I have some Kodak Gold 200 shot on a Canon AV-1 where one exposure in the middle of the roll (#17) has a portion of the exposure missing with sharp line. None of the other exposured (on this or any other roll) have this issue. What might cause this?

damaged image of a lake

  • \$\begingroup\$ How was the film processed -- you did it, local lab, or mailed off? \$\endgroup\$
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented Mar 24, 2022 at 15:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ZeissIkon mailed off via a local shop \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 24, 2022 at 16:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ How do you know it's middle of the roll? Edge markings? \$\endgroup\$
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented Mar 24, 2022 at 16:27
  • 9
    \$\begingroup\$ It is perhaps a stupid question, but are you sure that the black thing is not a real object and actually there, e.g. the shadow side of a bridge pillar or something like that? \$\endgroup\$
    – jarnbjo
    Commented Mar 24, 2022 at 17:48
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @DariusHuntly Photos are supposed to be sharp and I suppose you have a halfway decent lens on your AV-1, so why not. The reason I am asking is that anything withing the camera, which could have caused such an issue would have left a completely straight edge. There is simply no object in the camera, which could have caused such a jagged edge. Can you post a scan or picture of the negative strip including the perforated edges of the film and at least a small strip of each image on either side of this image? \$\endgroup\$
    – jarnbjo
    Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 12:45

3 Answers 3


I believe there was a rough stone wall in the frame and the light situation had so much contrast that it appears near black.

There is nothing in your camera that has this kind of edge texture, nor is there anything in the development process that I can think of, that has such an edge.

  • \$\begingroup\$ And it's very likely it would have been in the foreground of the image not in the water so using the vertical line to focus in the prism would have resulted in the background being a bit out of focus. \$\endgroup\$
    – davolfman
    Commented May 24 at 17:20

The black areas are hard-edged, so they're right in front of the film. I think your shutter might have malfunctioned. With no film in the camera, take off the lens and watch the shutter as you wind and release it. Does it move side-to-side? Does it have the irregular edge you see in the picture?


I think the film was improperly advanced, so that only part of it was exposed. I prefer this account over the next one only because the region is black, not white.

Otherwise I think it could be the film door was opened slightly while the roll was still being used. The film could have been partially advanced and then accidentally exposed by opening the back, where the properly exposed part of the photograph was protected inside the film case.

Finally, @jarnbjo's comment is a good hypothesis-- an artifact of the photo's subject, close to the camera, and thus underexposed. It's hard to imagine what would make such a sharp line without revealing a little more of its profile. Perhaps a card held very close to the lens.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Cameras usually lock the shutter until the film has been fully advanced. Objects close to the camera would have a fuzzy edge. It's probably something in the scene, but not close to the camera. \$\endgroup\$
    – xiota
    Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 3:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ If it wasn't properly advanced, you'd still have a full-framed rectangular exposure, only overlapping with the neighbour exposure. You'd not get this ragged contour. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 10:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ None of these explanations match. 1. If the film had not been properly advanced, another part of the film had been double exposed (which is not the case) and the transition between the exposed and unexposed part of the film would have been a straight line, not a slanted line with notches, furthermore you would also have seen the next frame on the scan. 2. If the camera back had been opened, a part of the film would have been overexposed and not underexposed. \$\endgroup\$
    – jarnbjo
    Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 12:36

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