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  1. #1

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    Fortepan 400 - emulsion defective???

    I bought ten rolls of Fortepan 400 from freestyle photo and after developing the second roll, yesterday, I am starting to think that there is something wrong with this batch of film. Here is an example:

    http://flickr.com/photos/wakingsky/2144974109/

    There are a bunch of small black dots that run along two bands along the length of the film. You'd have to look at the large or the original size images on flickr to see them. For reference, I am also attaching a small crop of what these dots look like in the original size image.

    The first roll was developed in Rodinal 1+25 and the second in D76 1+1 for 15 minutes at 20C. Both films had the exact same pattern of black dots. These are the only two times that I have seen this kind of thing and both times with Fortepan 400 from the same shrink wrapped 10 pack of 120 film. The image I am referring to here was from the second roll that was developed in D76.

    I have read about craters and comets but was not able to find any good examples of what these look like. So I am asking you all what is this. Is the film defective and should I send it back to Freestyle, or am I doing something wrong. I am using the exact same development schedule that works very well for Fomapan, Fuji Acros, Agfa APX and others...

    - Markus
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails dots.jpg  

  2. #2

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    That does look like defective coating. You do know that Forte is gone as a manufacturer. There will be no more Forte film.

  3. #3
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Now wait.... We are looking at black dots on a positive image, right? That means that the spots are clear on the negative, right?

    PE

  4. #4
    Aurelien's Avatar
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    indeed I have also seen that problem on Bergger 100 : lots of dots on the print. so pinholes in the emulsion, coated by Forte.
    Aurelien, Analog Photographer

    the analog place to be

  5. #5

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    uh oh...I just ordered a bunch of short-dated fortepan 400 from freestyle last night

    if it's defective, it'll still be fine for experiments I guess

  6. #6
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    Do they feel gritty? Like specs of sand?

  7. #7
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    I've had it happen to me a few years ago with forte 400 8x 20 ULF film. But It was only about 8 sheets out of a box. I thought it was my water/ developer. But they were small black specs that felt granular. I use to love the look of this film. But as we all know they didn't have the latest quality control program in place.

  8. #8

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    I should have said that this was the short dated special on Fortepan from Freestyle. The box of the last roll I developed was embossed with "01.2008-5831". The film does not at all feel gritty.

    I guess this will be my film for testing purposes. Just have to hope never to make an exposure that I might want to keep...

  9. #9

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    Guess I better put a little more 120 Tri-X in the freezer. While I have a difficult time getting a good image on the film , the product has NEVER failed me.

    Mike

  10. #10

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    FWIW, I just shot and processed one of two rolls of this film that I bought from Freestyle. The box marking is very faint, but I think the emulsion code is the same that Markus reports. I used DS-10 developer with a water stop and TF-3 fixer, and I got defects that look very much like what Markus posted. Here are full-frame 600 dpi and cropped 1200 dpi negative scans:

    http://www.rodsbooks.com/fortepan-sample.jpg
    http://www.rodsbooks.com/fortepan-crop.jpg

    You can just make out the flaw in the full-frame 600 dpi scan, and it's much more obvious in the 1200 dpi crop. I haven't yet tried printing these negatives conventionally, but the spots are clearly visible as clear specks in the negative when viewed with a loupe. Interestingly, they're most noticeable in areas of medium density -- they aren't very obtrusive in the white snow areas I photographed. The emulsion doesn't feel at all gritty.

    I've just fired off an e-mail to Freestyle. Since I only bought two rolls, and used the first for testing a new lens, it's not a big financial loss for me, but of course it's annoying to get defective film.

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