Negatives came out weird?

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by alexis_griffin, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. Hi, I am taking a photo class, and this is the first real roll which we have developed. They came out with a black sahde on one side on all of the negatives. Also most came out blury I have read on hrere it could be a light leak, and the bluryness could be from movement of the camera, but i have taken all of these photos at different shutter speeds as well as with a steady hand. I am not sure on what i could do or what could be the problem, if anyone has any idea what it could be please help!!!! :((([​IMG][/IMG][​IMG][/IMG]
  2. Looks like the developer level was too low. Did the tank leak during inversion agitations? If so, the developer was working more actively on the lower half of the entire roll during the times between agitations. Common problem.
    Personally I prefer filling tanks to the brim. Some folks prefer leaving a bit of airspace. I find there's enough wiggle room in tanks for the reels to slosh around a bit without needing to leave any airspace. If my tank leaks badly around the lid or funnel cap I'll switch to a twisting type agitation with some side to side rocking to avoid this problem. But I've replaced the leaky metal lids on my stainless tanks with newer plastic lids, which solves the problem. The fit between the original metal lids and tanks can be borked by dropping one or the other, and it's almost impossible to fix them to perfectly round again.
    With plastic tanks, like the Patersons and generic knockoffs, check the lid to be sure there's nothing missing - some generic plastic tanks/lids need a gasket that tends to get lost easily, or doesn't work well at all. One of my Spanish made plastic tanks leaks like the Titanic so I just use the twist paddle agitation with it. Works fine.
    I'm not seeing any serious film door/hinge light leak problems - those would show in between frames too.
    The glare of room lights on the contact sheet makes it hard to tell anything else. Do you have a flatbed scanner?
  3. SCL


    Well, first, none are in focus, which accounts for some of the blur, at least. The streak, which appears uniformly across the edge of all the prints, looks like possibly a light leak in the camera, a shutter curtain needing adjustment, or a development issue (insufficient developer in the tank or insufficient agitation and stratification of concentrated chemicals). More info would be helpful to better determine the source of the problems. What camera was used to take the pictures, exactly how was the film developed (step by step up to the stop bath phase), etc? What does your class instructor say about it?
  4. Thanks, got a good understanding of what it could be.
  5. Can't tell about any blur or softness. The photo of the contact sheet itself is out of focus.
    To get maximum sharpness in your contact sheets, remove the negatives from the sleeves and keep them flat against the paper. Yeah, yeah, some negative sleeves claim to be suitable for printing through, but it always costs some sharpness due to flare, diffusion and lack of flatness. You can use a contact sheet printing easel, or rig up something from available materials. My contact sheet printer has a metal base with foam backing, and a hinged high quality glass lid. You can rig up something from high quality picture frame glass.
    If the photos themselves really are out of focus that's a whole nuther issue. But obvious softness is rarely related to film processing.
  6. AJG


