Weird swirls on sheet film
I've got strange silver/blue swirls in the emulsion of recently developed FP4+, like Schleiren lines when oil mixes in water. These are NOT drying marks, which I get rarely, but my diffusion enlarger light source prints through nicely. This blue color unfortunately makes an excellent contrast mask, leaving markedly lighter swirls within smooth toned areas in my final prints. Soaking in distilled water, then Permawash and rewashing did not remove these 'swirls'.
My development sequence has not changed for years:
1. 1 minute presoak
2. Tray development with Xtol 1+3
3. Acid stop bath
4. Sprint fixer
5. Rinse 5 times in tap water
7. 20 minute wash in tap water
8. 2 minute soak in distilled water ~200ml + 2 drops of Photoflo
9. Hang diagonal to dry.
Any ideas on what caused this and (hopefully) how to remove it?
Last edited by HMFriedman; 10-10-2011 at 09:11 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Any scans that we can look at to help diagnose the problem?
No scans, unfortunately. Perhaps when the negatives are dry, I can try my cheapo document scanner and see if anything useful results.
I am pretty-much an analog guy.
I have seen swirly eddy like density effects when experimenting with very dilute developers. I'd check the developer first. Then I'd look to agitation. Just a SWAG.
What is your agitation procedure?
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Could it be the anti-halation layer not washing all off?
Thanks for the suggestions so far.
I don't think this is a development issue, but for your interest, my agitation is continuous, by the typical shuffle method. I rotate the stack of negatives every third cycle though the stack. The silver density seems excellent and uniform throughout the negatives, but the swirls exist on all the negatives developed at that time.
The anti-halation layer is an interesting idea, but I have no idea how to test that theory or why it should happen now. Again, I have been using the same film, water, chemistry and technique for upwards of 1,000 negatives without this occurence (plenty of other mistakes along the way, though).
Keep the ideas coming ...
I would re-fix, now and then re-wash
Simon. ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited.
Originally Posted by Simon R Galley
Thanks for your suggestion; this site is such a great resource.
I tried re-fixing with TF-4, which did not eliminate the swirls. I'll try a thiosulfate fixer next, just to have done eveything possible, but I am not getting my hopes up. I wonder if using a hardening fixer originally has doomed my further efforts. I am sorry to have lost these negatives, but more concerned that I don't know what caused the problem in the first place...
Dear HM Freidman,
So difficult without being able to see the negs....
My first thought was incomplete fixing, how long did you fix for ? next instinct is that it is a agitation issue, but as you have such a well defined sequence and discipline and no issues before that is unlikely, next thing we would look for is a chemistry issue ( usually incomplete mixing ).
We actually have never recommended pre-soaking of any of our film products, but it does not matter as it would not cause any issues.
As it is an ILFORD Photo product it can obviously be returned to the factory for checking with our technical service.
Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :