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07-24-2015, 08:37 AM   #1
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Something wrong with shutter curtains?

I saw this black bar on the left when I scanned the negative. It is also present on the negative itself.
Could this be due to faulty shutter curtains or something? I didn't notice anything like this on other photos on this roll or previous rolls.
Camera is a K1000, film is Fuji superia 400.

Thanks in advance for the help!

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07-24-2015, 08:58 AM   #2
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Looks very much like what is known as "shutter capping", when one of the blinds is travelling at the wrong speed. Usually a sign that the shutter needs cleaning and lubricating. This normally only shows up at the fastest shutter speeds. To check the camera, remove the lens, open the camera back and look through from back to front while firing the shutter, preferably while pointing the camera at a window or brightly lit surface. Ideally you should see the complete frame opening, any curtain lag or overlap will show up just as you can see it in your photo above,
07-24-2015, 10:07 AM   #3
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Yes, this is shutter capping. In your case, the leading curtain is slowing and may even have stopped towards the end of its travel.


Steve
07-24-2015, 10:12 AM   #4
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Thanks for your replies. When I look through the back and press the shutter as suggested, I can see no lag or something - it opens and closes normally as far as I can see. Can this be a one time error or should I have it looked at?

07-24-2015, 12:55 PM   #5
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You should have it looked at. This can result from springs weakening over time or grease drying in the gear train. It will probably get worse.

BTW, it normally only happens with the high speed gear train; shutter speeds over 1/60. At 1/60 or below (on a K1000), the entire shutter is open at one time. Above that speed, the trailing curtain begins to close before the leading curtain has completed its travel. When the springs weaken or the dried grease slows the gear train, the trailing curtain catches up with the leading curtain.

I suggest that you get a roll of the cheapest film you can find and test every shutter speed. Put the camera on a tripod and shoot the same scene using every shutter speed from 1 second to 1/1000 second. It isn't even important that the frames all be properly exposed. That may be impossible, depending on the lighting conditions. It really isn't even necessary to have prints made. You can see the results on the negatives.

If you are experiencing shutter capping, you should see the bar appear at 1/125 and get progressively worse up to 1/1000. At 1/1000, you may only have 1/4 or less of the frame exposed.
07-24-2015, 01:07 PM   #6
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Thanks for the tip noblepa! I'll try after my vacation.
07-25-2015, 02:02 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote
I suggest that you get a roll of the cheapest film you can find and test every shutter speed. Put the camera on a tripod and shoot the same scene using every shutter speed from 1 second to 1/1000 second. It isn't even important that the frames all be properly exposed. That may be impossible, depending on the lighting conditions. It really isn't even necessary to have prints made. You can see the results on the negatives.
If you have a local shop that does camera repair, they will often test for free and give you a quote for the repair. IMHO, the evidence is present on the shot you posted. It does not matter what shutter speed was being used* or how often it happens. The shutter is in need of repair or adjustment for a problem that will not likely go away by itself.


Steve

* Both curtains are supposed travel at the same speed regardless of the set speed. What changes at the slower speeds is the contribution at that portion of the frame and whether or not the trailing curtain catches up before the leading curtain clears the frame. Capping is when the trailing curtain "caps" (catches up to) the leading curtain within the image frame. If the speeds are different, but short of actual "capping", or if it is the leading curtain that is running faster, the result is uneven exposure across the frame. In the photo posted, the leading curtain has slowed as it approaches the end of its travel and is capped just short of the edge.

Last edited by stevebrot; 07-25-2015 at 02:07 PM.
07-25-2015, 03:23 PM   #8
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Thanks Steve for the insightful comment. I don't know if there's a shop near me that does these kind of repairs, but I'll check. It's a bit unfortunate however, as I was planning to use the camera to shoot pictures on holiday. But I'll definitely have it looked at.

07-31-2015, 02:24 AM   #9
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If it's capping you should be able to see it looking from the back with the shutter at 1/1000. Look at the your monitor with a blank white page or something. Tilt the camera from left to right so you can see the edges of the frame. If you can't reproduce it, it might just be a one off occurance, a film chip in the wrong place or something.
07-31-2015, 04:40 AM   #10
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Shutter capping is the most common problem I find in collecting old cameras. Cleaning dried lubricants and re-lubing carefully solves it. Spring issues are very rare. (However some MX cameras used plastic gears to tension the shutter springs, and the plastic parts can fail and slip, loosening the springs. The ones with brass gears don't have issues.)

The TV shutter test - looking through the camera body at an analog (CRT) TV - lets you see the evenness of exposure.
07-31-2015, 11:55 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
The TV shutter test - looking through the camera body at an analog (CRT) TV - lets you see the evenness of exposure.
Thanks for mentioning this. I was going to bring it up, but forgot.


Steve
11-01-2015, 06:27 PM   #12
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I have this problem with a Spotmatic, at 1/1000th of a sec, it was about 50/50, the frame would lose about a third. I learnt this the hard way too as I had reskinned the leather when it came in from the mail, the CLA was going to be more than the camera so I'm trying my luck with another Spotmatic, I've yet to finish the first roll so my luck remains to be determined.



I just picked up a Pentax S1a the other day and wow, you can see looking through the camera at a light from the back with the film door open. You should be able to see an entire frame regardless of speed if the timing is unaffected. On that S1a, shutter speeds At the unmarked 1/1000th speed, 3 of 4 frames were totally dark, the remainder showed barely a sliver. At 1/500th, most of the test shots were half frames with the occassional 2/3rds of a frame showing through. Even the 1/250th speed had the occasional partial blockage.

I'm wondering if this is a horizontal shutter issue more so than a vertical one. :/

(guess I got some fancy book ends now)
11-01-2015, 07:32 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by FotoPete Quote
I'm wondering if this is a horizontal shutter issue more so than a vertical one. :/
It is more of an issue with traditional horizontal shutters. There are more points of adjustment and more aspects where adjustment can go wrong. These shutters can be serviced by the hobbyist, but the actual calibration requires instrumentation. Most competent service people will include minor shutter repair and calibration as part of the CLA. And yes, that CLA will likely cost more than you will have paid for a Spotmatic.


Steve
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