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Lines on negatives - Leica iiia

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Hi all 

 

so I recently purchased a Leica iiia and an Elmar 5cm 3.5. For a camera that is nearly 90 years old, it is in great condition. 

I have put two rolls of film through it, and asked my film lab to develop at ISO 800. When I get the negatives and prints back, most of the roll is fine, but a couple of the shots have these strange lines on them. This takes place on both of the rolls of film. See attached for a photo where this happens. 

The lines are visible on the negs and scans. Is this a development issue, or an issue with the shutter? 

 

Cheers

 

sam

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I think you might have a problem with the pressure plate.

Pete.

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Are the lines more prominent with shorter exposure times, i.e. when the scene is brighter?

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If it's only on some frames then it's not development or the pressure plate.

It might possibly be 'dirt' on the shutter curtain edges - at faster speeds the slit will be very narrow and any stray stuff on the shutter edge (could be fraying or dirt) would result in this kind of effect.

You can look at the shutter through the lens mount as you wind it on - try to clean the edges of each curtain very carefully.

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check these links - we are possibly dealing with "Ragged Edges on Shutter Curtains" scenario

 

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This due to the use of a modern type film cassette. The 111a is not designed to use these as they are the wrong size. The way to completely get rid of this problem is to use the proper BRASS LEITZ CASSETTE the camera was designed to use. Plenty available and the only downside is that you need to load them in a darkroom. Search the forum as I wrote a post about how to transfer film from a modern cassette to the Leitz one. If you do this your lines will disapear. Note the lines are not scratches as these would show as white lines on the positive image. The problem is due to film positioning and pressure being put on the emulsion by the camera. It's  not due to scratching of the emulsion and although it sounds improbable this was the solution to the same problem that I had with my 111a. Use the correct cassette and no lines! The later LTM Leicas don't have this issue as they can use the modern film cassettes and have a positioning tongue on the base plate. It took me a long time to find out the cause of my 111a marking the film with black lines on the print but this proved to be the answer. The correct Leitz code for the cassette is FILCA and that's the one you need and is the very well made brass type for the LTM cameras and NOT the later type for the M cameras. They go for around £8-10 on EBAY. Prior to sorting this issue I tried everything with my 111a. I removed the body and cleaned it all internally with jewellers rouge to ensure that nothing would scratch the film. It was all immaculately clean with no sharp edges BUT still the black lines! I was driving me mad to try and sort it until I had the same problem with a Hasselblad film back. On investigating it I found that the film was being pressurised by residue on the rollers and once cleaned the problem disappeared. I then thought about the 111a that was exhibiting exactly the same fault BUT I had cleaned it all out so I figured that it had to be a film positioning issue and the only way that could be happening was by the cassette not positioning  it correctly and so it proved to be. Problem FINALLY  sorted!

Edited by paulmac

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11 hours ago, dau said:

Are the lines more prominent with shorter exposure times, i.e. when the scene is brighter?

 

Hi, yes they are. I believe those shots were taken at 1/100. 

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2 hours ago, paulmac said:

This due to the use of a modern type film cassette. The 111a is not designed to use these as they are the wrong size. The way to completely get rid of this problem is to use the proper BRASS LEITZ CASSETTE the camera was designed to use. Plenty available and the only downside is that you need to load them in a darkroom. Search the forum as I wrote a post about how to transfer film from a modern cassette to the Leitz one. If you do this your lines will disapear. Note the lines are not scratches as these would show as white lines on the positive image. The problem is due to film positioning and pressure being put on the emulsion by the camera. It's  not due to scratching of the emulsion and although it sounds improbable this was the solution to the same problem that I had with my 111a. Use the correct cassette and no lines! The later LTM Leicas don't have this issue as they can use the modern film cassettes and have a positioning tongue on the base plate. It took me a long time to find out the cause of my 111a marking the film with black lines on the print but this proved to be the answer. The correct Leitz code for the cassette is FILCA and that's the one you need and is the very well made brass type for the LTM cameras and NOT the later type for the M cameras. They go for around £8-10 on EBAY. Prior to sorting this issue I tried everything with my 111a. I removed the body and cleaned it all internally with jewellers rouge to ensure that nothing would scratch the film. It was all immaculately clean with no sharp edges BUT still the black lines! I was driving me mad to try and sort it until I had the same problem with a Hasselblad film back. On investigating it I found that the film was being pressurised by residue on the rollers and once cleaned the problem disappeared. I then thought about the 111a that was exhibiting exactly the same fault BUT I had cleaned it all out so I figured that it had to be a film positioning issue and the only way that could be happening was by the cassette not positioning  it correctly and so it proved to be. Problem FINALLY  sorted!

