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The speckle problem


Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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The speckle problem

19 Sep 2021 8:28AM   Views : 776 Unique : 546


There are some interesting markings on some of the negatives that I developed on Friday Ė but I think I know how they happened. Itís to do with being sixty years old and needing new parts Ė and I do mean the camera and not me.


As you can see from the picture of the back of the camera the curtains are a little rippled: the view of the inside of the camera shows a sort of crackle finish, which is, I think the rubberised coating on the cloth curtain hardening and cracking.


And how did I reach this conclusion? Well, one of the peculiarities of the Exakta Varex IIa is that it doesnít have an instant return mirror. Therefore the shutter curtains are exposed to more light than in most cameras if you donít wind on immediately after each picture. And those who are used to older cameras will remember the general advice not to leave shutters cocked because it may weaken the spring mechanism.


It was then quite easy to check a few of the dodgy frames and establish that the speckling is in the same places in every frame. The frames affected are the ones where the camera had not been used for a while. The speckling is worst when the camera havenít been used for some time, and was lightest when it had been left for just a few minutes after the previous frame.


Itís the first time Iíd ever had a camera suffering from deterioration of the blinds: it doesnít arise these days because rubberised silk has been replaced by plastic and metal. I shall look around for a repairer who can undertake the necessary work, but it wonít stop me using the camera so long as the condition doesnít worsen. Now I know whatís causing it, I can make sure that I minimise exposure to light in between taking pictures.

Of course, if anyone can recommend repairer Iíd love to hear from them!


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dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
19 Sep 2021 8:29AM
The picture of Nee Naaa is included sideways to make it easier to see the same pattern of light markings. Amber Belle holding the camera is, as they say, a courtesy detail.
kaybee Avatar
kaybee 19 8.7k 28 Scotland
19 Sep 2021 10:20AM
I quite like the effect you are getting - for some reason it makes me think of the Cottingley Fairies shots ... which of course don't have this effect, but I think it is the ethereal look. Obviously subject matter would need to be taken into consideration when using it.
chase Avatar
chase Plus
18 2.5k 682 England
19 Sep 2021 10:22AM
Think of them as Fire Flies John, tbh I quite like the effect Blush
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
19 Sep 2021 12:51PM
All i need is dust and decomposing rubber (from the mirror-damping strip) on the screen so I know where the fairies will be in the picture...

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