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04-23-2010, 02:26 PM   #1
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They said my film was blank ? (solved)

Hello from Maine,

I bought a Pentax P3n as "film tested"

Eventually I ran a roll of Fuji Superia 400 through it, I was excited - it was only my 2nd roll of film in my adult life

(I shoot digital mostly)

So I brought it into Wal-Mart and handed it over to the guy who's been there for a long time, he seems to know what he's doing. I did not go cheap and have it "sent away", I paid to have it developed "in house".

An hour later my niece was going to that same store and picked it up for me, they told her it was blank and she has an envelope full of blank negatives she's bringing home to me (she called me with her cell phone from the store).

So .... "All blank" ... Have you guys heard of that before ?

Also, I checked the camera, the shutter works and everything.

And as an SLR it's not as though I shot a roll with the cap on.

I wonder what happened ?

Do you guys have any ideas ?

Luckily I had taken digital pics at the same time, I was going to later compare.

*phew*

I guess that's why we "film test" these cameras casually before using them for important things!

Tell me what you think

Thanks,
Craig


Last edited by spystyle; 01-14-2011 at 06:53 PM.
04-23-2010, 02:44 PM   #2
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The most common question to you would be:

Are you sure that the film was engaged and winding? All of us have miss-threaded the film take-up and shot a roll of blanks. On the P3n, the film leader needs to engage both the sprocket teeth and the spool teeth on the film take-up. Film wind is confirmed by the turning of the rewind knob when the wind lever is stroked.

You should be able to confirm that the shutter is working by examination with the film back open and the shutter release is pressed. If the film is wound properly and the shutter opening, you should be getting some sort of exposed shots.

Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 04-23-2010 at 03:47 PM.
04-23-2010, 02:53 PM   #3
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The usual reason for this is that the film did not load properly. Perhaps the end slipped off the take-up spool, so when you thought it was advancing it was doing nothing of the kind. When you rewound and took the film out, it had never been exposed.

Some cameras provide some sort of feedback to prevent you from not noticing this is happening, but I don't know this body so can't say. It is also possible to tell from the tension when you advance, but if you are unfamiliar with the camera this might have passed you by.

You could always waste a roll of film by loading it as you did before, advancing it, and then opening the back to be sure it is going onto the take-up correctly. Actually, this might only waste you a few frames. If you find it is loaded correctly, close the back quickly and advance a couple dead shots. (Do this in a dim place, obviously.)

EDIT: Steve -- you beat me to the punch!
04-23-2010, 03:08 PM   #4
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Dang, it's so frustrating!

I just confirmed it - the camera's shutter works. Also the counter will count even if there is no film in there.

It's likely user error

04-23-2010, 03:12 PM   #5
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Well, it happens even to the most seasoned ones....
you have to make sure the film is engaged in the take up spool.
Check after you shoot the 1st 2 frames if the rewidn wheel rotates when you wind the film.
Or wind 1 or 2 with the back open to make sure the film is going well into the take up
04-23-2010, 03:25 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by spystyle Quote
Dang, it's so frustrating!

I just confirmed it - the camera's shutter works. Also the counter will count even if there is no film in there.

It's likely user error

No reason for embarrassment. We have all done this. I remember one vacation where I was congratulating myself on having squeezed 38 exposures from a single 36 exposure roll. When I got to 40, I became suspicious...


Steve
04-23-2010, 03:32 PM   #7
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You only got 40? My counter stopped and I kept going to 45 . They were all blank, but I got 45 of 'em. I'll second Steve's comment to Spystyle: Don't feel bad. We've all been there and done that. You've done it now, have the t-shirt, and hopefully have gotten it out of your system. Sometimes you have happy accidents with the film advance and end up with stuff like this...



Maybe you should be grateful your film came back blank... <g>.

Best,
Kevin
04-23-2010, 04:01 PM   #8
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Do you have the correct ASA speed set on the camera for the film you are using? An incorrect ASA setting could cause this.
Phil

04-23-2010, 05:56 PM   #9
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I wonder if I could do the following to solve my dilemma

Load film and shoot until the counter reads "one", as the manual states.

Under the night's darkness, wearing night vision goggles, open the film door and make sure it's spooled properly !!!

Could it work or would the infrared light from the night vision goggles disturb the film?

I've had my eye on Russian military surplus night vision goggles for a very long time, but now I see there is a freakin' night vision TOY for little boys! Quite affordable compared to military gear and maybe adequate for said job.

EyeClops night vision, Toys Hobbies, Electronics. Great deals on eBay!

Could it work or is that the dumbest thing you've ever heard ?

You can't imagine my shame, "shooting" a roll of unspooled film, then having it developed

I should be deported and forced to use Kodak EasyShare forever

But thank you all for the replies and encouragement I'll keep trying !

QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
Do you have the correct ASA speed set on the camera for the film you are using? An incorrect ASA setting could cause this.
Phil
Yes I have over a year of photography study under my belt and I am a nerd, I certainly had the ISO set correctly.

I always explain to people that photography is ISO, aperture, and shutter speed, like a scale with three plates

QuoteOriginally posted by KJon Quote
...
Maybe you should be grateful your film came back blank... <g>.

Best,
Kevin
Now that is an interesting photo

QuoteOriginally posted by titrisol Quote
Well, it happens even to the most seasoned ones....
you have to make sure the film is engaged in the take up spool.
Check after you shoot the 1st 2 frames if the rewidn wheel rotates when you wind the film.
Or wind 1 or 2 with the back open to make sure the film is going well into the take up
Oh I see, the rewind lever would turn with the film advancing - but they wouldn't be connected if the film wasn't spooled (and therefore it wouldn't turn with the film advancing). Hey I'll try that It's cheaper than night vision.

Thanks all,
Craig

Last edited by spystyle; 04-23-2010 at 06:45 PM.
04-23-2010, 06:40 PM   #10
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I've done the same thing. Film is hard to spool at first, especially off-brand (usually re-badged fuji) and fuji 200. At least, in my ancient spotmatic. Your camera might have a slightly wider slot in the take-up. (I've found the above films don't slide neatly through, meaning sometimes they go in properly, then drop after the first exposure. I once shot 24 exposures on one roll, and once tore through the sprocket holes. Being a photography student is really a pain in the a** sometimes. If it were possible to burst into flame from embarrassment, I would have. I know your pain very well, and now ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS check the button which must be pushed for re-wind, to check that is turning during the first 2-3 frames.
04-23-2010, 06:42 PM   #11
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Yep, another vote for the didn't check to make sure the film was winding. I once shot a roll of beautiful blank negatives of a friends wedding. No I wasn't the official photographer, thank goodness.

CW
04-23-2010, 08:53 PM   #12
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Hey if I get a darkroom light bulb (safelight?) can I safely open my camera and check if the film is in there correctly ?

---------------------------------------------------------

Also, here are some pics that would have also been on film - I was shooting both film and digital so I could compare









I wonder how they would have looked in film ?

Have fun!
Craig

p.s. Here is my Flickr
04-23-2010, 11:14 PM   #13
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no, a safe light will not protect film from being exposed.
04-24-2010, 01:35 AM   #14
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We get the odd blank roll coming through the lab.
It's when we get 2 in a row coming through that we start wondering if somethings wrong with the machine.

C41 machines are such a basic design, nothing can really go wrong.
The machine just pulls the film through several vats of liquid, at the proper speed.
These fluids are all monitored with sensors, so we can't even start the process unless everything is right.
04-24-2010, 07:49 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by KungPOW Quote
no, a safe light will not protect film from being exposed.
I see ... How about night vision ? Would the IR light from that expose the film ?
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