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Thread: film developing - important?

  1. #1

    Default film developing - important?

    Hi guys,

    I got a question. when the film is developing into the negatives ( brownish strips), will every shop comes out with different results?

    For me, the negative is just a strip with brownish image, and i can't tell issit good or bad.

    I have this question is because i wonder is negative developing is a easy and default procedure with similar results?shop A and shop B would have almost similar results? Since it is just a brownish strip, i don't really know issit a good developing.

    I got this cheaper place for negative scan at shop A, but i once got film developing with good color photo with shop B. So i wonder will the film developing at shop B contributes to the good color photo i got?

    I can understand a good photo paper, a good chemicals for photo printing can be a factor, but how about the procedure to produce those 'brownish strip'? will a good negative developing make the good color and contrast?

    Hope you share your technical knowledge and experience.
    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: film developing - important?

    all colour neg development is done by machines now. all the technician does is pour in the chemicals and tweak development times. all colour negatives produce a orangy (not brown) cast after development.
    http://www.tpub.com/content/photogra.../14209_268.htm

    if u really get down to it, there are so many factors involved in the final product of a good negative. freshness of film, short period between exposure and development, exposure to radiation, freshness of chemicals, development time, commmercial labs work practise (i have not read of anyone developing colour neg at home), etc etc. btw, trying to judge colour neg quality by itself is the hardest task made difficult by the cast. what u can check would be sharpness & possiby density through a lightbox.
    Last edited by foxtwo; 5th January 2006 at 03:35 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: film developing - important?

    thanks for your reply.. but I wonder will some shop using cheaper chemicals? or can the chemicals to be recycled?

    For me, the negative scanning seems is a stable procedure, load the negative, and get the setting and the scanning results will unlikely to be much difference.

    So it comes to my mind that is the negative developing steps so critical that i should stick with the shop B that gave me a once good color photo. Just worry if it is really a critical steps, and the shop A may not do a good job even i get a cheaper negative scanning at shop A.

    If this negative developing steps are decided mostly by the skills and practise of the lab, then i will have to develop at shop B, then scanning at shop A.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: film developing - important?

    u can read my thread re a weird prob with negatives that i faced. i suspect that the scanner used at the shop did not scan at a very high res, and as such i got a less than satisfactory result.

    im not sure if all shops use the same scanners, but perhaps in the future, ill develop, send to kex for scanning, then print digitally.

  5. #5

    Default Re: film developing - important?

    Quote Originally Posted by LENS
    thanks for your reply.. but I wonder will some shop using cheaper chemicals? or can the chemicals to be recycled?

    For me, the negative scanning seems is a stable procedure, load the negative, and get the setting and the scanning results will unlikely to be much difference.

    So it comes to my mind that is the negative developing steps so critical that i should stick with the shop B that gave me a once good color photo. Just worry if it is really a critical steps, and the shop A may not do a good job even i get a cheaper negative scanning at shop A.

    If this negative developing steps are decided mostly by the skills and practise of the lab, then i will have to develop at shop B, then scanning at shop A.
    Film processing is actually also very important. The tonal range which the film can produce is greatly influenced by the processing.

    Even though this is done by machines now, there are still variations between shops. Some shops are more careful in replenishing their chemicals. Chemicals will become exhausted after a number of rolls have been processed or after a certain of time even if unused.

    If the shops do not follow the prescribed chemical replenishing steps, this can greatly affect the negatives. One way to check is to look at the contrast of the film.

    I don't think you can see much of the colour but you should be able to make out the shades, the light tones from the dark tones.

    Processing time and temperature control are also factors but these should not be a problem unless the shop tweaks the machine themselves.

  6. #6

    Default Re: film developing - important?

    Quote Originally Posted by lsisaxon
    Film processing is actually also very important. The tonal range which the film can produce is greatly influenced by the processing.

