Strange, large dots with Kodak Plus-X and Kodak XTOL 1+1

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by zeitgeistler, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. zeitgeistler

    zeitgeistler Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I tried finding an answer to my problem via the search engine but wasn't successfull.

    So here's the thing: Recently, I'm getting those strange gray (on negative bright) dots - see scans attached. I rarely have that with Tri-X 400 too but not with any other film.

    For my last batch I used fresh developer, stop and fix so I can rule out the chemicals. I'm worried about my next 5 rolls of 125PX which are waiting in the fridge to be processed. Anyone out there who had the same?

    Before I forget: It's not dust or any kind of water marks - as far as I can say. Meaning it must be something connected to the development process. I even started thinking that XTOL might not be the best choice for Plus-X which would be a bummer as the tonal range with that developer is plain fantastic.

    Here are the scans (done with the Nikon Coolscan V ED):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And a crop from a Tri-X scan:

    http://scans.bernhardwolf.at/APUG/14704-2.jpg


    Any help is deeply appreciated!
     
  2. archphoto

    archphoto Member

    Messages:
    1,066
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    Location:
    Holland and
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    They look air-bubbles to me.
    Do you tap your develop-tank onto the sink in order to get rid of them ?

    What kind of tank/spiral combination do you use ?

    Peter
     
  3. zeitgeistler

    zeitgeistler Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi Peter,

    yes, I do tap the tank on the table in order to get rid of air bubbles. In fact, I do so after every agitation. Also, I don't have this at all on Neopan1600 and Tmax400 - only on 125PX and very rarely with 400TX.

    I'm using the Jobo 15xx (1520 + 1540) system. I must add that after processing a few hundred rolls with the tanks they are not that clean any more - could that be an issue?

    Bernhard
     
  4. Ben 4

    Ben 4 Member

    Messages:
    79
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    Location:
    Lancaster, P
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Condensation?

    I'm not sure those are air bells, which in my experience are more regular in their circular shape and more irregular in density.

    But I don't have a good alternative to suggest. Could it be condensation on the undeveloped film?
     
  5. Philippe-Georges

    Philippe-Georges Member

    Messages:
    729
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Flanders Fie
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Sometimes, this can happen by sneezing or spitting, due to singing or talking, when handling the undeveloped film in the dark room.
    A way to avoid these little drops slowing down the development, a pre wash can be helpful.

    Philippe
     
  6. zeitgeistler

    zeitgeistler Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Condensation could be a reason but then again, when putting the film on the spool I'm alone and don't sing or do anything similar. The tanks are dry and so are the spools themself. A friend of mine suggested pre-washing the film too - if I do so, how long do you recommend? Also, how much does the actual development time decrease? Right now, I'm sticking to the Kodak refrence time (8:15, 20°C, 1+1 XTOL).

    Also, if it's condensation, why is it only visible on the Plus-X but not on Tmax or Neopan? I handle those films exactly the same.

    Thanks a lot for your help so far!
     
  7. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

    Messages:
    4,886
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Keeping the
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    These look like drying marks to me.
     
  8. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,781
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Did you notice that the spots are all in a repeating pattern on each frame? Something unusual is going on here. It is not drying marks or air bubbles. They are irregular in positioning.

    PE
     
  9. Philippe-Georges

    Philippe-Georges Member

    Messages:
    729
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Flanders Fie
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes, PE, like the spray of sneezing or coughing, these things sometimes happens unnoticed. When, ages ago, I worked at a lab, we had to ware a mouth mask, when we had a little cold, wile loading the films on the racks (for the E-6 processing) to avoid unwanted spitting on the emulsion.

    Philippe
     
  10. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,727
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    *******
    Did you store the exposed film in the fridge whilst waiting to develop it?
     
  11. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,206
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've had marks like that when I load film in a changing bag. Tough to sneeze or cough on the film like that... :smile:
     
  12. randerson07

    randerson07 Member

    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Location:
    Pingree Grov
    Shooter:
    35mm
  13. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,781
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    After more consideration of this, I would like to add that having a repeating pattern of dots cannot be easily explained by handling in the darkroom. I would also like to ask if the spots appear between frames or if they end at the frame edges.

    PE
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. randerson07

    randerson07 Member

    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Location:
    Pingree Grov
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I only noticed it on the one frame, and really didnt notice it in the scan(though you can clearly see if when looking for it). I really noticed it when I printed it at 11x14. That frame was near the end of the roll, If I remember Ill have a look at the rest of the roll and see if there are more dots present.

    I processed that roll in Rodinal 1+50 for 13min with 10sec agitation every min and a couple knocks on the table after each one.
     
  16. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,422
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto-Onta
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    Over the past couple of months now on this specific forum we have seen many examples of plus density marks on nuetral areas in prints or scans that are minus density in the negatives.

