Some vertical black smudges.

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
British Jonathan
British Jonathan Regular Member • Posts: 157
Some vertical black smudges.

Just got two rolls back, and they both have this intermittent black area on the side of *some* of the images. Some of the landscape orientation images have it, and none of the portrait orientation images have it. Any ideas? I'm using a Minolta SRT SC ii. Previous three rolls did not have this issue.

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Overrank Senior Member • Posts: 2,475
Re: Some vertical black smudges.
1

British Jonathan wrote:

Just got two rolls back, and they both have this intermittent black area on the side of *some* of the images. Some of the landscape orientation images have it, and none of the portrait orientation images have it. Any ideas? I'm using a Minolta SRT SC ii. Previous three rolls did not have this issue.

Does it have a horizontal travelling shutter ? It could be some timing issue between the two shutter curtains - see https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4544482#forum-post-64712450

British Jonathan
OP British Jonathan Regular Member • Posts: 157
Re: Some vertical black smudges.

Okay so having done further digging, one of my 58 1.4s has sticky aperture blades that don't close as far or as quickly as they ought to. Could that be it?

Edit: although there's no issue when I use that lens adapted on my A7iii. Hmm

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British Jonathan
OP British Jonathan Regular Member • Posts: 157
Re: Some vertical black smudges.

Okay. My suspect lens is on the A7iii here, my good copy of the same lens is loose. Both are stopped down to f/16, which is clearly not the same between them. I hope this is the problem because that's nice and easy to solve

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celestialemissary
celestialemissary Contributing Member • Posts: 793
Re: Some vertical black smudges.
4

British Jonathan wrote:

Okay. My suspect lens is on the A7iii here, my good copy of the same lens is loose. Both are stopped down to f/16, which is clearly not the same between them. I hope this is the problem because that's nice and easy to solve

I don't think it is
Lens can't block half of your frame

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British Jonathan
OP British Jonathan Regular Member • Posts: 157
Re: Some vertical black smudges.

You're right, I just found a shot with a different lens that has the block. But why are the portrait shots fine? Why not every frame? Odd

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Overrank Senior Member • Posts: 2,475
Re: Some vertical black smudges.

British Jonathan wrote:

Okay. My suspect lens is on the A7iii here, my good copy of the same lens is loose. Both are stopped down to f/16, which is clearly not the same between them. I hope this is the problem because that's nice and easy to solve

I don’t think that would cause the banding. Have a look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Focal-plane_shutter#Two-curtain_shutters

Its possible that there is some timing issue between the two shutter curtains.  Do you get the same issue with shots with openings longer than 1/30s (say) and less than (1/30s) ?

British Jonathan
OP British Jonathan Regular Member • Posts: 157
Re: Some vertical black smudges.
2

Overrank wrote:

I don’t think that would cause the banding. Have a look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Focal-plane_shutter#Two-curtain_shutters

Its possible that there is some timing issue between the two shutter curtains. Do you get the same issue with shots with openings longer than 1/30s (say) and less than (1/30s) ?

Could be. Any way to check that without shooting a whole roll on different shutter speeds and logging it?

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Gesture Veteran Member • Posts: 8,513
Re: Some vertical black smudges.

You may be ale to get some sense of it by just opening the back of the camera and going through the full range of shutter speeds as you suggested.

sybersitizen Forum Pro • Posts: 20,390
Re: Some vertical black smudges.
3

British Jonathan wrote:

... I just found a shot with a different lens that has the block. But why are the portrait shots fine? Why not every frame?

SRT models have horizontally moving cloth shutters, and yours is malfunctioning, possibly in an inconsistent or intermittent way.

Any way to check that without shooting a whole roll on different shutter speeds and logging it?

The only reliable way is to check it with film. The first thing to establish is at what shutter speeds it acts up. Do you know what speeds were used for every shot you've taken so far?

British Jonathan
OP British Jonathan Regular Member • Posts: 157
Re: Some vertical black smudges.

sybersitizen wrote:

The only reliable way is to check it with film. The first thing to establish is at what shutter speeds it acts up. Do you know what speeds were used for every shot you've taken so far?

I wish I did. Unless film has some exposure data imprinting that I'm unaware of.

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sybersitizen Forum Pro • Posts: 20,390
Re: Some vertical black smudges.

British Jonathan wrote:

sybersitizen wrote:

The only reliable way is to check it with film. The first thing to establish is at what shutter speeds it acts up. Do you know what speeds were used for every shot you've taken so far?

I wish I did. Unless film has some exposure data imprinting that I'm unaware of.

There might be some film cameras that can do that, but Minolta SRTs are definitely not among them. Film shooters generally have to keep notes if they want to analyze stuff.

Barry Twycross Veteran Member • Posts: 4,436
Re: Some vertical black smudges.
1

Looks like a sticky shutter to me. Though if I'm remembering right, the SRT shutter goes the other way (from right to left). If the first curtain goes across (left to right) and gets stuck before it gets all the way across, and then the second curtain catches up and pushes the first curtain shut. That would give dark left ends.

