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05-04-2011, 09:45 PM   #1
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ZX-5 Film Scratching

My Pentax ZX-5 has scratched film on and off for a while. Some rolls have the scratch while others don't. The scratches seem to be in the same area but I can't identify any burrs and I've used compressed air along the track with no luck. Any other ideas?

Last edited by aline; 05-04-2011 at 09:52 PM. Reason: Wrong model number
05-05-2011, 02:54 AM   #2
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Who is processing the film? Are you Sure it's the camera?

05-05-2011, 09:17 PM   #3
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I've had both good and scratched from a couple of mail-in services (shapfish & scrapbook pictures). It's been on and off for a few years actually. I guess I can't absolutely rule out developing, but it seems unlikely. Typical of a intermittent problem!
05-06-2011, 06:38 AM   #4
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Yep. Typical. The only way I could rule out developing is to process a roll myself without a machine handling the film. Cheapo places for instance, always leave a fine line right through the center of the film as it's dragged through the machine.

05-06-2011, 06:55 AM   #5
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Carefully examine the pressure plate on the film door for burrs or rough spots. You might also want to blow out the film compartment (gently) using a rocket blower or canned air. Depending on where you live/shoot, it is not unusual for fine sand and grit to migrate into the camera and foul your film.

05-06-2011, 07:27 AM   #6

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I had the same problem with the Pentax ZX-M. It always affected the same few frames in the same place on the roll. I had a hypothesis that it only affected less expensive rolls of film, since on the few occasions I used pricie film stock, the problem didn't occur. It is one (of many) reasons why I have no desire to ever shoot film again.
05-07-2011, 05:32 PM   #7
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The felt of the film canisters itself is often a prime suspect, too, by the way, especially depending how the lab may process the film, so be careful if you're pocketing rolls of it or getting grit involved there in any way: it's not as though a camera *can't* be responsible, but a lot more pressure is involved in processing, manufacturing, and that felt itself.
05-07-2011, 09:04 PM   #8
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All good points. I appreciate you each taking time to consider and make suggestions. I've got a few more things I can do now to get to the bottom of it. I'll eventually go to a digital SLR myself, but I'll always keep the film around, especially as I introduce younger folks to photography. Thanks!

05-07-2011, 09:56 PM   #9
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Another thing to try is cleaning the pressure plate with lens tissue and lens cleaner. I've had a couple of camera repair people say they wipe nylon stocking along the pressure plate to see if it snags on something.

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