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07-22-2009, 08:08 PM   #1
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Slide Film Question

In the past two weeks, I've shot my way through two rolls of slide film; Kodak Elite Chrome 200 and Sensia 100. I've been really pleased with the colour and sharpness of both films, but they're both showing black spots in blue skies.

Kodak...



and Fuji...



Black spots are clearly visible to the naked eye on the slides. I tried brushing them away with a cotton-gloved hand and couldn't move them.

Both rolls were processed at two different labs, the Kodak was scanned by the developing lab and I scanned the Fuji here at home. The only common factor is that both slides were shot with my ME Super and the FA50 lens. I'm wondering if the film isn't being contaminated by some foreign material in my camera. That being said, I've run a few rolls of colour negative film through the same camera and not had any problems with the negatives or prints.

I'm hoping the forum can offer me some suggestions as to what might be causing this phenomenon. Other than the spots, I'm delighted with the results. I've got two more rolls of slide film in my fridge and wonder if I should be running it through a different camera or looking for a different (third) lab.

I'd appreciate any thoughts. Thanks in advance.

Best,
Kevin

07-22-2009, 08:24 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by KJon Quote
In the past two weeks, I've shot my way through two rolls of slide film; Kodak Elite Chrome 200 and Sensia 100. I've been really pleased with the colour and sharpness of both films, but they're both showing black spots in blue skies.



Both rolls were processed at two different labs, the Kodak was scanned by the developing lab and I scanned the Fuji here at home. The only common factor is that both slides were shot with my ME Super and the FA50 lens. I'm wondering if the film isn't being contaminated by some foreign material in my camera. That being said, I've run a few rolls of colour negative film through the same camera and not had any problems with the negatives or prints.

I'm hoping the forum can offer me some suggestions as to what might be causing this phenomenon. Other than the spots, I'm delighted with the results. I've got two more rolls of slide film in my fridge and wonder if I should be running it through a different camera or looking for a different (third) lab.

I'd appreciate any thoughts. Thanks in advance.

Best,
Kevin
Hrm, how's your light seal and bumper foam looking? Any stray lube maybe spattering on the film when the shutter fires, maybe? (You could try putting some white paper or extra film leader in there and seeing if you can replicate the problem. )

At a guess it may be only affecting the slide film, and the blue areas at that, cause of something to do with the particular pigments or some such.
07-22-2009, 08:55 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
Hrm, how's your light seal and bumper foam looking? Any stray lube maybe spattering on the film when the shutter fires, maybe? (You could try putting some white paper or extra film leader in there and seeing if you can replicate the problem. )

At a guess it may be only affecting the slide film, and the blue areas at that, cause of something to do with the particular pigments or some such.
Thanks for the thoughts, Ratmagiclady. A good place to start. Quite plausible explanation as to why no issues with the colour negatives. That's what has really been bugging me; no issues with color (or B&W) film, only slides.

Best,
Kevin
07-22-2009, 09:35 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by KJon Quote
Thanks for the thoughts, Ratmagiclady. A good place to start. Quite plausible explanation as to why no issues with the colour negatives. That's what has really been bugging me; no issues with color (or B&W) film, only slides.

Best,
Kevin


Well, I think, if I've thought it through correctly, it's probably happening to everything, but only remaining on certain layers of slide film, so you should be able to find out with the paper idea, if I'm right. I wonder if it's in fact maybe on some of the densest areas of your B&W negatives, for instance, where you wouldn't normally spot it. That's where the least material is removed in processing.

07-23-2009, 03:17 AM   #5
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I can see some spots on all of the photos, it's just they show up better against the sky. The slides/scanner must be dirty.
07-23-2009, 04:33 AM   #6
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Update: Tested the ME Super with a piece of white paper behind the shutter, per Ratmagiclady. No "spots" or spatters of any kind after several fires. Mirror bumper foam could probably stand to be replaced, but it's not "gooey" as some posters have mentioned in other threads, so I'm relatively confident it's not camera.

Thanks for your input Cosmo. Gist of the situation is that the slides are brandy new, Lab A developed and scanned the Kodak, Lab B developed the Fuji and I scanned it at home. Issue is not that the slides have spots, but how and where are they getting on the slides.

I do have access to other film cameras. Sounds like the thing to do is run a roll through one of them, use either of the labs again and see if the issue still remains.

Best to all,
Kevin

Last edited by KJon; 07-23-2009 at 04:44 AM. Reason: Add text
07-23-2009, 05:01 AM   #7
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My best guess would be some dust or debri on the lens. but then it would be on the same spots in all the photos. its really hard to say. Id say borrow a lens to try on your camera and see if its somthing in the lens that the slide film just doesn't like before you try another camera
07-23-2009, 05:31 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by LMRacing Quote
My best guess would be some dust or debri on the lens. but then it would be on the same spots in all the photos. its really hard to say. Id say borrow a lens to try on your camera and see if its somthing in the lens that the slide film just doesn't like before you try another camera
LM,

In addition to other cameras, I have other lenses. Thanks for stirring the pot and giving me a different tack to take in solving this problem. Have to admit, the lens having issues didn't occur to me (Pentax FA50 1.4 that has fabulous on every camera I've put it on), but things work fine until they don't, and it bears some investigation.

Best,
Kevin

07-23-2009, 06:37 AM   #9
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What is the provenance and age of the slide films? Although you use two different films and get similar spots... I'm thinking perhaps the emulsions on both films have faults or are aging.

I'd suspect the camera but as you don't get this on any other film, that sort of rules the camera out.
07-23-2009, 05:12 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
What is the provenance and age of the slide films? Although you use two different films and get similar spots... I'm thinking perhaps the emulsions on both films have faults or are aging.

I'd suspect the camera but as you don't get this on any other film, that sort of rules the camera out.
QuoteQuote:
LMRacing - My best guess would be some dust or debri on the lens. but then it would be on the same spots in all the photos. its really hard to say. Id say borrow a lens to try on your camera and see if its somthing in the lens that the slide film just doesn't like before you try another camera
Nesster, both films were not due to expire 'til 2011 and purchased from reputable retail outlets. Had a chat with my lab guys and they said something is getting between the light and the emulsion. Unfortunately, upon closer examination, (Nice catch, LM) there was a fair amount of schmutz on the outer element of my FA50. Cleaned it up nicely with a micofiber cloth, a Q-tip, and a little of my own warm breath (nice to know I'm still alive) and I'm hoping that will resolve the issue.

Upshot is I should prolly do some reading on lens maintenance and that sounds like a whole 'nother thread. In the meanwhile, I still think I'll try the next roll of slide film in another body using another lens (just in the interest of preserving the illusion of scientific method) and see what I get. Roll after that, I'll return to the ME Super and the FA50 and see just how useful tissue paper and spit really are.

Best to all,
Kevin
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