unacceptable negative developing

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by kcmy, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. kcmy

    kcmy Member

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    I'm a lurking member here at apug and value the info I receive.
    However, I have an issue which i hope some members can resolve.
    I have used the same lab several times over the last six months (6-7 rolls) and my negatives continue to come back streaked and washed out as the example shows. Both color and black and white.
    I am using a Bronica ETRSI(40th anniversary edition), AEIII Prism, with 75mm PE, tripod, MLU, and release cable. Some of the negs are great, but a large portion of them have these noticeable streaks.
    This image is just a typical example and not very good, but I would appreciate any input.
     

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  2. maarten m

    maarten m Member

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    have you confronted them with this?
    how did they respond?

    i had an issue with my lab just a few weeks ago and this resulted in them cleaning the machine twice a day!
    no one ever had brought the issue to their attention, so how would they know?

    i think the lab would (should?) be grateful if you took your problem to them (first).

    mm
     
  3. drpsilver

    drpsilver Subscriber

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    25 Jan 2011

    Kcmy:

    Looks like light is fogging the fill from the topside of the negative. I am not familiar with the Bronica ETRSI, Does it have a removable back?, or a dark slide of any sort? I had similar problems with my Hasselblad when the light seals around the dark slide were bad.

    Good luck finding out the cause.

    Regards,
    Darwin
     
  4. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    A decent lab would run control strips.

    The problem is a lot of labs these days aren't running enough film for their processes to be optimal.

    (if indeed the OP's issue is a processing problem)
     
  5. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    If this is a light leak there should be some noticable fogging at the edges of the film outside the picture area.
    It looks to me a little more like processing, but the processing for color and B&W would be entirely different, unless you're using a chromogenic B&W such as Ilford XP2.
    What B&W films are you using, and what do the edges look like in the color and B&W? Does the streaking continue past the picture area?
     
  6. kcmy

    kcmy Member

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    The Bronica does have a removable back.
    This particular image was shot with Ilford pan f plus
    here is another image that I shot with Ektar 100, i purposely altered it to highlight the streaks.
    I haven't contacted the lab, I wanted to get some opinions first.
    Thanks
     

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  7. chimneyfinder

    chimneyfinder Member

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    It does have the appearance of uneven development, but, also check that your films are wound tightly onto the reel once exposed as slight slackening can cause light leaks. (As said, this would be apparent on the edges also).
    Does this affect the whole roll ?
     
  8. Stephen Frizza

    Stephen Frizza Member

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    its not light leak it is chemical and you should inform the lab immediately! this kind of processing problem is not acceptable.

    ~Steve
    The Lighthouse Lab
     
  9. kcmy

    kcmy Member

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    Thanks for all the responses! I'm new to Medium Format but not film. I can see from viewing the images from different rolls that the streaks are consistent from image to image, but are in different places on other rolls.
    I will contact the lab, but in the meantime I am sending my next two rolls to a different lab and will post my findings.
    Thanks for the input!
    I am just totally enjoying my journey into the world of Medium Format!

    Eric
     

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  10. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    This looks more like a development issue than one with your camera. I'd talk to them about it. It's important to have a good relationship with a lab, a good working back and forth dialog with them. If they get defensive right off the bat, then I'd see about finding a new lab that might be more responsive to your concerns. Tall order, these days, I realize, but worth the effort.
     
  11. Mlatterich

    Mlatterich Member

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    Looks to me like a development issue as well. I did see similar patterns when I developed film in a drum; a Presoak in tempered water fixed the issue.
     
  12. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    I agree that it looks like a processing error, possibly bromide drag which can be caused by improper agitation. It might also be caused by problems with the rollers in a processing machine. Notice how the increased density favors the areas above higher density parts of the negative. Light leaks usually cause denser fogging and the density due to a light leak is concentrated near the edge of the film, although it may extend across a wide band with lesser intensity.
     
  13. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Sadly I've found a lot of labs that used to be good now just don't run enough film through to make it worth their while to do film properly anymore. Their chemicals are used for too long, not enough maintenance, etc. Many people get frustrated and head to the dark side because of the poor quality.

    Standard APUG advice: have you considered developing it yourself? You don't even need a dark room...
     
  14. maarten m

    maarten m Member

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    sorry to say that my experiences with drugstore-type develope-services, who send their films to bigger labs is (far) better then the specialized lab i use. B&W films i develop myself, but colors i don't. i almost lost a few films i took for a expo-project because i trusted the specialized lab more then the drugstore. luckily i could adjust the scans enough to get rid of the streaks, but it made me think again before letting important film develope in that lab. i do support the small-scale labs as much as i can because if not, they're bound to disappear ...
     
  15. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    If they door a poor job then, sorry to say, they deserve to disappear. It is nice of you to take up your problem with them so they might know to clean their machines once in a while but jeez they should do it right or just go all digital. Sad but true.

    If you can do B&W you can do color. It's easy, I don't know why color has a mystique associated with it.
     
  16. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I have nothing of value to add to this thread but would just like to say that I wish my ordinary ETRS looked as good as the one the O.P. posted a picture of!


    Steve.
     
  17. RobertV

    RobertV Member

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    Color C41 is relative simple but you have to find an easy way to maintain the 37,8C temperature during the first 3:15 minutes C41 developer.

    My opinion about the negatives: Processing error.
     
  18. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    If you look directly at your negatives are there spots on them that look metallic? If so your lab needs to clean the rollers in their machine, more than likely that is the problem, the rollers stay clean where the 35mm rides over them, but medium format uses the normally unused part of the roller resulting in what you see on your images.

    If you like the lab and it is in a good location for you please let them know about this problem, you will be helping yourself by having a good lab close to home, and you will be helping others because a machine that is well maintained will provide years of service not just for you but for others as well.

    I just had a similar problem to this with my local lab that does my 120 C-41, the lab owner thanked me, gave me free processing, and told me that next time I am shooting C-41 I just have to call her a day in advance so she can clean the rollers before I come in or I will have to wait an extra day for my film. This is why you need to support your local lab.