A Lot Of Grain When Scanning
Old 10-06-2019   #1
fky463
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A Lot Of Grain When Scanning

Hello every1,

I just bought kodak Xtol b/w developer. Developed 3 rolls and fed up with that. My pictures very very grainy and I have no idea why it comes like that. I can see trough the film negative that all the details looks nice. Faces/shadows looks good. When I put my negative`s into the scanner, photos looks creepy. No details, nothing - only grain, grain, grain. So i got the question is that because of my bad developing or I need to scan it in the different way ? Because I have 2 scanners ( Epson v600 and plustek 8200i) I tried to scan in all different way`s. Plustek is giving me a lot of grain. But when I scan as a Document type (reflected light)with Epson scanner, at least I can see what is in the picture. Quality is not good, but ye, as I said, at least I can see what is inside. By the way one side of film negative looks good, a lot of details and etc. another looks not so clearly, a bit darken.

THERE IS SOME EXAMPLES:
(U HAVE TO ZOOM TO SEE THIS CRINGE GRAIN, THIS GRAIN FOR ME LOOKS LIKE UNREAL)

when I scan b/w negative with plustek - https://imgur.com/a/KJsEOn9

AND THIS IS THE PICTURES WHEN I SCAN AS A DOCUMENT - https://imgur.com/a/ylUhdZU

THX FOR YA ALL FOR ANY HELPFUL ANSWER!!!! ONE LOVE/FILM LOVE
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Old 10-06-2019   #2
retinax
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Could you clean up your post a bit? you say the Plustek is not working, then there's a link supposedly to scans made with it. And there's overlap between pictures you linked, not clear what is what.
The basketball themed picture looks ok except for a stain could come from improper washing.
Also to identify possible development issues, a picture of the negatives, including the area around the image, is needed. Just hold the strip against the window and snap with your phone or other digital camera.
Generally, to minimize grain, scan at highest resolution possible and turn sharpening off.
Document mode sounds like it would use reflected light... probably not useful for negatives.
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Old 10-06-2019   #3
Bill Clark
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Could it be reticulation. It’s a fancy name applied when the temperatures aren’t consistent between developer, stop, fixer and wash water. I got it when I was in a hurry and washed in too warm water.

Just a thought.
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Old 10-06-2019   #4
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I suppose you scanned your film at a low dpi -dots per inch rate. Back to the scanner manual. Good luck.
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Old 10-06-2019   #5
fky463
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retinax View Post
Could you clean up your post a bit? you say the Plustek is not working, then there's a link supposedly to scans made with it. And there's overlap between pictures you linked, not clear what is what.
The basketball themed picture looks ok except for a stain could come from improper washing.
Also to identify possible development issues, a picture of the negatives, including the area around the image, is needed. Just hold the strip against the window and snap with your phone or other digital camera.
Generally, to minimize grain, scan at highest resolution possible and turn sharpening off.
Document mode sounds like it would use reflected light... probably not useful for negatives.

I cleaned a bit, I hope its better. Sorry for that, I`m not that good at English. I know about the stains and how they come, I just need to sort it out everything about this grain. Sharpening is always off, Now im scanning at the best resolution I can, but I don't think so its gonna help. Yeh and that basketball was scanned with reflected light, probably that's not useful for negatives, but why I get better pictures than when I scan normal mode?


THIS IS HOW NEGATIVE LOOKS - https://imgur.com/a/oUiW8pO
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Old 10-06-2019   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Clark View Post
Could it be reticulation. It’s a fancy name applied when the temperatures aren’t consistent between developer, stop, fixer and wash water. I got it when I was in a hurry and washed in too warm water.

Just a thought.
Yes It could be true, I need to try another roll and wash it with cold water. Thx!
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Old 10-06-2019   #7
CharlesDAMorgan
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Try and keep the temperatures of each stage of the process the same. It's a large change in temperature that causes it, not just heating up.

In developing grain is brought out by length of developing time and agitation, and some films (you don't say which film) are more prone to grain than others. I have never had this issue with XTOL at all.
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Old 10-06-2019   #8
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Originally Posted by CharlesDAMorgan View Post
Try and keep the temperatures of each stage of the process the same. It's a large change in temperature that causes it, not just heating up.

In developing grain is brought out by length of developing time and agitation, and some films (you don't say which film) are more prone to grain than others. I have never had this issue with XTOL at all.

