Mottling (low density patches) on negative

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Tom Kershaw, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    I've not seen this problem before, it is distinct from the phenomena encountered using plastic reels and tanks but presumably has to do with the interaction of developer and film. - film processed in stainless steel tank and reel. Another film processed at the same time featuring extensive sky does not show these marks, which I've double checked on a light box.

    Any ideas?

    See area at top of image below:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    I haven't seen it before, but are you using powdered developer or mixing your own? Has it fully dissolved (any chance there are clumps of chemistry)? Is there a chance the developer sat around long enough to begin crystallizing? Filtering the developer will help if any of these guesses are right.
     
  3. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Hello Bill,

    Good point I was using slightly old XTOL. I'll mix up a fresh batch with distilled water before processing any more important film.

    Tom
     
  4. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Tom;

    I see a series of dark arks across the top starting at the middle and moving to the left. This is in addition to the fault you note which on my screen is less evident than the arks.

    It indicates to me that there is some sort of agitation or foaming problem.

    PE
     
  5. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    PE,

    I was using a 4 reel tank, perhaps I should stick to the 2 reel tanks with plastic lids from Calumet which have never given problems. The film does seem to slide around more in the longer tank.

    EDIT: the 4 reel tanks are all metal and leak slightly, compared to the plastic lid tanks which form a good seal.

    Tom
     
  6. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Well, if I were Noah, I would see arks, but I saw arcs! :D

    Sorry about the misuse!

    Anyhow Tom, I have no idea, I just saw a lot of non-uniformity with no specific cause.

    PE
     
  7. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Yes, it is a puzzling one. I think I'll stick to the 2 reel tanks for the moment and double check my assumptions...
    I switched from plastic to stainless steel a while back and in general have achieved better uniformity, certainly none of those edge markings that can appear with plastic reels.

    Tom
     
  8. Photo Engineer

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    Did you use a pre-wet?

    PE
     
  9. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Yes, despite what ILFORD suggests.

    Tom
     
  10. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Not sure what specific type of stainless steel tank you used, but did you drop the reels into the tank already full and begin agitation right away, or did you fill the tank through the daylight lid with the reels already in?
     
  11. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    good to see ya Ron
    sorry guys…carry on.

    By the way, it does look like agitation but what are the specifics anyway???

    Film
    xtol (you say old…?)
     
  12. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Bruce,

    The XTOL is not very old, just a few months in a full container and has worked fine with other films. I suspect filling and dumping the longer tank may be to blame. Film is Delta 100.

    Tom
     
  13. desertrat

    desertrat Member

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    I saw this same phenomenon in some J&C Pro 100 in 120 size that I had stored past its expiration date. I believe the film was rebranded Shanghai GP3 100. Some rolls from the same batch that had been exposed and developed before it expired also showed this, after doing some further checking, but was much less noticeable and I didn't see it at first. I only saw it after I had trouble with the last couple of rolls and went back to look harder at the earlier ones.

    I also noticed this problem recently with a batch of 10 rolls of Ultrafine Plus 100 in size 120 that I bought several months ago. As a control, I exposed and developed a roll of Plus-x that was cold stored and expired a couple of years ago. No mottling, so I don't think it was my process. I think the Chinese emulsions in 120 are susceptible to this, especially past their expiration date even if cold stored. The Ultrafine film had no expiration date, so I have no way of knowing how old it is.

    Edit: I just noticed you mentioned the negatives were Delta 100. Is the film expired, by any chance?
     
  14. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    No, film is not expired but is part of a processing backlog from last Autumn, and the film would still be in or at date now, e.g. July 2012 onwards.

    Tom
     
  15. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Tom, was the film stored in a refrigerator or freezer? If so, this might be moisture condensation.

    PE
     
  16. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    PE,

    No, I stored the film at moderate room temperature.

    Tom
     
  17. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    I have seen something like this before on very old film stock that had been stored in a warm(ish) damp(ish) place. Only you know what conditions it has been stored in but that is my contribution.
     
  18. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    I don't reckon it's the Xtol because the other film was fine and you didn't get dense spots from undissolved materials. And likewise the spots are not an agitation problem.

    My suspicion would be something on the film, either condensation or mould spots. The condensation could have occurred before exposure.
     
  19. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Further developments:

    Yesterday I processed another two rolls of Delta 100 '120' in a 2-reel stainless steel tank. One of the films was from the same day with the same subject matter as my original post and displayed the mottling, but the other film, again exposed last Autumn and with extensive sky in frame did not... - printing the 6x7 negatives onto 12"x16" paper so reasonable enlarging for checking quality control issues.

    Tom
     
  20. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    If it's isolated to particular rolls of a tank with multiple rolls it couldn't be the developer as it would affect all of the rolls.

    The only common denominator is that the two films that display the problem are shot on the same day and are likely from the same manufacturing batch.

    I'm inclined to believe it has to do with how those particular films were stored; if they at some point were frozen and condensation got to them somehow, as mentioned above. Is there any way of telling whether your problems can be isolated to a particular batch of film, and their storage conditions prior to you being in possession of them?
     
  21. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Tom, it looks like some sort of keeping problem. Perhaps moisture condensation?

    PE
     
  22. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Well, the films were not frozen or refrigerated in my possession, and they would have been from a batch ordered near the beginning of 2011. Considering ILFORD film only travels a few hundred miles between factory - retailer - myself, at first consideration there is less time or potential for problems than film that has traveled thousands of miles by ship.

    Tom
     
  23. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Moisture condensation is starting to look like a strong possibility. Although the films have been stored together since last Autumn in a moderate temperature environment, the films were not stored together at the time of exposure; e.g. some may have been left in a sealed zip pocket of a camera bag for a few days.

    Tom
     
  24. Photo Engineer

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    I think it is time for you to go to Ilford on this one.

    PE
     
  25. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    I could post ILFORD a couple of 8"x10" crops showing the problem.

    Tom