I've been using my grandfather's Seagull DF-1ETM (Chinese equivalent of the Minolta SRT 101) and on some of the photos, the left edge would be under-exposed.

This photo was fine.

This photo is not fine.

Does anyone know what could be causing this? I don't use a flash, if that helps.

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    Are you using a lens hood that could be on a little crooked causing vignetting on one side. Or holding your hand on that side for focusing and possible blocking light ? Both unlikely as the the portion underexposed is uniform like that caused by a sticky shutter. Just exploring all the possibilities. Have you just started using the camera after it was sitting for years in the closet? If you have used it often recently, has this just started ? – Alaska Man Jul 4 '19 at 19:35

Probably caused by a sticking shutter.

Multiple possible causes... the only thing to do is have it serviced and hopefully it is something easy to fix (CLA as Hueco said). Last film camera I took in to have the shutter fixed was DOA w/ no repair parts available... and that was over a decade ago. Either way it will probably cost more than the camera is worth (other than sentimental value).

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    Your answer would be informative if you explained what would cause a "sticking shutter", how a sticky shutter would cause this AND what to do about it. – Alaska Man Jul 4 '19 at 19:31
  • Perhaps my subtle suggestion was to subtle The point I was trying to make is your answer is just a one line answer without any additional information. On this site answers work best if you give detailed explanations as to why it is the correct answer and how to address the problem. If you edit your answer to include those things it will be better for everyone with similar problems that run across this question in the future. – Alaska Man Jul 4 '19 at 20:38
  • Ok, done....... – Steven Kersting Jul 4 '19 at 20:53
  • Yeah I think its a sticky shutter too, where the shutter isn't travelling evenly. Previously, I noticed that the aperture ring wasn't doing anything, and I found out that after taking apart just the lens mount, there was a small layer of oily residue, and wiping that off made it work again. And yeah, to answer Alaska Man, its pretty self explanatory. Older purely mechanical film cameras were easily affected by things like this. – taotao Sep 11 '19 at 6:15

This is a focal-plane shutter which is unhappy. It's hard to tell for certain without exposure information, but given the light and plausible film speed the shutter will have been working in the mode where it never fully opens but rather a slot moves across the film plane (in other words the exposure is shorter than the flash sync speed). And what is happening is that either the slot width is varying or the speed the slot is being pulled over the film at a varying speed. I believe the former is not usually possible, so it will be the latter.

This is a common problem with focal-plane shutters and the solution is to get the camera looked at by someone competent: a CLA will fix it.

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  • I think the issue is that the first curtain is not opening immediately/smoothly when the shutter is released, resulting in underexposure at the beginning of the frame. It is dragging as it comes up to speed, resulting in the gradient. Hopefully a CLA will fix it, but there are other possible causes that would require replacement of the shutter, and parts are probably not available. Either way it will probably cost more than the camera is worth (other than sentimental value). – Steven Kersting Jul 4 '19 at 20:56

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