Another, marks on film question

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by GraemeMitchell, Feb 16, 2007.

  1. GraemeMitchell

    GraemeMitchell Member

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    I'm guessing you guys will be able to tell me what these are right away, but I've ever seen them before. You'll notice it looks like someone drove a density blob pizza cutter up and down my film .

    TX in d-76.

    My hint is that I have a new 4 reel tank, and I'm guessing it's the culprit. B/c some rolls were fine (the ones from my old tank?) and some were bad, usually worse on the first half of the film, or the end furthest out on the reel. The new tank has about 3/4 of an inch of play for the reels, which I'd never encountered before, so I further guess these are swirl patters...but they still look odd to me. If that's what you guys suppose it is, does anyone have any suggestions for a stopper to hold the reels?

    If they don't look like that, other ideas?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    The space in the tank should not cause your problem. These look like air bells, which you can eliminate if you rap the tank on the sink with vigor several times just when you pour in the developer and start your initial agitation. You could also do a pre-soak in water before you do the developer, as this can also minimize the problem. In rapping the tank, you should rap it down on the sink (clunk clunk clunk) and then rap it on the side of the sink (clunk clunk clunk) with some force, then start your initial agitation. and do it again at the end of your initial agitation. (clunk clunk clunk) That should be enough.

    Also, are you tilting the tank a bit when you pour in the developer? You should do this, so the developer flows down the inside wall of the tank and fills up smoothly with the least amount of air introduced into the solution.
     
  3. GraemeMitchell

    GraemeMitchell Member

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    Thanks for the response. I do rap the tanks, and I've never seen anything like this; also I presoak (2 min) and pour everything in with the tank tilted.

    I thought it seemed too consistent and too extreme for air bubbles. It's literally on 10 rolls of 20 that I processed. Some worse than others, but all pretty bad.

    Maybe I'm not rapping the tank enough to dislodge the air bubbles, or maybe I didn't agitate the presoak...still?

    The only other thing I can think of is that this tri-x was x-rayed in a carry on x-ray machine at the airport. But x-ray marks are bands? Plus the film was only shot at 640...
     
  4. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    You should rap and agitate the presoak...absolutely. if you don't then you will get problems. Treat the presoak just like developer, same rap and agitation procedure. If there are air bubbles on the film in the presoak then where these air bubbles are the emulsion will not be fully wet.

    But wait...you've got dark spots, not light spots...hmmmm...perhaps you have a light leak in your camera? Do you have any sediment in your developer?
     
  5. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Is your film fresh? Old film could cause issues. A carry-on X-ray generally will not produce any problems with one or two passes. It is the cumilitive effect that can cause some fog. But you got spots, not fog.

    Generally speaking developing flaws will show up as LIGHTER spots on the film, not darker ones..unless your problem lies in the fixing stage. Did you rap and agitate in the fixer? You could try re-fixing a strip to see if that makes a difference. Does your fixer have sediment? Are you careful to not remove the tank lid until you have been in the fixer for a couple of minutes? What are you doing for stop bath? Stop bath or water rinse are both acceptable, but if you use water rinse, you got to rinse several times, with rap and tap agitation, particularly with 35mm.
     
  6. GraemeMitchell

    GraemeMitchell Member

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    Light leak is unlikely. Shooting with an f5 that I've ran a lota film through.

    I don't think there's sediment in the developer. Never had a problem with d-76 before... Again, would something like that be this consistent over so many rolls. And the density blobs are despursed so, uh, mechanically.

    No sediments in the fix. It's ilford rapid. 3 minutes with lots of agitation. I'll try and refix a strip, but not holding my breath.

    Stop is Kodak. 30 sec.

    Huh...thought it'd be an easier answer than this.
     
  7. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Is there a light leak (pinhole) in the tank or the lid?

    Is there a problem with an inner core for the tank (e.g. Patterson)?

    Just a couple of thoughts....

    Matt
     
  8. GraemeMitchell

    GraemeMitchell Member

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    oh, and I should note that on the attached jpeg, b/c it may be a bit confusing, that the really dark densities are lights in the images. In case that wasn't obvious. It's the the tank tread marks that are the mystery.

