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marmot
16-Jun-2016, 11:48
I'm just getting started with 4x5 and I've been having an issue with a blotchy pattern on some of my negatives. My previous film darkroom experience was processing and printing B&W 35mm.

I'm shooting Tri-X with a Toyo 45CF with brand-new Toyo holders, then processing myself in a Mod54 holder and Paterson tank, using D-76 (1:1) at the recommended developing time for the temperature. I'm agitating by using the rotary spindle on the Paterson tank (not inverting the whole tank).

The problem only occurs on certain negatives - usually it's over the whole image, but one of my sheets had it just along one of the long edges. Most of my negatives have turned out normally. In a batch of 6 the ratio of good to bad might be 6/0 or 4/2. I also can't find a pattern as to where the sheet was in the Mod54 holder.

If anyone has an idea where this might be coming from I'd appreciate any suggestions.

Michael Clark
16-Jun-2016, 11:58
may be chemical contamination of some sort, powdered fixer dust got on a sheet of undeveloped film.

Stephen Thomason
16-Jun-2016, 12:48
Try inverting the tank rather than the twirly thing. I invert my Paterson tanks - I have heard of issues supposedly resulting from using only the spindle. 30 seconds of inversion at the start, 3 inversions every minute thereafter.

Jim Noel
16-Jun-2016, 13:56
Throw away that stick that twirls the reel!
I used to collect these from students to prevent their use.
Do as Stephen say 's - Invert. The 3 inversions should take about 5-6 seconds, in other words they are not lazy, but not overly rapid. If youwatch your timer as you do it, the inversions will become almost automatic.
Back to your negatives - there was insufficient developer solution in the tank. The twirling made the curly patterns.

marmot
16-Jun-2016, 15:48
Michael, Stephen and Jim, thanks for the suggestions. If it's the agitation technique that's the problem, could it only affect certain sheets in the tank, like I'm seeing?

One detail I forgot to mention that might be relevant is that I can see clear film on the edges of the sheet that were covered by the camera's film holder - the pattern is only found in the part of the sheet that was exposed by the camera. If it were the development would I not see it on the edges, since it also shows up in the clearest parts of the exposed negative?

Not criticizing your interpretation, just want to understand.

151888

bw-man
16-Jun-2016, 16:53
Film preservation reason?Affected by the wet?
Film developing uneven mixing, a large area of influence.Transition boundary is gradual change, and is relatively fixed position.

The Joker
16-Jun-2016, 23:01
Looks very odd indeed. I've never seen anything like that.
Only thing that springs to mind is that you have been handling those negs with fingers contaminated with fixer or stop or possibly very sweaty fingers but they don't look like finger marks. Did you wash your hands very thoroughly and fully dry them before handling your film sheets? Are you careful not to touch the image area and only hold film by the edges? Did it only happen after you had been putting your fingers in dev/stop/fix solutions?

koraks
17-Jun-2016, 01:02
I virtually always "stick twirl" my Paterson development tanks. Works like a charm, but we've seen many times before on this forum what works perfectly for one person, gives another person endless trouble. Still, given the nature of these defects, I'd look in other places than the mode of agitation.

Do you pre-soak the film? Do you rinse the tank and it's innards after a development session to ensure no photo Flo remains in them? What is your agitation scheme?

The Joker
17-Jun-2016, 07:41
If its only happening on one or two negs in a tank with 6 sheets of film in I'd say its nothing to do with developer strength. The twirl stick never did work with film on spools becasue it just twirled the center column and not always the spools. Not sure with the mod54 but it looks the same, i.e. the center column could rotate inside the mod54 so personally I wouldn't use a twirl stick.
It could be sheets of film coming into contact with each other as you twirl.
Did the sheets come out after developing still in their corrects slots? Did you load the mod54 with sheets in correct slots in the first place?

koraks
17-Jun-2016, 07:48
The twirl stick never did work with film on spools becasue it just twirled the center column and not always the spools.
It does with my spools, tanks and mod54. The Mod54 fits snugly over the center column, as do the Paterson spools I use. It can be easily checked by doing a test run with the top part of the tank removed.

