Unexplained spots on Rolleiflex negative

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by MichaelR, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. MichaelR

    MichaelR Member

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    Greetings,
    I have long been impressed with the collective knowledge at APUG and I was hoping that you could help me out. I have been using a Rolleiflex TLR 3.5F (Xenotar) for about 5 years, after it was beautifully serviced by Harry Fleenor. My most recent negatives appear to be sporting these dark, ill-defined, discolorations along the right upper border (and extending to the right lower border at times). As you can see from the attached contact sheet, they are not entirely consistent, but they are always on the same side so I suspect it is not a processing issue. Incidentally, I expose the film at box speed, use x-tol 1:1 but subtract 45"-1' from the recommended development time, a water stop bath and ilford liquid fixer. I thought it might be from a light leak...but none are apparent and the staining is not as severe as I would have expected. I suspect it could also be from internal reflections (I usually use a hood, occasionally an orange filter, but am not certain if that makes a difference). I was hoping someone here could give me a clue, before I ship the camera off for service. Thanks,
    Michael
     

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  2. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    Is it only this particular roll? It looks like the roll might have been contaminated before it went into the camera, perhaps it got wet? I had a friend lose some rolls that got damp in storage and looked kind of like that.
     
  3. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    Air bells during development? Or possibly chemical contamination on one side of the reel? Say more about how you are developing the film- tank, timing, etc. Those are processing marks, not camera marks, so don't worry about sending the camera back.

    The B&W forum would be another place to get answers.
     
  4. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    They are all on the same side so you suspect it IS a processing error :wink: . I'll bet that side of the film was UP when it was in the tank, right? Try adding more developer to the tank.
     
  5. heespharm

    heespharm Member

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    it could be not enough developer those look like the bubbles that form from shaking... but the large half moon dark streaks... you got me..
     
  6. rmolson

    rmolson Member

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    spots

    This may be a little off the wall, But if the marks on the proof are dark then they must be clear on the film And the image is a repeatable image suggesting something inside the camera comes into contact with film at different times. Perhaps a piece of fabric or thread hanging on the side of the interior And under the right conditions, film advance , angle of camera etc, moves. I would inspect the interior thoroughly.
     
  7. MichaelR

    MichaelR Member

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    Thanks to all. The spots on the negative are along the long axis of the roll of film. I use a patterson tank so that this would not be the top nor the bottom. As far as chemical contamination on the roller...that is an interesting thought, but the radius of the roller is such that it must make several revolutions across each frame and I would expect to see "clones" of the spots in a regular sequence across the film. As far as bubbles from shaking...how come they are always along the same side of the film. It is also on previous rolls, but I always thought it was just an isolated screw up....now it seems more frequent. When I enlarged the images to 10x13 (on 11x 14 ilford fb mg paper) it was quite noticeable. The fabric idea is interesting...but I don't think there is fabric inside this rolleiflex at all. I will look inside when I finish the current roll of film, but it looked fine before.
     
  8. MichaelR

    MichaelR Member

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    I must apologize, especially to ic-racer and heespharm. I looked at the contact sheet again and they are indeed on the upper edge of the film. You are probably right, and I will make sure to add additional chemicals. I use the amount of xtol recommended on the bottom of the tank, I believe it is 9oz stock plus 9 oz water, but perhaps my fixer, which I re-use, may be slightly less. Thanks to all, I think your explanations most likely explain it. I will let you know the results when I process my next roll of film.
     
  9. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I used to get these with a Vivitar brand reel and was NEVER able to get rid of all of them 100% until I moved to rotray processing. In my case, years ago, air bubbles would get trapped at the top of the reel. No problem with 35mm, but with the 120 film the image comes much closer to the reel, so the air bells would show as oblong marks. I hope you are able to solve this.
     
  10. NJS

    NJS Member

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    those splotches look to me as the film has been expired long ago and it stayed a bit longer than it should in the developer. I get the same results whenever I use 20 years old Orwo and shoot it at native iso or push +1 or +2.
     
