c41 dark spots

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by keithhayes, Nov 10, 2021.

  1. Does anyone know what these dark spots are? They are light in color when viewing the negatives. It's definitely not happening during scanning. DSpots1.jpg darkspots2.jpg
  2. They may be foreign particles or sediment in the developer. How old are the chemicals, did you mix them and let them sit around for months before using them ?, and did you strain them before use ?
    keithhayes likes this.
  3. I'm using Kodak Developer Replenisher (LORR). I didn't have any working developer sitting around, but I did have mixed replenisher sitting on the shelf for a couple of months. I think I probably could have avoided this by straining? What can I use that is fine enough to strain the chemicals? Should I be doing this with bleach and fixer also?

    Thanks for your reply! It's really frustrating when you put all this time in and can't figure out what went wrong. Chemicals are on backorder for who knows how long, but I'll remember this tip when I can get more.
  4. Other members recommend coffee filters, I've never bought any because I hardly ever get sediment, only on a few occasions I've noticed sediment in the bottom of the developer bottle and I used a paper towel, laid over the beaker and pushed down a bit to form a funnel shape and used a rubber band to hold it in place. Pour slowly, and on the side of the paper funnel.

    If the other chemicals are getting old, filter those just in case.

    The best practice is to always keep things clean and fresh. If you develop good clean processing habits with fresh chemicals, following the instructions, frustration will be greatly minimized. Be as consistent as you can with everything, and keep the equipment and chemicals spotless. I nearly drain the local dam cleaning my stuff, straight after each film, it's still as clean looking as when I first bought it many years ago, even the plastic spirals, not one bit of brownish color on them, and they go back to the 70s.

    A bit of spotting with the clone tool in PhotoShop fixed this pic up nicely ...

    Last edited: Nov 11, 2021
    robert_bowring likes this.
  5. Those blobs are pretty big to be caused by processing sediment, and they obviously didn't stick to the film like chemical contamination usually does. I'd expect some light-coloured marks as well in that case.

    So I'm leaning towards a diagnosis of crap on the film in the camera, during exposure.

    Is the light-trap foam in your camera disintegrating?
  6. Film, especially in teeny weeny formats like 35mm, is inherently "dirty". this is surely "crap"

    That is why "spotting" was practically an industry in the old days.
    1938 Wards catalog
  7. I just opened the camera to have a closer look. I don't see anything flaking off. I shot these with an M6. To tell you the truth I never even noticed light seals on this particular camera. On closer inspection, I see that there should be a strip on the door. It appears that that strip was worn off a long time ago. Fortunately, I haven't had any issues with light leaks. But I will send this out for a CLA to replace that one seal.
  8. I am SO meticulous about the entire process. I even clean the reels in warm water with a mild detergent between tanks. That's what makes it even more annoying. But I do appreciate your tips very much. I'm going to filter my chemicals going forward. I didn't have this problem when I used kits that were blix-based. Ever since I attempted using Kodak Flexicolor chemicals I've had problems. I already salvaged everything in Photoshop!
  9. Try Tetenal chemicals, if they're still available. I used them exclusively for years with no issues.

    However, any fix or blix will throw a sediment if used and left to stand. But chemical sediment tends to break up into round or granular shapes, not little triangles and rectangles such as you have on the images above. Those look more like flakes of gelatine or paint.

    Whatever the cause, it's just one more of the many reasons why I gave up using film.
  10. I don't know where you are located, but Tetenal is unavailable in the US. I wish I could get my hands on that.

    I hear you on your reasons for giving up on film. I spend more time trying to get this kind of stuff right when I'd rather be shooting!
  11. I dumped by Fix and developer/replenisher into a Pyrex. There is no sediment floating in there whatsoever. Needless to say, I won't be using it again anyhow.

    I did come up with a potential cause. I always process my 120 films first and then my 35mm in the same chemicals. I've been leaving the tape at the end of the 120 rolls on when processing. Could that tape be breaking off during agitation? Is it possible that tiny pieces of tape or glue are sticking to my 35mm film? Should I remove that tape before loading my reels? Thanks
  12. Now the truth is coming out. Not to be too harsh on you, but yes, the tape should have been cut off first before developing the film.
  13. But if rogue bits of tape were to blame, wouldn't they show up on the 120 film too?

    I must admit that I've always just ripped the backing-paper tape in half and never noticed any ill effect from doing so (caveat - with B&W film). And I'm guessing that commercial processors don't carefully cut the tape away before feeding the film into their continuous roller-processing machines. Which they would do if it contaminated their tanks.

    Same with the tenacious tape that holds 35mm film to its spool.
  14. Ha! The truth. I see that most people leave the tape on.
  15. I'm reaching, but I'll try to remove it next time to see if changes anything.

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