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06-22-2011, 12:52 PM   #1
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Is it the camera or the lens cuasing this?

Hello all,

I just got a batch of film back from the lab and many of the photos, half of the frame is blacked out. what causes this? is it something inside the camera? light leaking through a bad seal or foam pad or something? Please help, I've lost some great pictures and wasted a lot of money on film and processing with this issue. I thought I had some examples uploaded, but I don't. I can add some when I get home. Thanks for any ideas.

06-22-2011, 01:06 PM   #2
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Negatives like that or just prints?
Post camera type also.
06-22-2011, 01:11 PM   #3
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It's a Pentax K1000, I was using two lenses interchangeably, both 50mm, one f/1.2, the other f/1.7. The problem occurred on the transparency film, not just the prints (I was shooting Provia 100F slide film). Thanks!
06-22-2011, 01:23 PM   #4
erf
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I've had that on an MX with a slightly sticky mirror.

06-22-2011, 01:24 PM   #5
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Were you using the flash? It definitely sounds like a shutter curtain issue - sometimes that is flash related (if it isn't syncing up properly). Otherwise more likely a broken/sticky shutter?
06-22-2011, 01:37 PM   #6
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Must be a sticky shutter, as I was not using a flash. My K1000 is one of the older metal body ones, so I wouldn't be surprised if it has some age-related issues. I imagine it would be worth my while to take it in and have it cleaned/oiled/serviced or whatever it is they do to old cameras?
06-22-2011, 01:45 PM   #7
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Were you using a flash with the frames that are bad? If so you probably have the shutter sync set too high. Not sure what model camera you have but the top sync speed is usually marked in orange and an "x" on the shutter speed dial. You need to set it to that number or below when using flash.

.
06-22-2011, 01:47 PM - 1 Like   #8
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The K1000 is very similar to the Spotmatic internally. Specifically, both have a horizontal rubberized fabric focal plane shutter. The mechanism that drives the shutter (actually shutters, plural) is pretty much the same in both cameras.

A long time ago, with my Spotmatic, I had a similar problem. It turned out that the leading curtain was slowing down near the end of its travel, allowing the trailing curtain to catch up. The effect was that the trailing curtan caught up to the leading curtain and overlapped it, cutting off the light reaching the film. The solution was a CLA to re-adjust the leading shutter, so it completed its travel normally.

Which side of the pictures are blacked out? Since the shutter travels from left to right, the unexposed portion of the negative will be the right side, as the negative is positioned in the camera. In the resulting print or transparency, the unexposed portion is on the left.

In my case, the portion of the frame that was blacked out was related to the shutter speed. At higher speeds, more of the frame was unexposed. At 1/1000 second, only about 1/8 to 1/4 inch of the negative was actually exposed.

IIRC, on my camera, it only happened with the high-speed shutter train. Both the K1000 and the Spotmatic have a high-speed and low-speed shutter train, the mechanism that operates the shutter. The high-speed train takes over at 1/60 second and above. At 1/30 and below, the low-speed train is in control.

Try running a test roll through the camera, exposing each frame at different shutter speeds, starting at 1 second up to 1/1000. I'll bet that, until you reach 1/60, the frames are okay. Beginning at 1/60, or maybe 1/125, you will begin to see the frames being cut off, until, at 1/1000, most of the frame is unexposed.

You may even be able to see the effect by opening the back, holding the camera up to a bright light and trying different shutter speeds.

06-22-2011, 02:23 PM   #9
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It may be the shutter, but it could be the auto film advance, possibly due to imporper loading. I had that happen a couple of times years ago.
06-22-2011, 03:27 PM   #10
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That's a good point actually. Is the unexposed part on the left or right (shutter curtain problem) or at the bottom (sticky mirror)?
06-22-2011, 03:35 PM   #11
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From what I can tell, it is the left side of the print (so right side of the film inside the cam, as noblepa mentioned), so what noblepa says sounds about like what my problem is. I think I will try to find somebody in Denver to service this thing for me if it's affordable, and I'll run a test roll after that to see if the problem persists. My camera doesn't have auto anything, so I'm sure it's not auto advance, and I know my film was properly loaded. Thanks so much for all of the tips/advice/info, this forum is awesome!

Last edited by pentaxk1000denver; 06-22-2011 at 07:41 PM.
06-22-2011, 07:34 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxk1000denver Quote
Must be a sticky shutter, as I was not using a flash. My K1000 is one of the older metal body ones, so I wouldn't be surprised if it has some age-related issues. I imagine it would be worth my while to take it in and have it cleaned/oiled/serviced or whatever it is they do to old cameras?
I gave noblepa some reputation points for describing the likeliest problems. I generally consider cameras to have way too many tiny parts to service yourself. Unless you know different, it's safer to assume that it has never been serviced.

A lot of people send their cameras here: Home. There ought to be something in Denver too.
06-22-2011, 09:37 PM   #13
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noblepa is on the right track. Another possibility is to opposite of the curtain slowing down. It's called "curtain bounce", it's the inability of the first curtain brake lever to stop the curtain from bouncing back in front of the film plane thereby causing a partially blacked out frame. My spotmatic suffers from a mild case of this, but only at 1000th of a second, all other speeds are ok. A competent repair shop should be able to fix this with no problem. You can always email Erik at pentaxs.com, he should be able to give you an estimate and he has an excellent reputation.
06-23-2011, 12:47 PM   #14
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View with back open, trip shutter at 1/30 and 1/60.

You can see the effect of the two curtains at 1/4, click, snap, slap
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