I've had these on two different rolls of film on two different cameras now. It's not a scanning issue, because the bands are visible in the negative when inspected. It's only visible against the sky, but it's not there in every such picture, either.

I'm suspecting from the looks of it that the film could be somehow getting wrinkled in the camera a bit, but I'm not sure, and I don't know why that would happen. It doesn't look like any kind of a flare to me, but I might be wrong. There were some minor light leaks in some photos (I'll have to fix the light seals later), but I don't see how a light leak could cause a curved shape like that.

I doubt it's any kind of a defect in the film stock or a processing error in the lab, as then you'd expect the bands to continue to the adjacent frame, but they don't.

The temperature outside when shooting was below zero degrees Celsius, but not particularly cold. It doesn't look like an artifact caused by static electricity or anything like that.

The film is Ilford Ortho+, but I had the same problem with FP4+. The camera is an old SLR (Fujica ST801) with a 35mm lens (but I had a similar issue with the native 55mm lens as well). I don't remember the exact exposure settings, but the aperture could have been set to f/11.

So, what is causing these artifacts, and how can I avoid them?

  • 1
    Since I see a water spot near the top of the image, I wouldn’t rule out processing problems at your lab...unless you did something your self. Mar 5, 2021 at 21:13
  • @BobMacaroniMcStevens Yeah, there were quite a lot of water spots on this roll. The previous roll didn't have any. I'll probably look into developing the next batch myself. There actually are a couple of similar bands -- only fainter -- in the previous frame, but the next one (that borders the top of this one) doesn't seem to have them.
    – Steadybox
    Mar 5, 2021 at 21:38

1 Answer 1


It's possible that the bands were caused by over agitation of the negatives. I would speak with the lab technician who developed the film. Were the negatives put into a machine or were they developed in a hand-held tank?

  • The lab probably does have a machine for C-41 colour film processing, but the black and white film might be hand-developed. I'll have to ask next time.
    – Steadybox
    Mar 6, 2021 at 11:10
  • Haven't gotten around to asking the lab about it, but I started developing my own black and white negatives, and the problem seems to have disappeared. There seems to be some edge overdevelopment in this photo (and some others) as well, which -- from what I've gathered -- is consistent with overagitation.
    – Steadybox
    Apr 12, 2021 at 16:51

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