480sparky
17-Jun-2016, 07:52
Are you using dry chemicals to develop the film? If so, maybe they're not fully dissolved.

I use the MDO54 and the twirl stick with no issues. But I also invert the tank twice during developing.

If nothing else, shoot a sheet, develop it, run some stop bath (not water!) on it and check it before you fix it. If the blotchiness appears, then you know it's in the developer stage and not the fixer.

The reason you don't see it on the reveal of the film is that portion of the emulsion has been completely removed by the fixer. So any blotchiness will not bee seen there, but may be visible with the above method.

marmot
17-Jun-2016, 09:21
Joker, I've been handling the negs by the edges - I may have touched the picture area occasionally but not over the entire frame. I've been loading the tank with clean hands. The sheets were loaded correctly into their slots and were still in their slots when I took them out, with no contact between sheets. I rinse out and dry the tank and the holder thoroughly before I process a new batch, and also rinse my graduates in between mixing different chemicals.

480sparky, I am using dry chemicals. I made sure when I was making the stock developer that the water was at the correct temperature and I stirred until the developer was clear. I dilute the developer 1:1 at 75 degrees fahrenheit right before I do my processing, and discard it afterwards.

The idea that it's something to do with the developer or the agitation makes sense given the patchy look of the defect, but I would think those problems would affect all sheets in a tank, or at least adjacent sheets. The positioning of the sheets in the holder didn't seem to be associated with which ones had the issue.

I had another thought about this - so far I've done four batches of six. My first batch turned out normally.

On the second batch of six I had the problem happen on only one sheet. It was a sheet where I had made a mistake during exposure - I partially pulled out the dark slide for a second while the shutter was still open. I was fully expecting the sheet to be at least partially flashed, so when I saw the patchy pattern I assumed it was flashing, even though I had never seen it take on that sort of a look before. I've only seen light contamination show up as solid gradations of additional density, not patches.

On my third batch, when it happened to two negatives out of six, I wasn't sure what was going on. I didn't remember making any mistakes with the dark slide, but for some of the exposures I was doing fairly rapid re-loads so it's possible I made some kind of error, or that the film holder was leaking light. I made note of which film holders had the problem, and made test exposures using those holders, making sure that my reloading technique was correct.

On the fourth batch I had five negatives: the three test exposures and two sheets from the previous shoot. All the test exposures came out normally but one of the other two had the problem.

I didn't even bring up the possibility of flashing on the original post because the problem doesn't look like it to me, but I suppose what happened upstream of processing may have been a factor.

Doremus Scudder
17-Jun-2016, 09:49
Let's analyze a bit before speculating: First, the defect consists of increased density, i.e., either more development or more exposure. Second, the underlying exposure seems correct. Third, it only happens on a sheet or two (or none) from each batch.

The latter seems to eliminate anything to do with the processing per se, and with it, the extra development possibility unless there is some kind of chemical contamination that causes increased sensitivity/accelerates development for random sheets.

Finally, whatever it is, it seems to happen when the darkslide is out and during exposure since the clear film edges are not affected.

So, as Sherlock so wisely said, "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth." Therefore, I'm going with more exposure as the source of the defect and at the time of making the photograph, i.e., in camera.

It really does look like a strange light-strike to me. I'd check for a light leak in your camera or lensboard first. Do the classic light-leak test with a bare bulb inside the camera in a dark room. Don't forget to check the light-tightness of the lens/lensboard as well. I'll wager you'll find your problem there, or in the form of a leaky darkslide (take them out and hold them to the sun and see if there are cracks/holes in them).

Good luck finding your problem.

Doremus

alexmuir
17-Jun-2016, 11:49
I haven't seen anything like this on film, but I have had issues with poorly stored paper that look similar. The possibility of a storage problem was mentioned above by bw-man. Was your film fresh and properly stored? My paper suffered from storage in an environment with fluctuating temperature. I think this can cause condensation on the paper, or film surface, and leads to patterns similar to your negatives. It doesn't affect every sheet, but most likely those nearer the top of the pile.
Alex.

marmot
17-Jun-2016, 12:16
Doremus, the fact that you think it looks like a light strike makes me want to investigate the idea that it happens during exposure. If it's an exposure problem it's intermittent, because I've had both good and bad exposures with the same film holder/camera/bellows/lens board.

