Dark stripes on negatives with a new MP
Old 11-05-2015   #1
borge
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Dark stripes on negatives with a new MP

I purchased a new Leica MP some time ago, and I've been seeing bright stripes on my scans frequently ever since. I assumed it was the scanner - dust on the glass or the sensor or something similar. Recently my wife started scanning her negatives however, and she has a Leica MP too, albeit a n older one. She did not get the same bright stripes in the scans as I do.

Our development process is the same. The same gear is used. A lot of our film are even developed together at the same time in the same tank, and for our color films the same lab has developed them. It happens with all the film I've tried: TX400, HP5+, Silvermax 100, Acros 100, Portra 400, Superia 200, Fuji Pro 400h, etc.

So I recently started to inspect my negatives, and to my surprise there is a dark stripe on them, that matches what I'm seeing in the scans. I've checked the back plate of the camera, and it's clean without any sharp edges as far as I can see or feel.

I've attached a few images that clearly shows the stripes on the negatives and how the scans looks.

Does anyone have any idea what this could be caused by?

Negative:




Scans:


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Old 11-05-2015   #2
sanmich
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If it happened only once, I would guess something in the processing went wrong.
I see that the line is apparent between frames too, and not very well defined. like a drag of chemical.
Maybe shoot a quick color test just to see if the camera is at fault?
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Old 11-05-2015   #3
borge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanmich View Post
If it happened only once, I would guess something in the processing went wrong.
I see that the line is apparent between frames too, and not very well defined. like a drag of chemical.
Maybe shoot a quick color test just to see if the camera is at fault?
It has happened on 20+ rolls of film that was made during the last 6 months or so... I assumed it was the scanner, until I compared the scans from my wife's MP which has zero issues like this. So it must be the camera.
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Old 11-06-2015   #4
Ken Davis
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Some years ago I had a similar problem with an M6TTL except the stripe was wider. It was bought new (one of the Titanium bodies) but the fault developed some months after purchase. My dealer & I had no idea what could be causing it but he returned the camera to Leica. It came back and has worked fine since but there was no explanation from Leica.
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Old 11-06-2015   #5
borge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Davis View Post
Some years ago I had a similar problem with an M6TTL except the stripe was wider. It was bought new (one of the Titanium bodies) but the fault developed some months after purchase. My dealer & I had no idea what could be causing it but he returned the camera to Leica. It came back and has worked fine since but there was no explanation from Leica.
Thanks. That sounds very similar to what's happened with my camera. Looking back at the first rolls that I put through it, I can't see the stripe as much. And I've used the camera since march 2015. The camera itself was manufactured in January 2015, so it should be "fresh". Oh well. I've sent the images/examples to Leica CS and waiting for a response...
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Old 11-06-2015   #6
mfogiel
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Perhaps it could be a hole in the shutter, or more likely something that prevents the curtains to become completely light tight in the middle. Can you check, if the negs are scratched, or is it just a differentiated exposure on the negative?
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Old 11-06-2015   #7
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I agree with mfogiel. A hole in the shutter
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Old 11-06-2015   #8
Larry H-L
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It could be a tiny pinhole in the shutter, but I'd expect the density of the line to be more variable, with more of a spot forming in one area.

Can you see or feel a scratch on either side of the film?

Do you bulk load film? Could be from your loader.

Also check for burrs near the film canister end of the camera, and near the take up spool.

Good luck in finding the problem.
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Old 11-06-2015   #9
borge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry H-L View Post
It could be a tiny pinhole in the shutter, but I'd expect the density of the line to be more variable, with more of a spot forming in one area.

Can you see or feel a scratch on either side of the film?

Do you bulk load film? Could be from your loader.

Also check for burrs near the film canister end of the camera, and near the take up spool.

Good luck in finding the problem.
Thanks. I don't bulk load film, and I've used many different types of film and it is visible on all of the negatives. So it's definitely the camera.
I'm gonna go out and finish my current roll of film tonight (TriX pushed to 3200) and then inspect the inside of the camera as much as I can. And if I can't find anything I'll have to send it in to Leica for warranty service.
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Old 11-06-2015   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borge View Post
Thanks. I don't bulk load film, and I've used many different types of film and it is visible on all of the negatives. So it's definitely the camera.
I'm gonna go out and finish my current roll of film tonight (TriX pushed to 3200) and then inspect the inside of the camera as much as I can. And if I can't find anything I'll have to send it in to Leica for warranty service.
Don't shoot all of the test roll. Stop shy of the end and then rewind. That way you can see where the line ends. The end point, relative to the last image, will cue you in to where the "evil" lies in the camera.

This "exposure" can be from light (pin hole, ...), but I doubt it as it is too uniform in width and density. I suspect a mechanical "exposure"; pressure can trigger the same chemical reaction as light. I've seen such flaws occur when a cassette' lip is damaged in hinged back cameras when the cassette rotates and the back presses the lip tightly in only one place. The exact same thing won't happen in a bottom loading Leica, but some other "nasty" in the camera might be pressing on the emulsion side and causing the line and it might not leave a visible scratch on the surface.
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Old 11-06-2015   #11
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Dwig makes a good point that the uniformity of the line suggests it might not be caused by a pinhole light leak (which was my thought over on LUF). I'm also a little suspicious that the line goes straight across the gap between frames. If this was caused by a pinhole this part of the line would presumably have to occur as the film is wound behind the shutter (when taking the photo, this part of the film is masked off) and I think it would be unlikely that the line in the gap would be so consistent with the line across each negative image. I don't know anything about Dwig's idea that it might be caused by a chemical reaction to pressure of some sort but it is an elegant theory that would at least explain the uniformity of the line.

