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04-11-2019, 02:59 PM   #16
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The spots appear to be in columns. If using a plastic developing reel and tank combination, the agitation is rotational. If you are processing 645 or 6x6 negatives I could see this pattern of spotting happening for some reason. It wouldn't happen with 6x7 or 6x9 negatives because of the film orientation on the developing reel.

04-11-2019, 09:47 PM - 1 Like   #17
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Thanks for the comments, all.

I'll try the following:
- adding a pre-wash
- adding a rinse aid to the water at the end
- checking out my fixer and mixing up a new bottle
- making sure I don't have dust in my developing containers! I do tend to leave them out to dry so maybe...

I use steel reels and tanks and the 'spotting' has occured both on 6x6 and 6x9 rolls.
04-11-2019, 11:02 PM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by goddo31 Quote

I regularly use the same procedure for other films, such as Tri-X, without any issues.
I just re-read your original post and caught that this seems to only happen with the FP4+. So yes, it would appear to be something about that film, but I can't think of any reason why the spotting would happen with FP4+ and not Tri-X. It could be a bad batch of FP4+, but that would be very rare.

Please update thread this as you discover if any of our suggestions does or does not make a difference.

Good luck. BTW: My father once had a mid-80's Maxima that he drove to and from San Diego to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia back when a Nissan was a Nissan.
04-12-2019, 08:46 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
I just re-read your original post and caught that this seems to only happen with the FP4+. So yes, it would appear to be something about that film, but I can't think of any reason why the spotting would happen with FP4+ and not Tri-X. It could be a bad batch of FP4+, but that would be very rare.

Please update thread this as you discover if any of our suggestions does or does not make a difference.

Good luck. BTW: My father once had a mid-80's Maxima that he drove to and from San Diego to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia back when a Nissan was a Nissan.
Thanks, yes I will make sure to update the thread.

What do you mean by "when a Nissan was a Nissan"? Honestly I am out of touch with what the manufacturer has done for the last decade or more.
The particular old Nissan pictured is a 1989 Skyline that was actually assembled in Australia. Now that's not something that has happened (by Nissan) for at least 20 years now.

04-12-2019, 09:24 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by goddo31 Quote
Thanks, yes I will make sure to update the thread.

What do you mean by "when a Nissan was a Nissan"? Honestly I am out of touch with what the manufacturer has done for the last decade or more.
The particular old Nissan pictured is a 1989 Skyline that was actually assembled in Australia. Now that's not something that has happened (by Nissan) for at least 20 years now.
The Skyline in North America was called the Maxima, which is why I mentioned it. My dad recently passed away and your photo, micro spots and all, still brought back good memories. He owned two Maximas before his last car, a 2005 Toyota Avalon that he drove for 13 years until last November at the age of 96.

Not to ruffle the feathers of current Nissan fans, but back in the day, Datsun/Nissan made quality cars that matched the competition like Toyota and Honda. However when they merged with Renault and Mitsubishi in '99 they haven't made cars of the same calibre as before. The same fate has happened to others that have merged in other industries...but I must give credit to Ricoh for the quality they've maintained with Pentax. But I suppose an outright acquisition is different than a merge.
04-12-2019, 05:53 PM - 1 Like   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
The Skyline in North America was called the Maxima, which is why I mentioned it. My dad recently passed away and your photo, micro spots and all, still brought back good memories. He owned two Maximas before his last car, a 2005 Toyota Avalon that he drove for 13 years until last November at the age of 96.

Not to ruffle the feathers of current Nissan fans, but back in the day, Datsun/Nissan made quality cars that matched the competition like Toyota and Honda. However when they merged with Renault and Mitsubishi in '99 they haven't made cars of the same calibre as before. The same fate has happened to others that have merged in other industries...but I must give credit to Ricoh for the quality they've maintained with Pentax. But I suppose an outright acquisition is different than a merge.
Thanks for the reply, I didn't know that the Maxima was a Skyline in North America. Here in Australia we also have Maximas however it is a different car.
Interesting what you mention about lesser quality cars after 1999... It seems that Japanese sports cars of the 80s and 90s have increased in value dramatically in the last few years. Such as the R32 GT-R... This must be part of the reason.

Edit: I will try to test out the FP4plus again this weekend and will update the thread when I can.

04-15-2019, 08:05 AM   #22
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So I have an update of sorts. I shot another roll of FP4plus over the weekend and developed it last night.
I changed the following from my process described previously:
- 2 minute pre wash in de-mineralised water (really it's RO water, should be similar to distilled)
- de-mineralised water mixed with the developer 1+1 (as opposed to tap water)
- make sure my dev tank was free of dust. I washed it and dried it first.

I didn't change my fixer this time round. I checked out the bottle though and it seems to be very clear and free of sediment.
I also did a clearing test with a small piece of undeveloped film. It became clear within 30 seconds, so it would appear that the fixer is still very fresh.

Anyway, I am still seeing the spotting. On the positive side, it's not that noticeable at small image sizes.

Next up I will try adding a rinse aid, new fixer, new developer and will try developing a different film using the same process.
Here's some more samples from 100% at a scanned resolution of 2400ppi on the Epson V700 (attached).
It's mostly noticeable in uniform mid-grey tones
04-15-2019, 08:08 AM   #23
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and here's the attachments this time...

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04-15-2019, 09:03 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by goddo31 Quote
and here's the attachments this time...
Just to make sure it's not the scanner.....are you seeing dark spots on the negatives with a light table and a loupe?

And out of curiosity, what scanner are you using?
04-15-2019, 09:32 AM - 1 Like   #25
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I've had those spots too. I'm not sure what causes it but I think it is contamination of some kind. Here is what I've been doing in an attempt to circumvent the problem.

