Reticulated film, reticulated giraffes

According to wikipedia, reticulation refers to a net-like pattern, arrangement, or structure. It can refer to the pattern of an animal such as the reticulated giraffe

Photo by Brandt Luke Zorn and shared under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

So the image below definitely looks like it has reticulation according to that definition:

However, the examples I find on the internet of reticulated film, don’t look exactly like that – a stipple pattern seems to be more common that the net problem.

Film reticulation is caused when there is a great difference between the temperatures of two steps in the developing workflow – for example the developer or stop bath, fixer or wash are much hotter or colder than each other. Some photographers even try to achieve reticulation and they report creating a temperature range of 20 degrees C to force the effect.

In my case, I can’t swear that there wasn’t a temperature change of 2 or 3 degrees between the fixer and the wash, but I don’t see how there could have been a temperature change of 20 degrees. The strangest thing is that there were three rolls of film in the developing tank at the same time – all from my HP5+ on Mull set – and only one film suffered from this problem.

This was only the second time I’ve seen this pattern and I hope I don’t see it again !


  1. Might it be a drying mark caused by bubbles? I had something similar once that looked like bubbles / froth had dried on the surface of the film. It was a lab developed roll in my case.

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