Vertical lines in B&W 120 negatives

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by avantster, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. avantster

    avantster Member

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    So this is my first post and I'm relatively new to developing B&W film. Thanks to Jason Brunner for getting me started. I've used the search function but I don't think I've found one that describes the same problem that I am having. My negatives have very thin vertical (top to bottom) parallel lines that seem consistent throughout the whole negative including the sections in between shots that should not have been exposed to light.
    The lines are always grey and in very light areas such as the daytime sky the lines appear darker than the actual image, while in very dark areas the lines appear lighter than the actual image. It happens regardless of shutter speed or aperture.

    I shoot using a Rolleiflex T purchased from one previous owner using Kodak T-Max 400 120 film.

    I use a Patterson plastic tank and reel, load the film in a dark bag and develop my film as follows, all at 22°C (71.6°F), all solutions prepared using tap water. I use 600mls which is more than enough to completely immerse the film but does not completely fill the tank. I invert in a figure '8' and twist the tank each time to ensure consistent development.

    Pre-soak - tap water, 3 mins - tap to ensure no bubbles
    Developer - Ilford ID11 powder 1:3, 13 mins - 1 inversion every 15 seconds
    Stop bath - Ilfostop 1:19, 45 seconds - 1 inversion every 15 seconds
    Fixer - Ilford rapid fixer 1:4, 5 mins - 1 inversion every 15 seconds
    Wash - running tap water, 2 mins
    Rinse - Ilfotol 1:200, 2 mins soak, no inversions

    I then shake the reel to get rid of any excess water then remove and hang the negative using metal film clips top to bottom and let it dry naturally ensuring I don't touch the negative.

    What could be the problem here? Light leak? Tank contamination? Too much wetting agent?

    I suspect it may be something to do with the chemical concentrations or timing I am using with the Kodak T-max film as the very first roll I developed from this camera (still in the camera from the previous owner) was a Fuji Neopan 100 and came out perfectly clear without any vertical lines.

    Edit: I should mention I am scanning straight from the negative using an Epson V500. The lines are visible on the negative itself.

    Cheers,
    Brian
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 15, 2009
  2. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    I've never seen this. Thinking about it, as you say the lines are lighter than the dark areas, and darker than the light areas, almost suggests that they are mechanical rather than silver in makeup. Can you scan, or observe an area, maybe in the strip between images, at high magnification to determine if it is a silver image, or a scratched (or somehow disturbed) surface? And on which side of the film? Maybe something in the film transport of the camera, like on the pressure plate. This would be a rare factory problem for Kodak film, in my experience.
     
  3. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    Looks like grit in the camera transport system. The lines are too "defined" for a processing / chemicals issue IMO. Are the rollers in the camera corroded and pitted? I've seen this on 35mm - the worst was a customer who'd dropped the unused film on the beach before loading it and filled the felt light trap with sand.

    The lines are absolutely straight which suggests that the film has been dragged over something that that has "scagged" the film.

    Bob H
     
  4. DJGainer

    DJGainer Member

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    As Bob suggests, check the roller system on the camera to make sure the rollers are spinning and not stuck. Also check the pressure plate. On some Rolleiflex models there is a 35mm/70mm setting in addition to the 120 setting on the plate. if it is set on 35mm it might be causing this issue. Either way it definitely looks mechanical.
     
  5. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    That looks like what i get on 35mm film when I forget to open the light trap on my bulk loader all the way, and drag the film through it.
     
  6. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    I've had similar lines when dragging 120 film thru a 620 box brownie. It was really hard to wind on. Next time I filed the 120 spool more and it was fine. So I agree with George, it could be mechanical.

    As for your processing technique, I'd suggest extending your final wash a bit longer. Also, most people agitate with one or more inversions each 30secs or a minute (I do 2 per min). Not that it matters if you get the contrast in your negs that you want, but an inversion every 15secs wouldn't even let the developer settle by the time it runs back into the tank.
     
  7. avantster

    avantster Member

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    Thanks for the response guys.

    Having checked the camera more thoroughly, I believe you are right that the problem is mechanical. Thinking back, I have found it more difficult than usual to wind the film, and after opening the camera back in daylight I found these curious tiny purplish brown curls - obviously scraped off the film!

    I checked the pressure plate and rollers which are both in great working condition. Eventually I realised I've been loading the film incorrectly, under one of the rollers instead of over it. The instructions I had for loading the film were for a slightly different model. Live and learn.

    I have just run a fresh roll of film through and it seems to be working smoothly now. Will report back after I develop it if the problem isn't solved.

    Thanks again.
    Brian
     
  8. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Ooops, I just read the last post by OP. I shall leave my reply, however, to show how wunnerfully kenowladgeable I truely be.......(VBG)



    Withe the modern Rolleiflexes other than the T, the film goes under a bar which tightens the film. But not the T. I forget if the T has a roller. If it does, are you, perchance, loading the film under the roller ala the other Flexes?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2009
  9. avantster

    avantster Member

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    Thanks for the response anyway John, you are absolutely correct!

