My camera leaves white streaks on the photographs - can this be fixed?

A few years ago I bought a Pentax ZX-60. It’s just a fairly unexpensive SLR camera, it does everything like it’s supposed to, and since I’m not a professional photographer, I bought it because it had everything I needed/wanted and was in my price range.

It worked great for a while and a couple summers ago my family and I went on a vacation to Washington DC. I took 8 or 9 rolls of film while we were there. The pictures turned out great except for one thing - on many of the pictures there was a very thin white horizontal line about 1/4 of the way down that extended all of the way across the photograph. Some of them had two or three at various points along the picture, but most just had one. I noticed the streaks were the most obvious on the outdoor shots, such as pictures I took of the Washington Monument with a bright blue sky background.

I got a digital camera shortly after we got back, and the ZX-60 got put away. I would like to start using it again, but I don’t know what to do about the white streaks. I assume it is from light leaking in somewhere, but I don’t know how I would fix it. Is there a way I can fix it myself, or do I have to take it in somewhere to get worked on? I don’t live in a big city and there’s probably no one around here that could work on it.

You might know more than me, but are the lines very thin with sharp boundaries? If so then something is scratching your negatives. I had a whole roll of film ruined by a piece of grit or something that scratched the negs on the whole roll, which printed like a thin white horizontal line. Examine your negs and see if they are scratched. You might even be able to feel if it’s a scratch by very lightly rubbing the corner of a credit card perpendicular to the line.

I am having a hard time imagining a light leak situation that would leave sharply defined horizontal streaks. I would think it would be more of a broader gradient effect across the whole frame. But I’ve never had one so I don’t know.

I think there are some serious Doper photogs so hopefully someone will chime in here.

Oh, yeah–if it’s a scratch, you will also see it between the frames on your negs.

I’ll go see if I can dredge up the negatives and check them out. If I had a scanner I would scan the actual picture so you could see but yes, it’s just a thin, fairly crisp light colored line all the way across.

Maybe your camera is perfectly fine, and the film was scratched by the equipment at the lab. You probably had all of your vacation photos developed at the same time at the same lab, so one piece of grit in the developing machine could scratch all of your rolls.

I recommend shooting another roll and getting it developed somewhere else and see how it goes.

A scratched neg would usually yield a black mark on the print if it went all the way through the emulsion to the base. If it’s not all the way through, the marks will probably be colored.

A white mark/streak sounds more like a problem with the machinery at the lab - something prevented light from reaching the print paper, so it stayed white.

Light leaks would result in what’s called fogging - as the name suggests, it shows up as a haze, fog or blobby marks with fuzzy edges, unless the leak is really bad and close to the film.

Try shooting another roll of film and taking it somewhere else. If the marks appear, then there is something wrong with the camera (or your loading technique) but my hunch is it’s a lab problem.

I had that happen once as you may be able to see in the foreground of this picture. I cleaned the camera umm…part where the film goes…with a lens brush and compressed air (ok, I blew into it) and it never happened again. I don’t know if that was the reason, or the lab did it, or whatever, but the negative had gotten scratched somehow. Fortunately, I was killing the end of a roll taking cute kitty pics.

Yes, that is pretty much what my pictures looked like, except the line was at the top. I took out the roll of film that was in there and cleaned the inside of the camera where the film goes with a brush an also blew in it (hey, we had the same idea and I did it before I even read your post!) and then I loaded in a new roll of film. I hadn’t thought that maybe it was a problem with the developing process but yes, we did just take the film to Wal-Mart to be developed. I will finish the roll of film and get it developed and see how it turns out. Hopefully that will have fixed the problem. Thanks for the hints!

I am sure there are SDMB rules prohibiting mentioning these without posting a link to them!

did you click on the link provided?

So I went and got a can of that “Dust-Off” compressed air stuff and proceeded to try and clean the inside of the camera. I think I screwed up because now the film won’t load. It makes the noise like the film is advancing but then it shows an “E” for error and stops there.

Sigh. I’m retarted. I guess I’ll have to take my dad’s advice - he said it would be better to spend 40 or 50 bucks to get it fixed because it’s not doing any good just sitting in the closet.

Eww… there’s your problem. Wal Mart photolab. :smiley:

Whenever I have color prints, I take them to the local HEB grocery store’s photolab, but I keep doing that mostly because I like the folks there. Most of my photogeek friends tend to get their prints at Walgreens or Ritz (then again, I’ve known at least one guy who swore never to ever go to Ritz ever again, so YMMV)

FWIW, I got my developed the two day (where they actually send it out) at Sam’s Club. I have never had a problem with Walgreens, but I have only ever had one bad roll, and it was only about 5 frames. Since I let my Sam’s Club membership lapse, I do all of my developing at Walgreens. The film was from Sam’s Club too, and I started having rewind problems when I used Sam’s Club Kodak film. I suspect tha Kodak may not give Sam’s the best stuff in the Warehouse 8 pack.