I'll see if there's any light leaks in the camera. It also occurred to me that the holder might not always be seating completely tight in the camera back.

I'll also expose a few sheets while intentionally making errors with the shutter and slide to see if light contamination through error looks like what I've been seeing.

When I process the tests I'll use tank inversion for agitation instead of the spindle.

I also shot some Portra 160 during the same session as some of the affected Tri-X. I sent the Portra out to a professional lab, so when I get those back on Monday if the problem exists on those sheets I'll for sure know it was an exposure problem.

alexmuir, I bought the film new (expiration 11/2017) and it was at room temperature or moderate outdoor temps the whole time before the first problem sheet turned up. I did take a car trip with it after the first batch which would have exposed it to higher temps, but for the most part it's been in a pretty stable environment.

marmot
23-Jun-2016, 17:18
It shows up on some of the Porta sheets I just had processed by a professional lab, so it's definitely an exposure problem.

Christopher Barrett
23-Jun-2016, 17:22
I got one like this recently. Mistakenly let my holder sit in direct sun coming in the studio window. Someone else posted similar issue, either here or on the FaceBook LF group (I forget). Let me guess... Toyo holder? I think their dark slides are not quite fully opaque.

marmot
23-Jun-2016, 18:19
Yes, it was a Toyo holder. My holders are brand new so it doesn't seem like they should be leaking. If the sunlight is getting through the dark slide itself that would account for the patchy texture.

What precautions should I take to avoid this? Keep the holders in some kind of sleeve until I make the exposure? How long does the holder have to be exposed to the sun for this to take place? Is less intense light also a potential problem?

Christopher Barrett
23-Jun-2016, 18:31
Yeah, mine are brand new too, as was the other person's who posted a similar blotchiness. The fact that the fogging isn't localized to any specific area tells me that it's not a light leak, but rather coming through the face of the whole slide. We need to have a talk with Toyo. In the meantime, just use caution and keep the holders out of any direct sunlight. Come to think of it, when I still shot holders for architecture, we were always very careful to keep them out of the sun.

You'd think that dark slide would be totally opaque, eh?

chacabuco
23-Jun-2016, 18:41
I've had this very same issue that I posted about here. I hadn't mentioned they were new TOYO holders though. Never thought that would be the issue since they were brand new. Glad to have some explanation finally but regretting the purchase.

AtlantaTerry
23-Jun-2016, 20:36
Wasn't it also Toyo who had stinky sheet film holders about a year ago?

If so, something is seriously wrong with their Quality Control Department!

Mrportr8
28-Jun-2016, 08:08
Condensation during exposure?

Christopher Barrett
28-Jun-2016, 14:28
Here's my example... maybe we should start a "Post your blotchy negs." thread?

https://scontent.ford1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/13532993_10208718216447850_8157514786424202836_n.jpg?oh=344e2c5746e3160ff89aaef0abdd4ef1&oe=57E98C96

Ari
28-Jun-2016, 14:54
I've never heard of this happening with Toyo holders, nor have I experienced the blotchy fogging, and I've owned dozens of them in 4x5 and 8x10 sizes.
I never took any precautions because...well…they're film holders.
I did have smelly 8x10 Toyo film holders, but I got rid of the smell using cat litter and cedar chips.

Bob Salomon
28-Jun-2016, 16:03
I've never heard of this happening with Toyo holders, nor have I experienced the blotchy fogging, and I've owned dozens of them in 4x5 and 8x10 sizes.
I never took any precautions because...well…they're film holders.
I did have smelly 8x10 Toyo film holders, but I got rid of the smell using cat litter and cedar chips.

So now they smell like clay in a cedar closet?

Ari
28-Jun-2016, 17:10
So now they smell like clay in a cedar closet?

No, now they smell like…victory. :)

AtlantaTerry
28-Jun-2016, 17:58
...
I did have smelly 8x10 Toyo film holders, but I got rid of the smell using cat litter and cedar chips.
...


Would you care to say what steps you took?

