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  1. People think I'm crazy, but it happens. I've seen some posts recently on other forums about customers getting back film from other labs with the same spots. I haven't solved the issue, no. I cleaned out the fix tanks and replaced the short hoses running from the rep pumps to the filter tanks, which seemed to help a little, but at this point I'm not really sure. Here's what I've been doing, though. I run any Portra I have first thing, before I run anything else, and I run them all back to back. As soon as the light turns green, I drop the next roll. If you wait too long, the spots show up. I've found that doing it this way greatly reduces the chances of them showing up, or it makes them only show up on the first bit of film, which is usually just exposed leader. They still show up on Ektar, no matter what I do. It's not a huge issue, because the spots do wash off. To get rid of them, I spool the film onto a Jobo reel, drop it in a developing tank, and run water over it for ten minutes or so to make sure the emulsion is nice and soaked through (if you don't run it long enough, you'll get uneven drying and damage the emulsion). Then I soak them in some stab for a bit and hang to dry. It's a pain, but it works. I've thought about having a Noritsu tech come out, but I don't want to drop $600 just to have them suggest everything I've already done. Good luck. Let me know if you figure out anything.
  2. Nah, I think I'm going crazy. That was probably just dust and whatnot.
  3. Nope. No change. Fresh fix, water in the stab tanks. I even changed out one of the circulation pumps in the fix 2 tank. I busted out the microscope and took some images of one of the Portra test strips I used. White specs. It looks like fixer residue to me. Maybe I'll order some Fuji fix and see if that changes anything. Feeling defeated, but it's not the first time. Attaching some blurry images of the microscope. It was hard to focus and get the image at the same time.
  4. Update to the saga of the spots. I tried fuji stab with no change. I then cleaned the stab tanks and flushed them a bunch afterward. Still getting spots, even with just water in the stab tanks. So that has me questioning the stab assumption I previously had. I've moved on to the fix. I drained them, flushed them, and filled them with water. No spots! That has me thinking it is most likely something to do with the fixer. Strange thing is that it happens with fresh fix too. Changing the dilution and rep amount didn't help. I soaked the tanks and racks in bleach-water over night and am cycling it right now. Waiting on a fixer delivery, which should be here today. I still can't figure out why it would be only happening to two film types. It's true, though. I've ran over 1000 rolls with this issue. Every single time Portra and Ektar have spots and no other films do. I can run 30 rolls of Superia or Gold back to back without a single spot to be seen, and as soon as I run a Portra roll, boom, spots. It even happens to 20-year-old Portra/Ektar. Really crazy.
  5. I'm going to try this next. Thanks!
  6. Oh, I haven't heard that before! Straight vinegar or diluted?
  7. As soon as I get the film I ordered to use as test strips, I'm going to go to town on this thing and try to figure it out. I order chemistry from a few different places. Adorama for fix and I think Unique for dev. Chemsitry is in date from what I can see. I've cleaned this thing again and again. Now you see why I'm going insane. Ha. When I was first figuring it out I thought I was going to to lose it. I've tried new crossovers, three different squeegee racks, different stab racks, different exit rollers, different rollers in some of the racks, bleach water in the fix and stab tanks, new chemistry, cleaning the rep tanks, cleaning the circulation pumps, ahhhh.
  8. Yeah, it happens straight away, immediately after mixing chems and flushing / rinsing tanks.
  9. Okay, so the circulation is fine, then. I've done that several times. The spots have been there since I started the machine. I've changed all the chemistry, and it still does it. I've cleaned all the tanks, and it still does it. The tanks are actually pretty clean anyway. I'm mixing with room-temp distilled water since we have pretty hard water where I live. Solution temps are correct, measured with three different thermometers, including one I know is right that I use for my other lab purposes. I have noticed that my fix temp runs a little low (display is correct) but still in spec. I'm wondering if one of the tubes in the manifold that heats the fixer is clogged a little, which would slow the circulation of the stab down in theory, right? I'm running hundreds of rolls a week, which is way over recommended rolls for the T15. I'm turning over the chemistry pretty frequently, well inside spec.
  10. Dave, I've already taken apart the racks and cleaned them with no change. I use the hard, porous filters and clean/change them pretty regularly. Doesn't matter if they are new or not, though, still spots. My circulation looks good in all tanks, but I've never found out if there is a way to actually check if the pumps are working as they should / pumping the proper amount.
  11. Today I drained the fixer tanks, flushed them, and put in new fix. I diluted the rep. mix and upped the rep. amount. There was a little bit of silver sediment in the bottom of the first fix tank, but not that much. I flushed the working tanks anyway with water and bleach water, about ten times in total. I ran some old rolls through it to make sure it was fine after I refilled the tanks. Then I ran a Portra roll, and the spots are still there. I also pulled the racks and cleaned them. The exit rollers appear clean to me. I can't swap the racks because of the way the crossover fits into them. The racks have to be in a certain order or the crossover won't fit down into them. The spots are definitely on the emulsion side. I've ordered some film to use as test rolls to see if I can isolate where this is happening. I think I'm going to go crazy. ha.
  12. Bsaddler, I wish it was the dryer, but it isn't. I've changed rollers (including crazy expensive ones from Noritsu), and then I just ran film without the dryer and let it dry. Still spots. I even swapped dryer units completely. No change.
  13. Ugh, it is driving me mad. I have been working on this issue for months. I've heard all the typical suggestions about dryer racks, circulation, the squeegee rack itself, but these ones no one else has mentioned. I will give them a go when I have time. I have extra racks to play around with and swap things out, so that should help. I've already tried changing out the stab racks and even swapping the exit rollers, but I don't think I've changed out the exit rollers on the fix racks. My big issue is that I'm running so many rolls through the machine that I have time to spend days tracking it down to potentially get nowhere. I will try the fixer adjustments, too. If it works, it works. I know the two film types thing sounds crazy, but I have tested it extensively. It only happens to Portra and Ektar. It happens every time, regardless of when I run them or in what order or time of day or how long the machine has been on. The film bases do feel more slippery on those two films, I've noticed. Thank you!
  14. I'm running Kodak chems, but it is an RA machine, so I'm using RA. The spots are consistent but only appear on Kodak Portra or Ektar, no other films. I wasn't very successful the last time I tried running a strip through the racks and checking after each one, since the spots are so damn difficult to see. I couldn't tell what were spots and what was just wet film. I think I need to run a strip through each rack and then let it completely dry after each one in order to tell for sure.
  15. It is tough to tell, but I'm pretty sure emulsion side.
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