developing – My film didn’t fully develop

Looks to me like some sort of light leak, given that you’ve had success with some frames on the roll and the film code is clear and legible on those frames.

The first pic is simple what happens when you don’t load your film into the camera in complete darkness, and light exposes the film between the leader and the first frame. This is to be expected; some people even find this appealing.

The latter pictures seem to show the faintest hint of some frames which would imply that the camera is still working, but seems like the film has been exposed to light at some point before or after this. There are several ways this could happen:

  • Camera: How old is the camera? What type of camera is it? Are the lightseals intact? Did the film door open while there was film in the camera? (I’ve had this happen on an old Olympus Trip 35 and have since used duct tape to make sure it doesn’t happen again).
  • Developing: Loading film into a tank requires total darkness. Even a darkened room (rather than a dark room) could still have some light coming in from somewhere, even at night. If you think this is the case, you could invest in a changing bag, or carry out the loading process under a thick blanket, in your darkened room, to see if the problem persists.

I’ve shot and developed a fair bit of HP5 in my time and I’ve never had results like this from developing, but I suppose I can’t rule out your chemistry as part of the problem, since I’ve only ever used Ilford DD-X or Rodinal.

A couple of further tips which could be beneficial:

  • Don’t shoot anything you can’t afford to lose while you’re learning how to develop;
  • From the looks of it, the film could use a couple more minutes in the fixer bath. Underfixed film runs the risk of fading over time (more than a fully fixed negative);
  • Don’t give up 🙂

Are UV filters required for shooting film?

The light sensitive goodies in photographic film are naturally only sensitive to ultraviolet, violet, and blue light. These blue only sensitive films yield images that sometimes appear strange. Red objects like lipstick lips and rouged cheeks reproduce dark gray, maybe even black. Photo scientist learned to add dye to the film emulsion. These change the color of silver salts forcing them to absorb green and red light. First came orthochromatic (blue & green sensitive) followed by panchromatic (red – green – blue sensitive. Such treated films never lose their sensitivity to the blue regions of the spectrum.

Under ordinary conditions, the fact that films are highly sensitive to UV, are of no consequence. This is because most camera lenses are made of glass. Glass blocks a high percentage of the UV energy. There are situations when a UV filter can be quite helpful. We are talking about the specialty of imaging objects that exhibit fluorescence when illuminated with UV light. Additionally, mounting a UV filter when doing high-altitude aerial photography. This is because, at high- altitude, the air that normally absorbs UV is scant.

In everyday photography, mounting a UV filter works to cut the distant haze present in mountain vistas. Let me add, the UV filter is not effective for distances under several miles.

In recent times the UV filter has been pushed as insurance against accidental scratching and other perils. This concept gives piece of mind however it mainly serves to line the pockets of suppliers of camera paraphernalia.
Modern digital cameras are less susceptible to the effects of UV energy. These too use glass lenses plus the protective cover glass that overlays the image sensor blocks UV and IR radiation.

Let me add, good filters must be optically flat. From a technical viewpoint, making an optical flat is quite difficult. In other words, we mount filters only when the benefit outweighs the bad.

battery – My Canon EOS 500 Film Camera has all of a sudden stopped working

My Canon EOS 500 camera used to be my dad’s for many years before he gave it to me. I’ve been using it for a couple of months now and it has been working fine.

Last week I went to use it again but when I turned it on, nothing happened, the display wasn’t showing anything either. I assumed the batteries had died so I purchased new ones, Duracell DL123A 3V Lithium Batteries to be exact. After putting in the new batteries still nothing was working, including the display.

Does anyone know what the problem could be and how I can fix it?

exposure – Color Issues on Film

I started shooting this July. I seemed to have a hang on color exposure and though I routinely overexposed pictures at first, the pictures eventually started coming out more vibrant. The last few rolls, however, have been coming out just flat and lacking in contrast. I use the same film but it just comes out drab and kind of green/ yellow. The only thing that has changed is that I developed the last two times in Mexico (versus in Seattle, where I usually develop my film). What can be the issue here? If it’s just that I suck, I will accept that and work on improving 🙂

film – What’s the cause of this Leica M6 light leak?

