Lousy Film Development

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by stephen, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. stephen

    stephen TPF Noob!

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    I'm seeing a lot of crap in my fujicolor 120 Medium format film film. It looks like dust and so forth from the developing process. I often have to spend a good amount of time healing out all the crap they get in the image after I've scanned. No, it's not the scanner. I've tried a different lab but the stuff still comes back crappy.

    Anyone know a lab that does a great job?????
     
  2. Sjixxxy

    Sjixxxy TPF Noob!

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    Need more input. Is this dust on images the lab is scanning for you, or stuff you are doing yourself which is developed by a lab?

    Does the dust appear as black or white on the final scanned image?
     
  3. CSR Studio

    CSR Studio TPF Noob!

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    If you have tried a different lab then it is probably not the lab. Have you checked the camera to make sure the seals aren't flaking and therefore causing spots on the film. I don't think this is a lab problem, I think this is a camera problem.
     
  4. stephen

    stephen TPF Noob!

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    Ok, what I'm seeing almost looks like hair. Not just dust but long, winding bits and pieces. The scanned crap is always white. I'll take the developed film right out of the return mailer, it has been placed at the processor into plastic, I pull it out of the plastic strips and drop it on the scanner after cleaning the scanner, and here and there I inevitably will get messed up scans of the film. At least 50% tend to look like crap. It shows up in pastel colors or in the sky portion where it can easily be seen. I can drop the image into photoshop elements and they have a great healing tool which can rub along it and clone the material next to it and easily hide the stuff. But I get tired of having to fix my images.

    It's not every frame. But it will look like a tiny snake or hair winding it's way through parts of the image. many times several of them along with dust spots. I do things like clean the glass with lens cleaner and lens cleaning cloth, use dry air from a can on the film and glass, whatever I can to keep it spotless.

    I've noticed lately that one of the labs occasionally now gets a faint black thin (scanned as black line) line running through the film from beginning to end. And that's film coming off of two different medium format film cameras, so I know the camera did not mess up the film. Is it possible this crap is ON THE FILM from the factory? Is Fujifilm 120 good film or should I buy some other brand?

    When I bitched about what I was seeing to the local photoshop who uses a regional lab.....they told me they had other customers also complaining about what was coming out of that lab. That may or may not mean that lab has an issue.

    So what I'm looking for is a film lab for medium format film that one of you who scans his film, uses and gives you great images to scan....no creepy crawlies through the film.

    I suppose, I could take a look at the underside of my scanner to see if something has somehow gotten under the glass but I"m sure there is nothing on top.

    I'm seeing dust and creepy crawlies like bit of hair sometimes.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2009
  5. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Whether the scanner has anything to do with it is the easiest part to figure out. Are those things you are talking about on the negs? If yes, the scanner has nothing to do with it.

    And there are crappy labs. I once went with a photog I was assisting to the Kodachrome lab in MD to give the employees a lecture on Quality Control because we were losing a lot of money from having to shoot way more than should have been necessary.

    Are you in Boston? If yes, find a pro lab. There's got to still be one there.
     
  6. stephen

    stephen TPF Noob!

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    Ok, you make a good point. I should pull the film out and put one that scans badly up to the light and look at it through a magnifying glass or something and see if I can spot the problem on the film.

    If I can view the problem on the film then it's the lab or the film. Get one that has a big winding hair or something and see if I can spot it on the film.
     
  7. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Easy solution is to develope them yourself, only a 15 minute job
     
  8. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Or the camera.
     
  9. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Another thought.

    You talk of cleaning your scanner but do you clean the negs before you put them in the scanner.
     
  10. stephen

    stephen TPF Noob!

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    Ahh, something I never thought of trying besides blowing air on them.

    Ok, so I need to do more work on my end. The next time I get a disappointing scan I'll pick up the negative and look it over. If there is something on there that can be cleaned off that tells me clean it off before scanning. if it seems to be processed into the film then change labs. And if it's not on the film then take another look at the scanner.
     
  11. stephen

    stephen TPF Noob!

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    Ok. Some more medium format film came back and when scanning I had more dust and hair issues. So I took off the fame that was giving me problems, blow'd it off, wiped it off.....and it scanned perfectly. So apparently it's not in the developing solution its landing on the dried film at some other point and I can clean it and get the scans I want.

    So thanks for educating me guys.
     

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