fuji provia 400 x no dark blacks - film or development?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Heinz, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. Heinz

    Heinz Subscriber

    May 9, 2009
    Dortmund, Ge
    Multi Format
    I just got back a roll (120) of fuji provia 400 x transparencies from development in a large commercial lab. I am a little bit disappointed by the blacks on this roll. They are somehow blue/brown transparent even in the unexposed parts of the film. I do have other rolls of provia 400 x where in the same range of tones there are still details visible in dark parts of the images. Now I ask myself: Is it likely that this is due to the fact that I used my last roll of old provia 400 x film? If I remember right, it expired 2008 and it was stored the last year in my photo bag and not in the fridge, like my other films. Then it will get better with the fresh provia I bought last month. Or is it more likely that the reason is the (cheap) development in a large commercial lab? Then I should send my next films to a smaller high-quality lab. Does someone of you had this experience before and figured out the reason?
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2012
  2. richydicky

    richydicky Guest

    My lab said, when I presented a very old poorly stored film for development, that that it's the blacks that always go and from what I have seen that is the case. Try a fresh roll.
  3. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

    Aug 13, 2009
    Medium Format
    A lot of things could be responsible for what you see, and shooting film which expired almost 4 years ago could be one of the reasons. I posted the Tetenal E-6 kit instructions a while back and on page 11 there is a list of image defects and their possible cause. Since numerous things could cause low D-max, you have to change one thing at a time and see whether it makes a difference. Send them an exposed roll of fresh film and see how it turns out. If the results are as bad as the expired 400X, at least they can't just blame it on the age of the film.