35mm cassette light trap lint

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Dave Krueger, May 16, 2013.

  1. Dave Krueger

    Dave Krueger Member

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    I just received 15 rolls of TMax 400 (36 exp) from B&H and noticed that every roll has a lot of black light trap lint on the outside of the cassette. I have never noticed this problem before, even when I roll it myself). It could be from the manufacturing environment, but it could also indicate that the actual velvet used in the cassettes is shedding and will deposit more as the film feeds out.

    Has anyone ever had a problem with this in the past?

    This is probably unrelated, but the label on the cassettes is also slightly different. This 400TMax is in black whereas the same film purchased back in 2011 had more green printing. The actual film appearance looks the same. The expiration date on the packages (which were sealed) is 2015.

    This is all rather irritating because I also got 100ft roll of TMax 100 as part of the same order and it has an expiration date of November 2013 (2 months later than the 100ft roll I got back in 2011). This film is going with me on Saturday when I leave for a photo expedition to Toronto.
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Contact Kodak.
     
  3. hdeyong

    hdeyong Member

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    Being as how you're pretty short of time, if it were me, I'd vacuum all the lint off of the outsides of the cassettes and go ahead and shoot them. If there are a few bits inside, hopefully they'll get flushed away in the wet process.
    The 100 ft. roll is a funny thing, though. Maybe roll what you'll need right away and freeze the rest? I think the expiry dates are usually pretty generous.
    Do the best you can, and don't let it spoil your trip.
     
  4. Dave Krueger

    Dave Krueger Member

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    I will clean the lint off as best I can. I might waste a roll and see if the lint is actually falling out of the light trap fabric.

    I think the difference in the color of the printing might simply be a cost reduction involving the elimination of the green and red ink. The old red Kodak logo is also now done in black. Of course, the lint might be also the result of a cost reduction (cheaper fabric?).

    I will contact Kodak after I get back from my trip. This could be just one more incentive to switch to Ilford, but I don't think Ilford comes close to Tmax in terms of fine grain. My plan was to stick with Tmax until I can't get it anymore (or can't afford it).
     
  5. CJBo001

    CJBo001 Member

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    I understood that 100ft rolls of TMAX-100 had been discontinued, so perhaps you are lucky to get one even if it is short-dated.
     
  6. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    This is news to me!
     
  7. CJBo001

    CJBo001 Member

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    I just checked and Adorama lists the 100ft rolls, so I must be mistaken. Sorry
     
  8. chip j

    chip j Subscriber

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    I had 1 piece of felt show up in the hood of one of my car shots back in the 80s. Darn good pic too. The film was Plus-X. The felt lint will lay on the film like any other debris.
     
  9. chip j

    chip j Subscriber

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    What I mean is that if you have debris on your film when you expose it, you'll have black marks in your print.
     
  10. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    Now that you mention it, I can recall seeing bits of lint over the years, but only very occasionally. I usually blow any bits of general dust out of the camera "automatically" when I load a film, and I'd never given it any thought. Can't recall any dust marks which I attributed to lint.
     
  11. chip j

    chip j Subscriber

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    I alwas blow my camera out, too. The lint I had was a piece of felt from the cassette.
     
  12. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    Just on the difference in colour on the Green and Black 'Tmax 400' printing, I've had that too. I bought a few rolls off the (fridge) shelf from different places (I always seemed to run out when I was walking around shooting), some were green, some black.

    The last 5 rolls I bought got delivered yesterday, they're in Black, so I presume that's just the new style.

    Actually, I just thought that I'd pull one out of the freezer to see, and guess what? There's a bit of the black lint on my cartridges too. I wouldn't say it's excessive, except that now you've got me worried about it getting all over the emulsion. I'll be sure to wipe and blow them properly now before i load them...
     
  13. hdeyong

    hdeyong Member

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    I generally hold my camera at waist level, (to create a shadow), with one hand while I load the film with the other. I wonder if I've been getting navel lint into my camera all this time.
    It's an ugly thought.
     
  14. Dave Krueger

    Dave Krueger Member

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    I did as hdeyong suggested and vacuumed off all the cassettes with a shop-vac which seems to have removed all the loose lint. I then sacrificed one roll to see if any lint would get onto the film as it feeds out and noticed five pieces of lint on the emulsion side of the film as I slowly pulled it out. After removing the film, I popped the ends off the cassette, fanned open the shell, and tapped it on a white piece of paper and lint particles came out of it. We're talking about particles that are probably too small to show up in a snap shot of it. I would think that any kind of velvet-like material is going to have some lint, but I've always assumed that film manufacturers have processes that eliminate loose lint.

