I have the following image:

enter image description here

I used Ilford Delta 400, shot with FM2 at box speed. Metered inside the camera.

It was developed with D76 1+1, Adofix, Adostop, Ilfotol wetting agent. I follow Mass.Dev.Chart app, with 14 minutes of development. Continuous agitation for the first minute and 30 seconds for every next minute. Then scan with Epson V600 at 3200dpi.

As you see the image is blurry and so grainy. I wonder if this is expected with my setting above. If not how can improve the sharpness or quality overall?

My hunch, this is caused by overdevelopment and over-agitation. But I'm not sure. That's why I ask.

Also, you consider this image flat or glowing?


Following Hueco's suggestion here is my negative snap:

enter image description here

Perhaps this can help to troubleshoot the issue?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ There is a lot of processing at and after the scan step. Any chance you can put the neg on a light box and snap an image of it? Always go back to the neg. \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 14:34
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ "As you see the image is blurry" -- This could be because your focus was actually OOF or because the scan was OOF. If the film holder was flimsy, your film could have bent up. The DoF on scanners is really, really thin. Again, seeing the negative will clarify this. \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 16:20
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I suggest that you Google "Wet Scanning". It's a royal PITA and not something that I do with every negative...but I do do this for those prized few that I want to print. I'm using a V850 which has a designed wet-scan option...but it looks like you can hack your way around it with a V600. It's not night and day difference...but is perceptible. \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 16:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Hueco Please see my update on my OP. I included the neg snap. Please advice. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 1, 2019 at 9:52

2 Answers 2


If I had to guess, I would say that this image was underexposed and then corrected for (perhaps unwittingly) when scanning.

Two reasons for this guess:

  1. You mention you metered using the camera's built in reflective meter. I believe the FM2 uses centre weighing for its metering. That means that it determines the exposure mainly on the light in the centre of the image. In this case, that is a big, bright window. The camera meters this light, adjusts for it and exposes for that light. However, looking at your scan it would seem you wanted to expose for the room indoors instead, not of whatever is visible through the window. Since your camera exposed for the bright window, the darker scene indoors should be largely underexposed. When scanning, or when editing, correcting for such underexposure does not do the grain any good.
  2. You are using a flatbed scanner, which by itself already increases grain on film scans. Especially combined with my first point, I am not surprised to see more grain than was to be expected. Generally speaking, you can use a DSLR to scan or scan darkroom prints in order to get sharper, less grainy digital copies.

As for you scanning at a PPI of 3200: the Epson V600 only has a true measured resolution of 1560 PPI. I don't know what interpolation may do to the grain, but this could be a factor too.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I updated my OP with neg. Please advise if it helps to troubleshoot? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 1, 2019 at 9:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hard to tell. @tfb's reticulation suggestion isn't too unlikely. Perhaps try getting a flat scan so you have most control when processing it in LR or similar \$\endgroup\$
    – timvrhn
    Commented Aug 1, 2019 at 10:11

It's hard to tell from the image you have posted, but if that's not a crop this is quite likely reticulation. This is something that happens when your temperature control during processing is poor, and in particular it happens:

  • if there are large, steep changes in temperature between stages, where 'large' is somewhere above 5°C C (5 is pretty safe, 10 is not);
  • if any stage of the processing is very significantly too hot (25°C is safe, 30°C is probably not).

The combination is particularly nasty: if you take film which has been in dev at 20°C and expose it to, say, stop at 30°C it is not going to like that.

What happens is that the emulsion, while soft, expands or contracts fairly dramatically and you get this coarse-grained crinkle effect.

As I said, it is rather hard to tell from your image but, if it's not a crop, this looks too coarse to be grain from delta 400 to me unless you've pushed it dramatically.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @tfb it's dev at 20Celcius only for developer. Stop & Fix at room temperature. Will that affects? \$\endgroup\$
    – neversaint
    Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 21:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @neversaint Yes, any of the liquids the film sees matter. \$\endgroup\$
    – user82065
    Commented Aug 1, 2019 at 9:08

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