scratches on 4x5 film : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

After processing a batch of 4x5 Delta 100 I've noticed some fine scratches on the back of many of the sheets. No as I don't wipe them at all I can only assume that I've done it when loading/unloading the holders. Any suggestions on how to prevent this would be more then welcome. Regards,

-- Trevor Crone (, November 06, 2000


Trevor: Check the inside of the holders and see if the paint is chipped or coming loose on the divider between the two sheets. Also make sure there is no fine grit there. You might also look carefully at the edges of the flap at the end of the holder for burrs, etc. It is difficult to hold the flap out of the way completely. I have had similar problems with scratches caused by both the problems I cited. If you are using hangers to develop, you might be picking up scratches there.

Hope this helps,


-- Doug Paramore (, November 06, 2000.

Trevor I suffered a similar problem, some 6 months ago, with FP4+, but the fine scratch-like marks appeared on every sheet in the box and in roughly the same place on the film, IMHO the scratch was probably there before I even opened the box!! Never happened since - could this have been a fault on the part of Ilford?? If so, could you be experiencing a similar problem?? Regards Paul

-- paul owen (, November 06, 2000.


Are you tray processing the film? Often small scratches may be caused on the back, not emulsion side, of the film in tray processing. If they do not mar the print you might just keep working. If they do then you may need more chemistry Bob

-- Bob Moulton (bobmargaretm@home.som), November 06, 2000.

Thanks guys for the prompt response. The holders are Toyo all bought new. The scratches are random. I dev. in Combi Plan tanks (I used to use trays) and the emulsion side of the film is fine. I notice that the Toyo holders have two raised lugs and an indent (obviously to aid in removing the film) near the flap end of the holders perhaps I'm pushing/pulling the film against these?

-- Trevor Crone (, November 06, 2000.


You said that you had "random scratches." Do you mean that the direction of the scratches are randomly oriented relative to the long axis of the film, or is their orientation consistent, but their position random, or... I ask this because I used film holders on a trip to the desert S.W. and some sand got into either the holders or the box in which I was storing the film. The result was scratches on the film, some of which were subparallel to the long axis of te film, and some of which were truly random. The latter were probably due to sand in the film storage box.

If there's even a chance that you have some grit somewhere, I'd suggest a very thorough cleaning of your holders, tanks, and film boxes.

I know how frustrating this can be. Good luck.


-- Bruce M. Herman (, November 07, 2000.

Thanks Bruce, the orientation is consistent along the long axis of the film but the position of the scratches (and their's alot of them on some negs.) is more or less random.

Hopefully because many of them are fine and I use a diffusion light source, that they will not print. I will know this weekend when I shall enter that darkend room with heart in mouth.


-- Trevor Crone (, November 07, 2000.

Trevor: Hopefully the scratches will not print since they are on the back of the neg. If they do, find a bottle of Edwal No Scratch or a tiny bit of Vasoline on the scratches. They should disappear for printing. Neither will hurt the film, but I usually gently wipe off the Vasoline. Use only a tiny bit of either, applied gently with a fingertip and smoothed out.


-- Doug Paramore (, November 08, 2000.

They are probably from the film holder. I tend to find ones that go a ways, then they all stop or turn at the same distance, when the film finally stopped in place in the holder. Ilford is far worse for scratches than other films, however. It is my biggest gripe with them. Both sheet and roll films from Ilford do not stand up or handle anywhere near as well as Kodak film bases. I have some rolls of Delta 400 in 120 that are simply ridiculous. They cannot be placed flat in a negative carrier. I have avoided the films since. That is a shame, too, since the emulsion should be the factor, not the base.

-- E.L. (, November 08, 2000.

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