Exercising the shutter can help. You can also check by looking, or taking a slow-mo video with your smart phone.

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Overrank Senior Member • Posts: 2,475
Re: Some vertical black smudges.
2

British Jonathan wrote:

Overrank wrote:

I don’t think that would cause the banding. Have a look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Focal-plane_shutter#Two-curtain_shutters

Its possible that there is some timing issue between the two shutter curtains. Do you get the same issue with shots with openings longer than 1/30s (say) and less than (1/30s) ?

Could be. Any way to check that without shooting a whole roll on different shutter speeds and logging it?

As has been mentioned a video using a phone might work for slower settings. Also as has also been mentioned exercising the shutter (firing it lots with no film in) can help. The reason to see if it’s different at different speeds is that the curtains operate differently at different shutter speeds. Unfortunately shooting another roll of film would only help diagnose the problem, it wouldn’t fix it.

Setting the shutter correctly is a part of a standard CLA (clean - lubricate - adjust) which would be the best way of getting it fixed if it does turn out to be broken. You would then have a camera that would run smoothly for years

British Jonathan
OP British Jonathan Regular Member • Posts: 157
Re: Some vertical black smudges.

Thanks for the advice guys. I'm definitely not competent at camera repair so a CLA is probably the best route. Who are we trusting these days?

Edit: I'm in Pennsylvania near Philly if anyone has experience in that area.

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tassienick Senior Member • Posts: 1,517
Re: Some vertical black smudges.
1

British Jonathan wrote:

Just got two rolls back, and they both have this intermittent black area on the side of *some* of the images. Some of the landscape orientation images have it, and none of the portrait orientation images have it. Any ideas? I'm using a Minolta SRT SC ii. Previous three rolls did not have this issue.

Definitely shutter capping/sticky shutter*. Common on old horizontal focal plane shutters, looks exactly like this and usually shows up at faster speeds (1/500" and 1/1000").

Usually the result of old, gunked up lubricants and easily fixed by any competent technician as part of a standard service.

*Absolutely nothing to do with the lens. If your aperture blades are sticking, you will likely get an over-exposed negative as the aperture won't stop down to the required setting quick enough. The over-exposure will be equal across the whole frame.

Overrank Senior Member • Posts: 2,475
Re: Some vertical black smudges.

British Jonathan wrote:

Thanks for the advice guys. I'm definitely not competent at camera repair so a CLA is probably the best route. Who are we trusting these days?

Edit: I'm in Pennsylvania near Philly if anyone has experience in that area.

I don’t know about the US as I live in the U.K., but you might find the following lists of camera repairers useful as a starting point

35mmc - https://www.35mmc.com/17/07/2016/specialist-film-camera-repair-modification-companies/

Reddit - https://www.reddit.com/r/analog/wiki/repairs

Tom Axford Veteran Member • Posts: 8,058
Re: Some vertical black smudges.

British Jonathan wrote:

sybersitizen wrote:

The only reliable way is to check it with film. The first thing to establish is at what shutter speeds it acts up. Do you know what speeds were used for every shot you've taken so far?

I wish I did. Unless film has some exposure data imprinting that I'm unaware of.

If you are serious about film photography, get yourself a small notebook to carry in your camera bag or pocket and note down the basic details of every shot you take.  I always did that when I was using film regularly.  It is invaluable when it comes to diagnosing problems.  It is also useful to have notes on where and when shots were taken.

tassienick Senior Member • Posts: 1,517
Re: Some vertical black smudges.
1

Tom Axford wrote:

British Jonathan wrote:

sybersitizen wrote:

The only reliable way is to check it with film. The first thing to establish is at what shutter speeds it acts up. Do you know what speeds were used for every shot you've taken so far?

I wish I did. Unless film has some exposure data imprinting that I'm unaware of.

If you are serious about film photography, get yourself a small notebook to carry in your camera bag or pocket and note down the basic details of every shot you take. I always did that when I was using film regularly. It is invaluable when it comes to diagnosing problems. It is also useful to have notes on where and when shots were taken.

Worth pointing out that there’s a lot of good apps available now to record shooting details (assuming you usually carry your phone)

Barry Twycross Veteran Member • Posts: 4,436
Re: Some vertical black smudges.
1

tassienick wrote:

Tom Axford wrote:

British Jonathan wrote:

sybersitizen wrote:

The only reliable way is to check it with film. The first thing to establish is at what shutter speeds it acts up. Do you know what speeds were used for every shot you've taken so far?

I wish I did. Unless film has some exposure data imprinting that I'm unaware of.

If you are serious about film photography, get yourself a small notebook to carry in your camera bag or pocket and note down the basic details of every shot you take. I always did that when I was using film regularly. It is invaluable when it comes to diagnosing problems. It is also useful to have notes on where and when shots were taken.

Worth pointing out that there’s a lot of good apps available now to record shooting details (assuming you usually carry your phone)

Or take a picture of the camera (with your smartphone) with the settings visible, with the scene you're taking a photo of in the background. Gets you settings, date/time, and location, with one click.

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