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Author Topic: grainy pictures  (Read 6192 times)

alex2074

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grainy pictures
« on: January 18, 2007, 01:33:10 am »

I want to become proficient with my 35mm minolta X-700 to learn the intracacies of photography.  Ive taken alot of pictures with my old X-350 and they all turned out great.  Im not sure if it is my 800 speed film, or the lens, my selection of fstop (I usually go as low as possible when the light is bad, but as my lens is a 19mm to 28mm that shouldnt be a big deal, everything is pretty much in focus), or the ambient light, but all my pictures turn out very grainy, much more that 800 speed film should be.  I would like to know what causes this grainyness and what I can do to prevent it.  If I let the camera just do what it wanted, would it turn out the same way?
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Jonathan Wienke

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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2007, 06:01:59 am »

Use 100-speed film if you don't want grain, and even then it will be noticeable. If you want to be free of grain, get a digital SLR and shoot at low ISO (below 400). If you underexpose with film or digital, grain will be worse.
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DavidJ

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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2007, 02:01:47 pm »

The X700 is/was an excellent camera (I hope yours is in good order, it might be worth checking that it's metering and shutter speeds are still up to scratch) and the Minolta lenses that are from that generation were pretty good. You don't say what film and development you were using. These coupled with exposure are the factors to look at in sorting out grain problems. Many ISO 800 films have pretty coarse grain. Do stick with the Minollta until as such time you want to and can afford to switch to digital. In the mean time as Jonathon suggests try a slower film. In the days that I used to scan film I found that grain would appear on Fuji 400 in the scan even on my early Canon FS2700 fim scanner.

David
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David Allen

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« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2007, 09:51:19 pm »

I still have 2 X-700's and an XD-11.  Couldn't bring myself to sell them.  I shot almost exclusively Kodachrome 25, or 64 if I couldn't find the former.

Mike.
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alex2074

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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2007, 11:21:11 pm »

I shot this particular roll in low light conditions (thats about all you get in Alaska in the wintertime).  Even at the lowest fstop the meter would inidicate 1/30th of a second would be required.  As I didnt have a tripod, there wasnt much I could do.  However, one of the pictures came out great, not grainy at all.   When I say the pictures were grainy, I mean grainy, there is no way a proper exposure would produce this kind of grainyness on 800 speed film.  I even tricked the camera by setting the film speed to 400.   There was one instance where I increased the exposure by two brackets, perhaps that is the one that turned out.  If I had 100 speed film or less nothing would have turned out, and in fact the camera would have told me just to forget it.
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mahleu

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« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2007, 08:31:58 am »

Have you had a close look at your negatives? If they're very thin then the printers will try to correct this which will give a grainyer image.
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alex2074

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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2007, 06:27:48 pm »

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Have you had a close look at your negatives? If they're very thin then the printers will try to correct this which will give a grainyer image.
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The film I used was Kodak Ultra.  I have been asking around and somebody mentioned that this sort of thing would happen to old film not stored in the freezer, which is the case.  Id say this film is at least 6 years old if not more, stored in my bedroom drawer.  When you say printers, you mean the developers, as I sent in all my film to Clark Color Labs for development.
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Jonathan Ratzlaff

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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2007, 08:06:56 pm »

Even if film sits around for a long time, unless it is stored in really ugly conditions will not be affected much.  Not the way you are seeing.  Generally if will fog and usually the first  frames will be affected.  This will not give you the results you are seeing.  I once had five rolls of film sitting for years until I had them developed and there was no problem with the images on them.  Exposed film is more likely to be affected than unexposed film.

Print film is very suscueptible to underexposure.  Two stops underexposure will give you the results you are seeing and given the shooting conditions you described, that is exactly what happened.  The fact that one turned out when you added more exposure is indicative of what you are seeing.
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alex2074

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« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2007, 11:28:18 pm »

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Print film is very suscueptible to underexposure.  Two stops underexposure will give you the results you are seeing and given the shooting conditions you described, that is exactly what happened.  The fact that one turned out when you added more exposure is indicative of what you are seeing.
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So lets say the shot that turned out was when I added more exposure than the camera recommended.  Does that mean the sensor on the camera is bad?  do I have to shoot +2 EF all the time?  Notice that I even tricked the camera into more light by setting the ASA to 400 for an 800 roll.
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dkeyes

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« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2007, 11:36:38 pm »

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So lets say the shot that turned out was when I added more exposure than the camera recommended.  Does that mean the sensor on the camera is bad?  do I have to shoot +2 EF all the time?  Notice that I even tricked the camera into more light by setting the ASA to 400 for an 800 roll.
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I used to shoot alot of low light images with B&W film right at dusk and found that even with my trusty nikon 35mm I had to compensate for the meter. Some meters just aren't as accurate with those lighting situations. It might be worth going to a pro camera shop and use one of their light meters in a low-light part of the shop and test your camera to see if it's the same reading as the meter. Some shops that work on cameras even have the equipment to test your camera. (There is one where I used to live that did it in a matter of minutes for free.)

- Doug
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