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07-12-2012, 02:19 AM   #1
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Probably a beginner's mistake, but why was my roll of film empty?

I've had this Spotmatic F for a while now and I just "shot" through 36 frame b/w film. Brought it to get developed and they told me it was empty even showed me the film, it really had nothing on it.

I'm (relatively) sure I did everything as usual. I once stumbled upon this thread: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-film-slr-discussion/173380-i-screw...etty-hard.html, and ever since then I've made sure that the rewind knob winds

Anyway, here's what I did:

- Put in ASA100 b/w film, made sure asa selector was set to 100
- Advanced the film a few frames, made sure the rewind knob turned
- Shot 36 frames, after which the film refused to wind further (so I'm pretty sure it actually moved that whole time)
- Rewound it, which took a while

So I'm fairly certain that the film was advancing all the time. What could have gone wrong then? Why was there nothing on it? I asked the guy at the store if he could see whether it had been exposed at all or not, but he couldn't tell, they just ran it through the machine and it came out empty.

07-12-2012, 03:10 AM   #2
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With no film in the camera, and the back open, try winding on/trigger camera a few times. You should see the shutter operate.

Could always be a developing fault. Something should be on the negs.
07-12-2012, 03:44 AM   #3
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Well, the camera has worked correctly so far, I've done a few dozen rolls and they all came out fine. But I'll check the shutter anyway (just have to remove the film I have in there).

The negative was completely empty though, there was not a single exposed frame in there, so developing error is also high on my list of suspects
07-12-2012, 03:48 AM   #4
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No need to remove the film. Take the lens off and look at the shutter curtains. Set the camera to 1 second a trip the shutter and see is the shutter curtains open for about 1 second.

Regards

Chros

07-12-2012, 03:52 AM   #5
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Ah, that makes it easier

Tried it, first with the lens on (the blades opened as supposed to) and then without the lens. I saw the mirror fold up and the film behind it for about a second, so I assume that the shutter still works as it's supposed to.
07-12-2012, 05:24 AM   #6
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Do you still have the film? If it has lateral markings, like "KODAK" and frame numbers, it means it was developed correctly and there is a problem with the camera and/or user error. If there is no such information to be seen, the problem lies with the guys at the lab. Hope this helps.
07-12-2012, 05:52 AM   #7
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Unfortunately I forgot to take it with me.

I can't remember having seen any markings when I had it in my hands at the store, so I called them (they're slowly starting to get annoyed, I've called already quite a few times today) and they too said "no markings on the film". I took a look at the other (colour) film I got developed there at the same time and it does have the markings ("fuji" and frame numbers).

The guy insisted that there's no error on their part, "the machine does it all" and with no errors.

But he did admit that there are no markings at all... So I'm not so sure I trust him in this case.
07-12-2012, 06:11 AM   #8
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Yes, the machine does it all, but maybe it got exposed to light before entering the machine.

07-12-2012, 06:18 AM   #9
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Yeah, "the machine does it all" where his words, not mine

I'm pretty sure that I didn't expose the film to light, especially not all of it! Unless, well, the backside of the camera was open all this time (which it wasn't), or if the backside has a hole in it or the seals leak... Would have had to be a recent issue, since the last film I got developed (just a week ago) was still ok.

And anyway, if it were exposed to light, wouldn't the frames be all black? I saw the film myself and it really was empty, not a single spot or a darker patch anywhere to be seen.

I think I'll write this off on the lab guys though.

Unless the next roll turns up empty as well..
07-12-2012, 07:26 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ergates Quote
And anyway, if it were exposed to light, wouldn't the frames be all black? I saw the film myself and it really was empty, not a single spot or a darker patch anywhere to be seen.
Yes - exposure to light would make the roll black, unless it was slide film, when it would be clear.
07-12-2012, 07:52 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ergates Quote
Yeah, "the machine does it all" where his words, not mine

I'm pretty sure that I didn't expose the film to light, especially not all of it! Unless, well, the backside of the camera was open all this time (which it wasn't), or if the backside has a hole in it or the seals leak... Would have had to be a recent issue, since the last film I got developed (just a week ago) was still ok.

And anyway, if it were exposed to light, wouldn't the frames be all black? I saw the film myself and it really was empty, not a single spot or a darker patch anywhere to be seen.

I think I'll write this off on the lab guys though.

Unless the next roll turns up empty as well..
sounds completely like lab error. I got back into b/w myself due to Lab error where a "pro" lab screwed up 4 rolls of ir film i shot in rome. wildly underdeveloped though there was images on some frames. I actually exposed for iso 6 versus the iso 25 that is the recommended (it's a 400 film, the exposure is due to the filter) it should have been black. other film shot the same day on the same camera was fine
07-12-2012, 07:58 AM   #12
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Doesn't sound like you made a mistake. Sacrifice a film, just photographing whatever and have it developped. If you have a second camera, shoot half the film with that one . . . just to make sure . . . Oh, and have it developped somewhere else !
07-12-2012, 08:48 AM   #13
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*phew* thanks for confirming my lab error suspicions

It was the first time developing there, it was a local small "pro" shop and I only went there because I was in a hurry. Not going to go there anymore in near future.

Going to stick to my usual photo service from now on! And also going to shoot a test roll on the same camera just to be sure...
07-12-2012, 04:13 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ergates Quote
Put in ASA100 b/w film, made sure asa selector was set to 100
I'm not aware of any 100 speed b&w c41 film. If they ran traditional b&w film through c41 chems you would get a completely blank film. I believe the bleach step removes the silver image from the film.
07-12-2012, 06:11 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Treker Quote
I believe the bleach step removes the silver image from the film.
I wondered what the difference was ,and what would happen if process wrong
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