Did my lab ruin these negatives?
Old 04-01-2015   #1
beedubs
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Did my lab ruin these negatives?

Hey all,

I just pushed my first roll of tri-x to 1600.
Unfortunately the results were less than impressive.

I shot the roll on my M2 and used an external incident light meter set to 1600.

Having no experience with pushing film, maybe it was my fault but as I have never done it before I can't tell if the pushed negatives should have come out like they did.

My main question is should the boarders be so dark?
I fell like they didn't cook it for long enough.

I've also included a photo of some tri-x shot and developed at 400 by the same lab as a comparison.


Thanks for your time,



Dan.



Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1600.jpg (85.6 KB, 66 views)
File Type: jpg 400.jpg (103.6 KB, 59 views)

Last edited by beedubs : 04-01-2015 at 07:17. Reason: High res images
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Old 04-01-2015   #2
Keith
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I assume they knew the film had been pushed two stops?
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Old 04-01-2015   #3
beedubs
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Yep, the lady at the lab marked the roll as (Push/1600) on the order sheet.
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Old 04-01-2015   #4
AndersG
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It looks like the out-of-frame area is dark too, so as far as I can guess either the whole film has been exposed to light or it has been insufficiently fixed.

I'd be inclined to suspect the latter, and that would be the good case as you could then refix it with fresh fixer. OTOH, it doesn't speak well of the lab if they would i) use expired fixer and ii) not even notice it before returning the negatives.
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Old 04-01-2015   #5
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Thanks for the reply Anders, I didn't know that was possible.
I will take them back tomorrow and see what they can do :]
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Old 04-01-2015   #6
leicapixie
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I am not sure about the negs..so dark and contrasty.
I had to go thru my files many years ago, tossing old pro work.
In about 4,000 rolls only 2 over a few decades, had faded and stained.
These were 2 rolls done by a pro lab.
BW is so easy. Do your own.
Very few chemicals, a change bag, scissors, measuring beaker,tank and 2 reels if steel, thermometer.
You can process in bathroom or kitchen.
Keep everything the same.
I used Rodinal for over 40 years till I changed to Kodak HC-110.
Good luck with lab.
I have never pushed to 1600 ISO.
One tends to get more contrast unless a developer like Diafine.

Last edited by leicapixie : 04-01-2015 at 04:08. Reason: spell error
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Old 04-01-2015   #7
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Looks like heavy fog from being light struck. Was it factory loaded tx or did you spool it yourself?
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Old 04-01-2015   #8
beedubs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x-ray View Post
Looks like heavy fog from being light struck. Was it factory loaded tx or did you spool it yourself?
Factory loaded
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Old 04-01-2015   #9
Sarcophilus Harrisii
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The other point is that although incident metering can be a very reliable and accurate way to determine exposure, it is ideal for transparency for instance, because it is keyed to highlights, and film speed for transparency is determined on the basis of highlights. For black and white it is based on shadows, and you would normally find that some additional exposure over and above what the meter reading shows will be desirable, start with a stop and see how you go.

Many film photographers prefer to use alternative metering methods for black and white for this reason, Eg. a centre-weighted in camera meter or a spot meter. Despite what some people will tell you to the contrary, you can certainly use incident metering for black and white, if you want to--I often do, because I spent so much time using it for transparency before I began using black and white, so I'm quite comfortable with it and what I'm going to get from my readings--however you do need to understand how it works, what it is you are metering, and how to interpret the shadow and highlight areas in your scene and the dynamic range (overcast, even lighting: or full sun and deep shadows, etc?) and then make the appropriate adjustments as required. An alternative is to take multiple incident readings at various parts of the scene according to their brightness, and then (usually) to bias towards the shadow readings so you can retain usable detail in them.

None of this is to suggest you shouldn't experiment with alternative reflective-based metering techniques to see what works for you of course. But on the basis that the best meter is the one you have with you, the above suggestions may help you ensure you get the exposure you want with your current meter, giving your lab (or, even better, if possible, yourself) the best chance of producing good, printable negs.
Cheers,
Brett
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Old 04-01-2015   #10
beedubs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarcophilus Harrisii View Post
The other point is that although incident metering can be a very reliable and accurate way to determine exposure, it is ideal for transparency for instance, because it is keyed to highlights, and film speed for transparency is determined on the basis of highlights. For black and white it is based on shadows, and you would normally find that some additional exposure over and above what the meter reading shows will be desirable, start with a stop and see how you go.

Many film photographers prefer to use alternative metering methods for black and white for this reason, Eg. a centre-weighted in camera meter or a spot meter. Despite what some people will tell you to the contrary, you can certainly use incident metering for black and white, if you want to--I often do, because I spent so much time using it for transparency before I began using black and white, so I'm quite comfortable with it and what I'm going to get from my readings--however you do need to understand how it works, what it is you are metering, and how to interpret the shadow and highlight areas in your scene and the dynamic range (overcast, even lighting: or full sun and deep shadows, etc?) and then make the appropriate adjustments as required. An alternative is to take multiple incident readings at various parts of the scene according to their brightness, and then (usually) to bias towards the shadow readings so you can retain usable detail in them.

