View Full Version : Some Advice Needed on Negative Problems

29-Aug-2015, 16:50
Hi Everyone,
I just shot my first two large format pictures and I have a couple of questions. The second picture has two white spots in the cloud, what's the best way to fix this besides throwing it away. Also could i get any observations on exposure. I used a yellow filter on one and a red on the other. I used my digital Nikon as a meter on matrix, iso 100. I added one stop for the yellow filter and three for the red. Any advice would really be appreciated. Thanks139012139013

Michael Clark
29-Aug-2015, 17:13
The white spots on the neg will produce black ones on the print which can be etched out with a sharp exacto knife or bleached, ether way is pretty tricky. I can think of one other way is to try and pencil or spotone with a fine brush on the neg which would leave a lighter spot on the print which will be easier to blend in with the surrounding sky when you spotone the print. I have spotted in the cloudy area before, which is easier to blend in than clear open sky..

29-Aug-2015, 18:09
Thanks Michael,
I'm thinking of filling in the spots with a soft pencil.

29-Aug-2015, 18:16
Maybe the two white spots are UFO's flying shotgun... (Some would think...)

But really, it's a little hard to tell exactly from this end of a monitor... If the clear spots have a sharp edge and a defined shape, that's usually dust or debris... If it has a diffuse edge, could be a film or processing defect... (Might be an air bel on the film from a bubble remaining on film during developer cycle...) If there is a craggy, crater like edge, that's often a film defect... (Surprising # of those these days...) Remember, what's white (clear) on the neg means something blocked the light, and left it clear (if dust)...

But like Michael said, it can be filled on the negative with opaque red, and spotted on the print...

And sometimes it takes a while to shake out small dust/debris from cameras/holders, even after cleaning, so keep cleaning for now and forever...

Steve K

Jim Jones
29-Aug-2015, 18:22
Make sure the inside of the camera is clean as well as the film holders. A soft pencil has long been one way of correcting negative flaws. Proceed slowly and build up density. Completely filling in such flaws with opaque red or Spotone is more drastic.

29-Aug-2015, 19:00
Any opinions on the exposure?

29-Aug-2015, 21:18
Yes, I do. Try to avoid reading the exposure trough the camera meter, at least average reading, it will certainly give a false over-exposure for the film. Try to use the filter factor instead, added to the ISO of your handheld meter - spot, average, incident or reflected, the one you have. I always have a filter factor correction table - a mini version, actually - to which I jet an eye adding the needed adjustment directly to the film speed. Try to understand or think like the camera and you'll arrive to the conclusion the metered scene was - for the camera correctly read, but for you purpose of the filter use to that scene, a "false" interpretation of that scene values, to say the least,



Paul Metcalf
30-Aug-2015, 06:35
Not sure if it's your scans but you might be having an issue with bellows sag eclipsing your image.

Are you intending on using an enlarger to make prints or just printing from scanned negatives? That has some influence on alternatives for fixing dust spots on negatives.

You have density in your negative, so that's a good thing. Is it enough or too much? Not knowing how your scans compare to the actual negatives I'll only say that my negatives tend to be a bit more dense. But the exposure that works for you will depend on your printing approach, which will require establishing your printing method(s). Which will then lead you to whether your exposure is appropriate. For instance, I shoot mostly Ilford FP4+, which is rated by Ilford as an ASA125 film, but I shoot it at ASA64 (and sometimes given the extra exposure more like ASA50), developed in PMK Pyro. And I mostly contact print these negatives on silver chloride paper. Some get printed on hand coated papers (salted, Van Dykes). Using your digital camera as a light meter is an ok tool but just like with a dedicated handheld light meter you'll have to establish your baselines and output methods, digital processes included.

But mostly good luck, keep up the effort, it's very rewarding.

sun of sand
30-Aug-2015, 20:50
3 stops may be too much for a red depending on time of day or in general or exact filter #

Just something to keep in mind and try out for yourself

31-Aug-2015, 04:45
The filter factor for a Red Wratten #25 filter is 8, so 3 stops compensation was correct.