120 T-MAX 100 regular dot pattern

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by p._jeffrey_ungar, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. This was asked about once before with no resolution on what it was: (old post). Some film shot ca. 2005 with exp. date 2007/07 (Lot 0531 002) showed a regular pattern of dots. I think this lot probably had some bad samples, but it was unexpected. Anyone else encounter this?
  2. I'm not seeing any dots, at least not of the type illustrated in that older thread. I see grain, which is normal for b&w film. The regular distribution of grain *is* one of the primary characteristics of T-grain films. However, it is not normal for grain to be this obvious with TMX.

    A few questions:

    1. Is this a scan of the negative or print? How was the scan prepared?

    2. How was the film developed? Be specific - developer, time, etc.

    3. How was the film stored? For example, was it refrigerated and thawed?

    4. What were the conditions when the film was used? (Heat, humidity, etc.)

    (Note: I'm theorizing that condensation between film and paper backing may be a factor.)

    5. Any airline travel or other potential exposure to excessive radiation?

    6. What camera was used?

    7. Are the dots apparent under a loupe or only when scanned?
  3. Regular or irregular? I do recall a batch problem with T-Max 120 not long ago.
  4. Look in the out-of-focus background. It is a very regular honeycomb pattern of spots spaced much farther apart than the apparent grain. I will attach a better sample since it is a bit subtle on this one. This is a scan of the negative. The pattern is clearly visible in the negative looking with a loupe. It is extremely regular, so no way is this anything to do with condensation or processing. Film was shot in a Mamiya 7-II and removed within an hour. It looks just like the problem the original poster had in 2006.
  5. Was the film ever refrigerated or frozen and thawed? I have seen some odd patterns on the paper backing of old, long stored 120 film, altho' so far none of it has transferred to patterns on the film itself. I suspected the paper backing had absorbed some moisture due to condensation. However the patterns I observed on my film were irregular.
  6. No refrigeration, freezing, or thawing. I did look at backing paper and I see absolutely nothing there -- certainly no
    patterns. It was sitting under ambient conditions (65-78F, not humid) and processed recently.

    Another roll from the same lot shot around the same time but processed then does not show the dots, so something that
    happened in the last three years could have exacerbated some underlying weirdness in the emulsion. The hexagonal
    lattice is very uniform over the whole image area of every frame; there are no breaks or separate domains or unaffected
    image areas. The only places I don't see it is in the film base + fog region, which is very clear, and in the product and
    frame number markings.

    I still have some film from this lot (0531 002) as well as another purchased at the same time (0531 001). I'll mark it as
    probably "weird" so I don't use it for anything critical and I'll make note of what happens.
  7. Very peculiar. You should send a sample of the original negative to Kodak.
  8. I have only once seen something like this and it was on Kodak IR film shot in a camera with a dimpled pressure plate. The lack of an AH layer plus reflection from the pressure-plate caused the pattern to appear. However, in this case the film not only has an AH layer (or at least it should have) but there is also the backing paper. What camera was the film shot in, and does it have a dimpled pressure-plate - and how long was the film in the camera?
  9. Chris: previous posts have the answer to your questions but to recap with more detail:

    One roll lot 0531 002 exp date 2007/07 shot 2005/04 in a Mamiya 7-II and removed within one hour, processed within a
    week with TMAX developer 69F 7:30 10sec + 5sec/30sec inversion agitation, plastic reel, Patterson tank, no weird
    hexagonal array of spots on negative.

    Another roll from same lot shot 2005/05 in same Mamiya 7-II and removed within one hour, processed 2008/08 (stored at
    65-78F, low humidity) with D-76 1+1 75F 6:15 10sec+5sec/30sec inversion agitation, Hewes stainless steel reel, in a SS
    tank, and there is a weird tight hexagonal array of lighter density spots on the negative, image areas only. Not exactly a
    controlled experiment for comparison, but I don't see anything here that should cause a problem like this.

    Coincidentally, the pressure plate in the M7-II has a hexagonal array of inward depressions but they are at a much larger
    spacing than the lighter density spots on the negatives. The plate also has two big countersunk holes with screws and
    there is nothing like that to match on the developed negatives.

    I think I and the poster in the old thread encountered some bad samples from a batch of T-MAX. I was curious if anyone
    else had encountered this.

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