Blotches on film! Storage, development, camera... some thing else?
I had some 35mm film developed (Neopan 400) and some of the images have turned out with 'blotches' (see attachment).
I had a previous film developed (Ilford HP5) at the same lab, from the same camera and lens, without any issues.
Initially, I thought that it might be dirt on the lens, as I was taking pictures in a muddy field at one point. But, the blotches are not on all the images and, when they do appear, do not seem to be in the same place each time.
The films were bought from different shops, so I wondered if it might be a storage issue with the Neopan? Or is it a development issue, or something else? The films are well within expiry dates and I didn't pass through x-rays with them. Does anyone recognise what might have caused this?
I've attached a detail of the issue (I've enhanced the contrast to show it up better).
Last edited by Roundabout; 01-16-2013 at 10:20 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: For clarity
You appear to have something growing on your film. Do you live in a tropical region and/or is there any possibility the film might have gotten damp, e.g. refrigeration after unsealing the original foil packaging?
Have a close look at the neg and see if you can tell whether the additional density is silver or some other substance on the surface of the film.
Edit: that is definitely a film issue, not a camera issue unless you have a little rainforest going in there.
Thanks for that, polyglot.
I bought the film and used it in London (not much rainforest there ) and developed it within a week. It was stored on the shop's shelves and, before using it, I stored it in its case in my bag.
I'm glad, at least, that it's not my camera. (Should I clean the camera, just in case it's been affected by the film, or should it be OK?)
I've a couple of rolls left. Is there anything I can do, or should I chuck them? I'll check them for silver density.
Last edited by Roundabout; 01-16-2013 at 11:24 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Looks like a case of reticulation caused by improper processing. Try another roll from the same batch, but not for anything important, and see if it happens again. It could be the lab that processed the film made a chemistry or temperature error, and if so they did not recognize that they had a problem.
By denying the facts, any paradox can be sustained--Galileo
Either reticulation, or a problem with condensation.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
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Perhaps localised overheating when drying the film, or putting the film under a cold tap? If it isn't happening over the entire film some form of sudden temperature change after it has come out of the chemicals is my theory.
Temperature error during processing.
Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :
Reticulation, though inhomogeneous. What makes it interesting.
Yes, the first few images seem to be free from the 'reticulation' (I've learned a new word, thanks). Then it kicks in around image/s 7-10 and continues throughout the film to a greater or lesser degree. One or two images after this appear less or unaffected, but perhaps it is just more obvious on certain types of image.
So, I'm probaly safe using the rest of the batch? I'll probably keep them aside for less 'crucial' work, just in case.
Last edited by Roundabout; 01-17-2013 at 05:49 AM. Click to view previous post history.
The batch of film is likely ok, but you may want to do some lab shopping. With your current lab, you should show them the film and see if they will work with you in correcting the problem.
Some films are more prone to reticulation than others, I think the Fuji films are among those, but I don't know for certain. If you search reticulation in here there should be lots of information.
Generally, it's caused by sudden temperature changes in processing, either large temp differences between the chems, or, temperature shifts during washing (somewhat more likely).