Light leaks on Rolleiflex 3.5E

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Trakl, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. Trakl

    Trakl Member

    Messages:
    8
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Location:
    Tuscaloosa,
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Recently I've noticed problems on the final (12th) frames of rolls run through my Rolleiflex 3.5E. What could be causing this? No issues with the first 11 frames of each roll, and also it didn't use to do this -- it's only on the last few rolls I've shot. Am I screwing up when I unload the film? I'm having the films developed and scanned at Precision Camera in Austin and I find it hard to believe that they'd be messing up. Far more likely that it's me and/or the camera. Thank you for your consideration. Joel Brouwer

    65830001.jpg
    65840001.jpg
     
  2. Trakl

    Trakl Member

    Messages:
    8
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Location:
    Tuscaloosa,
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    A third example

    63470001.jpg
     
  3. randyB

    randyB Member

    Messages:
    369
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Location:
    SE Mid-TN
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    This may be a little difficult to pinpoint the exact cause. Looks to be a light leak in the camera. Odd that it doesn't show on the other 11 frames. How straight/square is the camera back? Rollei backs can be bent in use and you won't notice it. Why the 12th frame only, could be that since it is the tightest wound part on the roll it has enough spring to cause a light leak, older/outdated film can get quite springy. Have you opened the back and dry-fired the shutter to look for leaks. If you still can't find the source then a trip to the repairman is in order.
     
  4. randyB

    randyB Member

    Messages:
    369
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Location:
    SE Mid-TN
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Also, it could be the exposed roll isn't wound tight enough when you take it out of the camera therefore letting light leak in around the paper.
     
  5. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

    Messages:
    2,270
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Location:
    Portland OR
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    My opinion is the fact that it only happens on the last frame rules out a light leak in the camera. I am guessing the first thing you thought of was the loose roll so that probably isn't it. I don't know how labs load processing machines these day but some years ago I found a lab that did fog the last frame on every roll by something they had to do to load the roll. I would check with them even though you think they are beyond the error. It might be that they have to unroll the roll a certain amount in the process and they are unrolling it a bit too far allowing the frame nearest the outside to get a bit of light.
    Dennis
     
  6. Trakl

    Trakl Member

    Messages:
    8
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Location:
    Tuscaloosa,
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    My thanks for your replies. I don't think I'm letting light in but maybe I am. I just sent the lab two rolls, one from the Rollei and one from my Hasselblad. If they both come back with light stains on the last frame, we'll know it's not the Rollei's fault, and that it's either my own fault or the lab's. Thanks again.
     
  7. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,441
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Location:
    Bremen, Germany.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I had this problem and that was because of loose winding after finish shooting. :-( My case was even worse...

    Film: Fomapan 400.
     
  8. Larry H-L

    Larry H-L Subscriber

    Messages:
    102
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Unload your film in a dark closet or changing bag. Seal it tight in the dark.

    If the problem doesn't go away, I'd guess it is the lab.
     
  9. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,954
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yup. That's my vote.
     
  10. Trakl

    Trakl Member

    Messages:
    8
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Location:
    Tuscaloosa,
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    OK y'all, seems maybe I've gotten sloppy is the consensus! I'll be super careful next time and we'll see. Thanks so much for your time. jb
     
  11. Mark Feldstein

    Mark Feldstein Member

    Messages:
    154
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Monterey, CA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've got a couple of other things you might consider.
    You'd know if the lab was having a light leak if you just ask them. If that was the case you probably wouldn't be the only one asking about it. Meantime, send a roll to another lab and double check.

    Film tensioning at the end of the roll and leaking around the last frame? I doubt that. 120 film has a paper backling throughout the roll unlike 220 film that only has it on the front end and the back end.
    Seems that if you had a tensioning problem you'd likely have flatness/focus issues on the rest of the roll that would get worse towards the final frames as the take-up spool collected more film and it was so loose that the pressure plate couldn't keep it flat. I think that light leaks from failing to tension up the film after downloading produce far less consistent results then what you have here.

    Finally, try unloading the camera in a darkroom or light tent. If the finished negs/slides show light leak, then it ain't your technique but that would point me to the camera and how snug the film is being wound. Seems like you've covered all the other bases except one:

    As the take-up spool thickens towards the end of the roll, is it twisting the take-up and pushing against the camera back? Check the spool alignment. You can take a test roll and watch it run through the camera paying close attention to what happens to the spool as it gathers up the last frames of the film. That might be a worn gearing problem.

    Take it errrrrrrrrrrr. "light"
    Mark.
    Mark
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 27, 2013
  12. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,678
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Excellent plan. If they are both bad, it is likely the lab. Hasselblads wind things tight in my experience and are easy to remove from the insert without any unwinding. If it is only the Rollei, I'd guess that the roll is loose. I can't imagine a light leak happening on just the last frame
     
  13. Hatchetman

    Hatchetman Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,221
    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I am having almost the same exact issue with my Rolleicord Va. Always the 12th frame. But the ghosting appears more in the center of the frame than on the edges. This has happened at labs and when I develop my own. Always the same spot. Used to happen infrequently, now it happens on every roll.
     
  14. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Subscriber

    Messages:
    572
    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    Location:
    Lake Station, MI
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If it's happening now on every roll then do this test.........................load the roll and remove the roll in total darkness and see if the light-leak ends. I'd be willing to bet it will be gone. JohnW
     
  15. Hatchetman

    Hatchetman Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,221
    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    OK. I will try that. What do you think the problem is? Not a very practical long term solution.
     
  16. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,954
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Where is the arrow on the film backing when you first load the film and close the back door of the camera?
     
  17. Hatchetman

    Hatchetman Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,221
    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    Pointing right at the little marks where it is supposed to. I have the manual for it, so I think I'm doing everything right. I am willing to send it in for repair, I'm just not sure anyone will figure out what to fix. I sent a note to Mark Hansen about it. Fleenor would charge more than the thing is worth.