    Even though this is done by machines now, there are still variations between shops. Some shops are more careful in replenishing their chemicals. Chemicals will become exhausted after a number of rolls have been processed or after a certain of time even if unused.

    If the shops do not follow the prescribed chemical replenishing steps, this can greatly affect the negatives. One way to check is to look at the contrast of the film.

    I don't think you can see much of the colour but you should be able to make out the shades, the light tones from the dark tones.

    Processing time and temperature control are also factors but these should not be a problem unless the shop tweaks the machine themselves.
    oic, it sounds like different shop would have different practise and attitude that will come out with different results.

    For me, negative scanning is actually sth just click and go, and it has been automated. The negative developing is still controlled by more variables..

  7. #7

    Default Re: film developing - important?

    Quote Originally Posted by LENS
    oic, it sounds like different shop would have different practise and attitude that will come out with different results.

    For me, negative scanning is actually sth just click and go, and it has been automated. The negative developing is still controlled by more variables..
    Yes. Mostly I will go to a reputable lab. Even then, there was once the lab scratched one continuous line across my negative, so all the photos have a line across.

    One lab I went to crumpled my negative. I don't see how anyone in that business can do that.

    Usually film scanning is standard but some labs do a better colour correction. If the film is fresh, there is usually no problem because the bar code on the edge of the film will tell the machine the emulsion correction factor and what colour correction to make, if the negative has aged, then if the lab doesn't do a colour correction (for printing and scanning), then the colour will be off.

    Some labs also shorten or skip the final wash step. What you can do is to smell the negative. if it still has a strong chemical smell, I would suggest that when you get back, you should rinse them.

    Here is how you can do it. First get some paper clips and open then up so that they can become like hooks which can hook onto the sproket holes of the 35mm negs. Then one by one, run the strips under a tap for about 30 secs and then hang dry. Do not touch the emulsion of the negative when it's wet because it becomes very soft and easily scratched. When hanging dry, do not let strips touch each other or they will stick to each other.

    If you have not done it before, it would be best to try on a strip which you don't really want first. I don't want to be held responsible if you ruined your precious pictures.

  8. #8

    Default Re: film developing - important?

    Quote Originally Posted by lsisaxon
    Yes. Mostly I will go to a reputable lab. Even then, there was once the lab scratched one continuous line across my negative, so all the photos have a line across.

    One lab I went to crumpled my negative. I don't see how anyone in that business can do that.

    Usually film scanning is standard but some labs do a better colour correction. If the film is fresh, there is usually no problem because the bar code on the edge of the film will tell the machine the emulsion correction factor and what colour correction to make, if the negative has aged, then if the lab doesn't do a colour correction (for printing and scanning), then the colour will be off.

    Some labs also shorten or skip the final wash step. What you can do is to smell the negative. if it still has a strong chemical smell, I would suggest that when you get back, you should rinse them.

    Here is how you can do it. First get some paper clips and open then up so that they can become like hooks which can hook onto the sproket holes of the 35mm negs. Then one by one, run the strips under a tap for about 30 secs and then hang dry. Do not touch the emulsion of the negative when it's wet because it becomes very soft and easily scratched. When hanging dry, do not let strips touch each other or they will stick to each other.

    If you have not done it before, it would be best to try on a strip which you don't really want first. I don't want to be held responsible if you ruined your precious pictures.
    wah, really informative reply ha, i didn't know the barcode on the negative will be used on scanning machine =) ha

  9. #9
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    Default Re: film developing - important?

    Have done colour neg processing in Canon Club long ago.
    Send your films to a good lab.
    Ask around. Snooty labs that boast a lot and charge a lot may not really be best.

  10. #10

    Default Re: film developing - important?

    Quote Originally Posted by LENS
    wah, really informative reply ha, i didn't know the barcode on the negative will be used on scanning machine =) ha
    They use the same machine to scan and to print. The newer machines are just a film scanner and then the electronic image is sent to an image writer to 'write' onto photographic paper before it is processed.

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