No, this does NOT look like a light leak during development.

This is most likely a light leak at the top of takeup area in the camera. Most cameras move the film from the cartridge at left to the takeup spool at right, when looking at the back of the camera and the lens pointed away from you normally. Since the scene is projected onto the film plane flipped about its center, light showing up at the bottom of pictures is actually hitting the film at the top. The light leak is therefore at the top right corner of your camera.

The light leak can’t be in the middle since there is no way another layer of film could cast the shadow seen in your last frame.

The leak isn’t in the cartridge since it appears in the same place in every frame. There isn’t exactly one frame per winding in the cartridge. Even if there was at one diameter, this wouldn’t be true for higher or lower layers. These would be at a different diameter, and therefore a different frame stride per revolution.

The reason you see this in some frames than in others is that it depends on how long the frame sat in the right spot on the takeup reel. In other words, how long you waited after winding the film before winding it after taking the next frame. If you took several frames in rapid succession, you may not see a leak except on the last one. Your bottom frame spent a long time in the second to last position on the takeup reel. The frame right after it should should the effect quite seriously.

It should be obvious this is not a developing problem for two reasons. First, there is no way to explain how the leak is in the same place in each frame. Second, developing tanks hold the film by the edges. You would see a shadow of the grooves or spirals of the tank if the film was being exposed in the tank.

film – Why did my night pictures turned out so foggy, light or too bright?

I received my developed pictures and many of them are foggy. It seems that some shot with similar light is foggier than the others. Can it be that something went wrong in the development process, is it because they tried to compensate for the lack of light, or did I set the camera wrong?

Any ideas how I can fix it?
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film – Real world differences in pinhole sized apertures

Both Titan and Obscura seem priced a tad high for what they deliver (essentially a black box with a small hole in front). In the pinhole community (and it is a lively community!) there is trend for DYI cameras.

But with the Ilford pinholes you get what you pay for; the diameter of the pinholes – i.e. the f value – is both reliable (not always the case with a home made pinhole) and optimized for the focal length used. They display only little vigneting in corners (so they are not for you if you are after severely vignetted pinhole look).

Both cameras will perform well, and there might even be a marginal advantage in the more narrow aperture – longer exposure times are easier to control by hand (it is easier to measure e.g. 5 seconds than 1.7 second).

As for image quality: pinhole images do not enlarge particularly well, which is the point for shooting in 4×5″.

One word of caution: with both cameras you will be in danger zone of reciprocity failure, so keep that in mind when calculating exposure.

film – What is the difference between the Instax Mini 25 and the Cheki series?

I’m seriously getting confused.

I’m Googling around for an Instax Mini 25 unit, but I keep getting conflicting results.

  • some of the results hint on a distinct difference between the Mini 25 and a Cheki (e.g. Mini 25s come in only white, while Chekis come in a variety of colors)

  • some of them show no distinction between the two, as if the two are interchangeable

So here I am. Can anybody tell me exactly what’s up with this?

Type G film camera – can i use new kinds?

I just bought a Kohka 418 Super 8 Camera, but I have a important doubt that I should have thought before.

In the place that it says the ASA/ISO number that the camera uses, it also says “TYPE G FILM”.

My question is: can i use new kind of super 8 films like the new Ektachrome 100D or I can only use the old Ektachrome 160 Type G film?


troubleshooting – Why doesn’t my pinhole image cover the film?

You have vignetting. It’s probably not from the pinhole failing to cover the film; more likely the pinhole is in too narrow a hole in the front panel material, and that material is blocking light from the pinhole reaching the film (or light from the scene reaching the pinhole).

I base this in part on the shape of the vignette — if it were an exposure related vignette (as can happen if you don’t account for the change in distance to center of the film vs. corners of the frame), it would be perfectly circular and the drop-off would be very gradual. In your case, the vignette has a distinctly non-circular shape and a moderately sharp edge.

Try opening your shutter and looking through the pinhole (at a bright background) from the corners of the film frame — I think you’ll find the light will be blocked. The solution to this is to bevel the hole in the front panel where the pinhole is mounted, so the hole doesn’t block the light to the frame’s corners.