Bad photo experience in Toronto....and Canon stories...


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kiwi2

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#1
Arghhh...... would just like to release some tension and a little frustration here...

I'm now in Toronto and so far have shot 3 rolls of print and 1 slide. Went all the way to Chas Abel and Absolute Color Slides (Toronto residents will know them probably) bcos I read that they are supposed to do good quality prints and slides. On the contrary!!!!

I was in shock (understatement) when the lady at the counter pulled out my developed uncut slides and showed me. There were blue stain marks and I'd say more than 85% of the slide was ruined. She said the film seemed to stick on its own and asked me if the slide was old or I placed it under the sun. That's impossible. I was using a Provia100F and I wonder if the developing process is any more special than "consumer" slides. I don't think so right?

Anyway, this is the first bad experience I've had in my life. And of course, Murphy's law says it should happen to me in a foreign country! Now I appreciate the fine prints of replacing another film should the shop screw up. But what's the use???

As for the prints, the colour sucks and they were still using the old Kodak paper that existed in Singapore a decade ago. Forget about EPIC prints or your Fuji Color Archives. They virtually don't exist here.

To make matters worse, my EOS50 behaved weirdly in the bitter winter cold. There were more than 10 shots which turned up nothing because the camera advanced the film without exposing it!!! I didn't know this till I saw the negatives. Grrr... should have brought along my EOS 3 which is much sturdier. Looks like I will need to get an EOS Elan 7 (Elan 33) here.

I miss the good old Peninsular Plaza area of Singapore!!! Now I can really appreciate what we have over there, as far as films, cameras and film developing are concerned.

It never fails to amaze me how come the world's best photographers come from Europe, US/Canada and yet pro equipment/film processing seems more backward compared to that in Singapore where we can find camera junkies, freaks, nerds, experts, pros like ourselves... Over here, whip out your SLR with an attached flash in the streets and I guarantee you the locals think you are a pro.

Grrrr... pardon me... just letting out some steam. Looks like I need to go back to those spots for a retake. But I'm not sure if conditions can be the same again.

Anyone has such a similar experience like mine to console me? :cry:
 

Zerstorer

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#2
Originally posted by kiwi2

It never fails to amaze me how come the world's best photographers come from Europe, US/Canada and yet pro equipment/film processing seems more backward compared to that in Singapore where we can find camera junkies, freaks, nerds, experts, pros like ourselves... Over here, whip out your SLR with an attached flash in the streets and I guarantee you the locals think you are a pro.
Might be a case of "Every good photographer needs be put through the mill first..." or "Adverse conditions breed the strongest competitors.."
;p

My sympathies.:)
 

e_liau

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#3
Originally posted by kiwi2

It never fails to amaze me how come the world's best photographers come from Europe, US/Canada and yet pro equipment/film processing seems more backward compared to that in Singapore where we can find camera junkies, freaks, nerds, experts, pros like ourselves... Over here, whip out your SLR with an attached flash in the streets and I guarantee you the locals think you are a pro.
Over here in UK, it's the same. VAT is so high that locals think thrice before they buy anything. They can use PnS, SLR, anything, but the end results, the photos, are still very stunning.
Over at my uni, most of the guys in my photography class are crazy about black/white photos, and doing their own developing and printing. I felt that's probably they just felt that creativity is a much powerful tool than the equipment itself to get a great photoraph.
 

kiwi2

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Thanks for sharing... yah you all made very good points. Maybe in Singapore, we take a lot of things for granted. We have the spending power and lay people own lots of "giz and bangs". For eg, it's common to see non professionals own a digital SLR in Singapore, not to mention the very expensive D1 or 1D and also all the Canon L lenses and stuffs like that. Over here and from my experience in Europe, I can't find any 80-200 f/2.8 lenses being displayed off the shelves. I guess if you go in and you wanna buy such stuffs, they assume you do make some $$$ out of photography.

Which brings me back to the topic... in Singapore, we have nice green fields and our kids can afford expensive soccer boots and jerseys from their parents but we are insignificantly far from being near the world's best in soccer. We are said to have one of the world's best educational system from primary to junior college but we are never near to competing with the top unis in America or Europe. And of course, we have shutter bugs in Singapore who own expensive top of the line digital SLRs, 300mm f/2.8 lenses but we never quite hear any of our fellow brethrens being successful in the international photography scene. Hmmm is it bcos we never dream bigger from where we are now?

Despite traveling to most corners of Toronto, I'm still figuring out a good place to develop my films. Not trying to be a brat here, I love Toronto but my recent experience sets me thinking about what it takes to be a professional or at least be excellent. The hard way? Think big? Not just equipment I suppose.

