Disaster with Lomochrome Purple

Discussion in 'Instant Cameras, Backs and Film' started by Paul Manuell, Aug 26, 2017.

  1. Paul Manuell

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    Having discovered this film a while back and loving some of the photos I'd seen online, I ordered myself a roll earlier this month. I have a model friend who, when I told her about the film and she'd Googled some photo examples, was as excited about shooting with it as I was. I have to point out that it was a roll of the no longer made 120, so was old stock I'd sourced.

    Anyway, today was the day we'd arranged to shoot. Picked model up from the train station then drove us both to the location. I never load a new film until I'm at the location because plans can suddenly change, so don't want to end up with the wring film loaded for the type of shoot. So, I take the 'Purple' out of its foil wrapping and go to remove the sticky tape holding the end of the film leader in place. And that's where everything went wrong. I couldn't remove that tape for love nor money, only the top layer of it seemingly coming off in bits, leaving the sticky part well and truly stuck.

    Plan B, try to lift a bit of the leader itself and prise it free that way. No chance, the leader seemed as resolutely stuck as the tape holding it in place. After a couple of frustrating minutes, finally managed to tear a bit of leader free, but stuck part still well and truly stuck, so that eventually, to unstick it, I ended up with a leader that was half the width of the rest of the film.

    Although it looked a mess, it only affected the leader, so I loaded it as normal, carefully wound it to the start mark, then fitted film and insert into the camera. Pressed shutter button to wind to first frame. Camera made the noise of winding the film on, but no frame number appeared on the display. Tried this 3 more times with the same result before giving up and taking the film insert out, thereby wasting the roll of expensive (£10 + £3 postage) film. The camera obviously didn't recognise there was a film in it. To add insult to injury, I hadn't taken another film to the shoot with me as we'd only been planning to do the 'Purple' shoot, so wasted a day for both of us. Gutted is an understatement.
     
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    Paul Manuell

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    Can Admin please move my op to a more appropriate film group. I only saw this one as any mentioning film when clicking on the main 'Equipment' heading, but see there are other film groups when reading the forum. Thank you.
     
  3. RauschenOderKorn

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    Wow, you only bring one roll of film to a shoot where a model comes from out-of-town?

    I know that I sometimes take too much precaution, but I bring more sets of batteries than that.
     
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    Paul Manuell

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    Yes, because like I said, we'd only planned on doing the Lomochrome Purple shoot and I only had one roll of that. I wasn't to know when trying to ready the film for loading that the leader had been stuck down with industrial strength tape.
     
  5. Theo Sulphate

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    Which model of medium format camera were you using and how does it determine when the film has advanced from the alignment arrows to the first frame?

    Do you know whether the film advanced at all? Was it not possible to rewind the film before removing the insert?

    I'm wondering if the thickness of the paper backing could've been an issue. Maybe too thin?
     
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    Paul Manuell

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    Ok, I was using a Pentax 645NII. Once the film back has been loaded with film then the back inserted into the camera, it's just a case of pressing the shutter button to advance the film to the first frame, whereby the figure 1 appears on the LCD display. As no number appeared after 4 attempts, I assumed the camera never recognised I'd loaded the film and I put that down to the torn leader. When I removed the film back, the film had advanced, so I'm guessing I could've taken photos on it, but I wasn't to know that until I'd opened the back, by which time it was obviously too late.
    I can't comment on the paper backing's thickness as I've never seen another 120 film unravelled to compare it to.
     
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    Paul Manuell

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    Ok, since my last post I've had a lovely reply from customer services at lomography.com (whom I'd emailed basically what I said in my op here). I only emailed them to relay my story as I never actually bought the film from them, (they're the makers or main distributors of it) and never expected anything other than a sympathetic reply. However, not only did I receive that, they also asked me to forward my address so they van send me a replacement roll as soon as possible.
    Thanks to Megan at customer services for a brilliant service :smile:
     
  8. Theo Sulphate

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    Nice customer service.

