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Scratched film due to Leica design


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I remember my older sister in the 70's buying all of those magazines (Vogue, etc ).... I have to admit, being a teenage boy, I enjoyed looking at the scantily clad girls... 

But I also remember the pure falsement of the images as the faces were clearly void of any pimple or facial mars let alone the scratches or mars from a camera.  Totally worked. 

So perhaps from an editor's point of view, then and now they want that false perfection, let alone the people on the page want to be falsified too.... Have you seen old stars now such as Goldie Hawn or when Regis was alive etc without make-up?.... and how their faces are/were no where near perfection akin to a 30 year old? .... Don't we all know they are fake....fake, fake... 

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I suspect we were far more critical of film scratches back in the day than anybody is now.  Back then there was no easy way to hide them.  Nowadays many (most?) folks that shoot film don't use a darkroom, they scan it and then can do the digital "correction" to repair faults rather easily.  In the darkroom, that wasn't easy at all.  So it's not a question of "faults" that always existed are being questioned now; it's the opposite.  Faults that may be accepted now because they are easily correctable were not acceptable at all in the darkroom days (and they shouldn't be acceptable today).

Edited by Mikep996
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Good post Mikep996.... Correct. Faults prior to the dry darkroom and software were uncorrectable while now they are stylish or chic. Agreed

But this statement " Faults that may be accepted now because they are easily correctable were not acceptable at all in the darkroom days (and they shouldn't be acceptable today)." 

NO WAY....no way, no way, no way. The banality and anality views of today that demand perfection is why many film photographers, including myself....turn the opposite direction using film where there is imperfection. The anal view of today is 'sharp as you can get it',...I want to see the nose hairs in clear detail. Oh, look....stray light...can't have that. Oh my, is that  (egads) a dust spot? Whoa Nelly, I think I see a scratch...or is there sharpness from corner to corner? Or is the contrast a bit too off? 

When I look at that, I see a clear line of delineation where I stand on one side of that smiling at the digital ones who are going nuts with anal views. 

FILM all the way baby..... bring it on.

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Edited by lmans
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It was back in 1978 I shot my first 35mm film, and I do not remember these scratch free times. No indeed, my results with the Nikon FE varied. So much so that I suspected the lab screwing up my film from time to time, so I started to do it myself. Being poor students my brother and I bought 30m rails of HP5 and of course this added even more variables. We had ups and downs and the battle against dust was a constant effort. A lot of these scratches were not visible on the enlarger, and only some were deep enough to really mess up a whole film, but they were there. The camera was not to blame, but some of our films where out of the box (maybe not kept dustfree enough before putting it in) and sometimes it was me forgetting to blow out the last grain of sand or dust when I opened the back of the camera. Re-using cheap plastic cannisters was always a risk. I always managed to solve it without sending the camera in for repair. But I never had a really deep scratch occurring at the exact same spot, again and again over the complete length of film. Maybe 2 films is too small a sample to be conclusive, but it makes me suspicious.

Edited by dpitt
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"NO WAY....no way, no way, no way. The banality and anality views of today that demand perfection is why many film photographers, including myself....turn the opposite direction using film where there is imperfection."

 

I sort of agree with that but I don't think we're talking about the imperfections inherent to film - grain, for example.  If someone nowadays wants to intentionally scratch film during development/printing for "artistic" reasons, that's fine but again, a camera scratching the film is not and never was acceptable.  Film images do not (did not) come with scratches, dust, fingerprints, etc unless it was intentional or the film was badly mishandled either by the lab or the camera..

The current concept of a film image seems to be that it is full of imperfections but that's mostly based on looking at old, damaged prints/negatives that have been posted to the internet on UTube, etc.  When the originals were taken, they didn't look like that.

 

Edited by Mikep996
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At the risk of sounding rude, I think this whole discussion about scratched film being cool/retro/stylish is ridiculous.  I think @lmans is pulling our leg - at least I hope so. 

Clearly, a camera that scratches film is defective.  If you want to add visual defects to your final images for artistic reasons then that's fine.  But claiming that a camera that damages film is somehow ok is nonsense.

Edited by logan2z
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10 hours ago, lmans said:

NO WAY....no way, no way, no way. The banality and anality views of today that demand perfection is why many film photographers, including myself....turn the opposite direction using film where there is imperfection. The anal view of today is 'sharp as you can get it',...I want to see the nose hairs in clear detail. Oh, look....stray light...can't have that. Oh my, is that  (egads) a dust spot? Whoa Nelly, I think I see a scratch...or is there sharpness from corner to corner? Or is the contrast a bit too off? 

 

 

I know what you mean. Film was perfect until digital came along, after all we knew nothing else, then the discussions started that compared a film image with digital and the dominant discussion was negatively biased towards how imperfect film was, from having grain, to sometimes having a speck of dust, to it's limited ISO range, etc. That discussion never went away, it is hard wired and especially in the credulous brains of overnight experts who've come to film because it is a new fashion among their peer group. And while they may expect a bit of grain what they don't expect is a different type of work ethic and make assumptions based on hard edged digital practice. This doesn't accommodate the varied characteristics of different films, myriad types of development, types of printing/post processing etc. not to mention how an experienced photographer can turn things on their head and enjoy experimenting and embracing variables as they arise and not being afraid of imperfection. I bought my Holga for imperfection! I use my cloudy Elmar for imperfection! I use old film stock for imperfection! I'll try a new developer in the knowledge the film may not come out perfect! But of course not all those things all the time.

 

Edited by 250swb
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16 hours ago, lmans said:

And your point? 

I don't know now, I thought I was agreeing with you, but if that isn't good enough I can change the first sentence from 'I know what you mean' to 'What rubbish' and you can read the rest as an essay of sarcasm. 

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It appears both my Leica IIIf and M3 put tiny microscratches into the film which I had not noticed before. This is consistent with the notion of a narrow film gate and dragging sounds when the film is rewound.

I was cutting up a negative from the IIIf to sleeve it with the afternoon sun slanting into the room and I could not help noticing these tiny scratches, see attached photograph. You can't see the scratches if you look directly at the negative, and the scratches are not in the emulsion side, definitely on the back. I confirmed that these tiny scratches also are on negatives from the M3, and not just Ilford but also Kodak film. I have posted photographs to LUF from these negatives and no scratches are visible in the scans, as you would expect, the focus point of the scanner would not resolve the back of the negative if focussed on the emulsion. I confirmed that negatives that have passed through the Nikon SLRs do not have such microscratches, but obviously the pressure plate in those cameras are spring loaded and are not immovably fixed.

This is also consistent with the notion that if the engineering tolerances lean towards too narrow a gate, in relatively rare occasions, even deeper scratches will be seen. I suspect that the passage of film through the camera over time would wear down the gate to some extent and deeper scratches will disappear, hence older cameras would not show obvious scratch marks.

 

 

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Edited by williamj
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