Blank frames with Minolta XD5 !?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Jaf-Photo, Jul 14, 2014.

  1. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo Member

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    Hello

    I wonder if I can pick your brains over an unusual issue for me.

    Yesterday I developed two rolls of FP4 shot with my Minolta XD5. Both rolls had 3 to 4 completely blank frames. No exposure whatsoever. The rolls were shot on different days.

    The camera is in excellent condition and I have shot several rolls on it before without a problem.

    Afterwards, I have done about 100 dummy shots with no film in the camera at different settings. Each time the mirror, shutter and aperture works just fine. No misfire. Metering seems accurate.

    My thoughts on this is that it may be a film tension issue, causing the film to bulge and block the blades of the shutter. Perhaps an issue with the pressure plate?

    Before I start tinkering with it, do you have any ideas or suggestions?
     
  2. GarageBoy

    GarageBoy Member

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    I'm not sure if the Minolta is one of the cameras where the shutter will fire but has a electronic timing mechanism (i.e. the shutter will fire, but because there is no power to the electromagnets, the shutter just goes across completely closed with no slit between). First- wind it, and see if you can see light through the shutter when you fire it.
     
  3. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo Member

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    Yeah, it's an electronically controlled aluminium blade shutter. I have checked it and I see the image circle through it on each shot. The batteries are fresh.
     
  4. GarageBoy

    GarageBoy Member

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    I thought you meant completely blank rolls, sorry
    Hmm, film usually bows away from the film gate, so tension is probably not the issue
     
  5. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo Member

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    Yeah, but FP4 is a flat polyester based film which is not concave on the emulsion side, like some acetate films.
     
  6. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    It is only FP4 sheet film which is polyester based. Roll film is acetate

    pentaxuser
     
  7. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    The simplest explanations is intermittent capping eg temperature to low. The camera will wind on and fire as normally. You do need to try at 250 lens off looking from behind at light where you only see a flash.

    If any thing touches the shutter in motion it is instant metal origami : suitable apologies to Ja readers.

    The metal shutters are difficult to address.
     
  8. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    At what level of low temperature does "intermittent capping" occur. I take it that intermittent capping is the shutter not opening.

    What does "difficult to address" mean?

    Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  9. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo Member

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    The temperature on these days was over 30C (90F).

    I did try all shutter speeds up to 1000, looking through the back. Lens on and off. Each time I had light through the shutter.

    So it seems to be working right now and the previous rolls were perfect. The differences on these two rolls were much hotter weather, much stronger sun and different film. Some of the exposures were a bit off too.

    Ah well, I'll shoot another test roll before I do anything. If that has blank frames too, I'll leave it for servicing.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 14, 2014
  10. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    No it ain't temperature to low at 30C never get that here...

    Try test again at 250

    When you were winding on was one stroke enough?

    If you don't get it to fail you need a scrap film in cassette and fire and rewind film with back open and thumb on film rail to provide drag. It should only move 8 holes each time.

    That would be easy fix...
     
  11. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo Member

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    Yeah, everything worked as normal. No missed strokes or funny noises. Mechnically, it runs like clockwork. It was near mint when I bought it.

    The frames are perfectly spaced on the funny rolls too, some just don't have any exposure at all.

    Here's one of the normal frames, which seems to have decent exposure:

    scan0036g-Edit.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 14, 2014
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Were you using flash?

    Check the aperture on the lens - is it sometimes sticking at minimum opening.

    It takes real creativity to leave a lens cap on an SLR - are you really creative :D.

    Can you recall the circumstances and settings for the blank frames? Are they at the same position in the roll?
     
  13. AgX

    AgX Member

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    What about accidentially using an exposure setting totally off, or exposing with DOF activated and aperture closed?

    If, not, were those exposures done at AE? Then a rare erratic fault of the electronics could be the cause.
     
  14. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo Member

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    The blanks seem random. A couple of them are adjacent, the rest just unevenly spaced.

    The lenses seem fine too, I used 28, 35 and 135mm Rokkor MDs in very good condition. I've checked the couplings.

    I developed two more films yesterday, two rolls of Ektar. They were really messed up. Half of the frames were blank or underexposed. I did shoot a couple of test rolls with the camera and the lenses a few days before I left on holiday and they were absolutely perfect. Really well exposed.

    I also have another 8 undeveloped rolls in this batch which I shot with this camera while on holiday. It sure picked its moment to break down :mad:

    So, I'll just have the camera repair man look at it. And maybe toss the remaining rolls.

    Thanks all for your help.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2014
  15. AgX

    AgX Member

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    You checked lenses. Yes these can be the cause too. Or rather a mechanical fault at the aperture actuator on the side of the lens or of the body, so that the aperture would be closed down to smallest opening.
    (Actuator principle though may vary between brands.)
     
  16. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo Member

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    Everything seems fine. I 've run it next to my XD7 with an identical lens and they seem to respond the same.

    Really inexplicable. It 's my biggest photographic phuk-up ever.

    Still, I've got the XD7 etc so I'm good for the future.

    I just have to let go of a few hundred photos that I took but I'll never see.

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! :crazy:
     
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  17. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Maybe your camera knew better than you what would be a shitty photograph? I don't understand the algorithms od modern cameras anyway.
     
  18. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo Member

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    That can't be it, either, because I don't take shitty photographs.
     
  19. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo Member

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    Alright, an update.

    After running a few hundred more dummy shots, I managed to get the problem to reappear. Not that I particularly wanted it to.

    When I look from the back through the lens, the image circle will be partially or wholly obscured on some shots above 1/500.

    This is consistent with the results I got on the films.

    So my guess is that there is an issue with the timing of the two shutter curtains at higher speeds - when the shutter is not open but slitted.

    Perhaps the bottom curtain is draging a bit, causing the top curtain to hit it?

    That would also explain why the problem occurred only in my holiday shots, as the brighter sun meant I was shooting at higher shutter speeds than usual.

    Well, I'll see what the camera repair man has to say.

    But it's really annoying that I shot only film on some days, no digital, so those photos are mainly lost.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2014
  20. AGagnon

    AGagnon Subscriber

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    I had the same exact problem with my XD11, and it got away after John Titterington CLA'ed it. Highly recommend him.
     
  21. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo Member

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    I have developed some more rolls now and the rolls from the first few days were normal, like the ones below shot in bright light at high shutter speeds.

    Then on the third day, the problem appeared. So it seems that something could have happened to the camera on site. That's the reason I brought the XD5 instead of the XD7, anyway.
     

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