Thousands of little spots on my negatives.

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by jamesjewell, Aug 2, 2020.

  1. Hi All!
    I just developed a roll of Ilford HP5 in XTOL 1+1, and scanned it with a DSLR, and each negative has thousands of little dark spots on them. It is not dust (cleaned the negatives with pec pads and fluid to be shure). It is not air bubbles, as far as I can tell. I mix all my chemicals with distilled water, and do a final rinse with distilled water and photoflo. I use Patterson tanks.
    I almost always use rodinal in a semi-stand method and have never had this problem. The only thing that changed was using xtol. I did use tap water for a pre-rinse.
    Any thoughts? Untitled_Panorama-2.jpg
     
  2. Almost certainly due to insufficient mixing of the Xtol powder.

    The spots are mainly absent in the shadow areas and greatest in the higher image densities. Therefore the spots were developed onto the film, and this can only have been from undissolved developer powder in suspension.
     
  3. Joe,
    Thank you for that. Do you have any advice on mixing XTOL? I went to town on that mixture with a power drill and paint-mixer attachment for many minutes.
     
  4. I've always liked magnetic stirrers for chemistry. You can often find them cheap used. Set right, they don't put air in the mix and you can give things a good long stir. I have to wonder if stand development made the problem worse because the particles never got moved around on the film. I don't think anybody recommends a pre-rinse these days. Back when I was doing film I had so many problems with Xtol that I gave up on it.
     
  5. How long did you let it stand before use?

    The alternative explanation is contamination of the developer by rust or aluminium particles. Any chance of that, or in your pre-soak water?

    WRT a pre-soak: usually totally unnecessary, unless you're using a rotary system like a Jobo machine.
     
  6. From the directions:

    J-109_Feb_2018.pdf

    you are supposed to slowly add part A while stirring until completely dissolved.
    Then slowly add part B.

    It might be that if you aren't slow enough, or start adding B before A is dissolved,
    that it doesn't completely dissolve.

    Sometimes they will finish dissolving if you wait, sometimes not.
     
  7. It could also be silver particles precipitated in the fixer. Take a scrap of unprocessed film, and just go through the fix and wash steps, and see if you get those spots. If you do, at least filter the fixer, or replace it.
     
  8. FWIW, I developed a roll of ACROS two days later with Ilfotec DD-X and the same stop bath, fixer, and tap-water pre-rinse. No spots whatsoever, so we can eliminate the quality of the tap water and the fixer and stop bath. I'm leaning towards undesolved xtol.
     

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