View Full Version : 8x10 HP5 base side looks like hell

5-Mar-2009, 11:26
Ok so I bought a box of HP5 about 6 months ago and have only made a handful of exposures with it. Every single sheet I've processed whether it be by Jobo 3005 or tray has the most scuffed up and scratched up base side. They even have like these weird looking chemical swirls on them. Any help is as always greatly appreciated.

Gene McCluney
5-Mar-2009, 11:34
Are you doing a presoak for a couple of minutes in water before processing?

5-Mar-2009, 12:12
I do presoak.

Pfeiffer Duckett
5-Mar-2009, 16:37
I get light scratches on the base side when I use any film in the 3005, but they've never bothered me since they don't show up in printing. The swirls, if they're in the base side are most likely from too much photoflo. I always wash my negatives in a tray after the permawash and only use 1 to 2 drops for the entire tray. If it's in the emultion, it could be too little chemicals, or your fixer might be on it's way out. The tank seems to be sensative to fixer running out, I only get three uses before it goes bad from a 1l solution. Also, depending on your tap water, you might want to try using distilled water instead. Any finally, make sure your tank in level before you start development. I hope this helps!

5-Mar-2009, 17:10
Sacrifice a sheet and look at it in the light. Check the base and if it is scratched even before it goes in a holder or the Jobo it is not something you are doing. Hold it up to a very strong light and if you see any patterns that are like you have on the film you have processed there is probably a problem with the film. However I would think that it would also be reported by other users of the same emulsion number or batch number. If when you look at the unexposed film in the light it is smooth and clear look at your processing. It may be just as simple as the need to take a bit more care at each stage.

Steve Hamley
5-Mar-2009, 17:46
Process a sheet in a tray and see what you get. like cut a piece, if you have to and use a Glad container.


5-Mar-2009, 18:49
I have seen a lot of scratches that can be traced to the holders. The metal insert could be ruff or little pieces of dust can gouge the film.
I have thrown out a bunch of holders that had problems like that and i have no more base scratches.

Robert A. Zeichner
5-Mar-2009, 20:07
Can you possibly post a photo of the swirls? I have a friend who is an Ilford user and recently got a whole batch of the strangest looking marks for which we cannot figure out the source.

Chuck Pere
6-Mar-2009, 04:18
I agree with Steve Nicholls. Check a sheet right out of the box for problems. I had some weird spots on the base side of some older 5x7 HP5. Found out that the spots were on the base right out of the box. In my case probably old film/ bad storage was the cause.

9-Mar-2009, 08:34
So after inspecting a sheet right out of the box, I didn't notice any flaws. However a coworker of mine has been noticing how easily scratched the base side of HP5 is. Is this film just super delicate? I've never had to be particularly careful with tri-x. I will try to rewash the HP5 to see if I can get those swirls off the base side.

Jan Pedersen
9-Mar-2009, 09:19
I have had similar issues with Delta 100 and stopped using it. It is my impression that the swirls are from film rotating in the jobo. I have not seen the same paterns in Kodak, Foma and efke film so i suspect that it is a soft base on Ilford film.

Michael Alpert
9-Mar-2009, 10:00
They even have like these weird looking chemical swirls on them.

I use distilled water with a very little amount (about 5-6 drops) of PhotoFlo in a small tray as a final 30-second wash for each sheet individually. As Pfeiffer Duckett suggested, using tap water for the final wash may be the cause of your "swirl" problem. I have processed thousands of 5x7 sheets of HP-5 in a Jobo without any significant scratching problems. The sheets do move around in the Jobo tank during processing, but I've never had a scratch on a negative that interfered with printing in any way. (Tray processing is a different story; I am not very skillful when it comes to shuffling film.) All in all, I think Ilford films are really quite reliable.