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  1. #1

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    Over the last month or so, I have shot about 5 rolls of Ilford 3200. Some have been shot at 3200 some at 6400.

    On all of them, I got the weirdest thing.

    It was a line of irregular small dots peppering the film roughly in the middle of the roll. They were relatively faint, and didn't even come near the edges of the frame. So a light leak didn't seem likely. Besides the same exact thing happened on TWO different cameras. My N80 and my FT2.

    Now, after I dismissed the idea of selling the photos as "evidence of ghosts" (weird orbs and lights on film are adored by ghost hunters...I guess bad processing at the mall pays off for some), I wondered if it was simply a bad batch of film from Ilford. I bought all the rolls from B&H at the same time so it was possible they all came from the same lot. But that seemed odd too. Very unlikely.

    These "dots" were also odd in that they went for a while, stopped, and then started again. No real pattern though.

    In fact here is an example. Yes, the picture is crummy, but it shows the "dots" really well.



    Now keep in mind this was ONLY happening with the Ilford 3200. Anything else that was slower did fine.

    I finally asked at the lab.

    They said it was probably static. Which makes a lot of sense.

    First off, it is VERY dry here. Static is the ban of Arizona.

    Secondly, the rewind on my N80 is set at the fastest speed, and when I rewind on my FT2 I rewind very fast. Static would explain the problem. And only high speed film would record it like it did since the senstitivity is so high.

    So that is my theory. That it was static and I need to slow down a bit. This also occured ONLY during the dryest time of year. Other times I have shot fast film it hasn't.

    So am I spot on here or am I missing something? I could use some reassurance since I am tired of touching up my images!
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  2. #2

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    i have seen static marks on film and they look more like irratic stars/cobwebs rather than blobs. I was shooting 72 exposure HP5 with a 5 fps motor drive in very dry and cold conditions. The static marks were all over frames and not in a straight line.

    Mike

  3. #3

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    I''m still thinking static. What else could it be? It shows up on NOTHING else. And it shows up on two different cameras.

    Whatever it is, it only affects the high speed film.
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  4. #4

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    Don't know if this is related or not, but on another on-line forum this same problem was posted. Same type of markings but on Tri-X film.The one thing that was common to both cases was that the film was also purchased from B&H. And I agree with Mike, I have seen many cases of stacticed film and the marking are "spark" or star shaped.

  5. #5

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    What could it be then? It runs in lines along the film, peters out, then starts again. And since it is in the middle I can't understand how it could be a light leak....
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  6. #6

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    Robert,
    If you have any of the film left you might want to try developing some of it w/o run ning it through the camera and see if it is a bad batch of film.

  7. #7

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    I may have one more roll left. I'll have to check.

    Weird stuff.

    Ah hell...I'll just sell it all to Weekly World News as evidence of life after death and buy myself a new lens...
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  8. #8
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    It does look like a static discharge from an edge in the camera to me. The fact that it starts and stops then starts again says the charge builds, arcs to depletion then repeats the cycle with a slightly different discharge point each time. Might try finding an antistatic wipe that will be safe for the materials in the camera body. Anyone know of one?
    I'm familiar with the static effects available in Arizona, having worked there a year at a newspaper in Casa Grande. When rewinding rolls of newsprint from butt rolls to make a bigger roll I'd need to measure the diameter occasionally while running and would draw a two to three inch spark off the frame of the rewinder. What is that, thirty to fifty thousand volts it takes to jump a three inch gap?

  9. #9

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    WOW!

    That is amazing!

    Casa Grande has a newspaper!



    I actually shot two rolls last night in my ft2 and did a VERY slow rewind on both.

    See how it works.

    I'm thinking if it is static it is a VERY low charge. But enough to pop up on the highspeed film.
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  10. #10
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    I've been thinking of this ... It really looks more like some sort of anomaly caused by localized "stress" ... but, unless there is a wheel or some sort of spring pressing against the center of the film (pressure plate problem?) - I'd go with static electricity.
    It doesn't take much to produce visible static electricity. If I allow my eyes to become fully acclimated to darkness, I can see a visible static electricity discharge when peeling the tape from 120 film, prior to loading the film on the developing tank reel. Faint, but visible. In all the developing I've done, I've never seen *ANY* degredation of the image from that discharge.

    One thing you might try is **dilute** dishwashing liquid ... or, if you want to stay purely photographic, working stregth wetting agent - I use Edwal LFN, or Kodak PhotoFlo. Moisten a tissue and wipe it across the surfaces in contact with the film, and let it dry. That should provide enough lubrication to prevent electron stripping - static electricity.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

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