    Lex is right about the amount of developer--I see my students do that frequently. As for sharpness, did you have glass over your negatives when you made the contact sheet? If you didn't, the film will usually curve away from the paper yielding unsharp contact sheets even though the negatives are in focus. I disagree with Lex about keeping negatives in mylar sleeves for proofing--the hassle and risk of damage through handling when proofing far out weighs the minor loss of sharpness in contact sheets in my experience. But don't take my word for it, try both ways and do the one you like best.
  7. Yup, good point about not exposing the negatives to unnecessary handling. The print-through sleeves seem to minimize Newton's rings when mashed flat under glass, while my glass contact printer sometimes causes Newton's rings with some films. Medium format TMX seems most vulnerable to Newton's rings, while some MF film has a bit of "tooth", presumably for retouching. In 35mm oddly enough I seem to get more Newton's rings with FP4+ on the contact printer and Durst M605 glass carrier.
  8. Looks like focus is off and there's is a light leak. I'm wondering, have you discussed this with the teacher? What does she or he have to say? I would check with them first before looking at answers from a forum where you can get lots of contradictory advice and opinions. Not that you have here, but just saying. Now if I was the teacher I would ask you to reshoot it with a different camera.
  9. Developing tank- Yes, it could have been low, we have to develop with another classmate, and mine was on the top, so it could be that, but we did add enough developer and agitated at the correct times.
    Contact sheet- We just place the negatives in the plastics sleeves, and put a piece of glass over it, so it could be from the glass sheet or plastic. When i look at the negatives on a light table they do come out clear. The plastic I have is not correctly clear too.
    Light leak- I have also seen my camera lip where the door shuts is a little curved open.
    I'm hoping that once I get to enlarge a negative on the enlarger I will be able to work with the focusing part.
    Thanks for the help, I have to take another photo assignment this week and plan on taping up my camera-lol, and also developing by myself and making sure the reel and canister are on correctly with the correct amount of developer. Hopefully one of these methods will work, if not i will just bring it to a camera repair store, ugh but thank you for the help it has given me a good understanding of what it could be!
  10. Also my teacher couldn't tell me what was wrong, probably because he doesnt know too much about something like this...... just said to take it to get it fixed. ......
  11. Hi, I agree with those who say not enough developer. Here's something I would recommend from now on - at the end of development, save the used developer in a temporary container. Keep this until you are sure the film is ok. If something went wrong, such as the difference you saw, you can pour the used developer back into the tank to see if you had enough. Or if the film ever comes out blank, you can test the developer to see if it was bad, etc. Although this won't fix the film problem, you'll at least have the comfort of knowing what actually went wrong. You'll know what to be careful of the next time.
    Regarding the contact prints, I would personally NOT use the "print-through" sleeves. In my experience, you just lose too much detail. I use the contact sheets to decide what I'm going to print, and I use a magnifier to inspect it for sharpness. If I can't count on the contact print to evaluate sharpness, it loses about half of its usefulness for me. If it were me, I would remove all negs from the sleeves, and put them directly in contact with the paper (you still need to press down fairly hard on the glass).
    I really don't see any evidence of a light leak. Sure, your photo of the contact sheet has some shiny reflections on it, but that doesn't really say anything about the negatives. I would not presume that your camera has a light leak without better evidence. If someone told me that I had a light leak, I'd ask them to point out exactly what they consider as evidence of this. If they can't do this, well, I take it as a lack of evidence.
    Also my teacher couldn't tell me what was wrong, probably because he doesnt know too much about something like this...... just said to take it to get it fixed. ......​
    My opinion is, from here on, to take everything your teacher says with a grain of salt, that is, with skepticism. If they couldn't answer things for you, they would better be called an organizer, or facilitator, than a teacher.
  12. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    Not a light leak. The fault is consistent from frame to frame. If it were a light leak it would be more pronounced on different frames depending on how long the frame sat waiting for the shutter to be pressed and the frame advanced. The longer the frame sits the more time the light has to act upon it and the more pronounced it would be. Ten minutes would be a lot more different than ten seconds. It definitely looks like not enough developer covering the film.

    In your photo it looks like there is a lot of flare on the left hand frames but I assume that is light shining on the frames as you took the picture of the frames.
  13. If you do try tape over the film door to cover light leaks, don't use duct tape. Stuff leaves a horrible mess of adhesive goo. Been there, done that. Had to use lighter fluid to de-gunk the camera. Try blue painters masking tape instead. It doesn't leave an adhesive goo behind, even after several months. Just use a couple of layers.
  14. -Its clear the developer, its not the right amount.
  15. As other's have mentioned - the stripe is probably more to do with the developer than a camera light leak. I say this because it's so consistent across the stripe - light leaks tend to be quite variable as the film gets wound on at variable speeds/times across the leak.
    The blur, as has already been mentioned, is unlikely anything to do with the developing. It's probably a focus issue with the camera - if you're using a reflex camera it's often due to the mirror being slightly off. Take it to any camera shop and they should be able to realign the mirror. It shouldn't be a problem with the lens if it looks sharp through the camera. You can take a photo of a ruler going into the distance - use a large aperture and a tripod, and focus on a particular number. Take a shot at the minimum aperture. Then develop and see where the actual focus is set, and check that the minimum aperture shot is in focus (if it isn't, this narrows down the problem to either the camera back, or the focusing of the print/contact sheet - assuming things look sharp through the viewfinder).

Share This Page