Embeded image on TMAX Film

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by j_r_thompson, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. I develop a lot of TMAX film in my darkroom. I just shot a roll of 120 TMAX 400 with my Rolleiflex and pushed it to 1600 in exposure and developing which I have done before with no noticeably weird results as follows. In this case there were some areas of bright white where a Kodak stamp showed thru faintly on the prints. It runs vertically and says "KODAK 12" along one side and "KODAK 6" along the other. So it matches the print on the paper backing used as a negative counter on cameras that have the back port. I guess I am getting a reflection through the black side of the paper backing? Is this normal, to have an embedded image on your negatives? Usually you cannot discern it at normal developing but beware, it is there! Perhaps this is real old film where the image bleeds thru the backing over time? (It is a new batch of film that I just ordered but it may have been on a shelf for many years, who knows?) Just wondered if anyone else has ever noticed this.
  2. Welcome to the bleed-through club. First off, this is NOT normal, but now seems to be normal for Kodak films. Both b&w and color film stocks suffer from this problem. Kodak(Alaris) has changed either the ink or the paper backing or both and now we suffer ink bleed through. To be fair, it is probably a supplier problem and not Kodak itself, but Kodak should be held responsible since it is the one marketing the film and making a profit from it. I, myself, will not buy anymore Kodak film until this problem is totally resolved. You and others can do as they wish, but I'm not about to trust the chance of a "once in a lifetime" shot to end up in a trash can.
  3. http://www.apug.org/forum/index.php?threads/kodak-120-film-backing-paper-problems-emulsions-affected.137251/print
    Kodak will give you new film, and pay for processing costs.
  4. John,
    Yes, it's nice to be reimburse for their mistake, but who can reimburse you for the shot you traveled X amount of miles for.
  5. Thanks for the prompt responses! Good to know that others are having this problem, (not really). But do you know if this a problem on all rolls of Kodak, or likely just some batches? I have 8 unexposed rolls on my shelf but would rather not hassle with returning them unless they have fixed the problem, but what you say about priceless shots is so true.
  6. Hello everyone. This problem cropped up a bit ago but appears to still circulate since a lot of sellers of this film (every where) have not cleared their stock. I am watching my "new" emulsions like a hawk for further defects and if I notice any, will post here the emulsion numbers along with an email as per the linked Kodak site. Please check those unexposed emulsion numbers against your film stock and let us all know if "new" emulsion numbers should be added to this "Kodak Moment". Bill
  7. Curious. Did this sort of thing ever happen back in the glory days of film?
  8. It happened to Ilford 15 to 20 years ago, which is why their backing paper has nearly-invisible pale grey numbers.
    It also happened to one of the Chinese 120 film vendors.
  9. I always wondered why it didn't happen more. Considering that I sometimes use 40 year old VP, and that ink has been sitting next to the emulsion for 40 years!
    Paper backed roll film is more than 108 years old. (Older than the previous time the Cubs won the world series!) There must have been some work to select optimal dyes for the paper.
    Older films used a light pink paper, before the bright yellow that Kodak used more recently.
    But also, be sure to keep film dry. Don't open frozen film packs until it has warmed up enough to avoid condensation on the film. Moisture could make the gelatin sticky, and stick to the paper. Numbers or not, that isn't good for the images.
  10. "But do you know if this a problem on all rolls of Kodak, or likely just some batches?"
    The posts over at APUG have the batch numbers that are affected. I'm sticking to Ilford for the time being.
  11. Wow! Lots of info in response to my original query. And I think it answers my question. I followed the suggestion to check out the comments on the APUG website and found the list of bad batch numbers for TMAX 400 which was stated as follows:
    Kodak T-Max 400
    Emulsion 0148 004 through 0152

    I checked the boxes of film I had recently received and they are both 0151 001 09/2017 which fit into the "bad" range! So that question solved, I am left with 9 rolls of unexposed film ($50+!) and have contacted my supplier who I feel was unaware of the problem and then will try the Kodak contact listed above. Since Kodak has supposedly fixed the problem I think that I will stick with TMAX because I have been previously satisfied and my darkroom procedures are set up around TMAX film as well as TMAX developer. But I will be careful to review the batch numbers in case a bad shipment gets through again. Hopefully it will not be "fooled me twice, shame on me"!
    So, thanks to all for your attention. I applaud this forum for providing an answer that I do not know if I could have figured out any other way.
  12. I'm betting that you purchased your film from Adorama or B & H. Over at APUG, almost w/o exception, that's the retailers that were experiencing the issue. I checked into this problem some time ago and the folks at Freestyle said that they had never run into this problem w/ their stock of T-Max. It's a Kodak film that I don't shoot (Tri-X all the way), but I feel for people that have had their shots ruined by this. Easy enough to clone out if you digitally process, a lot trickier in a darkroom.
    The only time I ran into this was w/ Ultrafine fine films, and the problem was much, much worse. I'll never buy any films from them again, nor buy film and materials from anyone but Freestyle. They're the best.
  13. Old problem this, there was a few batches of Kodak roll film that had bad backing paper.
    Has been bought up many times on this and other forums.
  14. Year old thread, new info -- sort of?
    Now it is November, 2017.
    Somehow Kodak Alaris has my email and physical address.
    I may have complained here at PN some time back about getting imprinted info (re: this "imprint" subject material posted here/elsewhere at PN) on my T-MAX 120mm film.
    Well a few days back I received a surprise email that "replacement film is on its way."
    News to me, and a mystery.
    Any complaint I made would not have been directly to Kodak (I simply stopped using Kodak and switched to other brands for ALL my film needs.)
    So today 11-24-2017 I received from Kodak ALARIS a five-pack of T-MAX 120 - dated 05/2019.
    Well the truth is that I am afraid to use it as with all the other Kodak complaints I have read here at PN, I am
    unwilling to use it and discover that the imprinting problem still exists with the emulsion being compromised.
    Not worth the risk to me in light of the other brand films working out well.
  15. Take one of the "gift" rolls & burn thru it on something of non importance. So far none of my replacement rolls from the Big Yellow has shown the bleed thru's. Like you, I am still a bit "edgey" about trusting any serious work to the Max films (120). I do not carry scars well ! Bill
  16. FWIW, I have not seen this on any Tri-X. I'm still shooting some that was bought in the summer of 2015(B&H, so I assume it was fairly fresh at the time), but also have shot some bought in early 2017. Apparently I managed to "skip" the issue.

    I don't shoot TMAX aside from the occasional 35mm roll so can't comment on whether or not the issue is there. Still, from what I understood, it affected all B&W films, not just TMAX.
  17. And possibly Portra, though I'm not sure if that's been the same exact problem. The issue with the B&W has been more widely reported.

    I do think it's likely to be safe now, but I'd shoot the first roll on something easy to see if it bleeds through (lightish grey, not much detail) and something other than a one-time event.
  18. Note that with the film rolled up, the numbers of one layer contact the emulsion for the next layer.

    Even more, I have used 30, 40, or even 50 year old roll film. The numbers have been in contact with the emulsion for many years.

    I have never had a problem with older films, like that.

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