I'm new to film photography and need help

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USAFRet

Illustrious
Moderator
And that is where the cost factor come in.
Over the last few years, I've put 25000+ pics though my digital.
Lets round that down to 24,000 for ease.

24 images per roll.
$5 for the roll, $10 for processing.

$36,000. Yeah, that's not happening.
 

sciamwow

Estimable
Jan 9, 2015
69
0
4,580
0


Pardon my confusion, but could you explain that again...? Haha

So you're saying I would just get scans of the negatives on a CD and not full color pictures like normal pictures? If that is the case, do you know if Walmart or Costco would put the normal pictures on a CD? I'm not super interested in physical prints, so I'd just like somewhere that will take the film, work their magic, and give me back the negatives with a CD of normal view-able pictures.
 

sciamwow

Estimable
Jan 9, 2015
69
0
4,580
0


:p Point taken: use the DSLR as the daily driver. Lol
 

USAFRet

Illustrious
Moderator


No, you'll get regular viewable jpg's. Just that it will be a straight processing from the negative. No color correction or anything.
 

sciamwow

Estimable
Jan 9, 2015
69
0
4,580
0


Oh. That doesn't seem to be a big issue, huh? I have Silkypix which came with my K-50 so I can do some basic color corrections. I also have Gimp which I learned to use last year in Multimedia. Sure it's no Photoshop or Lightroom, but I think I can make it work
 

sciamwow

Estimable
Jan 9, 2015
69
0
4,580
0
Okay, hold up... Just to make sure I'm clear on this. The Walgreens customer service rep sent me all of their photo options, and this was one:

Photo CD (from negatives, no prints)
$5.99

Is that saying I can save $4.50 by simply inverting the colors of the scans on my own? If so, I'd so do that and be able to control the colors better and such.
 

USAFRet

Illustrious
Moderator


Those should be normal color jpgs.
 

sciamwow

Estimable
Jan 9, 2015
69
0
4,580
0
Okay. I'm just confused then, I'll just stop by one day soon and ask them how it all works. Because these were two of the options the woman gave me:

Photo CD (from negatives, no prints)
$5.99

Photo CD (from film processing, no prints)
$10.48

So I just don't know the terminology I guess
 

Ugh, don't even try that. You can't just invert the colors on a negative scan to get a proper image. Negative film has an orange mask which needs to be removed, otherwise the colors will be all off. Unfortunately, the color of this mask differs with each film brand and type. The big film photo printers either have a database of each film type so they know what color correction is needed to properly invert the negative, or they measure it directly.

If you do decide to do it yourself, you also need to get a scan of an unexposed frame or part of the edge of the filmstrip. That will have the orange mask and nothing more, so you'll know exactly how much color needs to be removed. That works when you scan at home. If the lab is doing the scanning, any color correction they do will screw things up.

This is one of the reasons prints from negatives were always hit and miss. You'd get a fantastic print back from a shot on negative, order reprints, and the color and lighting would be all different in the reprint. The final product depends on the machine doing the printing and often the eye of the operator running the machine. There was a local lab whose developing cost twice as much, but I used them a lot because the machine operator had a great eye for tweaking the prints to make the lighting more dramatic. Towards the end I was shooting slide almost exclusively so that I was in complete control of the end result (only used negatives at weddings - it was hard to find high-ISO slide film which could handle the contrast between a white wedding dress and black tuxedo).

Photo CD (from negatives, no prints)
$5.99

Photo CD (from film processing, no prints)
$10.48

So I just don't know the terminology I guess
The first one is if your negatives are already developed. You hand them an envelope of negative strips, and they scan it (removing the orange mask and inverting the colors).

The second one is if your negatives are fresh out of the camera. They develop the film, then they scan it (removing the orange mask and inverting the colors).
 

sciamwow

Estimable
Jan 9, 2015
69
0
4,580
0
Ah, thank you for that clarification. So I bring my roll of film and they develop it as in the second thing I listed and they invert the colors and all. If I decide that I don't like how they look, I could then take the negatives and do something similar to this?

http://petapixel.com/2012/05/18/how-to-scan-film-negatives-with-a-dslr/

I know it isn't professional, but it would give me complete control over the colors as far as I understand. Or do you think they include scans of the negatives by themselves as well?

