Weird light marks on ektar 100, any ideas what might have caused them ?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Samuelg, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. Samuelg

    Samuelg Member

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    Hi, so i recently repaired the light seals on my AE-1 because the existing ones were pretty much just black goop, anyway after doing it i saw no problems with it and ran probably about 10-15 rolls of film through it without problem. However i got some ektar recently and put it through and there are red light leaks on pretty much every frame. What confuses me is the regular shape and placement which in my mind doesn't line up with the whole "light leaking in to the camera occasionally" idea.

    Anyway i have attached a contact sheet, if anyone could give me any advice on what might be causing them, be it a problem with the film (unlikely i cant imagine kodak have a particularly high fail rate) or with camera or with lens. It may be worth mentioning that my lap recently hired a work experience student but i'm guessing its probably not his fault :smile:

    Any insight would be appreciated as i am somewhat stumped.

    tumblr_mhar0iDtDj1qatkcao1_1280.jpg


    Thanks
    Samuel
     
  2. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    A problem area in many cameras is not within the film gate/mask, but in the stretch between the film gate and the supply or takeup spool. I would start by checking the seals near the hinge side of your AE-1 for this one. The fact that the location seems near identical on every frame makes me think it isn't a lab problem. (I am assuming there is a dark spot on each negative; e.g., it's not a weird printing error.)

    (This also reminds me, I need to replace the seals in the AE-1 I inherited from my dad.)
     
  3. Samuelg

    Samuelg Member

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    Yeah they are on the negs as well, i rarely get prints by default and only get them made up from certain frames if needed. I hadn't thought about leaks on the take-up side, that would make perfect sense. I will wait till i have used the last few shots on the roll in there at the moment and check the seals.
    Thanks for your help
    Samuel
     
  4. Samuelg

    Samuelg Member

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    In fact if you look at 0013 & 0014 they were two photos i took at the same time, taking, winding on and taking again without moving my hand away from the hinge side and letting light in that would totally line up with your theory. I think you may have cracked it DWThomas thanks :smile:
     
  5. Allan Swindles

    Allan Swindles Member

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    It seems strange that this should appear on your, say 16th film after replacing the seals. I have known cassette seals to be faulty, but very rarely and usually this would be least obvious on the first part of the film. As your results show some consistancy I think DWThomas is probably correct. Did you replace the hinge seal? It seems unusual that this should only show itself now.
     
  6. pen s

    pen s Member

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    Does the AE-1 have a film reminder window in the back? If so perhaps the rectangular foam light seal around the window is missing a section
     
  7. Markster

    Markster Member

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    It has a solid back, no window. But it doesn't need to leak in there... light can bounce around in funny ways onces it gets inside.
     
  8. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Further off the wall speculation -- it might have just now appeared after a number of rolls because a little bit of attachment adhesive worked its way into a bad spot and tore a chunk out of a seal when the back was opened.

    The struck area is toward the bottom of the image, hence near the top of the camera, as the image is inverted on the film. My AE-1 is temporarily inaccessible, but I recall some cameras have a little nub sticking up in the light seal channel that resets the film counter when the back is opened and closed. If that is true of the AE-1, there might be something awry there, as there could be a bit of a gap in the seal.
     
  9. Samuelg

    Samuelg Member

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    Thanks so much for all your responses the community here is wonderfully helpful but unfortunately the problem is continuing.


    DWThomas i was looking at the counter reset lever thing in my ae-1 today and thinking that may be the culprit however i have added a more light seal and even gone to the extent of wrapping the entire edge of the closed back in black lightproof tape

    What really bloody confuses me is that the leaks whilst consistently placed they are completley indiscriminate even appearing in a frame where my flash hadn't quite recharged and as such was a totally black frame (see image #67760001 & 67760016 of attached contact sheet)

    tapedsheet.jpg

    But then dont appear at all on fully lit daylight frames. I know for a fact this was the roll i tested with it black tape across all the hinges, the closing and latching side, top and bottom joins for the back door and even over the missing battery cover on the front. So this somewhat rules out light leaks from the malfunctioning door.

    So i think it must be one of the following
    - Light leaking in through the top of the camera somehow shutter winder, shutter speed dial, etc.
    - Something is up with the lens although inspecting it showed no issues with any of the functions like aperture blades.
    - Something to do with a the mirror or focus screen, doubtful but i'm clutching at straws
    - The lab has some sort of broken step of their development machine that exposes occasional frames to light.

    This has got me totally baffled, especially the leaks on the blank frames and I'm getting ever closer to convincing myself I'm gonna have to just get a Nikon FM2 to replace it ... My overdraft would suffer terribly but at least i wouldn't be wasting £8 rolls of film.

