Why didn't my film develop?
The most common reason for a roll of film to be blank is a loading mishap or simply bringing an unused roll of film to the lab for processing. We can help you load your camera in ways that will almost completely eliminate the chance of this happening. Check out our instructional blog post about how to load a camera.
The main causes are:
Severe under or overexposure. Camera malfunction. Not using a flash indoors.
If you develop a roll of film and everything is blank but you can see this info then it means something happened during exposure. It's entirely possible that you incorrectly loaded the film into the camera and, as a result, never exposed it. There is also a small chance that the entire roll was completely underexposed.
Film should really be developed within a year of being exposed. After 2 years to 5 years, it might get a little grainy, and the colors might shift/fade a little bit.
Keeping the film cold prevents those electrons from breaking free and making a run for it. But even cold storage will not delay decay for long. Most exposed films need to be developed within 6 months of shooting. Any time after 6 months, your images are going to start to break down.
This can happen if the rollers are not spreading the paste correctly, if the individual film's pods do not contain enough developer paste to cover the photo, or, most likely: the developer paste has dried out and is not spreading as it should.
The chemical nature of our film means that as it ages, and becomes less stable, the resulting photos begin to deviate from the norm. Overexposure (a very light or white photo) is one of the more common defects associated with expired film.
A well exposed negative that has been underdeveloped will result in a flat lifeless print. These negatives have lots of detail in the shadows and in the highlights but the negative appears "flat" and has a lifeless and grey appearance overall caused by the poor separation of the tones describing the scene.
Leave the film in the developer long enough and you'll get black negatives when you pull them from the fixer. In both cases, one clear sign of over- or under-development is a lack of detail in the negative, because the details tend not to be solidly exposed or not exposed.
10-20 years will see some noticeable deterioration. You will see those blues really start to take over. The grain size will increase, you might even lose a few shots on the roll. Anything older will be hit or miss and on a case-by-case basis.
Is it bad to touch developed film?
Not that it's a bad thing, but there is a chance that your negative will be compromised from the oils that your fingers generate. But if you process your own film at home, it would be wise to purchase covers to hold your developed negatives.
Because the silver halides fail too, but at a much slower rate than the dyes causing the contrast to fade. Color behavior and characteristics of old film. When developing old rolls of film over 12 years past the process date, the colors fade and skew towards magenta.
Yes. Old film doesn't go bad all at once – colors shift, contrast fades away, and fog builds up. Old film (~10+ years past the process date) will have faded, skewing towards magenta. In many cases, this is preferred and authentic to the time.
Film & Photo Developing
In addition, you can have photos produced from old negatives that you've saved over the years. Disposable camera and 35mm film prints are available in as little as 7 to 10 days. All other types of film are usually ready in approximately three weeks.
There are many reasons as to why your roll of 35mm film may be blank. Read through the headings of this article to find out what could be the issue with your roll of film, or with your camera. It may be due to the developing chemicals used, an expired roll of film, over or under-exposure, or an issue with your camera.
Developer too hot, too long development time, developer too concentrated or over agitation. Film is cloudy or milky. Insufficient fixing. Too short fixing time, fixer exhausted or fixer too dilute.
Be careful not to overwind or cause excessive tension that could damage the film. Use film leader retriever: If the film has become detached from the spool or is difficult to wind manually, you can use a film leader retriever tool to grip and wind the film back onto the spool.
There's a few possibilities; the camera didn't wind correctly, the shutter is jammed or sticky and doesn't open correctly. On the less-likely-but-still-possible end of things, you may have left the lenscap on, or drastically underexposed the entire roll (e.g., set to 1/1000s accidentally while shooting in a dark pub).
Don't Shake Your Polaroid Pictures
The structure of a Polaroid is a series of chemicals and dyes sandwiched between layers; if you shake your print, there is the off chance you might create unwanted bubbles or marks between some of the layers, causing flaws in the final image.
Why Is My Polaroid Not Developing? There are several reasons why your Polaroid might not be developing. Overexposure, insufficient lighting, expired film, camera malfunctions, and temperature issues can contribute to this problem. Why Is My Polaroid Not Developing?
What ruins undeveloped film?
If the film was tightly rolled chances are that just a couple of pictures are ruined as the undeveloped film is not transparent. You should not have films lying around undeveloped for 10 years. The long time and temperature effect will make the quality of the latent image deteriorate.
Photos taken with expired film are often characterised by prominent grain, low contrast and noticeable color shifts. The extent to which these features will be seen depends on how long the film has expired by, and what kind of conditions the film has been stored in.
Not all film labs offer the same services or levels of quality, so take your time to compare different options before making your selection. It's also useful to consider how far away each option is from you as this can affect delivery times and cost you extra on shipping (more on this later).
