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Author Topic: Am I screwed??  (Read 20907 times)

foto_man

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Am I screwed??
« on: February 05, 2014, 09:27:06 PM »

Hello All,

I posted this question on a different forum but I think this group can have some good insight to please excuse this post if you've already seen it:

Hello everyone,

I am writing this post b/c I need some advice.

I got back a roll of medium format black and white, slow speed 120 film back from the lab. They had process and scanned it.

Here is an example of what they sent back:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/3rpdmmbzcbh52b7/899573371.jpg

Needless to say, I am flabbergasted.

A little background:

I have shot literally hundreds of rolls of film and kept them in my fridge to be developed later.

In 2009, due to a family situation, the film where taken out of the fridge and stored in a storage unit. No climate control, just a plain old storage unit.

Finally, now, I am able to get back to my old archive. This is one of the first rolls of 120 that I've had a chance to develop. I've also developed rolls of color 35mm film that, for the most part, looks perfectly fine (a little color distortion, but nothing like this).

I now have the film sitting in ziplocks in the closet.

I am terrified that the rest of the B&W 120 film will look like this image.

Am I screwed? Is the film degrading?

This is really sad. I spent years and a ton of money. This was my work and I didn't realize this outcome was possible. I thought the film wouldn't be pristine but at least manageable with some Photoshop work.

Now I don't know what to do. Like I said, I have hundreds of rolls similar to the image posted, sitting waiting to be developed.

Do I spend thousands of dollars having them developed just to receive back this garbage?

Is there something the lab can do? Should I throw the film in the fridge now? Will it do any good?

I am dumbstruck. This is really painful.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
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Christoph C. Feldhaim

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Re: Am I screwed??
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2014, 01:08:45 AM »

Double post?

BenMm

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Re: Am I screwed??
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2014, 04:19:03 PM »

Was this processed by a professional lab or a drugstore?  (dopey question but I had to ask)
Does the negative look like the scan?
Along the edge of the negative you should have text which gives the film type and the frame numbers.  Does the text look clear and sharp or is it like the image?
Is the emulsion smooth or wrinkled?
If it's not bad film it could be old developer or not enough fixer time.
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PhotoEcosse

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Re: Am I screwed??
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2014, 10:53:49 AM »

While unexposed film will keep well for several years in the 2-4 degreesC range, exposed film will depreciate very much more quickly, especially if not refrigerated.

In fact, I have never come across any credible authority suggesting that film had much a a shelf life after exposure.

I guess whether you gamble with the cost of development depends upon how important the images are to you.

And, certainly, putting it into a fridge now will not reverse and deterioration that has already occurred.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2014, 10:55:30 AM by PhotoEcosse »
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wolfnowl

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Re: Am I screwed??
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2014, 02:20:57 AM »

I had a similar problem with a fresh roll of 120-film I brought to a local 'professional' lab.  The roll came back looking like they'd used dirty wash water.  Completely unusable.  I never went to them again.

Mike.
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D White

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Re: Am I screwed??
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2014, 10:29:14 AM »

If the neg looks clean, it is the scan, an "ice" function on B&W can look like this. If the film looks like the defect I would try one more roll at a different lab or home processing. Or embrace he "effect" as art.
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koh303

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Re: Am I screwed??
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2014, 08:38:29 AM »

Degradation of the latent image cannot be avoided. It usually takes about 30 days to see the beginning of the effects, and it progresses as time goes by. Storing shot film in the fridge only accelerates this.
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Steve House

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Re: Am I screwed??
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2014, 09:12:13 AM »

Degradation of the latent image cannot be avoided. It usually takes about 30 days to see the beginning of the effects, and it progresses as time goes by. Storing shot film in the fridge only accelerates this.
Refrigerating exposed film prior to development accelerates image deterioration???????  I've been shooting since the mid-sixties and this is the first time I've heard such a claim.
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250swb

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Re: Am I screwed??
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2014, 10:38:20 AM »

I'm not at all convinced this is about straight forward image degradation of old film. The texture seen in the image runs in one direction, it isn't random. So if there are no other artefacts I think it is the film reacting with the backing paper, and given the yo-yoing temperature changes of being in and out of the fridge it may be before or after the exposure, but I favour after when the film has been exposed to air and condensation has formed when put back in the fridge.

Film can last many years in the original sealed packaging even without being in the fridge, Ilford for instance say theirs is good for 15 years at room temperature, but not if left in a car glove box for 15 years. Exposed film degrades quicker, but normally there is no reason to panic. But exposing it and putting it back into the fridge when there is humid air around it can't be a good idea. :-[

Steve

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Am I screwed??
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2014, 11:09:48 AM »

... Here is an example of what they sent back:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/3rpdmmbzcbh52b7/899573371.jpg ...

Some people would kill for the unique, fine art look to it  ;)

Iluvmycam

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Re: Am I screwed??
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2014, 01:14:01 PM »

Some people would kill for the unique, fine art look to it  ;)

Yes, that is true.

OP, I'd fool around on the computer to see if you fix them to be useable. You should also be developing the negs yourself.

Here is how I fixed a bad neg...2.5 hours on computer work.

(NSFW)

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%27Left_Vintage_Silver_Gelatin_Print_-_Right_Inkjet_Print%27_Copyright_1973,_2013_Daniel_D._Teoli_Jr..JPG

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