    Should have picked a better example.

    The following attachment is a crop from the first.
     
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  9. GraemeMitchell

    GraemeMitchell Member

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    not apparently. not patterson either. it's a stainless tank with plastic top. I checked the top in the bathroom with flashlight.
     
  10. eric

    eric Member

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    Graeme,
    I processed film for a living in baskets/10 gallon tanks and green inspection light. I've done thousands and thousands of rolls.

    Sadly, I've NEVER seen anything like that. But here's my guess (this is just a guess).

    I think this reel was on top of the tank. This reel was dunked in photoflo previously. The flo wasn't washed out enough. And when you put it in the tank, the top part of it had some bubbles from all the action of liquid going through (because of a small amount of flo leftover). It was enough to cling to the negs in the beginning. Even though, afterwards, the bubbles dissipated, it was enough to encourange less development in that area.

    Again, this is just a guess.
     
  11. eric

    eric Member

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    One more thing to ask. Was it straight d76? Cause the development action in the beginning of straight d76 I think is much faster so if you do have a bubble somewhere, the areas around it will get faster development initially and then slow down at the end. This is why I like 1:1 and long dev times with d76
     
  12. GraemeMitchell

    GraemeMitchell Member

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    Eric, I never photoflo reels or in the tank. I remove the film and dip it by hand in photoflo after the final wash (obviously).

    d-76 1+1. 12.5 minutes. 20 degrees. standard 30sec initial agitation, then 10 sec every minute after.

    I load in a changing bag, which has never been a problem. Checking it now though for tears.

    Well this is unfortunate. It was on the leader too...or at least 2 inches out from the first frame. First half of the rolls only. Varying in intensity from the attached samples (pretty bad) to more moderate and less noticeable (say one line of dots instead of a bunch) but still unusable.

    Possibly, unlikely, a bad film...?
     
  13. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Graeme,

    You do have a light leak (look at the film edges), but I don't think it's the problem you're referring to. While unlikely, there may be a problem with the film itself. Show the problem to Kodak. You might bet both an answer and replacment film.

    Neal Wydra
     
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  15. GraemeMitchell

    GraemeMitchell Member

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    I get that high high (black) density most of the time I run my film, just partially here and there on the roll (as you can tell). Only on the very furthest outer edge. I think it is a processing error on my part that I've never been able to solve, b/c it happens on both my cameras.

    It's never bothered me though, since it never passes the extreme film edge.
     
  16. wclavey

    wclavey Member

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    Just another question or two... (1) the marks are on about 10 of the 20 rolls you developed... when you developed them, were the ones with the marks all in the tank at the same time (in the same development batches)? and (2) you say the marks are on the film leader as well... is your film loaded onto the reels with the leader nearest the center or nearest the outside? For example, I load all mine with the tape end of the film at the center column...

    I ask these questions because I have seen marks like this on my own developed film when I had a light leak at the center fill-spout area of the tank and the light was reflecting off of the center columns creating that tread-like pattern. If that were the case for you, then I would suspect that you load your film with the leader closest to the center and the reflected light from the leak is only bright enough to pass through a few turns of the film on the reel, hence the absence of the marks on the back end of the film...
     
  17. eric

    eric Member

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    Dang! This is a good mystery!

    Someone mentioned a light leak in the center. ARe you using plastic reels and tanks? Haven't used oen in 20 years so I'm not sure how they work.

    Here are some more questions (to narrow it down some more)
    1. Where in placement in the tank was this? bottom, second from bottom, second from top, top?
    2. If plastic, I *think* there are some models that come with some sort of agitation stick? Or am I wrong there?
    3. Did it happen on other rolls or just this one roll?
    4. Can you explain how you do the film? Pour dev, (or presoak), tap it a few times, agitate x amount per minute, stop, fix....etc, etc..

    This is really bizarre. Can you post of positive of that scan?
     
  18. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    The OP said he was using a stainless steel tank with a plastic lid. This is your standard darkroom item. This would have a snap-on flexible plastic pour lid, with a light seal.
     
