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Plaubel Makina 67 & 670 - Strange light leak


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Hi all!


So, my favourite 67 camera has always exhibited a frustrating light leak since I've had it (happens on both my 67 and my 670, which initially made me think it was me, though that's since been ruled out by the tests below) — not on every frame, varies in intensity, and no discernible pattern (e.g. never on the same frames per-roll). The only consistent thing is that it's always the same spot on the frame.


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I don't get leaks on any other MF cameras, so I'm 99.9% certain it's not me loading or unloading (have loaded/unloaded in a darkroom and changing bag, which hasn't stopped the leaks), have tested both cameras in a completely dark room with a full roll each, shining a bright torch at every possible orifice, and had Aperture in London replace light seals and check the bellows an additional time.


I don't shoot with a hood, so there the potential of stray light somehow bouncing around at a very specific angle through the lens, but the leak is always in the same place on the negative, and has perfectly straight edges.


Aperture can't figure out what's wrong, and a few folks I know who also own Makinas have never seen this sort of leak before. I find it really odd that it's essentially the same leak on both models, seeing as I purchased them from different people and they're years apart (hence initially believing it was me, but I've only ever had a leak on one camera before — my Hasselblad 500C/M — and it was a faulty seal on the back, so I'm pretty confident in my abilities to load/unload film at this point :)


Some rolls don't have any leaks, some have 1 or 2, others have 4 or 5. As you can see from the attached photos, the leaks appear even in shots without direct light anywhere near the camera or subject matter…


Any thoughts would be most appreciated — I use the cameras on client work, and have spent quite a few hours retouching leaks out of some otherwise fantastic frames over the last few years… o_O:D

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It certainly looks like a light leak. If I`m not wrong, Makinas are bellows based foldable cameras, so I think it`d be easy to have a small worn area in the rim of a pleat, I have experienced it on my Mamiya 6. If I`m not wrong, I`d say yours should be near the back frame; open the back door and check the bottom side at right (hope not to miss something, better for you if I`m wrong!).

Mine was "easily" repaired with a tiny bit of cloth surgical tape and black paint.

Edited by jose_angel
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Its a light leak on both cameras. Shinning a light around the outside of a camera will rarely show the leak.

Place a light leak negative from that model on the film plane as it was when exposed, image upside down and left/right reversed. Note where the light leak area of the negative aligns with the camera body.

Now remove the lens, and lock the mirror (if equipped) up, take the camera into a darkroom, put a bright light inside the camera from the lens mount being careful not to burn the bellows with a hot lamp and observe the camera for light leaks, especially the area that aligned with the leak on the negative. A dim yellowish dot is a weak spot light leak and a bright white light spot is a total failure of the bellows or light seals be it the size of a straight pin point or larger.


Looking at pictures on the web of the cameras I strongly suspect the bellows separated/torn at the camera body or a warped back. Looked again at the sample image, a slight double image at the right edge of the leak stripe, bellows tear/separation at or near the body.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 4 years later...

Yes. As a Plaubel Makina owner and user, the info is worth storing in the back of my mind.

However, none provided an answer as to why both of the OP’s Makinas displayed this fault.

Could it be an adhesive that has dried out in both cameras? Should a light leak appear in my Makina,

I’ll know where to start looking.

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  • 1 year later...

I am really sorry to resurrect this dead thread, but there is limited info on many things with the Plaubel Makina 670 out there.

My Makina displays the exact same light leaking issues as OP's did. I just had it serviced at Amsterdam Camera repair, but did replace the light seals myself a few months before sending it off to Alan.


On 3/11/2022 at 9:33 PM, brett_r said:

that's a door-seal leak. mine was around the little cutout top right of the film loading door and in the corner. appeared at the same place on the edge of each frame when it occurred.

Could you explain more in detail where you found your issues? I checked my seals and they looked fine to me, no obvious area of damage.


Thanks in advance!


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  • 4 weeks later...

I have the Makina 67. From what I understand, the camera must be very carefully and slowly opened for use, and Permitting it to pop open. Rough handling could possibly been the culprit by creating a separation of bellows from body.

I don’t have manual in fron of me, but it seems to me that there was a warning about letting bellows snap open.

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