    As chip said, this lint will result in black spots on the print and I think black spots are more difficult to deal with than white spots. But, I can live with five black specs on a 36 exposure roll, so I don't consider this a crisis. I buy almost all my film in bulk and I don't remember ever seeing this degree of link on reusable cassettes. Many of my reusable cassettes are black, so I would never see it on them anyway, but about half have yellow labels on them.

    Anyway, I looked through some other film that I have and noticed the same degree of lint on an old (2008) roll of TMax 3200, so part of the problem may be that I've just become sensitized to a problem that has been there all along.

    On the other hand, I didn't see lint on any of my Ilford film, but I only have a few rolls of it. I also didn't see it on the two 36 exposure rolls of TMax 100 that I have.

    I am now probably doomed to checking every cassette for lint in the future. You know, it's like feeling compelled to check your rear view mirror every time you back up after running over just one stinkin' kid.*

    * Disclaimer: This line was meant as humor and should not be taken as advocating that anyone back up their car without first checking their rear view mirror.
     
  15. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    This thread is the reason I said "call Kodak". They may not be aware of the bad felt liner for the casettes. Given this thread, I think that the problem is broader than they think and more than one of you with the problem should contact EK!

    PE
     
  16. Dave Krueger

    Dave Krueger Member

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    Message sent to Kodak:

    I recently bought fifteen 36-exposure rolls of TMax 400. Expiration date is 2015, so it is definitely fresh and they were unopened when I got them. Merchant was B&H Photo of New York. The cassettes (all of them) are covered with specs of black lint from the velvet light trap. I sacrificed one roll to see if the lint would be deposited on the film when it feeds out and found that at least five frames would have been affected by the lint (emulsion side only). I would like to have the film replaced, but I am leaving on an out-of-country photo expedition on Saturday.

    I have no way to know whether this lint was due to a dirty manufacturing environment or whether the velvet trap is actually shedding the lint. I suspect the latter. While I expect that there could be occasional lint, I wouldn't expect to see it in this quantity. Furthermore, I don't see the lint on the few rolls of Ilford film that I have.

    I've decided to just bite the bullet and go ahead and use it since it's too late to order more before I leave. What I'd like to know is whether this lint constitutes a defective product. Might it be due to a change in manufacturing venue or a change in material (such as lower cost velvet). I love TMax film, but this has given me serious pause in deciding whether to continue using it.
     
  17. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Or, you could travel with minimum film and buy all new stuff at your destination.

    I suspect that the felt is deteriorating with time and the QC group at EK does not know of this. It may involve keeping in some way. IDK. I do know that everyone here with a similar problem should contact EK to get their attention.

    Have a good trip.

    PE
     
  18. Dave Krueger

    Dave Krueger Member

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    Thanks, it's been two years since my last photo expedition, so I am really looking forward to it.

    For anyone who wants to join in, I just went to the "Contact Us" page on the Kodak website. It's pretty straight forward and fast. I may be gone before they respond, but I will post the reply when I get back.
     
  19. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    There is also an 800 # to call to talk directly to an engineer. It takes time, but does work. Mark Overton here has used it and posted the number in his "boomerang" thread.

    PE
     
  20. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I have had ZERO luck with getting a meaningful response from the "Contact Us" t the Kodak web site and second the recommendation to call the phone number instead. The email response is usually days later, never answers the quesiton, often doesn't even correctly reference the question asked, and suggests calling the 800 number.
     
  21. Dave Krueger

    Dave Krueger Member

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    Yep, Brian pretty much nailed it. Too busy to call them until after the trip.

    ----------------------------------------

    Greetings David,

    Thank you for your e-mail to Kodak.

    Please contact 800 847 8755 to get more information about the film development.

    We are glad to be of service and are here for you if you need us in the future. If you reply by e-mail, please include all previous e-mail notes so we may better assist you. You can also chat with us at www.kodak.com/go/chat, (9:00 A.M. - 11:00 P.M. Eastern Time, Monday - Friday), or call us at 800.235.6325 (9:00 A.M. - 8:00 P.M., Monday - Friday).

    Regards,
    Rakesh D
    Kodak Technical Support and Information Department.
    http://www.kodak.com/go/support
     
  22. Dave Krueger

    Dave Krueger Member

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    Yes, I may do that, although the film is much more expensive there. I am taking other film along as well, though. I will have two camera bodies, so I always have the option to shoot any picture on another film type if it looks like it will be a winner.
     
  23. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    So now it is "Rakesh" eh? Last year it was Pablo and Luis. What ever happened to Joe, Bill, and Ron?
     
  24. Dave Krueger

    Dave Krueger Member

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    Hahaha!

    Ok, guys. I'm off to the airport. Don't go having any riots or food fights until I get back.

    -Dave
     
  25. Photo Engineer

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    Brian, I'm here!

    Ron