Light leaks and focus woes
It’s fair to say I wasn’t expecting the first few rolls of film to be perfect. I was very pleased to be getting recognisable images from the 1st working camera. Turns out there are a few issues to resolve. The focus is out of whack for all but the pinhole lens, pinholes have this lovely habit of always being in focus (albeit a slightly dreamy focus). For the meniscus polycarbonate lens things are clearly a little bit off. Images from my 1st 2 films taken with this lens have all been a little out of focus. I have a plan for fixing this issue, essentially it boils down to getting the lens positioned at exactly the right distance from the film. Solving that problem was going to need a special bit of kit, more on that later.
The other problem was a nice selection pf light leaks. My 1st black and white film was taken on an overcast day and I didn’t really notice anything unusual. Once I ran a colour film through the camera however the problem was a bit more obvious. If you are ever trying to track down light leaks there are a few things to bear in mind;
- Red light leaks on colour negative typically come from the back of the camera as the light is filtered through the film base.
- White light leaks are most likely from the lens side of the camera.
- Any leaks that span the whole film from top to bottom are very likely due to rear door light leaks.
Turns out I had all of the above! Under strong sunlight the camera had more holes than a broken sieve.
The process for tracking them down involves close examination of your negatives, a good torch and some black tape. I am working on a redesign of the rear door labyrinth light seals (I had cut a few corners on the 1st design) which is now looking good. Also I spotted a rather large hole in the shutter mechanism which only shows up in strong light at certain angles! I’ve got a solution in the works for this as well so the next films should start to show the true potential of the TYCH.