Horizontal lines across frame?

Discussion in 'Leica' started by nickthetasmaniac, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Veteran

    Jan 20, 2014
    Launceston & Sydney
    Nick Clark
    Hi everyone,

    I've had a few rolls developed from my M2 now and I'm noticing consistent horizontal streaks across the frame. Visibility depends on the exposure but I *think* it's there on everything...

    Here's an example (visible across the top third of the frame).


    For what it's worth, all of the rolls I've had developed thus far have been processed and scanned by the same lab, presumably on the same gear...

    Any thoughts?

    Cheers, Nick
  2. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Nick, I think those are called clouds :rofl:
  3. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Veteran

    Jan 20, 2014
    Launceston & Sydney
    Nick Clark
    Oh right, easy mistake to make...
  4. pdh

    pdh Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Presumably you have the negatives. Examine them with a loupe (or a manual focus 50mm lens reversed) over a diffuse light source.
    Can you see them on the film? If yes then either camera or careless processing.
    If not then scanning artefact from careless lab
  5. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    I used to get lines like that scanning film at home. It was a problem with my scanner - and a simple one, at that. Here's what happens:

    1. You load film, and start up the scanner.
    2. The scanner calibrates itself by starting at one end of the bed, where there is supposed to be NOTHING*, and scans across with the light. (*there's a small smudge or bit of dirt here at the edge of the bed, which will cause all your later problems)
    3. Having unknowingly calibrated itself on an imperfect strip of "white" with a smudge on it, the scanner then applies that incorrect white balance / level adjustment where the smudge was ALL the way across the scanned image, which makes the smudge look like a streak.

    I took a clean wipe and wiped the back edge of my epson scanner, and poof, no more streaks. So the lab likely has a scanner issue, and if they charged you for the scans, they need to clean the scanner and do it again. Theirs is probably NOT a flat bed, of course - most labs seem to use in-line scanners - but the similarity is so strong that it suggests a similar root cause. Your camera can't do this, I don't think, and the odds that multiple rolls of film had a streak in the same place... are essentially nil.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. lenshacker

    lenshacker Veteran

    Nov 21, 2014
    It might be the scanner- but it can also be caused by the shutter. Check the negatives, especially those shot at a high speed.

    The shutter of the M2 moves at 1/50th second, and the slit for 1/1000th second is 36mm/20- "about" 2mm. If the end of the shutter is frayed or something clinging to it, then the exposure will not be even across the frame.
  7. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Veteran

    Jan 20, 2014
    Launceston & Sydney
    Nick Clark
    Hi everyone, thanks for the responses.

    For those that asked, yes, the lines were visible on the film.

    I've since had a roll of Portra 160 and Pro 400H developed by another lab and I can't for the life of me see anything on either the scans or the film, so I suspect it was a developing issue at the initial lab. I'll be having a chat with them next time I'm in Sydney, and they're a well regarded bunch of folk so hopefully that will be productive.

    Doesn't seem to be the M2 though which is a relief...
    • Like Like x 1