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  1. #1

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    Fujica GW690 Scratching Negatives - Please Help!!

    Hi,

    Firstly, I hope this is posted in the right place, if not please relocate accordingly.

    I'm not sure there this is resolvable but here goes anyway.

    I have a Fujica GW690 which is scratching the negatives along two horizons (top and bottom on the long side). There are two scratches at the top and two at the bottom, both sets are equally spaced but occur intermittently ie, not continuous across anyone negative, the odd negative is actually free from any scratches.

    I was down in Cornwall earlier this year when they first appeared so I assumed that some grit had got into the back of the camera. I gave it a good clean, put through a film, and yep the scratches where still there. I clean it again but with similar results. Eventually I sent the camera and a set of negs to a camera repair place, they gave it a very good clean, service and also replaced the light trap. On its return I have put two films through and yes still scratches on both horizons!!!

    Oh yes, when printed the scratches are pretty obvious and frustrating :-(

    So, my appeal is quite simple - any ideas on how to rectify this problem or is the camera now scrap? Any comments and thoughts would be most welcome.

    Cheers

    John

  2. #2

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    John, are the scratches on the emulsion side of the film or on the back side?
    Tom Hoskinson
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  3. #3

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    Tom Hi,

    I believe that the scratches are on the emulsion side. Why I think this to be the case is that I once read when this problem first occured (I can't remember where) is that scratches on the emulsion side result in black lines on the print, whilst scratches on the base appear as white lines. Like I said I have this running around in my head but can't recall where I read it...on prints they appear as black lines.

    Also, please correct me if I am wrong, but I would guess the paper backing on the 120 film would protect the film base from scratches from the back pressure plate.

    As an aside, I don't get similar scratches on film from my Bronica which eliminates any possibility that they have occured during loading onto the reel at development stage.

    You know I could cry as I have hardly used the camera, I think I have only put a dozen rolls of film through it :-( that includes the four or five trying to resolve this problem!!!!

    Cheers

    John

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by UKJohn
    Tom Hi,

    I believe that the scratches are on the emulsion side. Why I think this to be the case is that I once read when this problem first occured (I can't remember where) is that scratches on the emulsion side result in black lines on the print, whilst scratches on the base appear as white lines. Like I said I have this running around in my head but can't recall where I read it...on prints they appear as black lines.

    Also, please correct me if I am wrong, but I would guess the paper backing on the 120 film would protect the film base from scratches from the back pressure plate.

    As an aside, I don't get similar scratches on film from my Bronica which eliminates any possibility that they have occured during loading onto the reel at development stage.

    You know I could cry as I have hardly used the camera, I think I have only put a dozen rolls of film through it :-( that includes the four or five trying to resolve this problem!!!!



    Cheers

    John
    True John, the paper backing on the 120 film would protect the film base from scratches from the back pressure plate. However, the film may have been scratched during the film manufacturing and packaging processes.

    If the scratches are in the emulsion and they are not due to defective film, then the remaining potential sources are:
    The camera and/or your film developing process.

    If the camera is creating the scratches you should be able to take the scratched film, compare it to the film transport path and locate the region(s) of the camera that are most likely to be the scratch source.

    Film rollers, film guides and the edges of the 6x9 rectangular focal plane opening are likely spots to look. Use a 5x to 10 x magnifying glass for your inspection. Metal slivers, burrs, any abrasive contamination on these surfaces could cause emulsion scratches.

    Hope this helps.
    Tom Hoskinson
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by UKJohn
    I believe that the scratches are on the emulsion side. Why I think this to be the case is that I once read when this problem first occured (I can't remember where) is that scratches on the emulsion side result in black lines on the print, whilst scratches on the base appear as white lines. Like I said I have this running around in my head but can't recall where I read it...on prints they appear as black lines.
    While a light scratch on either side of the film will show as white in the print, especially with a condenser enlarger, only a scratch completely through the emulsion should print black. Such a deep scratch should be conspicuous on the negative. Perhaps there are tiny embedded particles or burrs anywhere between the two film spools in the path of the scratches. Excessive tension on the supply spool or excessive pressure plate pressure could contribute to such a problem. Either way, excessive pressure should be noticable when advancing the film.

  6. #6

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    Jim/Tom your comments are much appreciated.

    I will take another look inside the camera under a magnifying glass, but I have had it cleaned and serviced at a pro repair place so I was praying that they could resolve the problem.

    There appears to be no problem with excessive resistance when winding on the film but I will check this out also.

    Also I don't get any scratches from film put through my Bronica SQA so I think developing problems or loading on the spiral can be eliminated - but again I will take extra care just in case.

    Cheers

    John

  7. #7
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    Do you see the scratches on the negatives before you try to print them?

    If not, have you checked your negative carrier on your enlarger (which I assume is different from the one you use for shots from your Bronica)?

    Is there any other difference in the way you handle the films from this camera, as compared to the Bronica?

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing
    Do you see the scratches on the negatives before you try to print them?

    If not, have you checked your negative carrier on your enlarger (which I assume is different from the one you use for shots from your Bronica)?

    Is there any other difference in the way you handle the films from this camera, as compared to the Bronica?
    Hi Matt,

    As far as I know I don't handle the film from the Fujica any different from the Bronica, also the last two films have been viewed under a loupe on a light box as they were specifically exposed to confirm the presence (or more hopefully lack) of scratches. Neither as yet have been near neg carrier.

    I know exactly where to look on the negs once processed so locating the scratches. From previous negs printed the scratches are pretty obvious at sizes like 9" x 6", especially if they are in an area of plain or continuous tone.

    Cheers

    John

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by UKJohn
    Jim/Tom your comments are much appreciated.

    I will take another look inside the camera under a magnifying glass, but I have had it cleaned and serviced at a pro repair place so I was praying that they could resolve the problem.

    There appears to be no problem with excessive resistance when winding on the film but I will check this out also.

    Also I don't get any scratches from film put through my Bronica SQA so I think developing problems or loading on the spiral can be eliminated - but again I will take extra care just in case.

    Cheers

    John
    John, you wrote: I have had it cleaned and serviced at a pro repair place...

    Since the film is still getting scratched, it seems that the pro repair place was not able to isolate and correct the root cause of the problem - this could indicate that the camera is not causing the scratches - did the repair shop run a test roll of film through the camera and inspect it afterwards for scratches?

    A possible source of scratches is the post development handling of the film - do you use a squeegee (or your fingers ) to wipe the film after washing?

    Have you checked your processing solutions (including your water) for the presence of hard particles? (filtering should answer this question).
    Tom Hoskinson
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  10. #10

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    John - how frustrating, I feel for you! If the marks are obvious on the film itself (i.e.: easily visible to the naked eye) and it was my camera I think I would sacrifice another roll by unwinding it and examining the film surface, then rewinding the film and putting it through the camera. then I'd take the film out and unwind it again (no processing stage) to look for any new marks on it - that would indicate whether the marks are being caused by the camera.

    Regards,
    Neil.

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