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01-22-2014, 08:03 PM   #1
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Pentax ME opaque/dull pictures

Hey guys...

I got my ME about a year ago and I bought it from a ebay US seller and I live overseas... The 50mm 1.7 lens came with a diaphragm problem and the guy returned 10 bucks and I thought that was it... Then, a few days ago, I found a lot of undeveloped film canisters I shot last year... I got the contact print for all of them and all of the pictures came out really opaque and dull, without any nice warm and alive colors... what the problem could be??? is this a known problem?

I tried 2 lenses... the 35 105 and the 50 with and without polarizers...

Is there a guide online I can take advantage of? because I can't find anything related to my problem in google....

Thanks in advance!

01-22-2014, 08:10 PM   #2
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Sluggish shutter? If you own a flash you should try this... set the shutter to 125X and with flash attached and fully charged... point at a wall with lens removed and concentrate on the shutter blades as well as looking for the mirror while you are at it. When you fire off a shot you should see a full open frame and no signs of the mirror in motion or signs edges of the shutter. You may need to try this a few times and you could try it with B and selecting shutter speeds as will to see if anything odd.
01-22-2014, 10:35 PM   #3
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How as the film stored before and after exposing? Excess heat (ie: left in a hot car) can cause film to go funny.
How old is the film? if it's past it's use by date it can go funny.
How was it developed? shop or home? (perhaps a chemistry issue? or light leaked during development)

Are the lenses clean? fungus can cause loss of contrast and a whitish hue (unlikely though unless all lenses have fungus)

Test the shutter at different speeds. if it's an ME and not an ME Super you'll need to attach a lens and change the aperture to change the speeds (also try poitning it at light and dark areas)
do this with the back open and watch the shutter curtains, make sure they aren't catching anywhere. Also watch and listen that the speeds seem ok (ie: 1/500 sounds slower than 1/1000, and 1/250 slower again, etc)

Check the exposure metering is accurate. Either use a second (known good) camera and note the settings it suggests. Then use the ME (with the same lens and settings) and note it's metering, it should match.
If you only have one camera, a bright sunny day with the camera set at 100asa, and F16 should suggest a shutter speed of about 1/125



The other option is that the film is fogged by a light leak.
Light leaks are unfortunately hard to check for, but would usually show as overexposed bands on the film.
01-22-2014, 11:55 PM   #4
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Do you happen to have some digital samples to post here that we can see?

01-23-2014, 12:05 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by JuanEstrada Quote
I got the contact print for all of them and all of the pictures came out really opaque and dull, without any nice warm and alive colors
What do the negatives look like? A good negative should have a good range of densities. If the negatives look mostly clear or mostly opaque there is a problem with either exposure or processing.


Steve
01-23-2014, 10:54 AM   #6
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Thank you all for the quick answers!

QuoteOriginally posted by MysteryOnion Quote
Sluggish shutter? If you own a flash you should try this... set the shutter to 125X and with flash attached and fully charged... point at a wall with lens removed and concentrate on the shutter blades as well as looking for the mirror while you are at it. When you fire off a shot you should see a full open frame and no signs of the mirror in motion or signs edges of the shutter. You may need to try this a few times and you could try it with B and selecting shutter speeds as will to see if anything odd.
I will try that but I don't know how to set the shutter to 125 since the camera is not fully manual... It is apperture priority only I believe....

QuoteOriginally posted by hks_kansei Quote
How as the film stored before and after exposing? Excess heat (ie: left in a hot car) can cause film to go funny.
How old is the film? if it's past it's use by date it can go funny.
How was it developed? shop or home? (perhaps a chemistry issue? or light leaked during development)

Are the lenses clean? fungus can cause loss of contrast and a whitish hue (unlikely though unless all lenses have fungus)

Test the shutter at different speeds. if it's an ME and not an ME Super you'll need to attach a lens and change the aperture to change the speeds (also try poitning it at light and dark areas)
do this with the back open and watch the shutter curtains, make sure they aren't catching anywhere. Also watch and listen that the speeds seem ok (ie: 1/500 sounds slower than 1/1000, and 1/250 slower again, etc)

Check the exposure metering is accurate. Either use a second (known good) camera and note the settings it suggests. Then use the ME (with the same lens and settings) and note it's metering, it should match.
If you only have one camera, a bright sunny day with the camera set at 100asa, and F16 should suggest a shutter speed of about 1/125



The other option is that the film is fogged by a light leak.
Light leaks are unfortunately hard to check for, but would usually show as overexposed bands on the film.
The oldest film from that batch is about 4 months old... Where I live is not humid at all and the weather is not hot either it is quite cold actually. i tested the speeds sounds and they sounded ok. just like you described it.

