Film Development Problem
Old 5 Days Ago   #1
Colin G.
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Film Development Problem

Please help with diagnosing the cause of these spots. The spots appear across light and dark areas of the image, both in the negative and in the scan. They don’t appear in the spaces between the images. The film is HP5+, dated 2020. It’s been kept in the freezer since purchasing. I used D76 1+1 for 11 minutes at or near 20C, Ilfostop for 10 seconds, Rapid Fixer for 5 minutes, washed thoroughly using the Ilford method with an additional round of rinsing with added Photoflo. None of the chemicals are expired and mixed correctly a few days before. I’ve been developing b&w film for a few years now and have never had this problem. It occurred on the last three HP5+ rolls (with varying severity). I stated earlier that I developed at or near 20C…I live in a tropical country so I have an ice-water bath to get my chemicals to temperature (tap water is usually 27-28C). Once they are at temp I remove them from the bath. After I pour in the developer, I usually check the temp of the stop and fixer around the halfway point of developing. I’m usually at or near 20C (within a degree or so). I don’t think this is reticulation but I may be wrong. After the first roll I thought it was probably the developer. However I tend to develop two rolls in succession whenever I develop film. The second roll was Tmax 400 using D76 1+1 for 10 1/4 minutes. No spots. Each film was put in their own tank. I’ve developed many rolls since moving to a tropical climate, almost exclusively rolls of Tri-X, with no issues. Has anyone had the same issue? Any ideas? Thank you in advance.


ExampleFull by ColinG., on Flickr


ExampleCrop by ColinG., on Flickr
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Old 5 Days Ago   #2
leicapixie
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Use filters! I use coffee filters for water (ord.water stored in bottles),stop bath, fixer.
Photo-Flo also. Change bottles esp. rapid Fixer, I use 2.
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Spots
Old 4 Days Ago   #3
randy stewart
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Spots

Your process and technique seem fine. As a guess, I would focus on the finishing bath. If you are using local water, you may have dissolved impurities in it which dry on the film as spots. We who live in serious hard water areas tend to see problems like this. Try mixing your Photoflo with distilled water and give it a double time final rinse. Note that if this is your problem, using coffee filters won't help you at all.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #4
css9450
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Is it the couple of dark spots in the sky we're looking at, or is it something else? The foreground is much too busy for us to notice.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #5
drewbarb
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Just make sure your chemistry is fully dissolved, and maybe try using filters as someone suggested. I'd leave the film in the stop bath a little longer than 10 seconds (I use 1 minute, with 30 seconds of agitation and 30 seconds to stand) but I don't think insufficient stop time is causing this. You might try a pre-wet of a couple of minutes in clean water (same agitation routine as you use for the other chemistry) before you pour in the developer. Then proceed as normal. Hope you get it sorted out.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #6
Colin G.
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Thank you for the suggestions. I'll try filters.

Just for more information...I mix chemicals with Aquafina since I'm unable to find distilled water. Ditto for the rinse cycles, only purified bottled water. Perhaps the water was contaminated somehow or didn't dissolve the D76 powder properly and I should toss the stock developer? I have two amber glass bottles remaining.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #7
Chriscrawfordphoto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin G. View Post
Thank you for the suggestions. I'll try filters.

Just for more information...I mix chemicals with Aquafina since I'm unable to find distilled water. Ditto for the rinse cycles, only purified bottled water. Perhaps the water was contaminated somehow or didn't dissolve the D76 powder properly and I should toss the stock developer? I have two amber glass bottles remaining.



Don't use bottled waters sold as drinking water; they have dissolved minerals in them for taste. You need distilled water. Where do you live? In the USA distilled water is easy to find. Kroger, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, and lots of other big retailers sell it. It is cheap, about a dollar a gallon.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #8
Larry H-L
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Agree with the others that this is most likely to be powdered chemicals that are not fully dissolved, or your water supply, or a combination of both.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #9
olifaunt
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Sometimes distant birds or closer insects can look like this.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #10
Erik van Straten
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Looks like airbubbles in the developer that stick to the film. When the developer is poured into the tank, tap the tank a few times on the workbench. Or turn the reel a few times when it is in the developer if possible.


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Old 3 Days Ago   #11
PRJ
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You say you live in a tropical climate. It is probably humidity that is doing it. Do you keep the film refrigerated? Is the film in the camera a long time and in and out of AC? I'm assuming this is 120 film.

