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PLEASE HELP ME. Film negative comes out blank Minolta XE 5

Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by armin1234567, Mar 14, 2016.

  1. armin1234567

    armin1234567 New Member

    So i recently tried switching to analogue and bought myself a Minolta XE 5 from a reliable seller on eBay. The camera looks to be in mint condition and there are hardly ANY signs of use but just not having any effect on film. I can return the camera but I rally rather i kept it. Here's what happens: battery is fine the film is loaded properly ASA is set to the correct setting baed on the film I take pictures until the roll ends i take the roll out BUT when I inspect the film negatives they appear blank as though nothing has been recorded, like the same state as i put them in. The shutter DOES work and the curtain DOES open i even checked that. I have not attempted to scan the negatives because they appeared blank to me although i am very new to analogue. I may be wrong but if you look the negatives after use they should be some traces of the image right? What should I do? Is there any fix to this issue? PLEASE help me i would really appreciate it.
  2. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    Blank as in black or blank as in clear? If the negatives are clear then the film hasn't exposed at all which suggests that it may not have been loaded properly. With old cameras like this you need to ensure that the film leader, that's the thin strip at the beginning, has properly engaged with the take up spool as per the instructions (PDF copy here) - the best way to do this is to manually rotate the spool a turn or two so that the leader is properly wound round it and you can see it hasn't slipped before you close the back. OK you might lose a frame but better that than a blank film. Also when winding on watch the winder knob on the left, if it isn't rotating when you wind on then the film isn't moving. Assuming that the film is properly engaged check that the rewind button/control is not stuck in the rewind position as this disengages the wind-on spool from the winder meaning that the spool does not rotate when you wind on. Some camera also offer a multiple exposure option - usually via the rewind control - but sometimes it's a separate button - and if that on or stuck at on the film doesn't wind.

    If the film is black it's totally overexposed. In fact, and I'm not being rude here, I assume that you have actually processed the film and processed it in absolute darkness? If the film has been in any way exposed to open light between the camera and the developing tank it will instantly go to complete overexposure. You did wind the film back into the canister before opening the camera didn't you? If you open the back without rewinding the film will go black, again I'm not being rude but you'd be surprised what basic mistakes the unaware can make...
    armin1234567 likes this.
  3. armin1234567

    armin1234567 New Member

    thank you very much sir. Maybe they were black but I did unroll the film back into it's roll and then took it out, i unrolled the film to check if anything has happened in room light though but they negatives were complete black?!!!!! does it overexpose that fast? I was going to just scan them because our uni has special scanners that scan negatives directly. Am i not supposed to unroll the negatives and cut them and then put them in the scanner? Do they go blank that fast?
  4. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    You have to develop the film. Under no circumstances expose the film to more light! It has to be handled in complete darkness
  5. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

  6. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    A typical exposure is 1/125 second - if you expose the negs to light for several seconds before it's developed, then yes, that's way too much light. And film must be processed; the image doesn't appear until that point - it's what's called a "latent image" until then..

    More info here on what's going on: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latent_image
  7. frank1

    frank1 Well-Known Member

    When I read this I thought no nobody would actually expect to see an image on the neg without developing it and we are close to April. I suppose it may be reasonable that today there are some that haven't got any idea on how film works. I'd keep quiet about it at uni otherwise your life will be hell.
  8. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Well the thing is that expose it for long enough and you actually WILL see an image on the neg without developing it.
  9. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    It isn't as surprising as I first thought. Digital cameras have now been around long enough for a generation to have never seen film and the scanning of film is probably talked about more than the development.
    EightBitTony likes this.
  10. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Well, there isn't a photo mistake that isn't common to man (or woman for that matter) but until you lose images and it hurts, you may be a little easy going about photography.

    I took 43 frames of exciting Sealed Knot re-enactment action on the exposed leader of a roll of colour slide film. When the counter would have hit 44 I realised something was amiss. That pain taught me in future to check that the re-wind crank rotated as I wound.
  11. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    Hi Armin,

    Firstly, welcome to the wonderful world of film photography ;) and, as mentioned above, you ain't the first and you ain't going to be the last :) As to your issue, are you sure the film went through the camera ,,,,i.e, when loading the film in the camera, did you actually see the film go around the at least twice to make sure it was loaded properly? This is something I point out to first time or new film camera users and, recommend that they do it each and every time when loading film :) Secondly, was it colour or B&W film> I'm guessing, from what I've discerned from above, it was B&W film and, as well, presumably you processed the film yourself and, if so, it sounds like you might have exposed the film to light before putting it on the reel and into the tank for processing :( If this is the case, taking a B&W film processing course might be good idea and this is from personal experience, albeit 30 years ago :D

