Big Bright Spots on negative (Fuji Neopan 100, Caffenol C-M)

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by KanFotog, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. KanFotog

    KanFotog Member

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    Hello APUG!

    I finally got around to processing my own film (I only shoot 35mm) recently, and here's a brief description of my setup:

    Stainless steel tank and reel (1 roll at a time).
    Developer: Caffenol C-M Reinhold's formula, with Bru Instant Coffee (I don't get Folger's here)
    Stop bath: Acetic Acid diluted water.
    Fixer: Agifix (A local fixer brand, specially used for X-Ray films)
    Photo-Flo: Again, a local variety.
    (All chemicals mixed in tap water at room temperature, and then refrigerated to get to right temperature)

    I'm trying to follow all the instructions to the T, so temperature control, agitation etc. are all pretty standard.
    Also, I use all the chemicals one-shot.

    Now the trouble is, in every roll I process (3 so far), some frames invariably end up with a blot-like spot on them. Some others are perfectly clean.

    Attached a few examples (some aren't true B/W because I scanned them as C41).

    Any ideas on what I'm doing wrong?

    Worst case:
    Som_092.jpg

    Ideal scenario:
    Som_186.jpg

    Slightly less than worse (look at the bright white spot on left)
    Som_187.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 15, 2012
  2. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    Layers of film touching one another in the reel? (Or airbubbles...perhaps less likely?)
     
  3. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    My guess too.
     
  4. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    My guess too. Listen as you reel the film. You can hear the crinkling and feel a roughness when it happens. Sometimes you won't know it until you get near the end and it feels like you jumped a rail. 36 exposures should practically fill the reel. If you have two spirals left at the end, then you should suspect wrinkling.

    It generally happens when you don't start right.

    If in doubt, I prefer to unreel completely and try to make the film start better centered under the clip.
     
  5. albada

    albada Subscriber

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    I recommend using Hewes reels, as they start more easily and load more reliably than no-name reels. They eliminated my frustration!

    Mark Overton
     
  6. Ezzie

    Ezzie Member

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    I concur. Definately film touching. Apart from that the Caffenol development seems to have gone rather well. So you needn't do much in the way of correction there.
     
  7. KanFotog

    KanFotog Member

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    Thank you folks! Going by the strong consensus, guess I'll have to be more careful with my reel next time.

    Bill: It appears as though you've seen my reel :smile: Yes, I usually get a couple of empty spirals at the end. Used to think they were just buffers.
    I normally don't use the metal clip at all and just start rolling on the middle bars.Is the clip really that important?
    I ask because after watching a few YouTube video lessons (Art of Photography by Ted Forbes), it seemed like the clip can be ignored.

    Albada: Not sure if Hewes will be available where I am. However, the reel I'm using looks really really similar to Hewes'.

    Ezzie: Thank you. I was surprised about the dev results too. Destroyed my first roll (soda was probably too strong, and not anhydrous), but from the second roll onwards, getting at least 26-28 frames right.
    Hopefully, that number will get to 37 once I learn how to load properly onto the reel.

    Cheers,
    Som
     
  8. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    If you ignore the clip, the film can walk itself out of the reel. It depends on agitation - rotary agitation is especially bad for causing this.
     
  9. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    It's that first inch which matters, I say you must get the film to lay into the innermost spiral. Using the clip helps steer the film towards that first bend so it falls exactly where it needs to. After you get that right, the first couple turns are critical... After that if it feels like it's fighting, it probably is crinkled.

    I consider reeling film a "lie detector" kind of activity. If I am nervous and sweaty, I cannot do it and I will have to unreel and reel three or more times. If I am calm and collected, I can do it right every time. Don't let it shake your confidence.
     
  10. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Yup. Hewes are worth twice their price. Starting using them about 5 years ago and it's been a dream ever since, especially for 35mm, but the 120 ones excel as well.
     
  11. KanFotog

    KanFotog Member

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    I developed another roll of film last Sunday, with careful loading this time, and the number of 'lost' frames has drastically reduced.

    From 6-8 earlier, now it's down to 3-4 and I'm counting smallish dots on the sprocket which would never print/scan.

    Matt, Bill: I still couldn't use the clip (small changing bag maybe?) but a slow, even paced reeling seems to work better. The worst affected image was at the end of the roll which had firmly stuck to the layer below.

    Thank you all once again for the spot-on analysis!