Film Troubleshooting

Film troubleshooting

So lately;

A few of my buyers have contacted me after they got back their film from developing. They tell me, “Chris, a part of my film is totally black. What’s up with that?” (picture below)

film problem blurry

Well to tell you guys the truth, I have no idea what happened. This has never once happened to me before. However, I think the problem can be narrowed down to a few culprits.

1. The disposable camera itself

I’m not gonna rule out the possibility that it’s the camera’s fault because again, I don’t actually know how it happened. From what knowledge I have on film, these negatives will only turn black if it’s been overexposed. And from what I’ve seen, only certain parts of the film have been affected. Perhaps there could’ve been instances where the camera was knocked or had a large impact that dented the camera, hence allowing some light to enter the part where the film is kept.

Though this doesn’t really explain why only SOME parts of the film is affected, it’s the only one I can think of. So if your film is okay in the beginning, but it goes black all the way till your last photo, there’s a high chance this could’ve happened, though highly unlikely cause these cameras are quite durable (tried and tested personally).

2. The developing process

This was the only other reason I could think of. I’ve developed film before, and the conditions were pretty stringent. You had to be in a pitch dark room COMPLETELY sealed off, the only light source permitted were infra-red lights, and the order in which you washed the film mattered.

One of the possible reasons I could think of for why the film was black would be that during the development process, someone might have screwed up and accidentally let light in. And the reason why only part of the film was affected was because that part had not been fully ‘chemically treated’ (I don’t actually know the terms) and thus still could be affected by light.

Well that’s all I can think of. I know the internet has tons of explanations, but most of em are related to actual rolls of film. They don’t really touch on disposables. But hopefully this helps y’all poor souls who unfortunately had this happen to your film.

DON’T fret though! Even if one roll of film turns out bad, just keep going the rest of your rolls will be better! Try changing your film developer or maybe just be a bit more careful with your camera, who knows you might narrow down the problem faster than I do.


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