Camera fault or development (loading on the reel) issue?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Katie, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. Katie

    Katie Subscriber

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    Just stepped out of the darkroom and am drying some negs from one of my Minolta XG-1 (HP5) and noticed that a few frames have dark marks on them and some frames seem to not have the space in between (like the are dark as a neg = light in reverse)! They are still hanging, so I haven't had a chance to really investigate, but I'm wondering if it could have been me rushing in the darkroom and loading them wrong or if my film advance thingy is acting up. I will post an example this evening when they are dry; but wondering in the mean time if anyone has any experience with this.
     
  2. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Without more information this is just a quick assessment, it sounds like the film advance is not working correctly. The camera probably needs a CLA.

    Steve
     
  3. Katie

    Katie Subscriber

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    Well crap. Scanned a few and it looks like a light leak for sure. Here are two random shots that are affected :

    first one is mid frame
    second is between frames
     

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  4. naeroscatu

    naeroscatu Subscriber

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    Not sure it is a light leak; according to the manual this camera has a horizontal-traverse focal plane shutter. If the two curtains moving horizontally are out of sync you may end up with such vertical band that looks like a flare. I'm not a technician, this is my 2c in the matter. I hope more people chime in. This camera is 30+ years old, it may need a CLA.
     
  5. Monito

    Monito Member

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    Definitely looks like a camera problem. Problems during development don't often leave sharp straight lines of demarcation. A problem with the shutter or film advance could create patterns such as you have shown.
     
  6. Katie

    Katie Subscriber

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    Okay, where is the best place to have it serviced? Find something local or is there an "old minolta guru" that I should send it to?
     
  7. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Check first that it isn't a light leak due to the back not closing properly. How are the light seals?
     
  8. Katie

    Katie Subscriber

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    Back closes firmly and tightly - seals are there - sorta degraded, though. The outward side is sticky in the area where it seals up, though.

    Want to point out that the line is always there, now that I look closely. It's either a sharp white line, or a faint wide bar. It moves along the frame in each shot and is not in the same location. Would that be a curtain seam or a shutter issue?

    Either way, I have a backup body that was donated to me (since I LOVE this little camera so much, I had to have another one) but it's the same age, and I am wondering if it will eventually meet this same fate.

    Some more frames to study: (note, example #5 was on a previous role of film ... and when I started to notice this happen - and it was less prevalent then)
     

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  9. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Looks like perhaps your shutter curtains are not coming to rest in a closed position after a shot, but before you advance the film (and even while you are advancing the film in your case). This lets light pipe in until you advance the film/cock the shutter.

    If this is the case, the longer you wait before advancing the film, the denser the light leak will be on the frame. Using that premise, you can test this on a tripod. Do some shots where you advance immediately. Do others where you wait different periods of time before advancing. Do others where you cover the lens immediately after taking a shot, and then advance the film with the lens covered. But don't change the position of the camera between shots. The amount of light coming in will not be constant shot to shot if you are moving the camera. Make sure to keep track of what you did on each frame.

    FWIW, my Leica III has the same problem. Not worth fixing IMO. The repair is 2 or 3 times the replacement value of the camera.
     
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  10. Monito

    Monito Member

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    Another test would be to make flash photos in a very dark room, at night.
     
  11. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    The issue would not show up in that situation.
     
  12. Monito

    Monito Member

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    True. I was thinking it might help narrow the issue down to the shutter and eliminate light leaks at the back as the cause. But I guess you'd have to set up a blind so that the lens sees a dark room but you have a very bright light shining onto the back. It does look like a shutter issue.

    Another test might be to swaddle the camera camera in a black cloth with the lens poking out, make a few shots outside.

    Another test would be to load film in the dark at night, go out and make some long exposures (like one minute), but cover the lens with a lens cap just before the shot and just after. That way, any light coming through the lens and a malfunctioning shutter would be minimized in relation to the much stronger exposure on the film from the exposure proper.

    How does the shutter behave when you operate the camera with the back open? Shutter bounce? Sticky curtain? Curtains shift as the film advances?
     
