Having an issue with these white spots on the bottom of my negs.

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by mexipike, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. mexipike

    mexipike Subscriber

    Messages:
    316
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    Check these photos I linked to out. I'm having an issue where within a roll of film I have a few but not all images with a big black spot (white on the print) They don't appear to be evenly spaced.

    I have three theories on what it could be:

    1.) My neckstrap hanging out and getting in front of my lens. I considered this more when I saw it on the first roll but have since developed more rolls from all various times. I think it would be crazy that I have such a habit like this, though not impossible!

    2.) Something wrong with my camera. All were shot with a Leica M6, something could happen at a certain aperture, I don't know.

    3.) My metal developing tank has a light leak.

    All of the times this has occurred the images were shot on a Leica M6 and various films and developers have been used.

    Any thoughts. I have some ideas on how to begin testing and eliminating variables but thought someone here might have just seen it already and know what my problem is!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,824
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Does the black spot on the negative extend into the rebate and sprocket hole area?

    Looks like an in camera light leak to me.

    Do you use re-loadable film cassettes?
     
  3. mexipike

    mexipike Subscriber

    Messages:
    316
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    No I don't spool my own.

    Wouldn't a light leak in the camera produce this effect on all images, not just some?
     
  4. mexipike

    mexipike Subscriber

    Messages:
    316
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    And no the black part stops at the frame line
     
  5. momus

    momus Member

    Messages:
    2,713
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Location:
    Lower Earth
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Looks like a light leak to me from the top of the camera or back somewhere. The most likely place is usually the back, so open it (or flip that folding part out on an M camera) and see if there's something wrong the w/ the seal or the metal on that door or the camera's body. Light leaks are not always consistent. Depends on where the sun is at, where you have your hands at on the camera, which way it's pointing when you took the shot, etc.
     
  6. mexipike

    mexipike Subscriber

    Messages:
    316
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    The only thing I'm noticing right off the bat is the little cork at the very bottom of the folding part is pretty dry, and has some cracks. Is this a common place that light would leak, and is it fixable by the owner?

    John
     
  7. mr rusty

    mr rusty Subscriber

    Messages:
    754
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Location:
    lancashire,
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    if the leak stops at the frame line its not coming in the back. Pinhole in shutter curtain?
     
  8. mexipike

    mexipike Subscriber

    Messages:
    316
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    I guess I'll probably rule out the strap idea, since thinking about it, that should make the negative clear due to no light and print black.

    I also suppose it's not a developing tank leak since the light wouldn't stop at the frame lines.

    So I guess it is the camera.

    What's a good way to check for pinholes? Flashlight in the dark?

    Sounds like an expensive fix, oh well!
     
  9. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

    Messages:
    2,015
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    Location:
    rAdelaide
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Given that it's in the same spot each time, then it's not a problem in the back, nor is it a strap/cap or it'd be black.
    I'm voting for pinhole in the shutter. Try to think back to when you took the photos, were the ones with less leak (like the Smellican), shot sooner after the previous (in which case, less time for a pinhole leak to invade), and the ones with more leak (like the first) had longer time sitting behind the shutter for a pinhole to get that bad?

    Or, it's a leak when the shutter is opened, coming from somewhere in the space twixt shutter and lens. Were the worse leaks longer exposure times, and the lesser leaks shorter times?
     
  10. mexipike

    mexipike Subscriber

    Messages:
    316
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    It's a pinhole!

    Just got home and shined a light on it. It's right at the top of the shutter which I guess translates to the bottom of the negative. I hadn't thought of the pinhole idea so I'm glad I posted this, thanks everyone!

    I'm going to head to Home Depot and try to get some liquid electrical tape cause I heard it works. The camera had a CLA before I bought it about a year and a half ago so I'd rather not send it for a replacement curtain.

    What's likely to have caused the hole? I don't use a lens cap but it seems strange that it would burn a tiny hole so far in the top, I also try to keep the lens wide open.

    Thanks again, sorry if this ended up in the wrong sub forum, I didn't realize it was going to be more about my Leica then film or processing.
     
  11. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

    Messages:
    7,114
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Location:
    In a darkroo
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Glad you found the culprit. Lens inverts the image. Pinhole on top. Leak on top of film which translates to the bottom of the image.
     
  12. George Collier

    George Collier Member

    Messages:
    1,064
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    In the 70's I had an M2 and an M3, usually with the 90 or 35 Sumicron attached.
    One day I saw something like this, and I realized that I had carried the 90 camera around in my car for a couple of days without the lens cap.
    Apparently, it sat for a long enough period, pointed up (following me here?) toward the sun.
    Remember the childhood trick with the paper and the magnifying glass, and the sun? You bet, burned a hole (nice clean round one) in my curtain, based on how it was focused, etc. One nice thing about SLR's, there's a mirror to prevent this.
    I never went without a lens cap again.
    Might this have happened to you?
     
  13. mexipike

    mexipike Subscriber

    Messages:
    316
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    This may have happened to me. Though I am aware of that being an issue so I try not to ever face it into the sun. Still doesn't make it impossible though. The obvious solution would be for me to just get a damn lenscap!
     
  14. Xmas

    Xmas Member

    Messages:
    6,454
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    It needs to be stationary for a few seconds leaving it sat on outside pub or coffee shop table bad. Even neck strap risky.

    Exaktas tend to get sunburn on second blind and go brittle cause they dont have an instant return mirror.

    Shutter rebuild expensive. Cap cheap.
     
  15. mexipike

    mexipike Subscriber

    Messages:
    316
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    I bought some liquid electrical tape and patched the holes, I discovered more than 1! I also bought a lens cap. Next time it needs CLA I'll have the shutter replaced, but it works great for now.