Thursday, July 30, 2015

This is What a Light Leak Looks Like - First Roll Minolta SRT-201


A big thanks for all the advice, suggestions and knowledge from a number of members from the "Film Photographers" Facebook page. After reading the below blog entry several of them identified the problem not as a light leak as I originally thought, but it was more likely a scratch either from the camera or the lab that processed the film. I have used this particular photo lab many times, so I'd have to think the scratches are coming from the camera. I'll give it an inspection and a cleaning and put another roll of film through it. If the scratches still appear, I'll take the camera down to the repair shop.


Original post...

One of the main concerns when purchasing a vintage film camera, especially on sites like eBay, is whether or not the camera is in complete working order. Take this Minolta SRT-201 for example. Aesthetically it looks to be in great condition and everything, including the light meter is working, however, when I got my first roll back from the photo lab today I noticed a couple of white lines running left to right across the length of the images. On some images it is more noticeable than others and on one or two, there aren't any white lines at all. The problem? A phenomenon known as a "light leak". 

The edge of the back panel on most film cameras has a thin foam strip that keeps light from getting in. Due in most part to the age of these cameras, the foam strip can deteriorate and not form a complete seal, thus allowing light in which will be seen in photographs, just like you see in the pictures below. The way to correct this is to replace the light seals. Fortunately for me, my shooting buddy and co-host of Turner, has replaced light seals on a few of his own vintage film cameras and corrected this problem. So, I'll be taking this particular camera over to his house later and see if we can't correct the problem, stay tuned!

Minolta SRT-201

Notice the white line along the bottom of the images. Some images also have another white line near the top of the image.

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