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04-11-2015, 03:44 AM   #1
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Pentax ME Super - Blank role of film

Hello everyone,

I have recently exposed a role of Fujicolor C200 and it came back blank. There were just a few image marks at the bottom of some photos.

The camera was serviced by Eric a few years ago and this is the first role of film I took after having it serviced. The mirror got stuck in upwards position a few times, but tapping the bottom plate with my hand unstuck it.

Do you guys have any idea why the film could have come out blank?

Regards,
Alex.

04-11-2015, 04:16 AM   #2
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What do you mean by "image marks"? Can you scan the negatives and show us? If the roll was completely blank perhaps it wasn't engaged on take up spool properly. Did it feel like the entire roll passed in to the canister when you were rewinding the film or did it seem like it disengaged too quickly. Normally you can hear or feel when the film disengages from the take up spool and sometimes when it goes fully into the canister.
04-11-2015, 10:38 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
What do you mean by "image marks"? Can you scan the negatives and show us? If the roll was completely blank perhaps it wasn't engaged on take up spool properly. Did it feel like the entire roll passed in to the canister when you were rewinding the film or did it seem like it disengaged too quickly. Normally you can hear or feel when the film disengages from the take up spool and sometimes when it goes fully into the canister.
I can't scan the images, because I don't have a scanner at the moment. If I were to describe them I would say that they are an incomplete exposure: the bottom part looks like it's properly exposed, for a few millimeters, followed by a complete clipping to white(transparent on the film roll). So, from a height of 24mm, 2-3mm are properly exposed, while the rest aren't.

The film was spooled properly, because when I wanted to rewind the film in the canister, I ended up breaking it (I forced the 24th exposure).
04-11-2015, 12:38 PM   #4
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Sounds like a shutter problem. You say you had it serviced but haven't used it since for several years? Unfortunately if the equipment sits around unused the lubricants can gum up. You might try dry firing it a number of times without film and maybe the lubricants will soften up.

04-12-2015, 01:20 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
Sounds like a shutter problem. You say you had it serviced but haven't used it since for several years? Unfortunately if the equipment sits around unused the lubricants can gum up. You might try dry firing it a number of times without film and maybe the lubricants will soften up.
I thought the same and before loading the film I cycled through 30-ish dry firings - including the high exposure times. The shutter seemed to be working fine. I don't think Eric would have sent back a non-functioning camera.

Can the film be the culprit? Or the mirror getting stuck in up position have an effect on the way the shutter works?
04-16-2015, 03:04 AM   #6
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Could this have happened because the film was passed too many times through airport security?
04-16-2015, 03:32 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ioszhka Quote
I thought the same and before loading the film I cycled through 30-ish dry firings - including the high exposure times. The shutter seemed to be working fine. I don't think Eric would have sent back a non-functioning camera.
You can easily determine whether shutter is failing or not. What you do is you go on manual with lens removed, and back opened. Hold the camera against a window or bright area and fire shutter at slow and fast speed - always look for an impression of frame being partially not lit - it will become obvious with some practice. This method is very a accurate in spotting any laziness of curtains or problems with frame being partially unexposed. It works at least up to 1/1000 is a sec. - confirmed and tested not only by me. It exploits a certain feature of human eye which can spot differences in brightness even for a very short period of time. I was able spot lazy curtain in my spotmatic at 1/1000s and confirm that it works fine at 1/500 s.

QuoteOriginally posted by ioszhka Quote
Can the film be the culprit? Or the mirror getting stuck in up position have an effect on the way the shutter works?
Could - see method earlier - it will rule that one out as well.

QuoteOriginally posted by ioszhka Quote
Could this have happened because the film was passed too many times through airport security?
Rather not - but have you considered the lab which developed the film? Perhaps something went wrong there ?
Or perhaps the film wasn't good to start with ? Old, expired films can act unexpectedly. And the new ones can be broken if subjected to heat or some other extremes - like moisture etc..
04-16-2015, 04:33 AM   #8
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Thank you very much for your suggestions. I will try to make use of them and I'll come back with a detailed reply.

The development lab could be a problem. I developed other films at them and the results were underwhelming, but I also put the blame on the films being very old. I kept using the same lab, because it has a really good reputation. Once I rule out the shutter effect, I should shoot a film and get it developed at a different lab.

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