    Cheers and better luck with your second roll :)

  12. armin1234567

    armin1234567 New Member

    it was really retarded of me to expose the film to light. We have these film scanners at uni and I thought i could just put the film straight into the scanner w/o developing. I'm only 20 yrs old and cant remember the last time i have used film or even seen one working. It was such a bad start that i quit film altogether. I just bought a 5d mk 1 which is a really affordable full-frame. The only reason I wanted to do film was because i couldn't afford a digital full frame. But I dont think it is right to shame people for making mistakes, everyone has to start somewhere and learn you know.But thank you all for your response and kind guidance :)
  13. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Hi armin, this is entirely understandable for someone born & growing up in the digital era. You will need what is called a changing bag to get a film from its canister onto a developing reel and into a daylight usable developing tank. Or a darkroom that is totally light tight. It's good that a great camera like a Minolta XE-5 is still going to be used.

    I don't know where you are based, but you could try your local camera club for some direct help. Books on basic photography by people like Michael Freeman and John Hedgecoe and Michael Langford from the 1970s and 1980s, possibly available secondhand for very little money, will outline the equipment & procedures required to make the latent image on a length of film as permanent as possible.
  14. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    Not knowing something is not the same as retarded. If you haven't been told, how are you expected to know?

    Don't give up on film, once you learn the basics it's a lot of fun. And consider something even older than the Minolta, they are even more fun and basic!

    Zou likes this.
  15. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    Are you doing a photographic course? If so I reckon your lecturers need a boot up the posterior for making assumptions and not explaining the facts properly...o_O

    Believe me, all us oldies who used film have made really dumb mistakes at some time - I'm certainly guilty of opening the camera before winding the film back on more than one occasion...
    Done_rundleCams likes this.
  16. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    Yup. Not getting the leader attached to the take up spool and failing to notice the rewind knob wasn't going round. Forgetting to remove the lens cap (on a rangefinder, SLRs make it slightly more obvious! :) ) Forgetting to close down a pre-set diaphragm.

    I can put my hand up to all of the above, and probably more that time has drawn a soft veil over.
    Done_rundleCams likes this.
  17. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Yup, done all that! Aah, the good old days! On one recent (last 16 or 17 years!) occasion, I switched the darkroom light on with the film loaded on the spiral and in the tank but without the lid on. I switched off smartish and then spent a minute or two ummmhing & aaahhing over whether the film would be totally fogged, what angle of light from the bulb would be hitting the tank and creating shadow, whether it was worth the time & wasting developer to process it.

    I 'binned' it.

    Its now a film I use to test film transport in s/h cameras or teach others to load a spiral.

    Ain't digital easy?


    Cheers, Oly
  18. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    And, Oly, take a look at what I dug out of the moth balls -- well, actually, an old Domke bag ;) --

    and there's still film in it and was last used around 8-10 years ago :eek:


    Attached Files:

  19. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    Hey Armin, I wouldn't give up on film just yet. I hope you enjoy your digital camera, but there's a lot of fun to be had with film too. You can do both! If your uni has film scanners, I'd be willing to bet there's a technician around somewhere who could give you some help and probably has some equipment that you could borrow to learn about film development. It's not that difficult really, but it's probably better to have some guidance when you're starting out as it can be expensive to repeat the same mistakes if you don't know what you're doing. If your uni doesn't have someone who knows what you need, you could try a local FE college - ours certainly ran evening classes in basic darkroom techniques as well as offering NC and HNC qualifications in photography. If you live in a large city it's likely there will be classes held somewhere - you could ask at your local library for a starter. If all else fails, there are still places where you can hand over your film and have them develop it. It's more expensive that way but would get you through while you're learning. Local to me we have Jessops and Snappysnaps who both still do B&W film developing and printing.

    Good luck - I hope you experiment with it some more.
  20. David Loxley

    David Loxley Well-Known Member

    Take comfort Armin.
    I have just read all the replies.
    I got my first film camera in 1950 (+ or - a year ( 127 film if anyone remembers))
    Graduated to a Leica 3f in 1960 and still use it.
    Working independently at a nephew's wedding the film slipped of the take-up spool.
    By the time the counter reached 45 I thought some mishap had occurred. See above for reason.
    Another chap, using digital, came in to the wedding dinner with prints which the hotel 'ran-off' for him.
    I bought a digital.
    I returned to film only 3 years later!!
    Having ticked most of the errors listed here.........
    For this geriatric to learn that he is not alone in the world is a great comfort.
    Thank you Armin for raising the topic.
    Thank you all for sharing the ignominy of our goofs.
    Done_rundleCams likes this.

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