View Full Version : Is your film flat? Or do you make it not flat.

Tin Can
25-Sep-2015, 17:38
We know that 35mm and MF 120 roll film seems to never get flat, at least B&W. Some processed slide film 120 does seem flat yet very flexible.

It occurs to me we spend a lot of time rolling up film and paper and then try to make it flat again. At least we write about it all time.

I try and keep my film flat before, during and after processing. Then hope it stays flat, very flat. Often so flat it slides away when placed on a scanner. Bent film does not do that.

The only film I bend is 2x3 sheet film in Honeywell developing cans with the waffle device. The film warps from wet bending, but since it is small it flattens fairly well and a glass carrier obviously does the trick, by forcing it flat.

4x5 to 11x14 films I no longer bend or roll and they stay flat during processing, scanning or enlarging.

I want to know how taco method and tube users are getting along. Does your film flatten out or does it gain a permanent memory bend? What do you do if it does?

Ah, I forgot drum scanners, which wet mount inside a tube or drum, perhaps nobody cares if they are drum scanning?

25-Sep-2015, 18:01
Pre-exposure film flatness is a major reason I'll pickup a 4x5" over 6x9 rollfilm camera. After exposure, flatness or curle does not make any difference to me thanks to glass negative holders.

Liquid Artist
25-Sep-2015, 18:05
I flex my film just enough to fit it in my Paterson tank. However it's flat all other times.

While printing it lays flat in my negative carrier, and I've never had an issue.

I can't say the same about the 120 I shoot.

What I have more of an issue with is my FB paper not laying as flat as I want.

25-Sep-2015, 18:33
Not LF, but all of my 35mm film gets rolled backwards into a 100' film can until I get around to cutting it up, which is usually a week or two. By that time, the reverse curl has cancelled the curl, and it's pretty flat and will stay that way. LF film, that I don't pay any attention to. It's developed in hangers, and flatness hasn't been an issue.

25-Sep-2015, 18:44
The 4x5 sheet film remains flat after dev. with BTZS-like tubes with 2 1/2 " diameter. Just perfect for DSLR scanning and enlargements with glassless carriers.

Roger Thoms
25-Sep-2015, 19:15
BTZS tubes in 45, 57, 810, film flattens right out upon removal from the tubes. Never had a problem.


Jim Jones
25-Sep-2015, 19:38
Sheet film is stored in flat negative files in 3-ring binders and seems to stay flat. 35mm film is stored in negative wallets that fold up in a zig-zag so the emulsion alternate in the way they face. These wallets are fairly tightly packed in boxes. The biggest problem with this is the film is so flat that it sometimes accidently slips out of the wallets. These wallets were made by Print File, Inc., of Orlando, FL, but have been discontinued for years.

26-Sep-2015, 02:25
No issues here with 4x5 and 8x10; development in trays for 8x10 means it's flat all of the time, and a brief stay in a mod54 doesn't harm the 4x5 either. 35mm flattens o8t quite well after drying on a clothesline with a weight attached to the end as well. Only 120 tends to retain a bit of curl, depending on the type of film and it's age.

28-Sep-2015, 04:15
I process all my 4x5 on a Jobo 2509 holder. After development it has a very slight curl in it, but even gravity alone is enough to make it lay almost completely flat after a few days. The last few micrometers will easily be flattened by a holder or liquid in the scanner. Since the bend is only in one dimension I don't think it is a problem at all.

28-Sep-2015, 17:43
I process my 8x10 and 4x5 in btzs tubes and never had a problem

28-Sep-2015, 17:43
the worst curling film I have ever used was arista edu ultra in 120

29-Sep-2015, 06:48
Absolute worst I encountered was the Maco Cube 400 film, rumour has it that it was traffic surveillance film made by the late Hungarian Forte factory. No "anti curl" layer, impossible to put cut film in sleeve, I ended by keeping the film uncut, and store and print it as a complete roll..


the worst curling film I have ever used was arista edu ultra in 120

Jim Jones
29-Sep-2015, 06:59
the worst curling film I have ever used was arista edu ultra in 120

Kodak Recording film 2475 was the worst I ever used for curling and a few other reasons. How we rejoiced when Kodak introduced T-Max 3200 in the 1970s!

29-Sep-2015, 07:18
Kodak Recording film 2475 was the worst I ever used for curling and a few other reasons. How we rejoiced when Kodak introduced T-Max 3200 in the 1970s!

All one had to do with 2475 was to backroll it onto one of those black 1" dia 35mm film cores and (for fast access) heat it with a hair drier for a minute, then let sit for 10 min while cooling off... Or backroll it and leave it wound for a few days, then it would behave totally normally...

I, for one was NOT thrilled with the T-Max 3200, as I did theater photography, and the 2475 could give me highlight detail with someone spotlit, and usually detail on someone not, in the same shot...

Steve K