    IMO it boils down to a development stage problem,

    Most likely due to ones developer not getting on to the film evenly and at the same time which in broad areas of nuetral grey will create minus density *blotches, flow marks mottling* that is just not obvious in complicated images with lots of texture , rather than smooth areas.

    Over the last 18 years of running a film processing *jobo one shot* printing business this has been the most vexing of problems we had to solve.

    I would suggest to those having problems shoot 18% grey cards with the card in even light, make sure the card fills the whole image, process the film and read the negative in various places on a densitometer. If the grey cards are evenly lit and the resulting film density's back this up and you have no uneven areas, blotches, mottle then I think your process is good.


    I can understand how this problem can drive one nuts, but there are ways of solving these problems , it just takes a lot of film , time and patience.
     
  17. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,781
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Bob;

    In the OP, there are two frames with identical defect marks. This is very unusual. It is pretty hard to get that type of pattern to repeat itself from a development problem IMHO. I would hesitate to call it a lens spot problem as they don't show up this way either (usually) and that is where I am stuck.

    That is why I ask if it is present outside of the image area as well or along the edges.

    I have seen a coating defect like that, but never in adjacent frames, rather they are separated by the circumference of the problem roller (or spot) in the coating machine. So, the next question is, is the problem on all frames or on adjacent frames?

    PE
     
  18. mike c

    mike c Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,280
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The spots do look evenly spaced,my be some thing on a contrast filter or heat absorbing glass.
     
  19. mike c

    mike c Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,280
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    oh I forgot ,just scaned. maybe scanner.
     
  20. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,422
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto-Onta
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    Hi Ron

    My observations are based on a bunch of threads rather than this paticular one.
    If there are marks in identical positon on different frames it would be pretty unlikely a development mistake as you suggest.

    I have isolated myself to this paticular forum only since Jan 1, I was spending too much time on APUG. By doing so it has come to my attention that there seems to be a lot of issues with dark mottle / blotches on film in nuetral areas.
    Those having such problems , I encourage to shoot nuetral cards and make that film perfect before imaging and ruining a lot of film.

    scanner, old film, xray, bad storage , coating defect ,may or may not be the source of this paticular problem , minus density in prints usually means development in my world.
    The almost perfect very large circle's makes me wonder as they are mark's I have not seen.


     
  21. zeitgeistler

    zeitgeistler Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Well, yes, in Tunisia I stored it in the minibar in my hotel room. Back home I put the rolls in freezer until I processed them (3-4 days I think). I always stored them in the plastic thingie.

    Exactly the same marks? If so, I guess this rules out that possiblity.

    Were you able to remove them somehow? I tried but wasn't too successfull.

    I just checked the actual negatives but couldn't spot any dots outside the frame. Then again, they're hardly visible with the bare eye unless viewed against a darker background.

    Most dots are at the beginning of the roll (especially when I have them with Tri-X which is - as I said - a very rare thing). Could it be a more general thing of 125PX?
     
  22. zeitgeistler

    zeitgeistler Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I checked the entire roll now and all I can say is that the dots are not in a regular pattern or something. Also, they're in nearly every frame. They appear to be perfectly random though seem to be sticking to medium density (sky or walls). When checking the actual negatives it becomes quite clear that they're not some kind of water mark on the carrier nor the emulusion side. Moreoever, the spots don't differ in color from the rest of the film. Like I said, the dots are only within the frame - not outside.

    I'm going to try the grey card thing soonish but I suppose this won't help me with the fact that I have 4 rolls of Plus-X waiting in the freezer.

    Concerning coating: I'm shooting the ZM 50/2 and ZM 35/2 - the 50 mm is 3 months old now. So I don't think it's the problem as I have those dots with both - the 50 and 35.

    If anyone is interested, I can upload scans of the entire roll. Maybe that'd help?
     
  23. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,781
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That might help, as the two frames you did post have identical spot patterns. If they differ, the differences might tell us something.

    PE
     
  24. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,727
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Was the film allowed to reach room temperature before the film canisters were opened for processing the film?
     
  25. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,727
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    *******
    Z
    OP shot the film in North africa.
    could airport xray be the culprit?
     
  26. LisaU

    LisaU Member

    Messages:
    40
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Could it be in the drying process? I found a few of those kinds of density spots on my film awhile back. The only thing I could contribute it to was that it was drying unevenly and too slowly. The areas of the emulsion that held a drop of water was for some reason making the density of the emulsion shift or something as it dried. I use one drop of photoflo and distilled water but maybe there was not enough circulation in my drying cabinet ( I don't turn it on.) Now I gently, very gently) swipe my negs with a non lint cloth so that there are no drops and it drys evenly and I have had no problem since. It doesn't make sense to me but it seems to work.