So what went wrong?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by lancekingphoto, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. I went on a photo walk this afternoon with my trusty, old Konica TC-X SLR, and shot a fresh (unexpired) roll of Arista.edu Ultra 100. The meter seemed to be working fine but nearly all my shots were overexposed, regardless of the subject or lighting. So I'm guessing my meter is off. More disconcerting is the fact that the majority of images also have an excessively grainy appearance. I'm attaching an example of an image that I adjusted for exposure in GIMP. This is typical of the kind of graininess I'm talking about.

    So any ideas what went wrong? A few possibilities enter my mind:

    (1) The overexposure created the grainy effect.
    (2) The age of my developer. I'm using D-76 that was mixed several months ago, but it hasn't yellowed noticeably, as I've seen with really old developer.
    (3) I got a bad roll of film.

    Or could it be something else I'm missing? I've used this film with excellent results in the past. 50mm_meetup_09.jpg
     
  2. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    Can you test your camera meter with a known accurate meter? Looks like this may be more a case of serious over- development rather than overexposure...you have some serious grain there!
    I don't know what film Arista is, but I'm sue that the grain shouldn't be like that unless you have over cooked it considerably.
    If your D76 was old the effect would be under-development, making your film too thin.
     
  3. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Couple of questions before I can try to even guess.

    What does the film look like? Is it overly thin or overly dense in the image area?
    What does the film rebate (outside the image area) look like? I know the numbers are there but is the rebate clear or if you look closely, can you see fairly even coat of what looks like an exposure to light?
    You said your D-76 is older but how was it stored? In full bottle or less than full bottle?
     
  4. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    Weird looking frame - almost looks infrared. I think the edu film is Foma 100. As Tony suggested, you should check the camera meter against another one, perhaps even an iPhone meter if that's all you have.
     
  5. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Were you giving exposure comp if most of these scenes were snow or snow and featureless sky?
     
  6. The negs look really dark for the most part in the image area, although the rebate area is clear (other than frame numbers and film info). I didn't make any adjustments for exposure, although I got similar results with shots that had no snow or especially bright features (including ones I took in/ of shaded areas). I didn't try using a separate light meter, as I've not had problems with this camera's metering before (I even put in a fresh battery yesterday).

    I believe Arista.edu Ultra 100 is, in fact, rebranded Fomapan.

    The developer is in a dark brown bottle that's a little less than half full.
     
  7. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    I always am GENEROUS with exposure with Foma films.
    I rate Foma100 at 64 normally.

    I've had D76 last out to 10 months but that was in FULL stoppered PET bottles.
     
  8. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Check your camera to see if the aperture is closing down at the time of exposure and the shutter speeds are reasonable.
     
  9. andrew.roos

    andrew.roos Member

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    One possibility is that a combination of over-exposure and under development (due to expired developer) resulted in very low contrast negs. When Gimp adjusted the exposure, it may also have pushed up the contrast, exacerbating the grain.
     
  10. AOCo

    AOCo Member

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    You are assuming the meter is faulty, but it could very well be that the shutter is off by 2 or more stops.
     
  11. Good points. I hadn't considered that the shutter itself might be off. I'm definitely going to replace the developer, and I think I'll order some smaller bottles so it's hopefully keep better.
     
  12. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    Lots of possibilities here.

    I would really encourage you to track down the exact cause of this for one (ancillary) reason: There are many in this forum who strive to get the monster grain that you accidentally managed to get. If you figure out how to repeat this (film/exposure/development, etc.), there will be many grateful photographers out there in your debt!

    I, for one, like no grain at all, but appreciate the gritty look in others' work.

    As for diagnosing your problem; do check your shutter and meter to find out if overexposure is really a factor. If not, then overdevelopment looks likely.

    However, if you have underdeveloped negs and are increasing contrast while scanning, that may be a large factor in the grain. Does an analogue print show this grain? If so, then it's not a scanning artifact.

    Good luck,

    Doremus


    www.DoremusScudder.com
     
  13. Seriously? Did my question merit that level of snarkiness? I asked an honest question about a problem and you feel the need to belittle me with your supposed superiority? I see you're certainly doing your part to advocate film usage; I'm sure all the young whippersnappers want to be just like you. Yes sir.
     
  14. mhcfires

    mhcfires Subscriber

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    Hmm… I didn't sense any degree of snarkiness. :sad: What I did sense was a serious attempt to help you determine what caused your problem. Looking at the photo you offered, I could definitely see a "been there, done that" problem which I have also encountered. I tried using Photoshop to correct the underexposure and really kicked up the grain. I was using Fomapan 100. It is a somewhat crappy film with a horrid curling problem (I'm using Fomapan 120), developed in HC-110 dilution B. To be honest, I thought the photo was pretty cool, the grain gave it some character.


    m
     
  15. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Don't take it to heart In a very large forum this is liable to happen unfortunately. Maybe the poster in question didn't appreciate that until this film the camera had been delivering good results so while cameras can and do go wrong all of a sudden this seems unlikely

    However check out the helpful replies on shutter and other issues and do try a print. This won't be the first time that what the scanner shows doesn't translate into what a print will look like.

    Best of luck

    pentaxuser
     
  16. Not from most people, pentaxuser. Sorry if it it was misdirected (I should have quoted the original comment.) This is what I was responding to:

    "Hummm. you're using a camera more than 25 years old and you wonder if the film is bad. My 1951 Studebaker won't start. I wonder if it sufferes from Climate Change. I have over 40 old film cameras and they are....well...old. I have an Olympus with a zoom lens that will not zoom. Every photo I take is wide angle. I have an original Nikon F that I dropped in 1974 and has not worked since. And I have a Brownie Reflex from about 1941 that works perfectly and takes pretty darn good photographs. Never had a bad roll of film although I've only been taking pix since 1947. "
     
  17. Not from you or most other people (see my other reply). I do appreciate the many helpful responses I received. And thanks for the feedback on the photo. :smile:
     
  18. hoopla

    hoopla Member

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    Hard to imagine this time of year, but could the D-76 have been warm?
     
  19. I can answer that one definitively: no. I'm careful to use it at 68 degrees F.
     
  20. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

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    Agree with above, I like your "accidental photo".

    BTW.... I have NEVER had a "bad roll" of film and I used to run 80 a week or more through my gear for years on end.
    Miss-handled film is another thing... too many times is the hot trunk, airport scanner, etc.

    Developer may have had stuff settled out... check the jug, anything more than a month for D-76 mixed especially with any air in the tank will cause underdevelopment... (my experience)
     
  21. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

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