    I'm really curious why the first frame wasn't detected. With four attempts and obvious advancement of the film, I am mystified.

    I'm curious how the Pentax 645 determines when the first frame is ready.
     
  9. MattKing

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    Word to the wise.If you are planning to go out and use that replacement film on another shoot, buy and take along at least one backup roll, or at least take along another roll of film :smile:.
     
  10. winger

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    I have the 645N (not exactly the same as the OP, but only a couple of differences). You put the roll on the supply side and pull the paper out and hook it into the slot on the take-up side then turn a wheel to pull some over. When the "start" with the arrows on the paper is lined up with the mark on the holder, you put it in the camera. Turn on the camera, set the ISO, press the shutter once - it should turn the takeup reel a measured amount that gets it to #1. Mine (I just checked) are all within a few mm of being at the same spot.

    My guess for the OP is that the sticky part remaining from the wrapper may have been touching something and kept it from being able to pull the film? Though that part should have been securely on the take-up reel from you turning it to get the "start" spot lined up.
     
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    Paul Manuell

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    I'm not sure how it determines the first frame either. All I do is spool the leader as normal on any MF system, attach the insert into the camera then press the shutter button, whereupon it winds to the first frame and stops, then indicates the number 1 on the LCD display. As I said in my op, it was making all the right noises when I loaded the Purple film and pressed the shutter button, it just never displayed any frame number, instead just remaining blank. With hindsight, I probably could've taken photos with it, I just didn't want to risk going through with a whole shoot and put the film in for development, only to end up with 15 blank frames. Also, was worried about buggering up my camera. Still, fingers crossed all goes well with the new film.
     
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    Paul Manuell

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    Will definitely take along a roll of my trusty Portra 160 on my next shoot with the Purple, just in case :smile:
     
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    Paul Manuell

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    Yes, was definitely lined up on the 'start' part when I attached the film insert into the camera body, so what was left of the torn leader (refer back to my op for details) was definitely wound fully onto the take up spool.
     
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  15. maximumPhoto

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    Have you tried a roll of the same film types as when you last successfully shot with that camera? Something is not adding up if we look to the film as the cause, and everything as you have described indicates that maybe it's your camera. It could have been the roll is the root of the problem, but nothing more than gunk obstructing/effecting whatever mechanism your camera uses to determine there is film loaded since you even confirmed the leader was wound on the take-up spool up to the start position (pretty secure at that point).
     
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    Paul Manuell

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    Yes, shot a roll of Portra 160 yesterday with no problem whatsoever.
     
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    Paul Manuell

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    Ok, an update. Yesterday I successfully used a new roll of Purple. However, the sticky tape that sealed the new film was, just like with my first one, a bastard to peel off, and trying to load the film was just as bad. No problem inserting the leader into the spool, but every attempt thereafter to wind the film on saw the leader jumping out of the spool. In the end I had to take the spool out of the film back and manually roll the film a couple of turns to make sure it had 'taken'. Never had this problem before in all the years I've been using medium format. Film duly inserted, pressed shutter button to advance to first frame, et voila, up pops the number 1 on the top plate display, so this time I was good to go :smile:
    Anyway, I shot 13 frames yesterday, so 2 more to go before I can see the results of this weird and (hopefully) wonderful film.
     
  18. Arbitrarium

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    I always stick the leader to the spool with a bit of tape to be sure. I've never trusted the slippery paper and smooth spool to hold tightly on it's own.

    That first roll sounds like it had been kept somewhere damp for a while and glued itself to itself.

    And only taking one roll of film to a shoot? There's being optimistic and then there's being plain daft. What if you'd finished the roll and then found an amazing new location to shoot or the light changed for the better etc. etc.?
     
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    Paul Manuell

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    I wasn't being optimistic or stupid, we (myself and the model) had only the intention of shooting with the Purple that day.
     
