Ah, film.

I shot a second roll of Kodak Portra 400 on my Mamiya 7II last week.

Why haven’t I posted any photographs? 

The lab accidentally exposed the film to light.  Every image was lost.

Today, I dropped off more film.  I’d taken some casual shots from a family event this weekend.  I was told that the processing machine was down.  Apparently this is a rare occurrence.

There’s no time estimate for when I’ll get my film back.


22 thoughts on “Ah, film.

  1. bijansabet says:

    Hi Peter.

    Yikes, I’m very sorry to hear that 😦

    Fwiw, I am extremely happy with Richard Photo Lab in California. I’ve been using them with a great deal of frequency over the last 6 months and I have never had any problems whatsoever.

    I have also heard great things about The Find Lab although I have never used them personally.

    All the best,


    • Thanks Bijan. I’ve looked at Richard Photo Lab in the past, and I may still end up using them. The trouble is, the Canadian currency has fallen quite a bit relative to the US$ over the past year, making it quite expensive to buy US-based services. Also, I like the idea of dropping things off at the “local” lab and picking up the processed and scanned images the same day. However, given recent developments (no pun intended), I may have to reconsider…

  2. mewanchuk says:

    Oh no!!

    How horrible.

    It is one thing to make the error yourself; but to have someone else ruin your treasured images…


    I have often wondered about liability or compensation for that sort of thing.

    …and just after you “bet the farm” on film.

    Sorry to hear, Peter.

    I know well that sickening feeling!


  3. Yup, same happened to me here in Vancouver Peter, I shot a roll of Velvia that the lab ‘dropped into the wrong chemicals at the wrong stage’, nuking all my photos. Luckily it was just a test roll with nothing important on it, snaps from a walk. I’d have been sad if it had been something more important to me.

    I wasn’t actually offered anything beyond a shrug initially either. I asked if I could at least have a free roll of film and they looked hesitant about that! They’re no longer trading which is actually more sad, I’m down to 1 lab I can take e45 to here now.

    • Hmmm… that is sad.

      My “lost” roll was a test one too, but my first test roll generated some keepers so the loss of the second roll was still disappointing.

      It really does seem like the modern world is killing film. Hopefully, there will be a few labs left standing that offer exceptional service.

  4. Jeff Heene says:

    If you want to come to London (ontario), you can use my Jobo processor any time!

  5. John G. says:

    I’m sorry to hear that. I have been looking forward to some photos.

    What about some Tri-X and some chemicals at home?

  6. David says:

    Oh no, that is well and truly, categorically, below the belt. I’m really sorry to to hear this. While the immediate loss of a roll of film is terrible enough, holistically it’s something else entirely though.

  7. A.Hackauf says:

    Peter, I´m sorry to read this!

    I agree nothing better than film what matters IQ and natural expression!

    But all in all for me my M9 is the best ..it was 2013, 2014 and still is in 2015..ok, I have to compromise, but as I see you have to do, too!

    I admire everybody to raise the money for film and the patience for the waiting until the film is…..! Chapeau!

    When I am chasing photos I want see the result IMMEDIATELY! Sorry folks, that me.
    For me in this case, less is more and on the other side it´s good to have a “variety of possibilities”!

  8. Gavin Pitts says:

    Really sorry to hear this Peter! I’ve had the exact same thing happen to me today, however the lab weren’t as upfront about things. I ran two rolls of test film through my new (old) M3. I took the Portra to my local lab, but as they don’t develop black and white film, I had to send the Ilford roll away. I called my lab today to see if the film was ready and was told that there were no images on the film. Initially I feared a camera error, however my roll of black and white came back today absolutely perfect. I’m now hesitant to use my local lab again.

  9. JOCE says:

    Hello Peter,

    how can you achieve better photographs in regard of the shutter speed / film speed with your Mamiya 7II vs Leica M9?
    I was thinking that the main reason of selling your M9 was the lack of good HI ISO (above ISO 1250) for the kind of light you get (ie: in your house).

    I think that it might be pleasant (even addictive) being intoxicated by the desire of a new summit. When I think about the GAS syndrome, it’s basically the quest to get a better camera that will make everything simple with amazing result with less work (post).

    I find that the satisfaction related to the desire to get new camera (GAS) is not always in sync with the final result as you experienced like most of us many times. My question is: Why the present moment is so underrated? It’s hard to know..

    I’m happier since I chosen to capture life little moments instead of chasing a new summit.

    I wish you all the best. I can’t wait to see your next photograph.


  10. Pi says:

    In reference to the problems with Labs developing films, I can only suggest develop yourselves B&W is ridiculously easy, and Colour with a C-41 kit is as equally easy.

    The only items other than the chemicals you need is good canisters and a accurate thermometer, seriously once you have done both a few times you will wonder why you bothered with a lab.

    • Pi says:

      Sorry one more thing it takes about 10-15 minutes.

    • John G. says:

      I LOVE developing B&W. Something I don’t have to stare at a screen or device to do.

      But I just HATE scanning and haven’t commited to a permanent darkroom for printing.

      I am also very impressed with the prints I can get from my Epson inkjet (even B&W), but then we are back to scanning.

      No easy answers. Compromises!

  11. Jim says:

    Not any different than what could happen with digital. A memory card could decide to die after a shoot. So unless you use one of the few bodies that accommodates two cards, the images would be lost as well. If I were ever in a position to shoot a wedding or some other live event, I’d be so paranoid about that happening that I would buy or rent a camera that has two card slots.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s