Problem with Camera

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by lollipop78, Oct 9, 2003.

  1. lollipop78

    lollipop78 Member

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    I was hoping someone might have experienced the same problem I am having with my camera. The problem is I have taken several rolls of film, around 20 and all are coming out different. For instance I have some rolls that come out fine, then others that are comletly black, and now I have film that is developed with a huge black line above and below the picture. I have narrowed it down to perhaps having something to do with my shutters. I have used different zooms and I have the same result. So I have narrowed that out. Also I know it's not the film. I have a NIkon N55. ANy suggestions would be great.
    Thanks,
    lollipop78
     
  2. Lex Jenkins

    Lex Jenkins Member

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    The most obvious problem would be an incorrect shutter speed when flash is used. If the shutter speed was too high the flash and shutter can't synchronize - the result is a black strip or entirely black frame on the negative/slide, depending on how far off the sync was.

    Check the manual to determine what the maximum flash sync is for your camera - it's probably around 1/125 second. Make sure the shutter speed is at or below that speed when using flash.

    If you weren't using flash when these problems occurred then there might be something wrong with the shutter but I'd first want to consider other errors such as setting the exposure incorrectly for a given situation. This may explain totally blank frames, but not partially blank frames - the latter would most likely be due, again, to incorrect flash sync or a shutter problem.
     
  3. lollipop78

    lollipop78 Member

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    Thanks!!! Unfortunatly I loaned my camera to a friend to take pictures of my wedding with back in May and she lost my manual. But I will look online and see what I can find. I did use the flash a good portion of the time. But I will investigate the shutter speed and see if that's not the problem. Thanks for the help!
     
  4. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Usually, on a 35mm camera, the "mechanical shutter speed" - the highest speed where both the leading and trailing shutter curtains are NOT covering the film frame - threfore, the highest speed suitable for flash - is marked in some way ... by a lightning bolt at that speed, or filled with red coloring. I'm not sure of the N55 - I would guess it would be 1/60 second - but if it has lightweight metal shutter curtains, it could well be 1/125 second.

    If this "banding" and black areas are random, and occur without the flash, there would most likely be something amiss in the shutter speed control.
    A thought ... have you tried replacing the the batteries in the body? If they are on the brink of their existence, there could be errratic shutter operation.
     
  5. lollipop78

    lollipop78 Member

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    I haven't tried replacing the batteries yet. The camera says they batteries are still full with poer but I guess it could be wrong. I look up the shutter speed on the internet and for my camera it says
    Shutter: Electronically controlled vertical-travel, focal-plane shutter
    Shutter Speeds: Automatically set between 30 seconds and 1/2000 sec. in Auto mode, VariProgram modes, P and A; in S and M: 30 seconds to 1/2000 sec. (in 1/2 EV steps); Time provided.
    When I took these pictures I used the auto mode. That is what I usually use.
     
  6. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    N55 sync is 1/90 or slower, as I recall.

    You can get a replacement manual from nikonmall.com
     
  7. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    I would give (a) new batteries a try. It is also quite important to use the correct, recommended, types. At times, one can "get by" with something equivalent , i.e., a "lithium", in place of a "silver oxide"; but the characteristics of the available energy under load can be significantly dissimilar. Case in point would be the NiCads used in rechargeable flashlights ("torches" to those in Jolly Old). When turning them on when the NiCads are nearly discharged, the lamp will be at first, bright, and quickly dim, unlike ordinary cabon dry cells, which will be uniformly dim at the end of their lives.

    Hopefully you can obtain information on the N55 from somemwhere here in Cyber-land. If not ... an old, much more time-consuming trick: visit your local friendly camera dealer - one that carries the Nikon N55. Tell them that a friend has recommended a Nikon N55, and ask to see the camera. Listen intently to the sales pitch, and ask to see the manual. Go directly to the "Flash" section and the "Battery" section... and make mental notes. Purchase not necessary.

    I would say that in "Automatic" mode, the N55 *should* set the flash properly.

    One other suggestion: I would try cleaning the battery contacts. To do so, use an ordinary, CLEAN pencil eraser. Gingerly, and GENTLY (translation: not much!!) "twirl" it in the battery compartment, and blow out any residue ... that should be abrasive enough to remove ny slight oxidation causing electrical resistance.