Fujica GW690 Scratching Negatives - Please Help!!

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by UKJohn, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. UKJohn

    UKJohn Subscriber

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    Hi,

    Firstly, I hope this is posted in the right place, if not please relocate accordingly.

    I'm not sure there this is resolvable but here goes anyway.

    I have a Fujica GW690 which is scratching the negatives along two horizons (top and bottom on the long side). There are two scratches at the top and two at the bottom, both sets are equally spaced but occur intermittently ie, not continuous across anyone negative, the odd negative is actually free from any scratches.

    I was down in Cornwall earlier this year when they first appeared so I assumed that some grit had got into the back of the camera. I gave it a good clean, put through a film, and yep the scratches where still there. I clean it again but with similar results. Eventually I sent the camera and a set of negs to a camera repair place, they gave it a very good clean, service and also replaced the light trap. On its return I have put two films through and yes still scratches on both horizons!!!

    Oh yes, when printed the scratches are pretty obvious and frustrating :-(

    So, my appeal is quite simple - any ideas on how to rectify this problem or is the camera now scrap? Any comments and thoughts would be most welcome.

    Cheers

    John
     
  2. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    John, are the scratches on the emulsion side of the film or on the back side?
     
  3. UKJohn

    UKJohn Subscriber

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    Tom Hi,

    I believe that the scratches are on the emulsion side. Why I think this to be the case is that I once read when this problem first occured (I can't remember where) is that scratches on the emulsion side result in black lines on the print, whilst scratches on the base appear as white lines. Like I said I have this running around in my head but can't recall where I read it...on prints they appear as black lines.

    Also, please correct me if I am wrong, but I would guess the paper backing on the 120 film would protect the film base from scratches from the back pressure plate.

    As an aside, I don't get similar scratches on film from my Bronica which eliminates any possibility that they have occured during loading onto the reel at development stage.

    You know I could cry as I have hardly used the camera, I think I have only put a dozen rolls of film through it :-( that includes the four or five trying to resolve this problem!!!!

    Cheers

    John
     
  4. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    True John, the paper backing on the 120 film would protect the film base from scratches from the back pressure plate. However, the film may have been scratched during the film manufacturing and packaging processes.

    If the scratches are in the emulsion and they are not due to defective film, then the remaining potential sources are:
    The camera and/or your film developing process.

    If the camera is creating the scratches you should be able to take the scratched film, compare it to the film transport path and locate the region(s) of the camera that are most likely to be the scratch source.

    Film rollers, film guides and the edges of the 6x9 rectangular focal plane opening are likely spots to look. Use a 5x to 10 x magnifying glass for your inspection. Metal slivers, burrs, any abrasive contamination on these surfaces could cause emulsion scratches.

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    While a light scratch on either side of the film will show as white in the print, especially with a condenser enlarger, only a scratch completely through the emulsion should print black. Such a deep scratch should be conspicuous on the negative. Perhaps there are tiny embedded particles or burrs anywhere between the two film spools in the path of the scratches. Excessive tension on the supply spool or excessive pressure plate pressure could contribute to such a problem. Either way, excessive pressure should be noticable when advancing the film.
     
  6. UKJohn

    UKJohn Subscriber

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    Jim/Tom your comments are much appreciated.

    I will take another look inside the camera under a magnifying glass, but I have had it cleaned and serviced at a pro repair place so I was praying that they could resolve the problem.

    There appears to be no problem with excessive resistance when winding on the film but I will check this out also.

    Also I don't get any scratches from film put through my Bronica SQA so I think developing problems or loading on the spiral can be eliminated - but again I will take extra care just in case.

    Cheers

    John
     
  7. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Do you see the scratches on the negatives before you try to print them?

    If not, have you checked your negative carrier on your enlarger (which I assume is different from the one you use for shots from your Bronica)?

    Is there any other difference in the way you handle the films from this camera, as compared to the Bronica?
     
  8. UKJohn

    UKJohn Subscriber

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    Hi Matt,

    As far as I know I don't handle the film from the Fujica any different from the Bronica, also the last two films have been viewed under a loupe on a light box as they were specifically exposed to confirm the presence (or more hopefully lack) of scratches. Neither as yet have been near neg carrier.

    I know exactly where to look on the negs once processed so locating the scratches. From previous negs printed the scratches are pretty obvious at sizes like 9" x 6", especially if they are in an area of plain or continuous tone.

    Cheers

    John
     
  9. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    John, you wrote: I have had it cleaned and serviced at a pro repair place...

