Blank Negatives

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by loudogs, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. shot my first two rolls of BW film on two different cameras a mamiya/sekor 1000
    DTL and a Canon FTB and both were blank. Was the film not advacing? Thanks
    from a film newbie, Louie.
  2. I don't mean to be too basic here but I've heard of photographers who have never used a manual camera not knowing that you have to manually thread the film leader across to the take-up spool and manually advance the film so it winds around the take-up spool until it's tight and engaging the sprocket teeth of the advance mechanism. There should be a slot in the take-up spool into which you thread the film leader. I always advance the film with the back open until the sprocket holes on both the top and bottom are engaged. After closing the back, gently wind the rewind crank a partial turn (without pressing the release button) to tighten the film, stopping when you feel resistance. You then want to watch the rewind crank while you advance the film using the advance lever to make sure it turns as you advance the film. If it doesn't turn each time the advance lever is flipped, the film leader hasn't properly engaged the sprocket teeth and isn't advancing.

    This is unlike more automated cameras that only require that you drop in the film cartridge and close the back, letting the automatic film advance do the rest.

    The only other reason I can think of that would result in a blank roll would be if the shutter isn't opening at all, which is easy to check but unlikely to be the problem given that you've used two different cameras with the same result.
  3. That is the 1st thing to look, try another roll and look at the rewind knob, when you advance the film it should turn in the same direction with the advance lever, if it is you are on the right track, if not open the back to make sure you load the film the right way. Good luck and remember to use f16 rule when sunny and bright outdoor, wait to see your pictures. Minh
  4. Possibly.

    If the film was engaged properly on the take-up spool, you would have felt some tension
    as you rewound it. That resistance would have lessened considerably when the leader
    disconnected, just prior to being wound into the film cartridge. Is that how it felt when
    you rewound?

    Just as importantly, during the process of advancing the film before each exposure, the
    rewind spool should rotate.

    If you keep an eye on the rewind spool, and pay attention to how it feels when you
    rewind, this won't happen to you again.
  5. All the above plus be sure you use in date developer and do not use the fix first in error.

    If you did use fix first, there will be no frame numbers or other data, just clear film.
  6. Thanks all, no need to worry about being to basic, as this is my first series of 35 film cameras. I think I have figured out the problem, I did not advance the film enough. Thanks again Louie.
  7. Well, to double check: if the film shows no frame but the film marks show along the sprocket holes (manufacturer, frame number...) then it is your camera, else a bad film or developer.
  8. Don't lose enthusiasm...try again!
  9. Post your results when you get them.
  10. Buy the cheapest film you can. Load the film and fire and advance through several frames with the film door still open, so that you can confirm that the film is advancing and that you can see how things are supposed to be working. Then you can close the door and finish off the rest of the roll taking actual photos.

    Second point: Both of these cameras are NOT automatic exposure cameras. They both have batteries that power a meter. The meter just tells you if you have everything set correctly for a good exposure. But the meter does NOT automatically set the shutter speed for you like modern SLR's. You have to manually set the shutter speed and aperture based on the meter readings. This is the equivalent of "metered manual" mode on a dSLR. If you already understand this concept, then I apologize for sounding jerky. :)

    Thirdly: Make sure you have fresh batteries for the meters. The shutter will fire without a battery because it is mechanical, all gears and springs in there. Sometimes when people pick up mechanical cameras they assume the battery must be working because the shutter is firing and then wonder why the light meter does not appear to be functioning. The 1000DTL will run on a modern #S-76 1.5v Silver Oxide battery. The FTb was designed to run on mercury batteries, use #675 1.35v (sometimes labeled 1.4v) Zinc Oxide hearing aid battery as the replacement. You might also want to familiarize yourself with the "Sunny 16" rule which allows you to guess the exposure without a meter. I won't go into the details here, but a quick Google search should bring it right up.
  11. If there are number printed on the edge of the film, then the problem is with the cameras. If there are no numbers then it is due to problems in processing.
  12. patient with yourself. If you have never used a film camera it can be a new learning experience. Often it is a good idea to just run a roll through the camera without taking any real photos, just at your desk, to get used to how the mechanics of the camera works.
  13. riz


    Same thing happened to me on my recently bought Olympus Pen D. The end of the film was not in that cut. I got scared and low on seeing the washed out negatives. I was relieved to know that it?s the film-loading problem.

    Now brand new roll is in the camera for test and I have 72 exposures. I am waiting for the time when I will see the results of this beautiful creation.

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