I got more graduated cylinders to measure the developer and mix it in. One set for each developer I use and I wash them out with distilled water. And I use distilled water to mix all the development chemicals. If you use an acid stop bath with distilled water and with fixer, your film will not see tap water until wash time and by then everything is done. And I also use distilled water with the wetting agent and that helps with water spots. So far no spots but I haven't been doing this new procedure that long. I often wonder if it's an issue with a batch of film. The spots seem to come and go. I stopped shooting Rollei Retro 80S because of too many quality control issues with that film ruining pictures. I will wait a year and see if they get resolved before using it again.

I only pre-soak the film when using PMK Pyro because it's a requirement. And, again, I'm using distilled water for that. But other developers I've used do not have a pre-soak in their procedure.

Last edited by tuco; 04-15-2019 at 10:42 AM. Reason: fix things
04-15-2019, 08:01 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
Just to make sure it's not the scanner.....are you seeing dark spots on the negatives with a light table and a loupe?

And out of curiosity, what scanner are you using?
I'm using the Epson V700. I don't have a light table or loupe. If I hold the negatives up to my monitor with a white background, I can't see the spots.
However after development when the film is still wet, it does look a little 'gritty'. This might be a red herring though as I suspect that the spotting I see on the negatives is much smaller than the 'grit' that I think I can see.

QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
I've had those spots too. I'm not sure what causes it but I think it is contamination of some kind. Here is what I've been doing in an attempt to circumvent the problem.

I got more graduated cylinders to measure the developer and mix it in. One set for each developer I use and I wash them out with distilled water. And I use distilled water to mix all the development chemicals. If you use an acid stop bath with distilled water and with fixer, your film will not see tap water until wash time and by then everything is done. And I also use distilled water with the wetting agent and that helps with water spots. So far no spots but I haven't been doing this new procedure that long. I often wonder if it's an issue with a batch of film. The spots seem to come and go. I stopped shooting Rollei Retro 80S because of too many quality control issues with that film ruining pictures. I will wait a year and see if they get resolved before using it again.

I only pre-soak the film when using PMK Pyro because it's a requirement. And, again, I'm using distilled water for that. But other developers I've used do not have a pre-soak in their procedure.
Thanks Tuco. I think that I will adopt a similar approach as you and use distilled or RO water for everything, and be strict with the measuring containers.
What gets me though is that I have never had a problem like this with any other film. Perhaps very minor cases of spotting however nothing like this. So I wonder what is different. I will likely develop a roll of Tmax soon so will see if I get the same thing on that roll. I am also tempted to get a roll of the FP4plus developed by a lab to hoepfully rule out any issues with the film itself.
04-15-2019, 08:48 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by goddo31 Quote
I'm using the Epson V700. I don't have a light table or loupe. If I hold the negatives up to my monitor with a white background, I can't see the spots.
I would really eliminate the scanner from the trouble shooting. I've had an older Epson scanner that developed tiny fungus spots on the under side of the glass. When scanning an inversed image like a negative, those micro spots would turn up as light spots on the scan.

However, why this would happen to FP4+ and not Tri-X?...doesn't add up unless you haven't shot with anything except FP4+ or scanned the other films with a different scanner.
04-15-2019, 09:18 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by goddo31 Quote
Thanks Tuco. I think that I will adopt a similar approach as you and use distilled or RO water for everything, and be strict with the measuring containers.
What gets me though is that I have never had a problem like this with any other film.
I should note I'm doing all this distilled water as a test. I'll keep doing it until I encounter that spotting again. Two things about this spotting include: I never had the problem until the last 18 months or so. And secondly, I can recall the problem twice after using a different developer previously. That's why I'm doing this dedicated graduated cylinder thing. I have encounter this spotting with other films such as Retro 80S, HP5+ and TMY.
04-16-2019, 02:23 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
I would really eliminate the scanner from the trouble shooting. I've had an older Epson scanner that developed tiny fungus spots on the under side of the glass. When scanning an inversed image like a negative, those micro spots would turn up as light spots on the scan.

However, why this would happen to FP4+ and not Tri-X?...doesn't add up unless you haven't shot with anything except FP4+ or scanned the other films with a different scanner.
I only have the one scanner and it's only been recently that I've been shooting FP4plus regularly.
Regardless I'll try re-scanning one of the 'spotted' negatives in a different position to see if the spots move at all. And I'll try scanning an older negative too.
The V700 is getting on a bit and I have had to open it up and clean the scanner glass before. So whilst my hunch is that the spots are to do with development, it's possible that the scanner is a factor so it'd be good to rule it out.

Although I'm not sure how this plays with tuco's experience.
04-17-2019, 07:00 AM   #30
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Ok so it's not the scanner.
I rescanned one of the negatives exhibiting the spotting and then rescanned it again in another position - the spots were identical.
Then I rescanned a photo made on Tri-X from around the same time I started shooting the FP4plus. No spotting, and lovely even greys...
I am also currently scanning a roll of Tmax 400 shot on the weekend around the same time as the last roll of FP4plus.

Now this roll of Tmax 400 is interesting because on only one photo do I see the spotting and it is much less noticeable than the FP4plus rolls. Most of the photos from this roll of Tmax 400 have no spotting at all that I can see.

So what does this mean?
Is there an issue in my development somewhere, and somehow FP4plus is more sensitive to it than Tmax 400?

In an attempt to narrow it down further I'm planning to shoot another roll of FP4plus and get it developed commercially. So if that comes back with no spotting, I'll focus on my development process and try to figure out what the cause is.

Attached is the Tmax 400 example.
Getting a bit tired of this...
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