Thanks,
Terry

chacabuco
29-Jun-2016, 09:30
Here's (one of) mine152280

marmot
1-Jul-2016, 18:02
So I did a test to try and isolate the problem, and as it turns out, the Toyo dark slides are definitely not opaque, and sunlight will definitely pass through them, as Christopher Barrett suggested (thanks for the tip).

I decided to expose 6 sheets of film within closed film holders to direct noontime sun (about 7500 foot-candles by my meter) at various durations to see if the light would get through the dark slide. I used 3 of my new Toyo film holders that I had loaded with Tri-X about a month ago. I cut the numbers 1-6 out of blackwrap (a thick black light-tight foil used in film and TV lighting) and taped them to the outside of the dark slides so that I could identify which sheet I was looking at. I also taped a larger patch of blackwrap below the number, to give me a control so I could see if there was any density on the negative prior to the test exposure (from some previous possible light contamination within the last month while it was in the holder).

I wrapped the holders in blackwrap sleeves, took them outside, then unwrapped the sleeves one at a time and exposed each sheet. #1 was 15 seconds, #2 30 seconds, #3 one minute, #4 two minutes, #5 five minutes, and #6 ten minutes. The effect showed up strongly even at 15 seconds (I've attached a picture of the #1 negative).

It makes me want to do another test with even shorter exposures to try and see if any exposure to sunlight is safe. I think when I do it I'll only load one side of the holders with film in case the exposure on the "B" side is somehow affecting the film on the "A" side.

If any amount of direct sun gives this effect then I would think I'd have to take pretty serious precautions when doing daytime exterior shoots.

152334

barnacle
2-Jul-2016, 00:36
That hardly deserves the description of 'dark slide'.

Neil

StoneNYC
2-Jul-2016, 01:09
Wow that's bad.

All I can say is carbon fiber isn't opaque and this is one of many reasons I now buy only new Chamonix holders.

Good luck everyone, perhaps Toyo will offer a replacement dark slide once they make non-opaque ones.

marmot
2-Jul-2016, 18:30
So I did another test to try to figure out the exposure threshold where light gets through the closed dark slide. I did 3 shorter exposures in direct sun (7500 footcandles) then 3 exposures in the shade (450 footcandles).

#1 - Sun, 1/2 second (not very precise, I just took the blackwrap shade away for a split second.
#2 - Sun, 1 second
#3 - Sun, 3 seconds
#4 - Shade, 15 seconds
#5 - Shade, 30 seconds
#6 - Shade, 1 minute

The patchy density can be seen on all sheets, even on sheet #4, exposed to light in the shade for 15 seconds. It's at a level that I might not have noticed by eye if I had taken an exposure with the camera (especially if there were no large dark areas in the composition), but it's definitely there.

I can understand taking precautions with the loaded holder in the direct sun, but if 1/2 second is enough to get light pollution then I don't if there's a practical way to keep it out of the sun enough on a day exterior (especially if the camera position is in the sun). I can keep the holder in a light tight bag but I still have to take it out and put it in the camera.

Even the contamination level at 15 seconds in the shade concerns me.

I'm going to email Toyo about this and see what they say.

#1:
152368


#2:
152369


#3:
152370


#4:
152372

marmot
2-Jul-2016, 18:31
#5:
152373


#6:
152374

chacabuco
6-Jul-2016, 11:24
Did you hear back from them?

Jordan
6-Jul-2016, 14:31
Very curious what they have to say

bob carnie
6-Jul-2016, 14:48
Very good sleuthing indeed Mr Scudder and Mr Barrett - who would have ever thought? I tip my hat to this exchange by both of you and to the OP for follow through on their advice.

I for sure thought it was bad agitation at first or film sticking some how .

marmot
7-Jul-2016, 14:24
Toyo says it may be a manufacturing defect so they're sending me new dark slides to test.

