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Lomo la sardina blank film.

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Showing 1-25 of 35 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Feb 2012 15:48:30 GMT
I've recently bought a la sardina, first 2 rolls came out blank which I kinda of expected because i had to get used to loading the film. I'm pretty sure I put my 3rd roll in correctly and when I went to collect the prints today only 6 prints came out, a few from the beginning of the film and a few from the end. The negatives weren't black so I know the film wasn't exposed to the light. It is expired film so I'm wondering if it wasn't stored correctly previously, would this cause the film to come out blank?

Posted on 23 Feb 2012 15:56:25 GMT
X says:
Miss TV, (Apologies, but I couldn't let a possibility to be an oaf pass me by...): Since the purpose of lomography is to make poor pictures I would say you are producing the ultimate lomography... There's a lot of interesting fun to be had making real medium format film photographs, and you would get quite a good way down that road if you went for the easy to load 35mm film. I recently paid £39 for a fully restored 35mm camera and I am loving every minute, even when I'm not using it, because I have a wonderful, beautiful little item on display in my flat.

Posted on 23 Feb 2012 15:58:35 GMT
I know i know, but I didn't come here for lomo bashing. Just a little advice to see if I could solve my problem. I just cant understand why I'm getting prints from the beginning and end of the film, surely that means the film must be in properly.

Posted on 23 Feb 2012 16:01:47 GMT
G. E. Hearn says:
Miss T:

Expired film usually just means odd colours. It wouldn't make some frames come out blank or black. I would say your camera has a shutter fault. I don't know what a "La Sardina" is, but all cameras operate on the same principles, so if some frames have exposures on them and some don't I say that your fault lies with the camera.
One thing I can say for sure is that it's not the film. Can you return it for replacement/refund? Hope you get it sorted.

Posted on 23 Feb 2012 16:06:48 GMT
That is what I thought. I didn't think it would be the expired film. I'll have a look at the returns policy, if it's through no fault of mine I should be able to return it. Thank you.

Posted on 23 Feb 2012 16:12:25 GMT
G. E. Hearn says:
I don't see why they shouldn't exchange it for you. If in any doubts just show them the negatives. That way they can see for themselves because obviously the negative strips are all in the sequence they were shot. Good luck with it. :-)

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Feb 2012 16:50:48 GMT
Last edited by the author on 23 Feb 2012 16:52:10 GMT
Hi Miss Vickers,
Is the la Sardina a 35mm camera with a wide angle lens which allegedly takes styling cues from a sardine tin?
It can't be the film if some of them from either end are OK. It is possible for the film to jump or tear a sprocket in very badly made cameras and then you just keep winding and the film doesn't move - so never gets exposed. That would give a frame or two at the beginning and then clear film to the end. In your case, it seems the gap is in the middle of the film so that suggests that the shutter is not firing consistently - as my learned friends have stated.
Try the shutter with no film and the camera back open. Look throught the lens and see if it opens reliably. If not then demand satisfaction. These crazy cameras are supposed to leak light not be light tight!
Good luck with it.
By the way Ed (X) may have been a bit critical of deliberately bad cameras but he is right in saying that there are many old but very well made cameras out there for next to nothing which would work reliably. The 22mm lens might be hard to find though.

Posted on 23 Feb 2012 16:51:04 GMT
X says:
Miss TV: My tongue is generally so firmly stuck in my cheek... I apologise if the teasing went too far.

Posted on 23 Feb 2012 17:16:05 GMT
I know, each to their own. I will try that though thank you.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Feb 2012 17:25:28 GMT
By the way Miss V,
I once put some very old Agfa 120 slide film through an uncoated Balda in the 1960s. It was at least 10 years out of date, having been found under a cabinet by the chemist. The results were as one would expect but AGFA sent me a new film in compensation for the poor quality.
Maybe I can claim to be the first lomographer?
Hope you get yours sorted out.

Posted on 23 Feb 2012 18:00:22 GMT
You could indeed. I've tried the shutter with no film and its opening perfectly, constantly, even on the bulb setting it opens for as long as i hold the shutter down (which is what it should do) and surely the film must be catching because I have photos from the end of a roll. I'm all out of ideas now. I'm going to try a film with a higher ISO, the one i'm using is ISO 200 and some of the photos that did actually turn out were dark apart from one which was in direct sunlight, this is my only explanation now!

