Nikon F80 N80 Scratch Problem

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by JGT, Jul 28, 2003.

  1. JGT

    JGT Guest

    I heard about this problem and was wondering if there are any places
    to get specific information:

    - How to identify problem
    - How to test camera
    - Is it restricted to specific batch that can be identified by serial
    - Is it a generic problem
    - Is it easy to fix or is camera a write-off

    I have Nikon F80 which I have only used with small number of rolls
    (although camera is about 2 years old) but plan on taking on a trip
    soon (and taking a lot of pictures with it) and would like to make
    sure camera does not have a scratch problem.

    Any help greatly appreciated.

    JGT, Jul 28, 2003
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  2. Do you mean it scratches the film?
    Joseph Meehan, Jul 28, 2003
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  3. JGT

    T P Guest

    What problem?
    T P, Jul 28, 2003
  4. JGT

    JGT Guest

    I found this during a newsgroup search and was wondering if it applied
    to the F80 that I have:
    I'm having severe scratching problems with an F80. There is plenty of
    misinformation about, so I ran my own tests. Here's what I found:

    - It's definitely the camera, not processing. Simple test: run a roll
    of film through the camera, rewind it, open the film cannister and
    check for scratches.

    - The scratches are on the base side of the film, perfectly straight,
    in exactly the same place each time. On my camera, there are 2
    scratches, sometimes 3; the worst is close to the center of the
    negative. The middle one is perfectly even, but the others start and
    stop, like something is rotating slightly off-center. The severity
    varies, with the 3rd scratch appearing when the others are at their

    - They're not caused by the backplate. They start at frame 1 of a
    36-exposure roll and finish in frame 13 - almost exactly the same spot
    each time. If it was the backplate, they'd continue all the way
    through the roll.

    - They line up roughly with the rubber rollers on the takeup spool,
    but I can't say for sure if they're the cause. It could also be the
    small metal roller attached to the back, or something on the hidden
    side of the spool.

    - It appears to happen during rewind. Switching to the slower rewind
    speed reduces (but doesn't eliminate) the problem.

    - Scratching is less severe with a 24-exposure roll than with a 36.

    - Cleaning the camera and rollers doesn't seem to help.

    - The scratches don't show up on minilab-processed prints, but they
    are very visible on scans from negatives and slides. I think this is
    probably because the point-soure light used in scanners tends to
    emphasize scratches, while diffuser enlargers hide them.

    If you're shooting for minilab prints and not examining your negatives
    carefully, you might have a problem and not even know it. Even when
    you're looking for scratches they can be easy to miss. I went through
    30 rolls or so, and only noticed when I started scanning slides -
    every single roll was scratched.

    One of the rubber rollers on my camera appears to be deformed, with a
    sharpish edge on one side. This could explain one of the scratches,
    but not the others.
    JGT, Jul 29, 2003
  5. I have never heard of it. It almost sounds like an individual problem
    that happened to one person and the power of suggestion got other people to
    find the same problem and/or associate it only to one camera.

    I would have to suggest that if it were common, a lot of people here
    would know about it and it seems I am not the only one that does not know
    about it.

    I find it really odd about the way it seems to be working, only on a
    section of film in the middle of the roll.
    Joseph Meehan, Jul 29, 2003
  6. JGT

    JGT Guest

    The url below contains thread about the problem but I am still not
    clear if this is a real issue. It does not seem to be isolated.

    JGT, Jul 29, 2003
  7. JGT

    T P Guest

    It sounds like a warranty issue with one individual sample.
    T P, Jul 29, 2003
  8. I own the N65, and also the N80 once I pay for my auction. There was one
    roll where I saw some scratches on about 4 of the frames, but I haven't seen
    any since. Also, the scratches were in a random pattern which didn't seem to
    be the camera; they would've, I figured, been straight horizontal all the
    way down for at least awhile. These were sometimes in the middle of the
    frame, sometimes on the edge--no real pattern to it.

    I was worried about the camera being messed up, but it hasn't happened
    since. I blame the processor; luckily, the frames were photos that stunk
    that I wasn't concerned with anyway; the good ones were fine, and (again)
    all subsequent rolls have been perfect.

    Larry R Harrison Jr, Jul 29, 2003
  9. JGT

    Shawn Hedvat Guest

    I have an N80, I assume it is the U.S. version of F80 and had a problem with
    scratched negatives. I took the camera to Nikon repair facility here in LA
    and they were nice enough to replace the whole back door and take care of
    it, no charge although my camera was out of warranty. It seems to be some
    kind of alignment problem. Generally, color photo printed smaller than 5x7
    don't show anything. But B&W printed with a condenser enlarger are ruined!
    To find out if you have this problem, run a fresh roll of film through and
    examine the unprocessed film on the base side using an 8X loupe. It is a bit
    tricky as you must focus accurately and have side lighting to be able to see

    Here is what we get for buying wunderplastik...
    Shawn Hedvat, Sep 19, 2003
  10. JGT

    John Miller Guest

    To be fair, the camera could be made of cream cheese without effect on the
    problem you're describing. Since it's on the base side of the film, and
    the only thing the base side of the film slides on is the pressure plate,
    that's where the problem was. Better to focus your 8x loupe there and see
    if you couldn't find the problem.

    John Miller

    Burke's Postulates:
    Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
    Don't create a problem for which you do not have the answer.
    John Miller, Sep 19, 2003
  11. JGT

    Shawn Hedvat Guest

    Nikon repair people told me that it was somekind of alignment problem and
    they fixed it by replacing the whole rear assembly and not just a matter of
    a clean pressure plate. I routinely clean the pressure plate using high
    quality anti static cloth. In fact a pressure plate is not the only thing
    that touches film on the base side, A number of rollers do as well..

    Shawn Hedvat, Oct 20, 2003
  12. JGT

    John Miller Guest

    Don't you just love it when they get all technical?
    That sounds an awfully lot like a camera back, or maybe the whole inside
    part of a camera back
    Two half-rollers, to be exact: one attached to the back, and the other
    bearing against the take-up reel.

    I wrote in haste, and forgot that we were talking about an autothreader.
    The N80 does have a couple of partial-width guide rollers, which, as long
    as they are rolling, cannot produce scratches. One of them could be tight,
    and not roll, and I suppose it's possible for one of the guide roller
    carriers to get so bent that something other than the roller would contact
    the film back, but it's a bit of a stretch.

    John Miller
    My email address: Domain,; username, jsm

    COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from
    a corporation whose president codes in octal.
    -J.N. Gray
    John Miller, Oct 21, 2003
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