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09-02-2009, 08:56 AM   #1
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Mysterious blotches

Hey everyone,

So I just got some recent rolls of film developed, and I'm seeing some mysterious blotches appearing on photos taken with my 135mm prime. I'm guessing it's from unknowingly touching the glass at some point, and I'll clean the lens, but is there anything else that could be causing this? Blotches are always in the same place, a bit down and the the left of the center. Any way I can photoshop those out? Here's an example:


Last edited by jzietman; 12-16-2010 at 09:02 PM.
09-02-2009, 09:05 AM   #2
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It's likely to be an obvious spot blemish on your lens - check to see that there is this spot on the lens, and clean the insides of the camera with a rocket blower each time you insert your film.
09-02-2009, 04:43 PM   #3
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There's no way that is on the lens.
How was the film processed? It almost looks like agitation marks on the edges of the frame. The dark mark looks like it could be an air bell, Lord only knows that the other one is. Are they both visible on the neg? I'm wondering if perhaps one was a bit of grot in the printer.
09-02-2009, 05:39 PM   #4
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sensor dust....oh wait.

Looks like something on the lens to me, even looks like the darker one is the shadow of the lighter one...

09-02-2009, 05:57 PM   #5
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I'm interested to see where this ends up.

I am having trouble understanding what you could get on a lenes that would produce both a light and a dark spot.

Just to confirm what you are saying, does every frame shot with the 135 have two spots in the same place appearing on the negative? And shots that were taken with a different lens do not show any spots?

I would expect that dust on the lens could cause a dark spot. But I don't see how dust would cause a bright spot. The bright spot to me looks like an air bubble on the film during development. But then there would be multiple bright spots, usually near one edge of the film. But this looks like colour film. Did you develope it yourself, or was it done at a lab? Bubbles would also be random, on all frames, not just the 135 shots.

So, beats me what you have going on there.
09-03-2009, 09:25 AM   #6
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Just a thought, may be way out in left field with this one though.
Could it be some sort of dust between the filter and lens if you have one? I have had this happen before where a piece of dust was reflecting off of the filter because it was on the lens. Not sure if it should show that large though...
09-04-2009, 04:21 PM   #7
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Hey guys,

Sorry for the delayed response, I'm away from home at the moment. I've cleaned the lens and the attached filter pretty well, hopefully if that's the source of the problem then we're all set. The film used was UltraMax 400, processed at my local Walgreens (who, by the way, did an atrocious job, with low quality scans ans putting my negs in paper envelopes rather than in sleeves, so they got scratched and they dried bent. Grr). I need to look at all the other shots from that role to see if it's a problem with all the shots (i.e. bubbles in developing machine) or just with this lens, and if it's with all the shots of this lens (which I believe to be the case).

I'll report back soon. Thanks for the help so far!
09-04-2009, 06:25 PM   #8
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jzietman,
My guess is that it's something on the film scanner.
At least that's the first thing I'd look at, if you took the film to the lab I work in

Why not ask them to take a quick look. They might just re-do the order (I would)

If they won't, or it still doesn't eliminate the problem I can fix one or 2 photos for you.
Just send me a PM for my e-mail address, or get it through my links.

09-07-2009, 07:31 PM   #9
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Hmm, so, on further inspection, it looks like the blotches show up on almost all the shots from that role, just never again quite so obviously. The same blotches show up consistently in another role with another lens, both light and dark blotches in the same place. And there are some other blotches of a similar sort (but only lighter and in different places) in some shots from another role.

Could it be a bad developing process? The rest of it was done so badly, I wouldn't put it past Walgreens. That doesn't explain the regularity of the blotches, though. Maybe there's something weird going on inside my camera? The thing is, the blotches are very visible in some photos, only slightly visible in others (even when they're over an almost solid black area) and not at all present on others.

Here's an example (a terrible shot, but the blotches are clear) using another lens (M 50/1.7, I think).

Last edited by jzietman; 12-16-2010 at 09:02 PM.
09-07-2009, 07:43 PM   #10
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So, the blotches show up with different lenses, and on different roles of film?

Were the different roles developed the same time? Can you see the blotches on the negatives?

Here's an idea I had. What type of camera is it? Does it have a cloth shutter curtain? Could it be a pinhole in the shutter? That might explain the light blotch. But I am still without ideas as to why there are two blotches.

Have you cleaned out the camera? Set the camera to Bulb, and see if there is anything hanging under the mirror?
09-07-2009, 08:16 PM   #11
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I would also guess that there is a scanning problem seeing as the spots are in the same place on both frames and you seem to have ruled out the lens. Taking a closer look at the negatives to make sure they're fine would confirm if the problem is with the camera or the scanning. It seems unlikely (but not completely impossible) that processing would leave the same marks at the same location on several frames.

As a side note you could probably salvage that night photo with a better scan and a bit of post processing. It looks like the lab's scanner was on automatic and badly misjudged the exposure (which isn't unusual for night scenes).
09-07-2009, 08:32 PM   #12
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Are the spots on the negatives or just the scans/prints?
09-07-2009, 10:00 PM   #13
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I'm suddenly wondering if you have some bare, shiny metal in the camera somewhere.
Although I've never experienced any myself, I've heard that Internal Reflections can cause problems with cameras.
09-07-2009, 11:38 PM   #14
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That is a processing problem, check if the spots are on the film but I can bet they aren;t
It is probably dirt in the scanner/printer of your Walgrene

QuoteOriginally posted by jzietman Quote
Hey guys,

Sorry for the delayed response, I'm away from home at the moment. I've cleaned the lens and the attached filter pretty well, hopefully if that's the source of the problem then we're all set. The film used was UltraMax 400, processed at my local Walgreens (who, by the way, did an atrocious job, with low quality scans ans putting my negs in paper envelopes rather than in sleeves, so they got scratched and they dried bent. Grr). I need to look at all the other shots from that role to see if it's a problem with all the shots (i.e. bubbles in developing machine) or just with this lens, and if it's with all the shots of this lens (which I believe to be the case).

I'll report back soon. Thanks for the help so far!
09-22-2009, 07:19 PM   #15
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So I finally got a chance to go back home from school and I remembered to take a look at my negatives. As was guessed by a few of you, the spots were not on the negatives for all I could see, so it was just a bad scan process, and that's not surprising, since they were all badly scanned. Now to get it redone at a place that knows what they're doing...

Thanks for all your help!
Jack
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