Weird flower/butterfly-shaped spots on my negatives

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by michaelperkins, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. Hi,

    I'm new here, and pretty new to film development overall. But I wondered if anyone knows what might have caused these peculiar spots on my negatives. The strange thing is that they have a definite shape - they look like tiny butterflies or four-petalled flowers. They are dark on the photo, so light on the negs. You can see them if you zoom in to the areas of sky.

    A bit of data about the shots:
    Kiev 88 with Zodiak fish-eye lens
    Fomapan 200, in-date, stored in refridgerator since purchase.
    Developed with Ilfosol 1+9, 6 mins at 20 degrees C
    Scanned with Epson 600, 3200 dpi.

    The developer was fresh, as was the stop bath, but I've been running my fixer down. I did check it cleared a bit of flim leader in < 3 mins and then left the actual film for over 10 mins.

    The camera has been tested before, and I developed a (supposedly-identical) film using the same technique (but different camera) just a week ago, which came out fine. I haven't used the Zodiak lens before, though.

    Any ideas very welcome! I'd rather not spoil another roll like this.



    View attachment Kiev-88-Zodiak-004.jpg
  2. Hello everyone. Michael, check to see if this pattern is in the film rebate margin printing. If the pattern shows up, I would guess it is an emulsion problem. Over the last 10 years I occasionally test a roll of 120 Fomapan (I do like the emulsions) but repeated emulsion defects have not seen me using the film. Also, on your fixer, just use 2x the clearing time until you hit 10 minutes, then properly dispose of the fixer. What are you using for stop bath? 2 flushes of plain water works great & eliminates any possible outgassing if you use an acid based liquided. Aloha, Bill
  3. paul ron

    paul ron NYC

    the shape is typical of crystals.... but from what or where?

    from what i see, its mostly in the sky area (highlights)... perhaps you can get a picture of the negative to see if these crystals are in the clear areas of the shadows?

    btw thats a beautiful ship.
  4. Check fixer for precipitate - that's where I've seen this before.

    Typical poor shadow detail / speed with Ilfosol. You're going to need to over expose, or increase development (a lot) to fix those lower mids, but this will brick highlights.
  5. Thanks people! Great ideas. I'll certainly use new fixer for my next batch just in case.

    I also found this lengthy and inconclusive thread on photrio (can't post full link)


    which is the only example I've found so far of seamingly the same problem. The general thought at the end seemed to be changes in temperature, particularly drying. My drying was at RT so I doubt that's it, but I might not have matched solution and rinse temps well - I only really paid close attention to developer temp.

    I can see the shapes with a hand lens on the negs, but only in well exposed areas so I can't see if they affect the whole film. I can put the negs under a reflected light microscope though I'm not quite sure what I'm looking for.

    Thanks for your help and being a friendly bunch - I've only developed about 20 films so far so am still learning fast.


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