Ilford PanF+ pinholes?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Alessandro Serrao, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

    Messages:
    997
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Location:
    Rome, Italy
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi,
    I've just developed two rolls of Ilford PanF+ 35mm (expired in 2008) and stored in freezer most of the times (-18°C).
    I've used R09 one shot (1:50 for 11min), Tetenal Indicet (1:20) and Tetenal odourless fixer (1:5).
    I've used deionised water for all steps except the washing in which I've used tap water treated by a 5micron acquarium dirt and sand reduction filter.
    I've treated them with Tetenal Mirasol antistatic (1:400) and hung them to dry in a shower after having made a lot of steam inside the bathroom.
    I always handle the film with latex gloves and store the negatives in pergamine sleeves.
    Looking at the emulsion side at an angle, with a loupe (actually a 50mm lens) on a light table I see many very tiny circular spots all of the same sizes, even on the clear base in the space between frames.
    What is that?
    I'm unable to post examples because they're not visible with the naked eye nor I was able to scan these pinholes (?).
    The curious fact is that if I look at these spots at an angle I see them translucent (almost clear) while if I look at them perpendicular to the emulsion plane I see them black.
     
  2. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

    Messages:
    997
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Location:
    Rome, Italy
    Shooter:
    35mm
  3. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

    Messages:
    997
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Location:
    Rome, Italy
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2012
  4. MDR

    MDR Member

    Messages:
    1,411
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Location:
    Austria
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Check your watersupply maybe it is contaminated. Do you feel the spot if touch the negatives (slighe elevation)?

    Dominik
     
  5. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

    Messages:
    997
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Location:
    Rome, Italy
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I've always used deionised water for dev, stop and fix and final rinse (wetting agent). I've only used filtered (5micron) tap water for washing.

    Yes, I feel something rough when I pass my finger on the negative. Something like etched emulsion where these spots are.
     
  6. scheimfluger_77

    scheimfluger_77 Subscriber

    Messages:
    506
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Location:
    mid-Missouri
    Shooter:
    Pinhole
    Alessandro,

    A thorny problem. All of your examples, except the first one, appear to be particulate matter on the surface. Do you use a wetting agent such as Photo-Flo? When you hold the film up to a strong light do the spots appear dark? If so it's particulate matter coming from somewhere. How dust free is your drying environment?

    If the spots transmit the backlight then the problem is in the emulsion itself. Possibly from dust on the negative during exposure, the lack of "rapping" on the tank to dislodge air bells, an acid stop bath, or QC in the manufacture. In your first example where spots are visible you appear to have an additional problem of fogging, since they are visible in the frame line.

    Over the past year I've been using a university darkroom with supplied chemistry. They don't use stop bath for film and from what I can tell this does not cause a problem when arresting development. I've never processed film that way before but I will now, that's one odor to deal with in the process. Oh, to clarify I do use a water fill/agitate/dump procedure for 3 or 4 cycles to stop development, it seems to work fine and you eliminate the CO2 bubble problem when going from an alkaline to acidic environment.

    Steve
     
  7. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

    Messages:
    997
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Location:
    Rome, Italy
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I hung up my negative in the shower, after having made a lot of steam with hot water. So dust should not be the problem. Those tiny spots transmit light so they are transparent but can be feel to the touch of the finger.
    I use a citric base stop (Tetenal Indicet). I rap the tank (Paterson) on the table to dislodge air bubbles. My fixer is an odourless one (Tetenal odourless fixer). I always use these chemicals as per specs.

    Since I'm dealing with Ilford I think QC is not questionable so the problem should lean on my side (processing etc...).

    I absolutely rule out the fogging problem.

    Do those tiny spots can be traced back to how I store my films in the freezer?
     
  8. scheimfluger_77

    scheimfluger_77 Subscriber

    Messages:
    506
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Location:
    mid-Missouri
    Shooter:
    Pinhole
    I would say the problem is not storage. Try processing a few rolls using water for stop bath instead of any kind of chemical, just use tap water. Just because your past method yielded good results doesn't mean it's good for all time and eternity. :wink:

    Something in your environment has changed.

