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Hello everyone, I am having an issue developing film - I've never seen this problem before and am not sure what is happening (it has been a while since we've done this). The one side of the film appears to be fogged (on multiple rolls) while the other side of the film appears to be developed correctly. I am using a changing bag to transfer the film, putting it into a tank and developing using the agitating stick in the tank. Does anyone know why this is happening? Many thanks in advance.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to Photography Stack Exchange! Be sure to read through our FAQ and take the tour when you get a minute. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Jan 17, 2023 at 18:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fogged film develops to solid black, not near transparent. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Jan 19, 2023 at 14:15

2 Answers 2


This is due to the film being only half covered with developer and fixer. What you're seeing as "fogged" is the side that was toward the top of the tank, and far from fog, it's undeveloped halide.

There are two reasons this might happen.

One is if you're only using half enough solution (for a single roll) or not quite enough (for two or three rolls in a single tank). Most stainless tanks want 8 ounces or 250 ml for a single roll of 35 mm, and multiples of that for larger roll counts, while Paterson (one of the commonest plastic tank and reel systems) want 290 ml for each roll of 35 mm (I'm not as familiar with Jobo and there are a couple sizes of those, but they're marked with the volume needed).

The other reason is if, in a Paterson or similar tank, the reel isn't seated all the way down on the column, so it rests in the bottom of the tank, so the correct amount of liquid doesn't cover the film. This might also happen if the column and reel assembly is installed upside down in the tank, placing the reel at the top instead of the bottom. This generally won't happen with stainless tank systems, as there is nothing (usually) to hold the reel up inside a tank that would hold two reels.


Put the reel into you tank (no film), add water to measure how much covers the top of the reel and a little more and then measure it.

I love metal reels, but it takes practice to load them correctly.

They are not fogged, the anti-halation layer is not dissolved (happens in the fixer). Not developed either.

Let us know how you make out.



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