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White spots on negatives - help please!

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Hello - I've started getting white spots/marks on my home developed b&w negatives, please see tight crop below. I haven't changed anything in my process, which is Ilford DDX (always new, not re-used), and Ilford stop, fix & rinse aid (again, always new). I'm pretty sure it's marks on the negatives rather than dust being picked up by the scanner. The film is Delta 100.

Plus I just developed my first roll of colour C41 (Ektar) with Tetenal C41 kit, and got very similar, but worse, white marks.

Any ideas or suggestions what I'm doing wrong?

Thanks.

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Here's the Ektar example, cropped. Developed with new Tetenal C41 chemicals...

 

 

 

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I don't know about the colour photo, but when did you change your fixer? I get black sediment in my fixer after some 20+ rolls which creates white spots when scanned. Not sure if that would apply to the Tetenal chemicals though.

br
Philip

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I use new Ilford fixer for every roll of b&w film, which I think they recommend.

The colour chemicals get re-used, but this example was with new chemicals too...

Many thanks for the response 

Mark 

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I just use tap water at 20c for b&w, should I use distilled water? We are in a hard water area. 

Thanks 

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Posted (edited)

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We are also in a hard water area. I use unfiltered tap water for mixing the chemicals and use a filter on the wash water.

Are there any little bits of grit on the wet negatives that will wipe off if you look at the wet negatives through a magnifying glass?

Edited by Pyrogallol

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I'm not sure, I'll have a look when I get a chance 

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Had any wildfires in/near Northamptonshire recently - or around the time you mixed the chemicals?

Here in Colorado there have definitely been times when Rocky Mountain wildfires in watersheds that drain into the lakes or rivers used for Denver City water have produced a noticeable increase in suspended particulates in my tap water and on my film. To be blunt, soot and ashes that get through the filtering system.

Since they are not health hazards like chemicals or bacteria (carbon in the form of coal is itself part of the filtering system), the water authorities don't put extra effort into removing them - the water is definitely filtered, but an extra-large load of the stuff from a specific fire event means more bits leak through.

For all practical purposes they are "dust" - solid microscopic flakes that end up on the film and block light like any other dust.

Nearby (or even not-so-nearby) fire smoke also adds to the particulate load in the air downwind of a fire, and can make for more specks landing on the film while drying.

A couple of summers ago Denver got sunsets like this - from fires 1000 miles away in California. That brown sky and red sun are from the haze of smoke particles that travelled that far. During that period, I was extra-careful in filtering my chemicals between uses (simple Chemex™ coffee filters in my darkroom funnel) and keeping the door to my processing area shut to minimize air currents. https://www.chemexcoffeemaker.com/filters.html

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We haven't had any wild fires in the region, but we do get a few of the farmers having small fires around us. Filtering looks like my first plan of attack.

Thankyou for the feedback 

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On 8/14/2019 at 3:10 PM, mdp said:

Hello - I've started getting white spots/marks on my home developed b&w negatives, please see tight crop below. I haven't changed anything in my process, which is Ilford DDX (always new, not re-used), and Ilford stop, fix & rinse aid (again, always new). I'm pretty sure it's marks on the negatives rather than dust being picked up by the scanner. The film is Delta 100.

Plus I just developed my first roll of colour C41 (Ektar) with Tetenal C41 kit, and got very similar, but worse, white marks.

Any ideas or suggestions what I'm doing wrong?

Thanks.

 

On 8/14/2019 at 3:18 PM, mdp said:

Here's the Ektar example, cropped. Developed with new Tetenal C41 chemicals...

 

 

 

So, you're getting white marks on both b/w and colour negs an both are scanned to show here? Are you sure it's not the scanner or something on the film?

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56 minutes ago, Richardgb said:

 

So, you're getting white marks on both b/w and colour negs an both are scanned to show here? Are you sure it's not the scanner or something on the film?

Its definitely not the scanner, I'm pretty sure it's the film during processing. I've wiped the negatives and there are marks on the film.

I looked at the bleach/fix for the colour I used, and although it was newly mixed, it had a lot of bits in it, so I filtered it.

I'll also filter the water the next time I develop b&w.

 

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Can you see these spots on your negatives with a loupe? They should be there. If they're not it is your scanner.

About your water

Try use a white tray to let water run into (and out off) for half an hour. Then have a look if you see tiny pieces. I had those which were hardly visible and they attached to the surface of my fiber prints. Causing tiny dents when after drying I pressed them flat with a dry mounting press.

From the hardware store I got a filter to install inside my tab and that solved it, I don't see anything anymore in the water. This was a 50 euro cent solution, the next step would have been a more expensive tab with a more sophisticated filter. If I ever get it again, this will be my next step

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I don't have a loupe (will order one), but I can see some of the spots on the b&w negatives and most of the marks on the colour (they are bigger marks).

I'll try what you've suggested with a white tray and running water.

Many thanks for the suggestions.

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12 hours ago, mdp said:

I don't have a loupe (will order one), but I can see some of the spots on the b&w negatives and most of the marks on the colour (they are bigger marks).

I'll try what you've suggested with a white tray and running water.

Many thanks for the suggestions.

Without a loupe, you can usually spot dust etc. on a neg by shining a light obliquely across the surface. This is typically used by darkroom workers for checking dust on a neg before putting it into the enlarger. With the enlarger light shining through the lens and the neg held in the carrier, hold the carrier almost vertically under the lens and dust will stand out all too clearly!

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