The craziest thing that none of us can figure out...

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by tkmusgrave, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. tkmusgrave

    tkmusgrave Member

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    Hey all, I'm a lab assistant at my university's photo lab. We work with B&W Tri-X 400 film and a student came in with THE strangest negatives that none of us (including the professor) can figure out.

    The negatives have a "ghost" of the negative itself going parallel to it throughout the entire strip of film. Some of it is even curved, like someone set a strip of dummy film on it...

    In order for something like that to happen, the film would have to be off-set while winding it up or something, but off-set so much that the perfs would appear in the MIDDLE of the strip, and the camera, nor the spool for developing would allow that.

    She had done two assignments previously and they turned out fine...she did these two and they had these crazy negative markings, and so she shot off another roll and I shot off a roll as well, and they both turned out fine, so it's not the camera.

    Any ideas? I tried to find this particular ailment by searching troubleshooting forums, but nobody has had this happen.

    Here's a picture I took of it with my camera phone...

    [​IMG]

    If you can't see the picture, go here:

    http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/b-5N9e-0zg6iC5DeXLEVBg?feat=directlink


    Let me know if you have any ideas!

    -Muskrat
     
  2. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    Did she perhaps open the back inadvertently before rewinding the film in relatively subdued light? (in the darkroom with the safelight on for instance) Since there were no problems before or after the roll you've displayed, it just ain't likely to be the camera. Were the back to have been opened just a bit, the original exposures might not have been affected, but the film itself would have registered in its strongest area of contrast, which is, of course, the rebate vs the light. But...it's just a guess...a strange phenomenon to be sure.


    Oh, btw, welcome to apug, Muskrat. Please drop in often; introduce yourself; hang out. Have fun!
     
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  3. Richard Wasserman

    Richard Wasserman Member

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    Sorry, I don't have a clue, and I thought I've seen everything! This should be interesting...

    Richard Wasserman
     
  4. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    Ok.. that picture is pretty sweet. :D

    I don't think that this is the fault of the camera; this definitely appears to be a handling issue. Basically this can happen to any film that is handled in anything less than total darkness. You may want to ask your student about the conditions under which she loaded or unloaded the camera. (or the developing spool)

    I did something similar to this once with a roll of 35mm that I had to unload from a Holga without a changing bag. I placed the camera inside a dark jacket and stuffed my arms backwards through the sleeves. (it still sounds like a pretty good idea... ) Unfortunately, the jacket was not light tight enough and the resulting negatives looked very much like what you show here.

    That's my best guess. Maybe one of the gurus here may have a better answer.

    Cheers, and welcome to APUG.
     
  5. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    That is strange. I have never seen that before. Could the film be defective before you loaded it?

    Jeff
     
  6. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Looks like the film was out at some point and some light hit it. Those are "shadows" i.e photograms of other parts of the film.
     
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  7. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    I think it was exposed during development. Did she use a plastic tank for processing? I once had a similar thing happen when the inner plastic, of the lid, was missing, or disconnected, during development. I didn't have the curls, but did have the perforations "project" onto the outer negatives. The perforations in the image area don't appear to be as sharp as the actual perforations, which is exactly what I experienced.
     
  8. domaz

    domaz Member

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    Looks like it was briefly exposed to light while on the reel. That would kind of explain it. There is definetly general fog at the edges and in the center you would get shadows in the shape of the film and you have some circular shadowing too. Did she show you the whole roll? I'm guessing not because I bet there were some frames (at the top of the reel) that were totally ruined.
     
  9. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The film was fogged somehow during handling. This is a typical appearance when light comes through sprocet holes and darkens the film adjacent to it.

    It may come from opening the camera back or by safelight fog prior to development.

    The arced sprocket images indicate that loose film was lying on top of itself when exposure took place in one part of the film, while the film was lying parallel and offset in the other part.

    I have seen this when a novice takes a whole roll of 35mm out of the cannister and lays it down in a heap on a bench top near a safelight while preparing to load the reels prior to processing. I've also seen it happen when someone gets a roll hung while loading a reel and holds the film up to a safelight to "see whats going on". The light fogs the film wound in a parallel track while the dangling film creates loops of fog on itself.

    PE
     
  10. katphood

    katphood Member

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    Any chance that some light snuck into the darkroom and created the photogram? I'm thinking someone hit the wrong switch or opened a door for an instant.
     
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    tkmusgrave

    tkmusgrave Member

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    It does look like a problem with improper handling during the development process. We've seen it here in the lab with students before. What we can't seem to figure out is how it got so bad, especially the curl in the film, we asked the student to repeat how she developed the film and she did a roll without any issues. She seems to know what she is doing.

    Its really the spot with the curl that we can't explain, we've seen "shadows" and "ghosting" before... just never to this extent.
     
