Scratched Negs

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by darin3200, Oct 22, 2005.

  1. darin3200

    darin3200 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Messages:
    2,078
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Des Moines, Iowa
    I took some rolls of film, shot them, took them out of the canister, put them on film reels, developed, dried and cut into 4-neg strips, let them dry.

    I look at them today while they are still hanging after drying and they have scratches on them :pissed: Its almost enough to make me go digital!

    Am I doing something wrong or why do I always get scratches?


    Thanks
     
  2. Unimaxium

    Unimaxium TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    Messages:
    2,689
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Northeastern University, originally from Philly
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Could have been anything... bad film packaging, bad camera, bad handling, bad tank (maybe), or who knows what else. Have you had this problem before? What are the scratches like?
     
  3. Neophyte Photographer

    Neophyte Photographer TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2005
    Messages:
    501
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South Dakota, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    i'm thinking it could even be caused from your film canisters or bulk loader
     
  4. David A

    David A TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    472
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Florida
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Does your camera have a manual rewind?
     
  5. darin3200

    darin3200 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Messages:
    2,078
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Des Moines, Iowa
    Some are long and wavy, and others are quite short and straight
     
  6. darin3200

    darin3200 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Messages:
    2,078
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Des Moines, Iowa
    These negatives were with a Canon eos-1 that has auto-rewind
     
  7. David A

    David A TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    472
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Florida
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit

    Hmm...check the film canister. Other than that...I'm not sure. :meh:
     
  8. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    16,728
    Likes Received:
    45
    Location:
    Where am I now?
    The gelatine base is already pretty soft when it's wet and very susceptible to damage at all stages - getting it warmer just makes it a little softer. But your wash water should be the same temperature as all your other chemicals or you can cause other problems.

    It sounds like you have a combination of problems. The short ones sound like friction abrasions. Did you rest the negs on anything when you cut them up? Even when dry it takes very little to scratch a neg so you should cut the negs up as they hang after drying.
    The long curved ones sound as if they have been caused by wiping the water off. Do you use a squeegee or your fingers or something else? The safest way is use your fingers as you can usually feel if there is any grit there and you rinse them in the wash water first (and don't squeeze too hard).

    Film is prone to scratching at all stages - dry or wet - so every unreasonable precaution has to be taken to avoid it. To do this you need to be aware of all the stages at which scratching can occur and assess your handling methods.
    For 35mm:
    Scratches caused in the camera - either by dust or rough spots - usually produces very long, straight scratches parallel to the edge of the film (they are called 'tram lines'). They can also be caused by dust and dirt in the cannister light trap. Clean the inside of the camera thoroughly before and after use using a soft brush and compressed air (check all the surfaces - especially the back plate - for any small imperfections. Sometimes the paint finish isn't perfect even in expensive cameras and it can get chipped too.).
    Keep film cans in their plastic can until you are ready to use them. Put them back in the can when exposed until you are ready to process.
    When loading on to the spiral in the darkroom do not pull the film out of the cassette but crack it open and remove the film whilst still rolled. Make sure you don't let the film come into contact with anything whilst loading - the commonest one is letting the bottom of the film go onto the floor.
    Before loading make sure the spirals and tank are clean and have no chemical residues or dust in them.
    Ensure that your chemicals have no suspended matter in them. Scratches can be caused by small crystals of chemical during agitation, beleve it or not. Filter the chemicals if necessary.
    For the same reason, check your water supply. You would be amazed at how much grit and rust is present in ordinary tap water. You can install an expensive filter - or use a large bucket. Fill it with the water you need to make up chemicals and for the wash, get it to temperature and let it stand for 5 minutes so that any suspended particles can drop out.
    Use the fill and empty method for the wash rather than force washing from the tap - for the reason mentioned above. If you have gritty water it will sandblast your negs.
    Take the wet negs off the spiral only where you are going to hang them. Use a proper drying cabinet with air filters, but if you can't afford one then the best place is in a shower cubicle with the door/curtain closed.
    Cut the negs into strips as they hang and put each strip straight into a neg bag. Do not use second hand neg bags.
    After this only take the negs out of the bag when you have to. Do not leave them lying around uprotected. Never slide negs around on any surface, including photo paper and in the enlarger.
    Keep your darkroom as clean as you can. Vacuum regularly, strip everything down and thoroughly wipe all surfaces - especially just before processing or printing.

    I think that covers most danger points.
    Remember: Cleanliness is next to Ansel Adams!
     
  9. darin3200

    darin3200 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Messages:
    2,078
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Des Moines, Iowa
    Thanks for all the help everyone :)
    doc_in_bc:
    1.Sometimes I do pull the negs out through the slot, that could be part of the problem.
    2. Yes, cut after drying
    3. No, I ran the film through my fingers
    4. The water was actually cold, lower temp than the chemicals
    5. No, I just use the same fixer for prints and film, but in different dilutions. I'll order some hardening fixer
    6. Yes, I left the film on the spool

    And I'm sorry for saying the "d" word, it was the anger talking :)
     
  10. darin3200

    darin3200 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Messages:
    2,078
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Des Moines, Iowa
    Hertz:
    Wow, I never even thought of half of that stuff.
    I cut the negs while they are still hanging drying. I never have cleaned out the inside of the camera so that could be the problem. I use distilled water for all the chemicals, but not for the washing, and I fill the tank fast. So with the water around here could be a big problem as well. And from now my negs dry in the shower!

    I need to work on the whole 'cleanliness' thing as well :)
     

Share This Page