Horizontal lines on images

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by eduardo_gonzalez|2, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. Hello,
    I'm writing from Monterrey, Mexico. Please excuse my English, it's not my first language. A month ago I purchased a used but in excellent condition Nikon N75. I've noticed that all images have horizontal colored lines from one end to the other. I've processed the negatives in different labs with the same results. Any ideas on what causes this and how to stop it?
  2. Hello Eduardo. I'm not sure, but the lines may be a scanning artifact. Are you having the film scanned at the lab or are you scanning it yourself? Are the lines on the negatives?
  3. Hi Cory. Film has been scanned in different labs and also by myself, always with the same result.
  4. Are you using film from the same batch? How do you store your film between buying it and using it?
  5. I'm not sure if you are saying the lines are on the negatives or just on the scans. I would try to examine the negatives closely for signs of the streaks. That will let you know if it is an issue with the film/processing or with the scanning. Just out of curiosity what type of film is it, or is it multiple brands of film?
  6. The lines are present on the negatives. The film is Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400 from different batches used almost immediately after purchased and stored in original package in a cool place. The photo posted is from a batch with December 2015 expiration date.
  7. My reference to the batch was to open the possibility that the film may have gotten damaged before you would even have gotten them. Other people may not have an eye to catch the problem. My suggestion is to try another brand from another store and see if the problem still exists.
    Another possibility is it would happen during processing. Where you bring it to be developed may not actually be where it is developed. Try to find out. There may be a common developer.
  8. Hi Peter. Film was developed in different facilities, 100% sure. I'll try another brand of film and see what happens.
  9. Perhaps its a shutter problem that is producing those horizontal lines. Do they show up at slower shutter speeds (at or below the camera's maximum flash sync speed)? While they don't look like scratches on the film, check the film pathway in the camera for any rough edges. I would also try another brand/type of film.
  10. Hi Kenneth. Lines appear at all shutter speeds, fast and slow.
  11. In that case the issue has to either be either with the camera, processing or the film itself. While it is possible that the film is defective, I would be inclined to think that is the least likely source of the problem. I am thinking it is an issue with the processing. When a camera damages film it is usually either a scratch, which shows up pretty easily, or "fogging" towards the edges of the frames due to some sort of light leak. The fact that the lines/streaks seem multicolored (rainbow pattern) and more towards the middle of the frames suggests a processing issue with the chemicals or roller transport mechanism of the processing machine. I know you said you went to separate facilities for processing, but these days it is pretty common for labs to send film out to a regional location for processing (even for C-41 film.) Processing chemicals go bad after a given time and it isn't exactly cheap to replace them, so a lab needs to be processing a high volume of film to make it worth while. Many places send it out for processing in order to save money due to the lower volume of film being shot these days. With some places I'm sure the temptation exists to try an extend the chemistry beyond its useful life in order to stay profitable. Either that or all of the labs you tried are using the same bad batch of chemicals, have the same issue with faulty equipment or are all failing to utilize proper quality control in the chemistry department. Sorry to not be of more help. The only way to know for sure would be to test all the different variables and narrow down the causes. Try the same film in another camera, try a different type of film in the same camera and then try another lab with a proven track record of providing high quality processing.
  12. Hello Daniel. Thanks for your advice. Yes, I will try to test all the different variables to know the exact cause. Here in Monterrey, Mexico five years ago you could find dozens of different labs that processed film, now only a few do. Not even Costco Mexico.
  13. Yes, as Daniel says.
    As you test, do only one variable at a time, otherwise it gets difficult to single just one problem out, if it is just one problem.
    I like the "regional" processor suggestion, since it is possible that all your film is going to the same place outside the store front.
  14. I concur with test one variable at a time as that is the only way to know what those changes assoicated with it do.
    After reasding this Ken Rockwell review, http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/n75.htm , I speculate the shutter needs servicing. Nikon's vertical travel focal plane shutter consists of two curtains each made up of several leaves that fold up/ drop down in suscession as the shutter operates. The pattern on your sample image is consistent with the shutter leaves not moving smoothly.
  15. And they can be easily damaged.
  16. Thank you all for your advice and comments.
  17. Charles, your comment about the problem with the shutter probably is correct. I purchased the camera used but in mint condition for $25.00 dollars. No scratches or marks visible anywhere on the outside. I guess it would be much better and cheaper to buy another used SLR than sending this one for repair.
  18. My guess is that these are from your developing process. Do you develop your own film or send it out to a lab? These look like the kinds of laminar lines left when the developer flows over the film if it is not agitated properly. I remember this from my early days in the darkroom so very long ago.
  19. Eduardo, if the camera was not used for a long time it is possible that the lubricants are more viscous than they should be. If the streaks are less noticeable now than when you started using this camera, that could be a sign it is "loosening" up. If so, fire the shutter many times than try it again. May not work but if it does it would be less expensive than a CLA.
    Good luck.
    PS your English is excellent.
  20. Virginia, film was processed in different labs always with the same result.
    Randy, unfortunately the streaks are more noticeable now that when I first started using the camera but I'm going to take your advice and fire the shutter many times and see what happens. Thank you for your kind words about my English.
    I will like to thank all and everyone of you for your time and patience trying to help me.
    Saludos desde Monterrey, Mexico.
  21. Just to give an update about this problem. I decided to purchase another camera, a refurbished N80 in mint condition and the results were the same; negatives with lines/streaks from side to side. Used film from a different box and continued having the same problem.
    Then I decided to go to a third lab and only then the negatives came out perfect. So the problem was in the processing. I guess that eventually I will personally have to develop my film at home.
    Thank you all for your help.
  22. Eduardo, you have certainly persevered to reach the solution to the lines on the negatives. I hope you get many good pictures with the N80. If you kept the original body it could be your backup.
  23. Randy, thank you for your comments. Yes, I will keep the N75 as a backup. For some reason I'm enjoying more shooting with film than digital, unfortunately labs are disappearing fast and the ones left are not taking proper care of their chemistry.

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