Photos gone bad !

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by muhammad_shehryar, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. HELLO everybody. I bought a yashica electro 35 gsn 3 months ago which was in mint condition but not used for several years. I got it serviced and put a test roll of FUJIFILM 200 proplus 2. I carefully controlled exposure, f-stop and focus but the result i got after processing it were miserable. This is my first time on a manual camera and film photography and i am so frustrated about this. the guy who processed the film told me that my camera has weak lens. I don't know what this means. I so wanna do film photography but i am so frustrated. Please help. here are some photos i scanned.
  2. What apertures did you use?
    I also don't know what 'weak lens' means.
  3. different apertures. fist one was
    about 2 and second and third were
    5.6-16. I don't remember much.
    yashica has a built in meter and
    lights for under and over exposed
    and all these photos were clicked
    when no light was on. there are
    also other photos in the same flickr
  4. While "weak lens" sounds like a rather poor excuse to me, looking at the scanned overview, the main problem to me seem "user errors". Some photos look good, contrasty (6, 7, 28 and others) while others look completely overexposed or misfocussed. So, i doubt whether the problem is the camera, nor the processing of your film. I say "user error" between quotes, because it could be due to problems with the camera as well.
    Did you record for each shot which settings you used, to see if there is a specific aperture setting or shutter speed where the problems occur? Another thing you should be very aware about is how the light is metered, especially if this is your first time using a manual camera, knowing the difference between a centre-weighted or spot metering can make a world of difference - just a consideration, I do not know your level of experience with photographic gear.
    The images we see are scanned prints? Is it possible to scan the negative instead? I have my film developed and printed via a large lab as well, and often the prints aren't showing how much detail really exists in the negative.
  5. No, i didn't record any settings.
    Yes, this is my first time with both manual and film camera and i don't know how light is metered. I will look into that asap.
    Yes these are scanned prints and i will try to scan negatives.
    What about the spots on photos ? like this one.
  6. SCL


    Muhummad - The spots on the photos are probably a result of poor quality control in the developing/printing process...dirt or dust in the environment and/or inadvertantly mixed with the processing chemicals. For what it is worth, the lens on your camera should be producing razor sharp was a classic at the time, and thousands of people produced sharp vacation slides - they guy who told you it was a "weak lens" doesn't know what he is talking about. I recently used one for about 2 years and results were always contrasty and sharp with good colors. So let's come back to why yours disappointed you. You said you had the camera shutter timing should have been good as well as accurate metering with a modern battery. In my book, at least, since the camera is basically an aperture priority camera, that is, you select the aperture and the camera selects the shutter speed, you need to be aware of several things. Let's start with focusing...this is a rangefinder body...your repair person hopefully would have made sure the rangefinder was properly aligned with the lens focusing - since you don't view the scene thru the lens itself. The rangefinders in these cameras are big, bright and accurate if properly aligned. If you select a large aperture (such as f/1.7-2.8 or so) for your pictures, you will get a higher shutter speed and quite narrow depth of field, but these lenses really are at their best about f/5.6-f/8. If you select too large an aperture (say f/16) you will get a quite slow shutter speed, but there will be some distortion of the picture, because the lens isn't optimized for this aperture. The problem with slower shutter speeds, generally below 1/60 sec, is that often either there is subject movement, or there is movement (shake) of the photographer's hands - which can result in blurry photos, no matter how well the picture is focussed. Most new photographers have to learn the skill of how to properly gradually release the shutter without introducing gradually pressing down on the shutter release while holding the camera steady, instead of quickly punching it down. I think, with practice, your camera shoul serve you quite well. On the issue of metering - since the sensor reading isn't thru the lens, but rather above the lens, you need to ensure that when you hold the camera, you don't inadvertantly block the path of the light hitting the meter, or you will definitely get an improper exposure. If you don't have a user manual you can get one here: Also, because this camera was so popular in its day, there are lots of reviews by active professional photographers on its strengths and weaknesses...just Google "Yashica GSN" and pick up some good hints quickly.
  7. The "spots" are indeed crud in the processing and handling of the film. But even the best of processors and processing will inevitably get a few flecks. In the old days, everyone knew you had to "spot" prints and negatives to get good results. This is made much easier if you are manipulating the images digitally.
    As said, "weak lens" is a weak excuse. If you can, try another processor. An alternative is to do your own processing -- simpler with B&W though.
  8. I have one of these and it takes great pictures. Your exposures look good, it seems to me that the issue is with image sharpness (could be focus?) and the "spots", which could be on the negative (processing issues as others have mentioned) or on your scanner glass.
    After looking at the scan of your contact sheet "Picture 003", which appears out of focus, it seems that you have some exposure problems, but the image clarity issue may be your scanner's fault. Note how the "Photo Point" header on the contact sheet is out of focus.
    Also, make sure that your batteries fit well and don't rattle...that could be an issue.