None of this is to suggest you shouldn't experiment with alternative reflective-based metering techniques to see what works for you of course. But on the basis that the best meter is the one you have with you, the above suggestions may help you ensure you get the exposure you want with your current meter, giving your lab (or, even better, if possible, yourself) the best chance of producing good, printable negs.
Cheers,
Brett
Thanks for the reply mate but it doesn't really relate to my problem.
I only used the meter for the indoor shots while I used the sunny 16 rule for the outside shots, yet all seem underexposed.

On a side note, can anyone provide a picture of negatives that were pushed from 400 to 1600, as I want to see if your sprocket areas are as black as mine, cheers!
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Old 04-01-2015   #11
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The film looks fogged. The vertical dark brown bands that I see at regular intervals tells me that the film was rolled when it was exposed to light. Looks like the back of the camera was accidentally open...but I don't know if the back door of an M2 can do that kind of pattern. The fact that the film on the first row is less fogged that the other rows also points to an open back, since the first frames of the film are under and will likely be less exposed to light and therefor less fogged.

Another possibility would be that the film was fogged on the developing reel since the first frames would also be under. But in that case I think the dark brown bands would be larger, unless the source light that fogged the film was small.
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Old 04-01-2015   #12
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x 4 on film fog. If it were improperly fixed you should see some sort of a milky effect on the film's translucency.

Perhaps they accidently flashed the film when they were loading it into the tank. If the whole roll is like this then its clearly their fault.

Shame that a lab would return results like this without thinking twice. Just goes to show that these days there aren't enough film competent people out there.
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Old 04-01-2015   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laviolette View Post
The film looks fogged. The vertical dark brown bands that I see at regular intervals tells me that the film was rolled when it was exposed to light.

The dark brown bands are from the fluro light box underneath the negs that my iphone picked up, they're not there in real life :/
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Old 04-01-2015   #14
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Yup, the lab fogged the film. Which is why (as others have surmised) everything - film sprocket strips, borders - is dark.
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Old 04-01-2015   #15
beedubs
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Maybe I jumped the gun but the black sprocket areas threw me.
(Can anyone look at their pushed negs to see if its the same?)

Here's a scan of one of the images, taken in the shade, f/16 @ 1/250
if I remember correctly.

Again, I've never pushed to 1600 before so is this just what I should have expected?


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Old 04-01-2015   #16
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Just added high res shots of the negs in the first post.

Does anyone else's pushed negatives look the same?
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Old 04-01-2015   #17
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The sprocket area and any other area outside the film gate certainly should not be black so something is not right with that film.

My pushed Tri-X basically look like your EI400 Tri-X (more or less, the difference will be in the finer details of tones and contrast).
Example in my RFF gallery.

Can you compare the colour of the emulsion in these areas with that of unexposed Tri-X?
For developed unfixed Tri-X heavily light exposed film would be black, i.e., darker than unexposed Tri-X (I see that every time I test my developer on a piece of film).

OTOH I have never looked at unfixed unexposed developed Tri-X so I don't know what colour to expect there.
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Old 04-01-2015   #18
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That's not what pushed negatives look like. While you've got an image there, the film has clearly been fogged somewhere, as others have told you. This has nothing to do with pushing - whether or not you pushed, there should be nothing but fb+f density on the sprocket area.

Either the camera has a major light leak or the lab screwed up. Looks like some negatives that students I know had when they accidentally had the top light trap seal pushed out of the tank top.

I would be asking for a refund of the development costs and film costs, and chalk it up to a learning experience - that is, that you should develop your own film. At least b&w.
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Old 04-01-2015   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beedubs View Post
Just added high res shots of the negs in the first post.

Does anyone else's pushed negatives look the same?
The film was fogged when it was out of the camera and most likely when out of the cassette. Heat/age fog can be this even despite the film being wound in a cassette, but only if applied very slowly over significant time. This was probably fogged in the lab (improperly closed machine cover, less than "dark" changing room, ...).

Pushing film will increase the D-min (the "clear" base density), but only by a small amount, what most people would call a trivial amount.
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Old 04-01-2015   #20
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I would wrap up this discussion with the following conclusions:
- the film has been fogged, most likely by someone who pulled out the roll from the cartridge not in complete dark
- giving your films to a lab is not a good idea, developing yourself is a must, the faster you get there, the better for you
- pushing film will give you ugly negatives, take my advice and get a faster lens and/or a tripod. Tri X can work acceptably around EI 1000 in Acufine or Diafine, but it looks much better exposed at EI 200, which is where you should be exposing it
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Old 04-01-2015   #21
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Agree your film is fogged, uniformly it appears. The sprocket/edge area D-min of standard processing should only increase slightly, as suggested earlier, when pushed or over-processed. You will see marked increase in grain and contrast on prints and scans.

