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Need advice unexposed film

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  • Need advice unexposed film

    A few months ago I got two blank rolls of film from my Canon Elan, spaced 4-5 rolls apart. Five rolls of film were perfectly exposed; two were totally unexposed. I figured the camera was getting old and I did not want to put the money into it, so I bought a new Canon Elan 7. I took about 20 perfectly exposed rolls with it. Then yesterday I got a totally unexposed roll. The camera is showing that the film is advancing. The numbers are changing in the display. I always check that. The display shows the film correctly loaded. Furthermore, it is not possible to take a picture with an Elan unless there is film loaded.
    I have probably taken 10,000 rolls of film and have only had this occur these 3 times. Canon can offer no explanation. It says maybe there are shutter problems. But in two different cameras? Any why are the rolls either totally exposed correctly and then one out of the blue that is not? The printer says no way can it be their problem. Can anyone help? My email is [email protected]

  • #2
    Hi Roberta.

    Welcome to Retouch Pro.

    Do you have the negatives?
    Are they black or clear?
    Can you read the frame numbers on the film?



    • #3
      unexposed film

      Yes, I have the negatives. They are a single, rusty red transparent strip. I can read the numbers on the top and bottom of the strip as well as the bar code.


      • #4
        Hi Roberta.

        The fact that you can read the numbers means that the film has been correctly developed. So you can’t blame the processing (Print shop).

        The film is clear (rusty red). This means that the camera has not exposed the film.

        There are only three main reasons for this.

        1) The shutter has not opened (or a similar fault)
        2) The film has not wound on
        3) You have mixed up exposed and non exposed films (This is more common than you would expect)



        • #5
          Hm, tricky.

          Do you know what makes the count increase? I know about cameras which check for a loaded film with a small tab in the film thingydoing, you know where the film-roll is put into. The count is just measured with the internal mechanism of the camera. Other cameras have a small gear which is actually measuring the movement of the film. Difficult to say

          My guess is broken film.

          Or as Ken said you mixed them up but it's unlikely because it's obvious a film is not exposed when there is a small strip left outside the camera as the camera mechanism automatically rolls back the entire strip completely.

          Well, hard to tell...


          • #6
            The Elan 7 (Known in the UK as the EOS 30) has a custom function to allow the film leader tongue protruding which makes identifying exposed and unexposed film impossible.

            On this model the frame advance is controlled by an I/R diode.

            Is there any sign at all of the frame edges? The arrowed bit in my picture?

            Attached Files


            • #7
              unexposed film

              I don't think I mixed up the film because I took it out of my camera and put it back in the canister and then set it next to my purse. Canon says that the film counter is not a simple function of how many times you press the button down, that it reads the numbers on the frames. I guess otherwise if you got to 24 and had a roll of 36 in there, how would it know not to let you continue pushing? The leader on the roll was totally tucked inside the camera. It was not protruding.
              And as to the shutter--it seems odd that first it would happen on a five year old camera and then on a brand new camera and all within 3 months when it has not ever happened to me in ten years previously and at least 10,000 rolls of film. I used to take pictures for Ohio School Pictures and took hundreds of rolls every year with that first Elan. Never had this happen before.
              I just don't get this.


              • #8
                unexposed film

                No, there is no sign at all of the frame edges. I am just sick about the pictures I lost of my grandson and husband together. And in two weeks my son is getting married and I am worried about the camera malfunctioning then. I just wish I knew what the problem was. although it is obviously, still under warranty, to take in something with an intermittent problem would be useless.


                • #9
                  unexposed film

                  Wouldn't a broken film look broken?


                  • #10
                    although it is obviously, still under warranty, to take in something with an intermittent problem would be useless
                    I disagree.

                    Take your camera back to your dealer with the film and insist that it is checked by Canon. While it is under warranty it will only cost the postage to have it checked.
                    Unfortunately it may still be away when you need it.

                    There is a known problem on OLDER Canon shutters which causes missed frames however it would be very unusual for it to affect only one full film (unless it was unusually hot). And this problem does not usually occur until the camera is way, way out of warranty.

                    Did you do anything different with that one film? E.g. use a different lens, use all flash? Use manual control?



                    • #11
                      I can't be the camera because you had this same problem occur with two completely different cameras. Were both of the failed rolls of film of the same type and purchased at the same time? I wonder if you could have gotten into a bad batch of film from the manufacturer.

                      Since you have an urgent need approaching (wedding), go to the store and get a different type and/or brand of film and try it very quickly and also try the rest of your current batch. If all else fails, go to a pro camera shop and rent a camera.



                      • #12
                        unexposed film

                        I always use a flash to take every picture, inside or outside. So that was not different. And the only time I ever use manual is when it is on a tripod, which is was not. And I used two different lenses, so it would not be a lens problem. The only thing I noticed was that at least the last half of the film, it sounded different when I took the picture. It sounded slower. And I looked at the battery symbol to see if my batteries were getting low. But the battery symbol showed full batteries and later my husband checked the batteries and they were above the amount they were labeled as. So that was not a problem. But the sound difference perplexed me because you internalize what the camera sounds like and it was different.


                        • #13
                          unexposed film

                          Yes, Bart, I wondered about the film. It was the same brand--Konica--because I get a free roll for every roll of film that I get developed. But it was not the same lot of film I don't think. I don't know for sure, though, because I get so many rolls that I just throw them in a drawer and take them out as I use them. I check the dates but that's all. I purchased some Kodak film today. If I buy film, I buy Kodak. I prefer the warmer tones to it over say, Agfa. It is puzzling.

                          I have an EOS 1N that I won about ten or twelve years ago in the Canon Masters Competion and it still works great but it has no built in flash and I don't use it as much because I have to carry a flash with me. I guess I will take that to the wedding.


                          • #14
                            This problem is impossible to resolve fully without a technician seeing the camera.

                            It sounds like Roberta has done everything correctly

                            The last few post lead me to suspect a film transport fault rather than a shutter fault but from what has been said I would definitely suspect the camera body.

                            This camera should not let you take pictures if the film is not loaded correctly.

                            The fact that you can read the numbers on the developed film not only excludes a processing fault but also a faulty film. However even if the camera has a fault, you may find that some makes of film will work and some will not.

                            Roberta, I don’t think we can help any further. Take your camera back to the dealer with the faulty film and let them have a look. I would be very surprised if they don’t offer to send it back to Canon under guarantee. (They may/should even lend you a body for the wedding while your camera is away)

                            Or you can use the EOS 1n with external flash. It may be bigger but will always give better results with the more powerful external flash.

                            Please let us know what happens.



                            • #15
                              unexposed film

                              I certainly do appreciate the input from all of you. I feel as if listening to all of you was much more help to me than calls I put in to Canon itself. Thank you all!


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