Patrick Gauthier
8-Jul-2016, 15:21
ooph that's terrifying, especially considering the short duration of exposure it takes to botch the negative (I can't really see a practical way to avoid the contamination, especially if you're in the field). I suppose those tests were done with 3 different film holders/sets of dark slides? Maybe only some of your holders/darkslides are screwy, and that's why you only see it some of the time. Did you purchase them all new on the same date? Maybe Toyo manufactured an entire defective batch (that would be terrible). It would be nice of them to send the film to test as well. . .

marmot
9-Jul-2016, 18:54
Patrick, I've seen the problem on at least one side of each of my 8 holders so I'm assuming they're all the same. Every one of my dark slides I've deliberately exposed to sunlight as a test has passed light through to the negative.

I bought them in 3 batches from B&H starting in January.

I think the reason I initially saw the effect on some photos and not others is because the holders were exposed to different amounts of light, and it may be that some of my "clean" negatives actually have minor light pollution that's masked by the details of the image.

ctteg
11-Jul-2016, 09:23
Amazing. I, too, just started shooting 4x5 with brand new Toyo film holders. I got the blotchiness too after shooting on a bright day. Not good. I purchased mine from B&H as well - earlier this year (2016). Great problem solving indeed.

Patrick Gauthier
11-Jul-2016, 09:23
I think the reason I initially saw the effect on some photos and not others is because the holders were exposed to different amounts of light, and it may be that some of my "clean" negatives actually have minor light pollution that's masked by the details of the image.

yeah that makes sense. I've generally heard good things about the toyo holders, but have only used fidelity elite's myself. I hope the new darkslides work out for you.

Patrick

Doremus Scudder
11-Jul-2016, 10:29
I'm just now checking back on this after a great while. Great work finding the problem! This is worrisome, however, for those with Toyo holders. There may be a lot more out there like this. I'm glad Toyo is responding with new slides. Maybe they will need to do a "recall" of some sort if there is a large number of holders like this.

Question: Can you see light coming through the defective dark slides with your eye when holding them up to the sun or a bright light source and looking through them? It would be good to find a way to test the darkslides on holders one was intending to purchase before paying...

Please keep us updated on the new slides from Toyo and how they plan to deal with this issue.

(This puts a whole new twist on the "Darkslides: new or used" thread...)

Best,

Doremus

marmot
14-Jul-2016, 19:14
Doremus, I can't see sunlight through the dark slides outside, but I can see light from an LED headlamp coming through in a darkened room.

Willie
15-Jul-2016, 05:14
Are Toyo or B&H going to give you a few hundred sheets of film as well?

plywood
17-Jul-2016, 04:26
Now I don't feel bad about only buying old, used Fidelity and Riteway holders. Of course, my 'film' has been limited to photo paper at ISO 3-6 so no real test there. Have had a minor light leak on some holders that had been loaded for 6 months and carelessly left out in room light but even in sunlight they seem to be ok for regular use for paper negatives.

AtlantaTerry
17-Jul-2016, 23:11
I wonder if these problem holders are passing infrared light, not light in the visible portion of the spectrum.

Why would Toyo not now test the dark slides themselves rather than depend on an end user? (No offense.)

Jordan
18-Jul-2016, 13:53
I bought all new darkslides for my Toyo film holders back in September. I have zero confidence in them now after reading this post. I've only made a handful of exposures using them since thankfully. I tried shining a bright flashlight through them in a dark room and couldn't see anything, but still this is such a negligence on their part. As a large format film user I try and use the equipment and materials that allow me to not have to worry about their reliability as this type of work takes time and patience and both of those things as I'm sure you all feel to some extent are precious and not to be wasted on something faulty like brand new darkslides that fail to block all of the light.

marmot
4-Aug-2016, 14:10
So MAC Group got back to me and let me know that Toyo did their own testing and determined that the slides had been milled too thin, hence the translucency. They're going to replace my slides.

Jim Michael
4-Aug-2016, 16:46
I read that as the attenuation increases with thickness but is not 100%, esp. with the limit on the amount that could be added.

stawastawa
30-Sep-2016, 17:32
fascinating, and a bummer.

do old replacement darkslides fit in the toyo holders? There are some available on ebay.

Also, I think someone should start an image thread for all theses 'light leak' / 'mistake' / 'ruined' images. It does cause a neat effect sometimes.

Neal Chaves
30-Sep-2016, 18:58
They must have been made by the same supplier that made Toyo bellows.

