Help: film exposed -/- 3 stops

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by ekkybedmond, Jun 30, 2018.

  1. ekkybedmond

    ekkybedmond Member

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    Hi guys, just sent 1 roll of Portra 400 (outdated but kept in freezer, most of the time..) off for developing

    Guys at PhoteExpress in Hull UK reckoned the film was underexposed by about 3 stops. They also scanned the film, so something might be saved in post-.. Last april I used an old roll of Kodak Professional 400 and came out with no problems, same camera and general equipment.

    BUT: I checked my camera Canon 1V just now, DX is still on auto, still on ISO 400. No 'fault' there

    Tested exposure against Canon 1N: identical.

    Could the film have been seriously 'past it'. I think it lived outsied the freezer last summer for 2 weeks, then got back in.
    Could it be the twice Xray scanning at Dutch and UK airport (hand luggage only).

    Thanks for any input
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
  2. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    You might want to show examples of the negatives so members can give their opinions on whether it was under exposed or due to some other fault. I take it that the film is still on its way back to you so you haven't seen the negs yet. Since the exposure of the Portra 400 have you exposed and developed any other film in the same camera.

    On the surface and based on your post I'd agree that a camera meter problem seems unlikely as does 2 scans only at airports and only 2 weeks outside the freezer.

    How many films has Photoexpress done for you to date? If its many without problems then maybe it isn't a processing fault but until you and we see the negs, everything is largely speculation

    pentaxuser
     
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    ekkybedmond

    ekkybedmond Member

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    Thank you, PhotoExpress are always great, have been for some years now. Now, I just posted this roll last Tuesday and have takens any pics since

    The HiRes scans are in my dropbox, I could try and post some is thats any good.
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber
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    Scans that look bad don't really tell us anything, because they may look bad because of the film, because of the exposure, because of the development, or because of the scanning.
    Its best to wait until you have the negatives themselves, at which time you can share a digital photo of them (assuming that you are set up for that).
    By the way - how are the batteries in the camera?
     
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    ekkybedmond

    ekkybedmond Member

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    Batteries are fresh
     
  6. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member
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    I think that we need to see the negs. Until then, I would be surprised if there is a processing issue with Photoexpress, and VERY surprised if they didn't own up if there were. I have sent all of my C41 work to them for the past 10 years or so (even the occasional long-expired film), their neg processing has always been immaculate, and any difficulties pointed out....and I can be a bit OCD at times! (Usually disclaimer....no connection other than as a customer)..
     
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    ekkybedmond

    ekkybedmond Member

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    Thanks guys, will try at the end of the week.

    And: never any complaints on processing by PhotoExpress myself.
     
  8. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber
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    I had trouble with an OM-4 that would occasionally grossly underexpose shots from time to time, the ASA dial was dirty and sending the wrong value to the electronics.

    I "caught" it when it would snap a shot instantaneously when I expected an eighth of a second.

    Did you notice anything like that going on?
     
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    ekkybedmond

    ekkybedmond Member

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    Can't say I did. It's mostly or all electronic and menus with a Canon 1V
     
  10. Agulliver

    Agulliver Member
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    Very curious.

    Firstly if there had been an issue with your DX sensor not sensing the film, it would probably default to ISO100 at two stops over exposed....your images would probably be OK. Three stops under is 3200....one possible idea....is there any chance that your DX contacts or the film cassette were dirty? Is there any chance that the camera incorrectly read the DX code as 3200 due to dirt on the contacts or cassette? Though the codes for 400 and 3200 aren't all that similar....it's an outside possibility.

    Two passes through airport security shouldn't do any harm whatsoever, and where film has airport x-ray damage it exhibits itself as exposed wavy lines, not whole films being fogged or under exposed. A couple of weeks out of the freezer shouldn't have made any difference....but out of interest how old was the film and how long had it been frozen?

    I agree we need to see the negs to say any more. The rebate area will be of particular interest.
     
  11. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber
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    Just hung up negatives last night from a trip where I took that OM-4... It grossly underexposed at least a half-dozen frames. Some when it was dark but I was shooting wide open with 400 speed film so I expected an "instantaneous" shutter release sound. Several more when I used the self-timer (so I couldn't really "hear" the shutter).

    I am going to stop using "my old" OM-4. I had problems in the past with it so I bought a good one from Rick A (which had been serviced by John Hermanson), so I am not "fish out of water".

    But I wish it were mechanical so I could hear when the shutter wasn't working at the right speed.

    When a Pentax Spotmatic fires at 15th second, for example, there is a short, clean bzzt. Followed by the double bounce of a spring... that tells you it was a fifteenth.
     
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    ekkybedmond

    ekkybedmond Member

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    The negs will arrive coming weekend or just after, will try and post then.

