Ok, sorry for the delay in response. Lots to respond to, I'll try to respond to everything as best I can.

Also, before I begin, I also really want to thank all of you for your help. Your knowledge and help has been invaluable to me. I'm sorry I don't really reciprocate because compared to you guys, I really am not that knowledgeable or experienced in film photography.

Quote Originally Posted by swchris View Post
You mentioned that recent C41 rolls turned out to be ok. Did you look at the negatives, or only the prints?

C41 can bear quite a bit of overexposure. I once shot a 400 film with 100 setting by mistake, and just looking at the prints I
didn't see a problem with them. Ok, comparing them with correct exposed prints reveiled that they are not as good, but
I saw it only when comparing them side by side.

So it could be the camera had the problem before and you just didn't notice it.
I admit I haven't looked closely, but the negs appear fine. I don't get prints, just dev+cut. Too expensive to pay for prints each time. I do get a little index card, though as a proof for before I do any scanning. And when I do scan, there isn't any real issue I've found. Just like I haven't had issue with previous B&W rolls.

Quote Originally Posted by Fixcinater View Post
I was helped through some of these start up issues by having a very good teacher way back in junior high school watch all that I was doing and evaluate results after every roll. We used the school's film, had to use the same camera for the semester, and basically it was all about eliminating variables. This has carried over to my more recent darkroom/processing work at home, and while I have experimented more than I probably should have with different film, much of my process is the same for each roll.

It sounds like you've gotten a lot of the basics honed in and are almost there, so keep at it. Maybe shoot only the Nikon for b&w at home until you get the Hexar figured out.
In a perfect world...

Problem is 90% of my work is street photography. I did use the Nikon F90 for street before, but there are a lot of hang ups I have with using it on the street. The focus motor, mirror slap, and auto film advance are just so loud, it is a massive deterrent. The Hexar has really liberated me and allowed me to get more shots that are great than I would've with the F90. I just can't see myself going back to that. It is the perfect street cam.

The only thing I can think of is there is an Olympus Stylus Epic (Mju I believe outside of North America) that I can get my hands on for $30. I've heard it's good for street photography, though I don't know how loud it is. Maybe I can snatch that up while I figure out the Hexar. I was thinking of getting it anyways for stuff through windows, as the Hexar doesn't really focus through windows well 95% of the time.

Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
Do you do this intentionally and if so why?

That being said I find nothing wrong with the exposure of your negatives. They certainly appear to be within the latitude of the film. I am unfamiliar with the Hexar but from descriptions it appears to average the scene. If so then large portions of sky or shadow can throw off the metering. Meter on the most important element of the scene.

A last question is why are you using an aperture of f/2?
Yes, intentionally. Because it is what I always did on my Nikons. Not officially. I mean, through manual exposure, I'd always have it so the meter was a few bars to the right on the TTL meter. I find otherwise the photos tend to be too bright or flat. It's just a personal preference.

You don't find anything wrong with my negs? How so? There are a bunch that look almost black, with light bleeds. I almost always meter on the important part of the frame, the other times I don't by accident.

I'm not really using an aperture of f/2. I only use that when it isn't light enough. The Hexar works like this. You set the dial to the max aperture to use. The camera will override that if it maxes out at the 1/250th shutter and will go for a smaller aperture. Which happens all the time outdoors. I don't think I've ever shot wide open outside with the Hexar. Those photos all most have used at least f/8, up to f/22. That's why most of them don't have shallow DOF. The one of the kissing I don't know - but it could lead me to the issues some have mentioned - sticky shutter/aperture blades.

Quote Originally Posted by Fred Aspen View Post
First of all, looking at the negs I see a lot of bleed between frames and the rebated edge on the overexposed frames. To me that says that if you changed nothing between the good shots and you see this overexposed result, you have a camera failure. Looks to me like the shutter is sticking or the aperture is sticking. Look into the lens from the front and the back with a magnifying glass and see if there is oil on either the aperture blades or the shutter blades. Most probably the shutter is causing the problem.

Secondly, take the camera and open the back or remove the back and aim the camera at a table lamp or some light source (illuminated white wall) and run twenty to forty exposures. Look into the back of the camera and get some sense of the amount of light you are seeing and then run the exposures. You will be able to see a much brighter 'flash' if you have a sticking shutter or the aperture blades are not closing. Between the lens shutters are extremely vulnerable to the slightest bit of oil. If the camera were left, for example, in a hot car during the summer months, the oils/grease will migrate from the focusing helicoid into the shutter blade/aperture blades. If it is not a migrating lube problem, then I would suspect a failure in the electronics.

Be sure when peering through the back of the camera to try all exposure modes including manual to see if the auto modes may be failing. Hopefully, this way you will be able to isolate the reason for the heavily overexposed frames. Also, try and duplicate the shooting situations you encounter by running the open back test outside. It is more difficult to evaluate in bright sunlight since your pupils will be closed but with that much overexposure you certainly will see a difference. Try different apertures, such as 16, and run a batch of dummy exposures. F16 will be obvious when you look through the back. If it fails to close down, you will see it immediately.

Lastly, doing the open back exercise may help if it is a camera that hasn't been used much. I typically will run a 100 open back exposures at all apertures and all shutter speeds with a new(used) camera just to exercise because most cameras I buy are likely to have been sitting in the closet and not used for a while.

It is definitely an exposure problem with the camera. Now it's up to you to find the issue! Good luck!
I will definitely try this. But not right now, I'm midway through some HP5. For now, I will try the earlier suggestion of shooting at f/2 then f/8 and see if anything is wonky on the processed neg.

Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post
Do you know how many rolls of film I f***ed up when I started? Calculators don't count that high!

I agree! Pick one camera, one film, one set of chemistry and use one method of using it all. Don't change anything unless you have to. (To solve a problem or correct a mistake.) Do everything the same way every time. Do it until you can do it with your eyes shut.
The quick answer is that using several cameras and doing things different ways introduces more variables into the system. When you are learning, you want to keep things as simple as possible until you understand how everything works.

I know it's discouraging when mistakes keep happening but this is the time to keep going, not the time to quit. The frustration is part of the learning process. Stop now and you won't learn anything. Everything you have done will be for nothing. In business, that's what's called a "sunk cost."

Keep it up! You'll get the hang of it!

As Thomas Edison said, "I have not failed. I have just found 1,000 ways that don't work."
Yeah. It's discouraging, but at least this time it isn't a processing issue. Which means this might be in the wrong forum. Sorry, feel free to move the thread.

For the most part, I have been using one camera, one film, one developer, everything the same. Only times I've dithered from this were with 2 F90 rolls and 1 roll of FP4. Everything else has been Hex + HP5.


The earlier notation about accidentally covering the exposure sensor could actually be true. I will be more conscious of that now that I checked the manual and know exactly where it is. It is really easy for one's finger to slip.

To the rest of you who said encouraging words and to not give up, thank you. I really appreciate it.