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Thread: Film Holders Scratching my Negs (?)

  1. #1

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    Film Holders Scratching my Negs (?)

    (Mods, if this is not the right place, please move)

    I've been noticing scratches on my negatives (see attached), and I'm now convinced it's me, and not any of the gear or my developing habits. It's on the backing (not the emulsion) side. So I'm asking for some guidance to reduce of this from happening again in the future.


    Here's why I've ruled out equipment issues -

    It happens no matter what film holder I'm using, and I have assorted brands (Fidelity, Lisco, Regal). I have thoroughly cleaned all the FH's, and I can not feel anything that would scratch.

    It's coming out of the developing tank (Paterson Super System 4, using the taco method), and it happened in an F-R Cut Sheet Daylight tank as well. I do squeegee, but the scratches are there before the squeegee.

    I load/unload in a changing bag, and there's plenty of room, so the sheets aren't contacting anything until I grab it for loading.


    The only thing I can think of is that my method of loading isn't very good (I'm less than a month into LF), or that the foil wrap from the box of film is scratching as I take out a sheet.

    Has anyone had scratches like this before? Is there something a newbie tends to do that can cause this? Any advice at all?

    The scratches run right thru the light from left to right in the image. You can see two parallel lines, but they stop and then there us a single scratch closer to the bottom/loading flap of the holder.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

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    Re: Film Holders Scratching my Negs (?)

    If they are consistently in the same place on all negatives, I would suspect some issue with the film - bad batch, possibly. Is it all the same batch of film? Have you tried another box/batch? It is possible that there is something about your developing equipment that results in consistent scratches but you seem to have ruled those out. The base side is not that fragile that the foil in the envelope etc will cause scratches.

    DJ

  3. #3

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    Re: Film Holders Scratching my Negs (?)

    Yes, all of the film was out of the same foil pack, but not all of them were scratched that I recall (I'll double check that). I used up that pack, but I have another foil pack from the same box that I haven't opened yet. I'll look at all the negs from that first foil pack, and see if they all have it, and if the scratches are identical.

  4. #4

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    Re: Film Holders Scratching my Negs (?)

    Of the negatives I saved (there were some useless test shots that I tossed), all but 2 have scratches in the same general area (middle, running lengthwise), but the scratches are different in one way or another. Some are double scratches, some are single, and one is more diagonal then straight across. I do have one sheet from that foil pack that I didn't load or shoot (used it to test for developing time), and it has no scratches.

  5. #5

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    Re: Film Holders Scratching my Negs (?)

    The picture shows something more like abrasions as they appear quite wide. Are you sure they are "scratches" in the mylar base?
    The only trouble with doin' nothing is you can't tell when you get caught up

  6. #6

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    Re: Film Holders Scratching my Negs (?)

    Quote Originally Posted by N Dhananjay View Post
    If they are consistently in the same place on all negatives, I would suspect some issue with the film - bad batch, possibly. Is it all the same batch of film? Have you tried another box/batch? It is possible that there is something about your developing equipment that results in consistent scratches but you seem to have ruled those out. The base side is not that fragile that the foil in the envelope etc will cause scratches.

    DJ
    I think you may have something there. I just pseudo-loaded/exposed/unloaded each of my film holders (10) with some unscratched negatives, and was not able to scratch them. I them took my fingernail and tried to scratch the film, which didn't happen. I then took an un-clicked pen, and tried to scratch them, with barely any scratching noted. Using a USB, I was able to get some light scratches, but nothing even remotely like the above image.

    I'll be opening the other foil pack soon, and I'll pull a sheet out from the middle an inspect it. Interesting.

  7. #7

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    Re: Film Holders Scratching my Negs (?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Metcalf View Post
    The picture shows something more like abrasions as they appear quite wide. Are you sure they are "scratches" in the mylar base?
    I guess abrasion may be a better descriptor, but they are permanent. Yes, they are a lot wider then a typical scratch, as wide as 2mm. While they are all similar, they are definitely not identical, and are not in exactly the same location, just close. The one pictured is relatively straight, but some are really jagged, like a lightning bolt almost.

  8. #8
    Cor's Avatar
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    Re: Film Holders Scratching my Negs (?)

    What brand of film did you use ?

    best,

    Cor

  9. #9

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    Re: Film Holders Scratching my Negs (?)

    It'll be interesting to k now which film, as the "bad batch" theory never really flies with the likes of Ilford/Fuji/Foma/Kodak - if there really was a "bad batch" produced, there would be a chorus of complaints all over LFPF (and APUG) because the user base is small and vocal and the "batches" proportionately rather large.

  10. #10

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    Re: Film Holders Scratching my Negs (?)

    I doubt the film holders have anything to do with the abrasions. If the film holders were at fault I would expect the abrasion to be straight and in line with the direction the film is loaded and unloaded.

    Maybe the damage is happening during the "taco" processing. It looks like the abrasions happen while the film is wet.
    Thread killer.

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