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Odd Nicca/Tower Issue
Old 07-07-2016   #1
css9450
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Odd Nicca/Tower Issue

I wonder what could have caused the uneven exposure on the attached photo? This was with my Nicca/Tower 45 camera and Canon 50mm/f1.8 LTM lens. Exposure was 1/500th between f11 and f16 (ASA 400 film). On a roll of 36 exposures, there were just two that looked strange like this one. The others were fine. Any ideas? Light leak? Something odd with the shutter curtains?

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Old 07-08-2016   #2
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I dont think it can be the shutter in any way since the shutter moves horizontal in this camera. I used to have the tower 45. The back door opens on that one. I think it flips up. Check to see how it is sealing. The negative would be upside down in the camera. Other then that maybe some sort of development error of stain.
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Old 07-08-2016   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgraphex View Post
...Other then that maybe some sort of development error of stain.
It is not a light leak. Light is light, duh, and a light leak will always be an area lighter than the image when viewing a positive. Light leaks only look dark on negatives.

The wavy shape doesn't look like any type of shutter error. It does look very much like a type of processing error that occurs when too little developer is used in a typical tank and reel setup. The upper part of the image was likely not covered by the developer except when the chemicals were sloshed that during agitation. The area would have less development and thus be less dense (clearer) making it render dark on the positive.
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Old 07-08-2016   #4
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On second thought, it must not be a model 45. Its a regular bottom loader. I don't know where I got the "45" name from. Ebay ad perhaps? Anyway, that rules out leaks from a rear door.

I'll look closely at the other pics. The ones I noticed discolored (or misprocessed) were frames 3 and 5 or thereabouts. Maybe the long trimmed Leica-style film leader looped around near the center of the developing reel and touched the film in the vicinity of these other frames. Interesting!
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Old 12-29-2016   #5
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If it's a processing issue, I would expect to see it not precisely line up with the edges of the images.

Were the affected shots the only ones taken at a high shutter speed, by any chance? If so, I would suspect some kind of protrusion on the top edge in a shutter curtain, restricting the slit width slightly. This would only become signicant at the highest speeds. It could be a bit of fraying, or some fluff adhering there.

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Old 12-29-2016   #6
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Was the film fixed in exhausted fixer by any chances?
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Old 12-31-2016   #7
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Quote:
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If it's a processing issue, I would expect to see it not precisely line up with the edges of the images.
...
A processing issue would "line up" with the edges of the images if the issue involved under development of some sort. Under development would affect the more heavily exposed areas (e.g. skies in the images, frame numbers and other edge markings, ...) but not affect the unexposed area (e.g. deep shadows, the black unexposed spaces between images, "clear" area around the sprocket holes, ...)
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Old 12-31-2016   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by css9450 View Post

Maybe the long trimmed Leica-style film leader looped around near the center of the developing reel and touched the film in the vicinity of these other frames. Interesting!
Don't you cut that leader off before you process? If not you should.
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Old 12-31-2016   #9
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The frames affected by this issue were 4, 7, and 10. I should mention that after trimming the leader long enough, and winding it onto the spool and shooting a few blanks, the first actual photo was Frame 5. So Frames 1, 2 and 3 were blank, Frame 4 was blank but was affected by this staining or light leak even though it was shot with the lens cap on. Frames 5 and 6 were perfect, Frame 7 was the one posted here at the top of the page, Frames 8 and 9 were perfect, and Frame 10 looked just like Frame 7 here. The stained or discolored areas look exactly the same on all three frames, and extend just a little into the blank areas between photos, but not into the next frame. The negatives just look like there's a dark shadow across those three frames (and a little beyond the edges) and its uniform on all three where it appears.

I should mention these are processed at my local full service lab. Its Ilford XP2, so it was done in the processing machine, which I assume means not loaded onto reels the old fashioned way?
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Old 12-31-2016   #10
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Come to think of it now I had a roll of B&W I processed came out looking similar one time. Have no idea what caused it but do know it wasn't a in camera issue. Hasn't happened since.
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Old 12-31-2016   #11
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Originally Posted by gb hill View Post
Come to think of it now I had a roll of B&W I processed came out looking similar one time. Have no idea what caused it but do know it wasn't a in camera issue. Hasn't happened since.
In my case, I'm suspecting its something with the machine that does the C-41 processing. The Nicca has performed very well before and since this suspect roll, so far so good.
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