Film What are these spots?


Tasmania, Australia
Real Name
I have just developed my first roll of 35mm in 20+ years and need some clarification please. In the two photos I have included here there are several white spots and lines, what has caused them? I developed the negs in Ilford LC29 (1+29) for 9 minutes agitating for 30 secs initially then 10 secs every minute - maybe I did not agitate aggressively enough? I used our house water which is straight out of a creek and is laced with minerals so it could well be that. My negative handling has not been as delicate as it perhaps could be, maybe that? The negatives were scanned onto the computer so maybe they had some dust on them?





Old Codgers Group

I'm not going to attempt to diagnose the spotting issue in your photographs, but just relate my recent experience of returning to black and white film processing at home after a gap of very many years. At my current location I was forced to use unfiltered spring water with the potential for chemicals from agriculture to be present in the water, as well as solids in suspension. The water is also very hard, in other words it has a high lime content and compared to my previous experience with soft, filtered town mains water, the results were very disappointing, both in terms of marks on the negatives, probably due to solids in suspension sticking to the film as well as uneven development and poor contrast issues. Given the high lime content the pH value of the water will be relatively high and might alter the behaviour of the developer, I'm no chemist so I couldn't comment further.

My old copy of The Ilford Manual of Photography suggests that water quality is normally not an issue and that tap water is a satisfactory alternative to distilled water, however I think that in both our cases the use of unfiltered water has a great part to play in poor results obtained. I'm afraid that I haven't done anymore home developing so can't add any further thoughts. I'm sorry to be a little discouraging in my thoughts.

Again The Ilford Manual illustrates defects in negatives and scum in the water produces white spots on the negative that would result in black spots on the print, so actually the opposite of what your prints show. That might point to dark spots on the negative caused by dust particles when scanning.