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01-23-2011, 05:13 PM   #1
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Reddish line in Black and white film?

I have been having some trouble with my ZX-M (on only one roll so far) but was wondering if anyone knew what might cause a reddish line on the top third of my photos, even though the film is black and white? Here are two of the photos:
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01-23-2011, 05:37 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paleki Quote
I have been having some trouble with my ZX-M (on only one roll so far) but was wondering if anyone knew what might cause a reddish line on the top third of my photos, even though the film is black and white? Here are two of the photos:
Attachment 81564Attachment 81565
It looks as though the problem is at least in part lousy scanning. Your scans are probably being done in colour rather than grayscale, and there appears to be a problem with eveness of the light source.

Scanning from all but high-end labs is usually absolute crap.

Other than that I suggest you do some basic research into what black and white film is about. You also need to learn a lot more about scanning. There is lots of info on the Web. Better still, read a couple of books. You'll have a lot more success if you learn the basics.
01-23-2011, 05:42 PM   #3
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I did not scan these myself, but it was done at an hour developing place so that makes sense.

As for learning more about scanning, what exactly do you mean? I do not have the means to ever process/scan myself.
01-23-2011, 06:00 PM   #4
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Go back to the shop and ask them if they could rescan, after cleaning their equipment!

If they can't get rid of the lines, you could :
1. convert the file to Gray only, either change mode to grayscale or desaturate (good idea anyway as the images have a pink colour cast all over as well, not just the obvious line)
2. judicial use of the clone tool to get rid of the imperfections

01-23-2011, 06:17 PM   #5
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Good eye, HGMonaro. I went through all of the photos, converted to B&W and they look much, much better.
01-23-2011, 06:24 PM   #6
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I work in a one hour photo lab, and we use the Pakon F135 Plus Digital Film Scanner. Very lousy scanner. We see your issue quite often, it's caused by dust or other particles blocking the sensor as the film glides across. All that's needed is a quick cleaning of the scanner with compressed air. Like HGMonaro said, you could use the clone tool to fix it, or you can just ask the lab to blow out the scanner and rescan!
01-23-2011, 06:47 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paleki Quote
I did not scan these myself, but it was done at an hour developing place so that makes sense.

As for learning more about scanning, what exactly do you mean? I do not have the means to ever process/scan myself.
You should never say never!

To be quite blunt, unless you acquire a significant understanding of the technical side of film and scanning, you will have a very hard and expensive time getting decent results.

The garbage scans that you get from cheap labs often bear little resemblance to what is actually on film, so you won't even be able to learn the craft properly if you rely on that sort of scanning. Unfortunately, if you do it yourself, truly high-quality scanning and post-processing also require substantial knowledge. A relatively cheap scanner in the hands of a skilled operator will produce better results that just about any cheap lab.

On the other hand, if you chose to work with whatever junk comes back from the lab, you can have fun treating film photography as a funky art form rather than as serious straight photography.

Incidentally, I do like the two shots you used as examples.
01-29-2011, 06:42 PM   #8
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Well said, John!

01-30-2011, 02:37 AM   #9
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I've also seen this issue with my 'new' MX (first proper film camera that requires some thinking, rather than a point and shoot)

The colour photos I've had processed have a similar horizontal banding to those above. It's a bit disappointing, but doesn't spoil the good shots (. . . . . OK the single good shot out of 38 . . . . and that's only because the kids' pet rabbit stayed still), but that may just be me not having the same high standards as most here

It looks like this is a common issue with 'drugstore' processing.

I've also (be gentle on me) basically wasted a roll of Ilford B&W film (didn't appreciate that it's a good quality product) by just snapping away to 'see if the camera works', but has turned out fine considering they were mostly very low light shots. No signs of 'defects' in the prints other than those introduced by the guy behind the lens
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