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Thread: Negatives with a variety of damage on them.

  1. #1

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    Jun 2020
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    Negatives with a variety of damage on them.

    First of all apologies if this is the wrong sub-forum, it seems most fitting but I'm not certain.

    I am currently living in Costa Rica, where there isn't a single film lab that can work with 4x5, I don't have any of my developing equipment here, and there are no dark rooms to use; so after reaching out on Facebook I found another photographer that shoots 4x5, and I pay him to develop my photos for me. The problem is, I'm consistently unhappy with the results, only I don't know if I'm to blame, if the humidity is to blame, or whether he is to blame. The negatives come back with so many marks on them, but I've never seen him have any of the same damage on his own negatives (everything is either fomapan 400 or hp5+) Here are a bunch of examples:

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    Here the negative has a mark that looks like something from a roll of 35mm all down the side of it? I don't shoot 35mm and he assures me that it was developed in a special 4x5 tank.

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    It's hard to see but there are 2 circles inside a large rectangle in the top corner of an image.

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    Random area of negative is considerably darker than the rest

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    Consistently get what looks like splatter marks in the emulsion like this, sorry they're a bit faint.

    I can only upload 4 photos so here I've included a folder on imgur with just a selection of some of the defects I've had, some of them are even more extreme than the examples in the post.

    https://imgur.com/a/IK9QeYA


    Sorry there are quite a lot of photos, but yeah, for all I know they could all be my fault. If it's got a tiny fingerprint on the edge, or it's fomapan and comes out a little scratched I feel like fair enough, I know why it's happened etc. but with most of these I'm just clueless as to what is going on.. what is causing consistently damaged film.

    The other question is how many of these things are repairable? If I were to use pec-12 or something, could I bring any of these back to life, or do they seem to be permanently damaged?

    If anyone can help I'll be incredibly grateful, and of course, if you need any more details for the circumstances of each photo I'm happy to elaborate.

    Thanks,

    Henry

  2. #2
    Gary Beasley's Avatar
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    Re: Negatives with a variety of damage on them.

    In a pinch you can process the film yourself in small trays in the dark, this way you can work on isolating each defect and figuring out how to eliminate the problem. Then with minimal equipment contact print the negs for evaluation. Takes very little equipment to work with sheet film.

  3. #3

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    Re: Negatives with a variety of damage on them.

    Sorry I'm not sure I follow - I didn't develop the film, as I said, someone else did. I'm trying to work out what the issues are, and whether I can fix any of the negatives without damaging them further.

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    Things like this all across the back of some of the negatives for example - I'm trying to diagnose whether it was caused by the development, or humidity damage or something else.


    Sorry if I wasn't clear.

  4. #4
    Gary Beasley's Avatar
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    Re: Negatives with a variety of damage on them.

    That was simply inept processing. Better you do it yourself as you will be more liable to treat them carefully.
    That negative looks water damaged, you may be able to soak it in a photoflo solution and wipe very gently to get the residue off. I wouldnt let that person process any more of your film.

  5. #5

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    Re: Negatives with a variety of damage on them.

    On image #3 & 4, the dots I see are air bells. These appear when the developer is poured into the tank air bubbles form on the film preventing overall even development of the negative. To prevent air bells the film can be presoaked in water for a couple of minutes before the developer is poured. Another method to prevent them is to give the tank several hard bangs on the counter immediately after the developer is poured. If your friend is using a plastic developing tank a small folded towel as a cushion should used to keep from cracking the tank.

    There is a lot of residue in the chemicals causing all the white specs. Simple solution is to use distilled water mixing the chemicals and/or filter the chemicals through a coffee filter before using. B&W film developing is not difficult. You can find how to do it easily all over the web. As said earlier, I wouldn't trust him to develop any film.

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