Jump to content


Photo

troubleshooting. any ideas appreciated.


  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 Daniel Stanford

Daniel Stanford

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 12 May 2007 - 09:16 PM

I just got a Nikon 8x Super Zoom from ebay. I shot one roll of film on it and when the film came back, the first 8 feet of it were perfectly exposed, then all of a sudden it was completely overexposed for the remainder of the roll. My question is, what could have happened. A friend said the shutter could have gotten stuck in the open position. Should I have it serviced, or could I possibly fix it myself? I don't even know where to begin.
  • 0

#2 Rick Palidwor

Rick Palidwor
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 407 posts
  • Director

Posted 12 May 2007 - 10:13 PM

I just got a Nikon 8x Super Zoom from ebay. I shot one roll of film on it and when the film came back, the first 8 feet of it were perfectly exposed, then all of a sudden it was completely overexposed for the remainder of the roll. My question is, what could have happened. A friend said the shutter could have gotten stuck in the open position. Should I have it serviced, or could I possibly fix it myself? I don't even know where to begin.


First, are you sure you didn't accidentally nudge the aperture open? It is close to the zoom ring and can be accidentally moved without realizing it. If it's locked open you will notice.

To see if the shutter is stuck, run the camera with no film and with film comparment open. You should be able to look through the film gate. Start and stop a few times and note whether the shutter stays open (it should close when the camera stops. If it's open you will still be able to see light through the gate even when camera is stopped.) If this was the problem you would also notice hot hot frames every time the camera was stopped during your shoot. Should be obvious.

If it tests okay, check the aperture. Looking through the gate as you run the camera, open and close the aperture. You will see it open and close.
Rick
  • 0

#3 Daniel Stanford

Daniel Stanford

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 13 May 2007 - 10:49 AM

It wasn't the aperture setting, though that was a thoughtful idea. I think it is the shutter because I'm still seeing light through the gate when the camera stops running. I didn't notice hot frames, however. If this is the case, can I disassemble the camera myself and fix the problem, or should I bite the bullet and have it serviced? I didn't pay very much for the camera, so if I break it, I'm not out alot of money, but if I have it serviced, I certainly will be.
  • 0

#4 Terry Mester

Terry Mester
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 323 posts
  • Other
  • Welland, Ontario, Canada

Posted 26 May 2007 - 07:16 PM

The fact that the Shutter would stay in the 'open' position when the Camera is turned off does not indicate a problem. This happens all the time with my Sankyo. It just leaves a bleached spot on a few Frames.
When you say it was completely overexposed, do you mean it was bleached or is there some image? If the Shutter were stuck, that would mean one of the gears got stripped. It's easiest to check the Shutter in the dark by shining a flashlight in the Lens, and with the Cart Door open look at the Film Gate (or use a mirror) to see if the light is flickering. You can also very quickly turn the Camera on and off so that the Shutter will only turn a little bit. If you see the light flickering, then the Shutter is rotating. This would indicate too large an Aperture caused the over-exposure, and a failing Auto Aperture would be the cause. Perhaps the Battery for the Aperture went dead. Please let us know your results of this test.
  • 0

#5 Rick Palidwor

Rick Palidwor
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 407 posts
  • Director

Posted 26 May 2007 - 11:18 PM

The fact that the Shutter would stay in the 'open' position when the Camera is turned off does not indicate a problem. This happens all the time with my Sankyo. It just leaves a bleached spot on a few Frames.


I think it is a problem, insofar as it is not supposed to stop in the open position, your Sankyo included. It is not uncommon on these old cameras but that doesn't mean it wasn't made to do it.

Regardless, that is not the cause of Daniel's problem. I have a few of these Nikons and I have had the shutter completely removed (on purpose) for special effects shooting. You still get fairly normal exposures on your dominant subject (generally speaking) but your highlights streak vertically - this is the effect I am after when I shoot with one. You sometimes see this effect in episodes of CSI, in flashbacks, and in Soderberg's "The Limey" (amongst other films). It definitely would not result in completely over-exposed film.

I still think you accidentally knocked the aperture wide open (it can happen) and I would shoot another roll before I took any action. It is also possible that it was the fault of the lab.

Rick
  • 0

#6 Mark Dunn

Mark Dunn
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2424 posts
  • Other
  • London

Posted 28 May 2007 - 06:08 AM

I agree. It's very difficult to get completely clear film through over-exposure. I once tried a fade to white by opening up the aperture, but there was still shadow detail, and that would have been at least 4 or 5 stops over. That said, a stuck shutter would only add about a stop of over-exposure anyway.

