Counter numbers on developed film
Old 03-10-2017   #1
Cosmo17
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Counter numbers on developed film

Hi,

I recently shot some work using a Toyo LF camera, using a Toyo 6x7 back. The camera is a friends, I've used it before and it works well. The back was new and untested, but due to time constraints I didn't have time to run some film through it. The seller assured it was perfectly fine and upon inspection I saw no issues. The film was fresh Kodak Tri-X. During the trip the film went through about 5 airport scanners, though I use a Domke lead lined film bag so it has a certain degree of protection. All the film was shot at iso 400, not pushed.

The photo below isn't a great image or scan, but it best shows what I'm talking about. The numbers on the paper of the medium format film are visible on the film. About 60% of the images are fine (mostly those without sky where perhaps any faint numbers are hidden within the texture of the photo, though there are several images with a lot of sky that have come out fine), and most of the ones affected are faint and can be edited out. My main question is how has this happened and how do I avoid this again in the future? Has anyone had this before?



Thanks,

Oliver
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Old 03-10-2017   #2
sevo
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It has nothing to do with x-ray, or the camera, exposure or processing. This is a chemical interaction of the film with the backing paper imprint. A known issue with film for the past two decades. All major makers switched to plastics coated paper - which swapped the old risk of full-area humidity induced fogging for this new problem...
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Old 03-10-2017   #3
ChrisLivsey
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Regrettably shoot Fuji is the current answer, I have seen no reports of Fuji having problems but I may be in error. Both Kodak and Ilford (to a lesser extent) have this problem currently. The phrase to Google is "wrapper offset". The ink in contact with the film causes the effect which is accelerated by any heat during storage or transportation.
It is reported Ilford have purchased a machine from Germany to print the backing themselves.
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Old 03-10-2017   #4
Bill Clark
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How do those images get on to the film?

The backing paper on flm I use, the side that touches the film, is black.
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Old 03-10-2017   #5
jszokoli
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Bill,

But the emulsion side winds onto the numbers outside...

Joe
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Old 03-10-2017   #6
mpaniagua
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I think its related to humidity (chemical) and temperature issuse, not a light issue Bill.

http://thefindlab.com/humidity-effects-on-film/

I think there are more in-depth explanation on the web.

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Marcelo
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Old 03-10-2017   #7
Hatchetman
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Oh no. I thought Tri-X was immune to this.
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Old 03-10-2017   #8
Bill Clark
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OK.

Thanks for the explanation. Makes sense.

Haven't had the issue here.

6 degrees this morning when I woke up! Ink on film paper too cold! Ha.
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Old 03-10-2017   #9
mpaniagua
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I readed somewhere they changed the back paper lately, which caused a bit of shortage of film. Anyone got info about that?

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Marcelo
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Old 03-10-2017   #10
Hatchetman
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TMax 100 in 120 has been off the market for a year. They said maybe this summer....unbelievable.
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Old 03-10-2017   #11
sepiareverb
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Ilford and Rollie do not have this issue that I've found, and I shoot a good bit of them in 120.
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Old 03-10-2017   #12
Cosmo17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aperture64 View Post
This link seems to have pointed to the issue. I have one roll of film left from my trip and it's from batch 0931, which according to the link is the very last batch to be affected, which is quite infuriating, but good to know that it's not a fault with the equipment, my shooting or developing.

I only shoot Tri-X for 35mm, but perhaps in future I'll switch to FP4+ for 120 to absolutely avoid this happening again.

Thanks to everyone for the information. I don't usually shoot much 120 and this was a new issue to me. I'll be sure to not let it happen again.
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Old 03-10-2017   #13
JoeV
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This reminds me of the Takata air bag inflator fiasco - lots of manufacturers sourcing their air bags from the same supplier, which causes industry-wide upheaval when issues arise with that one part.

I'm really surprised Kodak, of all firms, didn't catch on to the issue, what with their reputation for solid materials and chemical research. But perhaps those folks have long since been laid off or retired? Mere speculation.

~Joe
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