Tree Reflection

Kodak Ektar Shot at the Wrong Speed

posted in: Photography | 2

It was bound to happen sooner or later.

I loaded a roll of Kodak Ektar 100 into my Minolta X-700 and totally forgot to reset the ISO on the camera. The prior roll was Fomapan Action 400.

(ISO rates a film’s sensitivity to light. It is also referred to as its “speed.”)

I shot about a dozen photos at the wrong speed before I realized my mistake. I corrected the ISO setting and took 1 picture but then thought I should continue shooting at the wrong ISO so that my lab could make whatever corrections they needed to.

I had never shot a roll of film at a setting other than the rated speed. I actually had been curious about what the results would be like so I wasn’t all that upset about the mistake.

I looked up what to do in such a situation and thought that the film needed to be pushed 2 stops in processing. I contacted my local lab, and they confirmed that approach. However, they batch process their color film so were unable to make the necessary correction.

They suggested that a 2 stop margin was not all that disastrous, and I would have some latitude to make adjustments in Lightroom. Again, since I was curious as to how film shot at the incorrect ISO would look, I was not that concerned and decided to just have them process it normally.

I didn’t have as much latitude for editing as I hoped, but I didn’t have to do much editing. Interestingly, some of the images were a bit dull and/or washed out.

Other photos were dark in the shadows but otherwise not so bad.

Tree Reflection
Tree Reflection
Chinese Lanterns
Chinese Lanterns

Here is the one photo shot at the correct ISO.

Autumn Tree
Autumn Tree

I’m glad the whole roll wasn’t ruined and that some of the photos were salvageable. It was interesting to see what effect shooting at a different ISO had on the pictures. It was certainly a lesson in remembering to pay attention and correctly set my speed.

2 Responses

  1. Khurt Louis Williams

    This one something about some older film cameras that frustrates me. I love my Minolta X-700 and XD-11 but the Pentax P3n can read DX coded film and set the ISO automatically.

    • Tom

      Agreed! Older cameras can be tricky to load. I’m spoiled by my Canon Rebel 2000. Easy to load and it reads the DX coding.

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