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  1. #1

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    Beginner's question: 35mm colour film pictures turn out very dull

    Hiya,

    I'm very new to film photography and have only developed a few 35mm colour film rolls shot with an Olympus XA. The first two roles turned out lovely, I had them developed at Jessops. With Jessops closing down I brought another colour roll to some Kodak Express shop (£12 a roll, geez!!) but they all turned out very grey-ish and dull.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I know there are probably dozens of reasons how this can happen, but is there maybe a common mistake that causes this dullness? I had a look on google but couldn't really find anything about it. Or can this come from developing the pictures wrongly? I could more or less fix them in photoshop but then that's not really the point of analog photography...

    Also, are there any shops you can recommend for developing films in the UK?

    Cheers!
    Last edited by rookie; 03-04-2013 at 09:49 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2

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    You need a new lab. Quality = cost. I'd find whatever your country's equivalent to Richard Photo Lab is.

    I don't know who scanned this for you, but it is just abysmal. God knows what the chemistry looked like.

  3. #3
    chriscrawfordphoto's Avatar
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    Are you showing us scans of the prints they made, or are these scans the lab made? I ask because bad scanning can cause the muddy look. It can also be caused by underexposure (your fault) or underdevelopment, or bad chemicals (lab's fault). The dust is a matter of the lab keeping things clean, which they didn't do well!
    Chris Crawford
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  4. #4
    polyglot's Avatar
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    My bet is they are scans, and the scanner operator is clueless. Not only is the film dirty, the black-point is set completely inappropriately. The film may or may not be fine, but you need to get it scanned elsewhere to know.

    As to UK recommendations, Ag Photographic is an APUG advertiser and they reportedly do quite good work.

  5. #5
    Ricardo Miranda's Avatar
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    As you are in the UK, how far are you from a Poundland shop? They sell Agfaphoto Vista Plus 200 for, you guess it, a £1.
    For development I recommend Snaps Photo services: http://www.snapsphotoservices.com/
    For buying films other than Agfaphoto, google Ag Photographic, Silverprint, RK Photographic, Mathers of Lancashire, Discount films Direct, Mailshots, Morco, Firstcall Photographic.
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  6. #6
    mr rusty's Avatar
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    I always use photo-express in Hull. http://www.photo-express.co.uk/

    Their prices are competitive, and their quality has always been good. If you get 35mm developed and scanned it's £4.50 and you get 6Mp scans. Films come back very quickly. As others have said AG also have a new developing service. Haven't used it yet. For buying films, AG, Silverprint, Mathers, and keep an eye on 7dayshop for deals, although they aren't as competitive as they used to be due to the VAT changes.

    Don't get disillusioned - buy good film . I'm not too sure about the poundland stuff, might be really good, or might not. If I was starting out I would be using top quality to begin with to make sure bad film wasn't a factor in my photos, and to set a benchmark. Ektar or Portra are suggestions. get the lab to scan - you will never do it yourself as well as they can, and try and get 3000x2000 scans.

    here is Ektar 100 developed and scanned at photo-express

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by mr rusty; 03-05-2013 at 03:12 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #7
    Ricardo Miranda's Avatar
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    I'm not too sure about the poundland stuff
    Agfaphoto Vista Plus 200 is Fuji C200 repacked. Cheap, but good!
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  8. #8

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    Thanks a lot for all the help and tips! I'll try out a new lab see how that goes.

    @chriscrawfordphoto: No these were scans the lab made onto a CD...

  9. #9
    mr rusty's Avatar
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    Agfaphoto Vista Plus 200 is Fuji C200 repacked. Cheap, but good!
    Probably fine, but C200 was a budget alternative to even Superia 200 (which I use, and is definitely a good film). It's no longer manufactured, nor is Agfa Vista+ 200 listed anywhere. It's fine to use end-of-line budget films from discount stores, but I still suggest spending a little more on premium brands initially. That way you know that bad images are not the result of bad film or bad film storage. Once you have a baseline, use any budget film and if it turns out good, it's good!

    For me, I would rather load known-good film bought from a mainstream outlet, which I know has been stored properly, than save £3-4 and risk taking all the time and trouble shooting a whole film on a budget roll, only to regret it when the images come back.

    @Rookie. the XA is a great camera - one of the best small cameras, but as a compact you don't really have the scope to be creative with depth of field, and camera shake on a compact is always a greater risk than on a larger camera. I suggest complementing the XA with an SLR. Check out completed listings on fleabay for Minolta X300's (IMO one of the best cheap SLRs out there) and you'll see many get sold for <£20, One kit sold for £1.36 plus postage!! Try and find one with the 50mm F1.7 lens and you won't be disappointed!

  10. #10
    Ricardo Miranda's Avatar
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    It's no longer manufactured, nor is Agfa Vista+ 200 listed anywhere.
    Still manufactured, not end-of-line and sold in various retailers: http://www.silverprint.co.uk/Product....asp?PrGrp=265
    http://www.discountfilmsdirect.co.uk...rint_Film.html
    It normally retails at £2.20-£2.45 in mainstream outlets. It is an older generation of Superia. Here you can see a comparison between the current Superia 200 and the Agfaphoto offering: http://keefmarshall.posterous.com/ag...peria-200-edge
    I agree that it is better to use a good quality film such as Ektar or the Portra range. But, today's films, even the budget ones, are the best we ever had.
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