Terry, I'm sorry but Super-8 cameras are supposed to stop with the shutter closed. So are some 16mm. cameras like the Bolex. They have an interlock for that purpose and if they didn't single-frame photography would be impossible.
When someone posts here they really do need accurate information.
  • 0

#7 Alessandro Machi

Alessandro Machi
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3318 posts
  • Other
  • California

Posted 28 May 2007 - 06:45 AM

I agree. It's very difficult to get completely clear film through over-exposure. I once tried a fade to white by opening up the aperture, but there was still shadow detail, and that would have been at least 4 or 5 stops over. That said, a stuck shutter would only add about a stop of over-exposure anyway.

Terry, I'm sorry but Super-8 cameras are supposed to stop with the shutter closed. So are some 16mm. cameras like the Bolex. They have an interlock for that purpose and if they didn't single-frame photography would be impossible.
When someone posts here they really do need accurate information.


Some Super-8 cameras do stop with the shutter open. I don't know if it's fair to say that that is automatically a bad or wrong thing. Sure it wouldn't be good for single frame work but I think the scenario being discussed is if one is shooting at 18 or 24 FPS and then stops.
  • 0

#8 Rick Palidwor

Rick Palidwor
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 407 posts
  • Director

Posted 28 May 2007 - 02:33 PM

Some Super-8 cameras do stop with the shutter open. I don't know if it's fair to say that that is automatically a bad or wrong thing. Sure it wouldn't be good for single frame work but I think the scenario being discussed is if one is shooting at 18 or 24 FPS and then stops.


Yes some cameas DO stop with the shutter open but I'd like to know which ones were MADE to do that. While it is neither bad nor wrong, it disallows single frame work, as you say, and disallows in-camera edits, as there will always be a flash frame. So which ones were made to do that? I am curious.

Regardless, it is not the source of Daniel's problem. Even removing the shutter would not result in completely overexposed film.

Daniel, you need to shoot another test. If you don't want to risk a whole roll, do you have another camera you trust? Use it for your next shoot but shoot a few feet with the Nikon. Or if you know someone about to shoot, ask if you can piggy-back a few feet of test at the end of their roll.

Rick
  • 0

#9 Terry Mester

Terry Mester
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 323 posts
  • Other
  • Welland, Ontario, Canada

Posted 28 May 2007 - 05:08 PM

How is the Camera mechanism supposed to ensure the Shutter is in the closed position when the Camera is turned off given that the Camera has no computer brain? Although I haven't taken apart a Camera, I can't see how it is more than a 50/50 random chance as to whether the Shutter stops open or closed. The Shutter and Sprocket Arm are connected by gears to the Camera's Motor, and when the Motor stops so does the Shutter. How would the Shutter turn another half-turn if it's open when the Motor stops? I personally find the bleached spot from an open Shutter to be useful for synchronizing sound to the film.
  • 0

#10 Rick Palidwor

Rick Palidwor
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 407 posts
  • Director

Posted 28 May 2007 - 09:52 PM

How is the Camera mechanism supposed to ensure the Shutter is in the closed position when the Camera is turned off given that the Camera has no computer brain? Although I haven't taken apart a Camera, I can't see how it is more than a 50/50 random chance as to whether the Shutter stops open or closed. The Shutter and Sprocket Arm are connected by gears to the Camera's Motor, and when the Motor stops so does the Shutter. How would the Shutter turn another half-turn if it's open when the Motor stops? I personally find the bleached spot from an open Shutter to be useful for synchronizing sound to the film.


I cannot explain how the mechanism to ensure the shutter is closed works (I am not a techie) but I am sure it's a simple mechanical device. If you really want to know the answer and it doesn't come forward here, post the question at www.filmshooting.com as I know some people over there would be able to explain it. But it is definitely a simple, and standard, feature of the shutter design.

Rick
  • 0

#11 Mark Dunn

Mark Dunn
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2424 posts
  • Other
  • London

Posted 29 May 2007 - 04:51 AM

Terry, Super-8 cameras don't have sprocket drive. The film is advanced only by the claw.
If there weren't an interlock to close the shutter, animation would be impossible.
Not understanding something doesn't stop it from working; I've just taken the front off my little GAF and I can see a cam operated by the start button. It's not too difficult to see this cam stopping the shutter from rotating, and swinging out of the way when pushed to allow it to rotate. I imagine the drive stops just before the cam operates, to stop the shutter from being driven into it.
It may work in this way, it may not; but I can at least work it out. I'd love to know the real explanation.
  • 0

#12 Alessandro Machi

Alessandro Machi
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3318 posts
  • Other
  • California

Posted 29 May 2007 - 12:12 PM

Yes some cameas DO stop with the shutter open but I'd like to know which ones were MADE to do that. While it is neither bad nor wrong, it disallows single frame work, as you say, and disallows in-camera edits, as there will always be a flash frame. So which ones were made to do that? I am curious.