    I guess that's what happens when you choose the T as your first Rollei :smile:

    Cheers,
    Brian
     
  10. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    ******
    In 1968, I worked one summer for an outfit doing convention photography. We shot Rollei Ts. To speed film loading, the dryer kid, in free time, would take empty spools, open the roll, put the leader in the empty roll; turn a coupla turns; then rubber band the two-together. On a job, when we finished a roll, we wound it tight; pulled it; licked the paper, stuck it away. Popping the already threaded spool in, then unwinding, and popping the full spool in; we lined up the arrows, closed, wound to one, and were back shooting in less time than it takes to read this.
    The cameras were not babied and lasted forever. We used only the T model because that kind of loading procedure could only be done with the T. Although I have owned several Rolleis, I always loved the T, including that little angled shutter release. You may, somehow, someday, "outgrow" the T; but it shall always be special to you.
     
  11. Philippe-Georges

    Philippe-Georges Member

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    What a relief! At last somebody else demonstrating the same problem, I felt lonely here!
    It was a rather long quest to find the origins of this!
    The issue you have now is what is to be called 'friction fog' and is due to a harsh mechanical contact between the undeveloped emulsion and a hard surface like the borders of the image frame or a stuck transport roll in the camera, harsh backing paper, to tight rolling of the film prior or after exposure, the borders or the loading system of the (plastic) developing reel, finger nails, grid, rough manipulation in the darkroom when unrolling the film prior to developing and all of the kind. Rather typical for 120 roll-film I found, and light-leaks are not that fine and sharp.
    I thought that only Fomapan was prone to this, but now Kodak too...
    I solved this by being more careful and gentle when manipulating undeveloped film, using SS reels, not to strongly tighten the roll by pulling the backing-paper after I take it out of the camera, gently unroll the film when loading it on the developing reel and checking my camera for rough surfaces and stuck transport-rolls (Hasselblad).
    BTW, ask Kodak if they still coat a protective layer upon the emulsion, a recession is going on out there and savings need to be done:wink:...

    Good luck,

    Philippe
     
  12. sperera

    sperera Member

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    I recently bought a Rollei T and saw two versions for loading film....one was in YouTube where the person rolled the film under the first roller and then another method described in the Rollei T manual (found a pdf of it online....m.butkus) which said to place the film OVER the roller....

    ....i shot my first roll recently and went with what the manual told me and just rolled the film OVER the rollers and the film came out fine...

    ..in fact...having owned a Hasselblad 503CW years ago and having used the A12 magazines the Rollei T is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay easier and faster to load film onto.....
     
  13. sperera

    sperera Member

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    I'm happy to report i was 2 years old then!
     
  14. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    Just thought I'd let you know that Anscojohn and I are forming an "APUG Against Ageism" support group. :tongue:

    Bob H
     
  15. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Well, you used a Rollei T, then; easier to load with leetle fingers!!:smile:
     
  16. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Hey, you wanna hear about Rollei loading problems!? Let me tell ya this one!.
    It was an early post-war 'Flex (that's World War II to sperera, et al). Not the first Rollei I had ever loaded. Some rolls would wind perfectly; others were almost impossible to advance the film. Go figure. I finally noted that one of the little metal feet on the bottom plate was pushed in. Apparently the camera had been bumped or banged some how. It was in the early 1970s. What was happening was this: that little foot had been pushed into the film feed chamber, just enough to impinge on the outer rim of the feed spool. When I loaded film on a metal spool, it would rub so hard on that rim one could hardly turn it; on the other hand, with the new-fangled plastic spools to which Eastman was transitioning at the time, it would wear the plastic on the first turn and everything was fine.
    Being a wretchedly poor grad student at the time, a repair shop was out of the question. I finally rested the camera on a cutting board from the kitchen with had a handle with a hanging hole in it. Positioning the little foot directly over the hole, I put a "C" clamp between the board and the inside part of the foot and gently squeesed it back into proper position. Voila.
    BTW, I later sold that camera to a kid who wanted a Rollei. He came back at me kind of huffy because I had sold him a "busted" camera. The foot? Nope. He was NOT putting the film under the bar, so it just rolled merrilly on to the end of the roll. Got him straightened out more quickly than the little foot on the camera years before.
     
  17. wogster

    wogster Member

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    Will there be an age limit? :D
     
  18. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    No specific limit wogster; but resignations will be accepted only from six feet under :D:D:D:D

    Bob H
     
  19. wogster

    wogster Member

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    I guess you just leave a note in your will, so your next-of-kin can resign you?:rolleyes:

    I''ve seen groups before where they are against ageism, but they don't accept applications from those under a certain age, which is just applying a different kind of ageism. For the record, I got my Konica when I was 18, as a Testament to the wonderful ruggedness of the Konica camera, I still have it, and use it 30 years later:D
     
  20. sperera

    sperera Member

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    great story man.....RESPECT!
     
  21. avantster

    avantster Member

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    sperera, good to know there's another T user around!

    Phillipe, at least thread has been of use to someone other than me.

    Haha nice. I enjoyed reading your stories, John. It's the little bumps on the journey like this that makes it all the more enjoyable.
     
  22. JessicaDittmer

    JessicaDittmer Member

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    ugh, this looks like the film hanging in my bathroom right now from my rollei III type II...is it too early for me to have some wine? I'm so bummed! Should I try not going under that first roller next time? I plan to send this in for cleaning and things anyway but I'm still sad about my ruined roll.
     
  23. outwest

    outwest Subscriber

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    Jessica, you go over the first roller, then between the next two, and finally over the last one.
     
  24. JessicaDittmer

    JessicaDittmer Member

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    I got it this last roll, over both rollers and I had success! thanks!