View Full Version : Fuji NPS 160 returned with massive red cast. Why?

Jack Schow
8-Feb-2006, 16:13
Hi everybody,

I recently tried my hand at large format shooting with color negative film. I used Fuji NPS 160 sheet film, had an experienced photographer help me load and unload the film holders, and shot polaroids to check for exposure. The film and contact sheets that were returned were unlike anything I have ever seen. Basically, every exposure looks like a black and white picture viewed through a red filter; that is to say, the tonality of the images is accurate, but a deep red is the only color present. I am trying to figure out whether it was a film defect, a processing error, or an error on my part in exposing the film. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable has experienced this regrettable phenomenon. Thanks for any help


8-Feb-2006, 16:20
The prints and the negatives are red? You can't mean that.

Walt Calahan
8-Feb-2006, 16:34

The color negative is suppose to be a deep orange. It is a dye is filter that helps stablize the colors for printing. The "massive" red cast is NORMAL!

Unless of course the contact sheets have a red cast. Is the color of the contact sheets correct?

steve simmons
8-Feb-2006, 16:56
You may have loaded the film backwards.

steve simmons

Ron Marshall
8-Feb-2006, 17:45
I'm not trying to be sarcastic, but sometimes red filters are used for large format. Is it possible that one was inadvertently forgotten on the lens you were using?

8-Feb-2006, 19:58
Methinks Steve Simmons wins the cigar... Also, from the "What NOT to do in large format" article at http://www.largeformatphotography.info/mistakes.html :

"Once you have shot your film backwards, it will appear underexposed by 2 or 4 stops, and if you are shooting color it will have a predominant red color cast because it has been filtered by the base."

John Brownlow
8-Feb-2006, 20:02
One of the reasons I love Grafmatics -- they make it very hard to load film backwards because the septums are indented where the film notches should go.

8-Feb-2006, 20:11
But if the negatives are red the prints should be cyan. Right? From the sound of it both the negatives and the prints have the same colour cast. Shouldn't they have opposing colours?

Andre Noble
8-Feb-2006, 21:29
My guess: You did triple-box your neg after exposure, but accidently double boxed instead. Light fog

steve simmons
9-Feb-2006, 09:03
when you expose film through the back (color film) it will cause an overall red appearance. I bewt a dallar it was in backwards.

steve simmons

9-Feb-2006, 18:18
"But if the negatives are red the prints should be cyan. Right? From the sound of it both the negatives and the prints have the same colour cast. Shouldn't they have opposing colours?"

There are two things going on here: the negatives look red (actually orange) because of the film base is orange (this is normal) and the prints look red because putting them in backwards and shooting through the base is the same as shooting through an orange filter - you would not expect to get a cyan cast in teh print with an orange filter (granted, it would look cyan on the neg, but the film base's strong orange colour will overpower it visually).

9-Feb-2006, 18:23
He didn't actually say that. He said everything was red which doesn't make sense. I'm curious if he really meant everything was red. The negatives are red. Or the prints are red.

Walt Calahan
9-Feb-2006, 18:28
Hey Jack, what did you really mean by a "deep red is the only color present"?

You've got us all guessing!

Jack Schow
9-Feb-2006, 23:40
To clarify a little bit,

The contact sheets are where the red cast shows most notably. I say that the negatives are red too, though I am beginning to think that this may be a function of my inexperience with the different (i.e. polyester) bases and dyes used in large format film. I will post pictures of the offending negatives and contact sheets tomorrow, although I think that you guys may have hit the nail on the head with the backwards loading hypothesis. Thanks to all of you for the help.

Walt Calahan
10-Feb-2006, 08:25
I think Steve's got the right answer.

Jack, if you are looking at your film holder in a horizontal orientation, with the dark slide pulling out of the holder from the left and the flap is on your right, the film code notches should be in the lower right corner of the holder when the film is loaded properly.

Look forward to seeing your posting.

Scott Davis
10-Feb-2006, 11:12
I'll third/fourth/whatever the assessment of shooting through the base. Been there, done that, have the lab bill to prove it. Your negs will look wierd, and your contact prints will look worse. I've also done this (years ago) with transparency film, and you get Halloween slides- all black and orange. It is beyond disheartening.

Jack Schow
11-Feb-2006, 01:30
All right, here are the offenders. As I've said, I think that the backwards loading appraisal is spot on. Check and see for yourselves.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v212/tragicwardrobe/Library-2357.jpg (http://photobucket.com" target="_blank)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v212/tragicwardrobe/Library-2358.jpg (http://photobucket.com" target="_blank)

Thanks again for helping me with my bad beginners luck.

Walt Calahan
11-Feb-2006, 06:58

Are you shooting 8x10 film cut down to 5x7? It looks that way from the images you posted.

If so, the film notches should be in a different location from what I described in my last posting.

11-Feb-2006, 07:43
> Are you shooting 8x10 film cut down to 5x7? It looks that way from the images you posted.

I was thinking that myself, what with the location of the notches. It could also explain how an "experienced photographer" could have misload the film. Cheers,

Jack Schow
11-Feb-2006, 13:12
The film is 4x5 actually, I hope you experienced LF gurus don't sneeze at my (relatively) small format. No cutting was done.

Sal Santamaura
11-Feb-2006, 13:47
If you got that film as a 4x5 factory package, it's very possible that you loaded the film with its emulsion side toward the septum because the notches led you to. Notches are supposed to be on the 4" side. The notching's on the wrong (5") side and might be at the wrong end too.

Roger Scott
11-Feb-2006, 19:29
I think the film notches are okay. Looks like there's been some distortion due to a wide angle lens as the top right negative looks more like a 4x5 sheet than the bottom two. There's certainly an impressive red cast there. It's interesting that there appears to be a reasonable amount of density on the negative if you shot through the base.

12-Sep-2009, 11:49
Am I the only one that thinks the subject matter is entirely appropriate for the effect the mistake made?

Dave Grenet
12-Sep-2009, 15:57
How well do you remember the scene? Try to think about who was standing of the lef/right and see if it matches the edge markings on the film. If you loaded the film backwards, it will be reversed!

Jan Pedersen
12-Sep-2009, 16:38
Nothing wrong resurecting a three and a half year old thread but the OP may not even be on the Forum anymore :)