B.S.Kumar
10-Nov-2016, 17:47
I am glad to inform the community that Toyo has made changes to their 4x5 film holders to resolve the problems reported here. The new Toyo CH45II (AL) 4x5 film holders have aluminum dark slides.
http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?129053-Film-etc-from-Japan&p=1361451&viewfull=1#post1361451

Kumar

Willie
10-Nov-2016, 18:56
So I did a test to try and isolate the problem, and as it turns out, the Toyo dark slides are definitely not opaque, and sunlight will definitely pass through them, as Christopher Barrett suggested (thanks for the tip).

I decided to expose 6 sheets of film within closed film holders to direct noontime sun (about 7500 foot-candles by my meter) at various durations to see if the light would get through the dark slide. I used 3 of my new Toyo film holders that I had loaded with Tri-X about a month ago. I cut the numbers 1-6 out of blackwrap (a thick black light-tight foil used in film and TV lighting) and taped them to the outside of the dark slides so that I could identify which sheet I was looking at. I also taped a larger patch of blackwrap below the number, to give me a control so I could see if there was any density on the negative prior to the test exposure (from some previous possible light contamination within the last month while it was in the holder).

I wrapped the holders in blackwrap sleeves, took them outside, then unwrapped the sleeves one at a time and exposed each sheet. #1 was 15 seconds, #2 30 seconds, #3 one minute, #4 two minutes, #5 five minutes, and #6 ten minutes. The effect showed up strongly even at 15 seconds (I've attached a picture of the #1 negative).

It makes me want to do another test with even shorter exposures to try and see if any exposure to sunlight is safe. I think when I do it I'll only load one side of the holders with film in case the exposure on the "B" side is somehow affecting the film on the "A" side.

If any amount of direct sun gives this effect then I would think I'd have to take pretty serious precautions when doing daytime exterior shoots.

152334

This is unacceptable. Glad they replaced the slides. Did they also give you new sheet film for your trouble and troubleshooting?

mattphogan
16-Nov-2016, 13:22
Just wanted to add another experience here. I had the exact same issues with Toyo 4x5 holders, purchased from Badger in Oct 2015. The holders that I used in direct sunlight exhibited the symptoms. On cloudy days I haven't had problems actually.

I spoke with Rita in service at MAC Group (Toyo), and she said there was just one (or maybe a few?) batches that got out with the bad dark slides. They "don't know what happened." They promptly shipped me replacement slides at no cost.

No, they did not cover the cost of wasted film, the disappointment in ruined photographs, or my lost time troubleshooting the problem.

If you're having this problem (in the U.S.), contact:

Rita Carter
Service Group, MAC GROUP US
75 Virginia Rd, White Plains, NY 10603
914-347-3300 · RitaC@MACgroupUS.com

Big thanks to this forum for alerting me to the cause of this problem.

Cheers,
Matt

StuartR
22-Nov-2016, 10:40
I also had this problem. I was able to verify that it was the dark slides by shining a bright light through them. I have a very powerful head lamp that is meant for biking, and when it was pressed against the dark slide, it was very obviously bleeding through...even this iphone shot was able to pick it up. I was getting random fogging for months every once in awhile...I have a number of holders and a grafmatic, so it was very difficult for me to narrow down the problem. Nice to finally have the solution! That said, I think it ruined at least ten frames...

157793

dpn
26-Nov-2016, 13:54
Thank you all for the detective work on this issue. I purchased two Toyo holders in May 16, and loaded them with Portra 400. They sat for six months before i developed the film, and all of the sheets had the same blotchy light damage. I just wrote MAC for replacement dark slides.

http://i.imgur.com/8t7kzfVt.jpg (http://imgur.com/8t7kzfV)

chacabuco
9-Dec-2016, 08:45
I received my replacement slides from Toyo and just got back a big batch of film and...more blotches. Not sure if somehow some of my old slides got mixed in or if the problem persists with the new ones. Before I call Toyo back again wondering if anyone else has had issues with the new slides

dpn
9-Dec-2016, 10:53
Mine are en route from Toyo, and I'll test and update as soon as I receive them.

mattphogan
23-Dec-2016, 11:10
UPDATE: I carefully switched out all my dark slides with the replacement ones sent from Toyo. The replacement ones do feel a bit thicker, but unfortunately they indeed exhibit the same problems. I tested them by putting a holder with freshly opened and loaded Portra 400 in my office window for a morning, exposed to direct sunlight for about 4-5 hours. I then flipped it for the rest of the day when the window is in open shade. Attached are those 2 test sheets. Not good. I'll be contacting Toyo again as soon as I find the time.