I believe the problem is reading more light so it shutters faster than it should.

QuoteOriginally posted by cscurrier Quote
Do you happen to have some digital samples to post here that we can see?
I will attach them in the end of this post.

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
What do the negatives look like? A good negative should have a good range of densities. If the negatives look mostly clear or mostly opaque there is a problem with either exposure or processing.


Steve
The negatives are ok, I developed them at a shop with a machine, not manually done. I believe the problem is exposure.






Last edited by JuanEstrada; 10-16-2015 at 11:38 PM.
01-23-2014, 10:59 AM   #7
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I do not think it is the camera, it maybe bad processing or justsimply underexposure.
Try scanning a few of the "hazy ones" as it seems to be they will work fine with some contrast increase
01-23-2014, 11:09 AM   #8
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Definitely not the camera... most probably is the film... old film and or improperly stored.
I had similar issues with a few rolls (old films).

Sometimes, is also an issue how the store developed the film (part of the reson I am seriously considering to finally start doing my own developing).

As tritisol is saying, if you digitize them some of them can be saved quite easily.

01-23-2014, 11:11 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by titrisol Quote
I do not think it is the camera, it maybe bad processing or justsimply underexposure.
Try scanning a few of the "hazy ones" as it seems to be they will work fine with some contrast increase
I thought it was the development process but I tried with some B&Ws and the same happened....
01-23-2014, 11:15 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by JuanEstrada Quote
I thought it was the development process but I tried with some B&Ws and the same happened....
Is the film... you can't do much about it.
If is not stored properly and if is old... you will get this kind of results. Sometimes, depending on the brand and quality, it can get even worse.

Try and keep your films in the freezer - in a plastic container.
When you are ready to use them, take them out, let them adjust to the room temperature and then use them - make sure you develop them as soon as possible - in the mean time, keep them in a cool and dry place until you develop them.

However, if the films are REALLY old, even in the freezer eventually they can go bad...
01-23-2014, 11:17 AM   #11
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Sorry for the double post but it is not letting me edit...

The film was new, I bought a 24 400 ASA and a 36 200ASA from different stores and the same happened...
01-23-2014, 11:21 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JuanEstrada Quote
Sorry for the double post but it is not letting me edit...

The film was new, I bought a 24 400 ASA and a 36 200ASA from different stores and the same happened...
If you bought it recently doesn't mean is fresh. Lot of stores store them and keep them as well. you have to look at the expiration date.
What brand was it? Kodak, Fuji, Ilford!?
01-23-2014, 11:21 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrNewt Quote
Is the film... you can't much about it.
If is not stored properly and if is old... you will get this kind of results. Sometimes, depending on the brand and quality, it can get even worse.

Try and keep your films in the freezer - in a plastic container.
When you are ready to use them, take them out, let them adjust to the room temperature and then use them - make sure you develop them as soon as possible - in the mean time, keep them in a cool and dry place until you develop them.

However, if the films are REALLY old, even in the freezer eventually they can go bad...
Oh and also, i live in a relatively cold place (between 17 and 24 c) which is not humid at all, however I will give it a try, buy the film, shoot it in 2 - 3 days and develop it as soon as I finish.

PS: I bought kodak Ultramax and color plus
01-23-2014, 11:30 AM   #14
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Are you shooting in A mode?
Is your exposure compensation in 0?
Are your batteries new?

I would also think the lab is suspect
01-23-2014, 11:31 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by JuanEstrada Quote
Oh and also, i live in a relatively cold place (between 17 and 24 c) which is not humid at all, however I will give it a try, buy the film, shoot it in 2 - 3 days and develop it as soon as I finish.

PS: I bought kodak Ultramax and color plus
Ummm... silly question...

Did you set the proper ISO on camera to match your ISO from the film?
On some cameras this does affect the light metering and I believe (if I remember correctly), this is true for the ME as well.
That will affect the final picture depending on how big the difference is between the ISO set on the camera and the actual ISO of the film.
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