Just bought an OM10: whats wrong with my photos

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by thisispants, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. thisispants

    thisispants Member

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    So I just bought an old olympus om10 camera...I know a lot of people bag it but it came with a bunch of lenses so I thought I could always get an om1 when I get more money.

    So I bought a roll of 400 iso fuji standard type supermarket film....shot a bunch and sent it off for developing. The photos I got back were a bit dissapointing.... it seems to just lack colour.

    [​IMG]

    What have I done wrong? All the photos look similar to this. I was using a polariser on some shots....but others I didn't and it all pretty much looks the same. Is it the camera or the film.....or me?

    I have another SLR....a newer but I thought worse camera...a minolta dynax 440si, and the photos it took with the same film were much more colourful.

    Any help would be much appreciated.
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    There are too many variables here, and almost all of them relate to the processing.

    The image you posted is high in contrast, and depicts a very high range of subject brightnesses. As such, it will challenge any photofinisher.

    It may be the case that the OM10's lens is more contrasty than the Minolta's, and therefore might contribute to the photofinisher's difficulties, but I'd be surprised if that was a large part of the problem.

    I'd suggest you try some shots of colourful subjects, in more diffuse light (e.g. on a cloudy day) and see how they come out.

    Matt
     
  3. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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    Look at the negs are they "thin" under-exposed?
     
  4. Java

    Java Member

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    When film is processed by super markets, or other high street developers, they will scan and print your images. So it looks like who ever set up the system has got it slightly wrong giving you that "washed out look".

    Mind you Mattking points out it is also a contrasty image and the meter on the OM might have struggled.
     
  5. thisispants

    thisispants Member

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    The processing was ultra cheap.... Big W its called here in Australia....probably similar to Wallmart. Of the 24 exposures I only got 19 prints back (even though there were 24 good negetives) and someof them had wierd purple patches on it.

    I'm hoping it is the processing. I'll be going somewhere else next time.

    Thanks for all the replies!
     
  6. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    You can never judge the quality of your equipment if your only point of judgement is mini-lab prints. there are so many ways a minilab can get the results wrong. Under-replenishment of the chemistry, unskilled operators, wrong settings on the scanner for printing, etc. If you do not develop your own film, then it might be a good idea to shoot a roll of slides, such as Fuji Provia, and have it processed by a good lab. Since the film you get back is the same film that went thru your camera, there is less chance of getting something back with lab induced errors. In your example above, I just think the lab had their equipment adjusted wrong. Low color and high contrast is not a camera induced error. Weak bleach in the film processing can cause low color, and can also increase the contrast of the image.
     
  7. Prest_400

    Prest_400 Member

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    "Using print film does show you how good prints your lab". I remember from a read.
    I believe that it's your lab that processes poorly. If you use slide films you may see the colours very near as they hit the film. You could buy a roll and try.
    A relative sent me 9 rolls (4 left) of this supermarket type film, ASA 200 and I used two different labs for two rolls.
    One lab made somekind of oversaturated prints, That would be good for LOMOs but not that much for me. The other roll was processed in a lab from a big company lab, colours were more natural. But they do only print digitally, not optically.
    I had another also, from a local Kodak lab; and they made awful prints, With black bands of the sides (of the 2mm spacing between frames) and some did show 3mm of anothe rexposure, badly scanned and terrible indeed.
    I'd recommend if you can find a more traditional lab, rather than a big photo company. The more traditional labs, that still have their old processing equipment, may give you much better results, specially if they use Optical (enlarger?) printing.
     
  8. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yup, shoot some chrome. That is the best way to evaluate a camera/lens. Neg has too many variables to make anything but guesses.
     
  9. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    What you have there is a result of a few things. That is a high contrast scene, so the minilab printer averaged the values and set the printing exposure for an in between value. So you lose the shadows and bleach everything else. That has nothing to do with the film/camera.

    If there were no shadows, the print would be more reasonably averaged by the minilab printer to give better colors

    Lastly, don't hope to make the next national geographic with print film. Use print film for one thing: if you're printing optically in a darkroom onto negative paper. For everything else, use slides.

    Minilabs are computer controlled averaging devices which guess at the correct exposure and color balance and contrast and serve only to screw up the original picture. And they're not analog. If you take the minilab route choose slides and inform the printer to "make the print look like the slide."
     
  10. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Really a question rather than a comment but on my screen the pavement in the background looks slightly blue rather than closer to an neutral grey which is what I'd expect it to be. So unless it was slightly blue, or my monitor is simply wrong then it may have slight blue cast. It looks slightly "cold" to me which often looks strange especially in the high contrast scene of a hot sunny day.

    Most people actually prefer warm (i.e, slightly red cast prints) despite what they say about wanting realistic colours and won't notice a slight red cast but will instantly spot anything that is even a tad cool and blue looking.

    A lot of labs for this reason set prints to come out "warm " but haven't appeared to have done here. Fuji films are normally warm and prints from Agfa Vista film look positively strange alongside a Fuji print but in fact Agfa may well represent a more realistic colour. An analogy with cinema films of the 1950s would be Technicolor v Eastman or Deluxe. Both the latter had a cool blueness to them which looked strange in say Westerns set in the sunny Arizona desert.

    pentaxuser
     
  11. Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

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    Since you're talking about cine film, maybe you could answer a nagging question for me... I recently watched the 5 Dirty Harry movies back to back. These span from 1971 to 1989 and it was interesting looking at the different "looks" the films from the different years had. The 1976 movie just "looked" 70s but the 1983 one looked just like modern films. Any idea what happened in between 1976 and 1983 to the movie films they used? Seemed like completely different looks and I assume some revolution happened at Kodak :smile:

    cheers
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Chris:

    Did you watch the movies in a movie theatre, or were they on videotape or DVD (or...)?

    If in a movie theatre, the quality of the prints used could vary wildly. If the prints were made from something other than the original masters (most likely) you could also get a wide variety of results.

    If the movies had been transferred to video, the quality of the original source, and the duplication process itself can certainly affect the results.

    I won't comment on what watching 5 Dirty Harry movies back to back might have done to your powers of perception :smile:.

    Have you ever seen a good print of Gone With the Wind or The Wizard of Oz? Those films are old, but when the prints are good, they are still pretty impressive.

    Matt
     
  13. Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

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    Umm, I watched them on DVD.. What I was meaning was the older movies had a sort of 60's or 70's movie look to them, dunno what it was, maybe the colour or contrast? They certainly looked very different to each other. Cool movies though, and aside from any deleterious effects watching all five at the same time had on me, it was very interesting to compare them. The first 2 were just awesome, and the quality of the final 3 sort of tapered off, much like Clint Eastwood's career
     
  14. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    I know that aroundabouts 1983 kodak switched couplers and made films much more stable. Before that films typically faded quickly, sometimes within a year. Either the prints faded or the film stock looked different, or both.

    That's why technicolor dye transfer prints were irreplaceable: they were archival. The Wizard of Oz does not fade, but many movies made 30 years later did. Another example of quality versus convenience.