What's Up With my Film?

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by dermaus, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. dermaus

    dermaus Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 28, 2012
    OK, so I scored an Olympus XA2 from a neighborhood garage sale for the grand total of one dollar. Oh, and someone else actually donated the dollar for me on my behalf, because I only had a twenty and the owner was perturbed at that. So, essentially, the camera was free to me. I've been getting back into 135 film photography lately, having run rolls through my Nikon FE, Yashica T3, and now this Oly XA2.

    Anyway, the XA2 still had a roll of 24-exp, Kirkland Signature (Costco house brand), ISO 400 film loaded with a few exposures (not mine, of course) already ticked off. I finished off the rest of the roll, obviously not being particular about it since I didn't load the film nor had any idea how old it was.

    I recently had the roll developed at my local Costco and realized that they royally screwed up the cutting of the negatives, chopping off a quarter of most of the shots (see below). I didn't realize this until I came home to look at the CD scans and negatives. Now, I'm thrilled that my local Costco still develops film, and for cheap, but after this, I'm not so sure how cheap I want to go. Thankfully this was just a throw away roll. But to the main point of my post (sorry for all the extra bits), can anyone tell me why all of the exposures came out with this reddish tinge to them? It's almost like it was loaded backwards for the red scale effect, but I don't think that's it. Could it have been accidentally, and briefly, exposed to light? Could the lab have screwed it up? Could it just be old film?

    Appreciate the info!

  2. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 4, 2010
    Depends on how old the film in the camera was and how the camera had been stored with the film in it. Film degrades over time and is dependent on the storage conditions - ideally it would be chilled (when not used before loading into a camera); once its in the camera you should use it within a few months of loading and keep the camera at room(ish) temperature or less (18-25degC where I live is considered average room temp).

    Film is a chemical emulsion - it can surprise you in many different ways. Fresh film is generally better than old film; slow film ages better than fast film.

    I'd load another roll and have another go - the XA2 gets a pretty good rep from shooters.

    Check the lens for scratches & fungus, check the light-seals for deterioration and the metering for accuracy.

    Good luck ! There are a couple of film threads on the forum - look forward to your contribution :)
  3. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    Looks very much like "Fogging" to me, you need to check the back and the black out material around the edges where they close as you probably have a light leak and it only takes a very small hole to cause this problem.

    Probably why it only cost a dollar!

    I had one of the original XA's and that was a superb pocket spare but never really liked the auto evrything versions but for $1 if it can be fixed (cheaply) it is good value.
  4. Neftun

    Neftun Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 15, 2012
    Patrick Kristiansen
    I saw a few of those back when working in a photolab. Usually a week before may 17., our national day, when people would do their annual readying of the ol' camera. The film stuck inside those dusty 135 or even aps compacts would quite ofte be the same films I had put in myself the same time the year before, lol.

    It looks like a cheap film stored wrongly for too long, possibly som light leaking in as well.
  5. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    Fogging could have been caused by the old "Oh look. My old XA2. I don't suppose I left a film in it ..oops! Well I closed it really quickly!" mistake.
  6. rhoydotp

    rhoydotp Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 5, 2012
    Toronto, Ont
    happened to me recently :dash2:
  7. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    I just opened my SD card slot then shut it again quickly. And now I have to go to art filters afterwards, to mess up my pictures. It did it for you in the old days. Much easier.
  8. I am guessing that if the film were fogged or heat damaged (left in a hot car maybe) either of which could cause this look the resulting low contrast made it difficult for an automated cutter to see where to cut. The fogging on this looks more like the "opened the camera without rewinding" as opposed to a light leak. Look at the negatives and see if there is an excessive amount of all black from edge to edge which would be the part that was wrapped around the rest of the roll when the back might have been opened. Also, negatives that were not completely blacked out might have a black edge along the sprockets which could indicate an opened back. Good Luck and Go Digital!
  9. Neftun

    Neftun Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 15, 2012
    Patrick Kristiansen
  10. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
  11. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    The original XA was the real gem:
    • Fullframe Format.
    • Dual image rangefinder. With Shutter speed scale.
    • Aperture priority. +1.5 Backlight Exposure.
    • f/2.8 35mm Zuiko lens.
    • Near silent shooting.
    • Smaller than any Pen. Slide cover for instant on. Or pack away instantly.
    • Long battery life.
    • Affordable price


    Although I shot from the hip many times to avoid being noticed, a rarity in the pre LCD screen age, the viewfinder and rangefinder was very usable. I got many great big enlargements off of XA shots.
  12. RajC

    RajC Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 6, 2013
    Not a light leak

    The photo shows no signs of a light leak.
    I'd chalk it up to old film.

    I also think you should repay the dollar. And avoid Costco processing.
  13. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    Yes. Ancient film. Test a fresh film and tell us.
  14. ptolemyx

    ptolemyx Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 19, 2012
    Vancouver, BC
    I just picked up a CLA'd XA + flash + original case + instruction book for $85.

    I've been enjoying my OM-2, and this seemed like a perfect counterpart...
  15. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    Hey! I've just spent 1300 smackeroos to join the m43 world and you now get me excited with talk of an XA + OM-2 that I paid ~110,- (XA new) and 279,- (OM-2 new Body, black, in Feb 1979).

    Although I do mix up film cameras with darkroom work. (What I won't do any more.)

    Never had a XA case. I didn't think it needed one. Just the X11 flash... And some 400 ASA HP5. Or Ektachrome 200 bought in 100 foot rolls as it was cheaper. Can you get those films today?
  16. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
  17. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    Yes. Foooooog!

    Instagram made a fortune from fog!
  18. Neftun

    Neftun Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 15, 2012
    Patrick Kristiansen
    Ektachrome is all out, I believe. Supposedly Steve McCurry got the last rolls. Ektar 100 is still available though:)