That is more than likely the problem. I don't have a solution for you besides avoiding changes in temperature which in a humid environment causes condensation. Make sure film is at ambient temperature before you break the seal. You could also try presoaking the film before development. I've had the same thing happen with different films so it isn't the HP5.

You don't need to develop film at 20 either. Just try to keep the developer under 25 or so. There are temperature conversion charts to give you the right time.

Good luck.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #12
Beemermark
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Looks like dust to me.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #13
Ko.Fe.
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Few spots like these? I don’t know why it is such a problem.
I don’t think you print, but scan. Just clone it in LR which you are using according to EXIF on your Apple .
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Old 3 Days Ago   #14
Colin G.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriscrawfordphoto View Post
Don't use bottled waters sold as drinking water; they have dissolved minerals in them for taste. You need distilled water. Where do you live? In the USA distilled water is easy to find. Kroger, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, and lots of other big retailers sell it. It is cheap, about a dollar a gallon.

I live in Vietnam. I've tried all of the major department stores here without luck which is why I use purified water. I've developed many rolls since moving here and the issue has only occurred on the last three HP5+ rolls.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #15
Colin G.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
Looks like airbubbles in the developer that stick to the film. When the developer is poured into the tank, tap the tank a few times on the workbench. Or turn the reel a few times when it is in the developer if possible.


Erik.

After I pour in the developer, I use the stick agitator for a full minute. After 45 seconds I agitate using the stick for 15 seconds. I repeat this until the end of development. I also use the stick agitator for stop and fix. Perhaps I should tap the tank a few times then begin agitation...
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Old 3 Days Ago   #16
Colin G.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRJ View Post
You say you live in a tropical climate. It is probably humidity that is doing it. Do you keep the film refrigerated? Is the film in the camera a long time and in and out of AC? I'm assuming this is 120 film.

That is more than likely the problem. I don't have a solution for you besides avoiding changes in temperature which in a humid environment causes condensation. Make sure film is at ambient temperature before you break the seal. You could also try presoaking the film before development. I've had the same thing happen with different films so it isn't the HP5.

You don't need to develop film at 20 either. Just try to keep the developer under 25 or so. There are temperature conversion charts to give you the right time.

Good luck.

I keep the film rolls in the freezer until a day before going out. When I don't finish a roll, my camera is placed in a dry-cabinet with humidity controlled at 42%.



I should just adapt my process to higher temperatures but for some reason I can't get over the mental block of temperatures needing to be 20C. I used to live in Canada where temperature control was much easier.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #17
Colin G.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
Few spots like these? I dont know why it is such a problem.
I dont think you print, but scan. Just clone it in LR which you are using according to EXIF on your Apple .



I currently print digitally, not often, I'd like to do more. I recently discovered a local darkroom where I can learn wet printing so I will soon get into that and would like my latest negatives to be in proper form.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #18
Colin G.
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Here is another example, which I hope is more telling of the spot problem...


ExampleCropII by ColinG., on Flickr
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Old 3 Days Ago   #19
Ko.Fe.
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Two more somewhat visible spots in the RUC.
You just have to stop to be paranoid. Use LR and clone it.
In DR you most likely is not going to see it at all. I have printed from more than this spotted negatives.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #20
pau3
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Those are small air bubbles. Do a pre-rinse to get rid of the surfactants in the HP5+ emulsion. It is not enough with a single pre-rinse. You should perform probably three changes of water, before pouring the developer.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #21
Moto-Uno
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Just curious , where in Canada were you and where in Vietnam do you reside ? Peter
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Old 2 Days Ago   #22
Erik van Straten
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin G. View Post
After I pour in the developer, I use the stick agitator for a full minute. After 45 seconds I agitate using the stick for 15 seconds. I repeat this until the end of development. I also use the stick agitator for stop and fix. Perhaps I should tap the tank a few times then begin agitation...

It is better to turn the tank upside down once every minute. Only right after the developer is poured into the tank you should use the agitator. This is the best way to get fresh developer on the film surface every minute .


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Old 2 Days Ago   #23
css9450
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Quote:
Originally Posted by css9450 View Post
Is it the couple of dark spots in the sky we're looking at, or is it something else? The foreground is much too busy for us to notice.
Now I see them, here at home on a better monitor. I agree they're bubbles.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #24
Colin G.
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Air bubbles. Strange as my process didn't change when I developed those three rolls, and again, no problems using the same process before. Perhaps I'll go back to using inversions after adding the developer. Thanks again.

Moto-Uno: I used to live in Hamilton, Ontario before moving to Saigon.
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