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Film Advance in Cold (OM-1n)

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#1 ???

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 01:08 AM

I've been shooting film for a long time but I'm new to film AP. A couple of hours into the winter nights, I've noticed that the film advance lever on my OM-1n seems to lose its resistance as I crank it. I'm not sure it's advancing the film at all. It feels like the mechanism isn't engaging and the lever is almost swinging freely, though sometimes it seems I feel the film winding towards the end of the motion. It works fine when it's back at room temperature. Does anyone know what could be causing this? I'm thinking about getting a motor drive attachment and just bypassing the whole lever. 

 

 



#2 Michal1

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 05:15 AM

I have never experienced this, but I don't have an Olympus. In cold, film advancing gets rather tough, as the greases in the mechanisms get tough. I'd rather say that you haven't loaded the film properly. You can try a few things to figure out what is happening.

1) Take a photo at the room temperature. Does the lever give you the right amount of resistance?

2) Go to a totally dark place (covering yourself with a blanket can be helpful if you don't have such a place), open the camera door, touch the edge of the film with one hand and advance the film lever with the other hand. Can you feel that the film is moving?

3)  Write down the the number of the film frame you are currently at. Rewind the film to the original spool and load the film again. Then go to a dark place, leave the camera lens covered and take photos until you get to the original film frame number.



#3 ???

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 10:48 AM

I have never experienced this, but I don't have an Olympus. In cold, film advancing gets rather tough, as the greases in the mechanisms get tough. I'd rather say that you haven't loaded the film properly. You can try a few things to figure out what is happening.

1) Take a photo at the room temperature. Does the lever give you the right amount of resistance?

2) Go to a totally dark place (covering yourself with a blanket can be helpful if you don't have such a place), open the camera door, touch the edge of the film with one hand and advance the film lever with the other hand. Can you feel that the film is moving?

3)  Write down the the number of the film frame you are currently at. Rewind the film to the original spool and load the film again. Then go to a dark place, leave the camera lens covered and take photos until you get to the original film frame number.

In room temperature, there is no problem, full frame advance. Resistance from both the crank mechanism and film tension. Even when no film is loaded there is some mechanical resistance at room temperature that is not there in the cold. The lever is designed to work in one full motion or several small ones, so there must be some kind of ratchet/clutch mechanism. Maybe I can take it apart and see if there are worn or loose parts. 



#4 Todd N

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 11:29 AM

Do a test in the field under similar conditions. Load the camera with a dummy film roll or you will have to waste just a few film frames. Leave the film back open and advance a few frames to see if they are in fact advancing.

 

The film advance lever may not be too snug. The top has to be removed and underneath is a screw that may need to be tightened. I'm not familiar with OM-1. In my SLR there is a tiny screw underneath the lever to be removed and the plastic top cover can be removed to expose the the lever screw.

 



#5 Michal1

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 12:19 PM

Or you can take the camera to the cold, cover the lens, and take photos until you get to the end of the film. If you don't get to the end, or if you take too many frames, then something is wrong with the camera. If everything goes as it should, you can still save the film roll using the trick 3) from my first post.



#6 Joe F Gafford

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 09:31 PM

I had some experience with this. I load the film cartridge in the back and pressing down on the leader, spool the rewind until I get some resistance. Then I spool the leader on the take-up reel, make sure that it is advancing, then close the back. 

 

Joe



#7 Marty0750

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Posted 23 January 2021 - 02:25 AM

Same as Joe says. But simply with film already in the camera with frames used just crank the rewind back until the film is taught. When the next frame is cranked the rewind knob should turn confirming the film is advancing.

#8 Achernar

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Posted 23 January 2021 - 09:31 AM

I never owned an Olympus 35mm camera, I have always been using Nikons and Canons such s F-2's FM-2's, F3's and F-1's. But like all 35mm film cameras, they required care when loading them. I fold the end of the leader, insert it into the take up spool, and advance it one frame then release the shutter. Then I use the rewind knob to tighten the film against the rails and ensure the sprocket engages the perforations in the film, then close the back. Then I advance the film again while watching the rewind knob. It should rotate when you advance the film. If it doesn't, the film is not hooked to the take up spool properly.

 

That is what should happen when you wind the film. As old as your camera is, it might have a mechanical issue that a camera repairman can correct. Olympus made some really high quality cameras, and I have tried OM-1's before, for their time they were top of the line like the Nikons and Canons I used. I would take a roll of test photos during the daytime and process the film first before using it at night to see if everything is working properly.'

 

One thing about film and extreme cold. Most film can get really brittle in extreme cold, and that can result in the film snapping apart if you advance it quickly. Also, in very dry air, it can cause static discharges that expose the film in places. I have personally seen how that can destroy every photo on a roll of film before you even develop the film. Advance the film slowly in extreme cold to avoid this, and as I recall, people used anti-static substances to suppress static discharges on the camera's pressure plate.

 

Taras


Edited by Achernar, 23 January 2021 - 09:34 AM.


#9 ???

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Posted 07 February 2021 - 11:58 AM

It seems it was an issue with the film advance mechanism. I have another OM-1n that's in a bit better condition I used last night in similar temperatures with no issues. Comparing the two, I noticed that even at room temperature, the lever of the worn one begins to engage later in the crank motion- around 60 to 80 degrees out, while the newer one engages around 45 degrees. Also, if I move the advance lever of the worn one in small rapid movements I can sometimes get it to "skip" advancing altogether, which isn't possible on the other one, so certainly seems like something is worn. I'm glad I have this other one. Maybe I'll just keep the other one for standard photography. 




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