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  1. #21
    Bertil's Avatar
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    hrst: Yes, I agree, I would expect that low processing temperature should just cause incorrect development, rather than these "flakes". Now, everything went much better when I used freshed mixed chemicals; though the first two sheets with the new chemicals still had some small "flakes", they now seem to have gone (let's hope!). Carefully inspecting these 4 dry sheets from today, I can't see a single trace of these ugly "flakes".

    I suppose the best explanation (!?) is that something went wrong with the old chemicals (depending on age, bottles, or dirty equipment ?) and that "flakes" were around for some time, hard to get rid of, needing filtration and a lot of washing of bottles and other equipment. Yes, I used tap water, but next time I will use distilled/technical water – just to be sure.

    My 4x5" sheets of Ektar 100 – with and without "flakes" – are from the same box (and some "flake negs" from another box but the same emulsion, newly bought and valid till 02/2012).

    No doubt, nice to have some well developed very clean 4x5" colour negatives - my very first! Hope it will be more of them, but no more "flakes"!
    /Bertil

  2. #22
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    Bad News, I got "flakes" again! Developed 4 sheets 4x5" Ektar 100 yesterday, carefully processed them the same way as some days before with the happy result of no rainbow coloured "flakes" – this time at least some 10 flakes on each sheet, though quite small. Don't know what to do with this shit!
    Perhaps there is something with the Ektar 100 emulsion, particularly in combination with Tetenal C-41 and 30°C process temperature, as some of you have suggested. Next time I will try the ordinary 38°C (100°F) style, and I will also try some other emulsion. (At least one good thing with these "flakes" is that the picture isn't totally ruined, in most cases it's not possible to detect them after scanning even when strongly enlarged. But quite puzzling, and disturbing!, that these "flakes" come and go.)
    You will probably hear more from me about this – sorry!

  3. #23
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    This is not normal by any means, and it cannot be a temperature problem nor a "compatibility" problem. Don't waste your time in trying different temperatures as it won't solve the problem in any way (you are just encountering some randomness). (But in the future, do your C-41 always in correct temperature, that is 37.8 degC, no matter what Tetenal or Rollei say).

    Although it's possible that it's a problem in film, I would try to start by contacting Tetenal. I've had some bad results with their stuff, however not with their C-41. Also consider asking Kodak for help. I think that they could analyze the exact problem.

    But, if you want to go on by yourself, I'd suggest you to get some other C-41 chemistry than Tetenal and keep everything else (film, water, containers etc) exactly the same. This way you maybe could rule it out.
    Last edited by hrst; 11-07-2010 at 05:28 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #24
    Bertil's Avatar
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    hrst: thank you for your response and good advise. I think you are right, when these "flakes" started all over again I thought it would be reasonable to contact both Kodak and Tetenal, since I think I have done everything very carefully, save not using distilled water when mixing the chemicals. No doubt, it would be quite interesting to hear what they have to say and what's the problem,
    BTW, I have just uploaded in the Standard Gallery 4 picture (The bridge, 2, 4, 5, 6 nov.) from these "flake" negatives; it's only the negative showing picture from nov 5 that's free from flakes, and I haven't in any way corrected for the "flakes" in these pictures, in other pictures with great light and even surfaces one can sometimes really see the problem in the scan.
    /Bertil

  5. #25

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    Reading through I keep seeing, that with the first run of fresh chemicals there is no problem, and later there is. Are you sure that the bottles you are using have been used for the same chemcal before in that bottle? It could be that a chemical reaction has been taken place between some residu in that bottle and the new chemical.
    Drikusniet
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    Having a SLR doesn't mean I can take pictures

  6. #26
    Bertil's Avatar
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    Drikusniet: Thanks for asking. Yes, you are right in your observation: the first time fresh chemicals was used I had no problem, next time a few flakes and than more and more. The bottles I have used has not been used for other chemicals, as far as I know I started using them for C-41 the first C-41 set of runs I did more than 2 years ago, without any problems (Fuji film that time); and since then I haven't done any C-41 until now with Ektar 100, but haven't mixed the bottles or used them for anything else, each bottle for each chemical and the same for other other equipments used for each chemical.
    The company who sold me the stuff is just about to discuss the matter with Tetenal and Kodak, and I'm waiting for what they have to say.
    But since the last time I commented on this thread I have started to suspect that something is wrong with the last stage of the process, the stabilizing bath. I have several times filtered the developer and the bleach fix, but as far as I remember, only once the stabilizer bath. When I now did that some days ago, when sending the stuff to the company, I did find "flakes" quite similar to the thing on the film in the filter paper! I don't really know what the stabilizer contain and what it is supposed to do, but Tetenal says that "the stabilzing process may also be carried out days later". I now have one more exposed Ektar 120 film which I will develop within some days and which I will develop, wash and dry but not stabilize before I see what I have. (Last time the sheets looked very smooth and nice when I took them out of the wash, but not as smooth and nice when taking them from the stabilizing bath - but I wasn't careful enough to be really confident with this observation of mine.)
    /Bertil

