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  1. #1

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    I feel like giving up on home processing...

    I've only been home processing my B&W film for a little over a month and I already feel like giving it up. But I've invested so much, like the convenience and long term affordability, so I don't know.

    For those of you who haven't been following, I've already had three issues with my home processing. First was seemingly underexposed negatives, then weird marks from temperature change and/or accidentally putting wet negs in sleeves, then water/chemical residue marks that wouldn't go away. Each time, the community of APUG has been very helpful in the problem solving, and I greatly appreciate it. So now I have a fourth issue and I'm not even on my 10th roll yet (9th, actually). I'm hoping you guys can help me out. The number of issues I've been having has been very frustrating to say the least. Is it normal to have this many issues in such a short period of time? I know there's a learning curve, but it feels like I'm having more issues than I really should. Whenever I feel like I'm getting the hang of things and it starts getting easier, another hurdle is thrown my way.

    So, let me explain, and then I will add images to further illustrate after.

    I've graduated to processing two rolls at a time now, first time was ok. Second time (yesterday), not bad either. On the two rolls I processed yesterday, one was from a Nikon F90, the other a Konica Hexar roll. Both HP5 in DD-X for 9 minutes. The F90 roll appears to be fine. The Hexar roll (why is it always an issue with this camera, never have an issue with F90 home processed rolls...) on the other hand, had a peculiarity.

    Much of the roll appears fine, good exposure, good processing, what have you. But the middle section of the roll came out extremely dark - so that means they're really bright. They seem very dense, most you can make out the photos somewhat against very bright light, but some look almost smudged (?). I don't get it - the entire other roll is fine, and about 40-50% of this roll looks fine too. The only thing I can think of is uneven development (but I would think this would translate to the F90 roll too) or something within the camera at the time of exposure.

    I don't know. All these issues are a big turn off. On top of this, I had a real fun (not really) time trying to get the damn cap off of the DD-X bottle earlier this week. Does it get better?

    Anyways, here are some photos

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    I'll post some scans in a second.
    cities & citizens - edmonton street photography (mostly), 100% film

  2. #2

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    So the first two are ones that turned out fine, the last two didn't...

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    The good news is it doesn't look as bad as it does right off the negatives. I think I can fix the overexposure with editing programs. But will this be an issue if one day I start wet printing?

    Also, even though these issues seem persistent only with the Konica Hexar, I have doubts that this was a camera flaw. I mean, the exposure was set to -0.3 or -0.7, so if anything, it should be underexposed, not overexposed. Plus I haven't had any issue with C-41 or any B&W that I got lab processed.

    People always seem to say that processing your own film is a breeze, so simple. Ok, to some degree, but there seem to be a lot of issues and annoyances too, maybe I'm just getting an unusually large amount of problems...
    cities & citizens - edmonton street photography (mostly), 100% film

  3. #3
    MattKing's Avatar
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    That looks like an exposure problem to me - as if the shutter on the Hexar was staying open too long.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  4. #4
    Barry S's Avatar
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    Yep, negs look fine, but the latter frames are overexposed.

  5. #5

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    How though? I mean, I routinely underexpose my photos as it is. And it's not like it was so much brighter in those latter frames to warrant such a bright exposure. I've had C-41 done recently, and B&W back in Jan before I started home processing, all turned out fine. And until this roll, no issues whatsoever with overexposure on home processed rolls. I do have to say digital was so much easier, hardly any issues. It really takes a dedication to film to last through all these issues, not to mention past issues (some of which were documented on here).

    Thing is too it's been over 30 days so I can't really return it. I don't know if I could afford a repair. It's not something I would've thought I'd need on such a modern camera. Maybe my Yashica, but not this '90s camera.
    cities & citizens - edmonton street photography (mostly), 100% film

  6. #6
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Did you accidentally change the film speed selection or exposure compensation for part of the roll?

    The camera might need a cleaning if it is nearly 20 years old - the shutter might be sticking in some circumstances.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    That looks like an exposure problem to me - as if the shutter on the Hexar was staying open too long.
    I agree. There's no visible effect outside the frame area (well, a tiny bit of bleed at the edges), which strongly suggests that the extra light arrived while the frame was in the film gate.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  8. #8

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    I don't change film speed. I always shoot box speed, though now that I am home processing, I have been meaning to try different ratings. It is possible that I had a varying exposure compensation. I could've used both -0.3 and -0.7, either way, that should've made it darker, not brighter. I also don't think, based on where the overexposure begins and ends, that this was the issue. If I did change exp comp, it'd have been after turning the camera off then back on. I don't recall doing that at the intervals it switches to overexposure.

    Cleaning how - is it something I could do at home or is it a fairly cheap and readily available repair that I could get done?
    cities & citizens - edmonton street photography (mostly), 100% film

  9. #9

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    Are you by any chance shooting in Aperture priority mode? Konika Hexar (non-RF version) has the highest
    shutter speed of 250. With this film in bright daylight you must use aperture 16 or smaller. I see one of your shots has rather shallow DOF which leads me to think that you opened the lens too much and exceeded the maximum shutter speed on this camera. For daylight outside shooting, I would recommend switching to ISO 100 film, and watch your shutter speed/aperture carefully.

    EDIT: Of couse, there is always the possibility of shutter sticking in an older camera.

  10. #10

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    What seems to be happening is, on your second camera, it is intermittently over exposing by quite a bit. That has nothing to do with your darkroom skills or chemicals/processing. I had similar issue with my old Olympus OM-10. Either metering is flaky, shutter speed is unstable, or aperture is sticking/not stopping down. But, it has NOTHING to do with your processing of film. If it was uneven development, you'll be noticing problems in frames. Instead, you have perfect frame right next to bad ones. That's a sure sign the exposure is intermittently bad.

    This is your 9th roll and you solved that many problems? Seems you are too close to perfection to quit.

    I've been struggling with my medium format gear and I've spent more than dozen rolls!

    Tell you what.... that early in your learning process, using multiple equipment will confuse you. Stick with a camera that works. Process film ONE AT A TIME.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

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