Discussion in 'Everything else Heritage' started by The Green Howards, Aug 25, 2016.
The film was completely clear, I should have stated.
Negative film, or reversal?
If it's reversal film then for it to be totally clear with nothing on at all must mean either a monumental light leak, or messed up processing (or messing up during loading for processing fogged the lot to light!).
If it's negative film that's totally clear, then that means it wasn't exposed to any light at all...
...in which case the edge markings should be obvious. Assuming it's film that does actually have edge markings!
In which case I'd suggest it was even more likely to be a balls up on the processing front.
It was Ilford XP2. I am suspicious that it was a processing cock-up; the person on the counter said the images were 'barely there' but if it was a case of the camera under-exposing, I'd still expect to see the frame numbers and indeed, the brand. I had a play with the camera when I got home and it seems to do everything I'd expect playing with the shutter speeds and looking at the back of the camera.
I'll not be going there again.
XP2 is Ilford's C41 B&W negative film, ie. it should be processing in standard *colour* negative film chemicals.
What ever the problem, if the edge markings are washed out then the problem can't be you or your camera! If there was a light leak then it would all be solid black
....and if the shutter never opened then the film should be clear with just dark edge markings visible.
I wonder if the muppets where you took it to be processed saw it said Ilford B&W and put it through standard B&W chemicals?
A quick google shows this can be done, but the results are very washed out and low contrast. The suggestion from someone at Ilford technical services is to push process to boost contrast (ie. leaving it in the developer longer).
To not get the edge markings correct suggests the film was rather massively under developed, which would also result in images "barely there". ie. they didn't leave it in the developer long enough.
If it was just the images with strong edge codes then it would be an exposure issue on your part, but the edge codes means the processors ruined your film.
If you flip to the second page of this document on B&W film faults you'll find what sounds like your problem - again says it was under developed
It might be worth one return trip to them - to complain their processing ruined your film.
...followed by then using a different lab in future!
Oddly enough, the senior person in the shop checked the film and said "oh, C41, that's okay".
Thanks for the linked document by the way: I know only too well what happens when you use fixer first - I lost a film at school that way. It had photos of the local village school on it just before it was demolished
It's possible the film shipped with no dye layer and it wasn't their fault, but what are the chances of that? We have one independent lab locally but I've not been happy with that in the past, so it looks like I'll be investigating mail-order processing from now on
I'm not sure what upsets me more - the loss of the photos, or the possibility that someone lied to me rather than fess up and say "we ruined your film." (or words to that effect) After all, they're covered by the usual clause about the value of the images not exceeding the cost of the processing... I was given a 24-frame Kodak colour film as compensation (not even a 36!), I'll try that in the Nikon.
Your last paragraph is wrong, as with any other service the law of negligence applies. I once had a 36 exp slide film ruined by being put through the wrong process and they tried to fob me off with a replacement film. I wrote and complained to their head office explaining that most of the pictures had cost me about £40 in petrol to obtain and were a record of a railway trip that wouldn't be repeated (it was City of Truro on the Welsh Marches) and there was always a possibility that I would miss out on repro fees if I sent them for publication. I suggested compensation of £100, they offered £25, I threatened small claims court and we settled at £50 and that was back in the 80s.
It's a bit like those signs you see in car parks saying the owner accepts no liability for loss or damage, a complete nonsense, if you can prove they were negligent in some way then they are liable. I had a friend who had his car damaged by an insecure gate which the wind blew into his vehicle. The car park owner, a publican, pointed out the sign but a solicitors letter suggesting he contacts his public liability insurer did the trick.
Thanks for the notes regarding claiming against the processor, John; but sadly, money isn't going to get those photos back - Lincoln steam fair 2016, and 46233 running tender first on a main line! - and if I'm honest, I just don't have the fight in me any more It is much, MUCH easier to say "these things happen" and leave it at that.
Fixer first would be totally clear with no images at all, but you said the person on the counter claimed, "...the images were 'barely there'". That means it must have gone through some developer.
If the images were barely there and it was processed correctly, then the edge markers would be clearly there. If the images were barely there and the edge markings barely there, then either as you say, the film was faulty from Ilford, or it was a processing error...
Ilford would definately know if they'd produced and shipped a faulty batch if you contacted them - they make shed loads at a time and your roll wouldn't be the only one affected.
I can understand the not being bothered with chasing though, especially if you've already got a consultation prize film from the lab (which sorta suggests they've admitted they're responsible).
For me the key thing would be the knowledge neither you nor your camera were the problem.
For many years I used The Darkroom in Cheltenham (mailorder) for getting reversal processed. For B&W I'd process my own, but I did use them to get some B&W prints done from the negs before I was able to darken the kitchen and got an enlarger to do my own prints. I was happy with their service (including hand B&W prints as well if you wanted). http://www.the-darkroom.co.uk/
If you like B&W and are going to have to use mail order for processing anyway, then it might be worth considering Ilford Lab? https://www.ilfordlab.com/ That would open up the world of all their (and other manufacturer's) traditional B&W films, rather than being limited to C41.
If nothing else, you've got an excuse to go back to Lincoln again this year
Well, I took another look at the film yesterday (because I wasn't depressed enough) - and yes, there are a few faint highlights visible - but my goodness, you have to stare hard to see them! I might approach Ilford and ask if they've had any rogue batches of XP2 ship, just in case.
The other camera - a Pentax MZ-50 - is loaded with Ilford HP5 and I had the camera repaired and serviced by Asahi Photo in Brentford so I know it's okay.
Thanks also for the processing links - they look worth a go so I think I know where the HP5 in the MZ-50 is heading when it's ready.
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