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  1. #1
    sandermarijn's Avatar
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    Fomapan/Arista.edu Ultra 100-120: Pattern of small scratches, looking for culprit!

    Hi all,

    I've just started using Fomapan 100, in 120 size. My first film shows exactly the old-fashioned, creamy look I was out for, and a bit more: a pattern of small (approx. 0.2 mm in length) hairthin scratches, more or less homogeneously spread over the negative.

    They are on all frames and most notable in the highlights though also present in less dense areas (just more difficult to see). One of the frames and a crop is in the attachment. Looking at the negative directly with the naked eye, the scratches seem to be not on either of the negative surfaces, but rather 'inside' the emulsion itself. It is of course impossible to tell by eye exactly where they are- the above is just what I think I'm seeing.

    So what's going on? I used the same workflow as always and have never had these types of marks before. I took special care not to touch the image area of the film during the whole development/drying/storage/scanning-process, because I know from other 'small-brand' films (Adox/Efke in particular) how vulnerable the (wet) emulsions are. I definitely also did not squeegee the film, instead just let it dry by itself after a last bath in demi-water with some wetting agent added. Agitation during development/stop/fixing was by inverting the tank, no rotational movements. Washing ditto.

    Anybody have an idea what's going wrong? I could (and will) shoot & process more Fomapan 100 (I have 29 left!) to see if the problem repeats itself, but suggestions are very welcome in the meanwhile. The only things that I can think of as a culprit are too rough agitation during washing (I fill the tank with water and invert, then repeat that several times at intervals) or too large temperature variation from the fixing stage to the washing (20 degr. C for developing/fixing and 25 degr. C for washing). Neither seem likely causes to me.

    FYI: camera is a Hasselblad 500cm, development tank is a Paterson (latest type) for 2x135/1x120.

    Thanks!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails fomapan100_rodinal_100110_002_resized.jpg   thingies.jpg  

  2. #2
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Looks like contamination of the developer, possibly dried fixer crystals left in the dev tank maybe from around the seal area, these stick to the film causing tiny marks like this

    Too big a change in temperatures can cause reticulation and 5 degrees C is too large a difference, should be +/- 1 degree, but this doesn't look like reticulation. Fomafilms are softer than Lodak/Ilford/Agfa but not anything like as bas as EFKE.

    Ian

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    sandermarijn's Avatar
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    Yeah, I've been thinking of contamination of some sort as well. I wash my tank thoroughly with plain water after fixing, and the tank doesn't really have any obstructed areas where microscopic grit may accumulate. Something in the tap water that I used for this film? Maybe, but 'gritty water' would leave unexplained that the scratches are all in the same direction on the film. Something in-camera then? No grit there that I can see (but then it would probably be too small to see). I'm at a loss!

  4. #4
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Tiny particles of iron in water can cause these problems, I have seen it happen, the particles react with fixer to form a weak bleach and dissolve.

    Looking at the sceond scan the marks look to be running in the same direction which happens with a contamination issue. Those aren't from the camera.

    Ian

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    sandermarijn's Avatar
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    I will use distilled water next time. Why would the marks be unidirectional in case of contamination? They are perpendicular to the inversion, which is the only (sort of) non-random movement I can think of.

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    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Gravity

    Ian

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    sandermarijn's Avatar
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    But gravity is also perpendicular to the scratches. !

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    It looks to me like contaminants flowed down the film while it was hung to dry, leaving the marks you see.

    I shoot a lot of Freestyle's arista 100 in 120 (foma) and I have never seen this happen on any of my films. You may have high turbidity in your water supply, or some of your chems (probably fixer) have precipitates in them. Try fresh chems and rinse in clean water with a little photoflo. Never squeegee foma films unless you like scratches.
    Rick Jason.
    "I'm still developing"

  9. #9
    sandermarijn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricksplace View Post
    It looks to me like contaminants flowed down the film while it was hung to dry, leaving the marks you see.
    That's an excellent suggestion, as it would explain why the marks are along the length of the film. It may very well be that Foma 100 is more vulnerable than other 120 films I use (Neopan 400 mostly).

    I will renew the stop & fixer, super-clean the development tank & the tank in which I do the final rinse (same type of tank, different one).

  10. #10
    sandermarijn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    Gravity

    Ian
    Sorry for my earlier confused reply Ian, I thought you meant gravity during the developing, but you probably meant during drying. Makes perfect sense!

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