Strange color negatives among good ones

Started Jan 7, 2013 | Discussions
Dan Hudson
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Strange color negatives among good ones
Jan 7, 2013

I am not new to film photography, but it has been years since shooting film. I am familiar with teaching black and white photography along with processing the film. I have had no experience with color processing other than finding a good processor. I shot about 3 rolls of color negative film at Jekyll Island during the last few days. I am shooting with a Canon EOS Rebel G with a 28-80mm lens. Most all negatives turned out great as to color, except for the ones of the Brunswick bridge. I will try to include the original and my post processed result. The negatives of this bridge are greenish, especially the bridge which of course produced redish positive images. These are the only ones out of about 40 shots on the same film....Fugi 200 35mm. Wish I could find some 100 speed film. Help if you can and many thanks.

Strange reddish color on all the bridge photos

Result after much post processing

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Lemming51
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Re: Strange color negatives among good ones
In reply to Dan Hudson, Jan 7, 2013

Dan Hudson wrote:

I am not new to film photography, but it has been years since shooting film. I am familiar with teaching black and white photography along with processing the film. I have had no experience with color processing other than finding a good processor. I shot about 3 rolls of color negative film at Jekyll Island during the last few days. I am shooting with a Canon EOS Rebel G with a 28-80mm lens. Most all negatives turned out great as to color, except for the ones of the Brunswick bridge. I will try to include the original and my post processed result. The negatives of this bridge are greenish, especially the bridge which of course produced redish positive images. These are the only ones out of about 40 shots on the same film....Fugi 200 35mm. Wish I could find some 100 speed film. Help if you can and many thanks.

Strange reddish color on all the bridge photos

Result after much post processing

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Christian Amateur Photographer

Daylight isn't always ~5000K.  Early morning (which is what this looks like) and late afternoon are commonly called "golden hours" because the light is much warmer.  This is often a sought after affect, but if looking for a correct color "record" shot then it requires correction.  A digital body with auto WB automatically compensates but film has a fixed WB and requires color correcting filters when the lighting doesn't match it.

There is (was) a Kodak number system of color correction where 81-series and 85-series were "warming" filters to add more red, and 80-series and 82-series to decrease red (or add blue).

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BAK
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Re: Strange color negatives among good ones
In reply to Dan Hudson, Jan 7, 2013

I would have guessed at afternoon, but anyway, morning would have looked the same, if you got out of bed in time.

Your negs for making color prints should all have an orange cast, and that makes it very difficult to "red" them wiithout making a print.

Automatic print-making machines (commercial labs, maybe a left over drug store from 1997) analyze the neg, and apply that filtration. But the machine does not know if it was early or late in the.

So it's up to the lab technician to over-ride the machine, or the client to ask for a remake.

When negs are scanned instead of machine printed (and lots of "one hour" machines scan the neg and then print from the scan) similar adjustments can be made.

Most photographers only rarely put filters on cameras loaded with negative films for prints, because labs or technicians with enlrgers could fix the color up. But we would pick different negative film for contrast and for "intensity" for lack of a better word.

Medium contrast films for weddings with white dresses and black tuxedos; snappier film for the mountain scenery.

Photographers using slides chose film for daylight or film for artificial light, and then often would add filters to get the color more precise. Plus we'd pick slide film for portraits, scenery, fashion where accuracy mattered, etc.

Popular Photography used to run an issue with all the North American films in it. Well over 100, and I remember counting through the list. I used 16 different films that year.

BAK

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AvyMan
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Re: Strange color negatives among good ones
In reply to Dan Hudson, Jan 7, 2013

While I used to shoot a lot of film (too many boxes of slides and prints stashed deep in the closet) I don't have an answer for you.

Just an observation to note that the only two answers you've gotten (so far) have come from two 'old timers' here with many years of experience on the forum, and obviously photography itself.

We're lucky to have people like this here who can help with all kinds of stuff, including film questions

And it's good to see some people still shooting and processing film. My signature definitely applies to film too.

Nick

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Dan Hudson
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Re: Strange color negatives among good ones
In reply to Dan Hudson, Jan 8, 2013

Thanks all for your help. It appears that the problem is natural to film' inability to adjust to differing light temperatures.....Thanks for all your help.

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Dan Hudson
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Re: Strange color negatives among good ones
In reply to Dan Hudson, Jan 8, 2013

If I may continue this thread with another problem concerning film, here goes.....I don't seem to be able to get quality focused images at over 50% and they have considerable grain and other artifacts especially in the sky. I have tried several scanning ppi settings from 300 to 2400+ with adjustment for target size of the image, but with the same poor effects. I get bigger images, but not better. I thought I would get better enlargements from film than from my digital cameras. My scanner is an Epson Perfection V500 Photo. I do not use any scanner enhancement. My images are good in smaller sizes. Thanks for your continued help.

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mburns
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Re: Strange color negatives among good ones
In reply to Dan Hudson, Jan 8, 2013

No, professional film is hardly found in stores. I find Kodak Ektar 100 to be well worth ordering for delivery by mail.

With my newly acquired CanoScan FS 2710, I will soon try a scan of a roll of Fujifilm Superia 200 film that I shot last June, but did not order high resolution scans.

What I see on scans of film at various resolutions is what I have read elsewhere. Namely, the apparent grain on scans of film matches the pixel size. Fujifilm Superia 800 seems to have a grain size not unreasonably larger than a density of 9 million pixels. The grain of Kodak Ektar 100 seems to match the density of a 17 million pixel scan, but it also seems to match a 35 million pixel scan on 6cm by 9cm film that is much less dense.

