Tiny Black Flecks on Negs

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by scottmcl, Jul 27, 2005.

  1. scottmcl

    scottmcl Member

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    I thought I had dust on my negs, but under a loup, I see tiny (not so tiny, really) black flecks on my negs.

    What might these be?

    I use a Patterson tank, and I recently bought the Patterson "hose" for washing the negs. Could this be related? Is the Patterson continuous flow washing "hose" unreliable?

    Thanks for any help!

    Scott
     
  2. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    I've found the problem you describe as one related to Photo Flo. I thinned my solution with alcohol but it does not completely remove the problem. It does seem to lessen it.
     
  3. jjstafford

    jjstafford Inactive

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    Do you use a filter on your tap? It's a good idea.
     
  4. thedarkroomstudios

    thedarkroomstudios Member

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    If you use any powder chemicals it can sometimes be undiluted grains which embed (sp?) themselves.
     
  5. scottmcl

    scottmcl Member

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    FP4+ in Acutol 1:15. Water stop. Double fix in Sprint Fixer. Wash. 2nd bath was fresh fixer. Wash (tap) using Patterson thingy. Sprint Fixer remover. Wash some more. Finally, distilled water + alcohol + some FotoFlo. Hang to dry in a clothes hanging bag (keeps dust off).

    So no powdered chemicals. I first imagined that somehow the silver was clumping of something during fixer, but the FofoFlow is an intriguing theory.

    Really odd, yes?

    Scott
     
  6. scottmcl

    scottmcl Member

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    I'm wondering if a quick fix and rewash might do the trick. Skip the fotoflo and just use distilled water at the end?

    Scott
     
  7. thedarkroomstudios

    thedarkroomstudios Member

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    Mebbe, worth a try you can't hurt 'em. I'd vote for try filtering your waters. Just gra a cheapy screw-on water filter (Brita or someone) or even just rubber-band a coffee filter (if you think your grains are big enough to be caught) over the spigot next time you develop as an experiment to see if it's rust or other crap in your supply. (if they've recently flushed the street it tends to stir up sediment for a couple days)
     
  8. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    Photo-Flo will not leave black specks but can leave a greasy film is too much is used. Do not follow Kodak's recommendations for dilution. Remember they're trying to sell this stuff. I have found that 5-6 drops of the concentrate to 250 ml of water is plenty.

    It's a good idea to filter any processing solutions that are reused like fixer, clearing agent, etc before use.

    Plastic tanks and reels, as opposed to stainess steel ones, have many places for crud to accumulate -- make sure to thoroughly clean them after use. Let then soak overnight in a 2% solution of sodium carbonate (washing soda) every so often. Use the faucet spray to dislodge anything adhering to the reels.
     
  9. RichSBV

    RichSBV Member

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    Are the 'flecks' on the emulsion side or the back?

    I ask because for the first time, I've run into a similar problem. Oddly enough, the first time I've run T-max 400 (4x5). Nothing else changed in my flow, except the fixer may be a bit old...

    Quite a bit of black spotting on the back of the negs. Emulsion side perfect. D-76, stop bath, fixer for 20 minutes or so, 30 minute wash...

    I'll see what happens with the next set, maybe with new fixer ;-)
     
  10. Charles Webb

    Charles Webb Member

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    Something to think about,

    If a black fleck or such appeared on the base of the negative it wold print white the same as it would on the emulsion side.

    A scratch on the base will appear white in the print, a scratch on the emulsion side will print black. If it is something floating in the chemicals, it would not just settle on one side of the sheet. Before a wetting agent I hold the sheet under a fairly strong flow of wash water with the flow directed to the center of the sheet, the flow goes in all directions washing any floaters
    away.
     
  11. Leonidas

    Leonidas Member

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    Yes!.. it is the silver emultion clumping during fixing. Why? depents on film emultion and how old the fixer is (common in 5x4 film plates from Eastern Europe).
    Solution? Clean the film gently with your fingers inside a wetting agent solution. Use a clear tray on top of a light sourse if you can, only if it is safe!!!

    All the best.