Zone Plate Disaster - Help??

Discussion in 'Film Camera Forum' started by Isoterica, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    So armed with the Skink Pinhole Pancake you can see here on the camera on the right https://www.photographerslounge.org/f32/x100-has-me-shopping-old-minoltas-12851/#post96257 and using the zone plate (f/64) on TriX I went out shooting. This happened over a couple weeks time as I was very careful since this was my first time using the skink to think about my exposures. I am both elated that I exposed pretty well for guessing and not being that experienced, and ready to cry because of some of the damage of the images. I am hoping that some of you can tell me what all has happened here..


    To me I see lint (it's casting a shadow!!) in the upper left, small curved scratches and some kind of scrape line going through the center that is more faint higher up. My camera could have done the two scrapes but it's not consistent over all the photos.

    To the left I see what looks like it could be a water ring, and there's a different kind of scrape mid right..

    In my minds eye I see bath tissue, wet and rubbed on the negative, really what are these.. dimensional bloblings and look at that diagonal scratch!

    Super sized water mark? To me something that would cast an area that big would be visible to the eye.. and yes I am going to inspect the negatives next..

    Oh look, a black inky blob thing! Come on now..

    Oh look I have white orbs! And whatever that burny thing is..

    I spent 17USD on developing and scans! Maybe the scratch marks could have been done by my camera, the long parallel ones.. but all of this? Now granted I can tweak a little here and there and fix some things, the images aren't anything important, this isn't my profession.. but I feel cheated here. Amazed at what the zone plate can do and thinking wow if only there was color.. but also mortified to waste my time doing that again..

    ..Anyone?
     
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  2. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    Any film users?
     
  3. stanleyk

    stanleyk SC Top Veteran

    558
    May 23, 2011
    Taylor, Texas
    I have a Skink Zone Plate and use it on a DSLR, but not on film. I've never had anything like this. Sorry I know that doesn't help much. The scratches look like they are in the emulsion. Did you check the negatives?
     
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  4. Lili

    Lili SC Hall of Famer

    Oct 17, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    Lili
    scratches and dust, some of the white blobs are bubble from poor agitation during developement.
    Film shows signs of reticulation from poor temperature discipline as well.
    This was a Pro lab?
     
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  5. jhowell39

    jhowell39 SC Veteran

    243
    Jun 23, 2011
    norcal
    Jim
    I would run another roll of tri-x through the camera and have the negs done at a different lab. Probably don't need to bother with scans, yet. Check the negs on a light table with a magnifying glass and see if the longitudinal scratches are still there. If so, chances are part of the issue is the camera body. Some of the marks do remind me of me when I'd forget to use a wetting agent when doing my tri-x in the kitchen. The lint looks a bit excessive. There is usually something though--its why spotting inks were sold. lol We used anti-static brushes to remove dust from the negs prior to printing. 35mm seemed daunting at first, but its the view camera guys that have their hands full!

    Think about doing your own negs. You won't need much equipment and within a dozen rolls or so, you'll find youself getting results better than the commercial labs and you can hand tune your neg development to your shooting style. Best of luck!
     
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  6. pictogramax

    pictogramax SC Top Veteran

    979
    Aug 18, 2011
    Belgrade, Serbia
    Sorry to hear about your problems, Kristen. But these look just the opposite from your title - concerning the difficulties to get the exposure right with pinhole and zone plate, I believe it's a success. The title should probably be "Lab disaster":-(
     
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  7. Gary

    Gary SC All-Pro

    Aug 19, 2012
    Southern California
    Gary Ayala
    I echo all the above. The blemishes are all stemming from poor development and poor handling. One needs to clean negatives prior to printing/scanning (unless you are in a dust-free environment). The hardware required for film development isn't very expensive. Development and exposure sorta go mano-y-mano. After a while you'll learn how to modify development for your exposures and vice versa.

    I haven't any experience with pinholes, but it appears that either your film has been affected/ruined by heat or the developer has gone bad ... or both. You have excessive grain and muddy images. The pinhole should effect the image not the film quality.

    Just for comparison, here is a gallery of Non-pinhole Tri-X images:
    Old Tri-X Stuff

    Good Luck and Good Shooting,
    Gary
     
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  8. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    Thanks everyone. I am looking at the negatives right now using my monitor to backlight and I can see some of the more bizarre scratches as well as the bubble type things. The dust with its shadows is obvious and likely not on the film now. @Lili: This wasn't a drug store type developer, they are a camera store that develops C41 and started within the last year to develop films that they were previously sending out. @Gary: The film was not ruined by heat and bought at a very professional camera store nearby, Calumet Photographic. As for the grain, the images were scanned and the scans are roughly 3000 x 2000. Maybe they have a poor quality scanner. @Milan: I know my exposures weren't always on the mark, some were under or over exposed, I am still learning, but you are right my results aren't bad for a first time, they just damaged my film. I posted a few better or repaired ones here. Because they are seen smaller there you don't see all the grain but actually some of them have nice even grain that adds a very gritty textural feel to them.