Sorry that was Kodak Tri-X 400. Thx so much for your answer!
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Old 10-06-2019   #9
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It’s not grain what you see, it’s what the scanner makes of it. If you want to see grain in a scan, you have to use a good scanner, which are not made anymore, like Nikon, Minolta or Imacon. I suppose if you look at the negative with a magnifying glass, you can see the real quality of the negative. With the scanners you use you can reach reasonable results to post online, but don’t go pixelpeeping.
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Old 10-06-2019   #10
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Based on your image of the negatives, they look like they are under-fixed. They should not look that dense and opaque. The margins around each frame should be almost clear. You'll have problems scanning or printing any film like that. What is the procedure you are using to develop the film?
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Old 10-06-2019   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlijn53 View Post
It’s not grain what you see, it’s what the scanner makes of it. If you want to see grain in a scan, you have to use a good scanner, which are not made anymore, like Nikon, Minolta or Imacon. I suppose if you look at the negative with a magnifying glass, you can see the real quality of the negative. With the scanners you use you can reach reasonable results to post online, but don’t go pixelpeeping.
Regards,
Frank
It really is unfortunate how scanning hardware and technology has stagnated the past 15 or so years. We can only imagine the difference a 1-2 generation-improved Nikon scanner today could make over the current batch of underdeveloped/old technology/just plain mediocre Plustek's and such produce.

It'd be nice to see a company like Canon acknowledge the bump in film use with an updated scanner.
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Old 10-06-2019   #12
Erik van Straten
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It is better to work with a better developer, like Ilford Perceptol. Truly great stuff. Use a good film, Kodak Tmax400 (400-2TMY). Very fine grain combined with high speed.



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Old 10-06-2019   #13
brbo
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Xtol/Tri-X not being a good enough developer/film?!

Seriously?

(and not fixing the film and scanning the film as reflective material is just fine?!)
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Old 10-06-2019   #14
Erik van Straten
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No, the modern TriX is a single layer film. The original TriX was a double layer film, one for the light tones and the other for the darker tones. The old TriX gives a very fine grain in the highlights when developed properly (in D76 for instance). But this film is no longer available.

The best film now is the Tmax400. When you soup this film (exposed at 200 ISO) for ten minutes in Perceptol (diluted 1 part developer in 2 parts water) at 20 degrees C you will get wonderful negatives. Fix it for about ten minutes in a good fixer.

Good luck!

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Old 10-06-2019   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
The best film now is the Tmax400. When you soup this film (exposed at 200 ISO) for ten minutes in Perceptol (diluted 1 part developer in 2 parts water) at 20 degrees C you will get wonderful negatives. Fix it for about ten minutes in a good fixer.

Good luck!

Erik.
I can only concur. Now my favourite combination by far.
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Old 10-06-2019   #16
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Erik, are you seriously suggesting that OP's choice of film and developer is to be blamed for the appalling results?

That's utterly ridiculous!
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Old 10-06-2019   #17
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Your developer and film are plenty good. It looks under-fixed. That means that the scanner software or you have to increase contrast a lot because the shadows drown in the remaining silver stain. This increases the grain (as someone pointed out, you don't see the actual grain in these scans, but grain aliasing). Try re-fixing these negatives ASAP (keep away from light until then!), wash properly and report back if they scan better.
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Old 10-06-2019   #18
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Might also look at sharpening. Some of that 'salt and pepper' look in skies and other light expanses. I turn off any sharpening from the scanner program. Then in Photoshop using Unsharp Mask, set the threshold to 2 or 3 and see what happens. It's a delicate balance because you need to sharpen scans but it can make a mess in some ways.
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Old 10-06-2019   #19
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Multiple problems here, film looks over developed or overexposed, and it is badly under fixed or fogged.

And, I'm with Peter, it looks like it was scanned at very low resolution, with jpeg compression artifacts on top of that.

Tri-X and Xtol are not the problem here, though I agree that Tmax films are very good.
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Old 10-06-2019   #20
Erik van Straten
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brbo View Post
Erik, are you seriously suggesting that OP's choice of film and developer is to be blamed for the appalling results?

That's utterly ridiculous!

In fact I can get a look of his results only for a few seconds. Then the image is covered by some crazy advertisement. What I saw - I thought - is the result of incorrect development: the image looks like being developed in a paper developer, like Eukobrom. I only gave the guy advise how to get a good negative, nothing more, nothing less.


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Old 10-06-2019   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Daniel View Post
Might also look at sharpening. Some of that 'salt and pepper' look in skies and other light expanses. I turn off any sharpening from the scanner program. Then in Photoshop using Unsharp Mask, set the threshold to 2 or 3 and see what happens. It's a delicate balance because you need to sharpen scans but it can make a mess in some ways.
I agree sharpening will magnify grain, it is one reason not to do it.

But why do you say you need to sharpen scans (assuming a fine enough scan)? No good can come of it in my experience. Sharpening by definition throws away information in any image. (It is not a reversible transformation.)
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Old 10-06-2019   #22
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Thank you so much for your answers. I will try to develop one more roll including all the things u mentioned. Temp/fixer. Erik my next developer will be - Ilford Perceptol. Im not saying Xtol is bad or smth. I just want to try it. I need to find my way. Thx for everyone!
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Old 10-06-2019   #23
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Originally Posted by Larry H-L View Post
Multiple problems here, film looks over developed or overexposed, and it is badly under fixed or fogged.

