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I usually shoot 120 film, but wanted to try out 35mm. So I found a Praktica IV camera in my house and shot a roll of Ilford HP5. Almost all images from the roll have multiple white spots. Some even have white scratches.

  1. It is a Praktica IV camera
  2. Ilford HP5 35mm film.
  3. The white spots are in different places on every photo. Some photos only have one spot. One photo has none.
  4. The roll was developed by a lab.
  5. It isn't a double exposure.

Update: I checked the shutter, and it is indeed full of small holes.

B&W image of house, overlaid with white splotches

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The white spots look as if you have an old and leaky cloth shutter. The L- and BC-series Praktica cameras East European shutterbugs grew up with have very reliable metal shutters. However, the Praktica IV did have a cloth shutter that was notoriously unrealiable.

The variability of the spots from frame to frame may be explained by movement of the shutter, as well shielding by the mirror and a lens cap. The defect may also not have had time to form if the unaffected photos were taken in rapid succession or in subdued light.

You will be better off replacing the camera, as it would be uneconomical to repair.

  • @JindraLacko I've checked the shutter with a torch and it is indeed ful of small holes. Do you think this could be repaired at home? Thank you for your answer. – lucius maharal Jul 10 '18 at 17:14
  • @luciusmaharal I have heard of people who repaired this kind of damage by coating the shutter cloth with several thin layers of black toner dust dispersed in water soluble glue. The special cloth can be ordered on the well known auction site and cut to size. Any such repair is certain to be much more complicated than getting hold of a L series Praktica body in full working order (they go for dime a dozen on the same auction site, and accept the same lens as your camera). I would not try the repair unless I was strongly emotionally attached to the camera, or felt like a die hard camera tinker. – Jindra Lacko Jul 11 '18 at 6:23
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From what you show, it's not clear how same the problem is from frame to frame. If "same" means unexpected stuff on each frame, then the whole roll being double-exposed is possible. But If "same" means the same pattern of splotches on each frame, then double exposure is unlikely.

Your apparent intended picture is the one of the house. The other looks like it was dark except for patches of dappled sunlight hitting objects, or maybe bright sky viewed thru trees. As @MichaelClark notes, there are a few late film era cameras that wound the film electronically that could be set to double expose each frame. If the user forgot to turn that option back off, it would double expose an entire roll.

If this was a double exposure, the solution is to be more careful next time.

For better diagnosis, it would be helpful to show multiple frames, including the sprocket areas, areas between frames, as well as the leader and trailer.

  • @xiota Probably not. But there are a few late film era cameras that wound the film electronically that could be set to double expose each frame. If one forgot to turn that option back off, it would double expose an entire roll. – Michael C Jul 7 '18 at 17:23
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    @MichaelClark Camera is a Praktica 4 (presumably IV) – Please Read My Profile Jul 7 '18 at 20:50
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    @xio: It's not clear how same exactly the problem is from frame to frame. If "same" means the same pattern of splotches each frame, then I agree with you. If "same" means unexpected stuff on each frame, then the whole roll being double-exposed is still a possibility. Without more information from the OP, this can't be ruled out. – Olin Lathrop Jul 7 '18 at 23:04
  • @mattdm But it might not be for the next person who has similar spots on their images. – Michael C Jul 8 '18 at 0:35
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    @luc: Again, it would be helpful to show the whole file area for a few frames, including the sprocket area and the gap between frames. – Olin Lathrop Jul 8 '18 at 14:35

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