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mburns
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Re: Strange color negatives among good ones
In reply to mburns, Jan 8, 2013

The highest setting for resolution on your scanner, 6400dpi, seems to exceed its own ability, as well as exceeding the capability of film. Remember to set the reversed image side of the film down, and to use a film holder.

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Dan Hudson
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Re: Strange color negatives among good ones
In reply to mburns, Jan 8, 2013

I really appreciate your information, thanks. I have been placing my film strips upside down according to your instructions. I interpreted the instructions that came with the scanner as saying to place the shinny side down. Well, both sides are shinny, but one more than the other. Doing that the scanned images come out not reversed as shot. Looking at it another way, I have been placing the film in the holder with the curl up, but you seem to be saying to turn the curl down. Am I getting that right? At any rate the film is slightly bowed laterally, so how does the scanner focus correctly anyway? When I get to scanning my old slides, the film will be between layers of cardboard which may place the film at an even different height to negatives. Maybe the scanner compensates when I select positive or negative film???

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mburns
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Re: Strange color negatives among good ones
In reply to Dan Hudson, Jan 8, 2013

I would definitely scan with the dull emulsion side down and the curled ends down. The image is not reversed as you look down on it on the scanner. This allows the scanner sensor an unobstructed view of the developed emulsion. Just undo the scanner's reversal of the image in post processing.

I read that scanners do autofocus, so you should have some flexibility.

The available print sizes are only a matter of arithmetic once you assemble the basic facts. (11" by 14" prints do not exceed the capability of digital cameras.)

My Digital Rebel yields 6.3 million single color pixels. I would discount that number by half to 3.2 million full color pixels. But then, I would be more than willing to try  to artificially enhance that count up to the 8.64 million full color pixels needed for a perfect 8" by 12" print, at 300 dpi.

You have a 2400 dpi scanner setting available, that yields full color pixels. The film frame is 24mm by 36mm, so you have a yield of 7.714 million full color pixels. (I use the "units" command line calculator.) I would willingly try to enhance that, with noise reduction, and interpolation and sharpening, to the 19.44 million full color pixels that make up a 12" by 18" print. Just specify 300 dpi and a size of 12" by 18" in your post processor.

Making color curves for scanned negatives, is a task that I am not finding to be easy. I think that I want at least four calibrated points on the curves for each color - red, green and blue.

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Dan Hudson
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Re: Strange color negatives among good ones
In reply to mburns, Jan 8, 2013

I turned the negative over as you said, but then looked at the scanner with the lid up. Mine scans from the top. Going to try is and see what happens.

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photonius
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Re: Strange color negatives among good ones
In reply to Dan Hudson, Jan 9, 2013

Dan Hudson wrote:

If I may continue this thread with another problem concerning film, here goes.....I don't seem to be able to get quality focused images at over 50% and they have considerable grain and other artifacts especially in the sky. I have tried several scanning ppi settings from 300 to 2400+ with adjustment for target size of the image, but with the same poor effects. I get bigger images, but not better. I thought I would get better enlargements from film than from my digital cameras. My scanner is an Epson Perfection V500 Photo. I do not use any scanner enhancement. My images are good in smaller sizes. Thanks for your continued help.

Yes, I have observed the same with my scanner (though not as good as yours). It claims a very high resolution (9600dpi), but at some point (from maybe 1200dpi on), it just didn't get any better, just a bigger file size. I decided to photograph my old slides, the Canon 550D (18 Mps) gives me sharper copies than the scanner.

There are of course two components that affect sharpness. If you see the film grain in your scans, then the film is limiting, if the scan is substantially more blurry than the negative, the scanner or the scanning process is limiting.

If you do see grains and artifacts in the sky, it is very likely blemishes in the film, that's normal. Negative film is usually not that high resolution compared to slide film (I used Kodakchrome 100, a thing of the past now). I think people use Fuji Velvia for highest resolution now. Maybe your scanner cannot retrieve more information, because there is not more in the original image. You would have to look at your negatives under the microscope, or make very high magnifications in the enlarger, and compare with the scanner result to see if there is a loss of resolution due to the scanning procedure.

PS: the reddish cast of the bridge looks just fine and normal to me for dusk. As others said, film doesn't adjust for changing white balance.

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Dan Hudson
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Re: Strange color negatives among good ones
In reply to photonius, Jan 9, 2013

Thanks for the great insight. I need all the info I can get. I am getting very satisfactory positive images now that I found a better film processor at Walgreens. I will post one here. Thanks again....Dan

Jekyll Island Georgia - West Beach (35mm film)

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mburns
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Re: Strange color negatives among good ones
In reply to Dan Hudson, Jan 9, 2013

I'll guess that you are looking for some more sharpness in order to get the print size that you want. I see the scanning as the limitation here. Remember to put the duller emulsion side down, to use a negative holder, and to limit the scan to the negative frames. Undo the resulting mirror image in post processing.

In post processing, I would pull down the blue curve in the midrange and shadows . In the midrange, a relative boost of red and reduction of blue generally seems needed. And that is only the first of the nonlinearities to be dealt with. But sharpness, blue shadows, blue midrange and red midrange are the only remaining adjustments for this photograph.

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Dan Hudson
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Re: Strange color negatives among good ones
In reply to Dan Hudson, Jan 12, 2013

Thanks all for your input....Dan

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