Olde Tyme Film

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LTong's picture
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Question: Is this the kind of film that can only be opened in a dark room? Will I destroy the images if I unroll it?

I'd like to try out my scanners' transparency adapter, plus I want to see the pics.

Old Tyme Film

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Logan Tong

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dankephoto's picture
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unroll = destroy

so don't do it if you want to see any images that might be lurking there. It is not yet developed, so any light on the film will destroy any latent images.

Can't recall the format (127 maybe?), but the spool looks familiar. I can tell it is not 120/220 medium format film.

Whether it can be developed depends on the film type. If black'n'white, no problem, most any big film processer can deal with it.

If color, each film type requires a specific developing process. Many of those old processes are no longer supported by anyone, anywhere. If so, yer generally SOL. Sometimes however, a modern developing process can be used with an obsolete film, with the result being at least somewhat usable even if not ideal.

Can you get any more details from the visible part of the label? Look specifically for the film type and size (eg: AnscoColor 127) and process (eg: C-18.) If you can't see enough from the visible label, break the paper tape and unroll a turn or two in a darkish place (ie: not in direct sunlight or under a bright light.) Reroll and carefully retape once you have the info.

Dan K

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Assuming that there are image

Assuming that there are images on that film, then yes, you must process them in total darkness before they're light-safe. If they've already been processed and fixed, then you should be fine.

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Wording on the roll "127 EXPO

Wording on the roll "127 EXPOS..." "ANSCO ALL WEAT..." "ALL WEATHER PAN"

I assume it says "EXPOSED" and "ALL WEATHER" but I havn't actually unrolled it to see the remaining letters. These should help.

Film 5Film 4Film 3Image 2Film 1

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black and white it is!

pan = panchromatic*

Any shop that can develop traditional B+W film should be able to develop and print your roll. Call your local independent processors and ask them if they can develop a roll of 127 B+W film. If they can't immediately give a straight clear answer to this straight clear question, call someone else. If no luck with that approach, call a local pro wedding shooter and ask them who does their B+W roll film processing.

In any event, do not take it to a supermarket/drugstore/walmart type dropoff unless you have absolutely no other choice. Those types of processors are notorious for butchering odd/older films.

Dan K

* Older B+W films were orthochromatic, meaning they reacted to colors in ways that don't mirror our eye's perceptions. The panchromatic films portray colors in shades of gray that (relatively speaking) more closely match our visual expectations.

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Dr. Webster's picture
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Re: black and white it is!

dankephoto wrote:

In any event, do not take it to a supermarket/drugstore/walmart type dropoff unless you have absolutely no other choice. Those types of processors are notorious for butchering odd/older films.

Agreed. In fact, I don't trust *any* film to those types of stores, with the exception of Target. Also, those places can only develop standard C41 35mm film, so they wouldn't be able to develop 127 on site anyway...they'd send it out to a lab, which would take a couple weeks.

If worse comes to worst, call local colleges/universities and see if their art departments still have photo labs. You might get lucky and be able to pay a knowledgeable student to hand-process the roll for you.

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LTong's picture
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This is all great information

This is all great information, but I just want to know if I can unroll it safely and run it through my scanner.

I already have a trusted photo place in my town, they even do dark-room processing for certain types of film. But that doesn't really matter now, I've gone digital, the kiosk at wal-mart does just fine for my professional prints.

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Logan Tong

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re: This is all great information . . .

quote - "This is all great information, but I just want to know if I can unroll it safely and run it through my scanner."

I hope you don't mind if I ask a stupid question, but you do understand you must develop the film before you can scan it, right? K, I just wanted to be sure. Laughing out loud

Dan K

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LTong's picture
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I've got a transparency adapt

I've got a transparency adapter on my scanner. I do understand I'll be scanning negatives, and not the actual prints.

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Logan Tong

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Film

If this comes off as insulting, I'm really sorry. I'm just not sure if you get the difference between exposed film and developed film.

When you put film into a camera, it exists in a state so that being exposed to light burns the image on the film. This is why you can't expose it to light, or else it would completely expose and you'd be left with a bunch of blank pictures.

Then you go and shoot the roll of film. Selective bits of film are exposed. At this point, you still can't expose it to light because that will overexpose it, and you'd get a bunch of blank photos.

You take it to your local photo shop. Hobbiests/Folks without processing equiptment, go into a darkroom, with a red light (certian wavelenths will not expose the film badly) and put the film into a developing solution. This brings out the images on the film. At this point, if you flipped on the light, the film would still expose and you'd end up with a blank roll.

While in the darkroom, after the images have come out properly, the person moves it into a fixer solution. This renders the film invulnerable to being exposed any more. After a few minutes of this, you could flip on the lights and be fine. The images are fixed in place, and the chemicals that cause exposure upon seeing light are neutralized.

This is the film you get back after it's developed. It's only safe to scan your film if it's been fixed. If not, opening the cannister will expose the roll.