You can track your developer's performance by heating your chemicals, timing the process, and agitating your snippet as you would while developing film. You'll need to do this immediately after mixing your fresh batch of chemicals to create the first snippet — an “ideal” version.
35mm film canisters leave a small amount of film exposed outside the canister called a leader. The leader allows the film to be loaded into a camera. Once the entire roll is exposed, the film is completely wound back inside the canister inside the camera. If you can see the leader, the film is most likely unexposed.
Use undeveloped film strips to cover a lampshade, or encircle a votive candle holder. The light from within allows you to see the images on the roll, creating a cool upcycled alternative to a photo album.
Undeveloped film has an expiration date. This can be found on the original external packaging. However, film can still be processed past the expiration date.
Don't worry too much about cost. The stores and services listed here charge between $5 and $11 to process one roll of 35mm film. Other film formats like 120 and 220 may cost a bit more, while the fees for push and pull processing are usually charged as an extra percentage of your developing costs.
The film will likely show some light striking at the edges and through sprocket holes over its full length, but images from the early frames are likely to be salvageable, especially if you were in "subdued light" when you opened the camera.
To protect against humidity, we recommend including a silica gel desiccant bag into the film storage container that will go in the freezer. We also recommend that you store your film unopened and in its original canister or its plastic wrap.
Will 10 year old film develop?
There are plenty of people who have gotten quality photos developed up to 10 years after the “expiration” date, you may just notice some of the effects described in the previous paragraph: grainy, foggy, low contrast, skewed colors, etc. Don't fear though, as we'll touch on later, some people might want this effect!
Pay by Mail
The Darkroom film lab has been providing High Quality 35mm film developing for over 45 years. Most film developing orders are shipped back to you within 3-7 business days after they enter production.
At Walmart, development is only available in the store and at my local store, the cost was $10.96 as of October 2021. If you buy your camera at Target and have it developed at Walmart it's $26.95. Unlike most other labs, Walmart also includes a set of 4×6 prints.
Yes, if you shoot a lot of film it can often be cheaper to develop it yourself at home. However if you only shoot one or two rolls per month, it's probably not.
Some films may last years, maybe decades past their intended use-by date, as long as they're carefully stored. Heat and radiation will eventually turn film into a fogged mess. And even with that degradation, expired film can be used to take good images.
When you take the film in to get developed, tell the guy behind the counter how many prints you want from each negative. The negative is returned to you with the prints. You can always print more pictures from the negative. As many as you want.
Walmart offers the cheapest disposable camera development. Even though Walmart's known for its low prices, out of all the photo labs we tested they have the best print quality for local prints.
Walmart is definitely one of the cheaper options, but CVS and Target are other stores worth considering as well. If accessible in your area, these two are the go-to for cheap film developing.
Production. For the average movie, the actual shooting of footage usually takes between one and three months. The time depends on the length of the script, but the going is slow. “One or two script pages will take a whole day to film,” says cinematographer Margaret Kurniawan.
No matter what type of film requires developing, you can bring it to your local CVS Photo location for processing. Services include processing for 35mm film, disposable cameras, Advanced Photo System film, black and white film, 110 film and slide film.
Why is my disposable camera taking so long?
Disposable cameras take longer to have their pictures developed because they use film, which is a physical medium that must be processed in a laboratory. The film must be removed from the camera, developed using chemicals, and then printed onto paper. This process can take several days to a week, depending on the lab.
Do I need to develop my disposable camera right away? No, disposable cameras can be developed weeks or even months after taking the photos. However, developing sooner rather than later is recommended in order to avoid any lost or damaged photos.
A completely blank film with no images and no signing (i.e text in the perforation areas showing product and numbers) - indicates the film has received no development at all. Blank negative - no signing. This type of error usually means a film was initially processed in water or fixer instead of developer.
It can cost between $15 to $30 per disposable camera to develop a roll of film, so be sure to budget accordingly. (In this day and age, you might also have to pay an additional cost to have your images printed out.)
Walgreens has a turnaround time of 3-5 business days for 35mm color film. This is much faster than other retail chains, such as CVS and Walmart, offering film processing. Other film formats, such as black and white, APS, etc., take up to 3 weeks.
Use the flash when you're inside a room or out in the dark at night. Not using the flash is the most common mistake made by photographers. When it comes to film it's always better to err on the side of overexposure. More light is better than not enough.
If disposable film is used, then it may start degrading after around 6 months. However, if it is unused, it will likely expire in 2 years but could last much longer. This is the same for film that is contained in an SLR film camera.
Yes, you can. However … Time is not kind to Film — so with 10 years do not expect anything great. But possibly those old family pictures are worth more than just the quality of the images.
All 35mm and 120 film has an expiration date. This is because the chemicals in the film start to degrade over time, and change the coatings that were originally put on the film. Most film has an expiration date of a few years when purchased from new.