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05-09-2021, 09:39 AM   #1
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New to film, new to comeras!

Hello all,

Recently inherited a lovely Pentax MX and a bunch of lenses from a passed relative. Decided to have a play, try and learn how to use this equipment and get some nice results. I've loved learning and playing so far!

I've got my first reel of film back and i'm a little disappointed - lots of consistently washed out photos. Can someone guide me as to where i've gone wrong here?

Things I have done:

- Super careful loading film in/out. Done in a fairly dark room with just a orange ceiling light
- Kept films in cool conditions
- Films expire in 2023
- shot in lots of different lighting conditions
- Followed the light meter guide on the camera
- Film used is Kodak ColourPlus. ASA set to 200 accordingly!


Photos are here:

Imgur: The magic of the Internet

Thanks in advance!

Miles

05-09-2021, 10:47 AM   #2
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Where did you have these processed and did you have the lab scan them for you (you didn't mention if the example were from prints or scans)? It looks like there could have been some agitation issues during development due to those ghostly film perforation images at the bottoms of a couple of the shots, and this looks like something which could have gone wrong in development based on the overall look of the pictures. The exposures look fairly consistent from photo to photo but it's hard to judge the problem without knowing more. It seems like you took all the right steps (you don't need to load your film in the camera in a really dark location - just not in direct sun).

It might help to make a test roll and get it developed elsewhere. Go with your light meter (make sure the batteries are new) and then take four additional shots with exposures 1 and 2 stops above and below the metered one. Try some different subjects as you did before, doing this in each case. Request prints initially and see what they look like. Put something in the photo from which you can identify the different exposures so you know which is which.

See how that turns out and let us know.

Once you get this figured out, you'll probably find getting great photos is easy and a lot of fun.

Last edited by Bob 256; 05-09-2021 at 10:52 AM.
05-09-2021, 11:23 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bob 256 Quote
Where did you have these processed and did you have the lab scan them for you (you didn't mention if the example were from prints or scans)? It looks like there could have been some agitation issues during development due to those ghostly film perforation images at the bottoms of a couple of the shots, and this looks like something which could have gone wrong in development based on the overall look of the pictures. The exposures look fairly consistent from photo to photo but it's hard to judge the problem without knowing more. It seems like you took all the right steps (you don't need to load your film in the camera in a really dark location - just not in direct sun).

It might help to make a test roll and get it developed elsewhere. Go with your light meter (make sure the batteries are new) and then take four additional shots with exposures 1 and 2 stops above and below the metered one. Try some different subjects as you did before, doing this in each case. Request prints initially and see what they look like. Put something in the photo from which you can identify the different exposures so you know which is which.

See how that turns out and let us know.

Once you get this figured out, you'll probably find getting great photos is easy and a lot of fun.
Hey Bob!

Thanks for taking the time to write.

So I used a film development service I found on ebay that seemed to have a fairly good reputation - being a complete novice, it's quite hard to judge whether it's a cheap and cheerful service or a quality developer (listing on ebay is: COLOUR FILM DEVELOP & 4.5Mb We Transfer/CD/USB - 35mm/120/APS | eBay).

Film was developed by them and then I was sent the film back along with digitised version via WeTransfer.

Really great idea to take numerous photos with setting identification within the photo itself - i'll try that. As for the light meter, i've been using the in built light meter in the camera which uses a traffic light style system. It has fresh batteries - hopefully this meter is reliable enough!

All the best,

Miles
05-09-2021, 11:52 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Welcome to the forum! Nice to have you with us.

05-09-2021, 12:09 PM - 1 Like   #5
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I dont think these are exposure issues, something else is going wrong.....
05-09-2021, 12:30 PM - 1 Like   #6
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Welcome to the forums

you will find friendly members and a lot of knowledge here

in case you need it


Pentax MX instruction manual, user manual
05-09-2021, 12:40 PM   #7
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Welcome to the forum!

Your shots look like what I'd get with expired film, so my guess it's a developing issue. I would try a different place locally where you can drop off and pick up your film.

Phil.
05-09-2021, 12:43 PM   #8
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Looks like a light leak or camera was opened before rewind

You shouldn’t need a dark room to load and unload, but note film requires absolutely dark to load into developing tanks, if you opened under orange light when unloading, that would wash out your shots. Is this all the shots, what did the others look like

05-09-2021, 12:46 PM   #9
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Have you got the negatives back yet? If it was an exposure issue you should be able to tell, overexposed would result in thick and dense negatives, conversely underexposed results in thin negatives. Also worth checking outside the frames to see if its fogged and if the writing along the edges is clearly developed.
05-09-2021, 01:15 PM - 1 Like   #10
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Take a look at the negatives and the section at the end which doesn't have pictures on it. That should be completely clear (orange see-through but no darkening). If you're putting a film cartridge in your camera, shooting, rewinding until the film goes completely back in the cartridge, and then opening the camera and taking it out to have it developed, it's either a camera light leak or the processor's fault (assuming the exposures are correct). That test roll will help you determine this when you get it back (ask for an uncut negative strip if your processor can do it). Those ghostly sprocket holes could be caused by a light leak but probably not in the camera. Usually that happens when the film is wound and light goes through one layer and fogs the layer below. It can also happen in processing the same way or if the developer isn't agitated properly or if hanging strips of film (in some cases a whole bunch of strips are hung on a hanger and dunked into the developing tank at once) happen to stick together. In any case, I would find another processor for the test roll. That will pretty much rule out processing if the same thing happens again.

You'll nail this problem pretty quickly with a little detective work.
05-09-2021, 01:22 PM   #11
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Hmmm. When I click on the link I just get a black screen.
05-09-2021, 01:47 PM   #12
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on board with the developing issues.....as messed up as they are, the details look quite good and the whites are nice
05-09-2021, 03:01 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
Hmmm. When I click on the link I just get a black screen.
That you see a black screen is because you do not allow to put spy files on your computer, better known as cookies. I experience the same.
05-09-2021, 03:05 PM   #14
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I think your exposure settings are correct, there happened either a developing error or the film was exposed to light (whether by handling error or a light leak in your camera seals has to be determined)
05-09-2021, 04:39 PM   #15
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Hey folks!

Firstly just a huge thank you to everyone who's taken the time to write and share such valuable info and knowledge!

So, I took a look at the processed film that I had returned to me. To be quite honest, it was exceptionally faint and even using my bright workshop lights, I could only make out the darker coloured elements of my photos. Otherwise, the film was translucent, almost blank. The problem now lies with me as I don't know if this is to be expected in a film once it's been through my camera.

However, it does make me wonder if this leads us more down the route of light leaks and camera seals than a development issue...?

As suggested, i'll get onto a test film ASAP and try a different developer too. Fingers crossed


Thanks again for all your time and feedback!
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