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04-10-2019, 10:07 PM   #1
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Ilford Fp4plus 'spotting' on negatives

I've recently been experimenting with shooting Ilford FP4plus in 120.
Results have been good however on both of the 2 rolls so far there's visible 'spotting' on some of the shots after scanning.
When viewing the negatives I can sometimes see a kind of 'grit' that looks tiny bits of emulsion.
Appearance in scanned photos is less noticeable than I expected when looking at the negatives, although it is still visible in some scenes.

For an example please see the attachment. Note that some photos are a bit worse than this one. I have had similar 'spotting' with other films, however nothing to the extent of this. I can remove it in Lightroom but the sheer volume of spots make that a time consuming exercise.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to why this is happening?

My development procedure
- Ilford FP4plus exposed as ISO 100
- Developed in ID-11 1+1 to the timings listed with the developer for ISO 125 (I think this roll was 11 minutes at 20 degrees)
- agitate for 5 seconds every minute
- stop in plain tap water at say, 25 degrees, for 2 minutes
- Ilford rapid fixer, 5 minutes at ~ 25 degrees (I don't bother to chill the fixer to 20 degrees)
- Rinse with tap water first and finish with demineralised water

I regularly use the same procedure for other films, such as Tri-X, without any issues.

And the fullsize photo below:



Attached Images
 
04-11-2019, 12:26 AM   #2
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Tiny bubbles? Dust on the film? Or some other kind of contamination? Too old films may prove to be grainy but not in this manner.
04-11-2019, 02:18 AM   #3
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Did you prewash the film ? It could be the anti-halation dye layer...
04-11-2019, 02:24 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by HYS Quote
Tiny bubbles? Dust on the film? Or some other kind of contamination? Too old films may prove to be grainy but not in this manner.
I am fairly confident that it isn't bubbles or dust. Dust is less subtle

QuoteOriginally posted by fs999 Quote
Did you prewash the film ? It could be the anti-halation dye layer...
I don't normally prewash. Hmm, perhaps I will try that with the next roll of FP4plus and see what happens.

04-11-2019, 03:14 AM   #5
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I cant offer a solution but this happened to me recently as well with a different film and developer(Agfa Copex Rapid and Rodinal), in my case it was bad enough that the images aren't really usable as any tweak in contrast etc really accentuates it.

My first thought was some kind of dust or dirt and I did try to rewash with no luck, seems to be firmly embedded in the emulsion.
All the chemicals were pretty fresh, except for the Ilfotol which was getting on a bit and on closer inspection had some 'stuff' floating in it. Could be a possible culprit.


It hasn't happened before or since so I have put it down to just one of those things, quirks of using film.
04-11-2019, 06:59 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by graeme83 Quote
I cant offer a solution but this happened to me recently as well with a different film and developer(Agfa Copex Rapid and Rodinal), in my case it was bad enough that the images aren't really usable as any tweak in contrast etc really accentuates it.

My first thought was some kind of dust or dirt and I did try to rewash with no luck, seems to be firmly embedded in the emulsion.
All the chemicals were pretty fresh, except for the Ilfotol which was getting on a bit and on closer inspection had some 'stuff' floating in it. Could be a possible culprit.


It hasn't happened before or since so I have put it down to just one of those things, quirks of using film.
Interesting. I was also prepared to put this down to a 'quirk' the first time, however the same problem on 2 of 2 rolls is a little worrying.
04-11-2019, 08:16 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by fs999 Quote
Did you prewash the film ? It could be the anti-halation dye layer...
I agree with @fs999 that the most likely cause is a lack of pre-wetting the film. To avoid that type of spotting, I will just use water for 30 seconds before the developer. Tap the bottom of the tank to eliminate air bells (aka bubbles) on the film, and gently agitate for the first 10 seconds (either with an agitator stick with plastic reels or your favorite wrist twists with metal).

Also note that tap water in some places can be very dirty (requiring filtration) or be extremely hard or soft in terms of ph. Using distilled water is usually overkill, but it may be worth a try for every step other than the final wash. I'd still finish with a wetting agent in distilled water.
04-11-2019, 08:53 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
I agree with @fs999 that the most likely cause is a lack of pre-wetting the film.
Yep...

QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
Also note that tap water in some places can be very dirty (requiring filtration) or be extremely hard or soft in terms of ph.
My thoughts too. Crud may settle onto the film during processing or washing. Hardness chemicals may react with developer or fixer and precipitate out onto the film. I noticed no rinse aid as a final step. I do a rinse in D.I. water followed by photoflo (diluted with D.I. water) as a final step.

One other thing occurred to me. Fixer left long in the jug may, over time, precipitate out as fine bits of elemental sulfur. This may happen even without reuse.


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04-11-2019, 11:11 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
I will just use water for 30 seconds before the developer.
With a Rollei R80S roll you better wash for 5 minutes... That's what I do for all films, even those without dye layer...
04-11-2019, 11:25 AM - 1 Like   #10
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I'd second the suggestion on the fixer as I've experienced the precipitate a few times over the years - sometimes coating the bottom of the bottle quite heavily so it breaks off in chunks. Try a fresh mix of fixer.
04-11-2019, 11:25 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by fs999 Quote
With a Rollei R80S roll you better wash for 5 minutes... That's what I do for all films, even those without dye layer...
That may be true for R80S, but the OP is using 120 Ilford FP4+. Ilford actually recommends to NOT pre-rinse, but I've had more issues with spotting when I do not pre-wet than I do from uneven development despite their data sheet.

https://www.ilfordphoto.com/amfile/file/download/file/1919/product/690/
04-11-2019, 12:46 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by fs999 Quote
With a Rollei R80S roll you better wash for 5 minutes... That's what I do for all films, even those without dye layer...
Yes! It is sooooo very pink! I prewash about two minutes and also extend the final wash with RR80s.


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04-11-2019, 01:35 PM   #13
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I've never prewashed a film in over 50 years of black and white film processing and have never had the results shown here, so I don't see the problem being the absence of a prewash.

Is static a possibility? My one experience of static gave columns of markings similar to dust or air bubbles.

If it is a processing probem, then absolutely fresh chemicals and distilled water should correct the problem. I use stainless steel tanks for my film processing; and after several strong taps of the tank on the countertop to dislodge bubbles, I agitate the tank very vigorously for one minute at the start of development followed by 10 seconds each minute afterwards.

Last edited by cpk; 04-11-2019 at 01:48 PM.
04-11-2019, 02:03 PM   #14
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One other thing that I forgot to mention...A few years back I had similar "stuff" on my negatives and finally tracked it down to the fact that my film washer (tall canister type) had been stored with nothing covering the opening.


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04-11-2019, 02:24 PM   #15
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+1 Rap the tank on the counter a few times, knock the bubbles off. Possibly more vigorous agitation.
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