I've got a squeaky Canon AE-1 Program, and in some pictures, a black object would appear. I've emailed a CLA place near me, and he quote:

" You have something floating around your film frame..hopefully not a damaged curtain ribbon"

I certainly don't think it's a floating object inside my frame, nor a damaged curtain ribbon, because only two shots out of 2 rolls had these anomalies. I've attached some pics as well if it helps. enter image description here enter image description here


There's something in your camera's light box fairly close in front of the film plane. Just because it is intermittent doesn't mean it isn't there. In fact, intermittent obstructions indicate that it is almost certainly something to do with the parts that move every time you shoot a frame: the shutter assembly and the mirror assembly.

I certainly don't think it's a floating object inside my frame, nor a damaged curtain ribbon, because only two shots out of 2 rolls had these anomalies.

Keep shooting with it. It will start to show up more and more frequently until it fails completely. You'll then be able to see what it is when you look inside your camera's light box.

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  • I've been dry firing the shutter with the back open and my phone filming in slo motion looking for objects, and I still haven't found anything. – taotao Oct 11 '19 at 6:55
  • @taotao Has the issue manifested itself in any more of your images? – Michael C Oct 11 '19 at 6:57
  • Not yet. I've been searching around the inside of the back of the camera to try and find the thingie and I haven't found anything it. I don't want to risk any more rolls of film because they are quite expensive here in Sydney. – taotao Oct 11 '19 at 7:00
  • If there's something loose in your camere, it's not behind the shutter, it's in front of it. Instead of looking in the back, remove the lens and look in from the front. – Michael C Oct 11 '19 at 7:02

This is an image of a series i took way back in ancient times with an instamatic film camera. There was a loose covering inside, which i only noticed after half a month of traveling portugal.

The piece shows up differently on each photo and not at all on some of them.

But finding and fixing this was pretty easy once i noticed, as it was fairly obvious when i opened it and removed the film.

image with obstruction

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Could be your camera strap getting in the way?

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  • A camera strap would be WAAAYYYY more out of focus. Put anything directly in front of a lens when it is focused on relatively distant objects and it will barely be visible if at all. – Michael C Sep 12 '19 at 1:42
  • Actually no. If you are shooting 50mm at f8 or higher (for sunny days, and these photos do look like full sun), and place the camera strap directly in front of your lens, they look like the issue to me. You'd be surprised how some people can make this mistake and not notice until they look at their images. But yeah, it could also be something floating inside the camera frame. – Ross Duggan Sep 12 '19 at 4:59

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