New AE-1 Program Trouble

logankeller

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Hey all,

I recently purchased my first serious film camera: A Canon AE-1 Program. I love it! However, I took the film to get developed and got some strange results. Before I guess and check with more film, with prices being so high, I'd like to see what you guys think went wrong here. If you notice on the photos, whether underexposed or properly exposed, there's a pretty harsh line across the bottom of each image. And in several underexposed shots, theres some strange spots as well as a bit of a rainbow-ish color line through the photo. These are the specs:

1. Canon AE-1 Program w/ 50mm 1.8 FD mount lens
2. Cheapo Kodak Ultramax 400 speed film I picked up at CVS (to test the camera before I went for some nicer film)
3. Developed at Walgreens (Could be my issue)

I just don't know is this is a camera issue, film issue, or a development issue. I did have the camera set at the proper ISO, in case that matters

$R1-08942-022A.jpg$R1-08942-001A.jpg

I hope you can help!

Thanks guys
 

cgw

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Are the problem areas also visible on the negatives?
 
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logankeller

logankeller

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It's hard to tell, but I can't seem to see the huge line at the bottom.
 
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logankeller

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But now that I look closely it does look like there are some external scratches on the first few negatives, which would probably explain the white specks
 

The_Traveler

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If you have capability, can you try scanning the negatives or just get other prints from the same negative.
Often scratches in the negative result in a narrow dark line and a bright line adjacent where the emulsion is pushed aside and piled up, but this is fairly wide and the detail isn't deleted just changed.
The specks are junk on the negative that hold the light back.
 
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logankeller

logankeller

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I'll try to rescan or get prints. But could you tell me if you think this is more typical of the camera or film or just poor handling and scanning of negatives?
 

The_Traveler

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This isn't 'typical' of any camera and so far, the cause of the line hasn't been located.

Are these consecutive images on the roll?
Is the same line on every image?
Is the same line on other rolls?
 
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logankeller

logankeller

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I'll link several images in a row from the same roll of film. I've only shot one roll on this camera so far! Mind you, many will be poorly composed and focused because I'm new to the camera and was honestly just trying to clear a roll to see how they'd turn out

$R1-08942-008A.jpgView attachment 51817$R1-08942-002A.jpg$R1-08942-003A.jpg$R1-08942-017A.jpg$R1-08942-015A.jpg
 

limr

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Okay, some Internet wormhole just ate my last comment. The gist? Looks like sloppy developing/scanning or dirty machines at the lab. To be sure, I think you have to run another roll of film through it. Be systematic about it and change only one variable. Use the same film and take similar pictures/exposures, but develop it at a different lab. If you're still seeing the lines, then give the camera a thorough cleaning to make sure nothing is scraping the negatives as the film is being forwarded/rewound.

The lines don't really look like scratches to me, but lines in the emulsion/dyes. There still might be something in the camera that is rubbing against the film without scratching it, I suppose. And the white specks look like dust stuck to the negative - which would again suggest sloppy development or dirty machines. With flatbed scanners, it's nearly impossible to get all dust off, but it should be less common with drum scanners, and I'd assume the lab was using a drum scanner.

I don't think there's really a 'knowable' cause until you run more film through.
 

cgw

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Yup, I agree with limr. The chance of anything around the camera's film gate marring the film(and this doesn't look to be the case)pales next to the likelihood your lab's processor is to blame. With volume down, once-busy minilabs are scrimping on maintenance and fresh chemistry. You may have to trade price and convenience for quality and consistency. So it goes for film in 2013.
 

compur

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Unfortunately, shoddy processing is common these days with many local film development sources such as drug store chains, etc. It wasn't always that way but it is now and seems to be only getting worse as time passes. Fortunately, many online mail-in services exist that give consistently good results and often lower prices too. Or, one can learn to process one's own film. It is not difficult. Especially with B&W film which can be processed very cheaply too.
 

limr

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I'm really lucky in that regard. I get my film developed at a camera store that has been in business for years and the film is done by folks who know their stuff. One of the guys who regularly runs the film once developed his own Super 8 film and devised a way to dry it with a laundry rack. I'd love to start developing my own on a regular basis but until such time, I at least have people I can trust.

I've heard good things about Dwayne's Photo in Kansas. A trusted name in photo processing for over 50 years - Dwayne's Photo If they are still doing it, they are the last lab on the planet that will develop Kodachrome. I hope it's true because I have a roll of it that I'd love to shoot!
 
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logankeller

logankeller

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Thank you guys so much for reaching out to help! Glad to know that it's more than likely not my camera. I've been looking into Dwayne's as well as Indie Film Lab. Does anyone else have any recommendations on places to send film in? Maybe I need to look into developing myself + a film scanner. Anyone have any luck with that approach? Or maybe even simply sending film in to be developed and scanning yourself?
 

limr

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Thank you guys so much for reaching out to help! Glad to know that it's more than likely not my camera. I've been looking into Dwayne's as well as Indie Film Lab. Does anyone else have any recommendations on places to send film in? Maybe I need to look into developing myself + a film scanner. Anyone have any luck with that approach? Or maybe even simply sending film in to be developed and scanning yourself?

At the moment, I'm having my film developed at a local lab and scanning it myself with a CanoScan 8800 (there's a newer model, the 9000). Works for me for now. I've printed through Adorama and they're pretty good. Right now, most of my pictures are being shared online anyway. Even if I were to start going to flea markets or something to sell prints, the scanned film and prints from Adorama are good enough for that.
 
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logankeller

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limr-

And you've had good results with the canon 8800? do you have any samples of pics you've scanned with it? If I could save $3-4 a roll simply scanning myself (mine would be mostly web), over time it'd save me a lot of dough.
 

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