View Full Version : Strange Patterns on E6 4X5 Sheets

Eric Fredine
1-Feb-2005, 15:42

I'm a recent convert to LF (coming from the digital darkside). I have a problem with my E6 sheets that is either a problem with the lab's process or with condensation (according to a discussion I had with the lab tech). I'd like to get some other informed opinions.

I'm shooting Astia 100F Quickloads in the Fuji Quickload Holder. You can see some samples of the problem here: http://www.ericfredine.com/problems/samples.htm"]>http://www.ericfredine.com/problems/samples.htm (http://www.ericfredine.com/problems/samples.htm"[url=)[/url].

I live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada - which is a long ways north. I've been shooting in temperatures that are well below freezing (-35C/-31F) to around freezing (a little below or above). The humidity this time of the year is very low (dry skin is a problem).

My workflow in terms of handling the QLís is as follows:

- I keep unused packets in a fridge;

- I keep packets Iím taking in to the field in a small bag that holds about 20 packets (typically 10 Astia + 10 NPS);

- when Iím outside in cold temperatures the packets in the bag are likely to get quite cold Ė though there has been quite a range of temperatures Iíve shot in from extreme cold to quite mild;

- I then place the packets in the back of my car or truck at the end of the shoot;

- when I arrive home I transfer the packets to my partially heated garage (which is probably typically at a temperature of +5C).

- packets delivered to the lab for processing have either come from my garage (via the inside of my car) or sometimes directly from the back of my car.

I have NOT been keeping the packets in Ziplock bags as I found that this approach seemed to work fine in preventing condensation with my other photo gear.

Do these patterns even look like the sort of patterns that could be caused by condensation?

Is it time to look for a new lab OR take stricter measures to control (which I'll probably do regardless).


Ted Harris
1-Feb-2005, 16:18

First you need to resend the weblink .. I got it ok but you have stuff at the front end that needs to come off. Nowon toyoru problem.

First, Iahve never had a condensation problem with Quickloads and that is in all sorts of climate conditions and all sorts of (mis)handleing. Not that it couldn;t happen because it could but when I looked the first thing I thought of was a processing problem .... e.g. the film touching something where you have the blotchiness. So my question .... is it every sheet? Is it always in exactly the same spot?

If the answer is yes to those auestions then it is not mishandleing the fhe film the way I am thinking. Nor should the low temps be a problem. at least I am shooting Astia in temps in the -10F range.

Not much help I am afraid but may eliminate something or give you some more things to chew on.

Eric Fredine
1-Feb-2005, 17:07
Thanks Ted.

This patterning does seem to be on most if not all sheets I've had processed at this lab. Its hard to detect if there aren't patches of uniform colour and sometimes a strong colour cast (such as blue) can hide it but it rears its ugly head once scanned and the colour cast is removed.

It's hard to say if the patterns are the same and in the same place.

So, I've either got a consistent (or at least persistant) condensation problem or a processing problem.

Here's the link again (though I think only the text portion is incorrect): sample images (http://www.ericfredine.com/problems/samples.htm).


Ted Harris
1-Feb-2005, 18:00

Do you know how the lab is processing. That is some type of rotary processing or dip and dunk? If they are a very small lab and using older e.g. non expert jobo drums there could be a loading problem with the tanks but then I would think their other customers would complain too.

Eric Fredine
1-Feb-2005, 20:22

They aren't a small lab, but they did mention that they don't process much sheet film anymore (which raised red flags for me). They are some sort of Fuji lab whatever that means. There are also marks from clamps on all four corners of the sheets which I assume says something about how they are doing the processing.


tor kviljo
2-Feb-2005, 01:28
With clamp-marks in each corner, the films are probably procsses on frames in a dip and dunk processor. I don't know these processors from personal use (doing my own dev. i JOBOS). However, it looks as if the density-areas/marks of your trannies is somewhat in the centre of the field of view. Depending of which hangers/frames they have, several sheets of film may be mounted together in one frame. If agitation is not adequate, reduced chemical flow on centre part compared to edges of film would produce density differences in the processed image. I guess that there is people in the forum which know if this could be the case (I belive dip'n dunks is supposed to give very even dev. at least with rollfilm?). For condensation: my experience (not with readyload, but ordinary single sheets) is that if condensation occures, the film gets sticky and is glued together with whatever it is in contact with, so it's next to impossible not to know if you have a condensation-problem (but I see no reason to go through the contents of my dark-room speech uttered when a number of exposed 4"x5" insisted on leaving the bag of exposed film as a well-glued stack....).