    Steve
     
  9. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,894
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    These do not look like air bubbles / pinholes caused by processing. Typical air bubbles or pinholes caused by air are seen by transmitted light, not by incident light as in your examples.

    They look more like some sort of damage to the film itself, which has blown away the emulsion. This might take place if the processing solutions were too hot.

    If you see actual physical damage to the emulsion, as in craters, rough spots, or some sort of damage that you can feel with a finger, then it is either the process or the film. Since this took place on what appears to be 120 and 35mm, I suspect the process.

    PE
     
  10. NB23

    NB23 Member

    Messages:
    1,073
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Kodak hypo clear does that.
     
  11. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,956
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Location:
    Ogden, Utah
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    has this ever happened before and will it happen the next time you do film?

    I've never seen this happen to mine in 40-plus years and i process my film in the kitchen sink using utah tap water, d-76 and kodak fix, no stop bath, and simply foto-flo after which I hang them downstairs in the basement next to the washer-dryer where my wife has a clothes line -- utah's very dry air assures quick drying ---

    not sure why you use steam in the bathroom -- you want them to dry, not stay went and tacky longer.

    anyway, try some more film, see if it happens again, try to eliminate possible causes.
     
  12. zsas

    zsas Member

    Messages:
    1,961
    Joined:
    May 12, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Have you tried the dev at 1+25? I think (could be wrong) but when I ran PanF+ in Xtol at 1+3, I noticed some issues that were similar, it is theoretically possible (but maybe I am wrong) that this film, when processed more dilute will have issues? Food for thought (but maybe I am not remembering correct though, as I have evaluated many films; however, I did conclude that PanF+ worked better for me less dilute.....)
     
  13. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

    Messages:
    997
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Location:
    Rome, Italy
    Shooter:
    35mm
    PE, please have a look at my first photo. This was taken with a 50mm on top of the negative. These marks are clearly visible in between the two frames. In this case is transmitted light.
    All my solutions are at about 20°C +-1°C at max.


    Second problem: why do I get the larger spots on clear sky areas? These spots are black on the negative and I can't feel them on the emulsion. It's much like spots caused by colloidal sulfur from fixer except that my fixer is prepared fresh everytime (I use it one-shot) and the bottle (Tetenal odourless) is new.
    The following is an example of them: http://flic.kr/p/d8Q1cE
    Notice the black spots on the upper right part of the sky.

    I don't use Hypo Clearing Agent.
    These problems came up on two Ilford PanF+ rolls belonging to the same batch number (which I lost since I've thrown the package away) and bought on the same dealer the same day.

    I begin to suspect that is it the deep freezing that ruined them.
    Wandering on apug I've found this post of mine: http://www.apug.org/forums/archive/index.php/t-66228.html where I was complaining of the very same problem this time on a slide roll...

    Ilford doesn't recommend freezing films...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2012
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,894
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well, one problem is that I cannot see the bubbles in the first picture on my monitor. In fact, I cannot see anything distinct in the above example. Sorry.

    I can see the problem in the middle set of pictures in the earlier samples you posted.

    You get them on the sky areas because that is more uniform in density and so the blemishes appear there more easily. They are probably everywhere. OTOH, they may be due to foam in the developer, stop or fix. IDK. I suggest a prewash if you are not using one.

    PE
     
  16. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

    Messages:
    997
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Location:
    Rome, Italy
    Shooter:
    35mm
    That's interesting.
    Ilford warns against using a prewash since: "...it can cause uneven development problem".
    But I will give it a shot anyway.
    PE, you have to look carefully at the space between the two frames, right in the middle of it.
    Those white tiny spots, they can be felt to the touch.

    I've also found this answer of yours here on Apug: [upon freezing] "The gelatin loses its ability to peptize silver properly and it also loses water to some extent and ends up being less elastic and the silver halide crystals can then aggregate. This causes coating defects and pepper grain."