Posted on 23 Feb 2012 18:16:10 GMT
Last edited by the author on 26 Feb 2012 17:01:33 GMT
G. E. Hearn says:
Miss TV:
There are all manner of problems that could only manifest themselves when everything is all fitted together and all the "holes in the Swiss cheese line up" as the saying goes. The components might check out perfectly fine when tested individually.

It could, for instance, be that the shutter release is indeed unlocking the frame advance as it fires, but is not opening the shutter itself. It would look like it had fired, sound like it had fired, and let you wind on a frame to the next shot but there would be no picture. I personally encountered a Nikon FE with this problem.
I wouldn't, if it were me, waste another roll of film on what is obviously a film transport / shutter problem, but it's up to you really. Just don't live with it too long or you'll be out of the exchange period.

Save your new film to use in the replacement camera. :-)

PS: If you're using the Lomographer's technique of only shooting expired film then the original ISO rating isn't going to mean much anymore anyway. Shoot whatever you have, and if you get some great shots then that's excellent. The one thing with Lomo is that it's very, very difficult to repeat the results on demand. After all, the point is its randomness. If you want dependable, repeatable results then you'd choose another field of photography.

Posted on 26 Feb 2012 22:08:45 GMT
Last edited by the author on 27 Feb 2012 15:16:41 GMT
Liz says:
Hi Miss T

I did have similar problems with an old expired disposable camera. I think the problem for me was that I was trying to take pictures in low light with no flash and no way of adjusting the exposure. The camera fired whether there was enough light for a photo or not. Used with the flash, on a dull day, the foreground came out well illuminated and the background was completely black. My Olympus Trip 35 has a built in light meter and when set on auto, the shutter won't fire unless there is sufficient light. The disposable fired regardless, so wasted a lot of film. I'm not familiar with the 'la Sardina' camera, so I don't know if it would work in a similar way.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Feb 2012 13:19:57 GMT
Last edited by the author on 27 Feb 2012 13:26:09 GMT
T.J.Byford says:
Miss V, I had to check what "La Sardina" actually was as I had no idea. I must confess to being somewhat staggered at some of the prices.

I see it uses 35mm film and knowing this, it will be simpler to get to the bottom of your problem. As others have intimated, it is very likely to be a faulty camera (these are after all very basic cameras and not precision instruments) especially as you have images at the beginning and end of the film but nothing in the middle. Either the blank exposure prevention device is not working, or intermittently, as you wind on, or the shutter is not firing despite your pressing the shutter button. In this latter scenario, you think you have taken a photo, so you wind on, but in reality if the shutter is not firing but the camera allows you to wind on the film you are, in effect, winding on blank, unexposed, frames of film.

It is very unlikely to be a processing fault, or even a manufacturing fault, but if you want to check look at the frame numbering and film identifier which you will find at the edge of the film. This area is "pre-exposed" at the time of manufacture so if this information is available and uniform along the whole length of the film you can be sure the film was processed correctly. If it is missing at the same points where you have no images, then the film or processing is at fault, but knowing how films are processed, the likelihood is very much with a fault in the emulsion layer of the film. Being out of date won't change this at all.

Now look at the film rebates. This is the spacing between each frame. If you can not make these out at all in the area of blank film then it does mean the shutter, for whatever reason, failed to fire. However, if under careful scrutiny, you can make out a very feint difference, then it would indicate that the shutter possibly fired, hence you have a feint image. Now as this shutter does not have a fast speed to have caused inadvertent gross underexposure, could it be possible that you took these photos in very dark environments, ie, not enough light to register on the film?

Posted on 27 Feb 2012 17:05:21 GMT
Mastertoot says:
Those cameras are renowned for their poor quality, and thats beside the intention of lomography cameras. Besides its counterparts (Diana F et al)its a poor build. I don't mean any offence at all, they're just cheaply made and wraught with operational problems. My advice - take it back and get on ebay for an old 35mm slr (i got one for 3 pound, Canon EOS 3000) then buy some expired film. Unless your sole desire to own a camera was to have it styled as a can of sardines you'll enjoy it more, promise.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Feb 2012 17:47:49 GMT
T.J.Byford says:
A Canon Eos 3000 for £3? Wow, no contest!

Mastertoot, and have you seen some of the prices for La Sardines? We can but hope that those that spend (waste) up to £189 on this do so in the knowledge of what they are buying into and not in the belief of buying a proper camera for quality photos.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Feb 2012 20:47:51 GMT
To be fair TJ, I have seen them for under £50. On the other hand I bought a Yashica 124G for that!
I love Mastertoot's comment that compared with a Diana the sardine tins are poorly built.
However, they do have the 22mm plastic lens.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Feb 2012 21:04:42 GMT
T.J.Byford says:
Yes, Dr. A. On the same site they were showing the lower, I daren't say, low, price versions at around the £50 mark. Given the choice, I think I could be persuaded to buy the 'Mat!!!! lol.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Feb 2012 21:11:39 GMT
Liz says:
I have been tempted lately by beautiful pictures of Lubitel II's - I take it that the Yashica Mat would be a better buy?