    Anyway, try another roll. If possible, use another lab for processing.
  9. Ok. So this is the lab guy's fault (sigh).
    I have 4x LR44 bettery pack and i read somewhere that it could cause faster shutter speed because it has total of 6V but only 5.6V is required ! could it cause any problem ?
    Viewfinder is a little blue. The service guy told me that it is the coating in viewfinder glass. Also focusing thing is little tough. Thanks for the tips.
    I live in Pakistan and finding good film roll is difficult and B/W does not exist here. And hence good labs are non-existent. So i will have to import film rolls and search for processing chemicals and apparatus for home processing.
    Another thing, when i was shooting with yashica, there was a ring, foremost on lens called exposure ring saying "B", "auto" and a flash sign. I don't know how to use it and i changed it several times during shooting(which probably caused the underexposure).
    Also at some places i read that iso dial should be set same as film used but at some places it said that iso dial should be as twice as film roll e.g fujifilm 200 should be used with iso setting 400.
    And i don't know about metering like @wouter said "a centre-weighted or spot metering", i am unable to find info on that !
    Excuse my miserable English. I appreciate your help guys !
  10. For general use you need the exposure control ring set to auto, and the ISO dial should be set to the film's speed. Setting it to a higher
    speed will result in your shots being underexposed, which is not something you want with normal colour film; setting it to a slightly lower
    speed can be useful since it will lead to a little overexposure which is generally benign or even helpful with the sort of film you're using.
  11. Don't worry about the batteries. IIRC, you're about a 1/2 stop worst. You should be fine. There's an expensive adapter you can buy if it bothers you, but my camera works fine with 4xSR44. You should try to get the SR44, they will last longer.
    The viewfinder is what it is. Precise focusing is not as necessary if you can shoot at higher aperture numbers (11 or 16), which you should be able to do outside during the day.
    Home developing is fun...I just got back into it after 35 years. If you shoot black and white, you can save quite a bit of money by developing yourself. You may need to mail order the film, Ilford still makes it, as well as some other companies, because the Lomography craze has made it popular again.
    Set the ISO to what the film box says. For now, leave the B-AUTO-FLASH on AUTO.
    Here is a manual for the camera which should help you use it, and here is a user web page.
    Center-weighted spot metering means the camera sets the exposure based (mostly) on the light level in the center of the viewfinder. The GSN doesn't quite work that way. The exposure is measured by the little diamond window at the top left, as you look at the camera from the front. If you put your finger over this while using the camera, your pictures will be overexposed, so make sure you don't do that! The GSN meter averages the light from everything in front of the camera. It's very simple, but it works.
    You have a great little camera. A bit of practice and I think you'll be very happy with it.

    Oh...and your English is just fine :)
  12. Ok. So this is the lab guy's fault (sigh).​
    The spots probably yes. Other problems (exposure/focus), no, not his fault.
    For metering, basic info. The manual for your camera is available here; it explains the exposure ring.

    Frankly, it sounds like it could be worth it to learn more about photography on digital; the initial investment is higher, but after that you can freely try, and no lab can mess things up for you (plus, you won't have the issues getting film, and getting it developed). There differences between shooting film and digital really aren't that big, but digital really has some advantages when learning, and any good camera can be used as manual as your Yashica. Just for consideration; I shoot both, so I can understand both sentiments.
  13. The Yashica Electro 35 GSN has an excellent lens.
    I have several and they make excellent photos. But, unless the camera has had some maintenance, there could be problems with the exposure. In particular, some problems can make the camera shoot at 1/500th when a longer exposure is required. That may explain some of the low-contrast images in your thumbnails. Look at the negatives and see if these are "thin."
    I have had my Electros serviced (about $60 to $100) and they are now very reliable and produce excellent photographs.
  14. Hi,
    The spots could be due to the lab. I have had similar experience with a few labs in chennai and I realised that their chemicals were probably old.

    On film, there is an e-bay seller from thailand, who might ship to your place. There is also a seller in mumbai, but I am not sure if he ships outside India.
  15. thank you everybody ! really thanks a lot ! you all revived my film photography passion !
    I will get some good film rolls and i'll find best lab in town for processing.
    Also i will try to better understand and control all the variables. I will let you all know the results.
    I'll also consider buying a DSLR, probably canon 550d.
    Stay Blessed

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