One more question, and again forgive my questions that I'm sure will seem stupid even to me in a month... :D So I get a new roll of film, put it in the camera, and take all of the pictures. The film must be developed first before being able to take pictures of the negatives like in the link I attached, right? You can't just take out the film after taking pictures and do what that person did, correct? From my understanding you have to use all of those chemicals to keep the film from continuing to react with the light.

Thank you for your help! And sorry for the newbie questions
 

USAFRet

Illustrious
Moderator


Correct. Unless you have a darkroom and a crapload of chemicals (and a bit of experience), you can't do this at home.
The film must be developed.

However...a 'darkroom' could be a bathroom, or a walled off section of your basement.

How to develop film (only b&w. Color is more involved)
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Develop-Film/
 

Yes, you could scan it at home. However, scans immediately after developing will almost always be superior (assuming sufficient resolution and color depth) for one simple reason: Dust.

By far the biggest nuisance I encountered scanning at home was dust. On slides it makes black specks and lines. On negatives, it makes white specks and lines. You blow the film with compressed air, use a camel hair brush, and the scans still have dust. There's a lot of dust in your house, you just can't see it most of the time. Removing dust specs was eating up about half of my time in post-processing (the Photoshop heal brush was a huge help at this when it was first introduced).

In the end, I resorted to buying film scanners with something called digital ICE. It scans the film in infrared first - the color grains in most film are transparent to IR. That produces a scan of just the dust on the film. Then it does the regular scan, and the software edits out the parts obscured by dust and reconstructs it by interpolating neighboring pixels. This is why I don't recommend the cheapo use-a-DSLR-as-a-scanner method. Unless you don't mind dust in your scans.

If the developing lab is doing the scan, there is less time for dust to fall onto the film. In fact some of the developing machines can develop, dry, and scan the film without ever exposing it to air (dust). And I believe all the big film scanners the major developers used had digital ICE or an equivalent technology.

BTW, the color correction he's doing in the link you provided is overly complicated because he's trying to color balance without removing the orange mask. You scan the blank frame (or edge of the film strip). It will scan orange (aqua-green when inverted). You white balance it to white, and apply that white balance to all the negative scans from that roll. That will pull the picture towards colors much closer to what the scene was really like.
 

sciamwow

Estimable
Jan 9, 2015
69
0
4,580
0
Y'all are awesome, thank you!
So @Solandri, you're saying white balance the orange part on the side of the film to white and it should automatically bring the colors fairly close?
 

Yeah, that's the quick and dirty way. The proper mathematical way is to sample the orange part at the edge of the film strip, and subtract it from the image. The dedicated film scanning software I have does that (VueScan - got it when it was a hobby project for $12 with free lifetime upgrades. I see now it's $90). But if you're going cheap, the white balance trick mostly works.
 

sciamwow

Estimable
Jan 9, 2015
69
0
4,580
0
Update time!

The camera came in today (packaged very well I might add). If somebody told me this thing was twice as old as me without me knowing what it was, I'd say they were lying. I can hardly find a scratch on the body! The lens has a few scratches here and there and some fungus on the front element (I think), but it even still has the QC sticker on it! It has a little "71" on the QC sticker, so I'm guessing at least the lens is from 1971.

The camera came with 4 rolls of film. 3 Kodak TMAX ISO 100 B/W film (all expired in 8/2000) and one roll of Kodak Gold ISO 200 (expired 1/2002). I've heard the rule that for each decade passed since the expiration date, it's about one stop slower. Do you guys think any of this film is still usable or should I trash it? I don't wanna spend $10 to have it developed only to get awful pictures.

About getting the pictures developed: I called Walgreens today. It's $10.81 to have the pictures developed and put on a CD, and the guy said that the price should be the same for both 24 and 36 exposure rolls. When I asked if they developed B/W film, he said nobody has ever really asked him that but that if it is shot on B/W film, the development process is the same. Is that true?