    Since the film is still getting scratched, it seems that the pro repair place was not able to isolate and correct the root cause of the problem - this could indicate that the camera is not causing the scratches - did the repair shop run a test roll of film through the camera and inspect it afterwards for scratches?

    A possible source of scratches is the post development handling of the film - do you use a squeegee (or your fingers ) to wipe the film after washing?

    Have you checked your processing solutions (including your water) for the presence of hard particles? (filtering should answer this question).
     
  10. Neil Miller

    Neil Miller Member

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    John - how frustrating, I feel for you! If the marks are obvious on the film itself (i.e.: easily visible to the naked eye) and it was my camera I think I would sacrifice another roll by unwinding it and examining the film surface, then rewinding the film and putting it through the camera. then I'd take the film out and unwind it again (no processing stage) to look for any new marks on it - that would indicate whether the marks are being caused by the camera.

    Regards,
    Neil.
     
  11. UKJohn

    UKJohn Subscriber

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    Tom/ Neil

    The camera has been in for cleaning (and had the light trap replacing as well), they could'nt see a problem and did run an undeveloped film through it with no obvious evidence of scratches. I have done this once also but could'nt see any scratches either but I will try again as you suggest.

    I understand you points about film development but I am not getting similar scratches when developing film from my Bronica SQA, so I would assume if it was a problem with my developement technique then I would be experiencing a similar problem with the Bronica. Also the scratches always appear exactly on the same horizons top and bottom on the film.

    Just to re-confirm the problem there are two sets of double lined scratches that appear about 10mm in from the top and bottom of the film. The scratches always appear as a double line about 3 or 4mm apart (at a guess), but are not a continous line but often only about 2 or 3mm in length. As I write this it dawns on me that the problem might be with the rollers either side of the 6x9 opening - I'll concentrate on these and give them another clean.

    This is very frustrating because I value everyones comments and help but I feel I have exhausted all avenues in trying to resolve the scratch issue however, I'll have another go this weekend at cleaning it and will use a magnifying glass to check for any burrs or other such things that could be causing the problem.

    Once again many thanks

    John
     
  12. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Hi. John, although I 'm not familiar with this particular camera, what you're experiencing is what we used to call " tramline scratches " and were due to burrs on the film guide rails scratching the emulsion as the film was transported, if you run a finger along them you may be able to feel them .
    I hope this is of some help, I know how frustrating this problem must be, I hope you resolve it soon.

    Best wishes.
     
  13. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    I've seen scratches such as you describe in a camera where the pin rollers (the small rollers at the ends of the film gate) weren't turning as they should due to dirty or bent bearings. When a roller siezes temporarily, it may (probably will) scratch the emulsion as the film is dragged over it, and then, due to camera movement, changes in temperature, etc. may unsieze and stop scratching. This will produce scratches parallel to the film edge, anywhere in the frame or on the edge outside the frame, ranging in length from a few centimeters to full film length.

    I found it pretty easy, in my 1927 Voigtlander Rollfilmkamera, to feel that this was happening by rolling the pins with my fingers, and after slight adjustment of the bearings (just pieces of sheet with holes for the ends of the pins) was able to free them up so they roll reliably, though a tiny speck of teflon grease might not come amiss.

    A GSW may complicate this fix if one of the rollers has star wheels on it that are part of the frame counter -- I'm not familiar with that camera, but I wouldn't expect a star wheel roller to slip and any marks made by the wheels would be outside the image area, on the unexposed film edges.
     
  14. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    Hi John, the problem must be with the rollers, some kind of burr I would imagine. My 690 has taken 414 rolls according to the counter and hasn't scratched a single roll. So the problem is not symptomatic of this camera model.Hope you can track it down, very frustrating. The 690 is worth perservering with as it takes superb images.
    Cheers, Tony
     
  15. UKJohn

    UKJohn Subscriber

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    Tony Hi,

    Having read Donalds and Bentleys replies with much interest (thanks guys) along with yours I can't see the problem being anything else other than a burr on the rollers. The scratches are far to uniform and consistant so I will be concentrating on the rollers and giving them a damn good clean and close inspection under a magnifying glass.

    Once again many thanks to you all for yuor replies and hopefully this problem can be resolved in the very near future. I'll keep you all posted on progress.

    Cheers

    John
     
  16. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Morning, John,

    Just an obvious suggestion: any rough spot on the rollers will probably be more easily detected by FEEL than by visual inspection. Hope it works out for you; the MF Fuji's produce great images.

    Konical