1970's era 110 Film - why so bad?

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by gmarquez, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. gmarquez

    gmarquez TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2007
    Messages:
    486
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Arroyo Grande, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I was going through old photographs about half a year ago, and I ran across some prints that were made from 110 film in the 70's. The color was faded, and the details were non existent. To make things worse, they were printed on "satin" surface (non-clossy, non-matte) paper, which seemed to have a slight texture. The texture made the details in the photo even harder to see.

    Were the prints always this bad with 110 film? Or was this the result of dropping the photos off at the little corner Fotomat?
     
  2. dinodan

    dinodan TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Messages:
    417
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Charleston, South Carolina, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    The biggest problem with 110 film, as I recall, was the small size of the negs combined with fairly large grain. This made even 3 1/2 x 5 prints look very grainy and small details difficult to see. No way to get around that. This problem is exacerbated by the poor optics of many of the 110 cameras. The inexpensive ones had plastic lenses!

    As far as the fading of your prints is concerned, that would not have anything to do with the film per se. I would say that probably is Fotomat's fault; likely the result of using inferior, cheap paper.
     
  3. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Messages:
    5,346
    Likes Received:
    65
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    The fading of the print no doubt has to do with the 30+ years of time passed between printing and now. Photographic emulsions don't last forever. The chemicals begin to break down, and you will see color fades and shifts, as well as a loss of detail. I'd be willing to bet they looked far better in the 70s.
     
  4. dinodan

    dinodan TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Messages:
    417
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Charleston, South Carolina, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    We have lots of family photos from the 70s in albums. Some have held up remarkably well, while others, kept under identical conditions, have not. I can only put that down to differences in the quality of processing and materials.
     
  5. RVsForFun

    RVsForFun TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    ...another attempt by Kodak to sell film. There's a very plausible argument that everytime 35mm film sales went flat or declined, Kodak invented another film format to try to bolster sales. Several examples are 110/126 cartridge, disc and APS. None of the newer formats offered superior image quality to 35mm but for a time has some sales bump. All fell by the wayside after a while.
     
  6. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    May 19, 2003
    Messages:
    6,190
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Hollywood, FLA USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    126 and APS had quality issue because of camera quality, as issue with 110 and disc plus the film size.

    Pentax made a 110 slr and Zeiss had a 126 slr, also fresh 110 & 126 film is available
     
  7. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Messages:
    34,814
    Likes Received:
    814
    Location:
    Lower Saxony, Germany
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    The change in 1970s prints is so striking that I have asked myself quite often why this is so and what it is that might have caused it? I can look through my albums or boxes with old prints and anything from before the seventies is mostly ... ok: black and white and not in colour, or what I have as colour photos from the sixties and older are prints later made from colour slides. But they are all still ok!

    Then come the colour PRINTS and here about ALL of them have turned red in the course of time, have faded and are on horrible paper.

    When did colour mass printing start?
    Were the chemicals, mostly so the fixation, not good enough at the time?
    Have the photos undergone a slow process of further exposure without being fully fixated?
    I have asked myself these questions often.

    Photos of the 80s and newer are not red, faded and turned bad in this manner. But you get a "red photo" and know at once: taken in the 70s!
     
  8. gmarquez

    gmarquez TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2007
    Messages:
    486
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Arroyo Grande, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks for the help, everyone. Yes, it's probably a combination of camera (cheap lenses), film (small size? quality?), and printing (bad papers or chemicals?)

    I'm going to see if I can find the negatives, to see if at least THOSE have some detail. Maybe I can scan them in and print up something better, or get a lab to re-print them. Who still makes prints from 110 color negatives?

    As for disk film, weren't the disks made of very flimsy cardboard? if I remember right, the negatives would curl and warp from just existing.
     
  9. dinodan

    dinodan TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Messages:
    417
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Charleston, South Carolina, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    My mother had a disc camera, and though my memory of the camera itself is very vague, we still have the prints in our albums. None of the negs have survived. One word: Grainy.

    My sister had one of those cute little Pentax 110 SLRs. I'll have to ask her if it's still lying around anywhere, though I doubt it.
     
  10. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    May 19, 2003
    Messages:
    6,190
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Hollywood, FLA USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Kodak (and maybe Fuji) still sale 110 film. I just checked the web sites for Walgreen, B&H and Adorama they have it stock.
    Ferrania Solaris is the only company still making new 126-film. Solaris also make 110 & Advanced. They buy their stock from Kodak.
     
  11. blackdoglab

    blackdoglab yeah I'm easy.... but I'm not cheap

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,057
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    in my darkroom
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Does anyone make a scanner carrier for 110 negs?
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
110 film print quality
,
110 film quality
,
1970 era photos
,

1970s film quality

,
1970s photo sizes
,
bad photos from 1970s
,
photographic printing 1970s
,
prints from 110 color film
,
why is film and photography in the 1970's of a red hue
,
why was the film quality so bad in the 70s