I checked the entire roll now and all I can say is that the dots are not in a regular pattern or something. Also, they're in nearly every frame. They appear to be perfectly random though seem to be sticking to medium density (sky or walls). When checking the actual negatives it becomes quite clear that they're not some kind of water mark on the carrier nor the emulusion side. Moreoever, the spots don't differ in color from the rest of the film. Like I said, the dots are only within the frame - not outside.
I'm going to try the grey card thing soonish but I suppose this won't help me with the fact that I have 4 rolls of Plus-X waiting in the freezer.
Concerning coating: I'm shooting the ZM 50/2 and ZM 35/2 - the 50 mm is 3 months old now. So I don't think it's the problem as I have those dots with both - the 50 and 35.
If anyone is interested, I can upload scans of the entire roll. Maybe that'd help?
That might help, as the two frames you did post have identical spot patterns. If they differ, the differences might tell us something.
Was the film allowed to reach room temperature before the film canisters were opened for processing the film?
John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
OP shot the film in North africa.
could airport xray be the culprit?
John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
Could it be in the drying process? I found a few of those kinds of density spots on my film awhile back. The only thing I could contribute it to was that it was drying unevenly and too slowly. The areas of the emulsion that held a drop of water was for some reason making the density of the emulsion shift or something as it dried. I use one drop of photoflo and distilled water but maybe there was not enough circulation in my drying cabinet ( I don't turn it on.) Now I gently, very gently) swipe my negs with a non lint cloth so that there are no drops and it drys evenly and I have had no problem since. It doesn't make sense to me but it seems to work.
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my dots are only on the one frame, I just checked them all. I gently rubbed it with my fingers and didnt really feel anything. Ive got a few more rolls of plus X to shoot and one has been through an xray machine, twice. Ill report back after i shoot some if theres more of this.
When I had processing problems a few weeks back, I found that going back to basics really help. I tried all sorts of things, but that made my process more complicated, and that's the last thing I needed. Here's what I did:
1. No presoak. Neither Kodak or Ilford recommends it. (Try finding it in their literature).
2. Lower the film reels into a tank pre-filled with developer (in a darkroom, of course) instead of the other way around.
3. Agitate every minute by inversion, twice. I bang the tank on the counter top hard before I set the tank down to rest.
4. Stop and fix as usual.
5. Follow the directions on the Kodak PhotoFlo container - exactly. Dilute with distilled water at 1:200.
All my film problems are gone... I used to do all sorts of minimal agitation things with Rodinal, Pyrocat, and HC-110. That gave me a lot of head ache, so I quit it all. I may try agitating every second minute some time, if I have danger of blocked up highlights.
"Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank
"Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh
I suspect condensation. I always store refrigerated film and paper in ziploc bags and then let the bag come to room temp. I've never trusted the plastic cannisters to be airtight once opened. I even put my shooting gear in tied-off plastic garbage bags before coming in from the cold - or going out of the air conditioning. (Rusted a Gossen meter once coming inside from minus 15 shooting and figured it can't be good for any electronics)
It's a thought.
"Why is there always a better way?"
You can find the scans here: http://scans.bernhardwolf.at/APUG/contact/
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
http://scans.bernhardwolf.at/APUG/contact/14899.jpg - obviously on the left.
http://scans.bernhardwolf.at/APUG/contact/14900.jpg - sky, left.
http://scans.bernhardwolf.at/APUG/contact/14901.jpg - sky, right.
http://scans.bernhardwolf.at/APUG/contact/14902.jpg - sky, right.
http://scans.bernhardwolf.at/APUG/contact/14903.jpg - i think there're some mild ones in the sky again.
http://scans.bernhardwolf.at/APUG/contact/14904.jpg - nothing here
http://scans.bernhardwolf.at/APUG/contact/14905.jpg - there's a tiny one at the top, left
http://scans.bernhardwolf.at/APUG/contact/14906.jpg - nothing here
http://scans.bernhardwolf.at/APUG/contact/14907.jpg - same
http://scans.bernhardwolf.at/APUG/contact/14908.jpg - right, next to the man.
http://scans.bernhardwolf.at/APUG/contact/14909.jpg - left, next to the girl's face
http://scans.bernhardwolf.at/APUG/contact/14910.jpg - next to the counter, right of the man on the right
http://scans.bernhardwolf.at/APUG/contact/14911.jpg - under the left balcony. It's strange how they seem to stick to one specific density.
http://scans.bernhardwolf.at/APUG/contact/14913.jpg - again, sky on the left. Just a bit above the houses.
http://scans.bernhardwolf.at/APUG/contact/14915.jpg - in the middle of the frame, sky.
http://scans.bernhardwolf.at/APUG/contact/14916.jpg - loads of all over the sky.
http://scans.bernhardwolf.at/APUG/contact/14917.jpg - same
http://scans.bernhardwolf.at/APUG/contact/14918.jpg - some on the street.
http://scans.bernhardwolf.at/APUG/contact/14920.jpg - when looking closely, some can be found (below the right poster).
http://scans.bernhardwolf.at/APUG/contact/14921.jpg - house on the left; again, dots seem to stick to the same density.
http://scans.bernhardwolf.at/APUG/contact/14922.jpg - right above the palm tree.
http://scans.bernhardwolf.at/APUG/contact/14923.jpg - left of the house.
http://scans.bernhardwolf.at/APUG/contact/14925.jpg - sky, right.
http://scans.bernhardwolf.at/APUG/contact/14926.jpg - left.
http://scans.bernhardwolf.at/APUG/contact/14928.jpg - pretty much in the center of the frame.
http://scans.bernhardwolf.at/APUG/contact/14933.jpg - wall on the left, very soft.
http://scans.bernhardwolf.at/APUG/contact/14935.jpg left, top of the counter.
http://scans.bernhardwolf.at/APUG/contact/14936.jpg sky, left. Not sure about this one though.
I left out a few where I couldn't find dots at first glance. They obviously get less at the end of the film - does that make any sense?
I took them out of my fridge, went to the darkroom, mixed chemicals and prepared stuff which usually takes about 2-3 hours. Is that enough? I checked the temperature of the canister inside with my fingers and temperature seemed OK to me.
Originally Posted by Anscojohn
As far as I can say, the film rins off very smoothly. I don't have any kind of water marks (usually, the scanner shows them very nicely). Now, I use Amaloco wetting agent with distilled water which solved all my previous problems. I've had some dots in the middle of the film too when I was using a squeegee. Also, waiting for half an hour before starting the heating helps the film to let the water rin off and get sort of dry on the surface.
Originally Posted by LisaU
Then we seem to have the same issue. I've checked my negatives and they're pretty much perfectly clean on both sides.
Originally Posted by randerson07
I know, neither Kodak nor Ilford suggest presoaking (except for sheet film) but it does make sense in my case. I agitate every 30 seconds for 5 seconds - just like the XTOL datasheet suggests. So my development workflow is pretty much the default suggested by Kodak. The only thing I've altered is fixing which I do for 10 mins instead of 5.
Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson
I guess I should try lowering the film in the filled tank - might help, though I don't see how. But there's a lot of things I can't quite see through when it comes to processing film. ;-)
Yes. That's what has been worrying me too. But I just recently processed a roll of Tri-X that was in my fridge for 1-2 months and it was fine. I had the same dot problem with 120 roll film too last summer.
Originally Posted by BobNewYork
From the earliest manuals, Kodak has suggested using a presoak. I have just looked up my first developing book published by Kodak in the 40s and there it is with a photo of the film going into a presoak. I have used one for years, and it really does improve things in drum processing and tank processing.