Marching Ants On My Negatives

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by drgoose, May 12, 2014.

  1. drgoose

    drgoose Subscriber

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    Hello, I am having some bad luck with my 35 mm film. I again shot a roll of TriX400 and developed it in D76 Stock for 6:45 mins at 20 degrees. I used Kodak stop bath for 1 minute and then fixed it in rapid fixer for 5 minutes. Rinsed film in running water for 10. Soaked for 30 seconds in 1 lt of water + 2ml of photoflo and then hung them to dry. After I scanned them they all have little white spots (on the inverted positives) that look like a line of ants walked all over them. Some have 2 parallel lines running the length of the negative, some have 3. If I had to guess the look like deposits of some sort but what intrigues me is that the run parallel to the length of the negatives. If they were deposits of some solute suspended in the water that eventually dried out I would expect them to deposit at the lower end of the film.

    When I develop 120 film or 4x5 I have never seen this spots.

    Does anyone know what these could be?
    Thanks in advance
    [​IMG]35mm Pictures Contaflex Frame 22-Edit.jpg by drgoose68, on Flickr
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2014
  2. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    Sorry Not seeing it. Oh, wait--vertical near the right hand side. Hmm...

    Are you loading your own and using the same cartridge? Any trash or nicks inside the camera that can scratch the film?
     
  3. drgoose

    drgoose Subscriber

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    Tri-X 400 developed on D76 stock for 6:45
     
  4. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    Check the film pressure plate for anomalies, as well as the take-up spool in camera.

    My FED-2 used to do something similar it was an old take-up spool Yuri replaced it when I sent it in for CLA and it has been fine since
     
  5. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    I'm thinking along the same lines. Could cinching of the film from some sort of tightening up the roll.
     
  6. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    did you try re-washing the negatives? Looks like crud of some sort, but very regular.

    odd.
     
  7. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    Examine both sides of negative with Jewelers loope or photo lens.

    Then the camera with Jewelers... difficult to locate a source the pressure plate needs to be perfect finish merest spec of rust break through - damage on film.

    If there is a roller in film path examine that too.

    The emulsion side should not be touching anything.

    If rewinding the film back into cassette is not smooth and free that might damage film but not like you have.

    Is this a new camera or one that has been stored?
     
  8. drgoose

    drgoose Subscriber

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    Marching Ants

    This is a camera that I acquired today but I had the same problem before with film I had shot on a recently refurbished Nikon F5. This is a Contaflex. I am wondering if it could be the plastic reels on the developing tank?
     
  9. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    Is this factory packaged Tri-X or home-rolled? Haven't heard any specifying on that. No, it's not the developing reel or anything else in the darkroom that I know of as SOP. The darkroom is way down my list on this problem.
     
  10. drgoose

    drgoose Subscriber

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    Factory packaged TriX. Sorry what is SOP?
     
  11. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    Wow, I just realised how annoying flickr is to use, how do you get to view it at full size?

    Anyway, if it's a new camera and has happened on an old one too, that rules them out. Although a bit of crud on the smaller roller in the camera looks like the most likely candidate.

    So you didn't mention if it was bulk-loaded film or not? Not sure how the same cartridge would do dots like this, but maybe a roller inside the bulkloader? edit: I see you've just said factory-loaded, so rule that out too.
    It doesn't look like anything that would happen from the developing reels though, they simply shouldn't touch the film near there either.
     
  12. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    standard operating procedure. OK-factory packed; got it. A Contaflex and a Nikon F5. The odds of both having burrs in the film train is outside realm of consideration. And it's not in the darkroom. Wait---static charge on plastic reels. Try a metal tank and reels. Or bad batch of film. A bad batch of Kodak film. Not likely. Unfiltered chemistry is out. Air bells in development is out. Bad fixer?--no.
    We're back to static charge on plastic film reels or burrs in film train in camera(s).
     
  13. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Is this mechanical damage, or some dirt - like stone from water? Can you try to remove it with some cotton? But don't touch the emulsion side, of course.
     
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  15. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    You need to look at the film to identify the side emulsion or backing, no point in guessing games.

    Then you need to do the same with each camera.

    Or buy a third camera from a friend preferably.

    Or drop them off at good repair shop if you are not practical.

    When you find the microscopic spot in the camera use brass polish on it until marr dissappears.
     
  16. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Based on this it has to be something common to both sets of circumstances, doesn't it? This seems to rule out non common matters such as camera pressure plate etc and leaves the sort of thing you have suggested yourself such as the same developing reel.

    That's where I'd concentrate my attention

    I hope you find the cause

    pentaxuser
     
  17. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear drgoose,

    It looks to me as though a soak in distilled water followed by pouring the water on both sides of the film after hanging to dry might do the trick. It looks like some dried bubbles from the photo-flo. I find that flowing some photo-flo mix on each side of the film when hanging eliminates that particular issue. Full disclosure - I think I got that tip from Roger Hicks on the old CompuServe photo forum.

    Neal Wydra
     
  18. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    You need to loupe the film from each camera. If the damage is the same it won't be the cameras.

    If it is different quite possible you have two bad cameras.

    If the damage is colinear over several frames it is the/a camera(s).

    Or take two c41 films to a minilab.
     
  19. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Something like this will be fairly obvious when you look at it under greater magnification.

    I live in Florida as well. (near Orlando area) If you would like, I'd be happy to look at it under 40x stereo microscope. With it, I would be able to distinguish between physical damage and surface deposits.
     
  20. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Somehow the negative is showing as a positive on my monitor, but when I invert it I can see the areas of increased density. I had a similar problem in the 1980s with the rollers on my Rolleiflex SL2000F. In that camera the rollers touch the emulsion side. They were causing some static charge with a period exactly equal to the circumference of the edge of the roller. New rollers fixed the problem.
     
  21. kanzlr

    kanzlr Subscriber

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    looks like something left from chemicals or stuff in your water.
    I had the same problem and it went away with a final wash with distilled water with a small drop of photo-flo
     
  22. momus

    momus Member

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    It'd doubtful it's static charge in Florida w/ all the humidity. If you had the same issue w/ another camera, it's probably not the camera. I'm not sure what's wrong, but it might be easiest to shoot another roll and change some of your protocols.

    Your times and temps are fine (I assume you're agitating correctly). Just to be sure, make sure the camera is scrupulously clean inside, use only distilled water, use a funnel & a paper coffee filter w/ some marbles or round clean rocks to help w/ the pouring when you fill your gradients, give the tank regular sharp raps on the counter during all phases, and whip the negs when they come out of the photo flo a couple of times to remove some excess water. Makes sure that where you hang your film to dry is dust and draft free too.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2014
  23. AgX

    AgX Member

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    To me they look like drying marks on the, repellant, base side ofthe film. Longitudinal droplets tore apart whilst drying up and each leaving thus such an array of marks.
     
  24. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    This really looks like water marks to me. I could be wrong, but rewashing won't hurt. The water will drip down the strip and can leave small spots that you don't see until it's dry. Not all the water gets to the bottom of the strip before it evaporates. I'd suggest letting it dry in a slightly more humid area - when mine dries too fast, I'm more likely to get marks. Try rewashing it and maybe adding a little methanol to the last rinse. Hang it at an angle (tougher with 35mm, but easier if it's been cut already) so the water goes to the edge and out of the frames more easily.
     
  25. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Drying marks.
     
  26. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I think Thomas is correct. It's drying marks. Do you have hard water? If you do, you might try using bottled or distilled water for Photoflo. Some folks use a few drops of isopropyl alcohol instead of Photoflo. re-soak you negs and dry with Kimwipes or other lintless cloths.