I'm seeing light leaks on images from my Leica M6. Using the voigtlander 35mm f1.4 nokton lens. The leak appears at the same spot on the sample images but didn't appear on all images in the roll. There is also Light leaking on the edges of nearly all the negatives but they don't affect the actual image. Anyone have experience with this?

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I have a very similar light leak on my m6 and I'm pretty sure I just figured out that it's coming from a the tiny plastic plugs that held the strap pad (correct term?) in place on the right side of the body, above the strap lug. Not all m6's have them but the later ones do I believe. I carefully went around the seams with a flashlight while jamming my eye into the bottom of the uptake reel chamber and I could see a spec of light in there when I went over that spot. At first I thought they were screws but they are just the broken off plugs from the pad. Some gaff tape should do the trick.

Those pads are supposed to keep your strap from scratching the body as far as I can tell... It's a shame that light can get in if they break off. They are kind of flimsy. From researching I've also heard of loose strap lugs causing light leaks on that area of the film as well.

Best of luck

-Chris enter image description here

  • Yes! I've got those lug holes exposed as well. – Brendan Burkett Jul 27 '17 at 17:55
  • It's good to see that my prediction of the light leak being in the top right corner of the camera was confirmed, and a good reason for it supplied. I knew it had to be there, but thought it was a very strange failure, not being familiar with that camera. With your description, it all makes perfect sense. – Olin Lathrop Jul 27 '17 at 19:00

At first glance, I suspected a bad seal on your camera back. But then I noticed the pattern on the last sample image. It looks like the light leak occurred during development, due to the light "shadow" (for lack of a better term) of the sprocket holes along the bottom edge. The light had to leak onto the film when the film was wound loosely. Are you developing your own film, by chance? Your development tank would be my first place to check if you are.

  • Good analysis digijim: important not to panic and figure things out logically. My recent light leak was due to cold weather: really cold weather. The problem got worse by frame the long i was outside. Top frame leak, hence bottom flap was moving/contracting. Four frames were affected, either side of the roll were clear, thankfully. Now i know not to go out with M6 when its -37C. – Sam Feb 14 at 14:26

No, this does NOT look like a light leak during development.

This is most likely a light leak at the top of takeup area in the camera. Most cameras move the film from the cartridge at left to the takeup spool at right, when looking at the back of the camera and the lens pointed away from you normally. Since the scene is projected onto the film plane flipped about its center, light showing up at the bottom of pictures is actually hitting the film at the top. The light leak is therefore at the top right corner of your camera.

The light leak can't be in the middle since there is no way another layer of film could cast the shadow seen in your last frame.

The leak isn't in the cartridge since it appears in the same place in every frame. There isn't exactly one frame per winding in the cartridge. Even if there was at one diameter, this wouldn't be true for higher or lower layers. These would be at a different diameter, and therefore a different frame stride per revolution.

The reason you see this in some frames than in others is that it depends on how long the frame sat in the right spot on the takeup reel. In other words, how long you waited after winding the film before winding it after taking the next frame. If you took several frames in rapid succession, you may not see a leak except on the last one. Your bottom frame spent a long time in the second to last position on the takeup reel. The frame right after it should should the effect quite seriously.

It should be obvious this is not a developing problem for two reasons. First, there is no way to explain how the leak is in the same place in each frame. Second, developing tanks hold the film by the edges. You would see a shadow of the grooves or spirals of the tank if the film was being exposed in the tank.

  • Yes I am almost certain that it's not the developing tank because I develop rolls from other cameras that don't show this particular light leak. – Brendan Burkett Apr 10 '17 at 15:19

Considering the shadows of the holes on the last one and how they get much less noticeable, it has to be a hole in the side of your developing tank.

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