If you can't see anything obvious when you have a look inside it would be worth running a test roll which combines normal photos with some that are taken with the lens cap on.
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Old 11-06-2015   #12
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I think it's a light leak of some kind, though the possibility of it being caused by something pressing on the film at that spot shouldn't be ruled out.

If you look at the neg strips, the intensity of the line changes from frame to frame. There is more density for the outdoor scene compared to the indoor scene. In the second photo of a neg strip, the defect does not continue through into the rebate area at the right edge of frame 30/30A. If it was caused by pressure, you'd think the amount of pressure on the film might be relatively consistent and would result in a consistent amount of fogging.

It would imply to me the exposure of the leak is dependent on ambient light brightness. That there isn't a really dark spot somewhere on the image implies to me it may not be a hole in the shutter curtain over the image area when the shutter is at rest, either before or after the film has been advanced. It could be a leak caused as the shutter is cocked and the film is advanced. Perhaps somewhere between both curtains as they're brought back to the ready position.

Might be worthwhile examining the shutter against a very bright light with the back open, obviously without film in the camera. Shoot it dry and slowly cock the shutter to see if anything shines through, like a pinhole or between the two curtains as they are brought back across. Try it from the back as well as the front. Since the line on the negatives is always in the same spot, you have a very specific area in the shutter mechanism on which to focus your attention. Given the very fine width of the line and that the intensity is not great, if it is a light leak, it might be a very small, difficult to see defect.
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Old 11-06-2015   #13
colyn
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I saw this once years ago in one of my M3's. On close examination I partly cocked the shutter till the shutter lathe's were about center of the frame and went into my darkroom. Shining a flashlight into the camera I saw a bit of light coming through between the lathe's.

Turns out there was a very small ball of something stuck to the closing curtain lathe. After careful cleaning the problem was fixed..
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Old 11-06-2015   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borge View Post
It has happened on 20+ rolls of film that was made during the last 6 months or so... I assumed it was the scanner, until I compared the scans from my wife's MP which has zero issues like this. So it must be the camera.
Ouch, that's painful to read...
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Old 11-06-2015   #15
borge
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Well, I've finished the roll of film and inspected the camera.
I used a LED flashlight to shine through the shutter curtain, and I couldn't see a pinhole of light anywhere. The pressure plate feels and looks completely even, and has no sharp edges. I couldn't see anything anywhere in the camera that would touch the film while it was passing through...

But I did notice these scratches / stripes on the rear of the shutter curtain itself when the shutter is cocked. I'm very surprised to see these (!) as I haven't touched the shutter curtain at all myself, and I bought the camera unused and brand new.

Incidently, the scratch/stripe on the shutter curtain matches where the line is on the film. Could this "scratch" or marking actually in some way let light through the shutter curtain at an unoticeble amount to the eyes, but still noticeble on the film?

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Old 11-06-2015   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borge View Post
Incidently, the scratch/stripe on the shutter curtain matches where the line is on the film. Could this "scratch" or marking actually in some way let light through the shutter curtain at an unoticeble amount to the eyes, but still noticeble on the film?
Go in a darkroom and shine the light through the front and examine the curtain carefully for a pinhole of light. You may have to use a magnifiying glass to see..
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Old 11-06-2015   #17
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Quote:
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Go in a darkroom and shine the light through the front and examine the curtain carefully for a pinhole of light. You may have to use a magnifiying glass to see..
I did that a second time. There is absolutely no light leak or pinhole to be seen. I've also cranked the shutter slowly to see if there is any leak... Of course, there might be a small light leak that I can't see.
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Old 11-06-2015   #18
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Well, there's been a new development. From my observation there is a slight deformation of the pillar where the ISO contacts are. I guess that can cause issues like these? There are no dirt or anything else that I can see.

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Old 11-06-2015   #19
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If that slight deformation is the cause, what will the cure be?
Your forensic step by step approach is getting there, lets hope Leica will sort this out for you - as 20 rolls of film with those streaks on each of them needs to be put to rest - in order to enjoy for the rest of time the Leica MP.

I have a Leica MP myself - so far nothing gone awry....
Good luck and thanks for posting, it is good to know these things

all the best,
John
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Old 11-06-2015   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borge View Post
Well, there's been a new development. From my observation there is a slight deformation of the pillar where the ISO contacts are. I guess that can cause issues like these? There are no dirt or anything else that I can see.
Not sure what to look for there, but the defect in the images is more in the middle of the frame, and not that far towards the edge.
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Old 11-06-2015   #21
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Sorry to read about your troubles with the MP, I hope Leica CS bends backwards to help you find an appropriate solution.
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Old 11-06-2015   #22
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sorry for your problems with a lovely camera. I am, however, very pleased for your healthy relationship as you both have an MP.
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Old 11-14-2015   #23
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I have been following the OP findings. Very systematic trouble shooting.

Seems like there is a little light leak through the scratch of the shutter curtain. Would the black stripes show up in low light / night time shooting conditions?

Maybe OP can put on the lens cap and remove it immediately before shooting a frame to see if the stripes disappear?

Or is it possible to point the loaded camera at a strong light source for some time and then cover up the lens, trip the shutter and wind to next frame. Maybe do this for a couple of frames and then develop the negatives. If the lines still show up, your shutter curtains may need to be replaced.
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Old 11-15-2015   #24
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Hi,

With pinholes the exposure time is the time the lens cap is off and the flawed blind in front of the film; so it varies. But I can't imagine a pin hole exposing so evenly and consistently and across the gap between frames.

So I'll wish you luck when Leica deal with it. It might be worthwhile to follow the repair or whatever with a phone call and some questions. You might be able to speak to the technician...

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