Very odd colour casts on Digital files from film, Is it me or the Lab?
I just got a roll developed at Jessops 1 Hour straight to CD service and they look absolutely awful. I'm certainly not expecting pro lab stuff, I'm just a hobbyist and nothing on the roll was important. The film itself is also the cheapo trueprint stuff you get free, but either way I'm astounded at HOW bad they are.
I am open to the suggestion that I messed up badly and under exposed (no meter at the moment so I'm just guestimating around sunny 16) but some of the photos are very green and the only time I've seen this before is also when using a similar cheap straight-to-cd service. Could this just be very bad colour matching at Jessops? Also, the grain is horrific, never seen it that bad so I'm sure its a scanner thing! Either way I'm going to put them through my friends negative scanner when I get the chance but I'd like to know in the meantime whether I really am THAT bad, or if its the lab
On the last one there is also a pair of blue lines on the right, this gets a lot worse by the end of the film!
Thanks for any help, heres a few example pics...
I've had the same experience from a very cheap lab that I tried in the Philippines. Think $5 for 5 rolls of C-41. The scans had huge grain and very flat colors. I re-scanned those negatives here and they look much better, specially the grain issue which was reduced drastically. So I guess the problem lies in the scanner.
The green probably comes from the lamps. Some lamps does that to film. The eyes and the brain does colour correction very efficiently and subconciously.
You can try to enhance magenta in photoshop, or when you scan them again.
What is the film like? Did you get prints, if you did what are they like?
Chances are it's just crap scanning; you're much better off scanning it yourself (but if you want to talk about scanning go to http://www.dpug.org/forums/home.php )
Thanks for the replies guys,
ColdEye, ok thanks, thats encouraging, but Jessops charge £6 for one (24exp) film for this service, so thats like $10 for one! A bit cheeky...
Erik Petersson, thanks, that had crossed my mind as its at its worst when energy saver bulbs and the like are involved in the shot. I tried pulling up the magenta in Lightroom but theres none there anymore Seems a shame though that modern artificial light can look so bad on film. I'll have a go when I rescan.
edp, Thanks, the negs look ok as far as I can tell, didn't get any prints done but I might take them to the more expensive lab I send more important stuff to and see what I get back...
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The green lamps are just el cheapo energy saving bulbs, nothing will fix that, except replacing them.
The second two look a tad underexposed too, which will make C41 grainier.
The light source can definitely affect the color of your images. I assume you used daylight balanced film with different types of artificial light. Generally, with fluorescent bulbs: cool white tend to give a green cast, warm white a pink to orange cast and daylight (bulbs) a blue cast. That along with the other factors you mention, there are too many variables to single out one. It's best to standardize your technique as much as possible so when something is not to your liking it's easier to make a correction.
I would start with a light meter and a roll of a film known to give good results. Shoot in daylight and have it processed where some pride is taken in their work. Another thought is to take a roll of transparency film which is not very forgiving. That would be a check on your metering technique. Once you have a properly exposed and processed roll, you can determine if the scanning and/or printing is up to speed.
Hobbyist or pro or somewhere in between if you are going to take the time and effort to make photographs you want decent results.
Thanks for your help everyone, I'm keen on the idea of standardising my setup, probably with slide film as to be more revealing of the quality of my exposures etc!
I studied photography years ago but I've evidently forgot most of it, I'm running into all sort of problems that I was never even aware of in those days. Perhaps I was lucky enough that my local lab where I grew up (the only place I've ever used till now) was good, for one thing!
Interesting stuff about the flourescent lighting, do you guys recommend getting a few daylight balanced bulbs for practicing indoors? I'm kind of confident I can get it right in 'easy' light but I'd love to learn how to get good shots in some trickier situations as well.
Thanks again, invaluable help!
The green is from the (vapour-discharge lamp, i.e. fluorescent) light source as per previous posts. Not much you can do about that except apply an "FL-D" (fluorescent to daylight) filter to your lens, which will cure the problem for some fluoros, not for others and overcorrect with yet others - bit of a potluck. Colour balance is no problem if you shoot B&W
The muddy shadows are a combination of slight (but not necessarily extreme or problematic) underexposure combined with really bad scanning that has auto-adjusted the levels and brought what should have been near-black up to mid/dark grey.
If you re-scan them competently, you're likely to get decent images, particularly from the second one. I don't see the blue lines you're talking about, but can you see a matching yellow streak on the negative? If not then it's a scanning artifact.