I bought a Zenit B camera for £5 from Facebook Marketplace and ran a roll through it. I got the roll developed and printed to 4x6 matte in 1hr at a local print store (think Max Spielman but independent) and all of the images are back to front.

Why might this be?

I don't think I've loaded the film incorrectly, so I'm suspecting a problem with the processing.

Edit: I've found the negatives in the film pot, so I'll be asking them to re-print them next week.

  • \$\begingroup\$ By back to front do you mean reversed? Did you get your negatives back with your prints? Either you loaded the film backwards or the lab printed them improperly. You will have to look at the negatives to figure out which happened. \$\endgroup\$
    – user106382
    Commented Jul 20, 2023 at 18:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ No, no negatives provided. Yes, reversed. Text is backwards. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 20, 2023 at 18:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ Unfortunately without the negatives there isn’t a way to figure out whether the photos were exposed or printed incorrectly. \$\endgroup\$
    – user106382
    Commented Jul 20, 2023 at 18:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ Note - IMO if you are serious about photography, you should always get your negatives back. These are your "original creations", so to speak - any scans or prints are secondary, and sometimes, the negatives are crucial for scanning, reprinting, enlarging or diagnosing and correcting problems. \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Commented Jul 20, 2023 at 19:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, that's me being lazy. I'm somewhat aware of the process, having shot 35mm and 110 in the (distant) past. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 20, 2023 at 20:02

1 Answer 1


It is most unlikely that you loaded the film wrong! It is most likely that the lab loaded the developed film into the printer / scanner upside down. If you have a DVD with the images or the film, you should return the package to the lab. they will no doubt reprint them correctly for you.

By the way, unexposed film has a nearly opaque back coat that protects the film during loading and unloading from being harmed by ambient light. While not perfect, this coat will severely harm the resulting images if you accidentally load the film upside down. Its real purpose is to prevent halation's. This is caused by stray light penetrating all the way through the film, from bright sources, during the exposure. If the inverted images are of good quality, the blame is on the lab.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I chose prints only. I'll go back for a refund or some form of compensation. 2 images have a weird watery mark on them, and another has splodges through the middle. No other images have that. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 20, 2023 at 19:24

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