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08-18-2009, 05:19 PM   #1
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My K1000 Is Scratching Film

Looks like the chrome film guide on the inside of the camera door above the film cassette well is doing a number on my film. In comparing the K1000 to my two ME Supers, it looks like the chrome piece is held on to the door by two rivets and the metal between the two rivets should lie flush with the door. This is the case on my ME Supers, but on my K1000 the metal between the two rivets is bowed up and away from the door. I'm thinking this sharp edge is scratching my film. It's not on every frame, but on several in the middle of the roll.

I'm thinking of trying to super-glue it down. The rivets seem to be holding firm. Any thoughts from the vets in the K1000 army about going the super-glue route or any other suggestion on how to get that piece to lie flush?

Camera is new to me as of the middle of June, bought from a radio tag sale for a paltry $50 with an M50 f2 lens. According to Ole's serial number spreadsheet it's from the 3rd build (Hong Kong) around 1983. Otherwise the camera's in remarkable shape and has delivered some stellar images. I've really enjoyed using it and would like to keep doing so.

Best to all,
Kevin


Last edited by KJon; 08-18-2009 at 05:21 PM. Reason: Change thread title
08-18-2009, 05:57 PM   #2
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Can you post a picture showing us exactly what you are talking about? The film guides should only contact the film at the edges and outside the image area.

Steve
08-18-2009, 06:12 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by KJon Quote
I'm thinking this sharp edge is scratching my film. It's not on every frame, but on several in the middle of the roll.
If something in the film chamber scratches the film, I imagine that all frames would be affected. The scratches would run as parallel lines from the beginning to the end of the roll.
08-18-2009, 08:26 PM   #4
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This is the most glaring example I've seen:



The scratching only seems to show up on my B&Ws. Previous colour rolls don't show any evidence of it. I attributed it to that guide letting go in the process of shooting this roll.

Thanks to Steve and SOldBear for the input. Hope the pic helps.

Best,
Kevin

Just re-read the thread and realized Steve is probably looking for a pic of the camera. Don't have one handy, but realized my description may be a little unclear. I'm referring to the guide mounted on the camera back; looking at the open back, the guide I'm referring to is to the right of the pressure plate. When closed, it would seem to serve to hold the film cassette in place.


Last edited by KJon; 08-18-2009 at 08:34 PM. Reason: Additional text to clarify description of problem
08-18-2009, 11:33 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by KJon Quote
The scratching only seems to show up on my B&Ws. Previous colour rolls don't show any evidence of it. I attributed it to that guide letting go in the process of shooting this roll.

Thanks to Steve and SOldBear for the input. Hope the pic helps.

Best,
Kevin

Just re-read the thread and realized Steve is probably looking for a pic of the camera. Don't have one handy, but realized my description may be a little unclear. I'm referring to the guide mounted on the camera back; looking at the open back, the guide I'm referring to is to the right of the pressure plate. When closed, it would seem to serve to hold the film cassette in place.
The guide you are mention should not contact the film.

A few more questions:
  • Who does your B&W film processing?
  • If you "roll your own" cassettes using a bulk loader, how old and what condition are your cassettes in?
  • Do you roll your film all the way into the cassette when done?
  • Is the inside of your camera clean?

The reason for the questions goes back to the good old days when I did a lot of B&W and processed my own film. I would get scratches when:
  • I had a dirty sponge/squeegee for removing excess water when hanging to dry
  • I inserted the film into sleeves while the emulsion was still damp
  • My self-loaded cassettes had contaminated felts and I was loading the film reels through the bad felts. (Potential scratches going out, going in, and going out again.)
  • Abrasive dust got onto the pressure plate
Now days, one might also look at the film path if using a dedicated film scanner. This might be an issue with your processing lab.

Steve
08-19-2009, 02:56 AM   #6
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Aye, as Steve said: if you're not DIY processing, and it's only on BW films, five'll get you ten that it's the rollers on the machines they're using (unless you're shooting C41 BW films.) Different films, different chems, different machines.

Old fishing tackle trick: if you think the scratch is caused by a nick or burr in the film transport in your camera, run a cotton bud (Q-tip, I think you Yanks call 'em) all over the places where film touches the chamber. Any burr or nick'll catch on and pull fibres off the bud. Be sure to clean up an errant fibres in the camera after you do this, though.
08-19-2009, 04:34 AM   #7
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Sounds like the consensus seems to be that it's not the K1000 (Good news!) To answer a few questions: I'm not rolling my own bulk film and I send my B&W out to a pro lab. They've done really nice things with my colour film, and up 'til this roll, a good job on my B&Ws as well. Being a film noob (hope I lose that excuse in short order <g>) my inclination is to blame myself or my gear for errors first. It did bother me that I hadn't seen this kind of damage on any of my other pics generated from the K1000 - seemed a little inconsistant with the solution I thought I'd found. You're right, SOldBear; if it's the camera, if it's on one pic, it should be on them all.

Steve, thanks for laying out all the steps in the workflow where there can be potential problems. As a kid I developed some (small) B&W prints, but I'm getting inspired by the forum to try DIY negatives here at home. With more control over the entire process, you've got no one to blame for errors but yoruself.

That being said, I'm going to take Lithos up on the Q-tip idea later this afternoon. Barring any findings, I'll run a colour roll through the K1000, have it processed at the same lab, and see what I get. If it comes back clean, I may want to have a chat with the guy doing my B&Ws :-)

Thanks to all for your interest and time in trying to find a solution to my problem. After I've been through a colour roll I'll post back.

Best,
Kevin
08-25-2009, 10:17 AM   #8
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I just did the high-tech CSI method for checking the scratch on the above image by scrolling this page upward to compare the scratch with the top of my monitor screen. It's not parallel with the travel of the film so I doubt the camera is at fault.

I've had problems with folks in labs scratching my film and it came down to who was doing what during a particular day. An experienced lab operator once told me it's common for the rollers on the film cutters to scratch film although the above scratch would seem to point to problems while someone was working the film by hand.

09-11-2009, 05:53 PM   #9
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Sorry about the delay in getting back to this thread. I finally made it through a roll of Kodak Ultramax 400 with the K1000. Had it processed at another lab and, wonder of wonders, no scratches on any of the frames .





Positioning on the roll is irrelevant; beginning, middle, or end - no difference.

Looks like I'm going to have to blame the original lab's handling of my B&Ws for the scratching. Really disappointed as I liked them personally. In describing my woes to other lab techs and photographers, it sounds like I'm not the first to run into these kinds of problems with this lab

Anyhoo, thanks to all for your comments. I now know what to look for in terms of issues with the camera as opposed to problems with the lab.

Best to all,
Kevin
09-13-2009, 03:56 PM   #10
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That's good news. A long-time lab owner told me once there was a product darkroom techs used that filled the scratches on negatives so they were not so luminous when enlarged for prints. No idea of the product name but maybe someone on this forum recalls. I also had a person recommend trying Photoflo on the negative when enlarging to reduce the effect of scratches. Then again, processing the scans from your scratched film is easy.
09-13-2009, 06:02 PM   #11
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B Grace, meant to comment on your previous post about the CSI approved scratch check method; clever guy you are. I'll remember that trick for next time along with Lithos' Q tip test for glitches in the film path.

Had mentioned my B&W woes to a photography prof I ran into and he mentioned the same scratch-filler, although he didn't offer a brand name to go with. I think the upshot is to deal with the scratches on the scans - clone stamp is waaaaay easier to deal with.

Thanks to all for the help. Really glad there's nothing up with the K1000. I've only had it since June and I've already grown quite fond of it .

Best,
Kevin
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