  7. #27
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    Bertil,

    PhotoEngineer has commented on the chemical properties of stabilizer several times, and from what I read it doesn't contain any critical chemicals which could possibly produce those flakes.

    One thing did come to my mind, though: before you stabilize, you perform an extensive wash. Could it be that the wash introduces these flakes somehow? I could imagine that the flakes build up in the stabilizer only as some of the flakes introduced during the wash end up there. And since the stabilizer is the last step, film after film it is less and less able to wash away these flakes as it accumulates more and more of them itself.

    Just my 2 euro cents ...

  8. #28
    Bertil's Avatar
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    I have now performed "my last experiment" concerning Tetenal C-41and Kodak Ektar 100, i.e. I have in this case developed one (1) 120 film Ektar 100 in the same Tetenal C-41discussed above: i.e. Jobo CPE-2,Tank 2553, developing temperature 38°C . (100°F), rotating speed 2 (fast). Washing in something like 36°C after developing and beach fix, the film has put in a bath with some drops and Kodak Fhoto-Flo, (some drops of Kodak Photo-Flo also in water used in bath for 2 minutes before starting the developer) and hanged to dry:

    Result: NOT A SINGLE SIGN OF THESE FLAKS!!!!.

    I have now put this dry and clean film into the stabilizer bath (roughly 20°C) which today was filtered.
    Tomorrow we will see if something has happened. But in any case: no "flakes" on the film, dry and clean, before the stabilizing bath!!!
    /Bertil

  9. #29
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    No doubt this "flake problem" enters the process with the stabilizing bath, the filtered stabilizer left no "flakes" on this Ektar film after stabilizing and drying, but after filtering the bath the filter paper contained a lot of these glimmering flakes! And these flakes are not only related to the Ektar film. I have now successively developed 3 rolls, 120, of Fuji Reala, each time the film was hanged to dry before stabilizing and showing no trace of these flakes, before stabilizing. By filtering the stabilizer after each film I managed to avoid any problem to the stabilized film, but "flakes" no doubt was visible in the filter paper ... but less of them after each processed film (well, on film # 2 that was stabilized without having filtered the bath after #1 did show one piece of flake (!) that at least I hadn't discovered on the dry film before stabilizing it!).
    Last time I developed 1 Reala and 1 Ektar and stabilized them immediately after washing in a newly filtered bath, and everything came out nice and clean; but after filtering the stabilizer bath I couldn't even find any trace of these flakes in the filter paper this time!! Perhaps my stabilizing bath is getting a little bit tired now, after all, it's film # 10 and 11 that this chemicals have been used to process.

    I agree, Rudeofus, having tried to look into what the modern stabilizing bath is supposed to contain it's not easy to understand how these flakes are produced – but I can't come to any other conclusion than that they belong to the stabilizing bath, since no "flake problem" if I skip this last part of the process. Unfortunately, haven't yet heard anything from Tetenal (material and description have been sent to them) about some kind of explanation of this "flake" phenomenon: is it this particular batch of chemistry or my water, or my bottles, or my ...???
    Anyway, I seem to be able to handle the "flakes" by always using a newly filtered stabilizing bath.
    /Bertil

  10. #30
    Rudeofus's Avatar
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    Bertil,

    you observations and conclusions sound pretty convincing, something is rotten in the state of stabilizer Since Photo Engineer posted the recipe for stab and it contains only easy to get chemicals, you could mix some home brew stabilizer and check whether this home brew produces the same flakes or not. If you still get those flakes, one of your previous process steps seems to mistreat the film so that is disintegrates in the stabilizer, if you get no flakes (more likely from what I read), I'd say it's time to confront Tetenal with this. I have successfully communicated with Tetenal several times, it can take a while to get their first response, but after that they are usually quick and helpful.

    Good luck with your experiments!

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