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Possible shutter problem with IIIA?


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I have always assumed the problem illustrated by the photo, below, was related to processing method I have used. Hower, this time I processed two rolls of HP5, exposed in different cameras- one my IIIA and the other a Werra IV- simultaneously. The photos from the Werra did not show the banding. Is it possible the vertical banding is related to a shutter problem?

 

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As the stripes are not exactly parallel to the edges of the frame, I don't think they can be caused by any fault in the shutter. 

 

Did you process both films at the same time in the same tank?

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Yes, both in same tank, at same time. The image shown, above, was cropped/rotated. Below are the original image, as well as a photo from the other roll/camera, a Werra IV with leaf shutter.

 

 

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As the stripes are not exactly parallel to the edges of the frame, I don't think they can be caused by any fault in the shutter. 

 

Did you process both films at the same time in the same tank?

 

Philipp,

 

Could it be caused by the curtain sticking and "juddering" on its top track, as the lines do appear to be parallel? This might cause the leading edge of the slot in the curtains to have a slight slope. However, it does look more like a processing issue, maybe the developer not wetting the film evenly. 

 

Wilson

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@ Wilson,

 

As you can see from the second photo, same film type (HP5,) and processed at same time, in same tank, with same chemicals.....and using the same type and brand of reel (Paterson,) the banding problem did not occur in the photos from the other (Werra IV) camera.

 

Thanks for your comments.

 

Best

 

Wayne

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Wayne,

problem with the second shot is that it differs significantly from the top shot, no sky, and that is where you'd notice the banding the most.

Not that I found the banding you mention in the first place, not until you mentioned it anyway.

Gary

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Thanks for the comment on difference in photo type. this is from the same roll with Werra IV. While sky is not as open, there is sky; additionally, the white car should serve as a surrogate for the open sky.

 

I will also mention that the IIIA is a five digit IA conversion. It is a rather old camera, and has served its time well; I can have nothing to complain about in that regard. However, it is my favorite and most used camera. I am willing to pay whatever it takes to get this banding thing straightened out....If it is a camera problem.

 

I guess I should ask: is this innate to design and materials used in these ancient Barnack cameras? Is it possible, increased sensitivity of modern emulsions exposes "features" of the old design not apparent with films used when camera was new?

 

OBTW, From increased exposure to the IT youngsters at work, I have picked up the habit of calling any aspect of a process or device, good or bad, a "feature." It has been a rough transition: in the old days, the term "feature" was relegated only to desired results.....How boring

 

Edited by Wayne
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The stripes are not very prominent. In order to be able to see them, you need a rather large uniform and featureless area of the image, perhaps spanning half the height of the frame, preferably of a medium grey, much like the sky in the problem frame. I rather think the stripes will not be as prominent on other frames of the same film.

 

The pattern much resembles some kind of defect caused by having too little developer solution in the tank. Of the two films stacked on top of each other, the solution might be sufficient for one reel and still leave the other reel in the air for brief amounts of time.

 

However, if the defect was really caused by the shutter, I think it would have to be present with very short exposures only. You didn't note the exposure time for the problem shot, by any chance?

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The idea of looking at the negative is a good one. It is the first thing I will do when I return home.

 

As far as scanning goes................I am not in a position to rule out anything. I see the banding with both Epson V800 flatbed and with Primefilm 35mm negative scanner.

 

It is an interesting point, made earlier by Gary, pertaining to the open sky aspect of the image. While inclusions- not related to dust, but rather, to chemistry/processing- do, when they appear on the negative, manifest randomly throughout the image, I have always noted that they seem to appear in greater concentration in the most exposed portion of the emulsion, e.g. a wide open sky.

 

I am a novice when it comes to film processing. For some reason, until just now, I had never really considered the possibility that the intensity of light hitting one portion of the emulsion might have consequences other than just those we normally associate with greater exposure.

 

So, is it entirely beyond possibility, my previous suspicion that the shutter mechanism of an 80 year old camera may have characteristics/limitations inherent to design and materials that, although not apparent when the films of 80 years ago were used, are made obvious through the use of modern films?

 

I re-ask the question because, about a year ago (40 rolls or so) I did send this camera in to a person who is frequently recommended in this forum for CLA. I do not want to send it off again if this banding thing is just a consequence of falling in love with an older camera......You know, sometimes character is more important than looks. A good character can take years to develop.

Edited by Wayne
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I think the bands or stripes are wider at the top of the image, becoming both narrower and fainter towards the bottom. I'm still not sure they're exactly parallel to each other, but it's hard to say, them being rather faint. On my other PC I fancy seeing a network of very faint lines in several parts of the image, e.g. in the lower right corner. Such lines are sometimes suggestive of developer frothing. However, as those lines are even fainter, it could be an artefact of my perception, caused by the grain of the image and the artefacts induced by the jpeg compression.

 

I can not think of any fault in the shutter which would cause one to oscillate in that particular manner about 200 times a second.

 

In all, I still think the issue lies with the development, possibly affecting one of the reels more than the other.

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very unusal if caused by shutter, never saw such effect. Still possible in theory, if curtains do not travel evenly. In order to detect it the repairman would need stroboscope light drum, he will not observe it using usual electronic shutter testing device. Leica was using such drum as the only device to adjust speeds until mid fifties, later with later Ms and CL, after having electorinic testers light drum was still being used to observe how curtains travel. Such drum is not complicated, someone with DIY skills can construct it within 1-2 hours. If anyone is interested send me PM.

@Wayne: with 99% probability, during upgrade to IIIa the whole shutter mechanism (and majority of all other components) was renewed, so it is younger than the SN of your camera would indicate. Nevertheless, even if your Leica is IIIa sync it is more than 40 yeras old :-)

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