    Is this my problem?
     
  17. scheimfluger_77

    scheimfluger_77 Subscriber

    Messages:
    506
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Location:
    mid-Missouri
    Shooter:
    Pinhole
    I've never had any physical damage effects that I could tell, from freezing my film. This is however prior to opening the roll for use. I've never frozen film after shooting it, I try to process ASAP.

    Steve
     
  18. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

    Messages:
    997
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Location:
    Rome, Italy
    Shooter:
    35mm
    http://flic.kr/p/d8TPUj
    here can also be seen a weird artifact: a rainbow like vertical streak plus a lot of white dots...
    No drying marks can be seen on the negative acetate and emulsion side...
     
  19. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,956
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Location:
    Ogden, Utah
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    i'm currently working my way through a roll 100 feet of ilford panF that I bought in 1978 or thereabouts and had frozen solid for lo these many years -- thawed it out last year and have not had these issues. Never heard that Ilford doesn't recommend freezing.

    I think before you or we speculate any more you need to go shoot another roll and soup it tonight and see if this happens again. at this point i think we all have insufficient data.

    although if I were you I'd just rinse in foto-flo and hang somewhere clean to dry, not the shower. High humidity will keep the emulsion tacky longer.
     
  20. julhu

    julhu Member

    Messages:
    27
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    35mm
    The thread opener is already using a wetting agent: Tetenal Mirasol, which is similar to Photo Flo.
     
  21. georg16nik

    georg16nik Member

    Messages:
    1,044
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  22. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,894
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Allesandro;

    Any defect you can feel is serious indicating either a coating defect, or a rupture of the emulsion during processing. Either is a serious problem.

    Another "feelable" defect is due to adhesion of some foreign particles to the surface of the film. This is less serious in that it can be removed sometimes by a rewet. Most often, this damage too is permanent as the particles embed themselves into the coating.

    The quote you use from my post is indeed true, but there is more to it than that. Ilford, Kodak and Fuji, to name 3, add special agents to the film to protect against freezer damage. This includes things such as sorbitol and carbowax, which are humectants. In any case, the biggest harm to long term freezing is moisture damage and there the film emulsion sticks to the base side when rolled up. Again the big 3 take steps to avoid this.

    And thanks, yes, now I see the spots. Very unusual.

    PE
     
  23. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

    Messages:
    997
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Location:
    Rome, Italy
    Shooter:
    35mm
  24. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,894
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well, I read Simon Galley's post there and he reiterated some of what I said. As for Dr5's post, I could not see it clearly in the pictures. In a transparency, this would be a white spot, not a black spot.

    My only thought is to use a prewet.

    PE
     
  25. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

    Messages:
    997
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Location:
    Rome, Italy
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Infact in Dr5 images there are tiny white spots in the sky areas.
    It seems this is (or better was) a relatively common problem with PanF+ in recent years, admitted by Ilford itself.
    The OP on that thread (Michael W) said that finally Ilford acknowledge it was a film problem but didn't managed to find out why. They sent Michael some new PanF+ rolls (exp date 2014) that he developed with no problem.
    I'm waiting to get in touch with Simon at Ilford to send them the negatives.

    One thing is sure: I cannot afford to pay 5,6€ for a roll that is hit-or-miss. I wouldn't want this to be the right time to switch to digital and never look back...
     
  26. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,894
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Alessandro;

    What you see are not pinholes in the classic sense. Pinholes are tinier than what I see. Air bubbles are just slightly larger than pinholes (2 effects technically but often confused as they look the same). Yours are larger.

    As for seeing them in Dr5's pics, it is hard to tell due to the clouds. I'm sorry that I was not clear. With all of the clouds, I just cannot say with certainty that the problem is there in the sky or how bad the problem is. In any event, what I saw did not look like your problem entirely. But, I rely on his judgment.

    PE