I have a thought that the problem with your Hexar is the exposure compensation switch.
For 20 years that switch was probably never moved and sat on +0.
Over time the contact surfaces of those switches build up a hazy coating. This means when you moved it to -.3 or -.7 you lost contact and the camera didn't know what it was supposed to do. Therefore you got massively over-exposed frames.
The easiest solution is to leave the selector at +0. Next you can clean it off a bit by moving the selector all the way back and forth about 30 or 40 times. Of course the best is to have the switch opened and electrical contact cleaner applied.
Try another roll and make note of which frames were set at +0 and which were offset. This may prove the theory.
By the way, the Olympus MJU-I and MJU-II are great cameras. I have never missed a shot with one.
The auto flash can be annoying and you have to disable it each time you open the camera. I disable the flash and then leave the camera open for the day.
But for street you might really like an Olympus XA or XA2. They are nearly silent but do have a ratchety sound from the manual film advance wheel.
All of these are fitted with 35mm lenses so you have to like that fov.
Okay. Sorry about the delayed response. I did go ahead with some (all?) of the tests recommended here, but never checked back in. It's just been a crazy couple of weeks for me.
Before I get into things - Olympus. So the camera listing is for an "Olympus Stylus Camera"...I'm guessing this is the original Mju, then, right? "You hear the film advance" how loud is it? I'm figuring for $30, it might be nice just to try out for fun. Plus it can focus through windows, which the Hexar can't (well it can, but it's a guessing game...sometimes yeah, sometimes no). Yeah, I like 35mm focal length. The XA/2 I've looked at previously, but I know the XA at least is a rangefinder, which I'm not in the market for right now. If something popped up locally, I might snatch it, but I'm not going to go out of my way for one like I did the Hexar.
Ok, with that out of the way...
I did the test with the camera back opened, trying different lighting to see if the aperture adjusted properly. Seemed ok. But I may have missed something with that, I'll re-read that tip. I also looked close (initially with magnifying glass, but using my own eyes worked better) to see any oil on the aperture blades - nothing. The only thing was some scratch marks, presumably from the blades sliding across each other for years. I did an on-film test of a low f stop and a high f stop to see if the camera compensated correctly. But I haven't been able to process that film yet, I'm hoping to do that tonight, if not, tomorrow. I'll post the results.
With that, my only thought is what someone earlier said - I could've just blocked the meter reader on the front of the camera. I checked how I normally hold the camera, and I wouldn't block it. But it isn't a stretch to assume a finger moved in front of it without my noticing whilst shooting.
That's a good point about the exposure comp dial. It probably never was really bothered with. I can definitely move the dial around to loosen it up and make sure the contacts are working. What is meant by "electrical contact cleaner" and having the switch (what switch) opened?
Last edited by h.v.; 03-13-2013 at 05:17 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Electric contact cleaner is typically a spray chemical. You would have to figure out how to get the inner switch contacts exposed in order to direct some cleaner in there.
Of course you want to avoid getting the cleaning solution where it doesn't belong.
Are you guys absolutely sure this couldn't have been processing error? I just processed some HP5 and the same thing happened - only now it was with a roll shot on my Nikon F90. The frames look very dark, just like the ones on Page 1 with the Hexar, so I'm guessing they'll be nice and bright.
I'll have to scan tomorrow after it's done drying to investigate further, maybe that scene in particular was bright. But based on the fact that it was semi-indoors and from what I can surmise from the actual negs, it is no different from the correctly exposed frames, I'm guessing it is an exposure issue.
I also shoot manual exposure on all cameras but the Hexar, so in this case it may have been me forgetting about the meter. Again, will have to look at the positives on the screen in order to know for sure. But in the meantime, I just want to know if there's any way it could've been processing error?
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Apologies if this has been covered already, but is your film fresh/known good? I've just developed some rolls of 120 format that are *very* expired and the frames towards the outside of the roll as it has sat unexposed all these years are dark/fogged to the point of being impossible to print.
Also, I have a Stylus Epic (same as Mju 2) and the film advance is fairly loud. Not as loud as a motor drive SLR but I couldn't take a shot on the street without someone nearby hearing it. Manual advance, leaf-shutter rangefinder or scale focus viewfinder cam might be your best bet for the street work. I have an Olympus 35 EC 2 that winds on like a disposable/re-usable plastic camera.
I apply contact cleaner in all critical cases only by size1 brush.
Originally Posted by wblynch
Yep, my film is fresh. I've shot expired film only a handful of times, mostly due to store or my own error. I've only once outright chosen to shoot expired film. Though I do have a roll of June 2012 expired SFX 200 that I still need to use. The HP5 I've been using expires sometime in 2015.
Originally Posted by Fixcinater
I already have two leaf shutter cameras that are very quiet - the Hexar and Yashica-A. They're not rangefinders, but they aren't the only tools for street photography. The Hexar is a wonderful street camera. I had some film from after the incident in the OP shot with the Hexar (HP5, Portra, Acros) and it's all come out fine. I'm really thinking my hand slipped and blocked the meter sensor on the front of the camera. I don't want to spend on a CLA unless I know that it will help. And so far I don't know for sure, it seems a bit like an isolated incident. But I'm leary of it occurring again (like it just did, but with a different camera this time).