Spots on negatives : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Here's a strange problem I've never encountered before. I just processed 4 sheets of TMY in fresh X-tol. I previously processed two rolls of 120 just minutes before in developer out of the same bottle with satisfactory results. The 4x5 negs appear to have some tiny, out of focus spots that appear to also have a slight cool cast as compared with the rest of the negative. They are distributed over the entire image area with none apparent in the unexposed edges. The only unusual (for me anyway) thing I can think of is that they were exposed in the cold out of doors (20 F) and I pulled the dark slide a minute or so before exposing as the light was changing rapidly and I needed to concentrate on the scene. The holders were allowed to reach outdoor temp before exposing. I let the cold holders thaw in their zip lock bags before unloading. Two other sheets were processed in the same soup right after and exhibit no problems. Ice crystals?

-- Robert A. Zeichner (, December 24, 2000



I once processed 4 8x10 sheets of the same shot in the same tray of xtol at the same time, and one of them had black UFO's on it.

-- wayne (, December 25, 2000.

Robert: Could the spots be air bubbles? Just guessing.

Merry Christmas,

-- Doug Paramore (, December 25, 2000.

Sounds like the work of devilish little air bubbles to me. I ran into this problem a lot when I first started doing 8x10. I was able to solve the problem by agigating a little more vigorously and adding a few drops of photo flo to my presoak.

-- Dave Munson (, December 26, 2000.

I once dropped a holder in the snow and found that the neg had a blotched area at the corner where the dark slide must have dragged some flakes in. So, given it was cold, I guess it is possible that there were ice crystals that formed on the negative. The other possible explanation that I could think of is that maybe the ice crystals somehow messed up removal of the anti halation backing (isn't TMX/TMY supposed to have a pretty stubborn coating) - I'm wondering because you say it has a cool cast and the coating is sort of purplish, right? Might be worth taking some PEC12 or neg cleaner to them or even checking to see if the spots actually print. Good luck. DJ

-- N Dhananjay (, December 26, 2000.

Some additional info: I processed these sheets in a slosher. Negs were pre-soaked for a couple of minutes and agitated every 15 seconds. I was nowhere near Roswell NM when exposures were made.

-- Robert A. Zeichner (, December 26, 2000.

Robert, I just had a similar experience with Xtol 1:1 made fresh and some verichrome pan (roll film back of my Crown). At first I thought it was air bubbles contaminating about 3 or so of the negatives but I did bang the tanks pretty hard after I poured in the developer and used my normal agitation of 30 sec continuous then every 30 seq for 5 sec. None of the similar bubbles were outside of the exposure. Shot them abt 40 deg F on a windy day at the beach with some drizzle (oh yes it was a fun day and I spend a day cleaning my equipment when I got back!) I also found a small amt of white crusty material at the bottom of the graduate where I mixed the Xtol - spent abt 5 mins stirring and started abt 85 degrees when mixed then brought it down to 75 deg for the film run. I was using one of the new plastic packaged 1L Xtols.

I hope this doesn't turn into another Xtol bashing thread. Lets just say I'm puzzled too but can not rule out operator error on this one.

-- John Welton (, January 01, 2001.

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