That's not a comforting thought.
Originally Posted by Rolleiflexible
In my case, it seems a bit too coincidental that the one film that did not show scratches was also the one that was never inside a camera. Somehow my Fomapan 100-120 films don't seem to like cameras and what's going on inside them. If it's not the backing paper, then maybe it's something else mechanical/electrical/you-name-it inside the camera
I think that WE HAVE TO WARN FOMA ABOUT THAT: one 9-pages topic on one of the most important world analog forum on the net !!! They can't ignore that. I'll send them an email tomorrow morning, and if there is no response, I will activate "my network"...
Well, about the reaction of the Foma people, I have a little confession to make.
Originally Posted by cmacd123
Early last year (March), when I had my fight with the scratching item, I E-mailed Mrs Ing. Dana Hojna of Foma Bohemia about this issue. I will give you her response later. But first a little story :
Before I contacted Foma, I had NO problems with the first batch of Foma film I bought from Fotoimpex (good people). The second batch (bought via Fotoimpex too) showed the problem right away, this was a deferent emulsion number.
Then the quest for a solution started.
First, I switched from the plastic JOBO 2500 reels to the SS ones. As I already told you, the scratching also happens by the reels, along both sides of the film and on the image. Part one of the issues was solved.
Then I had to deal with the little scratches as seen in this thread. I had exactly the same scratch pattern on my film just like the other posters here.
Secondly, I realised that the problem could be my handling of the film.
As I am used to really tighten the roll, after exposure, by pulling the backing paper rather hard before taping the roll, I became more gently when closing the roll. No change at all…
Third, the camera was checked. All steel pressure-rolls were running smooth and, apparently, the pressure-plate did not press to hard on the film.
Then I remembered a remark, by one of the repairmen of the late Hasselblad Belgium, that the film back could be ‚calibrated’ to the thickness of the film. I recalled the man asking what kind of film was shot in the back before repairing it. He said that, when nothing was specified, they used the Tri-X as a standard. I do not know for certain what and how this was done, but this is my recollection after about 20 years.
So I send one of the A12 to a former Hasselblad Belgium technician who is now running a Hasselblad certified independed repairing shop (Luc de Bosch Kemper in Suarlée). The back was thoroughly serviced and I added a roll of the Foma 400 film just to be certain (this servicing was not for free but very well done).
When the A12 was returned, I tested the Foma again and yes, exactly the same scratches were showing up!
So far no problem with the camera, what I hoped for.
Then I posted the problem on APUG, yes, this item is not new here.
Among the answers, someone suggested that it could be some kind of ‚pressure fog’.
Recalling that the Linhof Technorama 617 (not Technica as I wrongly wrote in my former posting) is rather known for a pressure issue due to its rubber cylinder system, I checked that one out. And yes, the pressure marks was clearly showing after the film stayed for a few hours in that camera. They ware just running transversely over the film, but that is exactly how these rolls are positioned in the camera.
In the early ‘90’s, I had that issue with the then new and short living Ektachrome 100 (the Panther I think).
According to Linhof, the problem was due to the lack of a good protective layer on that film’s emulsion side. Testing with other brands and types of film proved the answer to be right.
So, connecting the experiences of the past and the issues of the present, I figured out that Foma was suffering of the same disease as the Ektachrome of the ‚old’ days…
To end a long story, I finally processed, by my usual way, an evenly exposed film (holding it up for a few minutes in the safelight), that did not pass through the camera. The scratches were still there but less intensive.
Then my eye fell on the structure of the backing paper. It was clearly tougher, thicker and stiffer than the one used by the other brands. Had I to blame the paper too?
At the end of my patience, I scanned the whole lot and mailed it to a name I found on the Foma website : Ing. Dana Hojna.
I explained, step by step, what I had done in my quest to solve the problems.
Politely and gently, she answered me by telling that they never encountered that issue and, as a reward for my searching and expenses, they sended me then rolls of new film. Needles to say that I immediately tested these films! And, yes, the scratches were there again!
That was the point when the yellow man from Rochester finally came in to the play! And now, I take it all for sure, and shoot with the ‚best’, regardless the costs…
Exit FomaFILM, but I still love the Fomabrom Variant FB 111 paper, this is now my premium brand of paper (and I do like the blue boxes this stuff is coming in).
Last edited by Philippe-Georges; 01-17-2010 at 05:40 AM. Click to view previous post history.
"...If you can not stand the rustle of the leafs, then do not go in to the woods..."
(freely translated quote by Guido Gezelle)
PS: English is only my third language, please do forgive me my sloppy grammar...
In the end, sadly, one has to refer to Kodak, Ilford and Fuji if he/she wants the best quality.
Originally Posted by leicam5
Foma, efke, Lucky and the sorts don't have simply the Q.C. sufficiently high to yield quality images, imho.
efke (Fotokemika) for example has dust embedded in the emulsion.