    Film: can't be sure of age and how long in freezer. Probly 18 months or more and problay about to expire at the time of freezing.

    Wgt to reading the DX code: it still reads 400 (i.e. the value of the last roll used, which was the roll that went wrong..)

    Thxs guys
     
  13. Berkeley Mike

    Berkeley Mike Member
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    "Still on Auto".
    1) Check for errant exposure compensation.
    2) Was the context such that it might have fooled the meter?
     
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    ekkybedmond

    ekkybedmond Member

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    bYdbd9LQ.jpeg WET9R5XQ.jpeg XDPM9GEA.jpeg here are a couple of compressed scans (copied from my dropbox). I could upload larger versions, but not sure how lagre is allowed or possible here
     
  16. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    The middle one looks fine for the conditions in which it was exposed. The two outside look a little de-saturated by comparison but was there a haze or slight sea-mist that day? Are these three scans all from the same source of scanner and is the middle one from the film you labelled OK and the outer two from the 3 stops underexposed?

    Have the actual negatives arrived and if so do all the lab negs look underexposed as they said? If the negs look very thin and at first sight impossible to rescue then the scans may represent the best attempt possible and if we can rule out an exposure fault in the camera it looks as if the Portra has suffered for whatever reason and sadly it is a case of "putting it down to experience"

    pentaxuser
     
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    ekkybedmond

    ekkybedmond Member

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    No, these are all from 1 and the same roll.
    #1 and 3 were taken on different days (2 and 3 the same day actually..), but yeah, it was quite humid and with the use of a 70-200 tele (#3 with 1.4 extender), it gets hazy quick

    thxs, still waiting on the negs
     
  18. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    So these are all from the OK film in which case the difference in these has to be down to light conditions/sea haze or maybe that combined with a 1.4 extender(tele-converter). The best of these such as a Nikon converter on a good Nikon lens might make very little difference to the picture quality but in my experience of using an "also ran" converter with a 100-300 Tamron tele-photo for a Pentax, the quality of the negative does suffer.

    pentaxuser
     
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    ekkybedmond

    ekkybedmond Member

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    Here are the 3 negs (in the same order) Img1.JPG Img2.JPG Img3.JPG Img4.JPG + 1 extra

    I hope they are clear enough, it seems DPP compressed them to under 1 Mb...

    thanks for any help or advise
     
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    ekkybedmond

    ekkybedmond Member

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    Anyone ?
     
  21. canuhead

    canuhead Member
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    they look like -1.5 to -2 to me, but as your scans show, still salvageable.
     
  22. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    There is one more negative here than negatives from which your prints are made and I take it that this is still the OK film and you have yet to receive the recent lab processed film which it has said is very underexposed. Am I right?

    If we can rule out the extender on what looks like the properly exposed negative and if the light conditions for each were much the same i.e. a relatively clear sunny day, then the beach and cliffs do look the most underexposed, the beach with trucks is still underexposed but slightly less so. The building and foreground picnicers scene looks to be properly exposed and the canal and houses only very slightly less so What may be inversely correlated to this is how much sky there is ie. the more sky the more underexposed is the negative.

    It is just possible that as your camera meter works OK in at least one shot then it may be giving too much weight to the sky area and you may need to reduce exposure where the sky is a third or more of the scene. Testing is required

    In the long run it may be worth having the meter tested. In our current sunny conditions between say 11:00am and 2:00pm sunny f11 is not a bad rule. Point your camera to green grass in open sunshine ( if you can find enough that is still green :D) with aperture f11. The exposure should be the reciprocal of the film speed i.e 1/400th if the film is a 400.

    If this comes out right then meter an open scene with no sky then watch what happens to the meter reading as you include more and more sky. If the exposure gets very short with a normal amount of sky in the picture then you may need to increase it by trial and error.

    If it were me then I'd be tempted to change the film speed( lower it) on the camera when more than maybe a quarter of the scene is sky . Try 4 shots of the same scene and the same camera angle at EI 400, 320, 250, 200. See which negative produces the best picture.

    Best of luck

    pentaxuser
     
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    ekkybedmond

    ekkybedmond Member

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  24. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    OK then it certainly looks as if something went wrong with the exposure(underexposed) on all negs except the picnicers( related to amount of sky?) so my previous post stands. I am unsure if it is as much as canuhead is suggesting as that would mean reducing film speed to 100 but only a kind of trial and error approach as I suggested will tell you.

    pentaxuser
     
  25. martinola

    martinola Member
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    Just a thought, but shouldn't the latent edge information on the negatives be denser? If they should, wouldn't then the negative appear to be underdeveloped? What do you all think?
    Martin
     
  26. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    The edge markings look about right to me. It is lab processed so I'd be surprised if the dev time is wrong and at least one neg is properly developed. I doubt if the film is underdeveloped.

    pentaxuser
     
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