View Full Version : Question: What happens if you load and shoot film with emulsion side backwards?

Pali K
2-Sep-2014, 07:18
I shot two negatives last night and made errors on both. On first, I forgot to close the shutter preview and ruined the image and the second it seemed that I did everything right but the negative was 100% clear after development.

I can only imagine two things that would have caused the negative to be blank 1. The strobes did not sync and 2. The negative was loaded with emulsion side facing the holder back.

If it was sync, I would have expected a very underexposed image because of the ambiance lights but the negative is perfectly clear so it leads me to believe that negative was backwards. Can this happen?

I don't think this is a slide issue because I clearly remember doing everything right with it.


2-Sep-2014, 07:26
Even when you load the negative backwards I would expect an image. But perhaps that may not be the case if the film has anti halation layer.

Pali K
2-Sep-2014, 07:36
The film was HP5+ iso 400

2-Sep-2014, 07:45
This film has anti-halation backing. That could be the reason but I have never tried it so i am not sure. I know whan you shoot color film backwards you do get images with a red heu. And I believe colorfilm has in most cases also a anti halo layer. So i am geussing you might have made a different mistake.

Pali K
2-Sep-2014, 08:17
Thanks for the info - I may never know what went wrong. I hope to shoot more tonight and plan to rule out sync issues with my setup.

2-Sep-2014, 08:32
I would agree it was probably the anti-halation layer. Shooting through that requires 2-3X the exposure.

2-Sep-2014, 08:44
I would agree it was probably the anti-halation layer. Shooting through that requires 2-3X the exposure.

That is only one to 1.5 stops underexposed -- any neg just underexposed by that much would still have an image.

Does your shutter have an "X" and "M" setting? If set on '"M", you would get no image when using strobes.

Drew Wiley
2-Sep-2014, 08:56
The antihalation coating acts like a neutral-density filter, or a deep color filter (depending on what color its specific dye is), so you'll be badly underexposed. There
will also be some lack of sharpness. How do I know that? Uh, er....

Jim Noel
2-Sep-2014, 11:06
I suspect the sync before the reversed film.

Pali K
2-Sep-2014, 11:13
Mystery solved - look where my X/M selector is on this lens - how convenient that plugging in cable release takes me back into bulb flash :)

made another negative and checked X sync carefully and life is good again!



4-Sep-2014, 03:24
Good to hear! :cool: