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Partially exposed frames


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Today, after 15 years, I picked up the first developed roll again and noticed that some frames appear to have been unexposed, showing only a partial clear impression line.

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2 others instead (vertical shots) show a black line in approximately the same position (i.e. vertically, on the left).

All the frames concerned, with the same problem, had been taken in the same light conditions.

Is it possible that the shutter curtain has problems at certain speeds?

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Which R camera is it? Does it have a vertical shutter or a horizontal one? If I recall correctly the R6 had a horizontal one... In any case, the ones with the horizontal line and most of the frame blank certainly look like a shutter that is in need of a tune up. I can't really explain the ones with the missing left edge. Perhaps an advancement problem? Either way, both issues point to the camera needing a service. Cameras tend to prefer some regular use more than sitting for 15 years. It seems like a good time to give it a service anyway! As encouragement, I would say that when I inherited my dad's M6, it was working well, but had never been serviced...1985 or so until 2015. I sent it to Leica and it came back feeling like a totally different camera. Much smoother, quieter and the viewfinder was brighter as well. I don't think Leica themselves service R cameras anymore, but I imagine that there is a good technician somewhere in Italy who can help.

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Posted (edited)
Am 23.4.2023 um 15:19 schrieb 2mme:

Is it possible that the shutter curtain has problems at certain speeds?

To me it looks like your camera's shutter does not form the intended slit width correctly. As you may know, the speed at which the shutter curtains travel is always the same for any given shutter, it is the slit width that changes when changing shutter speed (narrow slit for e.g. 1/1000s and wider slit for, say, 1/30s). It seems that your shutter is unable to form narrower slit widths, and does not have any slit width then, hence the blacked out portions on your shots. If I am correct, you should see this phenomenon mostly with shorter shutter speeds, and not so much with longer shutter speeds. You can verify this by yourself by opening the camera's back door and firing your shutter against a bright light source (without film, of course). Check all shutter speeds one after the other, and you will likely see where the problem is. Also, slit width should stay constant for any given shutter speed.

Edited by wizard
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Thanks so much for the tips, guys!

The camera is an R5 (therefore with a vertical shutter) and therefore the defect in the negatives could also be explained with the shutter open with the mirror lowered, but the one visible in the positive image I think can be explained very well with the wizard’s hypothesis.

I had taken the photographs in aperture priority, but from the light conditions and the film ISO, I assume that the time was about 1/250-1/500..

I’m contacting a photo lab for a CLA, as recommended!

I will update you!
Thanks a lot again!!

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