4x5 transparency film comes out monochromatic, red, and dark

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by heavydpj, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. heavydpj

    heavydpj Member

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    So here I am, making my first foray into 4x5. I purchased a used Tachihara, and have a couple lens/shutter combinations. The lens that came with the camera is a Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar 210mm with a Synchro Compur shutter The second lens is a brand new Schneider-Kreuznach Super Angulon 58mm mounted on a Copal 0. I noticed no light leaks in the bellows, and use a Sekonic L-758 DR for all exposures. I have a decade or so of what I call "cognizant" photographic experience, but I've been looking through viewfinders for three decades.

    I took my new Tachihara out for a test drive, using Fujichrome RDP-III, 100 ISO transparency film. I took 16 shots, all properly metered for the light and ISO, and sent them off to Iris Photo and Digital for processing (eventually, I'd like to get into doing my own, but I want to limit my universe of possible mistakes for the moment).

    Every negative came out very red and very dark.

    I did the same thing again with the last four sheets from the box. I shot one exposure through each lens/shutter at a "proper" exposure, and one exposure through each lens/shutter, intentionally overexposing by about 2 stops. Again, red and dark.

    Any thoughts? Is this the kind of thing you see with a user error (e.g. loading the film backwards/emulsion facing the wrong way), or is this something else? Is it heat damage (the film sat out for about fifteen minutes after the UPS guy dropped it off)? I would have thought that with transparency film, SOME color would have come through, but no luck. Everything looks rather like a color negative (and yes, I made sure that it was transparency, not negative film).

    Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 15, 2012
  2. Mike Crawford

    Mike Crawford Member

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    Think the film has been loaded the wrong way round so it has been exposed through the backing. Will when I did it at college it came out dark and red!
     
  3. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    You're shooting through the base! Flip the film around.
     
  4. heavydpj

    heavydpj Member

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    <sigh> I was afraid of that ... rookie mistake, lol.
     
  5. nexus757

    nexus757 Member

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    If the film notch is in the upper right position the emulsion side is facing you. My "Graph-Matic" film holders have notches as well, making it easy to simply match the film notch and the film holder notch together.
     
  6. Jeff Searust

    Jeff Searust Member

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    it's a negative example---

    sounds like everything else worked fine though-- you would have seen other issues with lens problems or light leaks, and actually sounds like your exposures were correct enough.
     
  7. rco3

    rco3 Member

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    Me too.

    My first two sheets of 4x5 came out dark and red. I loaded it just like they said - notch to the upper right. That was the mistake. When you talk about how to orient two things with each other, you have to reference them to each other. Saying "upper right" is only worthwhile if there is only one possible orientation of the holder itself, which is demonstrably not true. In fact, when folks tell you to put the notch in the upper right, they mean " put the notch in the upper right when the holder is oriented such that the darkslide is removed by pulling it downward." However, if you are changing film in a bag, you probably don't pull the dark slide down and slide film down in the top, that would require a very large bag and something to hold the top up to form a large enough cavity for the holder, slide, and film. Instead, you probably hold the holder in your left hand with the film opening to the right, pull the darkslide out to the left,and slide film in from the right with your right hand. In this case, the notch goes to the LOWER right. Stated another way, if the darkslide is at the top, the notch is at the lower left. Of course, you could rotate the film by 180 deg and still get a normal image...

    Probably a more foolproof way of stating the correct orientation is to note that the corner of the film closest to the notches should be clockwise from the notches.
     
  8. heavydpj

    heavydpj Member

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    rco3,

    Now that I think back, I loaded the film holders while holding them long-edge horizontal, but on a vertical plane (i.e. pulling the dark slide out to the left). In that orientation, the notch was positioned "upper-right," but thoroughly backwards, which explains my error.

    LOL ... I was actually very meticulous, just meticulously wrong (after all, I loaded all 20 sheets the same way).

    VERY usable advice that will keep me from repeating my mistake.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 15, 2012
  9. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    You're in with the Lomography group - they love that stuff!
     
  10. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    www.butzi.net - Have a look at the last image on the page.

    Don't worry about the error, most of us have done it at some point or another.