Odd Film issues - any ideas?

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by jml_., Jan 29, 2020.

  1. Just got some negatives back from the lab, and the scans have some issues I haven't encountered before. Maybe it's something completely obvious that I'm not thinking of, brittle film, too aged? Any ideas welcome. Would love to avoid in the future. Thank you.

    I've attached a close up of an image, showing the issues. Each image has these same aberrations.

    Screen Shot 2020-01-29 at 3.24.53 PM.png
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  2. Sure looks like reticulation from rapid and extreme temperature changes.
  3. Thanks Conrad. So, something like leaving it in my car might've caused it? Any other possible culprits?
  4. Or, is it from the developing?
  5. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    Reticulation takes place during development when the film is taken from one bath into another bath with a big difference in temperature.
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  6. Reticulation came to my mind immediately. Been there myself.

    Rick H.
    jml_. likes this.
  7. That's a classic example of reticulation, and can only have been caused during processing. I've never heard of it happening to a 'dry' film.

    Find a better lab or develop the film yourself.
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  8. SCL


    Never seen a better example of reticulation. It typically occurs when the temperature differential during development is substantial, Rodeo Joe is right on...find another reliable lab or do it yourself.
    jml_. likes this.
  9. It would be good to advise the Lab.
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  10. I'd ask for my money back. (on a side note - I find it amusing the Adobe includes a 'reticulation' filter in Photoshop)
    jml_. likes this.
  11. I see your point.
    It is considered to be an artistic element.....
    Can be very effective in some cases.....
  12. Film is made by coating a light sensitive emulsion coat on a film base. Actually there are several coats. These coats are called emulsions. Salts of silver are sensitive to light. They are held in place suspended in a gelatin mixture. The gelatin acts as a glue. This is the binder that holds the silver salts onto the transparent film base. Now each coat is slightly different as to how it reacts when wet. Keep in mind that the developing chemicals are mainly water. When wet, the gelatin coats swell. This opens the pores of the gelatin binder allowing the fluids of the process to percolate about and contact the silver salts.

    After the developing steps are complete, the film is allowed to dry. As the waters of the process evaporate, the gelatins coats shrink back to their original size. Now each coat of the emulsion has a different coefficient of expansion and contraction. Most often, this downside only contributes to an annoying curl. Should the various processing fluids have drastic differences as to their temperatures, the rate of swelling and shrinkage can radically be changed. Additionally the hardness of the gelatin coats can also be radically different. Given conditions whereby this film undergoes sweeping temperature changes, the emulsions will shatter like broken safety glass. We call this reticulation.
  13. Thanks all, really appreciate the insight. Never experienced it before, even when developing myself. Based on cost, I'm better served to buy a tank and chemicals and start doing it myself again. Maybe I'll find a nice Rondinax 35U haha.
  14. Out of curiosity, what type of film was this?

    I've tried to intentionally reticulate Tri-X before, and found that it basically took going from close to boiling to near freezing to do it, or in other words a temperature change that you'd have to intentionally do.

    On the other hand, even a 10ºC change in temperature can reticulate a lot of old films, or old technology films. Efke, which is no longer produced, would reticulate fairly easily much to my dismay.
  15. Ben's right. A modern film is pretty hard to reticulate, even intentionally. I've tried it with relatively recent film - FP4+ - and didn't manage to get more than a coarse grained look from it.

    I'm wondering if the lab stupidly put a non-chromogenic B&W film through the C-41 line. Except, in theory, that ought to have resulted in blank film. Unless the film was extracted before the bleach bath.
  16. That’s wild — it was TriX. And the shop said it was part of a batch, waiting to hear back if other rolls had the same issue. They were kind enough to refund the processing cost and a fresh roll.
  17. That has been the rule for as long as I have known.

    I only had it happen one time when I minilab didn't close the door all the way feeding the film in.

    Most films now have hardened emulsion, which might be why it is harder to reticulate.

    Only a few years ago, in my 60F winter darkroom developed and fixed a roll at 80F, but forgot that
    the wash water was still 60F. No noticeable effect.

    C41 and E6 films have to be hardened enough to get to 100F.

    I believe black and white films are somewhat harder than years ago, but maybe not to 100F.
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  18. I would like to point out, additionally, that wash water is part of the process, so a wash at a temperature significantly different from the processing temperature can also cause reticulation, particularly if a non-hardening fixer is used.
  19. While this thread is resurrected, I'd like to point out that the 'cracked paint' effect in that Coldplay video is nothing like film reticulation.

    The word 'reticulation' has its roots in the Latin word for a net. Implying a more regular structure than a few random cracks.

    Also, reticulation of a movie film wouldn't have the crazed pattern stay static while the image moved. It would give a wavy and more blurred effect.
  20. Yeah, I'm a big believer in avoiding big temperature changes when changing from one solution to the next. I only did it once: around 1973 or so I made that mistake with a roll of 110 size Verichrome Pan. Reticulation was about the last thing that film needed.

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