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11-20-2014, 10:37 PM   #1
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(Pentax MX) Is this a developing error or camera malfunction?

Hello there. Today I developed my latest roll (tmx 400 pushed 1 stop) and this came out...



I had ZERO issues while shooting this roll, I only had a locked mirror issue in the last few frames, here is the picture





But the rest of roll is like the first picture. You can't notice in the picture, but behind that 'dirtiness' it's clear the roll has been 'properly' exposed because I can barely see the images I have taken, and the frames all separated as normally.
I was told that this could be caused by using tap water to rinse the roll after the fixer, but to be honest, I have been using the same water in my previous rolls and I have never had an issue like this before.
I did a good developing process because I can perfectly read KODAK TMAX 400 in the perfs area (and also means the roll couldn't get light leaks, right?)

After I was told about the tap water, another person said it could be a shutter issue, it might leak light from there (not fully closing, I guess).

Have someone seen this before? I really don't know what it is, and since taking the camera to the service shop is expensive where I live, I want to have an idea of what the issue may be before taking it there.

Thanks in advance.

11-21-2014, 07:15 AM   #2
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That is very very weird!
Never seen that before

Seems like a light leak during rewind of the roll
11-21-2014, 10:08 AM   #3
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I did this an hour ago. The camera seems to be working fine. I can't figure out what the issue could be =/

11-21-2014, 12:27 PM   #4
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Interesting dilemma. I did observe in your clip that your shutter curtains seem to have some stripes or wavy lines in them. If they are no longer completely light proof, that would be a problem. Other than that, the only thing I can think of is that something wet got wiped on a good portion of the film as it was being loaded in the developing reel. Could the "velvet" lips on the cassette have been contaminated?

I hope you find the issue before any more latent images are lost.

11-21-2014, 02:32 PM   #5
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Those curtains definitely look strange, but even stranger is the lack of any semblance of frame lines. The pattern on the film is the same as on the curtains. The clear sprocket area rules out cassette light leaks. Diagnosis:
  • Shutter never opened for the photo at top or if it opened, on a small slit
  • Curtains are not made of light-tight material
  • Mirror up failure indicates serious fault in mirror/shutter/film transport sequence
The shutter mechanism in your MX should be serviceable but be prepared to replace both curtains and other parts as needed.


Steve

---------- Post added 11-21-14 at 01:34 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by agusbmxarg Quote
The camera seems to be working fine.
Camera is not working fine. The mirror should raise before the first curtain moves. There is a mechanical interlock to prevent this.


Steve
11-21-2014, 06:10 PM   #6
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I just came from my lab. I developed the roll I exposed after the failed one, and this one turned out PERFECT.

I mean, how could the camera be the problem then?
And about the rolls, both where tmx400 from the same bulk....

strange.

---------- Post added 11-21-14 at 10:13 PM ----------

@Steve, thanks for the extended reply.

I do comprehend the youre diagnosis, but, since only one roll out of, lets say, 50 (I know I've taken atleast 50 rolls with this MX body), only roll got messed up, and the one right after the failed roll turned out great! What then?
11-21-2014, 06:32 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by agusbmxarg Quote
What then?
Not your film?


Steve
11-21-2014, 06:40 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Not your film?


Steve
So far I exposed 6 tmax400 36exp. rolls I made from a 30ft bulk. 1 out of 6 went bad, and it was inbetween the other rolls...



11-21-2014, 09:39 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by agusbmxarg Quote
So far I exposed 6 tmax400 36exp. rolls I made from a 30ft bulk. 1 out of 6 went bad, and it was inbetween the other rolls...

Whatever happened to that roll happened "in-camera" and it did not affect the sprocket area. Is there any possibility that the shutter was open when you rewound the film?


Steve
11-21-2014, 10:03 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Whatever happened to that roll happened "in-camera" and it did not affect the sprocket area. Is there any possibility that the shutter was open when you rewound the film?


Steve
Well, now that you say that, I think you nailed it. Because the last 3 frames I got half-way thru curtains, as seen on the second picture, maybe the shutter stood that way while rewinding! I did rewind in the outdoors during the afternoon.
11-24-2014, 07:40 AM   #11
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That would fit. I have a similar problem with one of my Bronica lenses. It seems to be opening the shutter before the camera has lowered the mirror when wound on (the ETR uses leaf shutter lenses and doesn't have an instant return mirror, when you wind on the mirror is lowered to shield the film after which the shutter is supposed to re-open), as I get very similar results on negatives.

Of the two I'd far rather fix a sticking MX shutter than dismantle the Bronica lens! Try a dribble of lighter fluid in the mechanism, fire the shutter a few times, then when the fluid has evaporated put a tiny drop of light oil on each of the bearings that the shutter curtain drums turn in. That worked on a H2 and SV which had sticking and capping shutters respectively, and I think the MX is a derivative of the mechanism in these. Final check is to hold the camera up to a strong light source (a bright overcast sky is perfect) with the back open and lens removed, then look closely at the film side of the shutter as you fire it at various speeds. If you can see all the edges of the mirror box then it's probably ok, at least worth a film test.

That said, if you can afford to then get it sorted by a pro. I only know this because I'm in the habit of buying grotty old cameras from ebay and fixing them for fun.
11-24-2014, 03:26 PM   #12
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If you have 5/6 rolls that are fine, then it has to be something during processing

Did you use fresh fixer?
Dip a portion of the "dirty" roll in fresh fixer and see if ti improves
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