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Thread: Dark Spots on Negative

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    San Luis Obispo

    Dark Spots on Negative

    Hi everyone, I'm getting dark spots on my negatives. From looking at others who've had this problem, I'm thinking it's water spots?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    (photo taken through grain focuser)

    My process is as follows:
    Film: FP4+
    Presoak: tap water - 3:00
    Developer: Pyrocat HD 1:1:100 (mixed with tap water)
    Stop: water stop - 1:00 (tap)
    Fix: Kodak Rapid Fixer - 5:00
    Wash: Running water - 20:00
    Wetting Agent: Photo Flo mixed with distilled water
    Drying: Hang dry diagonally to drip from one corner

    Any input is greatly appreciated, thanks!

  2. #2
    Thalmees's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Re: Dark Spots on Negative

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Roxbrough View Post
    I'm thinking it's water spots?
    You answer it correctly Justin, I think.
    I do not know how much tap water should be filtered to be used for developing films.
    But, distilled water should be free of most if not all of this artifacts.

    The generosity of spirit in this forum is great, its warmly appreciated.

  3. #3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Winona, Minnesota

    Re: Dark Spots on Negative

    It looks like debris in the solution.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Re: Dark Spots on Negative

    At a dollar and pennies a gallon, why would you take the chance and use tap water after all the work that went into shlepping equip./setting-up/composing/metering/shooting and then reversing everything to go home???

  5. #5
    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Mesa, AZ

    Re: Dark Spots on Negative

    Those can also be from the film having pin holes of sorts in the negative. Seems to be some sorta defect from the film manufacturer (I saw it on D100 and Tmax, and even Acros) where if you look at the negative you will see lots of small white dots. I was noticing those on film I had developed by a lab and was like wtf! I haven't seen them yet doing my own film. I use distilled water and on ocassion I have used tap water to rinse with no issues, but my water has been thru a water softener first. Make sure all your water is filtered even if it is distilled.

    Does this happen on every sheet of film or just certain ones?

  6. #6
    jp's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Re: Dark Spots on Negative

    I'd try fresh fixer in a new container. Could be chunks of silver from the fixer or it's container.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    La Luz del Oeste, Albuquerque NM

    Re: Dark Spots on Negative

    +1 on "distilled" water, which can be from a store or, better, from a countertop spigot drawing from a reverse osmosis treatment system, usually under the counter. AND
    +1 on fresh fixer, my personal experience is that I have seen "gunk" suspended in the fixer and tossed it. So cheap. Make fresh.
    Peter Collins

    On the intent of the First Amendment: The press was to serve the governed, not the governors --Opinion, Hugo Black, Judge, Supreme Court, 1971 re the "Pentagon Papers."

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