Wow, will check this out, thanks!

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28 minutes ago, Ibanez said:

 

Hi, yes they are. I believe those shots were taken at 1/100. 

If so, ragged or dirty shutter curtain edges are likely, as romualdo pointed out above. I don't see how the wrong size of film cartridge can produce this kind of problem.

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I always use Leica cassettes but have still had this problem on occasion, usually at higher shutter speeds, most noticeable on thin negatives ( under exposed). 

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5 hours ago, paulmac said:

The later LTM Leicas don't have this issue as they can use the modern film cassettes and have a positioning tongue on the base plate

But I have been having the same problem, horizontal lines only at high speeds (on only two frames from 36 in my last roll) on a IIIg with a normal film cassette

Edited by romualdo

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My opinion is, it is not due to the film cassettes Modern vs Filca. A modern film cassette is certainly better than the Filca. Damage to the film due to the cartridge would cause scratches. They are probably holes in the shutter curtain. Various factors can make the stripes visible. Very bright subject, small aperture zb.

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1 minute ago, Reini said:

My opinion is, it is not due to the film cassettes Modern vs Filca. A modern film cassette is certainly better than the Filca. Damage to the film due to the cartridge would cause scratches. They are probably holes in the shutter curtain. Various factors can make the stripes visible. Very bright subject, small aperture zb.

Not so - holes in the shutter curtain would give WHITE stripes on the print and these are BLACK! This is NOT the same issue.

The modern cassette is NOT better than a FILCA - the FILCA is the correct size for the camera and when opened by the baseplate lock gives ZERO resistance to the film exit.

Sorry but the FILCA is far superior and is what the 111A was designed to use!

I know from my own camera that a modern cassette gives BLACK lines on the PRINT - a FILCA gives none and the camera is perfect!!

I would never use a modern cassette with a 111A - no problem with my 111F or my 111G that is why they have a baseplate tongue!

For my 111A I ALWAYS use a FILCA and have zero problems.

 

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8 hours ago, dau said:

If so, ragged or dirty shutter curtain edges are likely, as romualdo pointed out above. I don't see how the wrong size of film cartridge can produce this kind of problem.

Well nor do I BUT what I have said is absolutely true - certainly with MY 111A:-

Use a modern cassette then BLACK lines on the print or scan.

Use a FILCA then ZERO problems - I am not imagining it and I have researched this problem and checked my camera scrupulously and cleaned it (body removed so I can get at all the surfaces and pressure plate) so there is absolutely no possibility of the normal film track/run causing the issue. I have searched long and hard to eventually FIND what was causing BLACK lines and it was and still is the modern film cassette and I won't use one in my 111A because its was never designed to use one for the simple reason that the FILCA fits the camera ie. is 1.5mm BIGGER than a standard modern cassette that doesn't fit the camera properly.

The shutter is perfect and has zero fraying - this issue drove me mad as I just couldn't sort after trying everything until I started to use the FILCA and BINGO  no black lines!!

This is an issue is not imagined or made up - I wish that it was because loading the FILCA is a bit longwinded and I would love to just slip a modern cassette into it!!

