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Would love any insight to this line across each photo from a roll of 35mm film taken with my new (used) Noblex Pro Sport. The line appears at the same height on each and every photo, but is brighter/lighter depending on the photo settings.

I have three assumptions thus far, but would love more ideas so I know what to avoid/do.

  1. Lab messed up during processing
  2. Wound the film too aggressively at the end, causing the line
  3. Camera needs a canned air cleaning

Thanks everyone!

example 1

enter image description here

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    \$\begingroup\$ Does it show up in photos from different locations, too? My first thought on seeing your examples was that it could be an eruv, a thin, barely-visible wire some Jewish communities string up to enclose a region. There are a number of them in New York City, including Midtown. Photos of them don't look dissimilar to the line in your photos. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 2, 2023 at 14:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Looking at the pic zoomed, you can definitely see a second line 92 pixels below the obvious one. Pretty sure there is a third line 107 pixels below that one. Best place to see the start of that one is near the streetlight on the right edge of the brighter image. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 4, 2023 at 17:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KevinRubin Except the line extends past the edge of the exposed part of the film on the far left of each scan. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Apr 6, 2023 at 23:53

4 Answers 4

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A light line can be the result from a scratched negative. Given the symptoms it could have been debris in the roll's light seal. Could also be in the camera or during processing.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ A lab may scratch a negative, too (that's the processing part). \$\endgroup\$ Apr 3, 2023 at 14:01
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A straight, fine line across the frame like this indicates a scratched negative to me. I guess it could be a dodgy scanner too. Examine your negatives closely to see if the scratch is there. You might have a tiny piece of grit somewhere in your camera, or quite possibly around the light seal of the film cassette – but it's too late for verifying that now. I wouldn't be so quick to blame the lab – you have them as suspect number 1. The canned air idea sounds like a good idea to me – worth maybe using a soft brush as well / beforehand.

I don't think this is anything particular to the fact you've used a rotating-lens panoramic camera. By the way, I also have a Noblex – I don't use it as much as I used to, but I get some great images with it. A great camera for wandering city streets with.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks @osullic and @steven! Just to clarify, I just had the lab as 1 on the list but was no particular order. There is indeed a consistent line across all the negatives. I'm hoping it's the film cassette which is 5 years passed expiration, but hope it's not a major plate issue as other sources on the internet indicate (aside from a cleaning of course). \$\endgroup\$ Apr 3, 2023 at 19:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ @adrian-noblex I have a different model Noblex - I have the 135S as opposed to the ProSport - but I assume the film chamber of both cameras is the same - in which case, there is no pressure plate that the film runs past. There are some rollers that force the film into position though - pay attention to them in particular when cleaning the camera. Note that this camera design holds the film in a curved position behind the lens barrel, not flat like most cameras. \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Apr 3, 2023 at 19:36
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  • The scratch is uneven - the scanner optics is not to blame, it is the negative.
  • The scratch is colored - it is emulsion-side.
  • The scratch is thin enough not to happen in the wet part of the lab process (and the lab has no much business with the dry film.

Conclusion: the film was scratched when dry, emulsion-side (in the camera this is lens-side), probably during taking pictures or winding the film back. In all other technological stages the film goes with constant speed and the scratch should be more even.

Cleaning the film path in the camera is a good start.

p.s. Gurus in the film lab where I used to work long ago could recognize if the film was scratched pre- or post-processing, but I think one has to look at the film for this.

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It seems clear that your camera has some kind of double/twin/multiple image setting.

Look not at the gap or line between them, but at the two images… are they not clearly different?

By what stretch of the imagination could that mean the lab messed up, or that the camera needed cleaning?

From your three choices that would leave winding on but while that might well cause the difference, how could it cause the line?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think you've misunderstood entirely. The camera in question is a panoramic camera. It exposes frames measuring 24mm x 66mm - that's a ratio of almost 1:3. The OP has posted 2 separate frames from a roll of film, and the fine line he is talking about is within each frame, not the large white space on this page between the 2 images. \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Apr 4, 2023 at 8:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @osullic Thanks and I very clearly did misunderstand. I thought the Posted examples were what they look like: a single frame with a line across it… Thanks for your patience. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 4, 2023 at 18:53

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