  11. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Michael - I agree about the probability that this is bubble activity at the top of the reel. A couple of things for what they are worth:
    I know exactly how much it takes to fill the tank to just over the reel (plus a little) and measure out that much for developer to ensure coverage, and allow room for agitation flow. Especially with 120 film, where it needs more space to travel across the whole film width.
    I know that some films will foam with certain developers (Delta 400 and Rodinal for one). I know this sounds strange, but I saw it when dumping developer when I first started this combination, and solved it with a presoak.
    I am consistent about which side of the film is up when loading the tank, just for the purpose of diagnosing these kinds of issues.
     
  12. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    On my screen with the pictures enlarged it looks like the emulsion was scratched. I tend to agree with rmolson. If bubbles, they sure are tiny.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  13. Hikari

    Hikari Member

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    I think if you use an acid stop bath, they may disappear. You may not be stopping development. An acid stop bath acts fast--measured in micro seconds. Water simply dilutes the developer--developers are alkaline so changing the Ph with an acid stops development (water does not change Ph). In your work flow, you are placing active developer in the fix.
     
  14. MichaelR

    MichaelR Member

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    Thanks again. Actually, the film is new Plus X (or delta 100). I used to use Patterson reels but switched, especially for120,to the Samigon reels-as recommended by a previous poster. They seem identical to the patterson reels but they have a flat table like area where the film enters the reel, so I don't have the film being ground up in the reel as it loads. I use a patterson tank, agitate by inversion, and actually shave about 1 minute off of the temperature adjusted recommended processing time (from the Kodak website). They are all developed in X-tol 1:1, water stop bath, and ilford fixer.

    I hadn't been getting them before -at least that I noticed- so I suspect it is not the reel itself. I really appreciate all of your insights...and I hope to be able to sort this out as I really love using the Rolleiflex.
     
  15. MichaelR

    MichaelR Member

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    I am curious about the acid stop bath. I used to use Kodak, but stopped based on recommendations in the film developing cookbook by Anschell. He seemed to suggest that it causes reticulation or clumping and I switched to water. My 35 mm negatives seem fine, as did the majority of the 120 until recently. Are most of you using water or acetic acid stop baths?
     
  16. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    There are a few recent threads here on stop baths (acetic acid and otherwise) vs. water stop for film. Some of the discussions in them are, shall we say, energetic :smile:. I'd suggest searching for them.

    You will find that there are people here in both camps. I'm in the camp that uses stop bath.

    I don't think anyone here thinks that stop bath causes problems with most films. Some think its advantages are outweighed by the convenience and economy of using a water rinse.
     
  17. Hikari

    Hikari Member

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    Stop bath will not cause reticulation (actually, with modern film emulsions, it is really hard to induce reticulation, even boiling does not seem to do it). It simply stops development because development does not take place in an acid. I always use an acid stop as water does nothing but dilute the developer.
     
  18. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Which is all you need.
    (It does more, even: for instance, it replaces the supply of fresh developer with inactive water.)

    But wasn't there a lengthy thread about this a short while ago.
    :D
     
  19. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Re acetic acid stop -
    Most people who use it use a very dilute strength (1% - 2% is enough for film) which won't cause any problems with the emulsion.

    Many people who use plain water do so because they use an alkaline fixer (like TF4 or TF5) and don't want to drag in any acid into the fix. You can find out more about this by searching in this forum for these terms.
     
  20. Hikari

    Hikari Member

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    I was not asking the question about the stop bath. MichealR was.

    And to be clear, a rinse is contaminated by the developer and so you are simply diluting the developer, not replacing it with fresh water. So you need to refresh your rinse often which, in my opinion, is a waste of water and more things to keep track of (and a real pain if you are running a processor). A stop bath also helps preserve an acid fix, which tends to be the most common type of fix.

    If you wish to use a rinse, please do. Many folks do and are successful. That does not mean a stop is superfluous. My recommendation to MichaelR is to use a stop. He is happy to use a rinse if he wishes. However, since a stop will not cause reticulation, that is not a reason for avoiding a stop.
     
  21. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Not wanting to redo the thread we had lately, but yes, a stop is superfluous, a water rinse is all that's needed (no need to refresh it, by the way - so/because the next bath will be fix, not water).
    And perhaps not giving the emulsion that acid stop pH-shock will help prevent reticulation, if such help is needed (which it isn't).