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02-05-2011, 06:10 PM   #1
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What caused my pictures to look like this?

Hello All. I picked up an ME Super off of Craigslist for $20 and the seller gave me a roll of Kodak Gold 400 that he had no idea how old it was. I figured I'd try it out with the old roll of film just for fun. My pictures came out very grainy with odd colours. There were scratches and dust marks everywhere (I spent a lot of time cleaning up the first picture), although I think the processing at Walmart was to blame for that. I don't think the kid had ever seen film before.

Here are two pictures. Some of the pictures on the roll are so grainy its hard to make them out:





What do you think, Old Film, Bad processing, bad camers?

02-05-2011, 06:51 PM   #2
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I had a similar issue with a film that i developed recently after I had left it in my draws for several years.
I believe the effect in the second picture is more intense because it is under exposed.
02-05-2011, 06:53 PM   #3
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I would say old film is the first thing to blame. If the result remains the same with new film, then the camera has serious underexposure issue.
02-05-2011, 07:30 PM   #4
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As color film ages, the effective ISO decreases, the graininess increases and the effect is worse for films of higher ISO. Try a fresh roll of film to see if the shutter and light meter are accurate. If you were to shoot more of the old 400 film, it looks like it should be shot with the camera set at 200 or lower.

02-05-2011, 07:40 PM   #5
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How do the negatives look? Are they very thin and light, or are they nice and dark, with a few clear spots showing through, as they should be?

What I'm getting at is, are the negatives exposed properly? Poorly exposed negatives can often still be printed, but they will be very grainy, like yours are.

Are those images scanned from the negatives or from prints?
02-05-2011, 08:39 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote
How do the negatives look? Are they very thin and light, or are they nice and dark, with a few clear spots showing through, as they should be?

What I'm getting at is, are the negatives exposed properly? Poorly exposed negatives can often still be printed, but they will be very grainy, like yours are.

Are those images scanned from the negatives or from prints?
The negatives were very faint and light. When I first saw them I thought they were almost blank. I scanned them on my epson v500 and used the "Auto Levels" on PS elements. Wouldn't an under exposed negative look dark?
02-05-2011, 08:55 PM   #7
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naw, overexposed negatives look dark. look at the end of the film that was fished out of the film canister and see how black it looks. they use extractor tape to pull the end of the film out and it gets exposed to the lights in the store. it looks like the film was just old. i work in a photo lab and that's the kind of results i get from mystery shoebox film. try some fresh stuff!
02-05-2011, 09:09 PM   #8
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An under exposed negative will look light. More transparent. The print from an under exposed negative will be dark and grainy.

02-05-2011, 09:10 PM   #9
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Thanks for the input guys. I guess I'm going to have to put a new roll though it to be sure. I hope the camera is ok, I'm kind of liking the small size and auto exposure of the ME VS the K1000.
02-05-2011, 09:56 PM   #10
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Beyond getting good film and development...

Make sure the ASA setting is correct. I'm serious; unfortunately, I've missed it more than once!

Is your battery fresh? That could be an issue if it came with the camera. The ME super has an electronic shutter, so it would seem a low battery might affect its operation as well as that of the meter.

For the metering, I would do a proper test. Since your photos are underexposed, try shooting a scene with the metered settings, then increase exposure at one-stop increments to three stops up. Do this indoors, outdoors in broad sunshine, in overcast skies, and at sunset. That way you can test the meter's response across its range -- not just to the light, but "in effect" to the mechanics, shutter electronics, and optics of the camera and lens, which could also be faulty. If your meter's consistently off two stops or whatever and you're not going for repairs, it's easiest to compensate through the ASA setting -- as noblepa said already.

And BTW I'd make sure the manual-mode exposure metering and the auto-mode exposure metering match. As I understand it, sometimes they don't match for some reason.

Last edited by asaru; 02-06-2011 at 10:50 AM.
02-06-2011, 12:24 PM   #11
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I second the suggestion of doing a meter test, though I would emphasize that there is no need to burn more film to do it. If you have another camera with working meter, check to see that both indicate the same settings for the same light. If you don't have something to check against, your friendly, local, camera repair guy will generally do a quick check for free.


Steve
02-06-2011, 01:53 PM   #12
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I agree burning film is not necessary for a straight meter test. However, the one reason to go to the very real expense of making test scans/prints is that when you compare them, you see immediately the exposures you like most. That's much more subjective than meter calibration, you only need do it once, and if there is a systematic preference for over- or underexposure you can remember to make the necessary ASA adjustment once and for all. Besides, meter calibration only tests the meter, but actual shooting at various exposures tests the whole camera.

Last edited by asaru; 02-06-2011 at 02:02 PM.
02-06-2011, 03:39 PM   #13
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Check the batteries also, make sure they are silver oxide not alkaline.
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