First, my own results from this morning.
In the dark darkroom I replaced the backing paper of a Foma 100-120 film with the backing from a Fuji Reala film. This procedure was much easier than I had expected. Just hang both on a line at face-height and then cut and tape the Foma film in place of the Reala.
After the backing replacement I wound the film back onto its own spool and loaded that into the Hasselblad. The film was not as tight on the spool as from factory, but the Hasselblad had no problems transporting or anything else. I went into the garden and shot the film, then back into darkroom, load into reel, develop, etc. Result: no scratches! (or actually I found three of four on the entire film, against a couple hundred on my other Foma films).
Ignoring all other information my conclusion would be: the sort-of rough paper backing scratches the film during transport in the camera (I tried three different cameras).
BUT people report they find the same problem in 135mm film, and (many) others find no problem with their Foma 100-120 films. Therefore maybe the conclusion should be that: some Foma 100-120 production batches are not well enough protected from mechanical action, such as the friction forces between backing and film. I think that's my personal preliminary conclusion. Subject to change of course.
Philippe, your story is very revealing, thanks a lot for taking the time to put it down on paper for us. I think your and my experience with this film match pretty well. The cause is not entirely clear to either of us, but there is something wrong with the 'mechanical properties' of this film.
I will definitely write Foma an email about my findings. Maybe they will send me replacement films, and maybe I will be lucky in that those will be better. There must be good batches out there, after all.
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Mail sent to Foma
Alright people, I just sent the following email to Foma (firstname.lastname@example.org). I have of course included a link to this thread. Let's hope the right people at Foma get to read this and manage to shed some light on the issue.
If they reply me and if it seems appropriate to post their response then I will certainly do so. For the time coming I will keep my hands off the beautiful but quirky Fomapan 100-120.
This email may also serve as a summary of my thoughts and findings so far (not terribly much to be honest )
I have a question about a batch of Fomapan 100 (120) films that I recently purchased from Silverprint.co.uk in the U.K. (see invoice in attachment). My question concerns films from batch number 016756-1 with expiration date 2/2012 .
All of the pictures that I have so far shot on this film show a large number of hair-thin, short (0.1-0.2mm) empty lines along the length of the film. I have attached a scan of one of these negatives to illustrate the phenomenon, as well as a high-resolution crop of this same image.
With the helpful suggestions from members of the APUG-forum for analogue photography and through experimenting with a number of Fomapan 100-120 films, I have found that the scratch-like, empty lines occur only when the film has been used inside a camera. Film that is exposed outside a camera, without being wound onto a take-up spool, does not show the phenomenon. I have used the film in three different cameras (Rolleiflex 3.5F, Hasselblad 500CM and Agfa Clack) with identical, ‘scratched’ results.
The above suggests that the chemical stage (developing, fixing, drying etc.), or my ‘workflow’, is not responsible for the occurrence of the scratches.
Additionally, I performed an experiment where the slightly roughly-textured paper backing of one Fomapan 100-120 film was replaced with the smoother backing from a Fujifilm Reala film. Exposed inside a camera, this film did not show any scratches, as contrary to all other, 'unaltered' films that were exposed inside a camera.
I am reluctant to jump to conclusions, but it seems like the scratches are caused by a certain mechanical action on the film such as it occurs inside a camera. This process seems somehow related to the interaction between the paper backing and the film itself.
Obviously I am rather disappointed with my less than satisfactory results. The aim of this email is to make you aware of the scratches-issue, and also to ask you for suggestions as to how to overcome the issue. I really like the film and would love to get it to work!
Thanks in advance for your help.
Sander de Vries.
Originally Posted by sandermarijn
Sander, I believe you err by drawing these conclusions
Originally Posted by sandermarijn
from your observations. You've observed one roll's results
to support each conclusion. We already know that this is
an intermittent problem. The explanation for these two
observations could simply be that these rolls did not have
the defects that caused the others to show artifacts. To
reach the conclusions you offer, you would have to do a
good deal more testing, to show a more concrete association
between the process and the result.
I do not mean to criticize -- I appreciate your efforts to
find an answer and to seek a response from Foma. But
when you write to Foma, I would not voice these hypotheses
as proven facts.
Actually I agree with you. I should test more. But however many testing I do, I will never be sure, there will always be only probabilities. The goal of my 'experimentation' was never to increase the statistical accuracy, but to find a cause I could rid. No longer do I believe I can make it disappear. And I've had enough of it, to be honest. It's up to Foma now to swing me back.
Everybody who thinks of trying Foma films should not be deterred by my experience- most people report no problems.
But the aim of taking photos is not to try films, but to have decent pictures.
If this procedure is made useless by emulsion defects I think one should switch to a more reliable brand.
Am I wrong?
For some, testing is more of the hobbys enjoyment than taking pictures.
Originally Posted by Alessandro Serrao
Wrong, no. Logical, yes.