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dudler’s latest blog : the speckle problem

dudler's latest blog : art, snap or reportage

The speckle problem

19 Sep 2021 8:28AM  
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There are some interesting markings on some of the negatives that I developed on Friday – but I think I know how they happened. It’s to do with being sixty years old and needing new – and I do mean the camera and not me.

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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.

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And how did I reach this conclusion? Well, one of the peculiarities of the Exakta Varex IIa is that it doesn’t have an instant return mirror. Therefore the shutter curtains are exposed to more light than in most cameras if you don’t 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.

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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 haven’t been used for some time, and was lightest when it had been left for just a few minutes after the previous frame.

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It’s the first time I’d ever had a camera suffering from deterioration of the blinds: it doesn’t arise these days because rubberised silk has been replaced by plastic and metal.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 won’t stop me using the camera so long as the condition doesn’t worsen. Now I know what’s causing it, I can make sure that I minimise exposure to light in between taking pictures.

Of course, if anyone can recommend repairer I’d love to hear from them!

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