I think the best idea here, to ensure that it turns out fairly good is to take it to your local film shop with the darkroom, explain the situation to them, and ask that it be developed in the darkroom. If it's fixed, the developer solution will do nothing, and the fixer will do nothing. If it's not developed, then when it comes out, it will be developed, fixed, and safe for scan.

Hope that helps.

-Bob

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re: Film

Laughing out loud

LOL, I'd like to believe everyone knows how silver-halide photographic film works. But obviously there are those who haven't had the experiences with which we've been blessed.

As BDub said, please don't be offended . . .

Hopefully LTong, you now understand what the heck about we've been blabbering throughout this thread. I see how you haven't been clear on what exactly developing means. As BDub explains above, it's the chemical transformation of the exposed film into something you can actually use, and not just getting prints made from the film. Without that development process the film is useless; until it's been processed there is nothing for you to scan. If you unroll and expose your film to light before it's processed you'll have forever destroyed any latent images on the film.

As I now understand, it's all too clear how confusing were our helpful explanations. It's our fault for making such assumptions, where in this modern world we should not, especially about such olde tyme technologies as photo film.

:Smile

Dan K

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LTong's picture
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New Question

I may have not been all that clear with my questions, and your right, I don't have any experience or previous knowledge of how the developing process works, though your comments have been helpful, and I'm glad to have a better idea on how it all works.

Judging by the pictures I uploaded, is it possible to tell if this film is safe for exposure to light? The sticker on the roll says "Exposed", so I'm guessing this roll has already been developed into actual prints at one point. What I'm not clear on is: during the developing process, after prints have been made, is it standard practice to "freeze" the film before returning it to the owner?

I'm simply trying to do the scanning from home, for fun. I have no real need for these to be developed into actual prints. I'm just curious to see what's on the film, without going to much trouble, or (any) expense.

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Re: New Question

LTong wrote:

Judging by the pictures I uploaded, is it possible to tell if this film is safe for exposure to light? The sticker on the roll says "Exposed", so I'm guessing this roll has already been developed into actual prints at one point. What I'm not clear on is: during the developing process, after prints have been made, is it standard practice to "freeze" the film before returning it to the owner?

All "Exposed" really means is that the film has been put through a camera, so it should have images on it. Unfortunantly, it doesn't mention if it's developed or not. That's why I'd reccomend having it re-developed, just to be sure.

I honestly don't know if it's possible to make prints without fixing the film. Basically, if you've got a bit of film from somewhere else (another roll of pics) you can look at it and see the negative image on it. Because you can see that in normal light, it's been fixed. There's no point in returning the film without fixing it, as you'd pull it out, and the image would instantly be destroyed.

I wouldn't put too much trust in the 'exposed' label. I know I've labelled film "exposed" or "shot" so that I wouldn't accidentally mix up my used and unused rolls.

Unless it says 'developed', I'd get it put through the developing process in a darkroom to be safe. You could take the chance that it's been developed already, but if it hasn't, you'll end up with a roll of blanks.

-Bob

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Exposed but not developed, . . .

this roll has not been processed yet. Were the film already developed/processed, it would no longer be on its original spool. The processor would have removed the film itself from the backing paper that you see wrapped around the spool.

It must not be opened/unrolled except in total darkness, else any latent images will be destroyed. Do not unroll the film, just take it to a reliable film processor (not supermarket/walmart/etc.!!) and have them process it for you. They will return to you the resulting negative film, fixed, dry, cut into strips of several frames each, and ready to scan. If you have them make prints, they will of course give you those as well. Note that you do not need to have prints made, developing the film is probably adaquate for your needs.

Got it now?

Sigh . . . Again, I take too much for granted, sorry.

BTW, this film is larger than is 35mm film. Can your scanner handle medium format film? The image area to be scanned is the width of the film spool, IIRC 2 1/4" wide. Come to think of it, you should probably have the processor make prints anyway.

Dan K

edit: here's some links, learn some more . . .
http://science.howstuffworks.com/film.htm
http://www.gridclub.com/info/fact_gadget/1001/science_and_technology/chemistry/826.html

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I'll jump in here, and explai

I'll jump in here, and explain it in computer terms, and we'll see if that helps anyone understand these processes and how they kinda realte to working with computer files:

You start your drawing software, hit "New Image" and have a blank window onscreen. This is equivalent to having a camera loaded with fresh, un-exposed film.

You make a drawing, but have the erase option unavailable, so you get one chance to get the drawing you want. You also have to draw blind, because if you looked at the drawing it would go black and disappear. With your drawing in the computer right now, if you turn it off, it will be gone forever because you haven't saved it yet. This is the point that LTong's film is at, no has developed it yet, no has hit "Save Image".

After you save the drawing you can bring up the file and look at it all you want. When you save the drawing, you don't HAVE to print it out, but it's nice to get it done while you are already working on the file, right? So, if the film gets developed, it doesn't really have any photos on paper with it when you get it back unless you also requested that they make prints. Making prints from the file and making prints from the film are the same idea. You can have a saved file the has never been printed, and you can have a developed film that has never had prints made.

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