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Thread: Orange specks on negatives

  1. #1

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    Orange specks on negatives

    Does anyone know what contamination causes orange spots like those in the attached negatives? They're about 2-5mm across.

    Here is some background that may or may not be pertinent to the issue-

    Arista ultra 200 4x5 (fomapan 200) brought to mexico and exposed last month. It sat in my refrigerator double zip lock bagged in boxes and individual negative sleeves until yesterday when I started processing. 2 minute presoak. Tray processed using development by inspection with Pyrocat - HD at 2:2:100 dilution. Times ranged from 8 to 15 minutes at 75-80F. Water stop bath, 4 minutes in fresh fixer and washed in constantly running water for 20 minutes.

    My trays were brand new. I mixed the pyrocat as per the instructions, part A at 125f and part b at 68f.

    What am I missing? This my first time tray processing, using pyrocat, and shooting this particular film. Sooooo yeah lots of room for error and many variables at play 😬. Apologies if this is basic and been covered before but I didn't see anything similar with my initial searches.

    Thanks!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20160314_143829~2.jpg   20160314_143812~2.jpg   20160314_144035~2.jpg  

  2. #2

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    Re: Orange specks on negatives

    Are the offending pieces on the emulsion or back of the film?

    Just looking with absolutely no knowledge - it looks like packing/paper pieces. Do you filter the chemicals?

  3. #3

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    Re: Orange specks on negatives

    Willie, the specks are adhered to the emulsion side. I use filtered water but not filtered chemistry. However, I mixed both the pyro and fixer in clear graduates and did not see any debris.

  4. #4

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    Re: Orange specks on negatives

    It looks like stuck-on paper, etc. from your "individual negative sleeves" to me. Are you using paper/glassine sleeves? At any rate, storing loose film, even in sleeves, in the refrigerator invites condensation and subsequent damage to your film. If your film did get moist, it may have stuck to the sleeves you stored them in and taken part of them with it when you removed them for processing. Have you examined the insides of them to see if there are portions missing that correspond to the crud on your negatives?

    2-5mm is pretty large and I doubt that they are from your chemistry if it was as clear as you describe. Plus, fixer crud is rarely orange. The specks look like they picked up the orange color from the developer (pyro stain) which would mean that they were likely there before development began.

    Have you tried soaking the film in water+wetting agent and seeing if you can gently dislodge the particles?

    Best,

    Doremus

  5. #5

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    Re: Orange specks on negatives

    Doremus, I'm using glassine sleeves. One thing I noticed about the Arista Ultra 200 after I finished the box and saw the paper box and plastic light proof bag in the light was a lot of dust and paper specks from the packaging. I thought this stuff would dislodge during the prewash if any was on the film. Your point about the orange stain coming from the pyrocat makes me think otherwise though. I'll trying rewashing with the wetting agent to get them clean.

    If the debris is inherent to this film packaging, and there is no way to visually inspect the film before processing, how do you ensure that the debris doesn't make it to the chemistry? Dust blower?

  6. #6

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    Re: Orange specks on negatives

    Quote Originally Posted by evanmoly View Post
    Doremus, I'm using glassine sleeves. One thing I noticed about the Arista Ultra 200 after I finished the box and saw the paper box and plastic light proof bag in the light was a lot of dust and paper specks from the packaging. I thought this stuff would dislodge during the prewash if any was on the film. Your point about the orange stain coming from the pyrocat makes me think otherwise though. I'll trying rewashing with the wetting agent to get them clean.

    If the debris is inherent to this film packaging, and there is no way to visually inspect the film before processing, how do you ensure that the debris doesn't make it to the chemistry? Dust blower?
    Two things: If there is dust or debris on your film at the time of exposure, it will block the light and cause a clear area. This doesn't seem to be your problem, rather something got stuck onto the surface of the film after exposure.

    So, to address that issue first, don't store your exposed film in the refrigerator (or freezer!). Store them in a cool, dry place (room temperature is fine) and process as quickly as possible. Your problem is likely the storage sleeves being degraded due to moisture in the form of condensation that forms when you cool the film in the refrigerator and then sticking to the softened emulsion of the film.

    Why don't you just leave the film in the filmholders before processing, or, if you need to unload the holders to use them again, just store the film in an old film box. I do this latter all the time, simply sandwiching the exposed film between the two cardboard pieces that come with the film and which I've saved along with the box. I routinely transport exposed film home from shoots (even from other continents) in old film boxes. And, I don't put them in the refrigerator!

    On to problem two: the crud that comes packaged with the film. Film should be manufactured and packaged in a clean room and should be spotless when purchased. Certainly Kodak and Ilford films fit this category. I haven't used the Foma products, but did use BPF200 for a while, which some claim was made by Foma. With this film I did have a problem or two with debris. I solved it simply by adding a "tapping" step to my filmholder loading. I still do this just to be on the safe side. Here's what I do. I set the stack of film to be loaded into holders emulsion-side-down. When loading, I pick up the top sheet, hold it vertically (half flipped over) and then tap its edge solidly two or three times on the tabletop. I then turn it emulsion side up and load it quickly into the holder. I used to get a little pile of junk from the film this way, but it was loaded clean.

    Best,

    Doremus

  7. #7

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    Re: Orange specks on negatives

    Just a quick update, the rewashing worked and I was able to dislodge the particles. I will be paying closer attention to make sure none of this stuff gets dried on the film in the future though!

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