Recurring issues with Nikon F80
I bought a used Nikon F80 (N80 for Americans) from a local camerashop a little over half a year ago now and have been having issues with the negatives from that camera. On the negatives, there are thin, straight horizontal lines that go across the frame. But here is a little more background to that...
Initially, I thought it was just residue or something or other from scanning, but I later looked closer at the negatives and found it embedded onto the negatives. So, I did some online research and figured it may have been the lab I'd been using. With that information, I decided to try another lab. Same issue.
So then I thought, maybe there is a tiny dust particle causing this issue. Still, I figured it'd be best to go to the camera shop that I bought the F80 from as they should be pretty knowledgeable just to be sure. So I did, and the person there too thought it may be dust, so he did a thorough cleaning right then and there of the interior of the camera. He then put in a roll of Fuji Superia to test out if that worked. It did not, so the only other thing I was told it could be was the back pressure plate on the door of the camera.
In order to do that, I'd have to give my camera to the store, and they would in turn send it to a local repair shop to get the plate replaced. I accepted that and did not have my F80 for about a month as a result.
I was excited to get the camera back and immediately put in a roll of film and went about shooting. Yesterday, my film was done being processed by a local lab and scanned in the negatives at home (yeah yeah, I'm no purist). At first, no issues. However, by the fourth or fifth frame, I noticed the stupid horizontal line popping up again!
I decided to call that same camera shop and see if they could offer me any help on the matter. In a nutshell, they said that as they aren't the repair shop, we can't know for sure, but we can send it back for a re-repair. But I'm questioning what good that's going to do.
Should I even bother with this camera (which I've grown to really enjoy)? Should I just replace the F80 with something else (then again, the same problem could appear on another camera)? Because you guys seem to be quite experts on analogue photography, do you guys think there is anything else that could be wrong that could be fixed?
Also, on a related note, I was hoping to begin processing my own film soon. While that would just entail develop only, down the line I may want to dabble in darkroom printing, considering the perceived higher quality of doing so (plus it just seems like a magical experience). With that, I'm assuming these lines will appear on a darkroom print as they would on a scanned negative. So is there any way to remove these lines safely on already processed negatives?
P.S. I forgot to add that I noticed there was some dust on the interior of the camera, including on the pressure plate, and cleaned it off. Could it just have been that?
Thanks for any and all help, APUGgers.
Which side of the film is the scratch on? Back side (base side) or the emulsion side? I just had an identical issue with my F-100. Under microscopic examination (I have a microscope), I could actually tell there was a sand particle that was dragged across the base side of the neg, and I could tell where the particle dislodged itself and stopped scratching. It was on the base side.
Is the scratch always at the same place or random?
If I look close enough there are scratches on every film. The camera's back plate can cause a scratch. Dust trapped on the felt (on the film cartridge) can cause scratches, and putting the negs in SLEEVES after processing can cause scratch. I've experienced all of it.
Minor scratches WILL NOT appear on prints if processed in the darkroom. MAJOR scratches will appear but there are technique to avoid them at printing time as well. If the scratches are on the base side, skin oil applied sparingly can fill and cover the scratches. MAJOR scratch can be removed with a product called No-scratch. It's a petroleum based oil that you'd apply to back side of film and it will do an amazing job.
I don't know what the answer is for you but that is my experience.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
Responding to your PS. It could, have just been that, its not rocket science. Inspect closer! Worst comes to worst its not a bad idea just to get another F80 either, they are not too expensive nowadays.
[ Insert meaningless camera listing here ]
I loved my N80. Gave it to my daughter for Art school and then bought another used one since I missed using it.
KEH has them for $49-$94 used. Possibly cheaper than a second repair?
I had an F80 that did exactly the same thing. It drove me and the camera shop around the bend.
Lots and lots of research later, it was narrowed down to the take-up reel tongue. It's the hinged piece of metal on the right side of the film compartment with the little rubber rollers. Not sure if it's strictly the rollers not turning, but it's definitely the culprit. Eventually it became clearer that this was a known issue for Nikon who released a revised part. Unfortunately most of the best information, including photos of the guilty part and the new revised part, disappeared behind the pay wall at Nikonians.org.
If you can get the right part, the camera could be serviced. If you knew what to look for, you could try buying a later-model F80 with the new part.