159045

dpn
23-Dec-2016, 11:21
I haven't tested my new darkslides with film, but I can no longer shine a flashlight through them. That's good at least.

They've definitely got the Toyo stink!

chacabuco
23-Dec-2016, 11:26
UPDATE: I carefully switched out all my dark slides with the replacement ones sent from Toyo. The replacement ones do feel a bit thicker, but unfortunately they indeed exhibit the same problems. I tested them by putting a holder with freshly opened and loaded Portra 400 in my office window for a morning, exposed to direct sunlight for about 4-5 hours. I then flipped it for the rest of the day when the window is in open shade. Attached are those 2 test sheets. Not good. I'll be contacting Toyo again as soon as I find the time.

159045

Yeah, I really can't believe that they sent out replacement dark slides with the same problem. Totally lost my faith in the company at this point.

B.S.Kumar
23-Dec-2016, 16:38
As Daniel found out, not all the older slides had problems with opaqueness. The new dark slides are made of aluminum, unlikely to cause this problem. MAC must have pulled some of the older composite slides from stock holders and sent them to you. I am talking to Toyo about marking the aluminum slides to distinguish them. The aluminum slides weigh 35 grams each, and the composite slides are 21 grams. Weigh them and see which ones they sent you.

Kumar

sarah smith
27-Dec-2016, 12:08
I haven't tested my new darkslides with film, but I can no longer shine a flashlight through them. That's good at least.

They've definitely got the Toyo stink!

sarah smith
27-Dec-2016, 12:18
I don't think it advisable to put ANY film in a holder in the sun for 4-5 hours. It will not hold back direct sun. They should be kept in a somewhat dark place until ready to use, especially with higher speed films. I would try them again in normal use procedures.

mattphogan
29-Dec-2016, 07:20
Sarah, please look at the test for a holder that was left in the shade for an afternoon. It is not inconceivable that a photographer might load 400 speed film for a trip and then over the course of a month have that holder be exposed to shade for what amounts to a cumulative few hours. Or one might be engaged with some form of long-exposure photography. There are many other scenarios where a holder might be exposed to light for more than just a few minutes.

Regardless, it is reasonable for a photographer to want their dark slides to be 100% opaque. Other dark slides are.

If Toyo stood by their product, they would tell people in the product descriptions that their slides are not 100% opaque, but that in their opinion, that doesn't matter, and that their design is appropriate or even superior for some reason. Since they don't do that, a user expects that dark slides protect their film from light. An appropriate response from a concerned company would be sincere apologies for the ruined photographs, and an offer for a refund or to fix the problem completely. When companies don't respond in such a way, it often becomes a larger PR problem that affects the company's reputation as a whole —*as already seen in chacabuco's comment above. Such PR problems quickly become much more problematic for growth and profits than a simple refund or fix might.

Toyo should look at this as an opportunity to really come across as a responsive, caring company who admits to their own errors and puts their customers first. Or, alternatively, they can look at this situation as a way to really damage the brand name.

marmot
6-Jan-2017, 15:47
I made the original post in this thread, and thought I'd add an update. I received my replacement slides from Toyo in October 2016. They're made of plastic, not aluminum, and they weigh 18 grams each.

First thing I did was the LED headlamp test and they passed, so I didn't think it necessary to repeat the test I did last year exposing film in the closed holders to the sun.

