Too Contrasty, Every little doesnt help

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Kokoro, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. Kokoro

    Kokoro Member

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    I am not sure which section this should go in...

    I just need some information to try and track down which step in processing causes this to happen. I dont have the equipment to scan or enlarge the negatives yet so I need a little help.

    I have been getting a few films developed at tesco and I always get a cd. The quality of the pictures is inconsistant. Using the same camera and films the pictures I get back will be of different quality depending on who is on the photo desk. From some you always get good pictures back and others always bad The differences is usually grain and contrast. I am guessing overdeveloping but I am not an expert on colour process.

    When I have brought them up on it before they said the processing was all automated and they had no control over it. I did initally put it down to the fact I shot some films overexposed as a series of tests but the films since then and the ones I have got back today are next to unusable and they were definately not shot over exposed. I am sure it isnt the equipment because if anyone else was on the desk I am sure from experience the pictures would come back excelent. My cameras are a Trip 35 and Praktica MTL5, I have others but these are the work horses.

    It is also 2.30am and i am avoiding sleep right now, so I apolagise for any typos and mistakes. If I was awake enough I would probably try to edit some horse puns into this post.

    Thanks

    Kokoro
     
  2. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    If you're judging from a CD made by them, likely the scanning is the problem. Can you find a magnifying lens to look at the negatives themselves and compare ones you think are good to ones you think are bad? I'd bet it's just their scans and that you'd be able to get good results with a more competent operator (which is why many do their own - only ourselves to blame when we mess up).
     
  3. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Are you talking about c-41 color film?
     
  4. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    If it's C41, that's a major reason serious photographers often used E6 back in the day. Labs could not print well using automated equipment. So unless you hired someone else to do custom reprints, you didn't know if it was the lab screwing up your prints or if you were inept at color photography. E6 was wysiwyg, but has other constraints.

    Development for C41 should be completely automated and little opportunity for them to screw it up, aside from scratches and dust. You may have to scan them yourself or find someone else to print the good stuff. Even most automated prints these days are made from scans, which are very subjective and subject to the dichotomy of good versus cheap/fast. I pay a local lab $5/roll to develop my c41 film, then I get to scan it, print it.
     
  5. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    Tesco et al will use automated machines and the only control they really have is the quality of the chemistry - If the QA checks are not being carried out correctly or on a regular basis, then results could vary. If you are not satisfied with the quality, try another lab. ag-photolab has a growing reputation, and Peak Imaging is well established (I've used them in the past to do 5x4 C41).

    Scanning to CD is only as good as the operator & equipment - Might be worth selecting one frame and getting it printed by a Pro lab and then compare it to the scans you already have.
     
  6. Kokoro

    Kokoro Member

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