And, I'm with Peter, it looks like it was scanned at very low resolution, with jpeg compression artifacts on top of that.

Tri-X and Xtol are not the problem here, though I agree that Tmax films are very good.
I agree! Tri-X and X-tol (fresh!) is good and gives nice results!

The negatives should be clear after fixing, the now look like they had to short fixing time. A good advice is to test the fixer with the cut-off starting slip of the film. Observe then the time necessary to clear the film. That is the proper fixation time!

I also think that the negative looks very dirty, perhaps there is also reticulation (rinsing in too hot water). I aways rinse in cold water after have I had these problems long time ago. But I think modern films are not as sensitive like old Tri-X.

My advice:
1) Fix the film once again before it gets destroyed by light.
2) Rinse it again in one hour in cold water. Add just a drop of wetting agent (or a drop of hand wash liquid) to the last rinse water.
3) Dry the film in a dust free place. A very good place is the shower!
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Old 10-06-2019   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Borge H View Post
[...] A good advice is to test the fixer with the cut-off starting slip of the film. Observe then the time necessary to clear the film. That is the proper fixation time![...]

This is dangerous advice. Fixing time should be at least twice the clearing time. Clearing time needs to be measured as comparison, not just eyeballed, how to: see here: http://rogerandfrances.com/subscript...xhaustion.html
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Old 10-06-2019   #25
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First, with a magnifier, can you see the grain in the negative?

Wild guess: If IR cleaning is turned on in your scanners, it can produce something like that.
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Old 10-06-2019   #26
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A lot of good advice here regarding scanning issues, but first deal with your film processing problem. Your film should not look like it does in the photo you provided. You WILL NOT get satisfactory images (scan or print) from negatives that look like this.

1. Your film was fogged either before or during processing, OR
2. Your film has not been in the fixer for long enough time.
Or a combination of both of these.

To test your fixer, take a snip off the leader and place it in a cup of fixer, stir occasionally. Note the amount of time it takes to clear (may still have a purple or pink tint), then double that to get the proper fixing time when you process your roll. For example, if the test takes 4 min to clear, fix your film for at least 8 min. Make sure to also wash your film for the manufacturer's recommended time.
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Old 10-06-2019   #27
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A lot of good suggestions already. I’ve found that it’s always worth scanning at the highest resolution possible (4000 dpi or so). I think it’s called grain aliasing, but with grainier films it makes things look better. But that one scan does look like it’s a processing issue.
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Old 10-06-2019   #28
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" Rinse it again in one hour in cold water."
Proper technique requires having the pre-soak, developer, stop bath, fixer & rinse water at the same temperature. Classically 68F or 20C. As mentioned any hot temperatures will cause reticulation.
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Old 10-06-2019   #29
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Quote:
Yes It could be true, I need to try another roll and wash it with cold water. Thx!
Suggest keeping the temps close to the same with your developer, stop bath, fixer and wash water.

Keep at it and you’ll get better and better.

I’m still learning.
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Negative Development and Digitization
Old 10-08-2019   #30
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Negative Development and Digitization

Optimizing negative development is important. Some development techniques are likely to be more compatible with inherent image digitization limitations. At the same time, a wide variety of development techniques can produce high quality images when digitization parameters are optimized. Different development techniques can mean require different digitization parameters.

Negative and transparency digitization is subject to spatial artifacts.

Spatial artifacts are minimized by optimizing the digitization parameters. This is essentially maximizing the system modulation transfer function.

There is no inherent reason for Plustek scans to produce images with flawed grain rendering. Of course inherently (or needlessly) grainy negatives will render as high-grain images.

Optimizing scan parameters can be tedious. Many tutorials available on line.

Unlike film development where a multitude of variables make direct comparisons difficult, negative digitization is bound by information theory. Once you figure out how to optimize parameters for the Plustek scanning hardware you will be set.
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Old 10-08-2019   #31
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They look a little like when I've underexposed and then the scanner has to adjust the brightness.
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Old 10-08-2019   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
It is better to work with a better developer, like Ilford Perceptol. Truly great stuff. Use a good film, Kodak Tmax400 (400-2TMY). Very fine grain combined with high speed.



Erik.
Nonsense. XTOL is an excellent developer.
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Old 10-08-2019   #33
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XTOL will work fine with your film, same as HC110, D-76 and a number of other developers from Kodak and other manufacturers.
Your BIGGEST problem is the film processing was done incorrectly. Your film was also possibly fogged.

