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M4 scratching negatives

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i noticed about a month ago some scratches on the negative, fine horizontal line. The guys who develop my film blew air into the camera and it seemed to do the trick except i notice that around frames 25 to 34 a line shows up. Seems odd to me. Before sending it off was wondering if anyone had some home fix suggestions.

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Consider that scratches can have several causes.

1. Camera.

2. Processing.

3. Filing.

4. Miss-handling.

5. Dirty cassette light trap.

6. etc.

Easiest test is to send a film to a different processor to see if that eliminates the problem. Roller transport processors can cause 'tramlines', but that will extend over the entire length of the film. Likewise, dirty film trap would be the same.

 

If you have a second film camera, shoot that and send to the same processor, to determine if your camera is causing it.

 

Scratches on just a few frames sounds like miss-handling to me.

For example, when opening the canister to process, does the processor allow the spool core to 'spin' freely when removing it, or control the 'unwinding' gently when loading to process? You probably won't get an answer to that, but is a definite risk. Great incentive(s) to process your own.

 

Are you using commercial or self loaded cassettes?

Try using a 12 or 20 exp. film to see if it still happens.

 

I wouldn't rush in to blame the camera without testing the other variables first.

Edited by erl

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Thanks ......... I do have a second camera, M6 classic, drop off film from both at the same time at the same commercial developer and there are no scratches on the film from the M6. I have had the M4 for several years and the problem started in the beginning of July.

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It really depends on which side of the film your scratches are? If you rub the non-emulsion side of your film against your pressure plate you should see some similar scratches if there is a fault with the pressure plate, otherwise unless it is the film cassette there isn't much that touches the imaging area of the film until the processing machine, and then perhaps only during drying. And don't forget, some films are tougher than others, so check to see if it is only one type of film that is scratching. But if you can't replicate the scratch yourself I would bet it is the processing.

 

Steve

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Thanks Steve, i will check that out. I did notice that there were many more scratches on the Adox CHS 100 II than with Portra 800 or HP5+ -- with these the scratches came towards the end of the roll but not the last picture or two. As for the processing, there are no scratches on the film from the M6. Will make this test with the pressure plate, perhaps it is something I can clean or adjust myself.

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If the scratches are on the non-emulsion side of the film and only appear towards the end of a roll, perhaps they could be cause by something in the chamber where the take-up spool is located? Just a wild guess.

 

Hope you get it sorted.

 

Philip

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One other complete guess, how do you wind the film, one big sweep of the lever, or a couple of little strokes like an early double stroke M3 for instance? I'm just thinking if the film could be un-winding, or winding loosely onto the take up spool, so expanding at the end of the roll to touch the outside chamber walls. Just wondering if it isn't getting enough tension on the spool when wound on?

 

Steve

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Steve's idea is similar to my 'spinning' spool core idea in post #2. Both worth pursuing maybe.

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I have noticed that image enhancement option of th scanner software for epson could produce exactly scratch like horizontal signs regardless there is no scratch on negativ.

Took me weeks to figure it out though.

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Spinning spool idea is a very interesting thought. I do find myself sometimes tightening the cassette reel now and then to make sure film is advancing. Also, sometimes on rewind if I let go I hear the film unwinding from the pressure inside the cassette Not a problem I have with the M6 as the rewind was always smooth and easy, the M4 was generally very hard to turn towards as the rewind was reaching its end. But remember the "scratches" are on the later frames (25 to 35, around there). I write "scratches" because looking at the most recent negative I can't find them. Perhaps a better magnifying glass would help. Still not convinced it is the developer/scanner because I bring the M6 film to them as well and no problems.

 

Very much appreciate all these points and suggestions. Gives some fun detective work to do before deciding to send it in to have it looked at by a pro.

 

Steve

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