Tried a new lab, got scratched slides :-(

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frobozz

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I tried a new lab for my latest batch of E6. 5 rolls shot in 2 different cameras across several months... and they all came back with intermittent scratching on the base side. Argh! This is an expensive, professional, highly recommended E6 lab too. I like everything else about them - the processing was spot on, the slide mounts are smooth as silk in my scanner, the turnaround time was quick. But I just want to make sure it really was the lab. The scratches come and go (some slides have none) but when it's present, it's basically one scratch that wanders back and forth across a whole series of frames in a row, with little interruptions and dotted-line series of divots, followed by long continuous wavering lines. It's basically one long scratch, not multiple scratches, as if something were resting on the base side of the film as it was fed into the slide mounter? Not the perfectly straight scratch or parallel scratches you'd get from a problem with a camera pressure plate or cassette light trap.

Here's an example, with no ICE on the scan. ICE doesn't completely fix this, either :-( It's more horrific looking when magnifying the film as seen with a glare across it, but I don't have a good way to get a picture of that to show you.

e6_scratching.jpg



Duncan
 

BMbikerider

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By the positioning of the scratches and the break between the two lines I thin it can be ruled out that it was due to grit or other damage before being processes. Also it it had been done before processing there would have been physical damage to the 'raw' film which I know would have removed one or more colour layers and even gone right through to the base layer and been rendered clear film. (Been there, seen it, and done it myself that's how I know) The Lab has a few answers to give.
 

railwayman3

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It doesn't look at all like a camera problem, and the fact that you used two cameras over 5 films does seem to make the only common factor to be a lab issue. I'd take it up with the lab right away.

(I've had occasional similar (and other) problems in the past with so-called "professional" labs in the U.K. The best ones seemed to be those used by manufacturers for their films sold process-paid, but almost none of those left now. I have some E4 slides taken by my late Father in the 1960's, with the mounts printed "Processed by Kodak", and these are still immaculate, with none of the fading which has happened with a lot of E4.)
 
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frobozz

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Also, I wount mind knowing what that is a picture of.

Just a little high speed cinematography mayhem with my brother and his giant air cannon, plus a junk shuffle alley he wanted to get rid of! Here's the d*g*t*l video - I'm still working through capturing the high speed 16mm stuff then I'll edit it up and put it all on YouTube:

http://backglass.org/duncan/burt_201308/hdcam_cannon_raw.mov
http://backglass.org/duncan/burt_201308/pins_gopro.mov
http://backglass.org/duncan/burt_201308/head_gopro.mov

Duncan
 
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frobozz

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These were mailed several states away! I had previously used E-Six Labs in Atlanta, even farther away, a few times and loved them. And then they closed :-(

Duncan
 

pbromaghin

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Just a little high speed cinematography mayhem with my brother and his giant air cannon, plus a junk shuffle alley he wanted to get rid of! Here's the d*g*t*l video - I'm still working through capturing the high speed 16mm stuff then I'll edit it up and put it all on YouTube:

http://backglass.org/duncan/burt_201308/hdcam_cannon_raw.mov
http://backglass.org/duncan/burt_201308/pins_gopro.mov
http://backglass.org/duncan/burt_201308/head_gopro.mov

Duncan

Wow, how cool is that?. Every 12-year-old's fantasy come to fruition.
 
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The scratches are similar to scratches I got on roll I had processed by a local lab this summer. The scratch wasn't real straight and wandered across multiple frames so I don't think it was a problem with the camera. To make matters worse, I could see what looked like water marks in the sky in a number of my images. Then to top it off, I asked the lab to make a CD scan of the slides and that turned out to be one of the worst scan jobs I've seen.

I mentioned the problems to the lab, but not sure if it did any good.

So on my last roll I decided to mail it off to Dwayne's and I was pleased with what I got back, but I would prefer to patronize my local lab.

Dave
 

railwayman3

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just be glad you have a lab around that still does E6.......

I am. But if all my time, effort and money in taking pictures is going to be wasted by bad processing, I'd really rather keep my memories by that other system which doesn't need a lab or darkroom. :sad:
 
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frobozz

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Froboz: have you tried CSW in Chicago? (Lake and Damen)

Ever since Helix shut down their Highland Park store (where I could drop off slides on my way to or from work nearby, and they would shuttle them down to Chicago and back) [and then they went totally out of business anyway], I have used CSW for my processing... many, many rolls of E6. They do a fine job, though to be honest their most recent work has been fairly dirty/dusty/watermark-y. The big problem is their staked slide mounts, which jam my autofeeder. So I've been trying other labs...

Duncan
 
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frobozz

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The owner of the lab got back to me and very much wants to get to the bottom of it - I'll be sending him some of the slides back for inspection (and he's already given me a credit for future work greater than the amount I paid for this processing!) Impressive response.

I'll report back once there are any updates.

Duncan
 

Les Sarile

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Hopefully with that kind of customer service that they figure out what the problem is and fix it going forward.

BTW, when it comes to fixing badly handled film, results from the Nikonscan+Coolscan 9000 is nothing short of amazing . . .

standard.jpg

Link to larger version -> Kodak 160VC-06-36 5K vs 9K ICE
 
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frobozz

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That's what freaked me out about this - my Coolscan 5000 and ICE usually take damaged film in stride, but this was too much even for it!

Duncan
 
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frobozz

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Aha! Upon investigation of some slides I sent back, the lab discovered that they were actually some sort of drying marks on the film, not scratches. They wiped off when rubbed with a cotton glove. They suspect it may have occurred on the occasion of dumping and renewing their chemistry, since they don't just keep replenishing forever.

I'm going to take them up on their offer of free replacement processing of my next rolls, and fully expect to be happier with the results!

Duncan
 
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