Pale negatives and photos?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by frozebyte, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. frozebyte

    frozebyte Member

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    Hi I just developed my first roll of Fuji Experia 200 and got my local lab to develop and scan the negs. Results were far from what I expected. From what I can remember they were shot at mostly 1/1000 at around f1.4-f5.6
    22430025.JPG
    1/1000 at around f4
    Image is pale and severely lacks contrast.

    22430015.JPG
    This is one of the few decent images that were not pale and had adequate contrast, but I don't remember the settings used.

    Another decent image included a 1/15 f1.4 shot in a dimly lit tunnel.
    Could someone help me decipher if this is a problem of poor exposure (under/overexposure), poor developing, poor scanning, or film reciprocity failure (due to mostly 1/1000 shutter speeds)?

    I've checked my camera's metering and it seems to be pretty accurate, maybe 1 stop off what it reads from the dslr which I've accounted for in every photo.

    Any help is greatly appreciated, thanks!
     
  2. frozebyte

    frozebyte Member

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    22430016.JPG
    Maybe this will be a better comparison to the one above. They were shot one after another, I believe with the same settings. Vastly different.
     
  3. Arctic amateur

    Arctic amateur Member

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    Your last picture looks very underexposed and has much larger depth of field than the correctly exposed one, which means you used a smaller aperture. If you didn't also increase the shutter time this result is to be expected. The color cast is probably a scanner artifact or a faint color cast to the film which was amplified in the latter shot trying to get an image from almost nothing.
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    In the interests of factoring out the scanning variables from the equation, how do the negatives look?
     
  5. lhalcong

    lhalcong Member

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    You said you developed your first roll and your local lab developed and scan the negatives ? I am assuming you did the developing of the film and the local lab did the scanning. Having said that.
    if you have one good image or more in the same roll, then it is to be believed that the developing (processing) was correct, and the bad images are a product of bad exposure combined with scanning settings that are not optimal to the bad images. The lab may have done a batch scan without paying detailed attention to the bad images. Although somewhat they can be improved, they will be far from perfect due to incorrect exposure settings.

    Give it a second try paying more close attention to exposure and try again with exact same procedure you did before. If you know for a fact that your exposure is correct, then you can move on to the next variable.

    Regards,
     
  6. frozebyte

    frozebyte Member

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    Hi all thanks for all the help. Loosely evaluating the negatives against light with slight magnification, they are mostly pale, except for the properly exposed ones which have much contrast in the negatives. Is that a sign of underexposure, resulting in the poor scanned images as the scanner tries to make out something out of nothing? And could this underexposure be due to my shots being metered too much for the sky hence leaving the subjects underexposed? I was expecting underexposure to yield dark images with a lack of highlights, and not pale images with a lack of any contrast, could someone explain this to me?

    Greatly appreciated.
     
  7. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Underexposure sounds quite likely. That often results from including too much sky in the metering area, and the "pale" appearance is most likely due to the struggles of the scanner, plus the automatic printing procedures.

    A manually adjusted print may very well result in "dark images with a lack of highlights".
     
  8. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Yes, I think Arctic amateur correctly spotted the problem: 1/1000 at f/1.4 is properly exposed but then you stopped down to f/8 or something and that was severely underexposed. As you say, the scanner tried to get something out of nothing. You'll be very happy when you see your next rolls of film come out well exposed
     
  9. frozebyte

    frozebyte Member

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    Just an update, I scanned those negatives with a flatbed scanner and they all turned out so badly underexposed! Thanks for all the help
    negscan1.jpg
     
  10. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    If you metered for the sky, they definitely are underexposed. Most people try to shield their meters from the sky.