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    Paul Manuell

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    Ok, yet another update. Finally finished the roll of Purple yesterday, but my woes didn't end there. Film duly auto wound to the end, I removed it from the camera, folded the end and went to lick the gummed bit of tape to seal the roll. Only I couldn't, the tape was folded over on itself and stuck together. No amount of prising and coaxing would unstick it from itself, no matter how carefully I tried. So, as I had driven to the location, I had to keep a tight hold of the film in one hand while packing my camera gear away and on the drive home to prevent it unravelling itself. Yes, holding on to the film for the whole drive home. When home, sealed it with a piece of sticky tape.

    After all the problems I"ve encountered with both rolls of this film I've used, I can safely say I'll NEVER try it again, even if when they're developed, the photos win *Photos Of The Century! If this was my first taste of medium format film when I started years ago, I'd have immediately returned to 35mm. Fortunately I know how easy medium format normally is and that this experience was purely down to one type of film.

    *Made up competition :smile:
     
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    Paul Manuell

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    Well I finally finished the film and have now had it developed and scanned, and the results aren't too bad at all to be honest. Not all shots were 'keepers', but around 50% were, which isn't a bad hit rate really with a totally new (to me) film.

    The main thing I noticed with the developed film was its exposure latitude, or rather lack of it, compared to 'regular' film. In this respect it seems to behave more like slide film. I have to state, though, I've never used slide film, just know through reading about it over the years.

    I really like how foliage turns purple with this film, but it also affected brickwork and the model's skin, though not in a horrible way. Some brickwork was rendered blue and some parts of the model's skin took on a colourful hue. As something out of the ordinary I really like it, but the novelty would soon wear off with too much use of this film.

    Anyway, my 'Purple' journey is now over and I'm glad I got some decent images after all the trials and tribulations I went through using this film.
     
  22. GarageBoy

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    This is why I stick with film from major manufacturers (and even thats not safe with kodaks on going paper issue)

    With 120, I always bring rubber bands incase i ruin the lick to stick strips - especially when in using expired films
     
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    Paul Manuell

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    Thanks, the rubber bands is a good tip, will keep a few in my camera bag from now on.

    What's Kodak's ongoing paper issue by the way? As my main film is Portra 160 and the occasional 400, should I be worried?
     
  24. pentaxuser

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    I have a P645N not Nii but I think the insert and wind mechanism are the same. It struck me as I read the thread that if the paper leader is the problem then couldn't that problem part be cut off and a new pointed leader be cut with scissors. This would give less backing paper before the film is reached but as the loading relies on the line being opposite the start position I cannot see how a slightly shorter leader would make any difference to the camera's recognition of correct position for frame 1, otherwise if the leader somehow got damaged or slightly torn then making a new leader would effectively ruin the use of the film, wouldn't it?

    pentaxuser
     
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    Paul Manuell

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    I don't understand how the camera didn't recognise that first Purple film either. As I explained, the leader was torn along its length, not widthways, so although it ended up not being as wide as normal leader, the length was unaffected and I still lined it up with the start arrow before inserting the film holder and winding it on to frame 1. For some reason, though, the camera simply didn't recognise there was a film in it as no number appeared in the LCD display, despite 3 or 4 more presses of the shutter and the film audibly winding on.

    Doesn't matter now though, as explained later in the thread I've since used another roll of Purple, and while that one too wasn't without its annoying problems, at least the camera recognised it and I got some nice photos from it.
     
  26. bsdunek

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    I have a big stash of Ilford FP4 - not "+", that my brother had kept in the refrigerator for years. Like your film, you can't peel of the tape to open it and the tape at the end doesn't work any more. I assume this is due to moisture from being in the refrigerator so long. I always carry a pocket knife, so I just cut the tape to open the film - works fine. I also carry rubber bands in my bag to secure the finished roll. The film has worked fine so I'm not throwing it out.
    As to the exposure latitude - Lomo Purple is a reversal film so it acts like one. Hot to hit those exposures right on.
    I think your film was old and stored who knows how. I'm sure new rolls from Lomo would be OK. I have used their Redscale film with no problems.
     
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