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Light Leak or Development Error?


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Hi everyone, 

I am getting a very strange orange bleed that is visible on the edge of my negatives and scans. 

https://imgur.com/a/URxVz#0  - these are someone else's images but my problem is identical.  

I have read it could be light pollution during scanning, but as it's on my negatives I can rule this out.

I suspected a light leak, but my understanding is that light leaks should bleach, due to more light hitting the negative, and also be less uniform.   

Therefore, by process of elimination it must be a development error at my lab? I sent a batch of film off recently, and 2 rolls of Ektar came back with this orange bleed, 1 roll of Ektar was fine, 1 roll of Portra 400 was fine and 2 rolls of black and white were fine - so it's quite random and seems to affect entire rolls and not individual images within a roll.    

Would be great to hear back from anyone else who has encountered similar problems. 

All the best. 

Edited by RZ67 Film Shooter
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Thanks for the reply. It appears on both short edges of the film (appearing both in landscape and portrait orientation on my RZ67). As the dark slide seal is only on the one side, this would seem to rule it out. 

On whether it is a light leak, wouldn't this result in a much brighter artefact and 'bleach' the negative rather than turning it a muddy orange?  

 

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Here is one of my images (I've bumped the contrast and dehaze to make the orange bleed easier to see). 

Taking the orange bleed on the left hand side, it is just a consistent muddy line - if it was a light leak my thinking would be that it should bleach the darker parts of the image in the bottom left hand corner.  

IMG_3024.JPG

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Is it just on that sunset image or images? 

Two suspects spring to mind. 

1. A reflection of the sun off the frame edge of the camera and onto the adjacent film. Look for paint loss or dusty flocking around the film aperture.

If on non-backlit images. 

2. Light creep through the edge of a loosely spooled film. Quite common if you're not extremely careful taking the film out of the camera, or if the tensioning springs/pressure plate are a bit weak. 

I always used to carry some aluminium kitchen foil to wrap exposed spools in if I had to change film in the field.

Thankfully, digital shooting has put a stop to all that faffing about. 

Edit: Scrub option 2. The light creep would be top and bottom of a 6x7cm frame.

Edited by rodeo_joe1
Afterthought.
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On 10/17/2022 at 8:49 AM, rodeo_joe1 said:

 

(snip)

 

2. Light creep through the edge of a loosely spooled film. Quite common if you're not extremely careful taking the film out of the camera, or if the tensioning springs/pressure plate are a bit weak. 

 

(snip)

 

I pretty much always see that, though most of the time not into the image area.

And if it does get into the image area, usually not into the part visible with a negative carrier.

 

You should be able to tell looking at the negatives, if it goes outside the image frame or not.

-- glen

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How did you scan the film?

Such orange casts along one side of the film are not uncommon in scanned colour negative (C41) film, and are the result of light leaking along the film from the scanner's  light source. You have to mask the negative in the scanner well to keep that from happening.

 

But you say it is on the negatives, though you do not show negatives. Could you show us how they look?

Edited by q.g._de_bakker
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On 10/20/2022 at 12:01 AM, q.g._de_bakker said:

Such orange casts along one side of the film are not uncommon in scanned colour negative (C41) film, and are the result of light leaking along the film from the scanner's  light source.

Surely a light leak or light-piping at the scanning stage would look dark after reversal of the negative image? Same as any fogging that takes place at the enlarging stage of wet printing. 

Likewise the orange mask of colour negative film would add a blue-cyan cast after digital reversal. 

Edited by rodeo_joe1
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34 minutes ago, rodeo_joe1 said:

Surely a light leak or light-piping at the scanning stage would look dark after reversal of the negative image? Same as any fogging that takes place at the enlarging stage of wet printing. 

Likewise the orange mask of colour negative film would add a blue-cyan cast after digital reversal. 

No, they take on the colour of the mask. And yes, they do appear dark(er) as in the images shown.

 

It's not light piping, by the way.

Edited by q.g._de_bakker
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2 hours ago, q.g._de_bakker said:

No, they take on the colour of the mask. And yes, they do appear dark(er) as in the images shown.

The colour of the mask is still blue-cyan after tonal inversion.

On 10/15/2022 at 10:01 AM, RZ67 Film Shooter said:

https://imgur.com/a/URxVz#0  - these are someone else's images but my problem is identical.

The OP's problem is obviously not identical to those imgur pictures (that do show darker bands). The OP's picture, as shown above, has lighter bands at the sides of the image separating frames. Which would require darker bands before inversion of the negative.

I have never seen either such effect due to scanning, and I've scanned thousands of pictures using a variety of scanners. Perhaps you'd care to post an example of the 'not uncommon' fault you describe? 

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I'm not totally certain but it sure resembles a light leak on one of my Hasselblad backs.  If you have interchangeable backs.  Bought replacement light traps online and changed them all out. My problem was solved. Might try and shoot a roll with the dark slide opening taped over.  That's what I diid to make sure.  I don't do much scanning so not of any help if that is the case.

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