Not sure the lab is to blame as the film could have been fogged before they de-spooled it - but I cast another vote for processing your own bw film. It's easy, controllable, and the results are all you. BW processing is also a very subjective thing, and the best results are often achieved with testing, both of exposure index and processing times. The best labs can only go "by the book". I've been shooting for 40 years and never had a lab process a roll or sheet of bw film. I didn't even realize you could find a lab still doing that. Color processes like C-41 and E-6 have control strips and standards to meet with testing, though few or no such QA standards exist for bw - to many emulsions and developers to even begin standardizing.
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Old 04-01-2015   #22
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On further pondering I think I found more reason to believe the lab fogged the film after removing it from the cartridge.

Not wanting to wait to see my first pushed film, I had only shot 32 frames before I wound the film back into its case.

So if my camera had somehow let light in, the last frames should still have come out clear, yet they obviously didn't and have come out as black as the rest of the film (the last strip only appears lighter as my light box only has one light at the top).

The only other possibility is that the film was already fogged when Kodak loaded it, has anyone experienced that?

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Old 04-02-2015   #23
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I just got back from the lab but the technician had already left.
The manager seemed to think that the darkness was just caused by pushing the film two stops (400 to 1600) and said that if it had been exposed to light on their end it would be completely black.

Can someone please post some photo's of pushed negs so I can show the lab how they should have turned out?


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Old 04-02-2015   #24
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... they look like any other negatives, or rather you would need a microscope to see the difference

Those have been fogged, the film's edge and frame gaps don't develop no matter how far you push the development, ask the manager again
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Old 04-02-2015   #25
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I don't have any, but here is a pic of what it's supposed to look like. No different on the sprockets. http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/1...id-11-a-4.html
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Old 04-02-2015   #26
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... those are sill a bit underexposed even then
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Old 04-02-2015   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beedubs View Post
I just got back from the lab but the technician had already left.
The manager seemed to think that the darkness was just caused by pushing the film two stops (400 to 1600) and said that if it had been exposed to light on their end it would be completely black.

Can someone please post some photo's of pushed negs so I can show the lab how they should have turned out?


Cheers
That is total Bull**** on the part of the lab ! They should know better. +1 for doing your own. Even the usual newbie mistakes would have not wrecked your film like this. Also why push when you dont need to ? Rangefinders are good for handling at slow speeds, at least one stop slower than an SLR. Good luck.
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Old 04-02-2015   #28
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I shot most of the roll in the local art gallery where the light isn't the best :[
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Old 04-02-2015   #29
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... yes but that would make the negatives lighter not darker
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Old 04-02-2015   #30
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couple of things. the density is odd in the last photo in that the tail end shows less fogging than the start of the roll. also how is the lab processing the film ? roller ? dip and dunk ? regular reels and tank ? trying to figure out the last picture.
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Old 04-02-2015   #31
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Quote:
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... yes but that would make the negatives lighter not darker
?

Quote:
Originally Posted by newsgrunt View Post
couple of things. the density is odd in the last photo in that the tail end shows less fogging than the start of the roll. also how is the lab processing the film ? roller ? dip and dunk ? regular reels and tank ? trying to figure out the last picture.
I don't know how they process :/

Also, the negs seem to be of even density in real life, they only appear different in the photo as the light box I have only has a single globe at the top
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Old 04-02-2015   #32
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... well, its the other way round, if you take a photo in a dark room, the neg will be clear and the print dark, you are seeing the opposite of that. So what the chap at the lab is suggesting is the wrong way round, your film has had too much light on it across its full width.
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Old 04-02-2015   #33
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I'd ask how they process, could help diagnose what went wrong. Btw, how fresh was the film and how was it stored ?

Also guessing this is the first time you've used this lab and are there any other places you can use ?

One possibility could be that the developer was too warm/hot and cooked the film so to speak.
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Old 04-02-2015   #34
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I'd ask how they process, could help diagnose what went wrong. Btw, how fresh was the film and how was it stored ?

Also guessing this is the first time you've used this lab and are there any other places you can use ?

One possibility could be that the developer was too warm/hot and cooked the film so to speak.
Film was fresh, 2016 exp.
The lab is the one I always use, there's only 2 in Perth :[
It was the first time I had pushed film to 1600 though.

Going to start doing B+W at home from now I think.
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Old 04-02-2015   #35
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thanks. I would still ask about their process as that can be very important. if they use roller transport, the lid may have been left ajar allowing light to fog your film. I can't stress enough how important this info is.

but yup, processing your own black and white is very simple and good luck, it can be kind of dry (I liken it to watching paint dry) but seeing your negatives come out of the wash will be well worth the effort !
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Old 04-02-2015   #36
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Stray light all over the half roll.
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