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  1. #1

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    Is this a processing problem?

    Hi
    I'm new to film photography and send all my film to a pro lab for processing.
    I've been testing different varieties of black and white film to find the ones I like best for serious work.
    I recieved a roll of t-max 100 back the other day and most of the skies show a problem.
    The attached file shows a crop of the sky of one of the worse images. The first is a standard scan and the second one has the levels adjusted to show the problem more clearly.
    I'm wondering if this is a processing problem or whether it could be caused by a filter? I'm using some rather cheap Lee colour filters made from polyester. They are square and quite bendy. I'm pretty sure I used an orange filter on this one.
    Thanks.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Tmax.jpg  

  2. #2

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    I take it you are sure that the scan of the neg faithfully replicates the problem on the neg which is obvious to your eye? It cannot be a scanning issue?

    I'd have expected a more defined sky with an orange filter but I doubt that the Lee filter will be the problem unless it has an obvious defect which presumably you'd have noticed.

    Has this pro-lab processed other films of yours satisfactorily?

    If a pro-lab processes the film only how do you produce prints? If the defect is in the neg but your camera hasn't produced such negs before then it suggests that the pro-lab's processing is at fault. If it is a pro-lab then talking to them and returning the neg should produce an acknowledgement that the fault is theirs.

    With the cost of pro-lab processing and the risk of relying on others, I'd consider purchasing the equipment to do it yourself.

    pentaxuser

  3. #3

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    The problem is visible on the negative itself.
    I have had a problem with a roll of Pan-F which they developed but it was a different type of problem which they claimed was most likely moisture damage. And not caused by them.
    I've only had problems so far with black and white film. I've also been using slide film.
    I'll probably e-mail them tomorrow but thought i'd ask here first for an impartial opinion.

  4. #4
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    It looks to me sort of like surge marks from developing. Do you know how they're processing (agitating, specifically) the B&W film? Doesn't look like filter issues.

    My guess is that their colour stuff runs through an automated processor and the B&W (do they charge a lot more for B&W?) gets done by hand, which would explain why their colour results are good and the B&W are not.

    Since this is roll-film, I would recommend you process it at home. It's a little time-consuming but so very much cheaper and you get much better control than just handing it over. For about $50-100 of equipment and about $1/roll in chemistry you can do your own in the kitchen sink; see the FAQ in my signature.

  5. #5

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    I don't know how they are processing specifically. The lab is peak imaging in the UK, on their site it says they use refrema processing machinery, which means nothing to me. The price is the same for both slide and B+W.
    At the moment i'm just experimenting with film. If i start shooting it a lot I probably will look into developing it myself.

  6. #6

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    How they process the B&W film by hand , dips dunks ,roller transport ? That happen on all frame and what size of film 35 , 120 ?


    Chamon

  7. #7

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    If you value your pictures then process your own film. Then you can have some one make the prints. Yeasr ago there were companies that took pride in their work. For example Henri Cartier-Bresson never did any developing and relied on a reputable lab.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  8. #8

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    I agree with Gerald. There's a learning curve but bw is relatively easy. The hardest thing for me was learning how to reel the film (learned the hard way the reel must be dry, fix for the correct time, etc.) I'd encourage you to give it a try.

  9. #9

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    I agree that it looks like surge marks, which are usually caused by agitation technique. It's due to developer surging through the sprocket holes of 35mm film, and causing excessive chemical activity where the developer is flowing the strongest (through the holes). It's not a result I would expect from a "Pro" lab, although all human endeavors are subject to mistakes. However, the lab should work with you in refunding part or all of your fees, and work on identifying the problem in their processing scheme.

    Doing it yourself has much merit, it will not guarantee error free results, but you will be in control of your film destiny.

  10. #10
    dehk's Avatar
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    Surge marks yes, however is the negative severely over exposed / developed also?
    - Derek
    [ Insert meaningless camera listing here ]

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