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Feb 2012 21:31:13 GMT
T.J.Byford says:

Not only would a Yashica Mat be a much better buy than a Lubitel, it is also by far a better camera. I remember when Lubitels first started to appear in the UK and they were cheap but basic cameras offering reasonable value versus image quality. Now, with the Lomography craze, asking prices are way in excess of what they are really worth and, more importantly, what they are capable of producing. Believe me, if a Lubitel was still cheap, as it should be, then it would be a good bet to get your feet wet in twin lens photography, but not at the current asking prices.

However, the twin lens reflexes of the same era - Yashica's in various guises, Minolta Autocords, were cheaper options to Rollei's, but they were, and are still, capable of first class results. They were often referred to as the cheap man's Rollei, but that was to overlook they were proper cameras capable of professional results. I owned a 'Mat and the results were very sharp. If you are lucky to find a good working example at a reasonable price, grab it.

Posted on 27 Feb 2012 21:37:42 GMT
Last edited by the author on 27 Feb 2012 21:38:21 GMT
Liz says:
Thanks, T.J. I'm keeping a look out! From what I've read of the Lubitel, the quality control was a bit 'hit and miss' whereas the Yashica was consistently good. I'll continue to watch & wait!

Posted on 27 Feb 2012 21:55:20 GMT
Last edited by the author on 27 Feb 2012 21:59:29 GMT
G. E. Hearn says:
I've just bought a mint Nikon N90S from California. For $50! That worked out to £31.24. That was a £700 ($1,000) camera in the '90s. It's hard to see how Lomo cameras could be considered a value-for-money deal.

I concur with Mastertoot. A far better bet for Lomography if I were into it would be an old 35mm camera, maybe a Zenit B or E? Both satisfy the Lomographer's requirements of being individual and having little "quirks" which make for a distinctive photograph. Unlike the Diana though they're built like a T34 tank or an AK-47 and can be used for hammering in nails as well as snapping pictures! You'd struggle to pay more than a tenner for one too, as I think I wrote elsewhere on here a while back.

My personal opinion about why there are so few quality Lomo snaps on the 'net (amongst a sea of garbage) is that yes, it's true that these old toy cameras were used by professionals to give a distinctive look. But what the Lomo guys forget is that the camera isn't important.
Those pros also armed themselves with their extensive background knowledge of photography to start with and more than likely used their own light meters and arranged the scene and lighting to set the conditions for the camera to give the result they were after.
Maybe there were slight variations in their shots, but I'd bet they were all within say 10% of what the photographer was looking for in his assignment. It's more than just luck I'm afraid, as in everything.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Feb 2012 23:52:35 GMT
Last edited by the author on 28 Feb 2012 09:56:56 GMT
The Zenith would have the option of different lenses but there are any number of dead cheap Dacoras, Agfas, Ilfords and Kodak zone focus manual cameras with meniscus lenses and one or two speeds and one or two stops - more or less the spec of a holga/Diana etc.
I wonder if you could age the film by cooking in a slow oven?

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Feb 2012 11:51:39 GMT
T.J.Byford says:
Hi, Dr. A. A Dacora Dignette and Ilford Sportsman were basically the same camera, but the triplet lens they had is too good to achieve a horrible Lomo result. I still have my Sportsman with its Pronto shutter. This was my second 35mm camera, after the Halina 35X, and which I acquired second hand sometime in 1960. Exposure usually wasn't an issue, but focusing via the front cell was somewhat hit and miss and through my errors I ruined many a shot! But had lomography been around then, perhaps they wouldn't have been failures.

I am not so sure about cooking films in the oven, and so I would suggest leaving it on a window ledge, wrapped to prevent fogging, and let the sun get to work. This is also environmentally friendly, no carbon footprint in switching on the cooker! lol.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Feb 2012 12:18:01 GMT
Last edited by the author on 28 Feb 2012 12:18:41 GMT
Hi TJ,
Well there are always box cameras I suppose. I think there are probably more 120 sinple cameras like the lower Dignas and Kershaw folder.
I had a plastic 16 on 127 camera from Woolies once - it was rubbish.
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