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01-26-2015, 07:37 PM   #1
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Odd Negatives and Pictures Developed

I recently purchased a Pentax K1000 and tried it out for the first time before starting my film class to be sure that it was good to go once the semester at school began. This is my very first SLR camera so maybe I did something wrong? I used fujifilm color 200 speed film just to try it out; I know there is better quality. I went to Walgreens to have it developed and when I got my pictures back it was an odd array of results. I had 5 pictures turn out absolutely perfect that had been taken at different times and places. However, I made sure to take two pictures in the same spot and place each time I took one. Some pictures turned out completely gray with a milky, low contrast look to them, and other just weren't even on the negatives so no picture could be printed. I would have one picture I took turn out great and one I had taken right after turn out super low contrast and gray. I'm not sure if this is the result of a fault in my camera, something I have done wrong, or a mistake on Walgreens' part. If anyone has had this happen to them before, what was the problem and how did you solve it?

01-26-2015, 07:51 PM   #2
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Start by checking the negatives. If they look ok, Walgreens screwed up. If the negs are not correct you may have metered incorrectly or could be a problem with the camera.
01-26-2015, 07:52 PM   #3
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Some of them are perfectly fine but some of them just aren't even there. But I also noticed whoever developed them sliced through two of the ones that showed up fine.
01-26-2015, 08:05 PM   #4
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Sounds like a camera issue, but definitely do not take film to Walgreen's. Ever.
Get an old-timer to have a look at the camera--he/she may be able to give you some advice.
And find a real photofinisher in your area, or send it out to Dwayne's or another lab for processing.

01-26-2015, 10:14 PM   #5
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Shoot some slides and send to a good processor...
01-26-2015, 10:37 PM   #6
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Maybe the shutter has problems at high shutter speeds. If you shot one picture at 1/1000 it may not come out but the same shot at 1/250 could be ok. Some people choose to live with no top speeds and others have the camera repaired. If you use the same shutter speed for two pictures and results are inconsistent then you have no choice but to have it repaired. If the meter is the issue it may be fine in one brightness of light and off in another brightness- also needing repair.
01-26-2015, 11:28 PM   #7
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As pointed out use slide film to check out the camera--it removes the interpretation/misinterpretation of the negative to get a print.

Also take notes--what settings were used w/ each picture. Also use the sheet that comes w/ the film as a check on your exposures. If in doubt--a photo on a clear sunny day--of a medium tone (a mix of light and dark, or not too dark/not too light) object well lit (not in shade)--will be 1/iso seconds [or the closest to it] at f/16, or 1/(2xiso) at f/11, and so on.

Use the camera and meter a blue sky w/ sun high in the sky. If it doesn't give 1/iso at f/16, then adjust the iso so that it does, and after this always adjust the iso by the same multiplier.

Check many speeds and f/stops. E.g., w/ iso 200 slide fim on a sunny day, 1/250 s at f/16, 1/500 s at f/11, 1/1000 s at f/8. And then do under much darker conditions to test the slower shutter speeds and wider aperture settings.

Last edited by dms; 01-26-2015 at 11:39 PM.
01-27-2015, 01:15 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Don't waste film before you do a quick check for capping. This refers to the shutter curtain gap not remaining constant, and shows up at high speeds. Select 1000 speed. Open the lens wide, and then open the back of the camera. Place your eye just behind the shutter curtain, where the film would be and point the camera at a light source. When the shutter fires, you should see a ROUND light circle, not a capped partial circle. Also, make sure your mirror is not hanging up and blocking the view.

01-27-2015, 10:05 AM   #9
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There is no need to waste any additional film, the negatives are your key. I would suspect that the milky, low contrast images are badly overexposed. The corresponding negative frames will appear very dark. If this is what you see when you examine the negatives, I would suspect that the aperture actuator on either the lens or the camera is not working properly resulting in the lens not stopping down for the exposure.

To test the lens mechanism:
  • Take the lens off the camera
  • Put the aperture ring at its largest f-number. The view through the lens should show the aperture opening at its narrowest.
  • While looking through the front of the lens, flick the actuator lever on the rear. The blades should move from full closed, to full open. The action should be snappy and there should be no hesitation or sticking of the blades.
  • Move the aperture ring to the next wider click setting and repeat through the entire range
There are other possible causes, but it is hard to troubleshoot without having the camera in hand. One thing you should check is the condition of the light seals and mirror bumper foam. The foam material disintegrates over time and can be the result of light leaks into the film chamber. To test the light seals, take a toothpick or a thin wood splinter and touch it to the foam seals that fill the light trap where the film door fits into the camera body. The material should be resilient and should rebound after pressure. It should not be sticky, gummy, hard, or crumbly. Similarly, there is a foam bumper that the mirror rests against during the actual exposure. It is at the top front of the mirror box at the front margin of the focus screen. It too should be springy and not sticky, hard, gummy, or crumbly. If not good, the foam material should be replaced. Bad seals can cause light leaks. Bad mirror foam may result in crud being flung onto the focus screen and other internal parts. Seal replacement is part of the standard CLA (clean, lube, adjust) that most camera repair shops offer.

01-27-2015, 11:16 AM   #10
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A K1000 was my only camera for 20 years. There's not a whole lot to them. Light leaks from bad seals, sticky aperture-control, and wonky shutter are all possibilities in the troubles you describe. They're also common among cameras of a certain age.

Run another fresh roll of inexpensive film through it. The FujiColor 200 is fine - it was my main test-film before I started developing black & white at home (much cheaper).
Shoot the whole roll by the meter - center the needle on every shot. Take a few bright pictures of the sky (fast shutter speeds of 500 or 1000, aperture at f16 or f22) and a few indoor dark ones (slow shutter speeds of 60, 30, 15 and open aperture of f2, f4), and a lot of regular ones (shutter 125, f5.6 to f11). Drop the film off at a camera store for development if you can, or send it out to The Darkroom or another place if you don't have a local option.

If the second test roll has ANY problems on it (besides any camera-shake or out-of-focus issues caused by you) such as: blank photos, really over or under exposed photos, half-photos, double-exposures, etc., I would replace the K1000. You could also have it serviced at approximately the cost of buying a working camera that has not been serviced (and will need service eventually).

At least Walgreen's returns negatives. Some places only send you an email with a link to download your developed photos.

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