Ok, more laments up there... I'm more or less over with my bad photo experience. Guess it makes me feel yup, getting a good photo takes more than equipment. And definitely, we need a lot of perseverance and learning from mistakes. I totally respect other cultures and can't assume whatever I have back home can be found in other countries.
 

SzennyBoy

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#5
I hate to say this but in general, S'poreans are spoilt rotten... I know because I was one of those years ago! The majority will not think any different than what is considered the NORM in S'pore, not until they really experience the outside world. And I don't mean go overseas for holidays... but really having to work and live overseas and deal with the day-to-day issues as one of them! I'm sure those of you who have experienced this know what I mean. That is the only time when you will really see how the average S'porean takes things too much for granted!

Seriously though, one's priorities change very quickly once you realise the true important things in life... not the old 5 Cs yardstick to measure success (Car, Credit Card, Condo, Club Membership, Cash... okay maybe #6 - Camera!!!), but true quality of life and availability of free/leisure time to live your life in your own time without any set boundaries or limitations!

... just how I see the world now... after nearly 10 years away from our little island!
 

S

Sin

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#6
Originally posted by SzennyBoy
I hate to say this but in general, S'poreans are spoilt rotten... I know because I was one of those years ago! The majority will not think any different than what is considered the NORM in S'pore, not until they really experience the outside world. And I don't mean go overseas for holidays... but really having to work and live overseas and deal with the day-to-day issues as one of them! I'm sure those of you who have experienced this know what I mean. That is the only time when you will really see how the average S'porean takes things too much for granted!

Seriously though, one's priorities change very quickly once you realise the true important things in life... not the old 5 Cs yardstick to measure success (Car, Credit Card, Condo, Club Membership, Cash... okay maybe #6 - Camera!!!), but true quality of life and availability of free/leisure time to live your life in your own time without any set boundaries or limitations!

... just how I see the world now... after nearly 10 years away from our little island!
I tend to agree with you that Singaporeans take many things for granted. But what makes you think your way of life is anyway less cushy than what we have here? What makes you think that you have more problems than we do here? What yardstick are you using to measure quality of life? Is your moral judgement better because you happen to live overseas?

You have been away for nearly ten years, can you still use your experience of life in Singapore to judge your current lifestyle over there?

I'm not trying to start a flame war or anything, but before you go lamenting that Singaporeans have a better life than you do or have an inferior value/thinking than other countries, be fair and think about the pros and cons on both side.

I'm also one of those who will complain about certain things in Singapore (people who know me know that I prolly complain more than other people), but we must also admit that there are both pros-and-cons in every place.

It's good that you have found your yardstick to measure quality of life. But as you said, that's your point of view. How do you know that the average Singaporean's yardstick is an inferior one?

Don't be too fast to judge. After having lived in this island for close to thirty years, I don't think we're all that well-off... Are we taking certain things for granted? I'm sure we are, but aren't you taking some things for granted too over there? No? Really?

... just how I see the world now... after nearly 30 years living in our little island.(And yesm, I still have complaints about our little island).
 

Ian

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#7
Originally posted by kiwi2
Despite traveling to most corners of Toronto, I'm still figuring out a good place to develop my films. Not trying to be a brat here, I love Toronto but my recent experience sets me thinking about what it takes to be a professional or at least be excellent. The hard way? Think big? Not just equipment I suppose.
One way to find out who the real prolabs are is to see if the yellow pages has a professional laboratory listing, if not call up a couple of professional photographers (pick commercial guys) and ask them who is good in town.

In most countries that aren't fortunate to have the low tax rates and camera equipment costs professionals make it the time honoured way by a combination of talent, hard work, goal setting and the right breaks. Ultimately it's down to perception and being able to coax out your vison (thoughts) on to film in a timely and repeatable manner. Equipment is not the prime concern as a good professional is able to use his equipment to it's limits, something which cannot be said for most amateurs. A good dose of business sense makes life a lot easier.
Originally posted by kiwi2
Ok, more laments up there... I'm more or less over with my bad photo experience. Guess it makes me feel yup, getting a good photo takes more than equipment. And definitely, we need a lot of perseverance and learning from mistakes. I totally respect other cultures and can't assume whatever I have back home can be found in other countries. [/B]
Exactly, it should be remembered that Singapore has the second highest standard of living in the world in terms of income and technology.

Now I gave a bit of thought to your film problem, there's 4 possible culprits. The first one is heat effected film. The second is insufficient fixing when the film was being processed. The third is that the rinse water was not up to temperature and the final cause could be that the film was damaged in some other way such as an exteral chemical reaction.

