Scratched film

Discussion in 'Modern Film Cameras' started by DownWithModerators!, Apr 4, 2017.

  1. I lament that my EOS-1V is consistently scratching my negatives. Darned if I can find the cause. The film plane is smooth to the touch everywhere. Anyone out there ever solve a film-scratcher? Seems like several cameras of mine do it, with nary a visible cause.

    Just to rule some things out - the film is new, factory fresh film, brand isn't an issue. I see the scratches on the film right after developing, so it isn't my scanner. I don't need general advice - looking more to hear from someone who had a similar situation and eventually had a "Eureka!" moment that solved your problem.
  2. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Sometimes a bit of grit gets in the film cartridge light trap, particularly if you "roll your own" and the cartridges have been around for a while. Your situation is different using new factory fresh. Are you keeping the film in cans prior to use? Is there grit in the camera bag? Quick application of vacuum cleaner for that. If you develop your own, look at the reel loading process you use. If you use a lab, try a different one. Doubt it is the camera, but I frequently use a soft brush on the inside of mine to remove anything that might have taken up residence. Frustrating! Good luck with it!
  3. Hi, the most obvious method is to load some brand new film, advance a couple of frames, then stop. Open the camera back and somehow mark the exact film position in the camera. Then remove the film and examine carefully with a strong magnifier, under several different light sources (one should be broad, like a fluorescent tube, or perhaps the sky; the other a small source). What you're looking for is a specular reflection over the scratch. If it's really a scratch you'll probably see it here, and by putting it back in the camera you can see exactly where it ends. (If it doesn't end, and goes all the way into the cassette, then you know your camera is not to blame.)

    As a note, you can also get "pressure marks" on film where it has been squeezed, but not actually scratched; you probably need to process to see these. Use a similar method, but this time use up most of the film first (no sense wasting it all), and stopping a few frames from the end.

    If there is nothing conclusive, it might just be super-touchy film. Try a name brand pro grade film to see if the scratches disappear. Definitely pro films like Kodak Portra are superior with respect to scratch resistance.
  4. Are the scratches always in the same place on the film?
  5. Yes they are. You can sorta see them on this image towards the bottom:

  6. Recall several friends had scratching issues with new hi-end Canon film bodies. Problem seemed to be tiny sharp burrs around the film gate/film rails. All sent their bodies back to for service that solved the problem.
  7. Which side of the film is the scratch on? Maybe the pressure plate has a bur on it, or some such.
    This sort of thing can be maddening.
  8. My old, tired eyes see the scratch & it is within the area of the encoding numbers. Check in that section for some type of burrs. Bill
  9. Many years ago on a Nikkormat I had a piece of dirt in the camera that would come to rest on the pressure plate. I could not see it or feel it. A professional photographer told me to clean the the pressure plate with tri-nitro Toluene. It worked. This may not be your problem. Just my experience.
  10. You blew it up with TNT?
  11. "You blew it up with TNT?"
    - Best thing to do with a camera that scratches the film. Problem solved!
  12. I has a tiny piece of sand in the take-up area.
  13. m42dave

    m42dave Dave E.

    A microfiber cloth can be useful to find tiny burrs in pressure plates, plastic spools, etc.
  14. Shiny side, or dull (emulation) side? If shiny, check the rollers on the back cover, inside the take-up, and pressure plate (especially, as noted, near the date imprinter. If the dull side, check any rollers on the body itself, and around the focal aperture (the "window" where the image is projected onto the film). Wipe with a tissue to "feel" if there's a snag, and/or then damp with alcohol. Spin the rollers as you wipe to be sure you get all around them.

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