Don't even try to think about troubleshooting scanning issues until you process the film correctly.
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Old 10-08-2019   #34
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This is essentially maximizing the system modulation transfer function.
Does this mean something?
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Old 10-12-2019   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deardorff38 View Post
" Rinse it again in one hour in cold water."
Proper technique requires having the pre-soak, developer, stop bath, fixer & rinse water at the same temperature. Classically 68F or 20C. As mentioned any hot temperatures will cause reticulation.
This the best way to get reticulation. The reason is that you will probably keep the temperatures at 20C in the developer, stop bath and fix. But is not easy to keep the tap water temperature constant when rinsing in a sink, even with a thermostat. The hot water can be hotter during rinse as the water flows from the hot water heater to your tap. Everybody who showers know this!

The old Tri-X in the 60-ties was very sensitive to this. I have never been succesful in keeping the rinse temperature constant from the sink. I remember developing Tri-X in D-163 at 1:3, this was more sensitive than using Tri-X with D-76 at 1:1. But I have read that modern films are not as sensitiv like old films. I think the reason is that the modern silver layers are different and thinner. But rinsing in cold water always works, I think the danger is the changing temperatures from 20C to varm to cold to varm!

If I want to use rinse water at 20C I have sometimes stored cold water a day or two in a 20 liter plastic container to get the room temperature 20C. I have then used the Ilford rinse method, which is very quick. But I most time use running cold water in my sink, as I have not the time to use the Ilford rinse method.

To first time developer, like the OP, I think it is easier to use cold water than trying unsuccesfully to have constant 20C water from your sink taps!
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Old 10-12-2019   #36
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I don't think it's reticulation. I have never seen it in person, but examples on the internet look different and it's said that it's hard to get reticulation with modern films. Certainly a few degrees difference in wash temperature don't harm the film, or what would happen if one developes Film in a very warm or cold room and the first 20°C bath hits the film? Nobody ever warns of that, because it's not an issue. This looks like as fixing or fogging, perhaps compounded by bad scanning technique, and excessive image compression.
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Old 10-12-2019   #37
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Originally Posted by jim_jm View Post
XTOL will work fine with your film, same as HC110, D-76 and a number of other developers from Kodak and other manufacturers.
Your BIGGEST problem is the film processing was done incorrectly. Your film was also possibly fogged.

Don't even try to think about troubleshooting scanning issues until you process the film correctly.
I'm 99.9% with jim_jm on this one. Old film, fogged from age or badly stored. Likely ISO 400 or faster. In my house the fast emulsions fog almost overnight.

Also looks overexposed or maybe overdeveloped. Or both.

Where did anyone see signs of reticulation or too little fixing? Unlikely it's the former, it could be the latter, but in my 50 years of darkroom life, I've not seen any of this before.

The OP's technique needs careful examining and improving in all ways - buying film, shooting, processing, scanning.

Do a small test if you like. Buy a roll of fresh film, 36 exposures. Shoot it as you usually do.

In the darkroom, take a length of about a third of the film. Process normally in Xtol, D76, ID11, whichever. Fix the full time. Evaluate.

Now take a second length of about a third. Process for twice the normal time. ix the full time. Evaluate.

Finally, take the third (last) length. Process normally. Fix for a third of the full time. Evaluate.

The results may reveal everything to you. If not, get back to us, please, and post another image of the new results.

Tedious, maybe yes. But as the old saying goes, "if at first you don't succeed, you're batting about average".

Best!

Let us know how it turns out.
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Old 10-12-2019   #38
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I don't think it's reticulation. I have never seen it in person, but examples on the internet look different and it's said that it's hard to get reticulation with modern films. Certainly a few degrees difference in wash temperature don't harm the film, or what would happen if one developes Film in a very warm or cold room and the first 20°C bath hits the film? Nobody ever warns of that, because it's not an issue. This looks like as fixing or fogging, perhaps compounded by bad scanning technique, and excessive image compression.
My understanding is that temperature difference between ambient air and the first bath is not an issue because the emulsion is not yet wet. Reticulation is a risk when a wet emulsion is exposed to significant changes in temperature.

I control temperature very carefully to avoid this risk. This is one reason why I usually don't develop from mid-July to mid-September, when the cold water coming out of my tap is often between 75 and 78 F.
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Old 10-12-2019   #39
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Originally Posted by fky463 View Post
THIS IS HOW NEGATIVE LOOKS - https://imgur.com/a/oUiW8pO
You have serious problems with your technique or your film. This is not a scanner issue, a computer issue, reticulation, or anything else like that. Your negatives look horrendous - frankly my guess is you are using old expired film found in a barn or something and has massive amounts of fog, as that pic shows exactly what I've seen from film stored in those conditions. Or they were grossly under fixed.
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Old 10-13-2019   #40
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Hasn't it been established already that the films were most likely under-fixed? I think we should just let the OP fix (pun not intended) this problem first and then re-examine what else he can change to further improve his workflow.
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