I got a used Kiev 88, 80mm Volna lense, and shot this with a film back that's evidently leaking light (see camera right). It was Ilford HP5 ISO 400 pushed two stops.

However, I have no idea what caused the defects (see the red circle), and I've only seen it with that shot. Subsequent rolls only had light leaks if I used the wrong film back.

Any ideas?

Strange light defects

  • @Wirewrap as in during processing? Or while in the film back? It's a little embarassing, but I shot the majority of the roll with the dark slide slightly dislodged. I removed the slide before taking this shot.
    – Calyth
    Feb 26, 2018 at 21:50
  • 1
    Before processing, when the film (and you) is wet it will not happen. Probably when handling the film
    – Wirewrap
    Feb 26, 2018 at 21:54
  • What is the guy doing? The gadget looks sort of like a carboflex, and the light streaks could be sparks... Feb 27, 2018 at 11:08
  • @JindraLacko he's carving an ice sculpture, so he's using some kind of rotary tool. Personally I do like the discharge damage there. It gives the photo some ambiguity.
    – Calyth
    Feb 27, 2018 at 13:19
  • @Calyth given the location of the artefacts and the fact he is using a rotary thingy I am inclined to associate them with the tool and not your camera / process. It seems much likelier than static discharge. On the other hand I agree that a certain degree of ambiguity serves the best from artistic point of view. Feb 27, 2018 at 14:15

2 Answers 2


It looks like static discharge damage, that is electric sparks from friction when handling exposes the film emulsion. I used to do these figures for fun a long time ago. Happens before processing, when the film (and you) is wet it will not happen. Probably when handling the film in or out of the camera/cassette. After or before the real exposure.


I think I see some lighter discharge marks at the top of the frame as well. This can happen during fast winding or rewinding. Low humidity (winter) and plastic parts in the film path are root causes. The solution is often to wind and/or rewind -slowly- to allow charge time to bleed off.

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