I just developed a roll of negative (HP5+, shot with a film Leica), and there is a horizontal line across the first few frames (like 4 or 5).

It is on the negative, so it's not an issue with the scanner. What could it be?

PS: it's never happened to me before, and I just CLAed the camera.

enter image description here

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Looks like scratches. \$\endgroup\$
    – xiota
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 23:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Agree with @xiota. Is there anything about the camera or in your developing process that has the potential to scratch some frames? Does the scratch start off the negative strip and continue into the 5th frame? Does it just suddenly appear? Are you sure every other frame is free of scratch and it's only the first 5 frames? \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 23:40

2 Answers 2


If it’s limited to just the first few frames, there are two likely causes:

  1. It could have been caused while rolling the film in the developing holder or while removing the excess humidity on the film after the water bath.

  2. It could also be that the camera had some debris (left over by improperly cleaning it during the CLA, find another place for its next CLA) that was picked by first the few frames, creating the strike and clearing the debris.

You will know if the camera is fine after developing the next roll of film. Now you have a reason to load the Leica with a fresh roll, go out and take a few more pictures

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ yeah, will do tomorrow and let you know :) \$\endgroup\$
    – zzzbbx
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 0:31

I've seen this happen over the years. Ultimately, the culprit is either dirt/grit inside the camera or something inside the developing machine. Most of the time it's caused by debris in the camera that scratches the film as the film is advanced.


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