Fading to black exposures – Please help.

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by aaronmacdonald, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. aaronmacdonald

    aaronmacdonald Member

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    I've been shooting with an Olympus OM-1 for a couple months now. I love the camera to death, but it has one problem. Occasionally, and I think only when shooting outdoors, only the left half a frame will be exposed and will fade to black on the right.

    Here is a photo to demonstrate what's going on:

    [​IMG]

    If anyone has any ideas about why this is happening, please let me know. I wouldn't want this to stop me from using this camera.

    - Aaron
     
  2. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Odd...is there like a piece of torn film under the mirror or something?
     
  3. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    If the shutter moves horizontally, then it is a shutter problem.

    PE
     
  4. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    Firstly, welcome to APUG.

    As far as your problem, could it be a camera strap dangling or a gloved finger?
     
  5. kraker

    kraker Member

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    That's also my first thought. I've seen similar frames, indeed only occassionally (and vertically, because the shutter on my EOS 650 moves vertically) exactly due to that problem.

    "Only when shooting outdoors" is another hint in that direction; I would translate that to "only for faster shutter speeds".

    Edit: Googling reveals that the OM-1 has a horizontal shutter indeed. Yet another indication that the shutter is the culprit.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 8, 2010
  6. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Only for faster shutter speeds and only in cold weather?
     
  7. njkphoto

    njkphoto Member

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    One of my students had the same problem. Have of the frame was exposed. We looked at the shutter of her 35mm and it wasn't opening all the way. I will start looking at that first.
     
  8. Karl K

    Karl K Subscriber

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    Shutter problem

    The second curtain is closing too quickly and accelerating, causing the frame to be progressively underexposed as the curtain moves horizontally across. At slower speeds it might not be as noticible, but outdoors, in bright sunlight, where faster speeds are often necessary, it will rear its ugly head. There is no quick fix that I know of. All the speeds will need adjustment.
     
  9. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    It looks to me like the leading shutter curtain is quickly slowing to a halt at exposure time. Perhaps a bent metal guide edge? Is the effect precisely the same at all speeds?
     
  10. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    It is a shutter problem. Your camera is telling you to have it CLAed ASAP ... SG
     
  11. Denis R

    Denis R Member

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  12. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    I thought it would be Polaroid too :smile:....Send if for a CLA and a repair man can let you know what exactly is going on.
     
  13. Tom Nutter

    Tom Nutter Member

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    Yes, a CLA is necessary.. I had a Nikon F3 with this problem years ago---was a dirty shutter magnet or something like that. The problem occurred after the camera had set idle for a couple of years.
     
  14. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    I also vote for a shutter problem. I touched the speed dial on my IIIf while it took a picture and the result was almost identical.
     
  15. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I was talking with an old retired pro-photographer a while back. He was showing off a new (old) camera, he was having the similar issue.

    It was his finger.

    The lens was shorter than what he was used to and allowed his index and middle fingers to get in front and vignette the shot.
     
  16. aaronmacdonald

    aaronmacdonald Member

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    Yes, it's a horizontal shutter. And it would make sense that it would become noticeable when I'm shooting outside, in the cold, at faster shutter speeds. Hopefully I can continue to shoot with this camera and avoid using faster shutter speeds, because I doubt I could afford to get this fixed, but I like it so much.

    Thank you all.
     
  17. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    This is a relatively common issue called "capping". This is where the first shutter curtain becomes slow enough that the second curtain overtakes it. Cleaning and lubricating the camera is the best idea, but there is another way that may work;
    Without film of course, cycle the camera many times, by cocking the shutter and firing it through all the speeds. Maybe 100 to 200 times. This may loosen up the old lubricant and the shutter may function once again....for a while.

    Best to have a CLA.
     
  18. loman

    loman Subscriber

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    Send the camera to Michael Spencer. He does exellent CLA's on olympus cameras and it cost no more than 50 pounds.

    Regards
    Mads
     
  19. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    your camera is attempting to capture an image of the APUG parallel universe. if you put the negative in a viewer backwards and drink 4 or 5 shots of tequila you will begin to see the image. make sure you are sitting down because what you see might shock you.
     
  20. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Most likely the springs in the curtain rollers need to be adjusted. This is done as part of a CLA.
     
  21. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

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    Could just be the cold weather. Try a roll inside the house through a window and see if it does it.
     
  22. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    The likely cause is the original lubricant has become thick or migrated to where it doesn't belong, likely as the camera can be almost 40 years old. In cold weather the lubricant acts more like glue. The camera will need a major dis-assembly and cleaning.
     
  23. cfclark

    cfclark Member

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    I have an OM-1 that had a similar shutter issue--in certain conditions the shutter would just hang in mid-exposure. A major disassembly and cleaning, as the previous poster mentioned, took care of it. This is a great camera and should be just fine with a little TLC.