  19. GraemeMitchell

    GraemeMitchell Member

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    Unfortunately I didn't keep track of where the rolls sat in the tank, nor which tank the rolls were in. I use Hewes and Nikkor reels, with 2 older no-brand reels mixed in.

    I load the tape end in first, leader out at the end of the roll.

    Again, it happened on a # of rolls. Maybe 10 was too high, more like 7 or 8.

    Load film in changing bag
    presoak for approx 2 min
    dev (d76 1+1 12.5 min 20deg) (wbasic agitation, 30sec intial, rap on counter, then 10 sec every min followed by a rap)
    stop (30 sec in Kodak stop)
    rinse
    fix (ilford rapid)
    wash (1,5,10,20,40 inversions, then usually sit in running water for 5 min)
    photoflo (off reels)
    dry

    It's all worked for me for sometime until now.

    I did have a friend I sent the pics to say they looked like the effects of moving reels too him. He suggested cutting a film canister to fit in the gap btwn the reels and lid.

    I appreciate all the idea.
     
  20. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Good mystery indeed. These places are higher density than the surrounding areas, so, to me, they are not from developer inhibition (like the air bells, etc). They are also well defined, although the edges are soft. They also have a pattern to them. I think any fogging would be too soft and diffused for this kind of pattern, no matter the source of the fog/leak. I have also never seen anything like this in close to 50 years, processing in all kinds of conditions, some not so great.
    I'm going for some other kind of critter, like maybe a moisture/environmentally caused reaction in the emulsion (fungus?) prior to development. Is there anything in common with the offending rolls in terms of the way they were stored, etc, that is unlike the good rolls? This sounds crazy to me too, but I can't imaging a processing driven scenario that would cause these things.
    Hmm...why don't you print a couple, scan and post those? - the positive images might trigger a different response from the Sherlocks out there.
     
  21. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I wonder if the problem might be with how the lid fits on the tank? You say that you checked the lid with a flashlight. Did you put the lit flashlight in the tank, and than invert the tank to mimic agitation?

    Is the tank watertight when you agitate, or does it leak a bit?

    I'd also try developing an unexposed roll of film, to see if the pattern repeats itself.

    Matt
     
  22. GraemeMitchell

    GraemeMitchell Member

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    All rolls were stored and shot in similar conditions.

    I plan on running a test with blank rolls this wknd to see what happens.

    I've a shoot on Monday that will result in 30 or so rolls, so I'm hoping to get it figured out by then.

    Oh, and both my tanks, new and old, have always leaked a bit at the edge of the lid during agitation. Nothing out of the ordinary though.
     
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  23. Tony D

    Tony D Member

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    Could you have shot over a previously exposed roll (double exposed)
     
  24. dr5chrome

    dr5chrome Member

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    I know exactly what caused these marks!

    STATIC ELECTRICITY! Each one of those dots is a static discharge.

    This usually happens when you are unspooling the roll. It can also occur if you rewind the film too quickly. If your climate is very dry or you have taken the film out of a very dry fridge on top of it being dry, this will happen.

    We see this from time to time.

    When we have clients that have been to a very dry place we have to be very careful unspooling the rolls. Denver is a very dry place so we also keep a humidifier in the darkrooms when the humidity gets to a certain level. We used to be in NYC, ill bet you have old radiator heat...

    dw

    www.dr5.com
     
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  25. eric

    eric Member

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    Ohhhhhhh!
    Good one. I was starting to think of in camera problem and not a development issue due to the noticeable patterns. I've seen dots in a small area from static but not a length of a roll.
     
  26. GraemeMitchell

    GraemeMitchell Member

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    This is funny, I'd just called a very knowledgable person at a good lab here, and he came to the same conclusion. I told him it wasn't likely b/c I shoot with my F5 on silent/slow mode, but, I never even thought of the rewinding process (fast), duh.

    So ways to avoid this assuming I can't shoot in humidified rooms. Shoot on slow modes, rewind manually, unspool the film slowly.

    Now I'm paranoid.

    You're correct about the radiator heater too.