First Developing: Disaster - Please tell me what I did wrong

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billorg Senior Member • Posts: 1,349
First Developing: Disaster - Please tell me what I did wrong

I used to develop my black and white film in the 70's and 80's, so I am not a newbie, but it's been a long time and there have been so many new developers and films since then, so I need to get up to speed. Here was my recipe:

Film - Ilford Delta 400

Tank - Paterson Super System 4 Universal (holds 2 35mm or 1 120) I only had one 35 reel in so did not do inversions, just the twirly stem.

Camera - Minolta Maxxum 7000 w/35-70 lens and 50mm 1.4.

Scanner - Epson V550

Only distilled water used to mix with chemicals.

I did an initial film rinse with water for 5 min. Dumped and added developer. I know this wash is not necessary and I never did it in the old days.

Developer: Ilford Ilfotec HC 1:31 dilution. 31.2ml developer and 968.8ml water. Developed at 68F for 8 min 11 sec. Agitated for 10 sec each minute using the twirly stem - not inversions. Dumped 10 sec before last min.

Stop bath - Ilford Ilfostop - 50ml concentrate to 950ml water. Stop bath for 1 min

Fixer Ilford Rapid Fixer 200ml fixer and 800ml water fixed for 5 min. Agitated every 1 min for 10 sec.

Dump and wash with filtered tap water for 10 min. Filled and drained many times

Photo Flo for 2 min - 5ml in 1000ml water

Here are the results - Mud with no dynamic range at all.  Flat as a pancake, grainy and no acuity.  Even a tintype is better.. Is this a bad combination of developer and film? I would doubt Ilford would make a film and developer that would be this incompatible.  The motorcycle pic is better but not sure why.

Please let me know what you think happened or what I did wrong.  Time?  Agitation style or?  Also, film leader with black areas, never seen this before.

I have a roll I shot on my Rolleiflex 2.8f to evaluate the camera which I need to see asap, but now I am gun shy to use this same recipe.  That film is Ilford HP5.  Any suggestions for a recipe for that?  Thank, Bill

Black spots in a row

Film leader - does not continue on to pictures.  What could this be from?

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