1st time here - Potenial pitfalls in processing NPZ film?

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by len_estrada, May 30, 2004.

  1. Greetings all!

    Does anyone have any suggestions in developing Fuji NPZ 800 film?
    Just shot a friend's wedding unofficially in low lit church and
    reception hall and I am wondering are there any guidelines in
    developing this professional film? (FYI - Body is Nikon N80 and lens
    is 28-105 3.5 D.)

    I am a beginner so I usually just go to Wal-Mart - would this work or
    is there a better place to go? Since this is a friend's wedding, I
    would be willing to spend more if need be.

    Do I need to develop film ASAP? Do I still need to refrigerate the
    film? Do I give any special instructions to the developer? Do I ask
    too many questions?

    Seriously though, thanks in advance to all!

  2. Don't underexpose it. Print at a place with a Fuji Frontier with operators who know what NPZ is.
  3. Any place will do, go for the cheapest. There shouldn't be any difference between WalMart
    or a professional lab which works in a more personalized way.
  4. You should develop the film as soon as possible.

    Stick with walmart one-hour for 4X6 proofs. They usually run Frontiers on auto everything. If you like a particular shot then think about going to a Pro Lab that runs a frontier for enlargements.
  5. Walmart,with a wedding?I would call some of your wedding shooter friends,and see where they take their film.Yes,it is a good idea to keep exposed pro-color films chilled untill they see soup.Yes,you should process ASAP.
  6. Macman and his typical misinformation are clearly exemplified here.<P>There are good Wal-Marts, there are so-so Wal-Marts and there are crap Wal-Marts.<P>So I ask; Are you going to roll the dice with negs of an event this special?<P> Pro-Labs usually use dip & dunk. They run test strips through their chemistry all day long. A real human runs the printer -- they check the prints!<P>Wal-Marts are certain to use a roller transport. Roller transport equates much greater chance of scratched negs. Lord knows if & when they run test-strips. And if someone is running the machine it's probably a McDonald's restaurant grad who is working his way up in the world (I'm not putting him down, good for him!) and who has had minimal training.<P>Get your film developed promptly. If you have more then one roll have them do one and look at it. That way you can get them to push the rest if they need it.<P>Questions are good -- bad answers are useless.
  7. Jim: I understand film processing as including ONLY the development process and not the
    printing. When you process NPZ, I'll say it again: it's basically everywhere the same thing
    as long the personel keeps the machine calibrated within parameters and WalMart should
    be fine for this.

    If you understand "processing NPZ film" as C-41 + printing, that's your
    vocabulary problem. Not mine.

    Care to give me a few references of other places where I might have misinformed the
    people aroundhere?
  8. You shouldn't care much about who's operating a machine which does C-41. Those things
    basically run by themselves. The very basic principle of C-41 is to have it running hassle
    free for the owners of the big machine... In the end, if a monkey is at helm it should give
    about the same thing.

    The important thing is that the guy from Fuji Hunt, Agfa, Kodak or whatever drops by
    often enough to make sure it stays calibrated and I would sure trust big stores for that, as
    their relationship with such kind of representatives is very tight.

    Quite frankly, the big stores don't risk messing up with the machine and they afford to pay
    technical support. They're also supported more by big companies (such as Kodak) who
    send their guys often than in small stores... because it's more money and it's sometimes
    the same guy who makes sure that the Kodak film shelves are full. Whereas perhaps little
    personalized stores (interchanging solutions b/w brands, finding cheaper ways, etc. while
    at the same time caring about quality)...

    I'm talking C41 strictly (applies for E-6).

    In printing though, the rules are reversed.
  9. In the end, if a monkey is at helm it should give about the same thing.
    And that is the crux of the mater.
    MacMan takes the ape-lafied view that too many C41 processor owners take -- that is; buy a machine and it will, with no monkeying around, produce millions of bananas for them.
    A processing machine must be maintained. That means kept spotless, it's chemistry fresh, it's spec's spot on. It must be tended.
    It does not mean plug it in, once a month have the rep come around and in the meantime hap-hazardously dump in some chemistry whenever you get around to it.
    I get at least a hundred rolls of C41 negs a done yearly. I have them done in a pro shops dip & dunk machine cause I want them to come back to me developed optimally, unscratched and clean, not covered in monkey droppings.
  10. People are intelligent enough to read what Macman says, no need to do a show-and-tell.
  11. A common scene in small pro photo stores is that the big expert there with 20 years of
    experience sets the machine up for 15 minutes, then a college kid takes his seat. With
    modern machines you have to stick film ends one to another and press buttons... it
    doesn't make a difference if that guy knows what an f/stop means or not. They invented
    on purpose C-41 for those people. Highly standardized and minimal maintenance
    designed to give consistent results b/w different machines operated at different
    locations. You still don't get the difference of "operating a machine" vs. "maintaining it", do
  12. Len: when it was designed, NPZ was presumably tested only with Fuji papers and it's
    guaranteed to give good results. Therefore you can be sure you'll get at least good, if not
    excellent, results by printing it in a lab that uses a well-maintained Fuji printer. Fuji
    Frontier (you can inquire about it) is what's recommended, but overall any good lab with
    even an older pre-Frontier Fuji machine will do good.

