Help. My first film came out SO BADLY...

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by crofi_annan, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. crofi_annan

    crofi_annan TPF Noob!

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    I am so upset!!

    I have just developed my first ever film, Ilford Delta BW 400, which I took with my recently acquired Nikon FE.

    As a beginner I certainly did not expect the world...but I am not sure whether the results are solely due to my inexperience or whether there is a serious problem with my camera.

    I have negatives and also an A4 print of the negatives on photo paper, and these problems are clearly visible on both:

    1. At regular intervals I have a semicircle of light grey. It appears on every frame, but not in exactly the same location on each picture, but regularly throughout the film. It reaches almost halfway up the frame and is about two thirds of the width of the frame.

    2. In four places, there is a line of almost perfect white from the top to the bottom of the frame, not between frames but randomly in them, with a width of about one-fifth of a frame.

    3. Some of the pictures are sharp and great (bar the grey semicircles) so I know the camera is mechanically competent.

    4. I took ten pictures from the Top of the Rock in New York, on a bright sunny day, with film speed set correctly to 400, exposure set to automatic and deliberately used a range of apertures to experiment. ALL of these pictures are pretty much totally black.


    Does anybody recognise any of these symptoms as a) problems that can occur with films (my film was WELL within its expiry date), b) problems that can occur with the camera itself, or c) some serious user errors on my part?

    Any advice (apart from taking my camera in for a service which I will be doing at my next possibility) would be VERY gratefully received...

    Regards

    Caroline
     
  2. asfixiate

    asfixiate TPF Noob!

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    Can you clean your camera? With one of those blowers similar to what the baby ear cleaners look like?

    Could it be flare of some sort?

    Any way to scan one of the shots and post it?
     
  3. crofi_annan

    crofi_annan TPF Noob!

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    The camera is in extremely good condition and, to me at least, looks pristine inside.

    I prepared two files to upload to illustrate, but apparently I cannot post attachments :s
     
  4. asfixiate

    asfixiate TPF Noob!

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    You can you just gotta do it with a link. Got a flickr account?
     
  5. crofi_annan

    crofi_annan TPF Noob!

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  6. EW1066

    EW1066 TPF Noob!

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    Sounds like the negatives were mis handled. The back of the camera may not be sealing properly causing a light leak. Try changing the lense to see if the semicircle goes away. It could be a flare as already mentioned or some sort of artifact caused by a flaw in the lense. This could be diagnosed by a professional quickly or you could burn a roll of film to do it. If you decide to do it make sure you record every setting for every exposure. If the next roll of film is okay then you know it was the film. If the problems are there to varying degrees then you can narrow it down to lense or body. If the problems are consistantly exposed reguardless of shutter speed or apature then the problem most definately lies with the light box portion of the body.

    The random line could be a light leak in the shutter curtain. depending on the orientation of the line and the type of shutter mechanism but that would also mean that the mirror isnt sealing light out when it comes down either......

    Hope for the cheap solution first. shoot another roll and hope that cures it.

    Vince
     
  7. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It looks like light leaks. Your camera does not seem to be light tight. Check the foam seals around the film door. They turn gummy with time and become useless. They are easy to replace though.
     
  8. EW1066

    EW1066 TPF Noob!

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    I just saw your link and looked at your contact sheets. It really looks like the door on your camera is sprung, and is not sealing at the top or at the hinge. I could be wrong but I would look at that if another roll of film turns out the same way

    Vince
     
  9. crofi_annan

    crofi_annan TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Steph, they are indeed disintegrating.

    Assuming these are fixed, could both of the film disruptions (the grey shadows and white stripes) potentially be eliminated?

    Or could there be other issues too?

    Many thanks again!
     
  10. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That line looks like a scratch, maybe during reel loading/unloading?... but I agree with everyone else about the light leaks. You can get kits to replace it yourself on ebay. just search for 'light seal kit nikon' or something similar. Of course, if the problem is a faulty shutter curtain, that seal kit won't help..
     
  11. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It definately looks fogged to me but did you develop the film yourself?. I would not rule out the film getting fogged when it was being processed you may have a light leak in your tank or possibly mishandled it yourself.
     
  12. crofi_annan

    crofi_annan TPF Noob!

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    No. I had it developed with the most reputable film camera people in the city I live in, and was very careful when handling the film when loading and unloading.

    Am currently thinking about whether to try out (and potentially waste) another film or whether to just give my camera up for service. The foam looks like it has disintegrated and I do not feel competent to replace it myself...

    I hope the foam is the only problem...

    Thanks for all your replies. What an amazing forum this is.

    C
     

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