Rick


I don't think a connection can be made between a camera that ends up with the shutter open half the time when shooting at 18 or 24 FPS versus it's reliability when shooting in the single frame mode, my opinion is they are two different issues.

While the flash frame can actually have a useful function as Terry has pointed out, one cannot actually rely on the camera to always leave the shutter open after the camera has stopped running so it would not be something one could count on. It would just be a quirky thing that isn't really bad or good, unless one is doing more sophisticated camera work such as Mr. Houllahan mentioned in another thread in which the camera is used to do quick in camera edits mixed in with single frame shots, then the flash frame, although a cool effect, may not be welcomed.
  • 0

#13 Rick Palidwor

Rick Palidwor
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 407 posts
  • Director

Posted 29 May 2007 - 05:34 PM

I don't think a connection can be made between a camera that ends up with the shutter open half the time when shooting at 18 or 24 FPS versus it's reliability when shooting in the single frame mode, my opinion is they are two different issues.

While the flash frame can actually have a useful function as Terry has pointed out, one cannot actually rely on the camera to always leave the shutter open after the camera has stopped running so it would not be something one could count on. It would just be a quirky thing that isn't really bad or good, unless one is doing more sophisticated camera work such as Mr. Houllahan mentioned in another thread in which the camera is used to do quick in camera edits mixed in with single frame shots, then the flash frame, although a cool effect, may not be welcomed.


We all realize that a flash frame can be a cool special effect or it can ruin a shot, depending on what one is doing.
I still contend that super 8 cameras do not "normally" stop with the shutter open AT ANY SPEED, as they were made with in-camera editing in mind, which the flash frame would ruin. Whenever I have had a camera that does stop with the shutter open (as a malfunction, I always presume) I keep it aside as a potential special effects camera.

And I am still curious if anyone has any evidence of cameras that were made which do not always (when working properly) stop with the shutter closed. I don't care that much. I am just curious.

And it is a side-track issue because it would not cause the problem Daniel described.

Rick
  • 0

#14 Terry Mester

Terry Mester
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 323 posts
  • Other
  • Welland, Ontario, Canada

Posted 29 May 2007 - 05:42 PM

Terry, Super-8 cameras don't have sprocket drive. The film is advanced only by the claw.
If there weren't an interlock to close the shutter, animation would be impossible.


When I talk about the "Sprocket Arm", I am referring to what you call the "claw". I don't mean an actual round "Sprocket". My Sankyo has a "Cable Release Socket" for doing single-frame work, and this may be different from your Camera. If the Camera is equipped with a mechanism to "shut" the Shutter when the Camera turns off, then it would likely have to be a type of Shutter Plate (like a guillotine) in front of the main Shutter Disc. The Shutter Disc, the Sprocket Arm / Claw, and the Camera's Motor must all be synchronously connected with "Gears". There is absolutely no other way for the timing to be maintained between the Shutter and Sprocket Arm. I personally don't get the point of this extra mechanism which has no purpose except to prevent a bleached dot from forming on the Film each time you turn off the Camera. The dot only affects about 3 Frames of the Film. Who cares?
  • 0

#15 Terry Mester

Terry Mester
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 323 posts
  • Other
  • Welland, Ontario, Canada

Posted 29 May 2007 - 05:59 PM

We all realize that a flash frame can be a cool special effect or it can ruin a shot, depending on what one is doing.
I still contend that super 8 cameras do not "normally" stop with the shutter open AT ANY SPEED, as they were made with in-camera editing in mind, which the flash frame would ruin.

You're right, it could be for single frame photography. I don't know how the Cable Release Socket works mechanically, and so I couldn't say if it prevents the Shutter from stopping in the open position.

Daniel,
Did you verify if your Shutter is stuck open? Please let us know.
  • 0


Technodolly

CineLab

Aerial Filmworks

Willys Widgets

CineTape

Rig Wheels Passport

Opal

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Visual Products

The Slider

Glidecam

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Tai Audio

Metropolis Post

rebotnix Technologies

Wooden Camera

Ritter Battery

Abel Cine

FJS International, LLC

Paralinx LLC

FJS International, LLC

Abel Cine

Ritter Battery

Wooden Camera

Rig Wheels Passport

Glidecam

Metropolis Post

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineLab

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Tai Audio

The Slider

rebotnix Technologies

Technodolly

Opal

Paralinx LLC

Willys Widgets

Aerial Filmworks

Visual Products

CineTape

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS