nimotti

    Andrew Price Guest

    This is the same time that Ilford give for the 1+4 dilution.
    But this is more (Ilford specifies 9m30s for Delta 400 at 1+4 in
    their pdf sheet). This is more-or-less what I'd have expected.

    Getting such good results with D100 at the 1+4 times was the surprise.
    They sure do!
    I did, thanks. I particularly like the industrial photos.
    Andrew Price, Aug 1, 2003
  13. I consistently get pretty high fog base on HP5+ but I like the film
    for its other attributes and print around the issue quite easily. My
    knee-jerk guess is that your negatives are pretty normal for this
    Craig Schroeder, Aug 7, 2003
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