  13. Katie

    Katie Subscriber

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    shutter opens and snaps close - looks normal. Curtains shift smoothly as film advance is wound. Whatever it is, it's very slight, as I can't see anything with the naked eye.
     
  14. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    I had a similar problem but the opposite.
    In my case the shutter curtains were out of sync...one traveled faster and one too slow than spec.

    I believe the issue I had is known as shutter fade. What happens is the first curtain catches up to the second curtain that is traveling too slow so the one part of the neg is underexposed.

    Perhaps u have some version of this.
    I can remember reading in the Nikon F service manual something about adjusting this problem.

    What type shutter does this camera have?
    Older style horizontal travel with 2 curtains or the newer vertical travel with blades? ?
     
  15. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Had this problem on a nikon em. The light leak came in from door hinge area. Foam was breaking down. A thick piece of black tape on the hinge and a test roll proved it. Refoamed and it's working fine again.

    This lines change place because as exposed film is rolled to the right, a different section is exposed based on the changing diameter or the spooling.

    If you take pictures at night, or consecutive images with your hand on the side hinge these leaks won't be there. The second you let you camera down into the light like by hanging around the neck, the previous frame will have that streak. Check your previous shots
     
  16. Grytpype

    Grytpype Member

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    A shutter fault ought to be in roughly the same place each frame. What about a faulty light seal on the cassette letting light in during loading/unloading? That would explain the fogging being in different places. Are you using a reloadable or shop-bought cassette? Are the less affected frames earlier in the roll?
     
  17. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    The light seal at the door hinge gives the same effect described above.
    The easiest test would be to tape the hinge with an opaque tape.
    Just refoam the entire camera.
     
  18. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    The first curtain travels across first, the second curtain follows. what you are describing is the first curtain slowing.
    This usually shows in an uneven exposure from side to side, not a vertical band.
     
  19. Katie

    Katie Subscriber

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    It is sometimes just a distinct white line and sometimes a wide band. It also varies it's location across The frame. Upon further inspection of both bodies, the foam is completely degraded along the hinge of the back. I will try tape - run a test roll - and if it works, will re foam both bodies. Is this a DIY job?
     
  20. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Yes, it's DIY. John Goodman likely has specific kits for your cameras and they come with instructions even I can handle.
    I use bambo skewers for the grooves. Couple of drops of alcojhol or lighter fluid as a solvent works very well too.

    Replacing seals is a little time consuming, if you sit down and get to it maybe 1/2 hour per camera. I tend to start something, wander off and eventually remember what I was doing in the first place. It may take me days.

    You will need to be very careful in the mirror box, you don't want to get degraded foam on the focusing screen. It's very sticky and a pita.
     
  21. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Hey John, how you been.

    In my case it was a horizontal travel metal blind shutter on a Contax IIa.
    The lower curtain was moving too slow.

    I was just last night reading a leica pdf to try to get a grip on how that shutter works. They were talking about another issue described as shutter bounce from a weak braking system that if the OP's problem isn't the hinge may be a possibility.

    What do you think?

    It probably is the hinge in this case but it is useful to try to diagnose these problems and learn how to rule things out.
     
  22. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Hi again Bruce,
    Shutter bounce is always going to be at the wind end of the camera unless the curtain travels vertically.
    Shutter drag, is usually an increase of exposure as the shutter. If it's bad it can be across the entire negative.

    I've been bitten more than once trying to fix something that I assumed was the problem and couldn't wean myself away
    from that (mistaken) conclusion
    Over time I don't usually do that any more. Just gotta look & screw(in a thoughtful manner) with it a while. If that doesn't work I have an eight pound sledge with a cut off handle that I adjust things with. Sorta like a sawed off shotgun. Does the job!
     
  23. kerne

    kerne Member

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    I had the exact same problem with a Nikon FE2 which also turned out to be the light seals. I've replaced seals on about half a dozen cameras with interslice kits. Cleaning off old sticky foam is definitely a pita, but applying the new ones is a piece of cake. :smile:

    It's interesting seeing which cameras can function fine without seals. My Pentax K1000 and Canon FTb both sealed well enough without 'em but the Nikon leaked like crazy.