Regarding the processor causeing the problem. They do break down and it's just bad luck if your film was there in the processor. I lost 10 rolls when a dip and dunk machine failed mid process .. and that was work for one of my clients ... so as the saying goes Sh*t happens.
 

kiwi2

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#8
Originally posted by Ian


Now I gave a bit of thought to your film problem, there's 4 possible culprits. The first one is heat effected film. The second is insufficient fixing when the film was being processed. The third is that the rinse water was not up to temperature and the final cause could be that the film was damaged in some other way such as an exteral chemical reaction.

Regarding the processor causeing the problem. They do break down and it's just bad luck if your film was there in the processor. I lost 10 rolls when a dip and dunk machine failed mid process .. and that was work for one of my clients ... so as the saying goes Sh*t happens.
Hi Ian, thanks for the suggestion. That's a good advice. I'll try searching the yellow pages.

Wow... looks like yours was indeed a more hard to accept situation. I'm quite sure it couldn' t be heat as I put my films all in one bag and believe it or not, the average temp right now is -20 to -30 deg C! :what: The other films were ok. Just this Provia slide film. My gut instinct is that they really screwed it up big time. So maybe as you've said, it's one of those possible causes. There was this unsightly blue stuff streaking all over the film like it was stuck to itself while the film is being developed and the guy simply pulled it apart... Argghh, the thot of my slide being mistreated this way makes me sick already! :confused:
 

sulhan

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#9
H Kiwi,

is is just a thought......As you know electronics gadgets are sensitive to altitude and temperature. Temperature failures usually happens ....hmm or should i say..ALWAYS happens.

Even in temperatures not that low till minus 10 degrees C. some equipments(camera) cant even operate properly below 15 degrees Celsius.

(Try checking your camera specs...... on the reccomended operating temperature)

To avoid "Cold Failures" try to put yout camera zipped up under your pull over or jacket and only take it out when you want to shoot. Your body heat may help to maintain the temperature a little higer than the embient so after you take it out......shoot shoot...put it bag into the jacket.

Camera bags (those waist mounted) are good in these temperature sensitive condition. Have afriend who put a hot gel bag in his camera bag when travelling in very cold places.....it helps).

I have experienced....my canon(film camera) failed on my trip to Portland in Melbourne in winter - Temp is about 11degrees.

I have experience ....my kodak(digi) failed at 14 degrees in Toowoomba....pictures taken okay turned out to have wavy sluggish CCD images.(temp effect)

So.......be weary of where you are heading.......to when taking photos.!!!!!!1


As example :
==========================
Canon G3 Digicam specs:
Operating Environment
-Temperature 0 - 40 °C
-Humidity 10 - 90 %

Minolta Dimage 7Hi specs:
- 32-104 ºF (0-40 ºC)

Olympus E-20N Specs:
Operating Environment Temperature: 0º - 40ºC (operation); -20º - 60°C (storage) Humidity: 30 - 90% (operation); 10 – 90% (storage)



Regards,
Sulhan
 

kiwi2

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Hi Sulhan, thanks for the advice. Anyway, I've just bought the EOS Elan 7 (EOS 33 in Singapore) just now. My EOS 50 works perfectly when I was in Singapore in the much warmer climate. Actually, it showed signs of pushing itself too hard when I was in Japan and Europe 2 years ago. Back then, it was not so serious. I can still trigger the shutter. At most, the battery indicator showed the battery was flat even though I had changed a new one. My robust EOS 3 in the same condition showed no signs of such weariness.

This time round, the 50 acted more funny in that instead of triggering the shutter, my DOF preview came on when I pressed the button and after I pressed it the second time round, the shutter clicked, which I WRONGLY assumed that the pic had been successfully taken. Actually, the camera only advanced the film without the shutter moving! Grrr... I decided I wouldn't want to take any more chances. I lost some shots at the Niagara Falls.

Btw, what's a hot gel?

It's hard to put it under the jacket and take the camera out only when necessary cos it's inconvenient and mainly it's darn cold out here now at -20 or possibly lower!!! No joke really. If the camera is warm, my body will not be! Doubt it will help much. The only bet I can make is to warm the batteries. I guess a manual camera will show it's true worth in this awfully cold situation.
 

sulhan

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#11
Hiee..

Its those hot gel (hot or cold use) that normally used for fever or swell compressions......3M makes them.

Well...As for the jacket, If its really cold.....i think you may want to have a long johns inside to keep you dery and use a puffy jacket enough room for you camera.....if all fails......try to just take out the camera only when needed.