    If you go into measuring color with exactitude, there will certainly be subtle yet tone-
    setting differences between NPZ printed on Frontier and NPZ printed on Agfa machine w/
    Agfa papers or a Kodak kit. However photography is an art. No one says you won't like
    that. For instance, I'm an addict of the Kodak UC printed on Fuji Crystal Archive paper,
    though a lot of people say best results are achived on Kodak paper. Try around.
  13. At my local Walgreens they have a Fuji Frontier. And most likely it's set up for push-button auto operation for all Fuji films and then some. Theoretically, once it's set up right, a monkey could successfully run it. Unfortunately monkey-like morons do and once the machine has produced perfectly "processed" negs the monkeys mis-handle the negs, get dust on them, tightly roll them up, then puuuuuuulll them taught so they fit into film canisters. When I told them I wanted uncut negs they thought this tight-pull-winding and slipping into a canister was a brilliant idea. <p>Macman, in theory you are right, the machines should process the film perfectly. In reality your answer was way too simplistic and did not take into account how these one-hour consumer services are truly run and what it might mean for a person's negs in the entire "processing" of the film.
  14. Obviously, The Macman knows nothing of how a C-41 processing machine works.
  15. Really?
  16. Daniel: this kind of stupid comment will be more than welcomed whenever Len will ask
    who has knowledge about C41 machines. That's not the topic. So help the guy or shut up.
  17. Len, film developing is a very touchy subject, and usually it takes some testing on the photographer's part to find the best place that will give the price, service, and quality which he/she desires in his/her prints.

    Since you mention that you are a beginner, I would really suggest that you look in the phonebook for professional photofinishing lab services. These people will charge you about $20 dollars or so for a single set of 4x6 prints, but the real reason why you want to pay this high a price is because of the quality control they put into maintaining their machine.

    Quality control is very important in film developing because if you misdevelop the negatives then you have no pictures at all. And scratches caused by inproperly cleaned rollers inside the machine can leave permanant scratches across your pictures. Not to mention that I have gotten more than my share of miscut negatives(negatives cut completely through the picture because of a careless operator) from cheap places like walgreens.

    In my area, there is a very good camera shop that will do the same quality work, with the same attention to detail for only $14 dollars per roll of 36. You just need to scout around your area after this situation for really good place that you can take your future pictures to.

    Usually, after I shoot film, I get it processed the very next day if possible, colors seem brighter if I do. If I can't make it the next day, I stick my already exposed film in the refridgerator.

    There are no special instructions needed.

    This topic has been discussed at length, hence the agitation by some on this board.
  18. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    “You shouldn't care much about who's operating a machine which does C-41. Those things basically run by themselves. The very basic principle of C-41 is to have it running hassle free for the owners of the big machine... In the end, if a monkey is at helm it should give about the same thing.”

    I agree with the above, Macman, doesn’t know anything about c-41.
  19. Drawing a personally-directed conclusion on one's wholly knowledge based upon a small
    paragraph is a prime example of imbecility :) Intelligent people, on the other hand,
    demolish using solid arguments that specific paragraph and do not dismiss the
    interlocutor's knowledge. They even less allow themselves to make generalized statements
    about it as generalization is also a monumental indication of imbecility.
  20. Quoting and labeling "you don't know anything" is stupid and not constructive at all for

    We are here to learn. Please dismantle the quote and specify precisely what's wrong with it,
    if you think you're capable.
  21. MacMan -- my biggest problem with you is you make these idiotic statements, then when called to defend them you attack in some other area. That in turn causes a general back & forth that usually ends with something really stupid occurring.
    So with that in mind lets go back to square one, shall we?
    You said: "Any place will do, go for the cheapest.". MacMan -- Is that true? Yes or No? Nothing more is needed.
  22. Still not explaining why it's not true.

    Incapable of doing so?

    I suppose it shall remain true.
  23. The Macman = another young mind ruined by drugs.
  24. Hi Len; I have shot weddings in the past. Quite a lot of them when I was a young father and had to put bread on the table (25 yrs ago). I do very few now days, only two in the past year, but I still do quite a few portrait sittings, and when the customer wants color instead of B&W I do it. Let me tell you I never, never, take my (their) film to Wal Mart or any such place for processing. Ever. I pay the extra for a pro lab and am happy to do it. I do use Wal Mart for snaps and one hour convenience when it's just casual stuff because scratches and dust don't show up much at 4x6 size. However I have never met a bride that was satisfied with 4x6 prints, and when she orders that 8x10 or 11x14 I don't want her to see what the little shop of horrors has done to her film. From my point of view, if you get a roll of film back from a one hour place without scratches and dust on it you are just plain lucky. Go to a pro lab, tell them your concerns, and leave them to do their job. Also, I think it was already mentioned, but ask a couple of pros where they have their processing done. Tell them you have some once in a lifetime shots, and you want them done right. I'll bet they don't tell you to go to Wal Mart.

    Best of luck

  25. Daniel Ramirez, what have you contribued with here besides saying w/o knowledge, proof
    or explantions that I don,t know nothing about C-41 and that I'm a young mind ruined by
    drugs? Better shut up or bring something meaningful. Btw, I'm 41.
  26. Thanks to all who have offered your thoughtful responses thus far!

    Since this is my first time here, I didn't realize the depth and variety of the feedback I would be given. Quite a task to wade through it all...

    In any case, I decided to test the waters both ways. I will process an NPZ roll of pictures I took before the wedding at Wal-Mart. This roll was taken at a family gathering - important but not "once in a lifetime" like the wedding.

    I will then process my last NPZ roll from the wedding (the third of three rolls containing mostly posed shots from the latter part of the reception) to a professional place and compare the results. Then, depending on the prints, I will decide where to process the other two rolls (containing the most important shots - the ceremony and first part of the reception). All things being equal, I am leaning towards the professional lab route right now: may cost a bit extra but if I can get a good referral, it sounds like it would be more reliable.

    Now, the next main task is deciding on a professional lab. I am currently taking a local community class in basic nature photography so I will tap the instructor's brain. I will ask other peers and also search the web and yellow pages.

    Thanks again to all!


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