Not Your Everyday Banana

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I've taken some photos with my old Zenit-B camera. And I have some strange white spot on all of the photos in the upper right corner. Sometimes it is not too recognizable, but it is everywhere.

spot on a normal photo spot on a dark photo sometimes it is not recognizable

It looks like condensate, but I can't see anything like that on the lenses when I open camera. Also it is quite strange that this spot even appeared on absolutely dark photo.

Does anybody know what could it be and how could it be fixed?

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No problem, I've just done it photo.stackexchange.com/questions/19276/… –  levanovd Jan 16 '12 at 19:15
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3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I would say light leakage and possibly internal reflections of some sort.

Considering you get a "bright patch" in the top right, I would highly suspect there is light leaking in.

The "dots" look a lot like reflections to me. In the lens, on a piece - anything that is shiny and reflects light.

I'd say start by checking whether the back closes properly. Next check if you have light leakage from the viewfinder.

Lastly, have a good look if you can see a reason for reflections in the camera.

If none of the three turn up something, try a different lens and see if the issue still occurs. If no, then it is the lens, otherwise... I'm out of ideas...

A last common option for failure would be the shutter, BUT that tends to look rather different.

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Definitely a light leak. For what it's worth, this page on the Zenit B (first hit I got on google) confirms that this camera make is prone to light leaks, but suggests that they're relatively easy to repair. –  mattdm Jan 15 '12 at 20:15
    
The facts that it has different brightness on different photos and is quite bright on an otherwise dark frame suggest the leak is independent of exposure. Being in the upper edge, I'd suspect lower edge of the body. –  Imre Jan 15 '12 at 21:12
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I'd agree, definitely a light leak along the lower edge. I guess thats not too surprising for 40 year old camera that was known for light leaks. ;) –  jrista Jan 15 '12 at 23:29
    
You could wrap the camera in several layers of black plastic (from thick garbage bags) with only the front of the lens visible, this would confirm it is a light leak. By then pulling back the amount of camera covered will easily help you to find where the leak is. –  Barry Semple Jan 16 '12 at 2:05
    
Thank you! I've done some investigation and identified that the problem is in shutter. I've updated my question providing more info. –  levanovd Jan 16 '12 at 18:54
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From the sample shots, the amount of flare varies with shutter speed. In the first shot, where it's a major blowout, the aperture was small, suggesting a longer exposure. In the scenic, where the exposure was short, the effect is much smaller. That would point to something in front of the shutter. If the leak were on the camera back, all of the frames would show completely blown out highlights because the leak would be continuous.

I would look closely at the foam under the viewfinder screen. A very small bit of lens damage is a possibility, because the pattern suggests multiple internal reflections, but not something on the front element. Given that the Zenit has a threaded lens mount, the mount itself is an unlikely suspect.

Whatever it is, it will be quite small. Use a good magnifying glass!

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For a quick 'fix' try sealing the edges of the back (with opaque tape or put the camera body in a case) and see what changes.

Does the back flex when closed? Using a metal straight edge as a guide, do the edges of the back seem flat?

If that doesn't identify the problem then trying another lens would be a good elimination test.

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