It's time to re-open the Great Film Debate. Specifically, I thought the Fuji partisans should read this:
From: "Steve Barry"
Sent: April 25, 2001 10:46:26 AM GMT
Subject: [ObservationCar] Fuji processing
Now, on to the main part of the post. Just got my slides back from the Washington/SP&S trip from Fuji, and boy am I disappointed. The shots themselves are generally well-composed and exposed (if I may so myself) but the procesing is downright abysmal. First, every box has the last slide numbered 1 and the first slide numbered 37 or 38 or whatever. This would be a minor annoyance if it happened to a box or two, but all 30 rolls are like this and my slide system is set up on a box/frame key code, so I have to renumber all (36x30= uhhhhhh) over 1000 mounts. Yuck.
That ain't the worst of it however. Recently I've been getting scratches on several boxes of slides, but since I use three cameras I thought that maybe one camera was the culprit. This trip I marked each roll of film as to which camera it went through. The results -- all three cameras generated perfect rolls and all three cameras generated seriously scratched rolls. The scratches are fairly deep on many slides. Some scratches are vertical. The scratches don't appear on consecutive rolls coming out of a camera (a camera might have a scratched roll, a good roll and another scratched roll on three consecutive rolls). A couple of rolls have a deep scratch along the entire roll about 5% down from the top. These rolls were generated by two different cameras. The last frame on many rolls looks like it was stomped by a combat boot. Fortunately, I shoot with a winder and there is a salvagable frame for about 95% of the locations I shot as far as projection goes, and about 99% of the scenes are easily salvagable in PhotoShop for prints and magazine work. Nonetheless, its frustrating to think that I have to shoot four or five frames of each scene to raise my chances of getting one good image out of the bunch.
On a quasi-related note, my last roll of film from my foray with George (Five Stops Down) Pitarys got into the wrong pocket in my pants and wound up in the washing machine (Note to GSP -- this was a quite valuable roll as it included the Salmon Bridge, Lac Baker and the potato barn on the B&A). I sent the roll to Fuji, and amazingly most of the roll was salvagable. The worst damage is some spotting in blue skies, but I think (once again thanks to a winder) that I have at least one salvagable image from each location. Most of the damage is easily repairable in PhotoShop, and I think I could project some of the slides without the crowd going "Eeeeeeuuuuuuwwww." Other damage includes a small pink stain next to the pocket that contained the film, showing some emulsion escaped the film cartridge.
On a quasi-quasi-related note, "Five Stops Down" needs a new nickname, since in the five days I went shooting with him, I only had to use Provia-F 400 for five scenes (and three of those were because we were still chasing after the sun went down).
Railfan & Railroad