35mm film issues WITH MY STUDENT'S CAMERA - NEED HELP ASAP, PLEASE!

This is a discussion on 35mm film issues WITH MY STUDENT'S CAMERA - NEED HELP ASAP, PLEASE! within the Film Photography Equipment forums, part of the FILM PHOTOGRAPHY FORUM category; Hi there! I'm hoping this forum isn't neglected in the digital era, so here goes nothing. I'm a film photo instructor for a local college ...


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  1. #1
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    Question 35mm film issues WITH MY STUDENT'S CAMERA - NEED HELP ASAP, PLEASE!

    Hi there! I'm hoping this forum isn't neglected in the digital era, so here goes nothing.

    I'm a film photo instructor for a local college and a student has brought & stumped me with a camera / film problem. Her camera doesn't always seem to record her images to her film fully and it's as though her shutter is having issues, such as not opening fully. It is not consistent on which frames are affected or to what degree. I've tried a Google search with no luck as I'm even stuck with how to describe the issues for search purposes. I've inspected her camera without film to see if I could observe any shutter sticking or whatever with no such luck. I'm officially stuck as I've not seen this happen before.

    I've attached pics from my phone on a light table to help illustrate the problem and I apologize for the green streaks from the light table. Any help is greatly appreciated!



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  • #2
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    What kind of camera is it (vertical blade, or horizontal curtain)?
    Visit my website: John's Photography Comments and critique always appreciated.

  • #3
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    It's a Minolta X-700. The curtain opens from right to left if I remember correctly. I tried multiple speeds and many open-back clicks to watch it and each time it was seamless. Something I just wondered...is it possible for the film to be touching it and adding some friction to the curtain, inhibiting its fluidity of functioning?

    Thanks!

  • #4
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    There generally is a plate on the camera back, that push's against the back side of 35mm film to hold it flat during exposure. I'm wondering if something has happened to cause this plate to be misaligned causing pressure that would push the emulsion side of the film inward so to speak and bind the shutter. That would explain why there are no apparant issues when viewing shutter action with the back open. Sacrifice a roll of film by loading and shooting, then undeveloped, pull the film out of the canister and look for scratches in the emulsion.
    Does anyone know of photography forum's that people Actually reply/comment to postings???

  • #5
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    After another examination of the camera, I couldn't see anything potentially pushing on the film to inhibit the speed of the shutter. Also, there are no scratches on either side of the film. The only other thing I thought MAY be a possibility is the diaphragm control lever (behind the lens near the bottom of the camera body). To me it seems a bit slow when the shutter opens with a much quicker closing, but it could be related to the inherent tension of the lever. I know it is not related to a flash-sync speed problem because they were taken without flash in bright daylight. Any other thoughts?

    Thanks!

  • #6
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    This is most definitely a shutter issue; for some reason, the shutter is not opening fully, and it's very hard to diagnose potential causes without having the camera in hand. When you say you've watched it and it's flawless, what do you mean? I would try setting the camera to 'bulb' (B), and trying a few hundred shutter releases and seeing if the shutter perhaps doesn't always open fully. With respect to the negatives above, can you tie the amount of exposed film to a particular shutter speed (eg, the higher the shutter speed, the less exposure?).

    The good news is that even the camera is totally hosed a replacement can be had for very little money off of eBay, or a local sale.
    Visit my website: John's Photography Comments and critique always appreciated.

  • #7
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    My student took her camera to a shop and they said the shutter was lagging only on 1/1000. The other shutters seem to be fine. She can make this work for the 6 weeks of the semester we have left. Thanks!


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