SOme rechargeable batteries are also affected by cold temp. While in Grand Canyon last winter, My friends Sony FV-505 lithium goes flat quickly in witer and ended up he need to keep the battery i his pants to make it warm and then plug it in before use.

It really helps to keep the battery warm.


regards,
me
 

Ian

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#12
Originally posted by kiwi2
The other films were ok. Just this Provia slide film.
Were any of the other films slide film? Do you know the processing order (look for the counter sticker on the end of the film (usually returned with the slides).
 

iceman

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#13
Originally posted by kiwi2
Hi Sulhan, thanks for the advice. Anyway, I've just bought the EOS Elan 7 (EOS 33 in Singapore) just now. My EOS 50 works perfectly when I was in Singapore in the much warmer climate. Actually, it showed signs of pushing itself too hard when I was in Japan and Europe 2 years ago. Back then, it was not so serious. I can still trigger the shutter. At most, the battery indicator showed the battery was flat even though I had changed a new one. My robust EOS 3 in the same condition showed no signs of such weariness.

This time round, the 50 acted more funny in that instead of triggering the shutter, my DOF preview came on when I pressed the button and after I pressed it the second time round, the shutter clicked, which I WRONGLY assumed that the pic had been successfully taken. Actually, the camera only advanced the film without the shutter moving! Grrr... I decided I wouldn't want to take any more chances. I lost some shots at the Niagara Falls.

Btw, what's a hot gel?

It's hard to put it under the jacket and take the camera out only when necessary cos it's inconvenient and mainly it's darn cold out here now at -20 or possibly lower!!! No joke really. If the camera is warm, my body will not be! Doubt it will help much. The only bet I can make is to warm the batteries. I guess a manual camera will show it's true worth in this awfully cold situation.
regarding hot gel, i think it is some gel with a little metal clip in a plastic bag. you press hard on the clip to initiate a physical change - the gel hardens and gives out heat (time depends on how much gel you have). to restore the gel to its original soft state for reuse, heat the gel in hot/boiling water.

regarding camera malfunction, i had similar experience with my dynax 5xi rewinding the film by itself when in nepal (2000). this happened in high altitudes of around 2,000m. when we are back in kathmandu which is of much lower altitude, the camera works fine. the camera works fine until i was in vietnam in dec 2002. after taking a shot, it hangs and the word help appears on the lcd display. it now still functions but i am not sure when will it fail again.

the minolta service center said that parts are obsolete and the pcb is faulty. it costs S$ 120 to replace. i ended up buying a dynax 5.

also, my brother has a eos 1000. i fited it with a tamron lens borrowed from a friend. noticed that at f4, after snapping, the camera hangs. through the viewfinder, i see darkness (mirror has flipped up??) and the frame did not advance. i need to switch off and on the camera to bring it back to an operational mode. i forgot to advance the frame and continue to shoot (hence i expected to have double exposures). when i developed the negatives, was surprised that there was no double exposures. anyone care to explain?

looks like all electronics have a useful service life, but manual cameras would probably its own wear and tear problem (??). this brings us to the question of - like computers, how fast would digital camera be obsolete in view of the quick turn over? the s2 may be new, but how long before it will be replaced by a newer and better model, and support discontinued due to lack of parts?
 

B

Bedpan

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#14
I will probably comment later on some of the other issues, but for now.

Regarding the Hot packs..

Stop by any Canadian Tire (or Camping store, Lebarons etc), and look around the Sport Goods Section. You will find a product called "Hot Hands" and "Hot Feet". There about a $1 or so each. Slip into you gloves, or boots respectively... Or a camera bag..

Personally its not something I have had to worry about though.. My s2 handled -27 for a few hours.. No problem when I was back in Toronto in Jan.

Cheers!

Mike
 

#15
Originally posted by kiwi2
To make matters worse, my EOS50 behaved weirdly in the bitter winter cold. There were more than 10 shots which turned up nothing because the camera advanced the film without exposing it!!! I didn't know this till I saw the negatives. Grrr... should have brought along my EOS 3 which is much sturdier. Looks like I will need to get an EOS Elan 7 (Elan 33) here.
kiwi2,
Cold weather really kills batteries, especially if you're using alkalines. It wouldn't have made that much difference if you had your EOS 3! I have to constantly deal with cold weather here and the way I found to get round the batteries issue is to use Lithium AAs instead. These have very good cold weather characteristics (I've use them up to -25 degrees Celsius in the open) and they also last longer than the alkalines.
 

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