Fomapan 200 and black spots, what am I doing wrong?

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maurits

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I have spent several films (Fomapan 200 120) trying to find out what is causing the myriads of tiny black spots on my negatives, but still can not put my finger on this phenomenon.

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(300 by 300 px samples of negatives scanned @ 2400 dpi)

This is what I did. I exposed the film at ISO 100. Then a pre-soak in water at 20 degrees C for 5 minutes, develop in Pyrocat-HD 1+1+100 for 10 minutes at 20 degrees C. First 30 seconds continuous agitation, then for 10 seconds each minute. Stop with water at same temperature for 15 seconds, drain, pour fresh water, rinse for 15 seconds more. Fix in Ilford rapid fixer for 5 minutes at 20 degrees C, first minute continuous agitation and then for 10 seconds each minute. Wash for 15 to 30 minutes with running water and a final rinse with Amaloco wetting agent for about a minute. No squeegee or finger swiping, I hang up the film to to dry immediately.

I like the tonality and character of this film a lot, otherwise I would have given up after two films.

I then tried again with freshly made fixer. My tank, reels, cups etc. were all cleaned extra well beforehand. I also switched from a Paterson tank to a Jobo. I mix the developer using one A and one B marked 5 ml syringe. Solution A is stirred in the water first and then solution B is added. No inter contamination of the developer occurred. Same result, thousands of specks.

My next film I did the same as above, but now I used demineralised water in the last wash, together with the wetting agent. Yet again, thousands of tiny black spots. I took to demi water because some of these spots look like there is a minute particle on the negative, followed by a small trail of residue. May have been something in the water.

Then I tried the same procedure, but with Rodinal 1+50 at 20 degrees C. Even more black spots appeared on the negatives. Development in XTOL 1:1 at 20 degrees, no pre-soak, stopping in Ilfostop, fixing in Ilford rapid fixer and washing and rinsing with regular running water gave me less black spots. But they were still there.

Then I took some Ilford FP4+ in 4x5 sheets, exposed at ISO 64 and developed these in BTZS tubes for 8 minutes in Pyrocat-HD 1+1+100 at 20 degrees C (no pre-soak). Washing and rinsing in regular running water and Amaloco wetting agent in the last stage. The only difference was, like with the XTOL, that I stoppped the development process with Ilfostop (1 minute) instead of using water and no pre-soak. Result: no specks at all, perfectly clean negatives.

What causes this? The water stop bath, the pre-soak or a bad batch of Foma film?

It is not the developer, since Pyrocat-HD performed admirably with Ilford film and I get black spots with Rodinal and XTOL too. It is not the fixer that was freshly made and left no marks on the Ilford film, neither is it the wetting agent. It is not the tank or the reels, since I switched between Paterson and Jobo a few times and all were clean. Kodak Tri-X or Fujifilm in XTOL, ATM49 or Rodinal in the same tanks etc. comes out just fine. The demineralised water did not help, even though I only used it in the last stage.

Thanks, Maurits


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Ian Grant

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Welcome to APUG. It looks like dust, Foma films aren't quite as well hardened as Ilford, Fuji & Kodak although nthey are nothing like as softb as EFKE.

The particles may be in your tap water and adhering to the film in the pre-soak and development causing lack of development, it could also be minute iron particles if they are present they cause bleacjing during fixing.

Try filtering all solutionsa and wash water that may help eliminate the problem.

Ian
 
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maurits

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Hi Ian, thanks! It was you I shamelessly stole my Pyrocat-HD development scheme anyway (from a post on the LFPF). I updated the above image with some more films and developers I tried. For the lower segment of film (those without spots), I never ever used filtered or demineralised water. Just plain tap water. They always hung to dry in the same room.

I believe both Adox films are quite soft too, emulsion wise? Would these not respond to particles in the water or to dust in the same manner as Foma 200? With Foma 100 I have never had any issue with spots. None.

Cheers, Maurits

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Ian Grant

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Some of the Adox films are made by EFKE so yes they are soft and can potentially be more prone to problems. Sometimes these problems are due to variations in the water supply, maybe after maintenance work, or seasonal variations in the source of supply. That certainly happens with the water I use both in the UK and in Turkey and the differences are noticeable.

An early recommendation of |Agfa's going back to the late 1890's/early 1900's was to boil water & let it settle, if not filtered the settlement might help most, the boiling though does help reduce the mineral contenty which causes clacium deposits.

Ian
 
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maurits

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Hmmm... maybe I should get a Paterson water filter for water stopping, washing and rinsing? It is not very expensive and supposedly filters out water borne dust and other particles. For mixing chemicals I could continue with demineralised water, just to be sure.

Cheers, Maurits
 

dpurdy

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I have found that foma 200 or Arista EDU Ultra 200 to have the black pin hole problem. It is a problem that usually comes from the factory in their coating as I understand it. It is discussed a lot as pin holes.
Dennis
 
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maurits

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Dennis, would those pin holes look like this? I looked up a few posts on pin hole issues, but did not find examples of how they look.

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800x800 crop from a 5400x5400 px negative at 360 dpi.
Cheers, Maurits
 

dpurdy

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I am not sure, there is an awful lot of it and some seems to have streaks coming off. A lot of the spots do look like the pin holes though very enlarged.
Dennis
 

Anscojohn

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Long ago pinholes in the old thick-emulsion films were caused by carbonic gas released violently from the carbonate absorbed by the the emusion during time in the development soup; from the use of a carbonate film developer followed by an acid stop bath. Any possibility this or some similar chemical reaction is at work here?
 

juan

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The Foma films are not thick emulsion.
I've had the same problem with Foma - never with Efke - both developed in Pyrocat PC, water stop and TF-2 fix.
I don't know the answer, but there were threads here blaming the factory.
juan
 
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