I have not seen the blotchy pattern on any negatives I've exposed since, so I'm hopeful the problem is solved. Most of my exterior shots have been on cloudy days, so I can't speak to what happens when the holders are exposed to direct sun, and I'm not absolutely certain that they're 100% opaque. My testing of the defective slides showed a noticeable effect even in indirect sunlight though, so the new slides are a big improvement.

mattphogan
9-Jan-2017, 12:06
I can now report another update. After the test above that demonstrated that the replacement slides are not opaque, I asked MAC Group to fix it entirely (e.g., provide metal slides) or offer a refund. When they initially declined, I reached out to more senior people in the company, and was ultimately offered a refund that I would process through my dealer, and my dealer would be reimbursed from MAC. This is now in progress.

I simply wasn't willing to pay for Toyo holders and have the slides not be opaque. And I wasn't willing to risk or worry about future photographs going forward.

FWIW, both my original slides and the replacements weighed 18g.

According to Kumar in this thread, the slides have since been redesigned with aluminum, and weigh 35g, not 21g or 18g. I'm certainly willing to give those a try. Presumably, they haven't made it from Toyo Japan to the US and MAC Group yet, or they would've offered them to us all in this thread. Either that, or MAC Group was hoping to offload more of their plastic slide inventory that wasn't milled too thin, knowing that the coming aluminum slides are superior and would make those plastic ones unmarketable. I'm pleased that MAC has now offered a refund, but am frustrated that it took so much effort on my part. I'm also still not impressed that they knew there were problems with the slides, and from what I can tell, they made no effort to issue a recall and make people aware. On the other hand, my dealer, Jeff at Badger, was supportive and I would like to thank him for his assistance here.

StuartR
1-Feb-2017, 17:28
I would just update this as well to say that the replacement slides I got, while better than the first ones, are still not completely opaque. I tested them against my older holders, and those are totally opaque even with a 3200 lumen light behind them, but with the new slides, the light is still clearly visible through them. While I know this is a tremendous amount of light, leaving the holders out in the sun would also be a large amount of light, and as Matt said, I am not willing to mess around with this anymore. Their entire purpose is to block out light completely, and given how expensive and time consuming 4x5 is in the best case, I am sure not willing to risk it. Matt, can you share whom you spoke with, as I also intend to speak to them again.

Best regards,
Stuart

StuartR
1-Feb-2017, 17:31
P.S. My replacement slides and originals weigh 18 grams too.

B.S.Kumar
1-Feb-2017, 18:15
P.S. My replacement slides and originals weigh 18 grams too.

In which case you do not have the new aluminum slides.

Kumar

mattphogan
3-Feb-2017, 06:05
Stuart, after emailing a number of senior people at MAC, it was Rita again in service who informed me that they would be issuing a refund. I suspect it was Brenda Hipsher (brendah@macgroupus.com), the Toyo brand manager for MAC, who finally authorized the refund. But I can't be certain. I've since returned the holders and am currently still awaiting my money back.

In the meantime, I purchased 1 box of the redesigned Toyo holders from Kumar (in this thread) for testing. Upon initial inspection, they are perfect. Same great build on the holders but this time with very solid black aluminum dark slides. I couldn't get light to show through them, but just for comparison, I'm running a similar test before ordering more. But I can't fathom that they'd let any light through. The slides are solid metal. And not cheap, thin metal that you can bend by hand (thinking of the dark slides on my RZ) — no, these are very solid. And quite good looking too. My bad slides and the bad replacements were both 18g and the new metal slides are 35g. But you don't need to weigh them to tell the difference. It's really obvious.

Knowing that solid metal slides are available, I can't imagine being ok with semi-transparent plastic slides. I'm not willing to take the unnecessary risk.

From what I can tell, no one in the U.S. carries this redesign yet. But they are available in Japan. Many thanks to Kumar for hooking this up. I anticipate ordering the full set soon.

Good luck.

StuartR
3-Feb-2017, 06:16
Thank you Matt,
That is very helpful. I spoke with Rita Carter and she responded immediately and apologetically to rectify the problem. She said that their first batch of replacements from Japan had been plastic, but now they are aluminum. So I am just going to have her replace them for me!

mattphogan
11-Feb-2017, 08:20
Final update: here's the test with the new aluminum slides. One sheet was exposed to direct sunlight for a morning, and the other sheet was left in my window for an entire long weekend, which included times of direct sun and also clouds. Both came back without a trace of light. This is how dark slides are supposed to operate.

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