    Any tips ?
     
  10. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    This is going to sound really strange.

    Is there any chance that:
    1) these were actually shot with a different camera - one with a window in the back; or
    2) your camera has had the back switched with one that has a window in it?
     
  11. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Assuming both were developed by the same lab, I would probably run a short roll of B&W and develop it myself, but next closest idea would be shoot the cheapest color you can find and get it developed somewhere else. Then see if the problem persists. Or have you had recent good results from your lab with another 35mm camera? That is, it might not be your end.

    I just dug my AE-1 out and can't say I have any "Aha!" moments looking at it. There is a film reminder widget on the back that holds a box top. It appears to be attached by some sort of rivets or plastic studs -- is all that in place? (Since it is behind the pressure plate, I doubt that could be it, but we're being rather challenged here!)

    There are three small screws in the cassette end, two in the body and one in the cover -- are they all there? (Again, I think this is very unlikely, as the film is inside the can at that end.

    In the take-up spindle end (right end from photog's perspective) there appears to be thin foam on both the body and the back, next to the hinge. On mine (unused in about a dozen years), there doesn't appear to be much left to flag that those were seals! What does catch my tired and ancient eye is that there is a gap in the tubular roll that forms the hinge, where I can see a shiny chrome pin/rod of some sort. I suspect the gap is access to retract the spring loaded pin to remove the back. It's about the right distance from the edge of the film to create your problem -- but being it's next to the take-up spindle, I would maybe expect the effects to vary a bit as the spool fills and the diameter changes. If those seals mesh, it shouldn't be a problem.

    Assuming all the exterior components -- covers, shrouds, whatever are undamaged, it's hard to see where things might otherwise run amok. Does your camera show any signs of damage -- bent metal work or fumbled repairs?

    My goto Canon FD is an A-1, so I don't have much AE-1 experience to go on. Shortly after my dad died, mom gave me his AE-1 and I did put a few rolls through it, but we're talking 1998 or so, and all was well at the time. I'd say the seals in mine definitely look a bit sketchy now.

    I find it difficult to suspect the lens end, but do you have -- or can you beg, borrow or steal -- another lens to try a few shots?

    Edit: There is a strip of foam across the front of the ground glass area that serves as a mirror bumper -- is that intact? (I'd think your strange spot is too sharply defined to be from that but since we haven't accounted for it .... )

    (Hey! Maybe all this thinking will prevent Alzheimers! :D )
     
  12. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    I don't have a camera like yours, but that red spot looks (in the second roll, not so much the first) like LED-light. Are there indicator lights anywhere in the camera, e.g. viewfinder display or flash-charged indicator?

    Next possibility: is there a tear or thin patch in the shutter, e.g. at a fold? Shine a strong torch into the mount and into the viewfinder and see if you can see anything coming through the cloth.
     
  13. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    This post makes me wonder - do you have a data back on the camera?
     
  14. Samuelg

    Samuelg Member

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    @MattKing - From what i can tell the camera back is the original and totally windowless, i handle my film from it arriving in the post, to lightproof box, to fridge, to camera and to lab so unless someone has pulled ye old switcheroo tis definitely the same camera :|

    @DWThomas Great minds thing alike and i decided to run some tmax through it recently and develop it myself as a control, the marks where still there but fewer and further between, a fact i attribute to my tendency to use B&W film in lower light situations.
    I had the same theory about the film type reminder window so that too was taped over in the grand insulating tape test.
    Similarly i had noticed they spring pin myself only recently when i removed the door to re-seal it, but surely andy light coming in through there would have been protected when i taped it up (or at least drastically reduced).

    I replaced the mirror bumper foam along with the seals on the door but i will certainly check, first time in a long time my camera hasn't had a roll in it so i will take it to my room of light (the darkroom that with a flick of a carefully guarded switch becomes the intensity of a thousand suns for inspecting prints etc) and look at ever square mm of the body for anything out of the ordinary.

    Not many people i know have an FD canon but there is a shop locally which sells pretty much every camera between 1920 to 1990 (its heaven) and im sure i could persuade them to let me borrow one for the day if i left my DSLR as collateral :smile:




    @Polyglot/MattKing There is an LED based warning for under/over exposure and also a red glowing M for non Av , i wil check the curtain later today.


    Thanks so much for all your help chaps summer is approaching and a non light tight camera seems somewhat of a paperweight :smile:

    SG
     
  15. Ghostman

    Ghostman Subscriber

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    I recently had a similar problem but in a Canon EOS 5. It turns out the that the shutter was at fault. As Polyglot asked, is there is tear in the shutter curtain?