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  1. #1
    girlafraid's Avatar
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    My 1st blank film.

    I've just had my first big film disaster.

    I'm so angry with myself and I'm desperate for it not to happen again. I've never had a film that couldn't be developed in the 3 years since I quite digital. Of course it had to be a precious roll too. It was due to a catalogue of errors which started with me forgetting to zero the image counter when I loaded the film. As for what went wrong after that I'm guessing either it somehow got caught or I went past the point it needed to be rewound if not both. Anyway the film completely came out of the cassette. I did get it out in as dark a room as I could but clearly it got exposed. To be honest I think I knew it was ruined but I just couldn't let go of the hope something had survived so I sent it off. A completely blank film was returned. I know the best thing to do would have been to take the whole camera into a camera shop or such like but that wasn't really possible.

    I never want this to happen again. What is the best way to deal with this situation or tips to stop it happening? Or just reassurance I'm not a complete idiot for letting this happen!

    I kind of hated film for the next few days! As someone who has lost countless digital shots I always had a certain sense of smugness that now all my photos are safely in a draw. Not these though.

    Just some info -
    35mm film
    Zenit e camera

  2. #2

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    When you say blank, do you mean completely transparent, or completely black?

    If the former, then the film hasn't been exposed or developed correctly - are there any edge markings visible, and is there a black leader? if there is quite literally nothing at all, then it hasn't been developed correctly (perhaps - if it is black and white film - it has gone through a colour process); if there is a black leader and edge markings, then there is perhaps a camera fault (shutter failure or wind-on failure)

    If the latter, then it probably did get exposed when you unloaded it.

  3. #3

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    At the end of the cassette the film is held firmly by a form of a "tooth" which grips the middle of the film in the middle of the spool or if Kodak then I believe it is effectively taped to the middle of the spool similar to how bulk loaded film is held.

    In both cases the film will be held so firmly that it would take quite a bit of leverage with the film advance lever to break it away from the spool and thus free of the cassette

    All I can advise is that you check it is at no 1 frame when you start which you have worked out for yourself and if you were ever to forget but later remember so that you couldn't be sure where you were in the roll then carefully wind forward at each frame and when you feel greater than normal resistance rewind the film. Do not continue to try and wind forward but simply assume you have reached the end

    I predict that this has been such a devastating incident for you that out of the many mistakes we all make with a camera this may well be the one that you will never make again.

    My commiserations

    pentaxuser

  4. #4
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by girlafraid View Post
    Or just reassurance I'm not a complete idiot for letting this happen!
    Be not afraid, girl. You're not an idiot. You're just in standard learning mode. And you're already way ahead of the 99% who will never publicly admit their mistakes and ask for some outside input. That attitude assures you will learn quicker. Every single person on this site has botched something at some point. Every single one. And then subsequently learned from it.

    Because, you see, the ONLY point in life where learning is possible is right at the point of failure. If one never fails—avoids reaching that point—one never needs to stretch to get beyond that failure. Then all that ever happens is the successful repetition of things already comfortably known.

    And how boring is that?



    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  5. #5

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    Probably a miss load, if it has edge numbers. Been there done that frequently.

    When you attach film to take up spool hold film by thumb on film at sprocket tooth and wind the rewind knob carefully to tension film in the cassette until you detect resistance.

    Then close back then check the rewind knob turns as you shoot the blank frames.

    If it does not turn immediately you have a miss load.

    If you get a bottom loader Leica, Zorki or Fed you will get lots of miss loads.

    Noel

  6. #6
    mrred's Avatar
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    All i can say is welcome to the club, and don't be too hard on yourself. I remember a friend of mind having to put dye in his film fixer. He would consistently fix before develop, when overwhelmed.

    Just shake your head and keep moving forward.
    Get it right in the camera, the first time...

  7. #7
    GRHazelton's Avatar
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    Just a couple of my goofs from many years in photography.

    Let me share one of my classic goofs! When new to photography and being a callow youth of about 13, I had mixed up some fresh fixer. I didn't label the bottle, relying on the "pickle" scent to distinguish it from the also unmarked developer. You folks can predict the outcome. I had a cold.... I couldn't smell the fixer, and I fixed the film in that fresh stuff. All gone.

    Just recently I pre-loaded two daylight tanks. Must be genetic, I didn't label either. I souped one, then decided to do the other later. Again, you can see what's coming. All gone. Just the merest exposure in dim room light. 400ASA film. Now if I preload I put a strip of masking tape over the top, labeled with what the film is. So far, so good .... Until my next error.

  8. #8
    GRHazelton's Avatar
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    My most recent camera loading screwup. Just one of many.

    Here's another. Some time ago I was shooting with my Pentax LX, and really enjoying the silky smooth film advance feel. Ball bearings, I suppose. Then I noted that I'd run through 35 exposures on what I was sure was a 24 exposure cassette, since I almost never bought 36 load. Yep. Hadn't loaded the camera, a camera I'd been using for 8 or 10 years. Doh!

  9. #9

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    When you first wind off 3 exposures to get past the leader watch to see if the rewind knob turns. If it does then the film is loaded correctly. If not then gently test to see if you can turn the knob as if to rewind. if you cannot turn it more than say a turn or so without tension then the film is loaded correctly. This should become a habit whenever you load film.
    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

  10. #10
    Fixcinater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
    When you first wind off 3 exposures to get past the leader watch to see if the rewind knob turns. If it does then the film is loaded correctly. If not then gently test to see if you can turn the knob as if to rewind. if you cannot turn it more than say a turn or so without tension then the film is loaded correctly. This should become a habit whenever you load film.
    After having a couple of blank rolls, this has become my standard operating procedure when shooting 35mm. Some Canon's also have a rotating eyeball (for lack of a better term) to show that film is actually moving, which comes in handy if you forget to test the rewind.

    Similarly, I once double-exposed 3 of the 4 4x5 shots I developed (not *that* long ago), and the other one was totally blank due to a mix-up in my numbering scheme. Took me at least an hour to shoot those 4 frames, plus an hour to load/unload and develop them. At least they weren't chromes, is all I could tell myself.

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