Okay, last thing (I think... :p ). The lens that the camera came with is... Odd. It's a Tokina 28-200. Instead of twisting the lens to zoom and having a smaller twist ring at the end to focus like I am used to, you physically slide the lens forward?? I'm sure it's not broken, but... Is it? It's just so weird. Just getting the right zoom/focus seems VERY finicky and I'm not entirely sure what I'm doing... Can someone clear this up for me? It seems awesome for macro shots, though.
Another thing about the lens is that it won't fit on my K-50. They're both K mount. It looks like on the part of the lens that goes into the body, there's a plastic piece that sticks out (by the little lever that opens the aperture) that goes too far into the body of the K-50 and hits something, keeping it from mounting properly. Anybody have any idea about this? My other lenses fit fine on the P30t.

For $21.38, I feel like I scored (once I get everything working :D )Sorry for being so long-winded... And thank you!

For reference: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Pentax-P30-35mm-SLR-Film-Camera-Kit-/252294208211?nma=true&si=lCMeWu4jyOaXct6H2ASerf9p7Tk%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
 

I would trash them. Kodak Gold was the standard consumer grade film. Not worth saving except maybe for posterity. TMAX is pretty good student/professional film, but it's still sold. If you really want to use it, you can buy new rolls.

The rate at which film "ages" depends on the temperature it was stored at. So there's no guarantee any rule of thumb will compensate for a film's age. You'd need several rolls stored in the same conditions, shoot one roll normally, develop it, then compensate on the remaining rolls.

About getting the pictures developed: I called Walgreens today. It's $10.81 to have the pictures developed and put on a CD, and the guy said that the price should be the same for both 24 and 36 exposure rolls. When I asked if they developed B/W film, he said nobody has ever really asked him that but that if it is shot on B/W film, the development process is the same. Is that true?
Generally no. B&W film needs different developing chemistry. I know Agfa (or maybe it was Ilford) spent a lot of money coming up with a B&W film which could be developed with the color film process. But then they got steamrolled by the digital revolution and it was rendered moot. (B&W in digital = Photoshop desaturate. Though it's worth pointing out that different B&W films had different spectral sensitivity. So for example some would show reds as a brighter or darker shade of gray. You can find PS plugins which simulate the different B&W films starting with a color image, though I hear some of the films were slightly more exotic responding slightly to UV or IR light.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C-41_process

Your other questions are probably best answered in a Pentax camera forum.
 
I'm not sure I would trust film sold by Amazon. For all I know, they could be storing it in a sweltering warehouse. Part of the way they reduce costs is they don't pre-allocate warehouse space. So there's no section of their warehouse devoted to toasters, or MP3 players, or batteries. They have computers directing robots to put new inventory into whatever space is available. And when someone orders it, the computer has the robot pick it out of that space.

Big photo stores like B&H and Adorama store film in refrigerated storage prior to sale.. That helps keep the film stable and guarantees the expiration date. The expiration date is meaningless if the film has been stored in a hot garage for a few weeks. Their prices are usually competitive with Amazon as well. I would hope whoever is in charge of film at Amazon knew this, and got Amazon to dedicate refrigerator space for their film stock. But I can't find anything online confirming that this is the case. And film sales are probably like 0.001% of Amazon's total sales. (It's even worse when the item is sold by someone else but fulfilled by Amazon. That means the seller ships the stuff to Amazon, who ships it out when it's ordered. You have no way of knowing how the film was stored prior to being sent to Amazon.)

The main thing I can see in favor of Amazon is their 2-day shipping if you have Prime. Film spending a week in a tractor trailer baking in the sun while traveling cross-country to arrive at your house is going to suffer too. (I should be clear a short stint this isn't going to destroy the film. But it will introduce enough variance that if you're trying to generate consistent results, or comparing different films side by side, it will make a difference. One of the reasons I usually paid the few extra bucks to buy film from one of the local professional photo stores back in the day.)

You can start to see why digital is better. :)
 

sciamwow

Estimable
Jan 9, 2015
69
0
4,580
0
Thanks man. I understand. I already ordered a pack of 4 Fujifilm 400 speed film that should come in tomorrow through Prime. If it doesn't work, oh well, it's $10 :D We'll see how it goes
 
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