Problem with black&white pictures

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by gabriel_amat, Jun 15, 2016.

  1. Hi all!
    I have recently started taking pictures with film. I am practicing and playing with different negatives types. My last negative (ILFORD PANF) came up with some of the negatives partially white after(a lab did the developing) . I show you the result in the copy attached bellow. Why do you think this happened only in some of my exposures? Is it an exposures mistake (underexposed?). Is my camera not working properly? Or maybe is a developing mistake? I hope I provided enough information, if not, please don´t hesitate asking me.
  2. It would help to know the make and model of your camera. That will tell us about the type of shutter involved.
    A reasonable guess so far would be that the shutter is the problem. I'll go out on a limb here (others will be more sure) and guess that your shutter is not cocking all the way. That would explain why a little less than half the film is getting any light. The other part is always covered by the shutter.
    If I'm right, you should be able to open up the camera (when you don't have any film in it), and watch the shutter being cocked and fired. Try it on 1 second, and see what it looks like. The cocking should move the shutter completely across the plane. The firing should have one shutter curtain move completely out of the way giving you a wide-open view through the camera. Then, after 1 second, the other shutter curtain should completely close. If that's not happening, I'll bet you can spot the problem visually.
    Good luck! Others will be along momentarily with a more definitive diagnosis, I'll bet.
  3. Some cameras (ie Nikon) have a focal plane shutter that travels vertically, not horizontally. If there is a
    partial shutter jam, the top part of the film won't be exposed. Another issue is that the spiral in the
    developing tank was not tethered down by the friction collar that is put around the central post. Even with
    adequate development fluid, if the spiral is too high, the liquid level only gets up to an inadequate film
    height The third possibility is that you undercalculated the quantity of developer fluid needed.
  4. Were these flash pictures? If so what was the shutter speed you used?
  5. AJG


    This definitely looks like a camera issue, not a processing problem. Using flash at too fast a shutter speed looks like your example, although it could also be a defective shutter.
  6. The sharp cut-off of image looks like a flash photo with shutter set at a speed beyond the flash sync speed or maybe a shutter defect. A developing issue might give a softer boundary between image and no image.
  7. Mike:
    In the photo, please note the angle of the sunlight seems to be from the top, with the person's shorts and arm highlighted from above and the modest shadows underneath. That looks like light- to moderate-overcast daylight, rather than a flash-lit scene. So, among the possible issues, I suspect a flash-synch problem is of lower probability.
    I totally understand what you're saying, and I've done that myself. But when I make that mistake, the results are heavily front-lit by the flash.
    I was about to be rash and guess a vertically travelling Nikon shutter. :) I'll even go way out on a limb and guess Gabriel has a Nikon FM / FM2 / FE / FE2, based on historic sales volumes. Pentax would be most likely for a horizontally travelling shutter problem, and I've had exactly that sort of issue with an old Pentax.
    "Why do you think this happened only in some of my exposures?"
    Is it possible that the problem only occurred in brightly lit scenes? If the problem occurred when your shutter speed was on a fast setting to limit bright light, but the problem did not occur when your shutter speed was set more slowly, then that would account for the issue only arising occasionally.
  8. Brad, you may have nailed the problem if Gabriel has one of the Nikon models you named. I have an old Nikon FM that has the same problem. I get the full frame at 1/30 second and slower. At 1/60 and above I get progressively less of the frame. That camera is only used for long exposures now, btw. On the FM that I have if I remove the lens and open the back I can see how much of the frame will be exposed if I fire the shutter with back open at each shutter speed.
  9. Agree with other posts. Your shutter consists essentially of 2 parts (curtains) which can move relative to each other to expose or close up a gap. When the shutter is wound (along with the film advance), the gap is closed, when the shutter is then fired, a gap opens up of a varying size according to your shutter speed setting. This is called "uncapping". I would bet your shutter is not uncapping until it has traveled over half the film. A rough way of checking this is to take the lens off the camera, place a piece of thin white cad where the film usually goes and fire the shutter off at different speeds while looking at the camera from the front. If you can see a full white rectangle at this time, the shutter is opening OK - if not, it may not be uncapping properly.
  10. Hi all!!
    Thanks for replying and help me! My camera is a Canon ESO 1000F an the problem seems to be what Brad said. This problem occurs in a different way between pictures (seems that the black part of the picture change with shutter speed). I show you two more examples that I think confirm the problem. But, I am curious because that happens only in 1/3 of my film, and the light conditions where almost identical.
  11. The user manual specifications show its a vertical travel shutter.
    In all your examples the top 40% to 50% is black. The top of the photo is the first part to be exposed in the camera. The shutter curtains appear to be sticking together for the first portion of the exposure travel time then separating at about mid frame.
    Have the camera checked by a repair person. The curtain or the curtain frame may be bent or just in need of a clean and lube.
  12. Mike:
    Considering the relatively low cost and the ability to replace a Nikon FM, I'd be tempted to try my totally un-approved (but often effective) magical-shutter-fixer solution:
    Lighter fluid.
    When I have an otherwise fairly useless camera with a sticky shutter problem, and the cost of a repair is not worth it, I'll take my chances at ruining the whole thing, and douse everything around the shutter in lighter fluid and fire it a few dozen times while wet. I even rotate the camera around so the fluid gets into all the various cracks. In some cases, I've seen the globs of black gunk come out of crevices while I do that, and I mop them up with a Q-Tip.
    I know, I know. There are a bunch of things wrong with that solution. Lighter fluid on the mirror, messing up the electronics, etc. But my success rate on cameras I'm otherwise about to throw away is probably 60%. For those of us who have dozens of unimportant cameras passing through our hands, I think that's a reasonable success rate.
    But just so that Gabriel hears this correctly: Charles Monday is exactly right. The proper thing to do is get the camera checked by a good repair person. Sometimes, the proper Clean / Lube / Adjust (CLA) fix is remarkably reasonable.
  13. No harm in trying, Brad. I've revived a few leaf shutter rangefinders with lighter fluid (Ronsonal). Never tried it on a focal plane shutter, though. Hope it is successful.
  14. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    The camera lens casts an inverted or upside down image on the film in the camera. That black space is on the bottom of the film as it sits in the camera. The shutter is covering the bottom of the film. In the pictures shown above, the black space is on the bottom of the pictures but the pictures were inverted to make them look right side up.
  15. It looks like a Flash/ shutter speed sync problem, manual flash and the shutter speed has exceeded the flash. I have seen this with modern DSLRs if not using High Speed Sync flash, manual flash you can see this happen if the. shutter speed exceeds 1/200th of a sec or so, depending on camera. I think the same rules apply to film. Been many years since I was shooting with my old Canon 35mm film camera and being less experienced back then, I would have looked at a shot like this and just said, oh $%^, that one did not come out. lol. If not using flash I would guess some issue with the shutter and mirror.

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