My other camera is a Pentax
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Hello all, sorry for the late response. Thanks for your responses though. I'm getting some rolls processed so we'll soon see if it was just merely a few specks of dust on the interior of the camera.
tkamiya: The line is on the top or face up or emulsion side, it appears. Regarding if the line is always in the same place or not: yes and no. It varies by roll, but it is usually in either Spot A or Spot B on a roll. The line also goes in the blank space between frames. But it doesn't occur on every frame in a roll. It varies, sometimes most of the photos, sometimes about half, sometimes just a few. If you want to see what these lines look like, they are straight horizontal lines like the first photo in this: http://www.flickr.com/groups/ishootf...7626198365475/ If you need me to show an example on one of my photos let me know, but it's like that photo in the link.
Sirius Glass: Cool idea. Not sure where I'd buy another F80, I've only come across an F60, but that would still be pretty good I guess. I could go online for an F80, but I'd rather only pay for shipping on a camera that was a lot more valuable.
filmanigo: Interesting...I don't know the year of my F80, so I'm not sure if it's an early or late model. Might just stick with the F80 for now, seeing as it's unlikely to cause issues with darkroom printing, and get an upgrade as I've been planning.
Hi. I have 3 F80/N80 bodies, all of which were bought on ebay. They can be picked up for very low prices, and there seems to be plenty of them available. Only one of mine appears to have had any real use before I bought it, but it still works fine. I would second the suggestion of looking for another. My cameras all came from different sources and none have the problem you describe. Unless you go for the more expensive F100, or one of the 'pro' series, then the F80 is the most sophisticated of the Nikon 35mm cameras. It was one of the last 35mm cameras Nikon produced before everything went digital, which is perhaps the reason why there are many virtually unused examples available. I would suggest that if the offending lines appeared on prints produced at a lab, then they will also show up in hand printed images, unless you take steps to repair your negatives. The F80 is a very worthwhile camera and I hope you can find a solution to this problem
On your Flicker page, you say you started seeing this problem regardless of camera or film size. Are you able to see these lines on the negative yourself?
If you want to send me one of your junk film with this problem, I can try looking at it under a microscope. Or, if you have an access to a microscope, you can do it yourself, too. By using a stereo microscope with an ability to illuminate from top and the bottom, you can determine which side of film the problem exists. I'll be happy to do that for you.
I'm not convinced the problem piece is your F80.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
Hi, wanted to wait until I got to look on negatives after I cleaned it of dust and yes, it still seems to appear, albeit more faintly (to the point you would probably only notice at larger than 8x12-ish). Might see if the camera shop can do anything, if not they have another AF model for sale for $50 or $60 (F60 or 70 or something, not F80), or just hold out until I just upgrade body like I'd been planning.
Alex: I never said the lines appeared on prints from lab. I don't get prints from labs usually. I see the lines on SCANS of the photo . But it isn't the scanner, the lines seem to appear on the negatives themselves. Tried various things mentioned in the OP to see if it was anything but the camera, but nope, it does appear to be the camera. I'm going to look at some shops tomorrow, maybe I'll find something for the price of the repair (or re-repair in this case...$50-something). I'm just going to hope that when I start darkroom printing one of these days, these damn lines don't appear as tkamiya stated earlier. Or maybe they can be taken off through a product worse case scenario.
Tkamiya: Hold up...I never said that was my flickr page. I don't even know if the photos in question were from an F80 (don't think so). I only stated is that they look precisely like that, and that if you needed even further verification I could just post a picture myself (even though it looks the same as in the link). Like I said earlier, yes, I do see the lines on certain negatives (remember the lines don't occur on each frame usually).
I really love the F80, so much that after I dumped the first one for scratching film, I ended up buying another one from the bargain bin at the local camera store. It scratches too, just not as deeply. Sadly I don't think I can trust it for important work (the first F80 ruined an important series of portraits.)
You can confirm that the camera is doing the scratching (not the lab) by running film through the camera, and then opening the canister and examining it. (Hopefully you have a source of cheap film.) I have run at least 10 rolls through both F80's this way. They always scratch. It's variable (i.e. not on every frame) but predictable. Usually a line at the bottom third, and sometimes a line at the top third of the frame. It's on the shiny side of the film (i.e. not the emulsion side.) It often starts half way through the roll, getting worse as it goes. This is consistent with the scratch coming from the rollers on the takeup spool, i.e. as the circumference of the roll gets bigger on the takeup, the rollers are pressing harder against the film.
It took me a couple of rolls to notice the problem -- it showed up badly on scans of those important portraits. But I went back and looked at every roll I shot on the camera, slides and negatives. Even though the scratches didn't show up in all of the scans, every roll had scratches. It's easy to see by holding the film at an agle to the light. No need to use a loupe, even the faintest scratches are obvious to the naked eye.
My other camera is a Pentax