Is it me or the film?

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by goob4114, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. goob4114

    goob4114 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2015
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    8
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I now regret trashing the roll in question and not saving any of the scans, so that I could show the results here. I just found this forum.

    I developed some color film using the C41 process for the first time. I used a Patterson tank and developed two 35mm rolls at the same time. One roll came out great (by the low standard I had being that it was my first attempt) while the other roll was just unusable (by the same low standard, so it was REALLY bad). It was dark, terribly grainy - and the film itself was a dark blue/purplish color (instead of the expected amber color). It had blue and purple tint. It was just.....really bad. Of the two reels in my tank, the roll that turned out bad was on top, but I am 100% sure that I used enough chemistry. About 600 mL when the tank calls for 290 mL per 35mm roll of film. The ENTIRE bottom roll turned out great....and the ENTIRE top roll turned out anything but.

    The roll that turned out good was purchased by me 6 to 8 months ago and used in a Canon T50 - and I took all the pictures.

    The roll that turned out bad was from my girlfriend's camera, and she was trying to sell it. It had a roll of film in it with about 10 pictures remaining, so I shot off 10 quick ones and thought that it would be a good roll to practice on for my first time. She has no idea how old the film was, so for all we know, it's been in the camera for 8 years. I assume this is the problem, but I just wanted to post here and have an experienced film developer confirm that what I experienced is a possibility with really old film. By the way, the only pictures on this roll of film that showed any image at all were of those last 10 quick shots I did. The rest of the roll was just completely dark (as if the whole thing had been exposed to black). The camera itself is a Nikon N65, so I wouldn't expect any light leeks or anything like that.

    Thanks for any responses.


     
  2. limr

    limr Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Messages:
    17,515
    Likes Received:
    9,391
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    It was the film. Everything else that was an absolute known quantity turned out fine, and the one thing that was questionable to begin with turned out terribly...yup, I stick by my answer. It was the film.

    Do you remember what kind of film it was? The graininess and color shift are all typical of film that is long expired and already mostly exposed.

    But is it also possible that it was actually slide film and you accidentally cross-processed it?

    Tangent: Well, actually, if film is expired but stored in the fridge or freezer and not exposed, you could still shoot it with good results for many years past its expiration date. However, if it has been exposed but not developed, PLUS stored in less-than-ideal conditions, the quality of the film will decrease more rapidly, and the exposed portion will degrade faster than the unexposed portion, which is why the 10 shots you took at the end were still grainy and had color shift but were still better than the ones that had already been shot and sitting in a camera (which presumably was not in the fridge?) for potentially 8 years.

    Color film is more finicky. I got a Spotmatic from my brother-in-law a few years back. He had kept it in a bag somewhere in the house for more than 20 years. The foam in the bag was actually disintegrating! Turns out there was film still in it. I had no idea what it was, but shot up the rest of the roll and opened the back. It was Tri-X. Developed it and although it was super grainy, the images were still totally intact. And indeed, the frames that had been exposed and sitting in the camera for 20 years were much grainer and had much lower contrast, but the ones I took when I got the camera were much better quality. And some came out quite good, actually.

    The lesson to take from this? Tri-X rocks :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2015
    • Like Like x 1
  3. goob4114

    goob4114 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2015
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    8
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Love the Tri-X story!!!

    The film was not slide film as far as I know. It was just some generic 400 speed from Kodak I think. It's possible that it was slide, but I really don't think so. I'm new to all this, but I've done enough research to not recognize the film as anything but generic negative color film. Again - I could be wrong.

    That said, I had my second go with brand new Portra 400 film tonight taken in the Bronica ETRS I just bought, and it turned out "great" again, so I think you are right. It was the film.

    Kind of a funny story.......

    I didn't realize that I had no way to hang the film to dry until it was.....time to dry. My brilliant idea was to use some neo magnets I had lying around. Some to hang it, and some to use as weights at the bottom. BAAAD idea! I scratched the film to hell trying to get those damn magnets on there. Suckers are strong! I dropped the film strip several times, bent it, fingered it....it was just bad. Scratches, kinks...you name it, it was there. Luckily, it was just a test roll with the new camera, but I think a few turned out pretty good for my second attempt and my horrible drying method.

    The first one (the one with the little boy) is my favorite tone-wise. It's the reason I got the Portra film. It's the only one of the bunch that has that "tone". I'm not sure why. It's Portra 400, and I exposed everything as if it were 200 film, so everything should be about 1 stop overexposed.

    Anyway....considering it's my second attempt at C41, what is your honest opinion? Please let me know if anything jumps out at you as something I could try or do better.

    I understand that artistically, they aren't anything to shake a stick at. I'm just wondering about the quality of the development.

    Thanks for your help.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. limr

    limr Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Messages:
    17,515
    Likes Received:
    9,391
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I wish I could say more specifically about the development because I don't do my own C41 at home. I'm more familiar with black and white. As far as I can tell, the images look like they were developed just fine, and yes, they seem like they are one stop over exposed. Portra has excellent latitude and is fantastic with more subtle, gentle colors. Like most Kodak films, it tends to go cyan when overexposed.

    I might prefer a bit more contrast in that first one. Again, though, I think that's more of an exposure question, not development. The only thing that I can think of in terms of development and contrast is if the temperature of the chemistry was lower than what it should be, but if that were too far off, I don't think it would have come out this well.

    On a complete tangent, your kitty looks like mine! :)

    [​IMG]
    Mrs Parker side
    by limrodrigues, on Flickr
     
  5. goob4114

    goob4114 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2015
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    8
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hey, yeah!

    Yeah, I think the first image is a little flat as well. I was only talking about the tone that I liked. I guess it is that Cyan cast - I actually like it. It's probably a LITTLE more than I'd like, but that direction is what I was after. I didn't know that overexposing it is what does it. The cat picture was actually pretty washed out, but I pulled the highlights in Lightroom and was pretty amazed at how much detail was still there. That was some pretty harsh light coming in the window there.

    By the way, how are you able to post a pic directly to your comment? I was only able to get it to put small icons/links to the pictures I uploaded.
     
  6. limr

    limr Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Messages:
    17,515
    Likes Received:
    9,391
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Yeah, there's still quite a bit of editing that can be done with software on scans of negatives. I don't usually do a lot of correction, but most shots can use a little bit of tweaking.

    I generally upload images to Flickr and then link from there. When I want to upload an attachment, it looks a little different. When you attach the file, it usually asks you if you want to insert the image as a thumbnail or full size. If you choose neither option, it will show an icon or tiny thumbnail like you had in the OP. I suspect because your files are fairly large, that's why you have the icon and not a thumbnail, and clicking on that will open the image in a new tab.

    Here's what I mean (file size is very small but it's the only example I have the computer I'm using at the moment)

    Here, I chose the "Full Image" option:
    19451794165_714d98ea7d_z.jpg

    "Thumbnail":
    19451794165_714d98ea7d_z.jpg
     
  7. limr

    limr Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Messages:
    17,515
    Likes Received:
    9,391
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    And here I chose no option but just uploaded and hit "Post Reply"
     

    Attached Files:

  8. goob4114

    goob4114 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2015
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    8
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Ok. Thanks!
     
  9. limr

    limr Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Messages:
    17,515
    Likes Received:
    9,391
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit


    Sure! :)
     

Share This Page