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Thread: Leica M3 caused foggy negative?

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    Leica M3 caused foggy negative?

    This is my 3rd roll of film through my film M3. I'm trying to figure out if it's something wrong with the camera or is it my shooting technique ie over/under expose or taking the film through airport x-ray, or light leak in the camera, etc. I know there are a lot of variables, but I hate keep loosing the captured moment.

    I know the same type of shots with the same lens on my NEX-7 never shows any fog.

    The problem is that I'm getting very mixed results in an entire roll. Some pictures comes out extremely detailed while other comes out very foggy. All the film were processed/scanned through Swan Photo Labs. The negatives looks exactly the same as the scan.

    I attached two images taken right after each other from a recent roll of Ilford XP2 400 that has not expired.

    Help??

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    Re: Leica M3 caused foggy negative?

    One other problem I'm seeing intermittently as well during mid roll is photo will loose all details at the bottom of the frame.

    these two examples are from the same roll as above near the end of the roll. Exposure 29, 30.

    Btw, newbie to Leica film. Any tip help is appreciated!
    thanks in advance.

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    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M3 caused foggy negative?

    Usually when there's a light leak the negatives will all be similar in appearance. Film should never go through traditional airport screening methods, so this could be the culprit because when film is wound on a roll it might be subjected to varying levels of exposure, thus images are inconsistent. Leica M3's are fantastic cameras, and need CLA's to make sure everything is lubed, and smooth. My M3/50mm summicron was recently CLA'd by DAG and is like new. Try using a roll of fresh film and take several photos using different exposure values for the initial metered reading. Another method would be to shoot a roll of C41 (color) and have a local photo shop do the process, and therefore not be exposed to airport screening.
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    Re: Leica M3 caused foggy negative?

    I guess best way to narrow it down is process of elimination. Going to try a fresh roll of tri-x that never been on a plane.
    Another note on this roll, it was shot with Noctilux 0.95. Is there any known issue with using that lens with M3?

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    Re: Leica M3 caused foggy negative?

    The results are far to even for light leaks or X-Rays. I would say it is under exposure.

    Where are you metering the light from, and with what sort of meter? The portrait of the woman looks like the meter has given you a highlight reading for the bright sunshine falling on the subject when you should be metering from a mid tone or shadow. The successful photograph could be because you did hit a mid tone with your meter, and the two others I would guess that again you metered on the sky or highlight.

    I doubt it is your shutter speeds that need adjusting with a CLA as they tend to get slower, so would cause over exposure and dense negatives, not thin ones.

    FWIW you can probably save something of the portrait if it was scanned and post processed in Photoshop.

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    Re: Leica M3 caused foggy negative?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    Usually when there's a light leak the negatives will all be similar in appearance. Film should never go through traditional airport screening methods, so this could be the culprit because when film is wound on a roll it might be subjected to varying levels of exposure, thus images are inconsistent. Leica M3's are fantastic cameras, and need CLA's to make sure everything is lubed, and smooth. My M3/50mm summicron was recently CLA'd by DAG and is like new. Try using a roll of fresh film and take several photos using different exposure values for the initial metered reading. Another method would be to shoot a roll of C41 (color) and have a local photo shop do the process, and therefore not be exposed to airport screening.

    Good advice. You might put a 35mm lens on the NEX alongside the 50 on the M3. Shoot the same frame at same aperture, shutter speed and iso. Results should be similar.
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    Re: Leica M3 caused foggy negative?

    those thin frames just look like grossly underexposed color negative film. About 3 to 4 stops. The fact that you can have that and then a good frame suggests its just exposure.

    Also the bottom of those frames is in shadow- so I don't think it looks like the frame is unevenly exposed.

    have you looked through the shutter at all speeds- does it seem like it works as it should?

    the shutters do tend to get slower as they go out of adjustment but perhaps the width of the shutter gap is out at higher speeds- too close together. Then you'd get underexposed in brighter situations and perhaps normally exposed in darker situations.

    Probably due for a checkup.

    Also if you are taking minilab scans as your final- some of those minilabs apply hdr like exposure compensations to the frames they scan and print to help amateurs out. so you really don't know what you are getting imo if you take you film to walmart for example.

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    Re: Leica M3 caused foggy negative?

    Great tips! I'm using the Voigtlander VC II meter on top of the M3. Since it's not TTL, it's been best guess depending on where I point the meter and lack of experience. I got too used to the built in meters.

    I will try what Cindy suggested. Set both camera with the same settings side by side and do a more systematic test. Only way to improve is by trial and error.

    The shutter does seem to function as they should. Once this roll is done, I might take it down to the local Camera shop and have them test the shutter speed.

    thanks again everyone!

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    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M3 caused foggy negative?

    I use the VC meter I on top of my M2. It does a good job for me, but one has to think about what you are metering. If you are in doubt, meter on your hand in the same light as the subject.

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    Re: Leica M3 caused foggy negative?

    yes all those underexposed frames were backlit. the reflected meter is going to be fooled by that and also depending on angle of lens- its either good as an average or way off as a spot.

    more thinking is in order...

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    Re: Leica M3 caused foggy negative?

    I use a Pentax spot meter and always meter for the dark areas(B/W) where I want a little detail. Cindy's suggestion is a good one, sometimes you might need to place the meter near the subject and aim it at the camera.

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    Senior Member sjg284's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M3 caused foggy negative?

    If you have an iPhone, the app "Pocket Light Meter" is surprisingly good.
    You can select where in frame to meter, etc.
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pock...381698089?mt=8

    For reference, in my last round of film shooting in pre-iPhone era, I used a Gossen Digisix.
    This app is easier to spot meter with, and one less piece of hardware to carry around..

    I'm using it with my M3 on color negative film so far, and getting good negatives back.
    blog
    steve

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