    I was debating going back to the store to complain but wasn't certain I had enough to complain about. I think I do. I don't think the film was attended to properly, there are visible scratches and water spots and.. chunks. The scans were probably never reviewed to see if they came out properly or they would have seen all the dust and for 17 dollars.. that is NOT acceptable. I won't be going back there again, after I get my money.

    As for developing myself I don't use all the same kind of film. I have Ilford, I have Kodak, I have that Lomgraphy stuff, I have 120, 127, 35mm.. just a cluster of films I was testing as I was trying out the cameras I had collected. I figured if I stumbled on one or two I really loved shooting then I would buy just film for those but right now I have a hodgepodge. We'll see.
     
  9. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    So I went into the camera store, it goes as follows..

    "Hi, I just picked this up yesterday and it's like.. the worst developing I've ever seen.." [probably not a good way to start but I was frustrated :D ]

    He looks at the negatives, kinda squinting at them.

    "There are scratches, there are water spots, there are odd blobs and then on the scans there is dust that's casting shadows.."

    He says to me, "Well dust is to be expected in hand developing.."

    My response, "And the water spots and scratches and drag like marks?"

    Now admittedly as armed as you all made me I couldn't remember all the terminology but face it the concept is out there.

    He looks at them again, "They're all burry anyway.." As if this would justify 17$ and poor handling.

    "No, they aren't blurry, it's just pinhole photography and not sharp" Now I sound like a hipster, insert eyeroll, but anyway..

    He tells me unfortunately they can't undo what's been done do I want a refund. I said yes. Even asked if they had lenspens showing my faith in still shopping there. No, not what I needed.

    Anyway I got my money back and a lot of good advice from you guys so thank you.

    Bleh
     
  10. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    you might see if there's a local photo club where others who get film developed locally can share their experiences. It's nice that they gave you a refund. I think some places might have just said sorry, that's the way it is.
     
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  11. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    I am glad I got the refund but I don't like when they try to make it like you expect too much or that it is even justifiable given your photos aren't perfect. I think I will try my hand at developing since Paul's told me it's fairly easy. Or maybe I will just concede to looking at photographs and not making them anymore.
     
  12. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    don't let 'em grind you down Kristen. You have more talent in your shutter finger than the folks that work at the camera store have in their entire bodies. The brilliant ones always have trouble fitting in. I've heard from others that it's easy too. Give it a whirl.
     
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  13. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
  14. Gary

    Gary SC All-Pro

    Aug 19, 2012
    Southern California
    Gary Ayala
    It is very easy, I used to develop and print everyday. And, plenty of us will help get higher on the learning curve so you can avoid all those trial-by-error stuff. (And you don't need a darkroom for development.)

    Gary
     
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  15. Lili

    Lili SC Hall of Famer

    Oct 17, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    Lili
    Kristen,
    What a dork!
    You deserve better treatment than this!
    Hand developing causes this?
    BS!
    I worked hard to get clean negs.
    If they are taking hard earned cash to do this then they need to step up!
    Blurry anyway?
    Snarky too!
    Kristen, you can learn to process your own B&W negs very easily.
    HUGZ
    Lili
     
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  16. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    I am looking at chemicals right now. Hugs.
     
  17. Gary

    Gary SC All-Pro

    Aug 19, 2012
    Southern California
    Gary Ayala
    I found Kodak D-76 to work well with Tri-X.
     
  18. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    That is what I was looking at, it seems to do well with most black and white films as it is the standard, though I guess in medium format it is more grainy. I'm also trying to decide how much to begin with. Also looking at Photo Flo. Mind you I don't want to play chemist in my kitchen dishes so I'm trying to figure out what I need for measuring etc.. and it looks like I have to have water at a certain temp? Thermometer or is temp nonsense?
     
  19. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    temperature is certainly not nonsense, you need to be able to control it and measure it. this is not as difficult as it might sound!
    the thing is to be a ble to maintain consistency from dev to dev ... no good developing one day at 17C and another day at 25C, your results will vary madly as will your grain I expect.

    d76 is as good as any other and is the one the old hands always recommend for beginners if you go to apug or rff. (I ignore good advice and use other things but that's just me being contrarian). it is listed as a fine grain developer. mind you Ansel didn;t like it apparently ... :smile:

    medium format will appar less grainy which is Good News.

    don't forget you need fixer too, and I'd suggest get a gallon of distilled water for your fotoflo final rinse as well (unless you have very soft pure water coming out of your tap - or should i say faucet?)
     
  20. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    you can develop at ambient temp ... so what I do is have a big bowl of water sat in my kitchen for a few hours and use that for the developer, fixer and rinse. i test the temp of that water with a thermometer and then adjust the developer time.
    almost all film manufacturers list ddev times for their films at 20C (is that 68F?). but you compensatte using a chart (this one: www.ilfordphoto.com/Webfiles/2006210208211880.pdf). so if your water is 22C you develop a bit shorter time, if it's 18 a bit longer .
     
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