Scratches on my T-max 100
I have a horrible scratch problem on my T-max 100 35mm film. I shoot a Leica M3. I have never had this problem until recently using t-max 100 (previously shooting P3200, Tri-x 400, Rollei 80's, superpan 200, 125 PX, efke 50, efle 100, etc etc etc...) I have never noticed scratches of the intensity that I do on my t-max 100 film. One scratch is so long it goes across 7 frames and is perfectly straight. I have never had a problem with my camera scratching film and still dont with my other films. I even tried not squeegeing the most recent roll of t-max 100 and it so far has the worst scratches. I use plastic reels that only touch the film at the edge and not in the center where the scratches are. The only point at which the film is really contacted is when I put it into sleeves. However I cut my frames into sets of 5 and sleeve them, and one scratch goes across seven frames in the same spot, meaning it had to be made before I sleeved the film (different sleeves wouldnt make the EXACT same scratch). What is happening to my film? Is it the t-max film itself? Where could i be scratching my film and how do i stop it!
Clean the inside of your camera. Check the felt lips of the film cassette prior to loading. Do you enlarge or scan your film? Check your carrier for either way. Never ever squeegee film, use a drying additive in the final rinse, hang in a dust free environ and walk away.
Camera has been cleaned. Felt tips were clear. I do both, I use a FLEXTIGHT X1 scanner when I scan, and the holder cannot possibly scratch it. Also when enlarging the holder cannot possibly cause the scratches I am getting or the consistency, besides, I notice the scratches immediately after processing while scanning. Squeegeeing has never been a problem (i use my fingers) on any other film, and is obviously not the problem here.... I think it might just be the T-max 100 film itself.
Is the scratch in the emulsion, or on the plastic base?
T-Max films are no more likely to scratch than other films and Kodak’s record of quality control is excellent. The film is very unlikely to have such defects as you receive it.
1. Are the scratches on the base or the emulsion side, or on both sides?
2. Are all scratches parallel to the film axis? If so, then the cause is likely due to the film movement over particles or something sharp in the camera, though such scratches could be inflicted in wiping in a straight line parallel to the film axis while wet if your method is faulty.
Scratches at angles relative to the film axis are due to handling—not the movement of film through the camera in advancing and rewinding.
Films can get scratched in the dark while transferring it from the cartridge to the reels and is most likely when struggling to load a reel that you find unusually difficult to load.
Beginning photography books by Kodak and others used to recommend using a squeeze bulb blower to blow out the film chamber and pressure plate before loading film (of course be very careful not to touch the shutter curtains).
It’s a good idea to keep film inside the canister until ready to use so that no particles of grit get embedded into the light-trap felt. If such particles got stuck in the felt, then the film might get scratched as it advanced or rewound.
Unless your sleeves have grit in them they’re unlikely to be the source or the problem. Printfile sleeves are sealed in a plastic envelope as we buy them and are clean and free of any particles. You should leave your supply of Printfile sleeves inside the envelope to keep them clean. This is easy and should cause no problems.
“Squeegeeing has never been a problem (i use my fingers)”
Do you mean that you wipe off excess water with your fingers against the film? That’s not prudent. Your fingers might be rougher than you suppose. You can practice the method of post #2 or you can use a viscous photo sponge (it must be scrupulously clean) that has been soaked in the water-Photoflow solution you wet the film in at the end of the process.
The sponge must be wrung out as much as possible so that it’s only slightly damp. Then you slowly and very gently wipe the length of the film on one side and then the other and hang the film to dry with a weight on the end (I use a common spring-type wooden clothes pin such as are used to fasten wet clothes to a drying line out in the sun).
Last edited by Ian C; 12-01-2011 at 12:12 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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By looking at a reflection, you'll be able to see the scratch on the film.
If it's on the backing side, then the camera's pressure-plate is suspect.
I had this problem a week or two ago, and cleaning the pp of the Lynx 5000 solved it.
Odd thing: I could neither see nor feel any particle on the pp. Yet it needed to be cleaned.