Edited by paulmac

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Ok Paulmac, it may be that you have the experience. If the Filca are so much better (especially for the IIIa) than modern cassettes, they would not cost $ 10 but $ 100.
I have already repaired some Leicas and no big difference in the cassette housing.
Even of these stripes stripes themselves have not seen anything in my negatives. Presumably because the Curtains have been replaced by me or absolutely okay.

But I like to learn 😉


@Ibanez take down the lens once, put paper instead of film in the film slot and watch if something from the curtain on the paper grinds.

 

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If the lines were caused by scratching either in the camera or in the spool they would look more defined - like telephone wires. 

My guess is that the lines ibanez shows in his example result from a fault in devoloping. 

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21 minutes ago, Reini said:

Ok Paulmac, it may be that you have the experience. If the Filca are so much better (especially for the IIIa) than modern cassettes, they would not cost $ 10 but $ 100.
I have already repaired some Leicas and no big difference in the cassette housing.
Even of these stripes stripes themselves have not seen anything in my negatives. Presumably because the Curtains have been replaced by me or absolutely okay.

But I like to learn 😉


@Ibanez take down the lens once, put paper instead of film in the film slot and watch if something from the curtain on the paper grinds.

 

Reini - take a FILCA then take a modern cassette and place them side by side.

You will see that the FILCA is actually 1.5mm bigger than the modern cassette. This is not supposition it is a fact!

The 111A was designed to use the FILCA the modern cassette was not invented when the 111A was first released. 

Try this - take a modern cassette and place it in a 111A - THEN take the end of a modern cassette ie an original type that had ends that could be "popped off" and not the crimped on type that we now have, place the round end over the protruding spool of the cassette and then close the camera with the baseplate lock. You will find that it will close without any problem and at a stretch you can even put two ends over the cassette (ie acting as spacer shims) this shows that the modern cassette is indeed too small for the 111A body and there is space for at least ONE shim and often TWO shims to force the cassette fully into the film chamber.

The later IXMOO Leitz brass cassette for the M cameras is SMALLER than the FILCA and will not work correctly in a LTM 111A and vice versa the FILCA being bigger than IXMOO will not FIT or work in an M camera.

The problem is exactly as I have described with the modern cassette V FILCA - the two are not compatible and with the 111A to use the camera correctly then a FILCA cassette has to be used!.

With an M camera it doesn't matter because the IXMOO and a modern cassette have the same length and are completely interchangeable but only  IN AN M CAMERA!!

I went into this in great detail because of the problems that I was having with BLACK lines on my 111A. In my research I bought several FILCA's and several IXMOO cassettes and found that even a Leica dealer supplied the WRONG cassettes and was unaware that the FILCA and IXMOO were NOT interchangeable!

 

Edited by paulmac

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Paulmac thanks for your detailed explanation. But I do not recognize any reason for the stripes.
I once restored a IIIa, passed it on. Half a year later, the new owner wrote:> Thank you, the camera works well and without any problems ... <

He certainly used normal cassettes as in his other cameras.

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9 minutes ago, Reini said:

Paulmac thanks for your detailed explanation. But I do not recognize any reason for the stripes.
I once restored a IIIa, passed it on. Half a year later, the new owner wrote:> Thank you, the camera works well and without any problems ... <

He certainly used normal cassettes as in his other cameras.

Even Cartier Bresson had problems with this issue of film register. 

Look at some of his prints and you will find that that occasionally the negative actually extends onto the sprocket holes and HCB as per his NO cropping rule had them printed as they were.

Leica must have recognised this problem and with the 111F and 111G they fitted a metal tongue on the baseplate to PUSH the film always into the correct register.

Maybe it's just MY camera then BUT as I have always said and experienced MY 111A ALWAYS gives BLACK lines when used with a modern cassette.

With a FILCA the camera is perfect and that is how I always use it!

I am at a loss to explain why this should be BUT the fact remains that is absolutely how it is!

Edited by paulmac

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