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The application of preferential etching techniques to the study of crystalline imperfection in photographic emulsion grains is described. Both chemical etching and halogen evolution by print‐out exposure in the absence of gelatin form well‐defined pits in most cases. The concentration of chemical etch pits is dependent on the solvent used but is not sensitive to concentration or etch time over the range investigated. A general increase in etching on certain faces is found after intentionally straining the grains, but the effect is not sufficiently strong to establish a one‐to‐one relationship between etch pits and dislocations. In both silver bromide and silver bromoiodide grains, no evidence is found for the existence of any type of polycrystalline substructure. Experiments on pitting by print‐out exposure indicate that iodide ions provide internal hole traps or recombination centers.