  12. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    I still think it was a faulty tank, but a friend just told me he had a similar result when he started loading the film too soon after turning off a florescent light. He even ended up with a bit of the curl effect.
     
  13. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    Looks to me that the darkroom was only "almost" dark when the film was loaded onto the reel for developing. Just a sliht light leak under the door or something whilke the film was being spooled could cause this. At least - that's my best guess.
     
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    tkmusgrave

    tkmusgrave Member

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    hey thanks... I think that might be what was wrong
     
  16. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    Looks to me like a small light leak in the darkroom while the film was being loaded onto the developing reel. Just a slight leak under the door or something could do this. At least that's my best guess............so far!!
     
  17. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    Light struck. My students do this from time to time.
     
  18. smieglitz

    smieglitz Member

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    What PE said.

    This is post-camera, pre-tank in order to have non-parallel fogged areas. The film was curled around itself laying on the counter (or floor) when it was hit by light. I see this happen many times throughout the semester for a variety of reasons.

    One thing to check if you have a suspended ceiling in the loading room is that an over-energetic closing of the door creates air pressure that can displace ceiling tiles letting light in. Also, fluorescent lamps continue to fluoresce after they have been turned off. You might need to wait a few minutes before taking the film out of the cassette.

    Joe
     
  19. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yup, exposed while the film was being loaded on the reels and the film was curled up on the table, not in the camera, and not after it was loaded on the reel. Either the loading area has light leaks, a safelight was on, or a fluorescent light had been on shortly before loading, as Joe suggests.
     
  20. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    I was just talking to one of our professors today about such mysteries, and how we (me as the darkroom tech) actually are also part-time detectives. The students certainly do test us...and are quite creative in finding new ways to mess up!

    Vaughn
     
  21. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    Definitely agree with the other posters here, this film was fogged by a light leak of some kind in the film loading room. It might be from a safelight; if the room lights came on for any length of time, the film would probably be ruined. I've met some students over the years who thought they could develop film under a red safelight (this is television's fault! Almost nobody uses ortho film... oh well).
     
  22. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    I see this from time to time. All of the students in my lab, with few exceptions (and it never happens to them) are beginners, and they go in there, close the door, and sometimes they don't come out for a fairly long time. We wonder what is going on. this is when it happens.

    We have a small crack under the loading room door. Invariably, when we see this and begin asking questions, we find that the student lost the film, and it jumped down to the floor right in front of that small crack.

    In order for the holes and edges to be sharp, the source has to be very small, approaching a pinhole. So, that's what you would be looking for, a very small light source, probably dropped film, fumbling, trouble with not having practiced getting the film on the spool with the eyes closed enough before going in for real. Get down on the floor with the lights out and look for that hole. It WILL be there.

    We keep a small teddy bear in the loading room for reassurance. It works quite well. We got more of this kind of stuff before we got the bear. Try Goodwill. Just a couple of bucks.

    The other problem we frequently have (this isn't your issue) is when the student forgets the black tube in the Paterson tanks.

    By the way, the Paterson tank system is brilliant, but not without fault. I believe it is included in the MOMA design collection, because it is so well designed. It is made entirely of black plastic except for the red band at the top. When a student freaks out in the dark and needs to come out for help, usually what happens is that the opened film goes in the tank WITHOUT THE FUNNEL AND TUBE and the black lid goes on. The door is opened, and the film is fogged. The red ring floods the inside of the tank with red light.

    Had they designed the tank with either 1) a black ring or 2) a clear top, this wouldn't happen. One older student got interested in this and called the distributor with the question: Why?? When the answer came back, yes, you guessed it. The ring is red because it looks pretty.

    The committee that put it in the MOMA collection DID NOT INCLUDE a basic photo instructor!
     
  23. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Could be the wrong type of reel in the tank. Some of the tanks require the correct reel to form a light tight seal between the funnel part of the lid and the tube the reel sits on. If the tube was too short then light could be let in.


    Steve.
     
  24. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    As Ron (PE), JAson and others have said this is light fogging. It happened before development, and probably prior to loading the reel, or perhaps during loading, there may have been a light leak or a LED on somewhere in the darkroom.

    "In camera fogging" doesn't look like that at all, I've processed numerous rolls where people have opened the camera back, including myself :D

    Ian
     
  25. ath

    ath Member

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    I had similar markings with Ilford Delta 400 (100 feet roll). Since nothing I did with the film could have caused this I figured it is a manufacturing defect.
     
  26. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    It probably got hit with light in the loading room, while the film was pulled off the spool. This would explain why the sprocket holes are in the middle of the frame, since the inner revolutions often slide up and down inside the outer ones when handling the roll.